The cinema-first release model has surely taken a back seat due to the ongoing pandemic. During COVID-19, film companies were forced to shift their distribution model and make movies available online due to the government-imposed health and safety measures that closed down many public spaces and advised individuals to practice physical distancing. WarnerMedia is optimistic about the future, however, and has announced that it will be going back to the cinema-first release model in 2022.
The company's shift in the pandemic allowed HBO Max users to stream brand new films on the same day as they were released in theaters. Starting 2022, however, consumers will be able to stream the latest movies at some point after their official cinema release. This return-to-normal contradicts the accelerated on-demand experiences that have been popularized because of the pandemic.
Image Credit: WarnerBros