After causing controversy by moving its entire 2020 film slate onto HBO Max, which angered auteur filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve, Warner Bros. has expressed its commitment to theatrical releases in 2021, but not exactly like the days of old. Over the months, the studio has talked of shortening the theatrical window, and it will be doing exactly that with its biggest release of the year: The Batman.
The highly anticipated film directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as the iconic vigilante is shaping up to be a gargantuan blockbuster for the studio when it hits theaters in March 2022. However, according to a new Recode interview with WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, the film will make the jump to HBO Max in an extremely short amount of time. Via Comic Book:
Kilar confirmed The Batman will be available to stream on HBO Max on day 46 of the 45-day theater-exclusive window. The Matt Reeves-directed reboot opens in theaters on March 4 and will stream for HBO Max subscribers on April 19, 2022.
“Think about when movies would show up on HBO, which is eight to nine months after theatrical premiere. The Batman is going to show up on day 46 on HBO Max,” Kilar said. “That is a huge change from where things were in 2018, 2017, 2016.”
Despite initially relying on Premier Access during the pandemic, not even Disney has toyed with a theatrical window that short and has waited at least 90 days before dropping its Marvel titles on its Disney+. But with Warner Bros. moving what could be its most profitable title to streaming so quickly, it’ll be interesting to see what repercussions it has on the film industry, if any at all.
The Batman hits theaters on March 4, 2022 and HBO Max on April 19, 2022.