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Local cinema reacts to Warner Brothers sending blockbusters to HBO Max and theaters in 2021

Warner Brothers Pictures announced Thursday that all of its movies would debut in theaters and at home on HBO Max at the same time.
Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 7:03 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Warner Brothers Pictures announced Thursday that all of its movies would debut in theaters and at home on HBO Max at the same time.

Picture this: you take your seat in a giant auditorium with a bag of popcorn on your lap; the lights go down, the sound fills the space around you.

Local theaters will have to rely on that ‘movie magic’ to compete with the convenience of watching the same thing at home.

COVID-19 has hit the movie industry hard - delaying the release of notable films and reducing businesses’ occupancy.

Because no new movies have been released this year, movie theaters have resorted to re-playing older films.

Vice president of marketing for Cinergy, Traci Hoey, says the Warner Brothers announcement added a new hurdle for local theaters.

“We’re all shocked by it, but it is what it is. There’s nothing we can do. We just hope that people want to get out and support their local cinema. We provide hundreds of jobs for kids and adults in the community. They rely on us to be open to having jobs,” said Hoey.

Warner Brothers’ decision to stream the films doesn’t mean that theaters won’t get the same movie.

It means people will choose between watching on the couch – or sitting in a theater with strangers.

“I think you’ll see that the people come back out again. People are dying for content, and we’re waiting for new content, too, as long as the studios keep giving us those titles. Even even if they’re streaming it too, we’re playing those movies that are being streamed as well. We’re excited to have new content,” said Hoey.

Hoey believes that the movie theater industry has survived the pandemic because people still enjoy the tradition of getting out of the house to see a film.

“Ultimately, movie theaters have kinda stood the test of time. It’s an escape from reality. Whether it’s a depression or the economy is down, people still want to get out and see a movie because it is a way to escape from reality,” said Hoey.

Warner Brothers will begin releasing new movies on HBO Max on Christmas day, which is also the busiest day for movie theaters.

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