Don't expect the flow of DC movies to slow down any time soon. WarnerMedia is about to ramp up production on comic book adaptations from the legendary publisher in the coming years. Not only will we be getting more movies designed as theatrical releases but the studio is also planning to release two new DC movies per year that will be released exclusively on the HBO Max streaming service.
DC Films president Walter Hamada, who is one of the high-ranking studio chiefs within the Warner Bros. infrastructure at WarnerMedia, was recently interviewed regarding the superhero movie output expected in the future. As part of the piece, it is explained that the goal is to have two DC movies annually released on HBO Max, which launched earlier this year. This would be in addition to any other adaptations that are produced by the studio. The piece notes that there could be as many as four DC movies hitting theaters per year starting in 2022. That means, if all cylinders are firing at max capacity, we could be getting six DC Films releases in a single year.
No titles have been settled on yet but Static Shock and the long-gestating Batgirl movie are named as projects that are possible candidates to become HBO Max exclusive releases. One would imagine marquee characters such as Batman and Wonder Woman will continue to get the big screen treatment. So don't expect to see Wonder Woman 3, which has been put on the fast track, to skip theaters. It is also likely that these streaming-only movies will come with comparatively smaller budgets.
Recently, Wonder Woman 1984 was released on the service while debuting simultaneously in movie theaters. WarnerMedia shook the industry in a big, bad way several weeks ago when it was announced the studio would be doing the same for its entire 2021 slate. Though there has been a great deal of pushback, with Dune possibly going back to a full-on theatrical release and Godzilla vs. Kong up in the air, as Legendary Pictures, who co-financed the projects, are unhappy. But these are not exclusive streaming releases. Plus, the studio heads have stated that this plan does not extend beyond 2021. That makes sense, as it is estimated they are sacrificing billions at the box office by releasing these movies on HBO Max.
Streaming was becoming the future even before 2020 upended the movie business. Netflix pushed. The likes of Disney+, Amazon, CBS All Access, Peacock and more have shoved. Unfortunately, HBO Max is trailing in a bad way with less than 13 million subscribers thus far, compared to Netflix (195 million) and Disney+ (87 million). Much like Disney used Star Wars to attract subscribers with The Mandalorian, WarnerMedia will turn to its DC heroes to drum up business. Whether or not the strategy and investment will pay off remains to be seen. This news comes to us via The New York Times.