The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the whole landscape of the movie business.  And with many people unable or reluctant to visit the movie theaters, streaming services have become increasingly important.

Although the pandemic has had a profound effect on the movie industry, it is important to remember that the movie theaters were already losing out to streaming services prior to the outbreak.

According to Bloomberg, 2019 was a record low for attendance at movie theaters.  So with this trend towards watching new movie releases via streaming services increasing even before we had heard of the Coronavirus, 2021 looks like another difficult year for the industry.

In April 2021, Warner Media took the unprecedented step of releasing their latest films simultaneously in the movie theaters and on HBO Max.

According to HBO Max, the movies will stay on the platform for just one month. This means that if you want to watch the latest blockbuster you can either visit the movie theater as usual or watch the movie from the comfort and safety of home.

HBO Max and Warner aim to run this new model for a year working closely with the movie theaters such as Regal and ABC. The aim is that this experiment will be able to maintain the operation of the movie theaters as well as boost the popularity of HBO Max which has not been as popular with consumers as Netflix and other streaming platforms.

According to Warner Media, this is a creative solution to the pandemic. Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff says, “No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021.”

So which movies are being released?

Movie fans are in for a treat because there are some great blockbusters available. New releases include: Tom & Jerry, The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah. For action fans Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat and The Suicide Squad look great.

Other titles include; Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho,  Matrix 4, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy

Is it worth signing up to HBO Max?

If you love movies, it is worth signing up to HBO Max. Warner Media is offering a great deal that reduces the price by 22% if you sign up for 6 months. It costs $69.99 for six months subscription working out at just under $12 per month.

Of course, nothing beats seeing a movie on the big screen at a movie theater. But bearing in mind the risks of catching the virus compared with the ease and safety of home viewing plus the great quality of many home entertainment systems, simultaneous streaming looks as if it could be here to say.