AMC CEO reacts harshly to Warner’s HBO Max plans

WarnerMedia dropped a bombshell today when it announced its entire list of 2021 blockbusters – including dune, The suicide squad, and The matrix 4 – would premier in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time. Reactions have varied – some looking forward to seeing the first tent poles safely at home, while others lamenting the loss of a real theatrical experience for so many highly anticipated releases. CEO of AMC Theaters Adam Aronhowever, is absolutely angry.

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It’s no secret that AMC, along with every other theater chain, struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic. Many theaters were closed and most of the others had extremely limited occupancy. Aron released a statement in response to Warner’s landmark decision that doesn’t crush words:

Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in Dune

Image via Warner Bros.

“These coronavirus-hit times are unexplored waters for all of us, which is why AMC has signed an HBO Max Exemption from Usual Practice for just one film, Wonder Woman 1984, to be released by Warner Brothers for Christmas when the pandemic looms be at his height. However, Warner is now hoping to do so for all of his theatrical films in 2021, despite the likelihood that the vaccine theater business will rebound just around the corner. Warner Media clearly intends to sacrifice a significant portion of the profitability of its film studio division and that of its production partners and filmmakers in order to subsidize the HBO Max startup. As for AMC, we will do everything in our power to ensure Warner does this at our expense. We will aggressively pursue economic conditions that will keep our business going.

We have already entered into an immediate and urgent dialogue with Warner leadership on this matter. Still, as this issue is clarified, we are encouraged that vaccines that protect society as a whole from the coronavirus are very close. We therefore assume that moviegoers will soon be able to return to our cinemas without any worries – the best films in the world safely in our big seats, with our big sound and on our big screens.

It is clear that WarnerMedia is blinding almost everyone on this decision, contrary to its previous announcement Wonder Woman 1984 would get a simultaneous release on Christmas Day on HBO Max. This could potentially have a serious impact if other big studios like Disney follow suit.

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Tom Reimann
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Tom Reimann is a writer and comedian and sort of Associate Editor at Collider. He has written for Cracked.com, Mad Magazine, BunnyEars.com and Some More News and is a co-founder of the podcast network Gamefully Unemployed.

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