During its Q2 earnings call, WarnerMedia’s CEO Jason Kilar highlighted that the company’s HBO Max streaming service had added 2.8 million new subscribers during the quarter, pushing its number of subscribers to 47 million in the U.S. and 67 million globally. This growth exceeded analyst expectations and supports WB’s argument that its day & date film releasing strategy during the pandemic has paid off.
Kilar has argued that the combination of theatrical and streaming releases heightens the profile of their titles while making them more widely available to consumers, who have more ways to enjoy them. In fact, Warner Bros.’s films have performed relatively well at the box office during the later stages of the pandemic. Godzilla vs. Kong was the first theatrical release during the pandemic to exceed $100 million in box office revenue.
More recently, Space Jam: A New Legacy exceeded expectations in its opening last weekend, overtaking Black Widow in its second week to take the top spot on the box office charts. Kilar, who is widely expected to leave WarnerMedia once its merger with Discovery is completed, said that in 2022 the company will release at least 10 new films exclusively on HBO Max and settle into a 45-day exclusive theatrical window for major releases.
See also: Warner Bros. to Produce At Least 10 Movies Exclusively for HBO Max in 2022 (Variety)