Only theatricals for WB now; what’s that mean for Salem’s Lot, Blue Beetle, Evil Dead Rise, Lethal Weapon 5 & more?

“the focus will be on theatrical.”


When word hit that Warner Bros had cancelled “Batgirl” and “Scoob! Holiday Haunt”, two films proposed to premiere on HBO Max in the new year, because the films didn’t pass muster with the company’s new direction, reports quickly followed that suggested the studio would no longer be making films directly for the streaming service (one which, as you’ll read today, is getting a drastic makeover in 2023).

On today’s earnings call, boss David Zaslav confirmed the studio would no longer be producing films for the streamer – all movies they produce will now go to theaters.

Sure, he said, “a number of movies will be released with shorter windows … and with different marketing campaigns. But we’ll always be agile, and the focus will be on theatrical.”

Zaslav, reportedly encouraged by the success of Paramount’s release of “Top Gun : Maverick”, has consequently decided to can a bunch of films that were scheduled to hit HBO Max in the coming months.

At this stage, it’s not known what will become of some of the most higher-profile films that had been  – or were to be – produced for the small-scene.

A fifth “Lethal Weapon” film, which Mel Gibson is attached to direct and star in alongside Danny Glover and Darlene Love, is rumoured to be now be a much bigger, theatrical release. Again, the success of Tom Cruise-starring legacy sequel “Maverick” might have helped spur that decision.

There’s no word on what will become of superhero pic “Blue Beetle”, based on the DC comics title of the same name, which would’ve hit the platform in 2023.

“Evil Dead Rise”, the latest in the long running franchise started by Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Rob Tapert, has been testing considering well. At one stage it was even rumoured it would be now getting a theatrical release instead of the initially planned HBO Max-only bow. Now?

Director Lee Cronin, seemingly unsure what’s going to happen to the film now after all of the movements at Warner over the past couple of days, asked Twitter followers to “keep the faith”. Hopefully that message does not suggest Cronin is worried his film will be the next to get the axe!

Another horror flick, Gary Dauberman’s remake of “Salem’s Lot”, was also supposed to stream on HBO Max. It’s future, obviously, is now also up in the air.

Stay tuned…

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