CHIPPEWA VALLEY (WQOW) - Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that it will be streaming their 2021 movies at the same time they premiere in theaters. Locally owned theaters, which are already struggling, are responding to that news.
General Manager of Micon Cinemas Dan Olson is optimistic about their theaters heading into the new year. He said he's glad that theaters can still show the new movies at all after some others in 2020 were only made available to stream online.
Olson added that even though people can watch the films from their home, the experience of coming to the theater and seeing the movie play on the big screen cannot be replaced.
"We hope it's that experience that people love. It's the same reason that you can go out to eat when you could cook at home. We're hoping they're getting some sort of experience from going out somewhere, seeing the movie on the big screen," Olson said.
Olson said Warner Bros. makes up about 1/5 of the films they show every year.
The company announced the simultaneous release schedule yesterday. The films will be released on HBO Max, which requires a $15-per-month subscription.
Micon re-opened its Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls locations in June after the shutdowns and have been playing older films as very few new movies have been released this year. The downtown budget theater has not yet reopened.