WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar has reassured comic book movie fans that Matt Reeves’ highly anticipated “The Batman” is still on track for its March 4 theatrical release, despite the omicron variant surge.
Given that Sony pushed its comic book tentpole “Morbius” from January to April, and Disney announced its Pixar title “Turning Red” will skip theaters in March and head straight to Disney Plus, many moviegoers have wondered if “The Batman’s” release is safe. Kilar told Puck News that Warner Bros. is keeping its eye on the pandemic, but no delay is currently in the cards.
“We’re certainly paying attention to everything going on with omicron,” Kilar said. “We feel good about the date right now. We’re gonna watch it day by day.”
Unlike Warner Bros.’ 2021 theatrical slate, “The Batman” — starring Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz — will have an exclusive 45-day theatrical window before it’s made available to stream on HBO Max. All of the studio’s 2021 movies, including “The Matrix Resurrections” and “Dune,” debuted in theaters at the same time they streamed on HBO Max for their first 31 days of release. Kilar said the studio “took understandable heat from a number of people” but the decision paid off, as HBO Max beat forecasts and ended 2021 with 73.8 million subscribers.
“It’s hard to argue; we made the right decision,” Kilar told Puck News. “We served the customers, the fans. We partnered with theaters; we were the only ones to provide 18 theatrical features with full marketing spends and full global theatrical releases. And we worked with our [talent] participants to make sure they were taken care of.”
In a recent interview on Vox’s “Recode” podcast, Kilar celebrated Warner Bros.’ new 45-day theatrical window. “I feel really, really good knowing that ‘The Batman,’ ‘Black Adam,’ ‘The Flash,’ ‘Elvis’ and a whole host of other movies are literally going to be showing up on day 46 on HBO Max in a variety of territories all over the world,” he said. “That is a very, very big change that I don’t think people appreciate, and I feel really good about it.”
“Think about when movies would show up on HBO, which is eight to nine months after theatrical premiere,” Kilar added. “‘The Batman’ is going to show up on day 46 on HBO Max. That is a huge change from where things were in 2018, 2017, 2016.”
“The Batman” is scheduled to open in theaters on March 4 and will debut on HBO Max on April 19.