Warner Bros. is still pushing forward with its plan to release its entire 2021 slate onto HBO Max, at least at the time of writing. The decision has not exactly been received well by filmmakers whose projects have gotten caught up in the shift. While this is a bad thing for some movies with massive budgets and even bigger casts, this is not to say there aren't movies that could benefit from a hybrid release. One of those movies could be the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie. We don't have a posted budget for this one, but it's probably on the smaller side and something that will have a more niche fanbase of people that will seek out a movie like this. Unless Mortal Kombat ended up having spectacular reviews or word of mouth, it wasn't going to be a box office juggernaut. A hybrid release for something like this could be good. Warner Bros. pushed the movie back from January to April and released the movie's first images and a detailed summary.
In "Mortal Kombat," MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld's Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family's safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth's greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?
For a movie like this, the fans will likely go out and support it in theaters provided that it is safe to do, and they were probably going to always do that. However, someone who might be a little more on the fence but does have an HBO Max subscription and is bored on a Saturday night might throw the movie on. So while the HBO Max decision is absolutely a mixed bag, that is not to say movies like Mortal Kombat couldn't possibly benefit from this new way of releasing movies.
Mortal Kombat, directed by Simon McQuoid, stars. Ludi Lin, Joe Taslim, Tadanobu Asano, Jessica McNamee, Mehcad Brooks, Josh Lawson, Lewis Tan, Chin Han, and Hiroyuki Sanada. It will be released on April 16, 2021.