Mortal Kombat Considered for HBO Max, With Theatrical Release Expected
The future of cinematic releases continues to change as theater closures increase and box office numbers dwindle. The shift has essentially gone two routes — either postponing releases until 2021 or released with limited theaters and a hasty release for either VOD or streaming services. So far, films like The Craft: Legacy, Mulan, and Freaky are just a few who adjusted release plans without postponement, which has sparked a change for Hollywood.
As Wonder Woman 1984 is quickly approaching it's limited theatrical release and epic move to hit mass release on HBO Max, there's no reason to believe this could be a game-changer moving forward. There was recently the rumor of Godzilla vs. Kong being eyed for streaming services (likely HBO Max over Netflix), and now, there's supposed talk of the upcoming Mortal Kombat film eyeing a streaming release on HBO Max via Warner Bros.
Initially reported in an article regarding the shift in the industry of streaming vs. theatrical releases, the Variety article states, "The studio also considered taking the same route with "Mortal Kombat, an adaptation of the popular video game, but expect to delay the film's theatrical debut instead."
It seems very likely that 2021 won't see a massive resurgence in box office numbers as the reality is, many job industries have taken major hits. Though we could see that limited release down the line for Mortal Kombat, if the numbers don't turn out to be shockingly massive for Wonder Woman, it's hard to imagine that studios will feel comfortable pushing theatrical releases if there simply isn't enough turnout. It seems extremely likely that if we get a Mortal Kombat film in 2021, it will be another hasty transition from box office to streaming.
On the positive side, Warner Bros. is one of the first to acknowledge this as our current normal, and the idea of pushing forward with films like Godzilla vs. Kong, Wonder Woman 1984, and Mortal Kombat could be a perfect way to test the waters a little more thoroughly.