Why Warner Bros. Is Key to Box Office Recovery Despite Streaming Films on HBO Max

Films like ”Tom & Jerry“ and the upcoming ”Godzilla vs. Kong“ will be key for theaters hoping to get audiences back indoors ahead of summer blockbuster season

Three months after shocking Hollywood with its decision to put all its 2021 films in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time, Warner Bros. has become a major player in the early stages of the U.S. box office recovery, with films like “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which comes out this Friday overseas, playing a key role in theaters’ reopening strategies.

While Disney’s animated “Raya and the Last Dragon” has provided a noticeable boost to the box office over the past three weekends, Warner Bros. that has been the only studio to earn an opening weekend of over $10 million since the pandemic closed theaters last March. Along with the $20.2 million opening for “Tenet” last September ($58 million domestic total), Warner Bros. has also seen “Wonder Woman 1984” earn a $16.7 million opening toward a $45.5 million domestic total since Christmas Day and “Tom & Jerry” post a $14.1 million opening toward $33.7 million total since late February. And the latter two films earned those grosses despite being available on HBO Max.

Become a member to read more.

Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster