AMC Theatres boss criticizes Warner Bros. for HBO Max 2021 release plans

CEO Adam Aron says Warner Media wants to subsidize its HBO Max startup at AMC's expense and that AMC "will aggressively pursue economic terms that preserve our business."

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
Expertise Culture, Video Games, Breaking News
Sean Keane
Angela Lang/CNET

AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron spoke up Thursday, slamming Warner Bros.' plan to release its 2021 movies, including Dune, The Suicide Squad and The Matrix 4, on streaming service HBO Max the same day they'll hit cinemas.

"Clearly, Warner Media intends to sacrifice a considerable portion of the profitability of its movie studio division, and that of its production partners and filmmakers, to subsidize its HBO Max startup," Aron said in a statement previously published by The Hollywood Reporter. "As for AMC, we will do all in our power to ensure that Warner does not do so at our expense. We will aggressively pursue economic terms that preserve our business."

AMC and other movie theater chains have struggled through 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic -- it tried to get audiences back by launching $99 private theater rentals and showing classic movies.

New Movies Coming in 2023 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

See all photos

Warner Bros.' 2021 films will be available to subscribers of the $15-a-month streaming service for one month after release. The company had made a deal with cinema chains to provide a larger cut of ticket sales -- up to 60% -- in a one-off agreement for Wonder Woman 1984, which hits theaters and HBO Max on Dec. 25, as previously noted by CNET sister site GameSpot.

AMC has started "an immediate and urgent dialogue with the leadership of Warner on this subject," Aron said. He also expressed hope as coronavirus vaccines draw near.

Watch this: What's new to stream for December 2020