THE BATMAN's HBO Max Release Date Has Been Revealed, And It's Closer Than We Thought

The Batman is hitting theaters in March of next year, but fans won't have to wait too long to watch it at home after that, as WarnerMedia's CEO has confirmed the film's HBO Max release date.

The pandemic forced studios to restructure release strategies, ultimately leading to a historic shift in theatrical-exclusivity windows. Before the pandemic, movies would usually have a 90-day period between their theatrical and home-media releases. Now, most studios have shortened that window to 45 days. Two of the most prominent adopters of this new timeframe are Disney and HBO Max. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Warner Bros. had reached a deal with several major theater chains to have an exclusive 45-day release window in 2022. 

At the time, that seemed to be more of an option for the studio, rather than an exact timeframe in which their movies would be available in homes. Now, thanks to WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, we know that Matt Reeves' The Batman will adhere to that window quite strictly, and will be joined by other DC tentpoles throughout the year.

During an appearance in the Recode Media podcast hosted by Peter Kafka, Kilar was asked how HBO Max's performance would be affected without the day-and-date release strategy adopted by Warner Bros. in 2021. It's then that Kilar revealed that The Batman would hit HBO Max 46 days after being released in theaters:  

"Think about when movies would show up on HBO Max or HBO, which is eight to nine months after theatrical premiere. The Batman's going to show up on day 46 on HBO Max. That is a huge change from where things were in 2018, 2017, 2016."

This means that The Batman will have its HBO Max release on April 19, 2022. The WarnerMedia CEO elaborated on his response, revealing that The Flash and Black Adam would follow the same HBO Max release model as Matt Reeves' upcoming superhero adventure:

"I feel really, really good knowing that The Batman and Black Adam, and The Flash and 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. That is a very, very big change that I don't think people appreciate, and I feel really good about it."

Kilar didn't specify which territories those films would be released in, but the United States is obviously one of them. Thanks to this clarification, we know that The Flash could hit HBO Max on December 20, 2022 (theatrical release date: November 4, 2022) and Black Adam on September 13, 2022 (theatrical release date: July 29, 2022). We say "could" because, as it's customary in the movie industry, plans can change.

For now, though, that's when we can expect to watch DC's newest superhero adventures at home. Warner Bros.' dual-release strategy in theaters and on HBO Max has been speculated to have caused some of the studio's biggest tentpoles to underperform (such as The Suicide Squad and The Matrix Resurrections). While giving the aforementioned DC films a shorter theatrical window than before is significantly different than WB's 2021 release strategy, some may still wonder whether it will impact the films' box office potential. After all, people could theoretically wait to watch the movies at home.

However, that won't necessarily be the case, as evidenced by movies like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Free Guy, which found financial success (by pandemic-era standards) despite being announced to be hitting home media only 45 days after their release in theaters (Shang-Chi raked in $432 million worldwide, while Free Guy took in a little over $331 million). Admittedly, the financial outcome of DC's slate could (in part) depend on how aware audiences are of the films being made available for home viewing a little over a month after their theatrical arrivals.

The Batman will glide into theaters on March 4, 2022.

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