If you’ve taken advantage of Warner Bros.’ HBO Max arrangement to watch movies like The Suicide Squad and Godzilla vs. Kong from home as soon as they’re released in theaters, listen up. Your time to keep catching those day-and-date premieres is running out.

Today, mega-theater chain AMC inked an official deal with Warner Bros. guaranteeing a 45-day theatrical window for its 2022 slate. In other words, fans will have to wait at least 45 days after a film’s theatrical premiere to start streaming it.

For those following the tug-of-war between studios and streamers, it’s not exactly surprising news. Despite the global pandemic shuttering movie theaters, companies like AMC were not happy with Warner Bros.’ decision to premiere its 2021 film slate simultaneously in theaters and on streaming platform HBO Max

Critics said the plan undercut theaters and also negatively impacted the financial success of the individual features. The films streamed on HBO Max with a regular paid subscription, with no additional fee required to watch new releases. In contrast, Disney also shifted some films to streaming-exclusive or simultaneous streaming-theatrical releases, but required an additional $30 fee per film in addition to a Disney+ subscription. (Of course, that model also sparked its own issues, including a current lawsuit by Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson.)

Warner Bros. previously announced a 45-day theatrical window with Cineworld (Regal Cinemas), the #2 theater chain. Now that the 45-day window also includes #1 chain AMC, we can consider that the final nail in the same-day HBO Max coffin.

The deals for these exclusive theatrical windows are signed for 2022, so the previous release plan for 2021 films remains in place. So, blockbusters like James Wan’s Malignant and Denis Villenueve’s Dune still plan on debuting simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

So, what do you think of Warner Bros. reverting to the theater-first model? Have you used an HBO Max subscription to catch new movies when they premiere in theaters this year? Do you prefer to watch new movies in a theater or stream them at home? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Deadline