Warner Bros. have announced details for The Flash movie streaming release on their exclusive television service HBO Max, now known simply as Max. Although we won’t have an exact date to add to our diaries, Casey Bloys, Chairman & CEO of HBO & HBO Max Content, has revealed:
‘The Flash’ will land on the service the fall after its exclusive run in theatres this June.
While this may feel more like a confirmation than a specific announcement, it has real relevance, particularly at a time when studios are trying to juggle their theatre-to-streaming strategies, based on the shifting sands of future releases and box office success. Black Adam (2022) arrived on HBO Max thirty-one days after it’s cinema release, whereas Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) will appear sixty-eight days after it’s theatrical run, to coincide with relaunch of HBO Max to Max.
It’s fair to say that neither Black Adam nor Shazam! Fury of the Gods performed as well at the box office as hoped, but while there are no certainties in movies, the heavens do seem to be aligning for The Flash. Even back in June 2022, during the year where the movie seemed beset with problems not related to the film itself, Variety reported that test screenings had gone extraordinarily well.
The new co-CEO of DC Studios James Gunn is so impressed that he’s not only declaring the film as the jumping on point for the next stage of DCEU, but he’s referred to the movie as “one of the greatest superhero movies ever made”. It was even reported recently that Tom Cruise requested an advanced screening and he was also complimentary of the film.
Then there’s the level of anticipation, and while Gunn has done a lot to underline the importance of the movie in terms of continuity, there’s no denying that the appearance of Michael Keaton as Batman has set the internet alight.
As if to prove the point, the new trailer and posters for The Flash feature our Dark Knight even more heavily than the first, it’s even looking like we’re in for a Flash/Batman movie and will be seeing the image of the Batwing circled by the moon. There’s also the not insignificant issue of Ben Affleck also returning as Bruce Wayne. Affleck has already said that he only has a short appearance in the film, but considering he’s played Batman in three movies representing the Zack Snyder era of DCEU, it will be important to see him in what could be his final appearance as the Dark Knight.
Whether or not he features in the final movie as much as he appears to, there’s no denying that the Batman factor has been crucial for Warner Bros. and will have contributed to their decision about the streaming release date. By not announcing an exact date, Max are sensibly keeping their options open – if The Flash proves to be a runaway success at the box office, it would be foolish to pull it just to meet a streaming deadline. Let’s face it, cinema was made for all those superhero special effects, and, from a business point of view, Warner Bros. would love to see their movie linger on the big screens for as long as possible.
At the same time, streaming services represent the long-term business view and by announcing that we’ll see the movie on the smaller screen by the fall encourages viewers to have faith in their subscription to Max.
Finally – and most excitingly – with Blue Beetle releasing in cinemas on August 14th, and Jason Momoa’s return as Aquaman in Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom on December 20th, The Flash movie streaming release will sit comfortably between them. Make mine an extra-large box of popcorn!
The Flash goes on cinema release on June 16th before arriving on Max in the fall.
Story source The Direct.
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