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Regal theaters are reopening in April to show 'Godzilla vs. Kong' and 'Mortal Kombat'

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Regal is reopening some of its US movie theaters in April to show "Godzilla vs. Kong" and "Mortal Kombat," parent company Cineworld Group announced Tuesday.

Cineworld, which owns more than 500 movie theaters across the US, said it has planned a "phased reopening" for its Regal movie theaters after they closed in October.

Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said that most US states allow movie theaters to operate at at least half-capacity, meaning that the chain "will be able to operate profitably in our biggest markets." 

A limited number of theaters are set to reopen to screen "Godzilla vs. Kong" on April 2, while "Mortal Kombat" will be screened more widely on April 16. Cineworld did not name the locations of these cinemas.

Read more: New data shows how heavily Netflix is leaning into international TV shows, especially in its upcoming projects

Cineworld also said that from 2022, films that Warner Bros. releases in cinemas would have a 45-day window of theatrical exclusivity at Regal cinemas in the US, with certain provisions.

In December, Warner Bros. shocked the film industry by saying it would release all its 2021 movies on the HBO Max streaming platform the same day they're released in theaters. Key Hollywood figures have slammed the decision, with "Tenet" director Christopher Nolan calling HBO Max "the worst streaming service," and some movie theaters may slash ticket prices to as low as $3 for Warner Bros. films.

The agreement between Cineworld and Warner Bros. "shows the studio's commitment to the theatrical business and we see this agreement as an important milestone in our 100-year relationship with Warner Bros," Greidinger said.

The movie-theater industry has been devastated by the pandemic as cinemas have been forced to close or operate at limited capacity during government-imposed lockdowns, causing some studios to skip cinemas completely and launch films straight to streaming. This has been coupled with delays to major releases, including the upcoming James Bond instalment "No Time To Die," Marvel's "Black Widow," and Warner Bros.' "Wonder Woman 1984," in part due to coronavirus-led restrictions.

Greidinger on Tuesday said that Cineworld would monitor lockdown developments across Europe to gradually reopen theaters following local government guidance. The company said it expects to reopen screens in the UK, its second-biggest market, in May.

The group has movie theaters in 10 countries, but 75% of its business comes from the US.

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Demi Lovato's battle with addiction is the subject of a new 4-part docuseries — new episodes debut Tuesdays on YouTube

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  • "Dancing with the Devil" is a new docuseries about Demi Lovato's career and struggles with addiction.
  • The first two episodes of the four-part series premiered on March 23 on YouTube.
  • You can watch new episodes every Tuesday for free with ads, or ad-free with YouTube Premium ($12/month).
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From number one records to her volunteerism and activism, Demi Lovato continues to make her mark as a pop star and public figure. Now, after suffering years of addiction, she's using her platform to reflect on her near-fatal 2018 overdose and how it's affected her life and career.

Lovato's emotional and physical battle is the focus of a new YouTube Originals' docuseries called "Dancing with the Devil." The show premiered on March 23 and promises to be an "intimate portrait of addiction, and the process of healing and empowerment," according to the official synopsis. The four-episode program is directed by Michael D. Ratner, who produced the 2020 docuseries "Justin Bieber: Seasons."

The docuseries debuted just weeks before Lovato's new album, "Dancing with the Devil … the Art of Starting Over," is scheduled for release. The album comes out April 2 and is set to feature popular artists such as Saweetie, Ariana Grande, and Noah Cyrus.

Where to watch 'Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil'

The first two episodes of "Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil"premiered on YouTube on March 23. The show features a total of four episodes, and the third and fourth installments will premiere for all users on March 30 and April 6, respectively.

The show is available to watch for free with ads on Demi Lovato's YouTube channel. If you want to watch the docuseries without ads, you need to sign up for a YouTube Premium subscription.

YouTube Premium costs $12 a month, and you can try it for free with a 30-day trial. The service gives you ad-free access to YouTube and YouTube Music, along with a library of exclusive content.

Aside from your web browser, you can watch the docuseries with the YouTube app via iOS devices, Android devices, Xbox, Switch, PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, and most smart TVs.

If you want to watch other programs about Lovato and her career, you can also check out her 2017 documentary "Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated." The film is available for free on YouTube and, if you pay for YouTube Premium, you can watch the director's cut

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New data suggests Disney's 'Raya' was a streaming flop, but the studio is charging ahead with the same strategy for 'Black Widow'

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Disney's new animated movie, "Raya and the Last Dragon," debuted in theaters and on Disney Plus this month, but it appears that it wasn't a hit.

The movie received 20% fewer purchases on Disney Plus in the US over its opening weekend (March 5 to March 7) than the live-action "Mulan" did during its first weekend last year, according to new data from the analytics startup Antenna. The company pulls from a variety of opt-in panels like budgeting apps to track purchase and transaction data, which doesn't include free trials.

There was also a 30% decline in signups to Disney Plus in the US during "Raya's" first weekend compared to the previous four weekends, according to Antenna, while "Mulan" drove double the signups compared to the previous four weekends.

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Both movies were released on Disney Plus for an additional $30 fee. "Mulan," however, did not also play in theaters in the US, while "Raya" did.

But "Raya" has also underwhelmed at the box office. It earned $8.6 million domestically in its opening weekend, a disappointing total for a Disney animated movie even during the pandemic (Warner Bros.' "Tom and Jerry" earned $14 million the prior weekend). It's made $68 million worldwide so far.

While "Raya" wasn't a box-office hit, it has received stellar reviews and has a 94% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. The Los Angeles Times' Justin Chang called it a "moving adventure."

Despite the box-office and streaming results for "Raya," Disney is using the same strategy — which it calls "Premier Access"— for "Cruella" and Marvel's "Black Widow." Both movies will simultaneously arrive in theaters and on Disney Plus for an additional fee on May 28 and July 9, respectively.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek hinted in November during an earnings call that "Mulan" had performed well enough to use "Premier Access" on more titles, saying "we saw positive results to know that that we had something in the Premier Access strategy."

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NBCUniversal has discussed a new subscription video-streaming service separate from Peacock

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NBCUniversal chief executive Jeff Shell has recently held conversations about the potential for a Universal-branded subscription video service, according to two people familiar with the talks.

While the conversations are in the early stages, the rationale behind such a plan would be to grow globally and compete with tech giants Netflix and Amazon as well as Disney and AT&T's WarnerMedia.

NBCU last year launched Peacock, which is primarily a free-ad supported streaming service with a paid, ad-free tier. But while Peacock is a familiar icon to American viewers, the brand name means little to viewers around the world.

One of the sources familiar with conversations said the brand name "Universal Stream" has been discussed. The Information floated the name "Universal Stream" earlier this month. The source said the entertainment giant would need to spend billions of dollars to launch a new subscription streamer, though. The Universal trademark search also could be tricky, given the global music company of the same name and other overseas ventures. 

The launch of a new paid movie service could involve NBCUniversal sacrificing licensing revenue to invest in its own venture. The second source said there was a high-level strategy meeting about Peacock this week, and the topic of funding a movie subscription service was on the agenda.

A spokeswoman for Peacock declined comment, as did an NBCUniversal corporate spokeswoman. 

Even so, if NBCU did pursue such a plan, there are a few ways it could work.

Brian Roberts, CEO of NBCU parent Comcast, dropped hints on a recent investor call that NBCUniversal might be getting back some of its premium content from Hulu, which Comcast co-owns with Disney.

Comcast gave up operational control in Hulu in return for an agreement that it could give up its stake and get its content back at some point before 2024. Currently, "The Real Housewives" franchise is on Hulu and would help juice a future NBCUniversal SVOD play. NBCUniversal also shares the long-running series "Keeping Up with The Kardashians" with Hulu. The two also share "Modern Family." 

Such a move could help boost the company's streaming ambitions, whether they land at a new premium off-shoot or basic ad-supported Peacock. 

NBCU could also put its Universal movies — now tied up in a deal with WarnerMedia's HBO until 2023 — into such a service. Currently, when Universal movies such as "Jurassic World" and the "Fast and the Furious" franchises leave theaters, they go direct to HBO.

Separately, sources said there have been conversations across Comcast and AT&T about how NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia might work together more closely, potentially bundling programming together. They say AT&T-backed WarnerMedia declined to move forward on the proposition, however. 

A spokesperson for WarnerMedia did not immediately comment. 

This reporter previously worked for NBCUniversal's NBC News. 

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The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from 'Deadly Illusions' to 'Skylines'

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A new thriller called "Deadly Illusions" was Netflix's biggest movie this week. But while it's popular with Netflix users, the movie has been trashed by critics and has a 14% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Insider a list of which movies have been most prominent on Netflix's daily top-10 lists that week. On Reelgood, users can browse Netflix's entire movie library and sort by IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Netflix counts a view if an account watches a movie or TV show for at least two minutes. Netflix's daily lists are based on the previous 24 hours.

Below are Netflix's 9 most popular movies of the week in the US:

9. "The Secret Life of Pets 2" (2019)

Description: "On a farm outside New York, Max aims to boost his confidence while in the city, Snowball attempts to rescue a tiger cub and Gidget pretends to be a cat."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 60%

What critics said: "It's never a great sign when the biggest laughs a movie gets are during the end credits."— New York Post



8. "The BFG" (2016)

Description: "A little orphan meets up with a kind giant who's supposed to eat her but instead protects her from some truly horrible giants who terrorize them both."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 74%

What critics said: "This family-friendly blockbuster is not a Pixar pick-me-up, or a wacky Ice Age odyssey designed to send the little ones screaming excitedly through the foyer, hopped up on irony and wisecracks and heading directly for the nearest toy store."— Metro



7. "The Last Blockbuster" (2020)

Description: "This nostalgic documentary reveals the real story of Blockbuster's demise, and how one last location in Oregon keeps the spirit of a bygone era alive."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 67%

What critics said: "More entertaining than educational, but just informative enough to do the trick."— Variety



6. "Skylines" (2020)

Description: "When a mysterious alien virus begins to endanger humanity, an elite team of soldiers launches into space to end the threat for good."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 52%

What critics said: "It's perfectly passable low-key science fiction, almost certainly destined for a fast trip to Netflix, where it can be taken up as an amiable evening's viewing."— Polygon



5. "Jiu Jitsu" (2020)

Description: "After the defeat of a celebrated war hero, an ancient order of fighters battles powerful space invaders as the fate of humanity hangs in the balance."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 27%

What critics said: "Indebted to arcade fighting hits that prize complicated button-mashing combos over serious characterizations and drama."— The Daily Beast



4. "Savages" (2012)

Description: "With the help of a shady DEA agent, two weed entrepreneurs take on a merciless cartel leader who wants in on their business and kidnaps their lover."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 50%

What critics said: "Messy, violent, and often garish, but it's capably directed by Stone."— Decider



3. "Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "Reenactments drive this documentary investigating the mastermind behind a scam to get the kids of rich and famous families into top US universities."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 88%

What critics said: "Augmenting the carnival atmosphere was the public indignation over privileged people scamming a system already tailored for them, a point made rather emphatically in Operation Varsity Blues."— Wall Street Journal



2. "Yes Day" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "A mom and dad who usually say no decide to say yes to their kids' wildest requests — with a few ground rules — on a whirlwind day of fun and adventure."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 48%

What critics said: "There's not too much of a draw for the child-free — other than a sense of relief — but the message of the importance of saying 'yes' and 'no' will likely resonate with its target audience, especially when presented in generally amiable packaging."— Los Angeles Times



1. "Deadly Illusions" (2021)

Description: "After a bestselling novelist suffering from writer's block hires a new nanny for her children, the line between fiction and reality starts to blur."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 14%

What critics said: "Writer-director Anna Elizabeth James lurches between hokey predictability and just plain bizarre scenes as she staggers towards a finale that never looks anything but 'inevitable.'"— Movie Nation



How the major Hollywood movie studios are collapsing the theatrical window

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Hollywood and the theatrical industry have faced significant changes during the pandemic, and the results will last long after it's over.

Movie studios have embraced streaming in unprecedented ways over the last year. Warner Bros. is releasing its entire film slate simultaneously to theaters and on parent company WarnerMedia's streaming service HBO Max this year. Disney announced last week that "Cruella" and Marvel's "Black Widow" will premiere this summer in theaters and on Disney Plus for an additional $30 fee on the same day, following other "Premier Access" titles like "Mulan" and "Raya and the Last Dragon." 

But those strategies don't eliminate the theatrical experience. Studios and movie theaters will just have a very different relationship going forward and consumers will have more options to watch movies than ever before.

Day-and-date releases, in which a movie is available to rent or stream the same day it hits theaters, may not be a regular occurrence after the pandemic like they are now. But the traditional theatrical window, in which theaters played movies exclusively for 75 to 90 days, will no longer be the industry standard for many movies. Some studios have already struck deals with major theater chains to considerably shrink the window and release movies to streaming or digital-rental platforms earlier.

"I think the old window concept was so outdated," Harold Mintz, the president of the movie-grading company CinemaScore, told Insider last month. "The pandemic forced it [to evolve], but it was bound to happen eventually ... most movies are played out [in theaters] after three weeks so it just makes sense."

Here's where each of the five major movie studios stand on the post-pandemic theatrical window:

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Warner Bros. and Cineworld struck a deal for a 45-day window.

Last week, Warner Bros. and the theater chain Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, announced a multiyear agreement beginning in 2022 that Warner Bros. movies will play exclusively at Cineworld theaters for 45 days before being made available to stream or rent online.

The deal follows other studio/theater agreements that hint at the new normal.

Warner Bros. did not return a request for comment on whether it is negotiating with other theater chains to shrink the window. Cineworld, for its part, said on Thursday that it's in active talks with with other studios about the evolving window.

Adam Aron, the CEO of the world's largest chain, AMC Theatres, said in December that AMC "will aggressively pursue economic terms that preserve our business" in response to Warner Bros.' 2021 distribution strategy.

Universal was the first to shrink the window after a feud with AMC Theatres.

Universal was ahead of other studios at nearly every step throughout the pandemic. It was the first to move a major tentpole release, "Fast and Furious 9," by an entire year. It was the first to release a movie, "Trolls: World Tour,"straight to digital-rental platforms.

And it was the first to strike a deal with a major theater chain to shrink the theatrical window for all of its movies.

Universal's "Trolls: World Tour" decision rubbed AMC Theatres the wrong way after NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in April last year that the studio would release movies to both theaters and digital platforms after theaters reopened. Aron, the AMC CEO, said in a statement after Shell's comments that the chain would not be playing future Universal movies.

The feud was short-lived.

In July, Universal and AMC reached an agreement to shorten the window to just 17 days, at which point Universal can choose to release movies to digital-rental platforms. It has since reached a similar agreement with Cinemark (movies that gross $50 million or more in their opening weekends will have 31-day windows under this agreement).

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Paramount will stream some tentpole movies after 45 days in theaters.

Paramount's parent company, ViacomCBS, launched the rebranded and expanded version of CBS All Access this month called Paramount Plus. And with it came a look at the company's future plans for the theatrical window.

Paramount will move upcoming tentpoles like "A Quite Place Part II" (in theaters May 28) and "Mission: Impossible 7" (November 29) to Paramount Plus after a 45-day theatrical window. Other titles will have a 30-day window.

A Morning Consult and Hollywood Reporter survey of 2,200 US adults, conducted from February 18 to February 21, found that 29% of respondents were likely to subscribe to Paramount Plus. But 35% of respondents would be more likely to subscribe to Paramount Plus to watch "Mission: Impossible 7." 

Disney and Sony have yet to announce new theatrical-window deals with exhibitors.

Disney has reorganized around its streaming business amid the pandemic and Disney Plus, which has surpassed 100 million subscribers since launching in November 2019, will be a major part of the company moving forward.

But Disney hasn't announced any new windowing agreements with theater chains beyond its decision to release some movies, like "Black Widow," to Disney Plus and theaters simultaneously. The company has said that theaters will still be a major part of its business going forward, but has hinted at shorter windows in the future.

"The consumer is probably more impatient than they've ever been before, particularly since now they've had the luxury of an entire year of getting titles at home pretty much when they want them," Disney CEO Bob Chapek said earlier this month. "So, I'm not sure there's going back. But we certainly don't want to do anything like cut the legs off a theatrical exhibition run."

Disney declined to comment for this story on its future windowing plans.

Sony is the other major studio that has not announced any new windowing deals. It doesn't have a streaming component like the other major studios, but has embraced streaming in some cases (it sold the Tom Hanks movie "Greyhound" to Apple last year).

But the studio doesn't see the traditional window as outdated, according to a person familiar with Sony's thinking. The studio isn't having wide-ranging conversations with theaters at this time, the person said, and plans to evaluate movies on a case-by-case basis.

In other words, if a Sony tentpole like "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" is a box-office smash, it may not leave theaters early.

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The 27 greatest movie franchises of all time, according to critics

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Over the past decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has built an expansive set of films while raising the commercial expectations for ongoing movie series.

But extensive film franchises have been around for awhile, and several older series, like the film adaptations from J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth books, have received more positive critical acclaim on average than Marvel's. And some are only getting better as time goes on, like "Mission: Impossible," which reached its critical zenith with "Fallout."

Stretching from the first James Bond film, 1962's "Dr. No," to the latest MCU and "Star Wars" entries, this list we compiled from Metacritic data ranks prominent film franchises by their average critical reception (derived from the critical scores for each movie in a franchise). Insider updated the list to reflect new movies that weren't included at the time that Metacritic compiled its list.

Many of the franchises that made the cut have more movies on the way. This year alone sees Marvel's "Black Widow," the James Bond movie "No Time to Die," and "Mission: Impossible 7" arrive after long delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Metacritic only included franchises that had four or more films with scores on its site (so no "John Wick," for instance) and it excluded horror films and animated franchises.

Here are the 27 greatest movie franchises of all time, according to critics:

This post has been updated from its original version. John Lynch contributed to a previous version of this post.

SEE ALSO: All 92 Oscar best-picture winners, ranked from worst to best by movie critics

27. "Die Hard"— 58.4%

"Die Hard" (1988) — 70%

"Die Hard 2: Die Harder" (1990) — 67%

"Die Hard: With a Vengeance" (1995) — 58%

"Live Free or Die Hard" (2007)  — 69%

"A Good Day to Die Hard" (2013) — 28%



26. "Alien"— 59.5%

"Alien" (1979) — 83%

"Aliens" (1986) — 84%

"Alien 3" (1992) — 59%

"Alien Resurrection" (1997) — 63%

"Alien vs. Predator" (2004) — 29%

"Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem" (2007) — 29%

"Prometheus" (2012) — 64%

"Alien: Covenant" (2017) — 65%



25. Jack Ryan — 59.6%

"The Hunt for Red October" (1990) — 58%

"Patriot Games" (1992) — 64%

"Clear and Present Danger" (1994) — 74%

"The Sum of All Fears" (2002) — 45%

"Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" (2014) — 57%



24. View Askewniverse — 60.0%

"Clerks" (1994) — 70%

"Mallrats" (1995) — 41%

"Chasing Amy" (1997) — 71%

"Dogma" (1999) — 62%

"Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" (2001) — 51%

"Clerks II" (2006) — 65%



23. "Dirty Harry"— 60.8%

"Dirty Harry" (1971) — 90%

"Magnum Force" (1973) — 58%

"The Enforcer" (1976) — 58%

"Sudden Impact" (1983) — 52%

"The Dead Pool" (1988) — 46%



22. "Terminator"— 61%

"The Terminator" (1984) — 84%

"Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991) — 75%

"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" (2003) — 66%

"Terminator Salvation" (2009) — 49%

"Terminator Genisys" (2015) — 38%

"Terminator: Dark Fate" (2019) — 54%



21. "X-Men"— 61.2%

"X-Men" (2000) — 64%

"X2: X-Men United" (2003) — 68%

"X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006) — 58%

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009) — 40%

"X-Men: First Class" (2011) — 65%

"The Wolverine" (2013) — 61%

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014) — 75%

"Deadpool" (2016) — 65%

"X-Men: Apocalypse" (2016) — 52%

"Logan" (2017) — 77%

"Deadpool 2" (2018) — 66%

"Dark Phoenix" (2019) — 43% 



20. "Barbershop"— 61.3%

"Barbershop" (2002) — 66%

"Barbershop 2: Back in Business" (2004) — 59%

"Beauty Shop" (2005) — 53%

"Barbershop: The Next Cut" (2016) — 67% 



19. "Rocky"— 61.7%

"Rocky" (1976) — 70%

"Rocky II" (1979) — 61%

"Rocky III" (1982) — 57%

"Rocky IV" (1985) — 40%

"Rocky V" (1990) — 55%

"Rocky Balboa" (2006) — 63%

"Creed" (2015) — 82%

"Creed II" (2018) — 66%



18. James Bond — 62.1%

"Dr. No" (1962) — 78% 
"From Russia With Love" (1963) — 85%
"Goldfinger" (1964) — 87%
"Thunderball" (1965) — 64%
"Casino Royale" (1967) — 48%
"You Only Live Twice" (1967) — 61%
"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969) — 61%
"Diamonds Are Forever" (1971) — 59%
"Live and Let Die" (1973) — 55%
"The Man With the Golden Gun" (1974) — 43%
"The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) — 55%
"Moonraker" (1979) — 66%
"For Your Eyes Only" (1981) — 54%
"Octopussy" (1983) — 63%
"Never Say Never Again" (1983) — 68%
"A View to a Kill" (1985) — 40%
"The Living Daylights" (1987) — 60%
"Licence to Kill" (1989) — 58%
"GoldenEye" (1995) — 65%
"Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997) — 52%
"The World Is Not Enough" (1999) — 57%
"Die Another Day" (2002) — 56%
"Casino Royale" (2006) — 80%
"Quantum of Solace" (2008) — 58%
"Skyfall" (2012) — 81%
"Spectre" (2015) — 60%



17. "Batman"— 62.3%

"Batman" (1966) — 71%

"Batman" (1989) — 69%

"Batman Returns" (1992) — 68%

"Batman Forever" (1995) — 51%

"Batman and Robin" (1997) — 28%

"Batman Begins" (2005) — 70%

"The Dark Knight" (2008) — 82% 

"The Dark Knight Rises" (2012) — 78%

"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" (2016) — 44%



16 (tie). Hannibal Lecter — 62.4%

"Manhunter" (1986) — 75%

"The Silence of the Lambs" (1991) — 85%

"Hannibal" (2001) — 57%

"Red Dragon" (2002) — 60%

"Hannibal Rising" (2007) — 35%



16 (tie). "Planet of the Apes"— 62.4%

"Planet of the Apes" (1968) — 79%

"Beneath the Planet of the Apes" (1970) — 46%

"Escape from the Planet of the Apes" (1971) — 69% 

"Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" (1972) — 49%

"Battle for the Planet of the Apes" (1973) — 40%

"Planet of the Apes" (2001) — 50%

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2011) — 68%

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (2014) — 79%

"War for the Planet of the Apes" (2017) — 82%



14. "Star Trek"— 62.5%

"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979) — 48%
"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) — 66%
"Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984) — 56%
"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986) — 71%
"Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989) — 43%
"Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991) — 65%
"Star Trek Generations" (1994) — 55%
"Star Trek: First Contact" (1996) — 71%
"Star Trek: Insurrection" (1998) —  64%
"Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002) — 51%
"Star Trek" (2009) — 82%
"Star Trek Into Darkness" (2013) — 72%
"Star Trek Beyond" (2016) — 68%



13. Millennium Series — 63.2%

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (2009) — 76%

"The Girl Who Played with Fire" (2010) — 66%

"The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" (2010) — 60%

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (2011) — 71%

"The Girl in the Spider's Web" (2019) — 43%



12. "Ocean's Eleven"— 63.8%

"Ocean's Eleven" (2001) — 74%

"Ocean's Twelve" (2004) — 58%

"Ocean's Thirteen" (2007) — 62%

"Ocean's 8" (2018) — 61%



11. "The Muppets"— 62.5%

"The Muppet Movie" (1979) — 74%

"The Great Muppet Caper" (1981) — 70%

"The Muppets Take Manhattan" (1984) — 64%

"The Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992) — 64% 

"Muppet Treasure Island" (1996) — 64%

"Muppets from Space" (1999) — 53%

"The Muppets" (2011) — 75%

"Muppets Most Wanted" (2014) — 61%



10 (tie). "Spider-Man"— 68%

"Spider-Man" (2002) — 73%

"Spider-Man 2" (2004) — 83%

"Spider-Man 3" (2007) — 59%

"The Amazing Spider-Man" (2012) — 66%

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" (2014) — 53%

"Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017) — 73%

"Spider-Man: Far From Home" (2019) — 69%



10 (tie). "Indiana Jones"— 68.0%

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) — 85%

"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984) — 57%

"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989) — 65%

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (2008) — 65%



8. "Star Wars"— 68.1%

"Star Wars" (1977) — 90%

"The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) — 82%

"Return of the Jedi" (1983) — 58%

"Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999) — 51%

"Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002) — 54%

"Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005) — 68%

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2015) — 81% 

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" (2016) — 65%

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (2017) — 85%

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" (2018) — 62%

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" (2019) — 53%



7. "The Hunger Games"— 68.3%

"The Hunger Games" (2012) — 68%

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (2013) — 76%

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" (2014) — 64% 

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" (2015) — 65%



6. Marvel Cinematic Universe — 68.6%

"Iron Man" (2008) — 79%

"The Incredible Hulk" (2008) — 61%

"Iron Man 2" (2010) — 57%

"Thor" (2011) — 57%

"Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011) — 66%

"Marvel's The Avengers" (2012) — 69%

"Iron Man 3" (2013) — 62%

"Thor: The Dark World" (2013) — 54%

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (2014) — 70%

"Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) — 76%

"Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015) — 66%

"Ant-Man" (2015) — 64%

"Captain America: Civil War" (2016) — 75%

"Doctor Strange" (2016) — 72%

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (2017) — 67%

"Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017) — 73%

"Thor: Ragnarok" (2017) — 74%

"Black Panther" (2018) — 88%

"Avengers: Infinity War" (2018) — 68%

"Ant-Man and the Wasp" (2018) — 70%

"Captain Marvel" (2019) — 64%

"Avengers: Endgame" (2019) — 78%

"Spider-Man: Far From Home" (2019) — 69%



5. "Bourne"— 69.0%

"The Bourne Identity" (2002) — 68%

"The Bourne Supremacy" (2004) — 73%

"The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007) — 85%

"The Bourne Legacy" (2012) — 61%

"Jason Bourne" (2016) — 58%



4. "Mission: Impossible"— 69.7%

"Mission: Impossible" (1996) — 59%

"Mission: Impossible 2" (2000) — 59%

"Mission: Impossible III" (2006) — 66%

"Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" (2011) — 73% 

"Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" (2015) — 75%

"Mission: Impossible - Fallout" (2018) — 86%



3. "Harry Potter"— 70.9%

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001) — 64%

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002) — 63%

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004) — 82%

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005) — 81%

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007) — 71%

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (2009) — 78%

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1" (2010) — 65%

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2" (2011) — 87%

"Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them" (2016) — 66%

"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" (2018) — 52%



2. Middle-earth — 76.0%

"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001) — 92%

"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (2002) — 87%

"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003) — 94%

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (2012) — 58%

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (2013) — 66%

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" (2014) — 59%



1. "Mad Max"— 77.8%

"Mad Max" (1979) — 73%

"The Road Warrior" (1981) — 77%

"Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (1985) — 71%

"Mad Max: Fury Road" (2015) — 90%



Most Americans are not comfortable going back to a movie theater in April, according to a new survey

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After a year of Hollywood and movie theaters being rocked by the pandemic, bigger and bigger movies are starting to roll back into cinemas.

But are audiences ready to return?

A new survey published on Wednesday from the data-intelligence company Morning Consult suggests that the majority of Americans aren't comfortable returning quite yet, but there's still hope for the US theatrical industry. 

The survey of 2,200 US adults, conducted from March 18 to March 22, found that 42% of respondents felt comfortable returning to a theater in April and 52% felt uncomfortable. 

43% of those who felt uncomfortable returning to a theater in April said they would be more inclined to return if the theater offered free tickets.

In Morning Consult's latest weekly survey tracking consumer comfort levels during the pandemic, which was also released on Wednesday, 35% of the 2,200 US adults surveyed said they'd feel comfortable returning to a theater today. It's the highest percentage since the company started tracking in spring 2020. 

The data suggests that movie theaters in the US still have a long road to recovery. But Warner Bros.' "Godzilla vs. Kong," which hit theaters and HBO Max on Wednesday, could still have a decent opening.

Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore senior media analyst, told Insider that the movie could make at least $20 million at the domestic box office over its five-day weekend, a "solid number considering only about 54% of North American theaters are open and at limited capacity."

The big-budget monster movie already made $121 million at the international box office last weekend, a pandemic-era best opening.

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The 18 best movies on Hulu that you can stream right now

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Though Hulu originally launched as a platform aimed at bringing TV series to streamers, over the years it's built a sizable movie catalog, with an estimated total of around 2,500 titles across genres. 

If you don't have Hulu yet, the ad-supported plan is one of the most affordable streaming services on the market at $6 a month, or you can upgrade to the ad-free option — which we think is well worth it— for $12 a month. For those who want even more content, Hulu is available as a bundle with Disney Plus and ESPN+ for $14 a month. 

Each tier gives you access to Hulu's entire movie catalog as well as the platform's entire collection of shows. And it couldn't be easier to stream. The Hulu app is available on most smart TVs, streaming devices, smartphones, and web browsers. 

If you're looking for something to watch on Hulu, here's our list of the best movies you can stream right now. Our selection features a mix of recent releases and classics across genres, ensuring that all viewing needs are accounted for. All of the movies we've selected are categorized as fresh by critics on the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes

'Nomadland'

This 2021 Oscar nominee for best picture was also one of the top winners at the 2021 Golden Globes. "Nomadland" focuses on a woman who searches for work on the road as she encounters other travelers across the country. Hulu is currently the only service you can stream the movie on. "Nomadland" is directed by Chloé Zhao and stars Frances McDormand.

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'Palm Springs'

"Palm Springs" is a romantic comedy with a sci-fi spin. The film stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti as two strangers who get trapped in a time loop. No matter what they do, every morning they wake up at a wedding in Palm Springs living the same day over and over again.

The Hulu Original movie is directed by Max Barbakow, and features a script written by Andy Siara. Jason Guerrasio, senior entertainment reporter at Insider, gave the film an A- grade in his full review.

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'Parasite'

Winner of the 2020 Academy Award for best picture, "Parasite" is a dark comedy that deals heavily with social and economic themes related to class. The story centers on a poor family, the Kims, who are in need of work. When the Kims trick a wealthy family into hiring them all for various jobs, it looks as if their money problems are solved. But complications soon arise that could reveal the family's con.

"Parasite" comes from director Bong Joon Ho ("Snowpiercer") and is presented on Hulu with its original Korean audio mix. English and Spanish subtitle options are available.

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'The Princess Bride'

This Rob Reiner film is based on the novel of the same name. Over the years it's become a favorite for fans of fantasy and comedy. The movie follows Westley (Cary Elwes) as he hopes to save his beloved Buttercup (Robin Wright) from the clutches of the nefarious Prince Humperdinck. The movie offers a playful spin on traditional fairy tale storytelling and is known for its memorable dialogue. 

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'RBG'

Over the past several years, the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a transformation from legal expert and Supreme Court Justice to the Notorious R.B.G. — an unlikely pop culture icon and feminist superstar. This critically acclaimed documentary tracks the groundbreaking, revolutionary career of a political powerhouse and her rise to prominence as the second-ever female Supreme Court Justice.

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‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’

This is the fourth film in Paramount's "Mission: Impossible" franchise. It features Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he and his team travel around the globe to stop a terrorist from launching a missile strike against the US. The action-packed thriller also stars Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, and Léa Seydoux.

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'Babyteeth'

Director Shannon Murphy's debut film tells the story of Milla, a teenager fighting cancer, who meets Moses, a man in his early 20s who is addicted to drugs. Her parents aren't fond of the relationship between the two although it appears to bring Milla a new outlook on life. The coming-of-age tale is based on the play of the same name.

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'I, Tonya'

This dark comedy follows the infamous scandal in which Tonya Harding's ex-husband hired a goon to attack and injure rival ice skater Nancy Kerrigan prior to the 1994 Olympics. Harding's involvement in the plot ruined her career and got her banned from ice skating competitions for life.

Margot Robbie earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Harding, and the great Allison Janney took home the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Harding's mother.

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'Little Monsters'

In this Hulu Original movie, Lupita Nyong'o plays a school teacher who must protect her kindergarten class during a zombie apocalypse. The film also stars Alexander England as a struggling musician, and Josh Gad as a kids' TV personality. Blending horror and laughs, "Little Monsters" offers a gory twist on romantic comedy sensibilities. 

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'Sorry to Bother You'

Cash is finding his job as a telemarketer to be nearly impossible until his coworker lets him in on the secret to success: "white voice." When he excels at the skill, he rises quickly through the ranks only to discover the company he's working for has a freakish dark side. This sci-fi satire takes on race, class, and labor themes in a truly unique way.

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'Three Identical Strangers'

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary film "Three Identical Strangers" presents a classic instance of "truth is stranger than fiction." This unlikely true story examines the peculiar case of identical triplets who meet each other as young adults after being separated at birth. As the three brothers attempt to piece together how this could have happened, they discover surprising twists and turns that gradually expose a complex mystery.  

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'Shrek'

This classic fairy tale about a green ogre — voiced by Mike Myers — is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Full of comedic gags that will make kids and adults laugh, "Shrek" remains a great choice for any family movie night. The all-star cast includes Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, and John Lithgow.

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'Buffaloed'

This comedy-drama originally premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. The story follows Peggy Dahl (Zoey Deutch), a young woman who wants to leave her life in Buffalo, New York, behind. She decides to pivot to a career in debt collection and tries to hustle her way into paying for an Ivy League education.

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'The Cabin in the Woods'

More than just a typical horror flick, director Drew Goddard's "The Cabin in the Woods" acts as a clever satire on typical horror movie tropes and clichés. The film starts off with a standard premise as five friends encounter a deadly threat in a secluded cabin – but as the story develops, the movie playfully turns that common plot on its head. Funny and thrilling, this is a slasher with some genuine smarts and laughs on top of a healthy helping of scares.

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'Booksmart'

Following in the footsteps of similar coming-of-age teen comedies, "Booksmart" offers ample laughs and heartfelt insights in equal measure. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein star as a pair of high school seniors who suddenly realize they've spent their entire lives focusing on grades without having any fun. Before their graduation, they attempt to make up for lost time with a night of partying they'll never forget.  

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'Missing Link'

Winner of the 2020 Golden Globe for best animated motion picture, "Missing Link" is a beautiful stop-motion film from the same studio who produced "Coraline" and "Kubo and the Two Strings." The story follows a Sasquatch named Mr. Link who seeks the help of an explorer to find his Yeti relatives. Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, and Zach Galifianakis all lend their voices to the cast.

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'The Assistant'

Julia Garner ("Ozark") stars in this drama built for the #MeToo era. Garner's character, Jane, is an assistant to a film producer whose typical work consists of coffee runs and minor office tasks. When she begins to see signs of an abusive workplace, she decides to take action.

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'Big Time Adolescence'

"Big Time Adolescence" focuses on a high school student named Monroe (Griffin Gluck) as he follows the unusual guidance of his best friend, a college dropout named Zeke (Pete Davidson). The coming-of-age comedy also stars Jon Cryer, Emily Arlook, Colson Baker, and Sydney Sweeney.

"Big Time Adolescence" is written and directed by Jason Orley. The movie originally premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

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The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from 'Seaspiracy' to 'Bad Trip'

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9. "Elizabeth and Margaret: Love and Loyalty" (2020)

Description: "This documentary takes an intimate look at the complex, widely misunderstood relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Princess Margaret."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A



8. "The Secret Life of Pets 2" (2019)

Description: "On a farm outside New York, Max aims to boost his confidence while in the city, Snowball attempts to rescue a tiger cub and Gidget pretends to be a cat."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 60%

What critics said: "The sequel to 2016's animated hit is even thinner on plot than the first one, whose title promised a look behind the scenes and inside the minds of cats and dogs."— Detroit News



7. "Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "Reenactments drive this documentary investigating the mastermind behind a scam to get the kids of rich and famous families into top US universities."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 89%

What critics said: "His story might not be over yet, but 'Operation Varsity Blues' suggests that even if Singer goes down, the problem he exploited shows no sign of letting up."— Indiewire



6. "Deadly Illusions" (2021)

Description: "After a bestselling novelist suffering from writer's block hires a new nanny for her children, the line between fiction and reality starts to blur."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 10%

What critics said: "Movies don't come much clunkier than 'Deadly Illusions,' an unconvincing mishmash of psychodrama and erotic thriller filled with silly plot holes, obvious dialogue, and risibly bad actions and reactions."— Los Angeles Times



5. "A Week Away" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "In this uplifting musical, a troubled teen takes a leap of faith by attending summer camp — and unexpectedly finds love, friends and a place to belong."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 47%

What critics said: "This is a film as tidy, transparent and kid-friendly as a square of Jell-O salad, and so squishily eager-to-please that it doesn't engage with its religious themes so much as tuck them into song lyrics to hover in the narrative like grapes."— New York Times



4. "Yes Day" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "A mom and dad who usually say no decide to say yes to their kids' wildest requests — with a few ground rules — on a whirlwind day of fun and adventure."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 47%

What critics said: "Parents will be amused with the antics that ensue. The kids will love it."— San Jose Mercury News



3. "Seaspiracy" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "Passionate about ocean life, a filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species — and uncovers alarming global corruption."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%

What critics said: "Seaspiracy is both well-researched and informative, and at times genuinely shocking ... If shock and awe are what it takes to get the message across, then Seaspiracy is effective, if not particularly multifaceted."— Thrillist



2. "Bad Trip" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "In this hidden-camera prank comedy, two best friends bond on a wild road trip to New York as they pull real people into their raunchy, raucous antics."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 73%

What critics said: "It's a delivery system for strung-together Situationist happenings, a fancy way of saying that everyday people get co-opted into highly elaborate, hilarious, smart-comics-doing-dumb-gross sh--."— Rolling Stone



1. "Secret Magic Control Agency" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "Hansel and Gretel of fairy tale fame — now acting as secret agents — must use magic, clever thinking and teamwork on a mission to find a missing king."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A



NBC's streaming platform Peacock Premium is offering 4 months for 50% off if you sign up before Friday

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Peacock is one of the cheapest streaming services available, with a free option that includes over 13,000-hours of movies and shows. To access the platform's full library, however, you'll have to purchase a Peacock Premium plan. For a limited time, you can get four months of Peacock Premium for 50% off.

New members who sign up now can lock in four months of Peacock Premium for a one-time payment of $10. The plan typically costs $5 a month, or $20 for four months. The promotion expires on Friday. Once four months are up, your subscription will renew automatically for the regular $5 monthly price, but you can cancel at any time. You can get the deal by entering the promo code "PEACOCKMANIA" at checkout. 

The Peacock deal comes at an ideal time for wrestling fans. As of April 5, Peacock Premium is the exclusive home for WWE Network content. The transition to Peacock includes access to pay-per-view events as part of a premium subscription. This means you'll be able to watch "WrestleMania" on April 10 with Peacock Premium.

Comedies from NBC's past are also available on Peacock Premium. Unlike the free plan that only offers the first two seasons of "The Office," Peacock Premium lets you binge-watch every episode. There's also a number of original shows and classic movies, including the "Harry Potter" series. 

For more information about Peacock, check out our full Peacock review and our Peacock guide.

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The 6 most anticipated new movie releases in April, from 'Mortal Kombat' to Netflix's 'Stowaway'

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6. "Concrete Cowboy"— Netflix, April 2

Description: "While spending the summer in North Philadelphia, a troubled teen (Caleb McLaughlin) is caught between a life of crime and his estranged father's (Idris Elba) vibrant urban-cowboy subculture."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 79%

What critics said: "'Concrete Cowboy' breathes new life into the western genre and sheds a brighter light on a faction of Black culture that was largely unknown by white audiences until today."— The Playlist



5. "Voyagers"— in theaters, April 9

Description: "With the future of the human race at stake, a group of young men and women, bred for intelligence and obedience, embark on an expedition to colonize a distant planet. But when they uncover disturbing secrets about the mission, they defy their training and begin to explore their most primitive natures. As life on the ship descends into chaos, they're consumed by fear, lust, and the insatiable hunger for power."



4. "Stowaway"— Netflix, April 22

Description:"On a mission headed to Mars, an unintended stowaway accidentally causes severe damage to the spaceship's life support systems. Facing dwindling resources and a potentially fatal outcome, the crew is forced to make an impossible decision."



3. "Thunder Force"— Netflix, April 9

Description: "In a world where supervillains are commonplace, two estranged childhood best friends reunite after one devises a treatment that gives them powers to protect their city."



2. "Tom Clancy's Without Remorse"— Amazon Prime Video, April 30

Description: "The film tells the origin story of John Kelly (aka John Clark), a U.S. Navy SEAL, who uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife by Russian soldiers. When Kelly joins forces with fellow SEAL Karen Greer and shadowy CIA agent Robert Ritter, the mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war."



1. "Mortal Kombat"— in theaters and on HBO Max, April 23

Description: "MMA fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is unaware of his heritage — or why Outworld's Emperor seeks to hunt him down. Cole finds sanctuary under Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) and prepares to stand with Earth's greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high-stakes battle for the universe. Will Cole be able to unleash his arcana in time to stop the Outworld once and for all?"



'Godzilla vs. Kong' was a hit at the box office and on HBO Max, and it shows why the post-pandemic terms between studios and theaters are far from settled

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After more than a year, the US theatrical industry finally had some good news.

"Godzilla vs. Kong," the new monster battle royale from Warner Bros. and Legendary's "MonsterVerse,"earned $48.5 million at the domestic box office in its first five days, and $32.2 million over the three-day Easter weekend — a pandemic-best opening. It's so far made more than $285 million worldwide (it cost $200 million to produce).

It's more impressive considering the movie, like all of Warner Bros.' movies this year, also debuted on WarnerMedia's streaming service HBO Max on the same day it arrived in theaters.

Does that suggest that moviegoers will still see films in cinemas whether they're streaming or not?

"Many audiences actively seek out the big screen, big sound, and shared experience [of movie theaters]," Jeff Goldstein, the Warner Bros. president of domestic theatrical distribution, told Insider. "With the right properties, theatrical exhibition can significantly ignite a cultural moment and increases the entire value chain." 

But while the numbers signal some hope for movie theaters that have been rocked by pandemic-related closures, experts caution that the industry isn't out of the woods just yet. 

"It's difficult to determine anything concretely from just one film, especially after the year we've had," said Jeff Bock, the Exhibitor Relations senior media analyst.

He added that theaters "just have to keep providing a safe and compelling environment for audiences, as 'Godzilla vs. Kong' certainly shows folks are ready to return for the right film."

"While the film experienced a huge increase in box-office performance relative to 'Wonder Woman 1984,' we are still well below how films had performed pre-pandemic and concerns remain that a meaningful portion of moviegoers now prefer streaming at home," said Joe McCormack, an analyst with the research firm Third Bridge.

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the largest movie-theater trade group, cautioned that while theaters in the US are heading in the right direction, markets in Canada, Europe, and Latin America are still struggling.

"We are a national and a global industry, and we need many of those markets to recover to ensure the biggest box-office potential for global hits," a NATO spokesperson told Insider in a statement.

While theaters still have a long road to recovery, the movie does suggest that theatrical and streaming distribution strategies can coexist. 

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Theatrical windows may never be the same

"Godzilla vs. Kong" wasn't just a box-office hit. HBO Max said that the movie had the largest audience in its first four days of any title since the service launched last May.  

In response to "Godzilla vs. Kong's" performance, some analysts praised WarnerMedia's day-and-date release strategy, which received backlash from Hollywood after it was announced in December.

Lightshed Partners' Rich Greenfield noted on Twitter that Max was the No. 1 app in the Apple app store on Sunday and said "the future is day and date releases." B. Riley Securities analyst Eric Wold upgraded his stance on shares of AMC Theatres, the world's largest theater chain, from "neutral" to "buy."

Warner Bros.' strategy reflects a big shift in film distribution amid the pandemic.

But NATO, the theater trade group, isn't convinced it will have lasting consequences.

"Exhibitors are, of course, concerned about meaningful changes to release models, including the length of the exclusive theatrical window," the NATO spokesperson said. "It is important to understand that pandemic release models, driven in part by the studios' need for revenue right now, may bear little resemblance to what comes after, when the theatrical market can operate at full capacity. A large piece of the studio movie output simply does not make sense — or profit — without a robust theatrical performance."

Still, there are already signs that the traditional theatrical window, typically 75 to 90 days before the pandemic, could be a thing of the past. Warner Bros. isn't the only movie studio to embrace streaming during the pandemic and it could have lasting ramifications for movie theaters.

Major studios like Warner Bros., Universal, and Paramount have struck deals with exhibitors to dramatically shorten the window beyond 2021. That doesn't mean day-and-date releases like what Warner Bros. is doing now, but it does mean movies could wind up on streaming or digital-rental platforms earlier than ever before. 

Warner Bros., for instance, struck a deal with Cineworld (which owns Regal Cinemas) to shrink the window to 45 days beginning in 2022. Goldstein, the studio's head of domestic theatrical distribution, told Insider that Warner Bros. is in talks with other exhibitors for similar deals.

He suggested that the day-and-date model is for 2021 only, which Warner Bros. had previously stressed. 

"Our day-and-date strategy was right for us given the hobbled marketplace at this point in time," Goldstein said. "Our plan for 2022 makes sense for that period of time."

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How to watch 'Judas and the Black Messiah' — the Oscar nominee is now available to rent though VOD streaming services

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"Judas and the Black Messiah," a film based on the 1969 killing of Chicago Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton, has been nominated for six Academy Awards. The movie is now available to rent through services like Prime Video for $20.

"Judas and the Black Messiah" premiered on February 12 in theaters and on HBO Max, but its availability on HBO's streaming service was only temporary. The movie was removed from HBO Max on March 14, but it could be added back at a later date.

The film chronicles the events leading to the joint FBI and police raid that saw more than 80 shots fired into Fred Hampton's apartment as he slept. "Get Out" and "Queen & Slim" star Daniel Kaluuya plays Hampton in the film, while Lakeith Stanfield plays the FBI informant tasked with spying on Hampton and the Black Panthers.

For many Black activists, Hampton's killing exemplified violent methods that racists and the government would use to suppress their movement, sowing years of distrust for Chicago police and federal law enforcement. 

Years after Hampton's death, it was revealed that the FBI had identified Hampton as a radical and launched a campaign to undermine his activism. They planted an informant named William O'Neal within the Black Panther Party to track Hampton's actions and spread misinformation about Hampton to other Black activist groups in Chicago.

"Judas and the Black Messiah" has garnered critical acclaim from reviewers. The movie currently holds a "96% Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 85/100 on Metacritic.

How to watch 'Judas and the Black Messiah'

"Judas and the Black Messiah" is now available to rent through video-on-demand platforms. The movie premiered on HBO Max on February 12 and remained on the service through March 14. Though it's no longer available on HBO Max, the film could be added back in the future.

To watch "Judas and the Black Messiah" at home you can rent it through services like Vudu, FandangoNow,Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Google Play. Rentals start at $20 but may vary based on your platform of choice. 

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Most rental services give you a 30-day period to start watching a movie after you order it. Once you begin playback, you typically get 48 hours before the rental expires. "Judas and the Black Messiah" is available in 4K with Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos via supported services on compatible devices.

If you want to own a physical copy of the movie, the Blu-ray disc is scheduled for release on May 4.

What other Warner Bros. movies are coming to HBO Max?

The latest Warner Bros. movie on HBO Max is the monster mash-up of "Godzilla vs. Kong." Other upcoming releases include "Mortal Kombat,""Space Jam: A New Legacy," and "Matrix 4."

Here's a complete list of every upcoming Warner Bros. movie with same-day releases on both HBO Max and in movie theaters.

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'Knives Out' director Rian Johnson and star Daniel Craig could each reportedly make up to $100 million for Netflix's sequels

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"Knives Out" director Rian Johnson and star Daniel Craig are set to make bank for Netflix's sequels to the hit 2019 mystery-comedy.

Johnson, his producing partner Ram Bergman, and Craig could make "upwards of $100 million each" for the sequels, The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit reported on Tuesday. 

Netflix did not immediately reply to a request for comment. 

Deadline first reported last week that Netflix landed two sequels to "Knives Out" in a deal worth "north of $400 million." THR's report has the figure at $469 million. 

The studio Lionsgate released the first "Knives Out" to critical and box-office success, striking a 97% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and grossing $311 million worldwide off of a $40 million production budget. Johnson was also nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay.

But Johnson and Bergman could license the franchise on a picture-by-picture basis, according to Deadline. The pair "questioned the near-term viability of theatrical releasing" in January and, hoping for a summer production start, shopped sequels to other potential buyers, according to THR.

The deal gives Johnson "immense creative control," and Netflix's only demands were that Craig star in the sequels and they have at least the $40 million budget of the first movie, according to THR's report.

Netflix has been beefing up its library of original franchises and "Knives Out" gives the streaming giant an already-proven hit property to expand.

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Netflix has landed the streaming rights to Sony's future 'Spider-Man' movies and franchises like 'Jumanji'

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Sony, without its own streaming platform, has found a home for its movie library.

The studio and Netflix announced on Thursday a five-year agreement that gives Netflix domestic streaming rights to Sony's theatrical releases beginning with its 2022 lineup. The movies would begin streaming after their theatrical and home-entertainment windows. Netflix will also license select older movies from Sony's library.

Netflix will also have a first-look option for any movies Sony is making directly for streaming or planning to license for streaming, and Netflix has already committed to a number of those. 

The deal includes future Sony "Spider-Man" movies and other titles that are part of Sony's universe of Marvel characters like "Morbius," which hits theaters in January 2022 and stars Jared Leto as a vampire that is a frequent Spider-Man villain in the comics. 

Disney, which owns Marvel, ended its streaming deal with Netflix last year after the launch of its own streamer, Disney Plus. But Sony still owns the film rights to Spider-Man and 900 related Marvel characters and the MCU "Spider-Man" movies have been absent from Disney Plus.

Sony and Disney struck a deal in 2015 in which Spider-Man could appear in Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe. After a brief feud in 2019 in which neither studio could agree on terms for the character's future appearances, a deal was reached in which actor Tom Holland's Spider-Man could star in a third MCU solo movie and appear in another future Marvel Studios film.

That third "Spider-Man" movie, "Spider-Man: No Way Home," is scheduled for theatrical release in December. 

Other Sony movie franchises include "Men in Black,""Ghostbusters,""Bad Boys," and "Jumanji." Future installments in the latter two franchises are in the works. Sony's "Uncharted," based on the hit video-game series, is also set to hit theaters in February 2022.

Sony is the only major studio of the big five (Disney, Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros.) without a streaming component. Its deal with Netflix puts its future movies in front of millions of users after their theatrical runs, and gives Netflix a library to compete with Hollywood studios that have been taking back their content to boost their own streaming businesses.

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'Raya and the Last Dragon' is now available on Disney Plus, Amazon, and other VOD services — here's how to watch at home while it's still in theaters

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Dragons, warriors, and the mystical land of Kumandra are ready to take the Disney universe by storm in "Raya and the Last Dragon."

The action-adventure film starring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina debuted on Disney Plus as a Premier Access title on March 5, and it will be available to all subscribers on June 4. You can also buy the movie through VOD services like Vudu, Prime Video, and FandangoNow for $30.

"Raya and the Last Dragon" focuses on Raya (Tran), a warrior who embarks on a quest to defeat an evil force plaguing her land. In order to restore peace, Raya must find the last dragon. The film comes from director Don Hall, known for his work on "Moana," and director Carlos López Estrada, whose previous work includes "Blindspotting," a dramedy starring Daveed Diggs.

If you want to watch "Raya and the Last Dragon" before it makes its way to all Disney Plus subscribers in June, here's how you can purchase early streaming access to the movie at home.

How to watch 'Raya and the Last Dragon' on Disney Plus

"Raya and the Last Dragon" debuted on Disney Plus on March 5 as a Premier Access title. If you have a Disney Plus subscription, you'll need to pay a one-time $30 fee to unlock the film. 

After you buy the movie, you can watch it as long as you have a Disney Plus plan. If you don't want to pay $30, you'll have to wait until June 4 when the movie will be available to all Disney Plus subscribers without an extra fee.

Disney Plus costs $8 a month or $80 for an annual plan. You can also pair Disney Plus with ESPN+ and Hulu to watch sports and tons of additional shows and movies. The bundle costs $14 a month, which saves you about $6 a month compared to buying all three services on their own.

The Disney Plus app is available on popular devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and most smart TV brands. 

How to watch 'Raya and the Last Dragon' without Disney Plus

Though "Raya and the Last Dragon" was initially exclusive to Disney Plus, the movie is now available to buy through other streaming retailers, including Vudu, Prime Video, FandangoNow, Google Play, Microsoft and Apple TV.

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The digital purchase costs $30 and does not require any additional subscription. If you're thinking about signing up for Disney Plus just to buy "Raya and the Last Dragon," choosing one of these digital retails is a cheaper option since you won't have to pay any kind of recurring membership fee.

Once you buy the movie, you'll be able to watch it as much as you like through the platform you choose. The film is available in 4K with HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos through select apps.

What other brand-new movies can I watch at home?

Disney isn't the only studio streaming new movies that were originally planned for theaters. Warner Bros. announced that it will release its entire 2021 movie lineup in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time. You can watch "Godzilla vs. Kong" right now on HBO Max. 

Other studios, like Sony, Universal, Lionsgate, and Paramount have also been offering streaming rental or purchase options for select titles that were originally planned for theaters. "In-theater" digital rentals or purchases can be made through a variety of services, including Apple TV, Vudu, FandangoNow, and Google Play

For more information about digital rentals, check out our guide to streaming rental services.

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The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from 'Concrete Cowboy' to 'Legally Blonde'

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9. "Sky High" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "After falling for Estrella, Ángel, a mechanic from the Madrid suburbs, dives into a world of heists and becomes the target of a relentless detective."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A



8. "White Boy" (2017)

Description: "This true-crime documentary exposes new facts about alleged teen drug lord 'White Boy Rick' and his lesser-known role as an FBI informant."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A



7. "Legally Blonde" (2001)

Description: "When dazzling L.A. sorority girl Elle Woods gets dumped by her snobby boyfriend, she decides to win him back by following him to Harvard Law School."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 70%

What critics said: "The movie is a lot like 1995's Clueless, which was also totally cute, in that it has a brain and a heart. And like its heroine, it's a lot smarter than it looks."— Associated Press



6. "Bad Trip" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "In this hidden-camera prank comedy, two best friends bond on a wild road trip to New York as they pull real people into their raunchy, raucous antics."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 74%

What critics said: "As if to counteract the bummer of watching a raucous comedy on Netflix ... Bad Trip comes equipped with its own crowd energy — a collective faith that there's no idiotic stunt that can't be pulled back from the brink of disaster."— AV Club



5. "Saving Private Ryan" (1998)

Description: "Eight U.S. Army Rangers penetrate German-held territory during World War II to find and bring home a soldier whose three brothers have been killed."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

What critics said: "The visual masterwork finds Spielberg atop his craft, weaving heart-pounding action and gut-wrenching emotion that will leave viewers silently shaken ... If words occasionally fail the picture, the images speak indelible volumes."— Hollywood Reporter



4. "Sniper: Ghost Shooter" (2016)

Description: "Snipers ordered to protect a gas pipeline from terrorists suspect a security breach when they're targeted by a ghost shooter who knows their location."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A



3. "What Lies Below" (2020)

Description: "Back home at her lake house, a teenager begins to suspect that a sinister force lurks beneath the surface of her mother's too-perfect new lover."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 62%

What critics said: "The denouement when it comes is meant to be shriek of pure sci-fi horror; but really, you'd find better entertainment — and more energetic acting — watching a fish tank."— Guardian



2. "Friends With Benefits" (2011)

Description:"When a recruiter and an art director strike up a friendship, they decide to capitalize on their chemistry with casual sex and no emotional attachments."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 68%

What critics said: "Anyone who has ever seen a romantic comedy before knows where this one is going."— The Wrap



1. "Concrete Cowboy" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "Sent to live with his estranged father for the summer, a rebellious teen finds kinship in a tight-knit Philadelphia community of Black cowboys."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 78%

What critics said: "[A] sentimental father-son drama that doesn't break new ground, but milks the fascinating backdrop for all its formulaic potential and winds up compelling enough."— Indiewire



What is Hoopla? How the cloud-based service uses your library membership to give you books, music, and movies

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More and more public libraries are opting into digital systems that offer members the ability to read, watch, and listen to media from the comfort of their own homes or devices — and for a good reason. 

With physical library usage trending downwards over the past decade and tech use up, having a way to get books, research materials, and other media you typically find at your local branch into your hands quickly and easily can reduce personal costs, frustration, and shipping waste. 

Hoopla, a cloud-based digital library service, aims to do just that. 

What is Hoopla?

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Similar to Zinio and IndieFlix, the Hoopla platform links with public library systems across the US and Canada that opt into it. That association, following Hoopla's launch, has allowed members to stream around 250,000 albums and 10,000 videos on demand when they finish signing up. 

You'll need to register for a Hoopla account via the Hoopla Digital website, entering your login information, your local library, and your membership number. Once your registration is complete, you can immediately begin borrowing. 

How to borrow from Hoopla

How many electronic items you're allowed to check out every month depends on your specific library's policies. While there are no late fees, each of your items will have an expiration date and be automatically returned once that date passes. 

At the current time, Audiobooks and eBooks are rented for 21 days, while music has a 7-day rental period and movies and TV shows are available for 72 hours from the time of renting. You can renew a rental up to two days before the current period ends, but it will count as a new rental and be subtracted from your monthly allowance. 

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 Account-holders can use tools like Kids Mode — which restricts browse and search results to kid-appropriate content — and Auto Lend Holds, which lets Hoopla check out titles for you automatically after held titles become available, to automate and improve their selection.

But Hoopla doesn't have waitlists, and there's no limit on how many users can "check out" a specific title at any given time.

What you should know before you use the Hoopla service

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It's certainly convenient for those who want to consume media on the go, but Hoopla does have limitations. 

The service shouldn't be considered a replacement for traditional libraries. While its offerings are extensive, they're by no means complete and may not represent what's physically available at your local branch. 

Though offline access to material is possible, the number of compatible devices is short of extensive. Moreover, not every library has opted-in to the service, so many library cardholders won't get access.

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Warner Bros. has ruled the box office in recent months despite its movies streaming simultaneously on HBO Max

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The US box office has been upended during the pandemic, but there has been a noticeable winner among the major Hollywood studios: Warner Bros.

When Warner Bros. announced in December that it would release all of its 2021 movies (and that month's "Wonder Woman 1984") to HBO Max and theaters simultaneously, the decision was met with harsh criticism in Hollywood.

But since then, Warner Bros. has been reaping the rewards of its big bet. That said, it's too soon to say whether the studio's success during the pandemic proves its hybrid distribution strategy works, or if it's simply the fact that Warner Bros. has released movies on a more consistent basis than its rivals that are holding movies for later in the year.

Data from the media analytics company Comscore broke down the biggest weekends at the domestic box office since March 20, 2020 — when theaters in the US shut down for months — to this most recent weekend. 

Warner Bros. movies topped the box office for four of the top five weekends in that time period, and all four movies were part of the studio's streaming/theatrical hybrid strategy.

"The big question is whether these new strategies and their resultant successful outcomes are the product of this unprecedented and challenging marketplace, and are as such to be considered an anomaly or as a new trend going forward," said Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore senior media analyst.

Below are the top five weekends in terms of total box-office gross during the pandemic, according to Comscore (and how much the top movie that weekend earned):

  1. April 2-4: $43.9 million total gross (Warner Bros.' "Godzilla vs. Kong"— $31.6 million)
  2. April 9-11: $26.1 million ("Godzilla vs. Kong"— $13.9 million)
  3. March 5-7: $24.0 million (Disney's "Raya and the Last Dragon"— $8.5 million)
  4. December 25-27: $23.8 million (Warner Bros.' "Wonder Woman 1984"— $16.7 million)
  5. February 26-28: $20.4 million (Warner Bros.' "Tom and Jerry"— $14.1 million)

Warner Bros. isn't the only studio to experiment with distribution strategies during the pandemic.

Universal has negotiated with theater chains like AMC Theatres, the world's largest, to shorten the exclusive theatrical window from the typical 75 days to just 17 in most cases. That means it can choose to release its movies to digital-rental platforms after three weekends in theaters. It's found some success from this, especially with the animated sequel "Croods: A New Age," which has grossed $56 million in the US.

Disney has experimented with a few models, particularly using a $30 "Premier Access" fee to gate blockbuster movies on Disney Plus.

"Mulan" wasn't released to theaters in the US (it was available on Disney Plus with a "Premier Access" fee) and underperformed internationally with $67 million. But "Mulan" drove double the sign-ups in its first weekend in September on Disney Plus compared to the previous four weekends, according to data from the analytics company Antenna.

Disney tried a slightly different strategy with "Raya and the Last Dragon," which it released simultaneously to theaters and Disney Plus (at an additional "Premier Access" fee), but the movie has underwhelmed at the box office. It's made $35 million domestically, a disappointing result for a Disney animated movie, even during the pandemic. It also didn't seem to spark a boost in Disney Plus sign-ups, as there was a 30% decline in signups the weekend it premiered, according to Antenna.

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But of all the major studios, it's been Warner Bros. that has driven the biggest box-office weekends of the pandemic, despite its movies also streaming on HBO Max at no additional cost.

"Godzilla vs. Kong," which cost $200 million to produce, has crossed $70 million at the domestic box office (and is nearing $350 million worldwide), and HBO Max said the movie drove the largest audience in its first four days of any title since the service launched last May. And while "Wonder Woman 1984" eventually slowed at the box office with $46 million domestically ($162 million worldwide), Antenna data suggested that it boosted HBO Max.

"The success of 'Godzilla vs. Kong' was created by a perfect storm of consumer confidence coupled with a studio strategy that hit the sweet spot at a time when the economy is opening up and the pent-up demand for outside-the home-entertainment is at a high point," Dergarabedian said.

That could bode well for Warner Bros. the rest of the year as it releases "Mortal Kombat,""The Suicide Squad,""Space Jam: A New Legacy," and more to theaters and Max.

But the marketplace will look different moving forward.

If release dates stick, Warner Bros. won't be the only studio releasing big-budget tentpoles come summer. Universal has "Fast and Furious 9" set for theatrical release in June and Disney will be releasing "Black Widow" simultaneously to theaters and Disney Plus "Premier Access" in July.

It may be harder for Warner Bros. to dominate the box office as the theatrical market inches towards some sense of normalcy.

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