Digital Movie Debuts are Here to Stay

Warner Bros. Releases List of Upcoming Digital Debuts

AT&T’s Warner Bros. announced Thursday that all of its films scheduled to launch in 2021 will be released on HBO Max at the same time they are available in theaters. It’s currently a one-year plan.” – CNBC –

With that short opening paragraph, Warner Bros. announced they were dealing with the realities of the pandemic by allowing their audience to continue enjoying the movie experience, but while watching movie theater movies at home, safe with their family. As we’ve said before, without a great subwoofer (or several, for a truly dimensional experience) you’re unable to experience movies the way they were intended.

2021 Warner Bros. Digital Debuts

This table is based on release dates in the USA. Digital debut dates and HBO Max availability vary by country.

TitleRelease DateProduced By
Locked Down2021-01-14co-production with AGC Studios, Storyteller Productions; distributed by HBO Max
The Little Things2021-01-29co-production with Gran Via Productions
Judas and the Black Messiah2021-02-12co-production with MACRO, Bron Creative and Participant
Tom & Jerry2021-02-26co-production with Warner Animation Group, Turner Entertainment and The Story Company
Zack Snyder's Justice League2021-03-01co-production with Legendary Pictures
Godzilla vs. Kong2021-03-26A Warner Max film, produced by DC Films, Atlas Entertainment, and The Stone Quarry; distributed by HBO Max
Mortal Kombat2021-04-16co-production with New Line Cinema and Atomic Monster Productions
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It2021-06-04distribution only; produced by New Line Cinema, Atomic Monster Productions and The Safran Company
In the Heights2021-06-18co-production with Likely Story and Scott Sanders Productions
Untitled third Fantastic Beasts film2022-07-15co-production with Warner Animation Group and SpringHill Entertainment
Space Jam: A New Legacy2021-07-16co-production with DC Films, Atlas Entertainment, The Safran Company, and Troll Court Entertainment
The Suicide Squad2021-08-06distribution only; produced by New Line Cinema and HBO Films
The Many Saints of Newark2021-09-24co-production with Legendary Pictures and Villeneuve Films
Dune2021-10-01co-production with Bazmark Films
Elvis2021-11-05co-production with Overbrook Entertainment and Star Thrower Entertainment
King Richard2021-11-19co-production with Village Roadshow Pictures, Silver Pictures and Anarchos Productions
Matrix2021-12-22produced by Malpaso Productions

Here are a few tips from our staff to help you dial in your home theater for the coming onslaught of new films.

Pro Tip 1

Still amazes us how few dealers, and therefore customers, even take the first step into higher quality home theater performance. Dolby still allows higher quality, more natural sound to be experienced at home. Go into your receiver’s (or AV processor’s) Setup Menu and slide down to Speaker Setup. Select “Large” for most speakers with woofers at least 5 ¼” ( 15cm) in diameter. Definitely 6 ½” (17/18 cm) and larger can handle this setting. If your speakers balk at this, can’t handle even modest dynamics without straining or distorting, think about upgrading them. Everything from basic dialogue to explosions will sound better and more natural set to Large/Full Range. Same goes for your center channel and surrounds.

Pro Tip 1a

Some will allow true Full Range sound—if you have THX certification in your unit, you will need to access the THX-specific menu to access Full Range.

*Note – To save you wasted time, for some reason Denon and Marantz will only allow theater bass down to 40 Hz. Full Range is not available to you.

Read our guide for how we recommend you setup your AVR for optimal performance.

Pro Tip 2

This one is only available to REL owners, try connecting the High Level Connection if you haven’t already. There’s a lot of information on our website that relates to this, explore earlier articles if you want to know more. This connection transforms a system. You need to have Full Range selected for this to work optimally, although you still enjoy about half the benefit on the Denon and Marantz.

Watch our video that goes over what a high level connection is and why we insist you use it.

Pro Tip 3

Still connect the standard .1/LFE RCA-RCA interconnect cable from Subwoofer Out on your receiver to the input on a REL labelled .1/LFE. We supply a specific input channel, complete with its own volume control to permit setting this channel, which is dedicated specifically to the biggest, most dramatic special effects bass. This channel should be connected at all times. If you’re listening to music and this is plugged in, as long as you took Step 1 above and set Speakers to Large, no extra bass will come down this channel. Your receiver will know it is music and not pummel you with bass. But when watching a movie, this channel is recognized by your receiver and activates. Cool, huh?

Learn more about connecting a REL high level and to the .1/LFE channel simultaneously.

Pro Tip 4

Most folks don’t understand what sounds come from the .1/LFE and what from their speakers. That’s why they don’t understand how high they can set their LFE/subwoofer effects channel so it’s as loud as they need and no louder (too loud and damage can occur). Try disconnecting the main speakers while playing a loud .1 channel. Chapter 14 of the original Iron Man is a good one, strong special effects bass and virtually no other significant bass. When the bad Iron Man (played by Jeff Bridges) emerges from the ground the bass is all .1/LFE. Bring the .1/LFE channel bass up till the room shakes but go no further. Now turn the receiver’s overall volume down, plug your main speakers back in and rerun the scene. Adjust the overall volume to suit your taste and enjoy the movie in a new way.

OK, so what are some good movies to enjoy? We polled some of our staff and they came up with a short list that demonstrate big, fun dynamics:

Start your own list and let’s settle in to some movie (and sound) magic.

February 5, 2021 - Posted in: Deep Dive Setup