The biggest hit movies on HBO Max in 2021 that came out as part of Warner Bros. simultaneous release strategy

A picture of Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in "Dune."
Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in "Dune."
  • Warner Bros. released all of its movies this year simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.
  • Insider ranked each release by its opening weekend viewership on Max, according to data from measurement firm Samba TV.
  • The data accounts for Thursday through Sunday viewership unless otherwise noted.
  • Samba TV counts a view if a household watched at least five minutes of the movie, and the data is limited to connected-TV devices in the US, such as Roku and gaming consoles.
  • But the data gives solid points of comparison for each movie's performance (Samba TV couldn't provide data for "Reminiscence").
  • The movies that performed the best at the box office also performed well on Max.
16. "Judas and the Black Messiah"
judas and the black messiah warner bros

Released: February 12

Max opening weekend viewership: 653,000 households

US box office: $5.4 million

Global box office: $6.8 million (No. 16)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 96%

What critics said: "Judas and the Black Messiah can't do everything. What it accomplishes is nevertheless quite something. It is a bittersweet compliment to what's here that we end the film wishing it'd done even more." — Rolling Stone

15. "In the Heights"
in the heights usnavi

Released: June 11

Max opening weekend viewership: 693,000 households

US box office: $29.9 million

Global box office: $$43.9 million (No. 9)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%

What critics said: "Jon M. Chu and Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical now stands as a celebration of [the] community's remarkable perseverance." — The Ringer

14. "Cry Macho"
Clint Eastwood in a cowboy hat

Released: September 17

Max opening weekend viewership: 693,000 households (Friday through Sunday)

US box office: $10.3 million

Global box office: $14.3 million (No. 14)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 57%

What critics said: "As a director, [Clint] Eastwood keeps his tone almost primordially simple; not for 'Macho' are the murky moral calculations and defined character arcs of 'The Unforgiven,' 'American Sniper,' or even 'Gran Torino.'" — Entertainment Weekly

 

13. "King Richard"
Will Smith in a windbreaker jacket and shorts

Released: November 19

Max opening weekend viewership: 707,000 households (Friday through Sunday)

US box office: $14.7 million

Global box office: $26.2 million (No. 12)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 91%

What critics said: "Green's 'King Richard' isn't a great movie, but it doesn't need to be when the characters are this warm, and its message is so earnest." — Polygon

 

12. "Malignant"
malignant movie

Released: September 10

Max opening weekend viewership: 933,000 households

US box office: $13.4 million

Global box office: $34 million (No. 10)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 76%

What critics said: "None of this is especially scary, but, if you're patient, [James] Wan delivers the kind of hilariously sick climax that only a sadist would spoil." — New York Times

11. "The Many Saints of Newark"
Michael Gandolfini and Alessandro Nivola in "The Many Saints of Newark."

Released: October 1

Max opening weekend viewership: 1 million households

US box office: $8.2 million

Global box office: $12.7 million (No. 15)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 71%

What critics said: "The movie was, to borrow an image from the 'Pine Barrens' episode, like sucking ketchup packets." — Boston Globe

10. (tie) "Those Who Wish Me Dead"
those who wish me dead

Released: May 14

Max opening weekend viewership: 1.2 million households

US box office: $7.3 million

Global box office: $23.4 million (No. 13)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 62%

What critics said: "'Those Who Wish Me Dead' could have risen to meet [Angelina] Jolie's ability. But the film reflects the industry's lack of imagination for an older female action star." — The Atlantic

10. (tie) "Tom and Jerry"
tom and jerry warner bros

Released: February 26

Max opening weekend viewership: 1.2 million households

US box office: $14.1 million

Global box office: $46.0 million (No. 8)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 31%

What critics said: "Very young kids might find some enjoyment in the brightly hued, fast-paced mania of it all, but those with any real affection for the pair of violently opposed animals will leave unimpressed." — Guardian

8. "The Little Things"
the little things warner bros

Released: January 29

Max opening weekend viewership: 1.4 million households

US box office: $15.2 million

Global box office: $29.8 million (No. 11)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 45%

What critics said: "It's a movie that's constantly on the verge of developing into something as intense and haunting as writer/director John Lee Hancock wants it to be, but it never achieves its goals, especially in its final half-hour." — RogerEbert.com

7. "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It"
the conjuring the devil made me do it warner bros

Released: June 4

Max opening weekend viewership: 1.6 million households

US box office: $65.6 million

Global box office: $202 million (No. 3)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 55%

What critics said: "Three films into this series (and eight into the overall 'Conjuring' franchise), it's not shocking that creative wells are starting to run a little dry, though that doesn't lessen the sting of this particular disappointment." — Indiewire

6. "Dune"
A picture of Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin in "Dune."

Released: October 22

Max opening weekend viewership: 1.9 million households

US box office: $107 million

Global box office: $393.5 million (No. 2)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%

What critics said: "Denis Villeneuve's new big-screen adaptation underlines why generations have been fascinated by the story." — Vox

5. "Space Jam: A New Legacy"
space jam a new legacy warner bros

Released: July 15

Max opening weekend viewership: 2.1 million households

US box office: $70.5 million

Global box office: $162.8 million (No. 5)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 25%

What critics said: "Corporations handing a bag of unrelated IP and ordering screenwriters to come up with a story around them is the template for most studio filmmaking now, if not all of contemporary existence." — Slate

4. "The Matrix Resurrections"
The Matrix Resurrections Keanu Reeves

Released: December 22

Max opening weekend viewership: 2.8 million households (based on Wednesday through Sunday)

US box office (as of December 27): $22.5 million

Global box office (as of December 27): $69.8 million (No. 7 as of December 27)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 65%

What critics said: "It is a Matrix movie that could only have come with twenty-plus years of hindsight — and insight. I was moved, impressed — far more than I expected to be. The emotional engineering of 'The Matrix Resurrections' is exacting and rapturous." — Rolling Stone

3. "The Suicide Squad"
the suicide squad

Released: August 6

Max opening weekend viewership: 2.8 million households

US box office: $55.8 million

Global box office: $167.4 million (No. 4)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%

What critics said: "The gloriously unhinged James Gunn keeps Margot Robbie, John Cena and a top cast of crazies firing on all cylinders and turns a botch job original that was the worst movie of 2016 into the down-and-dirty whirlwind it was always meant to be." — ABC News

2. "Godzilla vs. Kong"
godzilla vs kong

Released: March 31

Max opening weekend viewership: 3.6 million households (based on Wednesday through Sunday)

US box office: $100.5 million

Global box office: $467.9 million (No. 1)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 75%

What critics said: "Freed from the obligation to try and be anything more meaningful than it is, 'Godzilla vs. Kong' ekes out its biggest triumphs when it embraces silliness and spectacle." — Mashable

 

1. "Mortal Kombat"
mortal kombat 2021

Released: March 31

Max opening weekend viewership: 3.8 million households

US box office: $42.2 million

Global box office: $83.6 million (No. 6)

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 54%

What critics said: "Another paltry reminder that Hollywood has abandoned the sincere pleasure action films provide: pointing a camera at a person in motion to showcase their beauty and savagery." — Vulture

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