After being delayed from last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the splashy musical In the Heights is finally hitting theaters on June 11, and we couldn’t be more excited! The movie will be part of a new batch of big titles that are set to usher in the return to movie theaters — but does that mean the end of streaming options? Not in this case!
As part of the 2021 Warner Bros. studio slate, In the Heights will have the same release pattern as all the studio’s movies this year. For the first month, it will be viewable simultaneously on HBO Max and in traditional, in-person movie theaters. After that month window expires, it will revert to just traditional theaters (but, in all likelihood, will eventually wind up back on HBO Max at sometime in the future, since that’s now the streaming arm of Warner Bros.).
The bad news for some viewers is that there’s no on-demand option with this streaming setup. HBO Max subscribers don’t have to pay an extra fee to watch In the Heights (unlike Disney+, for instance, which typically includes a surcharge for early access to its new, marquee movies), but only HBO Max subscribers can access it at all. Plus, the streamer seems to have wised up to the tried-and-true trick of people signing up for free trials right before a major release: there’s no longer an option to sign up for a free trial at all.
In the Heights will be the second of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musicals to hit streaming, although in a very different way. Last summer, Disney+ debuted a “movie” of Hamilton that’s actually live performances from the Broadway show. This summer’s In the Heights is a traditional movie adaptation. Starring Anthony Ramos (who, incidentally, was also in Hamilton!) as Usnavi, a Washington Heights bodega owner, the movie follows a summer in the lives of a close-knit Latinx community as they deal with romance and long-held dreams along with community-wide problems like gentrification. It’ll be out on June 11, and you can choose whether to watch it at home or on the big screen — or maybe even both!