WB Nukes Its 2021 Theatrical Slate For HBO Max Joint Releases

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  • finalact4
    replied
    I don't think it's shortsighted. Seems smart. They aren't stupid over at HBO.

    People will have spent a year and a half or more NOT going to the movies and watching them from home. This is a great way to entice people back in to the theaters and still satisfy those who won't go to the theater again immediately. The pandemic will have invariably changed movie goers consumption habits.

    I didn't see that they specified it would be offered FREE, just that it would premiere simultaneously. If it costs $30 extra to watch it on HBO max, there is a subset of people who will pay that premium to see the release immediately.

    Even if they don't charge, which would be insane, getting someone to sign up to watch one movie? Probably worth it to HBO Max.

    Leave a comment:


  • zetiago
    replied
    I don't understand the logic of this move. WB is effectively foregoing hundreds of millions, possibly billions of box office dollars, even in the pandemic, in the hope that HBO Max subscriptions will grow exponentially. I assume the goal is to compete with Netflix on breadth of streaming options, but seems like a misstep. HBO was the ultimate prestige TV brand. Anything that made it to air was given the benefit of the doubt that it was of high quality, and people were willing to pay the $10 a month for it. That made it very selective and profitable. Instead of expanding that model they have invested in the kind of junk filler you see on Netflix, and now are resorting to going all-in on their app with much more expensive projects, ostensibly to get to the top of the streaming heap. In other words, they could have kept minimizing investment on select, high-quality projects, and still made tons of money, effectively owning that niche, but are now canabilizing their brand for more customers that are already saturated with middling options.

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  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Originally posted by Friday View Post
    How does Warner Bros. make money by rerouting it to HBO Max? I understand that they are both under the Warner Media banner and that the move might help HBO Max, but how does this strategy make money? Some of those titles most likely would have generated a lot of money in theaters in a normal year, like Wonder Woman (which I'd still rather see in theaters).
    As WarnerMedia head explains it, there's a bit of robbing Peter to pay Paul going on between the corporate divisions but for backend participation purposes, it does appear that HBO Max "pays" the theatrical side for the licenses (though I believe this has always been the case even when pay cable TV units license titles from the parent studio for broadcast):

    "Jason Kilar
    There’s a material license fee for the period of time that HBO Max is able to exhibit these films. So that absolutely plays into this. And the talent who participate in the films will be able to participate in that way as well. So there’s absolutely economic consideration for what’s going on here. Obviously, none of us can wave a wand and cause non-pandemic box office to suddenly show up in 2021. But the HBO Max exhibition comes at a price. And talent and the behind-the-scene folks that get participation get to participate in that.
    Peter Kafka
    To spell that out: HBO Max, a unit of WarnerMedia, will pay Warner Bros., a unit of WarnerMedia, and the talent in these movies will get a slice of that, in the same way that they’d get a slice of theatrical distribution dollars?
    Jason Kilar
    That’s exactly right."

    https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/rec...edia-interview

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  • David Palmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Friday View Post
    How does Warner Bros. make money by rerouting it to HBO Max? I understand that they are both under the Warner Media banner and that the move might help HBO Max, but how does this strategy make money? Some of those titles most likely would have generated a lot of money in theaters in a normal year, like Wonder Woman (which I'd still rather see in theaters).
    They don’t. This move is above Warner Bros. This is all about Wall Street, stock prices, and satisfying shareholders. Box office returns never held the same allure to these big corporations that the steady flow of television money (and now streaming) does. To these conglomerates like AT&T, streaming is the future and they want to position themselves for more direct-to-consumer models. To them it’s worth it setting the 2021 box office returns on fire if they can position HBO Max to seriously challenge Netflix and Amazon.

    I don’t think it’s the smartest move long term because what do you do after 2021 to keep that sizzle going and hold onto subscribers? This is a tough genie to put back into the bottle.

    Leave a comment:


  • Friday
    replied
    How does Warner Bros. make money by rerouting it to HBO Max? I understand that they are both under the Warner Media banner and that the move might help HBO Max, but how does this strategy make money? Some of those titles most likely would have generated a lot of money in theaters in a normal year, like Wonder Woman (which I'd still rather see in theaters).

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeBanks
    replied
    this feels like the correct analysis. AT&T botched the HBO Max rollout and now is desperate to play catchup against Netflix & Disney+



    https://www.polygon.com/2020/12/4/22...s-vs-streaming

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Originally posted by mata View Post
    I don't know about that, look at the videogame industry and their profits
    Doesn't videogame suffer from the same tentpole mentality as Hollywood? A handful of marquee franchise titles make a lot of money with new installments every few years and it's dog-eat-dog for anyone else below?

    Leave a comment:


  • mata
    replied
    I don't know about that, look at the videogame industry and their profits

    Leave a comment:


  • DDoc
    replied
    Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post

    The thing about gutting exhibition just to chase streaming subscribers is you can't afford to keep making stuff like Dune if it won't be earning $1b in theaters before it drops on HBO Max.
    That sounds about right. I have no idea how this will play out. Maybe they're counting on a bailout or something.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Originally posted by DDoc View Post
    I'm ok with this. I would've liked watching Dune on the big screen but I'll happily watch it at home on release day.
    The thing about gutting exhibition just to chase streaming subscribers is you can't afford to keep making stuff like Dune if it won't be earning $1b in theaters before it drops on HBO Max.

    Leave a comment:


  • DDoc
    replied
    I'm ok with this. I would've liked watching Dune on the big screen but I'll happily watch it at home on release day.

    Leave a comment:


  • figment
    replied
    Yeah, I don't understand the logic of it, but maybe that's because there isn't any? I need movie theaters.

    Leave a comment:


  • WB Nukes Its 2021 Theatrical Slate For HBO Max Joint Releases

    https://deadline.com/2020/12/warner-...ts-1234649760/

    This is such a profoundly shortsighted move it's hard to overstate. There aren't enough $15/mo subscriptions in the world to make up for taking multiple tentpole releases off the table, or at least cannibalizing their theatrical releases by throwing them up on HBO Max for "free" at the same time
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