WB Nukes Its 2021 Theatrical Slate For HBO Max Joint Releases

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  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Agreed that 45-days is probably the right medium between 90-days and 30 days (or less). WB overreacting to 2020, if vaccinations continue at the current pace, will probably result in leaving several hundred million in exhibition take on the table for the second half of 2021 -- assuming they still intend to keep Dune and Matrix 4 (and In The Heights) day-and-date on HBO Max when theaters should be back to full capacity by summer and certainly by Xmas.

    Meanwhile, Disney appears not to have learned much from the Mulan fiasco:

    https://deadline.com/2021/03/black-w...ct-1234720390/

    Leave a comment:


  • kintnerboy
    replied
    So this didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would to resolve. Warner / HboMax and Regal have agreed to a day and date release plan for the remainder of this year, and then a 45 day theatrical window starting in 2022 (which is what is should have been all along).

    I'm sure AMC will have to agree to the same (if they want to stay in business).

    Congrats to WB, but I think the real winner hear might be Netflix.

    https://deadline.com/2021/03/cinewor...ng-1234719255/

    Leave a comment:


  • kintnerboy
    replied
    Originally posted by David Palmer View Post

    I don’t disagree about the ultimate endgame here for WB — although I’m not sure I’d give them total credit for being smart enough to have calculated it in those terms. I think it may all just wind up being the ancillary effect from them scrambling to save their own a**ses and placate their bosses at the phone company. The move itself, in the moment, is probably the most sensible all around but it was totally mishandled.
    Yes, this.

    God I would love to be able to talk to someone in the know at WM, to find out if this was a cluster**** accident or a brilliant ploy from the beginning (there's really no in-between).

    Like if someone knew that floating this idea out to the higher ups ahead of time would have killed it, so they just dropped a bomb.

    Doubtful that anyone has either that much brains or guts.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Palmer
    replied
    Originally posted by kintnerboy View Post

    I LOVE the idea of someone taking a stand like that.

    The great thing about negotiating is that you can come off like a hero to your peers by drawing a line in the sand (and then go back and erase it as you entertain their counter).

    To me, the end game here is that Warner wins a big fight for everyone, in which the theater-to-streaming window shrinks to maybe a week after a film is removed from theaters (which of course is at the theater's discretion, which leaves them in complete control, while allowing the streamer to piggy back on whatever's left of the residual advertising / awareness).

    It's a win win for everyone (except the lawyers, who like to keep themselves busy).
    I don’t disagree about the ultimate endgame here for WB — although I’m not sure I’d give them total credit for being smart enough to have calculated it in those terms. I think it may all just wind up being the ancillary effect from them scrambling to save their own a**ses and placate their bosses at the phone company. The move itself, in the moment, is probably the most sensible all around but it was totally mishandled.

    Leave a comment:


  • kintnerboy
    replied
    Originally posted by David Palmer View Post
    I don’t normally make a habit of getting in the next man’s pockets, but if I’m them, yeah, I’d rather have nothing.
    I LOVE the idea of someone taking a stand like that.

    The great thing about negotiating is that you can come off like a hero to your peers by drawing a line in the sand (and then go back and erase it as you entertain their counter).

    To me, the end game here is that Warner wins a big fight for everyone, in which the theater-to-streaming window shrinks to maybe a week after a film is removed from theaters (which of course is at the theater's discretion, which leaves them in complete control, while allowing the streamer to piggy back on whatever's left of the residual advertising / awareness).

    It's a win win for everyone (except the lawyers, who like to keep themselves busy).

    Leave a comment:


  • David Palmer
    replied
    Originally posted by kintnerboy View Post

    First of all, WM's decision here is a no-brainer. This pandemic has killed their business in a way that it might never fully recover. Certainly audiences will come back of course, but after a full year (or more) of being conditioned to stream things at home, it will be hard to break them of the habit. (side note: You know what would get me back in a theater? Someone actually projecting a FILM on to a screen... I don't agree with Chris Nolan's take on this, but the last film I saw in a theater was Dunkirk in 70mm, and it was glorious).
    I don’t think it’ll be that hard at all a habit to break. If this pandemic has revealed anything at all about this country... we just can’t stand being in the house. Solid point about film presentation. Saw The Hateful Eight in 70MM; there’s simply nothing like it.

    When this is over it will be incumbent on the exhibition industry to step their game up. I revere the movie theater, but I’ve gotten spoiled by the premium experience. Pre-pandemic, if I couldn’t find a Dolby or “real” IMAX show, I wouldn’t bother.


    Okay, so seriously, there are some people here with legitimate gripes. Mostly the financiers and the creatives who get paid gross points and box office bonuses.

    To them I would say -- Would you rather have NOTHING? Because that's what you've got now.
    I don’t normally make a habit of getting in the next man’s pockets, but if I’m them, yeah, I’d rather have nothing. The folks headlining these movies ain’t hurting for money. Once you get to a certain station in life and you done put in the work and paid your dues, it ain’t so much about the money as it is about the respect of getting what you’re owed.

    Leave a comment:


  • kintnerboy
    replied
    I'm not really surprised by the number of people in this thread who are saying "I don't get it" or "It makes no sense".

    Of course it doesn't. That's because there is not a single news source left in this country with an ounce of credibility.

    Just to review, "news" is when an event happens in the world, and then a journalist explains the who, what, where, why and when of what happened. We haven't had anyone doing that in about 25 years. What we have instead now are opinions, rumors, unnamed source gossip, and speculative sky-is-falling predictions about things that are never going to happen, all designed to keep people as angry and/or afraid as possible, to keep them tuning in tomorrow.

    First of all, WM's decision here is a no-brainer. This pandemic has killed their business in a way that it might never fully recover. Certainly audiences will come back of course, but after a full year (or more) of being conditioned to stream things at home, it will be hard to break them of the habit. (side note: You know what would get me back in a theater? Someone actually projecting a FILM on to a screen... I don't agree with Chris Nolan's take on this, but the last film I saw in a theater was Dunkirk in 70mm, and it was glorious).

    In my opinion, this is a brilliant, calculated move to break the backs of the theater chains (who have been acting with all the hubris of Blockbuster Video circa 2000) regarding release windows. All the other Streamers should be sending WM a $100M gift basket for doing all the heavy lifting for them.

    And after that, they should should send them ANOTHER gift for raising the standard of what a streamer should charge per month (anyone here think Disney will stay < $12/mo. beyond 2021? Not me).

    And does anyone here see the irony of the talent agencies calling out WM for cheating their clients out of back end? Where do they get their pants with balls that big!?

    Okay, so seriously, there are some people here with legitimate gripes. Mostly the financiers and the creatives who get paid gross points and box office bonuses.

    To them I would say -- Would you rather have NOTHING? Because that's what you've got now.

    The key word (ie. the one that all the journalists willfully ignored) in Warner's press release was TEMPORARY.

    WM's plan is a stopgap during an unprecedented global emergency. You can bet that if this pandemic magically disappears in April, so will WM's day-and-date free streaming plan.

    Listening to Hollywood multi-millionaires complaining about the billionaires while there's 50 million Americans out of work and worried about rent comes off as very Marie Antoinette-ish to me, and these agents and directors and everyone else should probably count their blessings, stop burning bridges and shut the f*** up.


    Leave a comment:


  • docgonzo
    replied
    WM and AT&T really screwed themselves with this, I think. The crux of the HR article is that creators and financiers are pissed off because they stand to lose a ton of backend money that they'd normally get from theatrical distribution. The knives are out indeed when there's tens and hundreds of millions on the line. Of course, the backlash isn't surprising and will likely lead with a slew of legal action, starting with Legendary, which financed Godzilla vs. Kong and Dune. More will follow. This will be one of those rare moments where adversaries -- the guilds, agencies, and producers -- will all come together to fight against the loss of the one thing that binds them together: money.

    And I have to say, as a former employee of AT&T, I am not the least bit surprised that they came to this decision on their own and without any consultation. The higher ups at that company think they know everything, when in fact they know just two things: jack and ****. And no amount of failure or derision will steer them from that mindset. Their arrogance knows no bounds.

    There are already rumblings that AT&T will sell off WM in the coming years. Typical of that company. Overpay for assets it knows nothing about, gut them in an attempt to regain profitability and to maintain their stock dividend, then sell it off for pennies on the dollar, leaving behind the giant husk of a formerly well-run company. They're doing that now with DirecTV, WM will soon follow.
    Last edited by docgonzo; 12-08-2020, 06:32 AM.

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  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Nolan's quotes will get the headlines but what's really revealing are all the anonymous agency quotes. Knives are OUT from the talent for everyone at AT&T and WB, top to bottom

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...rner-bros-plan

    Leave a comment:


  • finalact4
    replied
    Perhaps, I am. Definitely possible.

    Yes, business people make mistakes all the time. I've personally been in three companies over my career that have gone out of business, because they couldn't adapt to the changing competitive landscape.

    To some degree, egos in leadership can drive companies into a downward spiral that, like a black hole, they cannot escape from. But there are also insightful people with an eye on the future and how they can maintain a competitive edge. Maybe the demographics show that HBO's subscription members don't go to movies, but instead have a tendency to wait for it to become streaming? I don't understand them doing it for free, though.

    There will still be theatrical releases in conjunction with the premiere on HBO, so they aren't walking away from theatrical release.

    Weren't they talking about premiere streaming new films prior to the pandemic... it seems to me they were. Perhaps I'm remembering incorrectly?

    Leave a comment:


  • zetiago
    replied
    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    Well, I respect that they are a lot more forward thinking than I am as a consumer.
    I think you're giving them too much credit. I think HBO (and WB to a lesser extent) has been on a downward slide since it was acquired by AT&T. The bean counters have taken a great brand and killing it with a thousand short term revenue maximizing blows. In this case they had many options - on demand release, limited theatrical using drive-ins and whatever is currently open. Tenet made over $50 million at the domestic box office and over $350 million worldwide, all during the pandemic.

    Business people make mistakes all the time, especially in the face of changing tastes. Look at Quibi. I thought that was a stupid idea when I first heard it and it turned out to be a colossal failure. That venture was headed by two big name executives that raised a lot of money from presumably other savvy business people.

    Leave a comment:


  • finalact4
    replied
    I'm guessing they need a revenue stream sooner rather than later. Waiting another year plus to release in 2022 when who knows how many theaters will make it until that time? I don't know, that seems risky.

    Look at all the retailers filing, the ones that don't have the protection of being considered "essential" businesses have been hit really hard. Theaters, I would imagine, have suffered an almost unrecoverable blow. They may be predicting a fallout we aren't foreseeing? Ever since the whole "streaming" was announced as a new direction in the industry and they turned out to be right? Well, I respect that they are a lot more forward thinking than I am as a consumer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Southern_land
    replied
    I guess if these go straight to streaming Hollywood can forgo their ridiculous promotions and bring a whole bunch of movies in at 50% of pre-COVID budget

    What does concern me (with Dune in particular) is they only make the first movie and let the second one go
    Last edited by Southern_land; 12-05-2020, 10:19 PM.

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  • Friday
    replied
    Well, Wonder Woman probably would have gotten over a billion in a normal year. Matrix 4, Dune, Suicide Squad, Godzilla v. King Kong , the Conjuring, Space Jam, Malignant and Tom & Jerry likely would have had pretty good box office. Maybe, possibly Elvis and Mortal Kombat would have had their share of fans. That's billions of theater revenue. Couldn't they have saved a few of these for 2022? The producers for James Bond moved their date along with other studios who moved their crown jewels. Usually, when I sign up for a streaming service they have some specialty show I can't get anywhere else like "ten reasons why" or recently "Queens Gambit." I would be interested to see how many subscribers sign up just to see these WB releases.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    I don't think it's shortsighted. Seems smart. They aren't stupid over at HBO.
    Well, they couldn't even figure out a name and pricing plan for the new platform that didn't unnecessarily confuse the entire world so . . . maybe

    But yes, these movies are "free" on HBO Max, unlike the Mulan situation on Disney Premiere/Plus. Although certainly studios intend to make future day-and-date availability PPV at the $30-50 price point. Of course, if viewers know that the movie will just be dropping on the regular streaming service for "free" in a month or two, what incentive really is there to pony up that kind of money for HVOD?

    Leave a comment:

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