Hollywood is going to war against Warner Bros. over their HBO Max deal

  1. Stevennix2001 profile image86
    Stevennix2001posted 2 years ago

    Well the fun never stops in Hollywood.  Ever since AT&T and Warner Bros. announced that films starting on Christmas this year with "Wonder Woman 1984" that all their films heading into 2021 would premiere on both HBO Max and theaters simultaneously on each of their respective release dates has pissed off a lot of people in Hollywood.

    Theaters were pissed about this obviously, as apparently the deal they currently have with Warner Bros. over "Wonder Woman 1984" premiering in both theaters and HBO Max on the same day was only for that one film.  There was no agreement between NATO (National Association of Theater Owners) and Warner Bros. beyond that one film.  AMC's CEO even condemned HBO Max and Warner Bros. calling the move selfish, and how Warner Bros. is killing the movie industry.  Oh the hypocrisy there, but I'll get into that in a minute. 

    However, it also seems some of the film studios that Warner Bros. has distribution contracts with are outright pissed as well; namely Legendary Studios.  For those of you who don't know, Warner Bros. doesn't own all of the studios that make movies for them, as some of them are independently operated, and Warner Bros. simply has the rights to to distribute the films they produce for them.  As it was reported prior to Warner Bros. announcement about their 2021 slate, Legendary was actively seeking to sell "Kong vs. Godzilla" to a streaming service for 200 to 300 million dollars, as it was reported by various news outlets.   Warner Bros. was one of the studios in contention to buy the movie outright for their streaming service.   

    Legendary has produced such films like the "The Dark Knight", "Hangover 2", "Pacific Rim", "Man of Steel" and many others for Warner Bros. in the past.  Therefore, they've been working with them for years now.   However, it seems Warner Bros. didn't discuss this move with them about making their entire slate for 2021 available on HBO Max on the same day as their theatrical releases, which includes their "Kong vs Godzilla" film.    In fact, rumor has it that since Warner Bros. is still distributing these films in theaters that are open that technically speaking WB may not be contractually obligated to pay Legendary any extra money upfront for this move.   However, it's being reported that Legendary is prepared to take Warner Bros. to court over this move.

    First of all, I can totally get why studios like Legendary would be pissed about this. I really do.  As most movie gurus like myself know, most studios usually get paid off the backend of a movie.  What I mean by that is this.   Whenever a movie makes money at the box office, the studio and a lot of the people involved like the actors, and sometimes directors, will get paid a percentage of whatever the film makes.  This is how Robert Downey Jr. was able to make fifty million dollars per each "Avengers" film he made.   

    It's the main reason why Scarlett Johannson only wants to have "Black Widow" make a theatrical debut, and none of this simultaneous Disney Plus and theatrical release BS because she knows she'll make way more on the backend of "Black Widow."  It has nothing to do with preserving theaters or the theatrical window, but more or less wanting to be paid.   So trust me, I get it.  And I'll agree with ANYONE that says Legendary has a right to be pissed, as they should be.  However, we don't know how the contract between Legendary and Warner Bros was worded when they made their deals together. 

    And unless Warner Bros. and AT&T are ran by complete morons, I would have a hard time believing that they would announce this move so boldly without at least having their lawyers look into stuff like this to make sure they could do something like this legally.   Maybe I'm wrong, as we'll find out as this whole mess plays out, but as of right now, I think Legendary might be screwed honestly, but we'll see. 

    As for AMC?  They have literally no right to say anything.  Keep in mind when Universal Studios announced earlier this year that they were going to release "Trolls World Tour" on video on demand and theaters on the same day that it was AMC that said they would not only boycott all Universal films moving forward over their announcement, but called them selfish as well for their move to do that. 

    And at the time, several movie theater chains followed their example.  But guess what happened?   A few months pass, and Universal has a plan that would destroy the traditional theatrical window of a few months of theater exclusivity for new releases by proposing to various movie chains in NATO, and not NATO itself, about releasing films exclusively in theaters for 17 days, and then release the film on video on demand, while giving the theater chain that agrees to this deal a 10 percent cut of the profits on video on demand sales.   Regal stood pat, and said we're not doing it.   But guess who was the first one that took Universal's deal?  It was AMC.    They not only went back on their threat a few months later, but they literally helped in destroying in the traditional theatrical window, yet now they want to whine about Warner Bros. plans for 2021?  They have no right complain as far as I'm concerned, and the fact that they are makes them look like hypocrites.

    Seriously, they want to talk about how they want to preserve the traditional theatrical window, yet they contributed in destroying it themselves, and they were one of the first ones to do it too, so they could save their own ass.   

    So excuse me if I feel the CEO of AMC is a hypocrite for his crocodile tears.   

    Overall, I feel this is the future of the media.  And while I do feel for Legendary right now, I'm not sure if they have much legal room to stand on, but we'll see. 

    As for you HBO Max subscribers, I don't believe this changes anything as far as Warner Bros. plans to release films simultaneously on both HBO Max and theaters on the same day as previously planned, so you guys have nothing to worry about for now.  However, it'll be interesting to see how this develops.  What are your thoughts on this?

    Did Warner Bros. and AT&T do the right thing?  Is this the future of movies as we know it?   Did AT&T and Warner Bros. kill the theaters with this move?   Or do you think this is all a huge overreaction and see nothing but good come from this?  Does AMC even have a right to complain considering they opened the door for this to happen?  And most of all, will theaters even exist after the pandemic?  Please discuss.

  2. Stevennix2001 profile image86
    Stevennix2001posted 2 years ago

    Damn now Christopher Nolan and others are calling out Warner Bros. over this shit.  Not good...

 
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