Warner Bros. sent the movie business into a spiral of chaos when it announced that it would release its entire slate of films slated to release in 2021 on HBO Max at the same time they would make their theatrical debuts. It is one of the main film studios, so the news has already represented a great shock for the medium, but when we remember that this list includes many possible blockbusters and / or films that had exorbitant budgets such as Wonder Woman 1984, Dune Y The Matrix 4, in addition to other titles that will surely seek to get into the awards season, we can only believe that it is a decision that will bring with it a number of consequences (and reactions) since a few months ago, due to the pandemic, it seemed impossible that all these films reach something other than cinema.
This move is, in a way, an advantage because the releases will be available through the streaming service HBO Max, which is part of WarnerMedia, the conglomerate of which Warner Bros. and HBO are part. Those who win have to do, clearly, with the service since having all those films in its catalog increases the attractiveness of a platform that still does not attract attention, not even of those who already have HBO since they can access it at no cost additional. But not all countries have HBO Max available and that’s where the cinemas come into the picture that will be favored because they can have the movies anyway; This is in the hope that public attendance will improve. However, that is another element that makes this a problem wherever you look at it: many people still do not plan to go to the movies due to the insecurity they feel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This is how many insist that Warner’s move only means losses, because what is the use of releasing a movie in theaters when business cannot function at its best and people fear going to public places? This made [tweet]Christopher Nolan[/tweet] declared war on the studio through a statement shared by The Hollywood Reporter in which with great indignation he described HBO Max as “the worst streaming service”. Director of Tenet – 83%, a film that despite its several delays due to the pandemic did hit theaters and did nothing more than mean losses for Warner, from the beginning
We could find many points in favor and against what happened, but what we are going to refer to is everything that has happened as a result of the confirmation of the Warner Bros. measure. It is true that the reaction of Nolan It is the one that seems to have unleashed a wave of criticism, but the situation goes much further and involves talent (the actors), agents, cinema owners and other people involved. At this time, no one is not angry about the study’s decision, mainly because the study did not even give advance notice or ask for opinions before making a decision. All the people who work in said company, including some of the executives, had no idea what was going to happen and the news came to them like a bucket of cold water; just as it happened with the public when they heard the news on the Internet.
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A new report from The New York Times (via Slash Film) allows us to know closely how the news was taken by those who are directly involved and everything that has triggered the fact that next year’s big premieres will reach streaming without exception. Everything is more complicated than it seems and the conversation enters the payment to the actors and directors, as well as to the producers who hope to receive the money they would earn in a normal situation. What we will tell you in the following lines shows how everything is developing.
Actors, producers, and other studio talents are upset
Last month, Warner Bros. quietly reached out to Hollywood’s two biggest talent agencies, WME and Creative Artists. The studio wanted to launch the long-awaited Wonder Woman 1984 simultaneously in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service on Christmas Day, and they wanted the star of the movie, Gal Gadot, and the director, Patty Jenkins, agreed to the plan. What both agencies wondered was how are they going to be paid? With Wonder Woman 1984, the agents argued that both Gadot as JenkinsIn addition to others, they had to charge what they probably would have received if the sequel had been released in a traditional way and not during the height of a pandemic. After all, that’s what they signed a contract for, and it was the least they had to get now that the company needs their help promoting it.
The negotiation was tense and Warner Bros. agreed that Gadot Y Jenkins They will each receive more than US $ 10 million, according to two people who spoke to the outlet and know the terms of the arrangement. So far, there seems to be no problem because the studio approached them and they talked about the issue until reaching an agreement in the negotiation, but this did not happen with all those involved in the films that will be released in theaters and HBO Max simultaneously. For this reason, in addition to the upset that the last-minute decision already provoked, many are angry about the preferential treatment women received behind the aftermath of Wonder Woman – 92% since the study has not approached anyone else in the same way.
To prevent news of the nearly 20 film swap from leaking, WarnerMedia kept agencies and talent management companies in the dark for about an hour and a half before issuing a press release, which even caught many by surprise. some of the Warner Bros. executives. Warner Bros. star representatives such as Denzel Washington, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Keanu Reeves, Hugh Jackman Y Angelina Jolie they wanted to know why their clients had been treated worse than Gadot. Talks about a boycott of Warner Bros. began circulating within the Directors Guild of America. Some people angrily began referring to the studio as Former Bros, a play on words for “ex-brother.”
Michael Nathanson, from the firm MoffettNathanson, said in an interview with The New York Times that it will be very difficult for the studio to win back all the talent that they had managed to attract to their productions:
Warner Bros. has long been known as the best home for talent, and that has been a significant competitive advantage. With this move, they enraged the talent they have worked so hard to attract. These are not engineers you can just replace.
Film directors are not happy at all
Director Christopher Nolan has harshly criticized Warner Bros. ‘unexpected decision to launch its 2021 films simultaneously on HBO Max in a statement noting that “some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and biggest movie stars went to bed the night before (at ad) thinking they were working for the best movie studio and woke up to find that they were working for the worst streaming service ”and added that the studio“ had an amazing machine to make a filmmaker’s work go out everywhere ”, but he claims that he is dismantling it to an extent that “does not make economic sense.”
That’s just the reaction of one of the filmmakers who has worked with the studio, but despite the fact that those who have movies ready for release in 2021, which enter the list of movies to be released in theaters and HBO Max, they do not have publicly expressed, sources close to The Hollywood Reporter tell a little more about it. Denis Villeneuve, who is about to release Dune next year, he is among those who believe his film’s theatrical release, following the traditional format, was vitally important. James Gunn, director of The Suicide Squad , “He was not happy when the studio made its shocking announcement by launching a mediocre formula to compensate him and other participants with profits on the film.”
The premiere window and payment to theaters is complicated
Every movie Warner Bros. releases next year will appear on HBO Max for just one month before leaving the service. At that point, the films will pass through the usual “windows” of release, leaving theaters when the interest is gone and going to other points such as those of sales in physical formats. Under WarnerMedia’s plan, HBO Max will pay Warner Bros. a license fee for the 31-day rights. The fee will be equal to the part that the study of the sale of tickets in the United States takes, that is to say 50 percent since the rest goes to theaters. Other factors could influence the rate, including the percentage of rooms that are in operation.
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