A year later Where the film business was defined almost entirely by pause and delay, Warner Bros. took decisive action on 3 December.
It was only a few weeks after the studio announced that in the face of the increasing number of coronoviruses, it would not delay the re-release of “Wonder Woman 1984’s Christmas”. Instead, it will launch the film in theaters simultaneously And on HBO Max, The new streaming service from its parent company WarnerMedia.
Although media / telecom executives and Wall Street investors are keen to make a big investment for a streaming-focused future, they will expect to see real gains soon.
It turned out that this decision – already described A transformative moment in the industryAnd potentially The beginning of the end for theaters – It was just the beginning. On December 3, Warner Bros. announced that it would Follow the exact same strategy for every film on your theatrical slate In 2021.
It was welcome news for moviegoers eager to see “In Heights” (almost delayed from the first pandemic already) or “Doon” (Ditto) at the end. But when “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot began adopting this approach, announcing that it was time to share their film with fans, other Warner Bros. filmmakers were less enthusiastic.
For example, “The Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan Complained that Warner Bros. officials “don’t even understand what they are missing.” He claimed that the filmmakers had gone to bed “thinking that they were working for the biggest movie studio and to find out that they were working for the worst streaming service.” (Nolan’s “Tenit” was released in theaters, and its disappointing box office number, especially in the US, probably played a big role in Warner’s decision.)
And in A guest column for diversity, “Doon” director Dennis Villanueve raised his finger on AT&T, which acquired Time Warner several years ago. He suggested that the streaming-focused strategy had less to do with the epidemic and the overlapping launch of HBO Max in summer.
“A failure so far with the launch of HBO Max, AT&T decides to sacrifice Warner Bros.” Slate in a desperate attempt to grab audience attention throughout 2021, ”Villeneuve wrote.
More than a week after the Warner Bros. announcement, Disney had a big presentation of its own, Ambitious streaming plans for the next few years, 10 Marvel shows, 10 Star Wars shows, 15 Disney / Pixar series and 15 Disney / Pixar feature films, which are in the pipeline for Disney +.
Disney’s announcements were not greeted by Warner with as much turmoil and controversy – it did not represent a wholesale change in its theatrical strategy (Marvel Studios’ film “Black Widow” is still a traditional release in May Is set for, for example, and vice versa WarnerMedia, Its announcements did not blind the filmmakers and threw their compensation into question.
Still, the message for the industry and the public was the same: While Disney isn’t leaving theaters at all, it clearly sees streaming as its future, with studios offering any and every intellectual property (“Turner and Hooch”) Is ready to reboot! “Family Robinson to Attract Swiss Potential Customers”! An “foreign” TV series! “.