2020 has been a crazy year in every way possible, the movie industry being no exception. In a shockingly unprecedented move Warner Brothers, the owners of WB Studios and HBO Max, decided to move their ENTIRE 2021 movie slate to a dual release in theaters AND HBO Max at the same time. (As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter)
There are some MAJOR blockbusters on this list. I feel really guilty being able to watch movies I was already going to pay to see in theaters, for free. I obviously love it and think it'll be huge for the future of movie releases and model how big studios of the future will profit of their movies. Titles like Wonder Woman 84, Dune, Matrix 4, Suicide Squad, and Godzilla vs Kong are all movies that would usually reel in the studio close to a BILLION dollars EACH. On the other side of the issue is the filmmakers. They worked most likely their entire careers to get to the point of writing, producing, directing or editing these pictures which they film for the big screen and theater experience, to just be easily available to every television in the world from day one. Again, cool for accessibility but bad for that exclusive experience. Christopher Nolan has been chiming in on the issue specifically regarding Dune, and doubling down on some pretty strong takes.
“Do they own it absolutely, because they paid for it or they financed it? And that is not a purely legalistic question; it’s a question of ethics as well. It’s a question of partnership and collaboration. They did not speak to those filmmakers. They did not consult them about what their plans were for their work. And I felt that somebody needed to point out that that wasn’t the right way to treat those filmmakers.” - Christopher Nolan
In combination with slight resistance to Warner Brothers' move, the movie theaters are also taking a stand. Many theaters are now considering slashing their prices for these films and attempting to compete and make some money back. Completely expected this for the Space Jam movie, since it's going to be the fraud sellout version of the original (very similar to Lebron himself), but not from the rest. This would completely change the expected finances for WB Studio and possibly force their hand. Have to hand it to the small business owners, even during a pandemic, they're willing to risk their livelihood to help fuck cooperate Hollywood over. Love it. I'll be watching the movies probably all on HBO Max personally because I'm broke just like most everyone I know so maybe Warner Brothers will still have the last laugh.