NEWS: Warner Bros 2021 movies coming to HBO Max and cinemas simultaneously

BOFH_UK

Active Member
Leave it to WB to make the worst possible decision...

I should probably explain that as I've been pretty vocal on here about Disney+ showing Mulan as a good thing. To be clear: offering an alternative route to see big releases is, by and large, a good thing. It expands the potential audience, gets more eyes on a film and might just help films that would otherwise get swamped by the latest big film (witness the godawful scramble to get the hell away from Endgame last year). Plus, well, pandemic...

But not for free. Not day and date. Now as a paying punter of course extra value is a good thing but we've *seen* what happens when customers start viewing free / cheap as the norm. Just witness the PC gaming market and the madness of Steam sales a few years back that dropped prices on relatively recent AAA titles down to a fiver or less. That's a hole PC gaming has yet to climb out of as people came to consider that sale price the 'fair' price and didn't bother biting any earlier.

My worry here is this doesn't just affect WB. After all these are big tentpole movies with wide audiences... well, hopefully anyway. If the idea takes route that you should be able to see them at home for the price of a HBO Max sub *on the day of theatrical release* that really will be a body blow to cinema. More importantly, perhaps, is how the hell you make films with $100m+ budgets (and that's on the cheap end) viable on a $15 a month subscription service with no lock-in.

Really hope that worry is unfounded and this works out for everyone involved. Want nothing more than to be proved wrong on this one!
 

maverick177uk

Distinguished Member
Leave it to WB to make the worst possible decision...

I should probably explain that as I've been pretty vocal on here about Disney+ showing Mulan as a good thing. To be clear: offering an alternative route to see big releases is, by and large, a good thing. It expands the potential audience, gets more eyes on a film and might just help films that would otherwise get swamped by the latest big film (witness the godawful scramble to get the hell away from Endgame last year). Plus, well, pandemic...

But not for free. Not day and date. Now as a paying punter of course extra value is a good thing but we've *seen* what happens when customers start viewing free / cheap as the norm. Just witness the PC gaming market and the madness of Steam sales a few years back that dropped prices on relatively recent AAA titles down to a fiver or less. That's a hole PC gaming has yet to climb out of as people came to consider that sale price the 'fair' price and didn't bother biting any earlier.

My worry here is this doesn't just affect WB. After all these are big tentpole movies with wide audiences... well, hopefully anyway. If the idea takes route that you should be able to see them at home for the price of a HBO Max sub *on the day of theatrical release* that really will be a body blow to cinema. More importantly, perhaps, is how the hell you make films with $100m+ budgets (and that's on the cheap end) viable on a $15 a month subscription service with no lock-in.

Really hope that worry is unfounded and this works out for everyone involved. Want nothing more than to be proved wrong on this one!
Maybe cut the stars wages will be a start, some people n this world are earning obscene amounts of money, maybe get into the real world if costs are cut.
 

VisionMan

Distinguished Member
I'm sure news will be out shortly for the UK and Europe. Likely it will be SKY in the UK.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
This conversation is in a few threads, so sorry for repeating that I think this is a bold move.

I welcome it now, but I hope it isn't for the long term. As this does have implications in the long run.

Cinema is a unique experience that needs to remain.

On the home viewing note in my opinion this is bad news for us. As HBO Max translates to Sky, and for me Sky/NowTV are the poorest quality of all the services. Even Sky's 4K isn't upto the standard of the other providers for me.

Also not sure how this is going to work sub wise, as Sky requires a contract whereas the others don't. NowTV is 1080p max, and I don't know how Sky Store works without a Sky sub? Someone will know of course.

So for me it's still cinema all the way for these releases.
 

maverick177uk

Distinguished Member
This conversation is in a few threads, so sorry for repeating that I think this is a bold move.

I welcome it now, but I hope it isn't for the long term. As this does have implications in the long run.

Cinema is a unique experience that needs to remain.

On the home viewing note in my opinion this is bad news for us. As HBO Max translates to Sky, and for me Sky/NowTV are the poorest quality of all the services. Even Sky's 4K isn't upto the standard of the other providers for me.

Also not sure how this is going to work sub wise, as Sky requires a contract whereas the others don't. NowTV is 1080p max, and I don't know how Sky Store works without a Sky sub? Someone will know of course.

So for me it's still cinema all the way for these releases.
Topgun !
 

scrowe

Well-known Member
I‘m not saying it’s good or bad, but it’s a leveller. Quality of AV in the home and size of screen is increasing and arguably diminishing a lot of the benefits of cinema, as cinema seat prices and snacks continue to increase. TV quality in terms of creativity, writing and production values is also increasing, and longer form storytelling is potentially more rewarding than 2h movies. So sgain tge benefits of cinema are being eroded there too. Streaming gives you on-demand access to massive archives of content in the home, and premium content in 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos, and eroding timescales between cinema, digital and streaming windows. Streaming services ultimately cuts out the distribution and exhibition partners, letting production companies and studios sell direct and keep all the revenue.

All in all, it’s pretty grim tidings for Cinemas, the Pandemic has accelerated a sea-change in hiw content is distributed and how we consume it. We’ll see cinema chains shrink to ‘theatre’ levels or big-town IMAX for the blockbuster commercial movies, and they will be owned by the Studios or likes of Amazon to showcase and market their content and sell their brand and merchandise.

Again not saying good or bad, just kind of inevitable. But actually the Home Cinema industry could boom.
 

VisionMan

Distinguished Member
I welcome it now, but I hope it isn't for the long term.

These agreements are COVID 19 arrangements only that are free flowing as to anything that happens in the future. And I agree with you. Basically this deals been struck to keep cash flow coming in during this pandemic for both the cinema industry and streaming services, of which the cinema industry is going to take a hefty slice of streaming purchases, which is why both parties agreed to it.
 

maverick177uk

Distinguished Member
If Paramount somehow bypass the cinema and put Top Gun: Maverick on the small screen first, the world has no idea how much hellfire I will rain down upon this earth.
Probably the only film I’m genuinely gutted was never released this year, can’t believe it’s over 5 months since it should’ve been lit, we would be getting the home release now
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
These agreements are COVID 19 arrangements only that are free flowing as to anything that happens in the future. And I agree with you. Basically this deals been struck to keep cash flow coming in during this pandemic for both the cinema industry and streaming services, of which the cinema industry is going to take a hefty slice of streaming purchases, which is why both parties agreed to it.

As long as cinema's stay alive, that's the most important thing for me. Welcome news about the profits therefore.

I can't imagine what it would be like without any blockbusters on the big screen. As that's what is at stake.

Anyone in doubt should think about what we get now straight to the likes of Netflix and Amazon. And Sky productions like that Dave Bautista one at the stadium!! Because I think that'd be the frightful future without cinema's!
 

kungfuman

Active Member
surprised by the move considering tenet did not break even with its cinema takings which was better than expected considering the restrictions at the time. and mulan i believe was loss making for disney too.
 

Plektrum

Active Member
This still appears to be a US only initiative - Jason Kilar just did an interview and indicated globally it would still be a normal theatrical rollout.

I think in regards to this country, I expect it will be business as usual but I also think the speculation about WW84 and Sky negotiating an early window could be key here - whatever comes out of that (whether it's a PVOD release in a month or a SVOD release on Sky) might give us an idea of a potential model for this country if cinema openings remain erratic going into 2021.
 

scrowe

Well-known Member
I can't imagine what it would be like without any blockbusters on the big screen. A
Anyone in doubt should think about what we get now straight to the likes of Netflix and Amazon. And Sky productions like that Dave Bautista one at the stadium!! Because I think that'd be the frightful future without cinema's!

There’ll always be blockbusters on the bigscreen, but they make their money now in a 2 week global release window. With the demise of physical media, digital purchases will also get skipped, and each studio or network of studios will get direct subscriptions. There have always been low to mid budget movies that never see the cinema, and were straight to vhs or dvd. Now there’s straight to streaming instead.

Lets say Amazon, Disney, Netflix and AT&T take over the prime location cinemas. They can show premieres of their content 1 month before it hits their streaming platforms, and subscribers can buy a £5 ticket. The lobbies can have merchandise stores, no more expensive high street, or shopping centre stores for Disney or Warner. And they can run special festival type content or franchise weeks, see Die Hard 1&2 on the big screen in the 2 week run up to Christmas, catalogue movies can be big screen special events.
 

Fillumgeek

Well-known Member
Potentially this is ground-shakingly huge for cinema.

I'm a cinema lover and defender all the way. The "Pictures" came first. The event of going out and sitting in the dark with strangers it came first. And over 20 years or, I do also appreciate my AV kit at home as well.

Much will now depend on how films like Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow, Dune etc actually DO make their money.

Yes Wonder Woman will be out here in cinemas but it won't be a big hit, with distancing measures and the virus still here. Other studios will look at the streaming model and you're not putting the genie back in the box there. I've said it before but there is one powerful figure who will have a say in this over the next few years (in favour of HUGE cinemas)...


James Cameron.
 

scrowe

Well-known Member
This still appears to be a US only initiative - Jason Kilar just did an interview and indicated globally it would still be a normal theatrical rollout.

I think in regards to this country, I expect it will be business as usual but I also think the speculation about WW84 and Sky negotiating an early window could be key here - whatever comes out of that (whether it's a PVOD release in a month or a SVOD release on Sky) might give us an idea of a potential model for this country if cinema openings remain erratic going into 2021.

or do what I just did and subscribe to HBO Max, via AppleTV and a VPN.
 

VisionMan

Distinguished Member
or do what I just did and subscribe to HBO Max, via AppleTV and a VPN.

No. Thats not the way to go. Cinema is still THE number 1 experience for watching a film/movie and its good to see the studios supporting them with this deal.
 

scrowe

Well-known Member
No. Thats not the way to go. Cinema is still THE number 1 experience for watching a film/movie and its good to see the studios supporting them with this deal.
I don’t disagree, and certainly true for something like Wonder Woman, but I’m not convinced we’ll get WW in cinema at this point, it was more a counter to having to wait and pay £20 or more via Sky premium rental in January. Sorry, but WW at home on Xmas day in 4K HDR Atmos via HBO Max, amongst all the other content on HBO Max over the Xmas period, for $15 is worth the punt.
 

VisionMan

Distinguished Member
I don’t disagree, and certainly true for something like Wonder Woman, but I’m not convinced we’ll get WW in cinema at this point, it was more a counter to having to wait and pay £20 or more via Sky premium rental in January. Sorry, but WW at home on Xmas day in 4K HDR Atmos via HBO Max, amongst all the other content on HBO Max over the Xmas period, for $15 is worth the punt.

Ahhh... Now I get what you mean. To see it on the day of release.

Me? I'd rather wait for the blu ray as I think that will get an accelerated release date as well, blu ray and 4K discs are far better quality than streaming and are yours to keep forever.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
There’ll always be blockbusters on the bigscreen, but they make their money now in a 2 week global release window. With the demise of physical media, digital purchases will also get skipped, and each studio or network of studios will get direct subscriptions. There have always been low to mid budget movies that never see the cinema, and were straight to vhs or dvd. Now there’s straight to streaming instead.

Lets say Amazon, Disney, Netflix and AT&T take over the prime location cinemas. They can show premieres of their content 1 month before it hits their streaming platforms, and subscribers can buy a £5 ticket. The lobbies can have merchandise stores, no more expensive high street, or shopping centre stores for Disney or Warner. And they can run special festival type content or franchise weeks, see Die Hard 1&2 on the big screen in the 2 week run up to Christmas, catalogue movies can be big screen special events.

You may well be right, certainly not going to dismiss what is a very real possibility.

Personally I'm not keen on the direction of streaming, although I have no choice naturally but to participate.

I just hope that studios still put out the blockbusters and don't try to consolidate to satisfy streaming demand. At the expense of the big screen experience which I still think is vital for the industry. Even if it's crap (as many can be), it's still an event for people and families that would be sorely missed.
 

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