Christopher Nolan believes that we should think long term about the theater business.
We reported last week that Warner Bros. would be releasing some of its most popular titles on HBO Max in 2021, to be released on the Streamer for 30 days while having them in theaters at the same time. This was an unprecedented move aimed at making HBO Max a more relevant streamer and positioning it for the future. It gave the company a boost in its stock and repositioned it in the market. The parent company AT&T was also very happy.
Actually, Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, told CNBC, "If we start our days and end our customer-centered days, we will lead the industry."
Now ET Online has made the change to Nolan, who responded to Warner's move. Christopher Nolan told them this:
"Oh, I mean, disbelief. Especially the way they did it. There's such controversy because they haven't told anyone. By 2021 they have some of the best filmmakers in the world, they have some of the greatest Stars of the world who have worked for years in some cases on those projects that are very close to their hearts and intended for big screen experiences. They are supposed to be out there for the widest possible audience … And now they are becoming loss leaders without consultation Used for streaming service – for the fledgling streaming service. So there's a lot of controversy. It's very, very, very, very chaotic. Real bait and … Yeah, it's not how filmmakers are , Stars and people who gave these people a lot for these projects. They deserve to be consulted and spoken about what would happen to their work. "
Obviously, Nolan didn't crush any words.
If anyone can be sympathetic to filmmakers, he is. Tenet was supposed to be the summer's biggest blockbuster, but the film shifted when the pandemic peaked, and while it was still doing some theaters, many couldn't enjoy it in traditional theaters. It goes to VOD on Dec. 15 and has only made around $ 300 million at the box office, making it a Nolan low for the decade and perhaps the last 20 years.
As for the bait-and-switch angle, it's been a very strange time in business. According to multiple reports, WB made these decisions without calling agents, managers, directors, or stars. People literally woke up and found that they were part of this deal.
That made people angry and could have burned many bridges in the industry.
The films mentioned by WB, while still having cinema windows, are not exclusive – and that affects how much people are paid. Without knowing how filmmakers are paid, I can see that most of the blockbuster attendees are sad that they don't get a big box office. And being angry too, the experience was taken away without warning.
Still, there will no doubt be millions of people who watch online because we are hungry for content. That has to make people feel good, if only slightly.
It's hard to predict when the majority of people will be vaccinated and ready to return to theaters. So this is really a tough decision for the studio. But let's not fool ourselves – WB has always tended to do this, and speeding it up has to be part of an internal plan. It is a pity that they did not think it appropriate to involve others in the decision.
Even so, I wonder how this will affect her relationship with Nolan, who has been very loyal to theaters in the past, and you can assume it will in the future. For his part, Nolan believes theaters are bouncing back on a massive scale and need big films like this to help them.
""In the long term, I think all studios know that the movie theater experience will recover and in the long run it will be a very important part of the ecosystem. What you have on our business right now is a lot of using the pandemic as an excuse for some kind of wrangling over short term benefits. And it's really unfortunate. It's not the way to do business, and it's not best for the health of our industry. But when the theaters are back and people go back to the movies, when the vaccine is in place and the federal government is taking an appropriate health response, I am very optimistic about the long-term prospects for the industry. People love going to the movies and they will be able to go again.""
This is all interesting, and we'll have to wait and see if this is the beginning of the end for the theater or just a bump on an ever-changing road.
Let us know what you think about this and about Nolan's words in our comments section.