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Monday, December 7, 2020

Legendary Reportedly Very Unhappy About WB’s Decision to Bring ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ to HBO Max

Warner Bros. made the *massive* announcement just last week that they’re bringing their entire current 2021 theatrical slate to both theaters and the WarnerMedia streaming service HBO Max at the very same time, and that includes huge films like Godzilla vs. Kong, Dune, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, James Wan’s Malignant, Mortal Kombat and more.

Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, said in a statement last week, “No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021. With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners in exhibition with a steady pipeline of world-class films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films. We see it as a win-win for film lovers and exhibitors, and we’re extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances.”

Jason Kilar, CEO, WarnerMedia added, “After considering all available options and the projected state of moviegoing throughout 2021, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate the next 12 months. More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these films. Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone. We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”

That all sounds great, yeah? Well, here’s where things get messy. According to various reports that came out in the wake of last week’s news, production company Legendary Pictures isn’t exactly happy about WB’s decision to bring their movies Godzilla vs. Kong and Dune to HBO Max on the same day as theaters, and they may even be taking legal action in response.

Mike Fleming Jr. explains on Deadline this morning, “I’m hearing that Legendary Entertainment either has or will send legal letters to Warner Bros as soon as today, challenging the decision to put the Denis Villenueve-directed Dune into the HBO Max deal, and maybe Godzilla Vs Kong as well. On the latter, Legendary reportedly had Netflix ready to pull the film from Warner Bros for around $250 million, before WarnerMedia blocked it. Sources said Legendary had no advance notice before last week’s announcement that both Dune and Godzilla Vs. Kong were part of the HBO Max plan.”

“Legendary certainly seems to have the right to challenge WarnerMedia on its decision: Legendary and its partners provided 75% of the $165 million or so net budget of Dune, the Denis Villenueve-directed adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel that was envisioned to be the first of multiple films exploiting the six-novel series. It put up a similar amount of the funding on the Godzilla Vs. Kong film,” Fleming Jr. continues. “Will the long term viability of the franchises be tarnished by starting out as an HBO Max offering? It’s the same question the industry is asking about Wonder Woman. Legendary wouldn’t comment. I’m told there are three other films that have a right to believe movies they majority financed are being served up to provide a steroid shot to HBO Max’s paid subscriber base by undoing deals that were made for theatrical release and the traditional revenue waterfall.”

How this whole thing works is that Warner Bros. controls the releases of both Godzilla vs. Kong and Dune, even if Legendary put up most of the money to get them made.

Godzilla vs. Kong had most recently been set for release on May 21, 2021, but at this time we can’t be sure the plan is still for the film to release in theaters/HBO Max on that date.

More as we learn it….



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/movie/3643840/legendary-reportedly-unhappy-wbs-decision-bring-godzilla-vs-kong-hbo-max/

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