It’s a damning quote by Christopher Nolan lobbed at Warner Bros. over angst at their move to day and date release all 17 movies planned in 2021. Read it below, and we’ll react after the jump.
“Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service,” filmmaker Christopher Nolan, whose relationship with Warners dates back to Insomnia in 2002, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.Christopher Nolan Rips HBO Max as “Worst Streaming Service,” Denounces Warner Bros.’ Plan | Hollywood Reporter
Going to respectfully disagree that HBO Max is the “worst streaming service.” Peacock, CBS All Access and Apple TV+ are all worse. The latter is much worse. AMC+? Guessing that’s worse. Disney+ is slightly better than HBO Max. The massive number of subscribers they acquired are due to their deep archive, iconic children’s movies and The Mandalorian, not because they’ve regularly been adding movies like HBO has been since they launched.
Netflix and Amazon are way ahead of HBO Max. The streaming game isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon — unless you’re Quibi, of course. They had slightly better than zero chance of not sucking.
I think the speculation that we need to see where HBO Max shakes out in the streaming game a year from now is a more reasoned approach. I get how the creative types are up in arms about this move but they often don’t have our best interest at hearts. Most movies stars don’t. Christopher Nolan might care somewhat that we get to see his movie the way he intended it to be seen, but he’s not paying for everything.
While Nolan is crying for all the rich “movie stars” he should cry first for the many, many people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic and don’t give two craps what Warner Bros. does to the movie theater business. A very small percentage of filmmakers are where Nolan is at financially, so we do feel for some filmmakers.
But you know what’s causing additional unnecessary pain, Mr. Nolan? The freaking budgets! If the budgets for movies were more reasonable, there wouldn’t need to be scrambling around by Warner Bros. to go day and date. They could be patient with a bunch of sub 10 million budget movies. They can’t sit forever on $100+ million budget movies waiting for theaters to open again.
Nobody knows what 2021 will bring. If it’s more of 2020 or greatly improved thanks to the vaccine. Even not very conservative estimates of when the vaccine will be heavily deployed is mid to late 2021. Therefore, we are looking at more of the same. Remember, the first quarter of 2020 was largely unaffected by the pandemic.
Should we cry for the movie stars and filmmakers and their backroom deals that were spoiled because movie lovers are being given a choice over where they want to watch new movies in 2021? We’re not going to, sorry.
I do see how Warner Bros. might have some legal challenges over their move from those who helped finance the movies — Legendary is being reported as one company already drawing up legal papers — thinking they would play the traditional theatrical window game. The problem is the pandemic has changed tradition. Who knows what the tangled morass of legal contracts over movie distribution involve for the average moviegoer. We just want to see the new movies where we want, when we want, for a fair price.