When Warner Bros. made the announcement that they would be releasing WW84 in theaters and on HBO Max, many fans were excited regarding the options. Those within the film industry are divisive at best. Last week the Russo brothers gave a nod to the move saying that it is the future of the industry. That is not a shared feeling. LRM’s Manny Gomez wrote yesterday about Christopher Nolan blasting the WB for their HBO Max releases (which can be seen in the related article link). To add on to the disparity regarding to stream or not to stream, Legendary Pictures has stepped in to possibly sue WB over the HBO Max deal.
In the WB’s decision it appears as if they put the cart before the horse and did not inform everyone who should have a say in the choice. Or, if not a say, at least a heads up. Legendary helped finance films such as Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong. The issue is that WB did not inform Legendary that the HBO Max deal would include its entire 2021 film release.
Legendary want to negotiate with WB hoping for a more lucrative agreement due to the decisions. They would like to avoid suing the WB, but have not taken it out the picture. WB could possibly buy the films from Legendary, but the specifics of a possible new deal, or lawsuit, are currently kept under wraps. Variety poses that it could more than likely revolve around a breach of contract.
The two companies have worked together numerous times with well known franchises such as The Dark Knight films, The Hangover, and Godzilla films. These were met with great success. With Legendary helping to finance large portions of some of these films, it is difficult to see the WB ending this relationship in this climate. But, have they shot themselves in the foot by not keeping them informed?
The primary frustration is that Legendary had no say in any of the decisions concerning their titles. At one point, Netflix discussed the possible sale of Godzilla vs. Kong for $250 million, but WarnerMedia (WB’s parent company) nixed the arrangement. Combine that with many directors attached to the projects favoring the theatrical releases over streaming, and what once initially seemed like a shoo-in idea is now much more complicated.
Only time will tell what type of repercussions WB’s theater/streaming releases will bring. What are your thoughts? Are you in favor of the theater/streaming combo.? Do you think Legendary has every right to possibly sue the WB? Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!