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Christopher Nolan Rips HBO Max as "Worst Streaming Service," Denounces Warner Bros.' Plan

Biff

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“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.

Added Nolan: “Warner Bros. had an incredible machine for getting a filmmaker’s work out everywhere, both in theaters and in the home, and they are dismantling it as we speak. They don’t even understand what they’re losing. Their decision makes no economic sense, and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction.”

According to a source, Emmerich tried to soothe In the Heights director Jon M. Chu by pointing out that the movie was still getting a “global theatrical release.” But industry insiders say the studio is pretending that pirates won’t pounce as soon as these films are streaming on HBO Max. As soon as one does, there's an “excellent version of the movie everywhere immediately,” notes one industry veteran.

WarnerMedia’s decision to attack without warning may be understandable given the blowback that was foreseeable. But to many insiders, blindsiding talent and their reps seemed like an insult. Sources say studio president Courtenay Valenti was the only Warner exec who dared to speak up about the need to reach out to key creative partners, but she was quickly hushed.

Much of this outrage will surely be mitigated if WarnerMedia is prepared to write big checks to all the profit participants in the films that have been moved. “It’s a critical time for them, at the highest level, to make this right with the talent,” says one rep. But agents say the guidance that’s been provided so far suggests that the company isn’t planning to offer what is now called "Wonder Woman money," in honor of the rich deal the studio gave profit participants in Wonder Woman 1984 when that film was moved to HBO Max.

WarnerMedia had to shovel tens of millions at Gal Godot and the other key players because the company wants a third in the series. But that sets the bar high. Sources say even Suicide Squad director James Gunn, who is platform-agnostic, was not pleased when the studio followed its shocking announcement by floating a lackluster formula for compensating him and other profit participants in the film.

At minimum, WarnerMedia has opened the door to arduous negotiations with the major agencies over compensation for multiple profit participants in 17 movies. Did the Warners numbers crunchers, in projecting the cost of premiering its entire 2021 slate on HBO Max, factor in the cost of widely anticipated legal challenges? Industry insiders believe WarnerMedia may have opened itself up to those, especially as it is selling the movies to its own streaming platform when none of the profit participants has had a chance to figure out what Apple or Netflix might have paid for the opportunity to stream their projects day-and-date. Allegations of self-dealing are almost sure to follow.

Many think Legendary will be the first to file a legal challenge. The company fired off a previous lawyer letter after Netflix offered something north of $225 million for the rights to Godzilla vs. Kong, which has seen its release date moved from March 2020 to November to May 2021. Though Legendary financed 75 percent of the movie, Warners had the power to block the sale and did. Legendary asked whether the studio would then give it a deal to stream the movie on HBO Max — and got no clear answer until its executives woke up one December morning to find that the movie was going day-and-date on the service without the benefit of a negotiation. Legendary’s even more expensive picture, Dune, is getting the same treatment. The other companies that finance Warners movies, Village Roadshow and Bron, are also said to be aggrieved parties that might end up going to court.

Sounds like quite the shitshow is about to unfold.
 

Pumpkin Seeds

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HBO Max is pretty lame. No HDR 4k options. Isn't included in HBO streaming, but is its own thing. Have to jump through other access points to get it since they haven't set up deals with major streaming devices. Yada yada.
 

SirKicksalot

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Netflix offered something north of $225 million for the rights to Godzilla vs. Kong, which has seen its release date moved from March 2020 to November to May 2021. Though Legendary financed 75 percent of the movie, Warners had the power to block the sale and did.

IT WAS JUST A JOKE BRO I NEVER THOUGHT YOU WOULD USE THAT POWER


 

OneBigPuss

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He is acting like a spoiled brat.Warner went with his plan to release Tenet in theatres and it flopped.Now he's throwing tantrums because of what?Movies will still be in theatres plus hbo max.New movies will probably have smaller budget now so i think that what hurts him most.Rich people bitching that they will be less rich and will have more restrictions when it comes to production.Sooner or later (when covid is over) they will go back to the old plan anyway.
 
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HBO Max is pretty lame. No HDR 4k options. Isn't included in HBO streaming, but is its own thing. Have to jump through other access points to get it since they haven't set up deals with major streaming devices. Yada yada.

It's coming to more devices now I believe, Wonder Woman will have 4K and HDR
 
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Alcibiades

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Yeah it is elitist, but being a movie theater snob I don't mind the pushback. I get the want from fans to be able to skip theaters, but I think anything to be able to keep the theatrical experience alive for longer I would support, including delaying movies a bit longer to make sure they can make the big screen exclusively for a time.

After the Trolls World Tour $100 million dollar VOD hit, I don't think the other VOD-only releases have been proving as lucrative. It makes sense to increase their HBO Max base, but the profitability of each movie will go down.

Cutting out the box office profits (box office -> premium VOD -> blu-ray) means giving the movie two pushes rather than three.
 

ManaByte

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cryptoadam

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Its all about money.

Everyones contract is probably mainly based on Cinema gross, with smaller amounts for back end stuff like streaming/blu ray etc... But now everything is going streaming. Legendary sounds like they are getting screwed here. They paid for most of the movie WB is screwing them by putting it on their own streaming service.
 
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ManaByte

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Its all about money.

Everyones contract is probably mainly based on Cinema gross, with smaller amounts for back end stuff like streaming/blu ray etc... But now everything is going streaming. Legendary sounds like they are getting screwed here. They paid for most of the movie WB is screwing them by putting it on their own streaming service.

Contracts are 100% what this is about. That's why Disney announced they were detaching the creative side from the distribution side. What that meant was that going forward contracts for movies won't guarantee a theatrical release. WB didn't do that before moving all of their movies to HBO Max so people are pissed.
 

cryptoadam

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Well if I was going to lose millions of dollars I would be pissed too.

Even if its for pretentious reasons his movies will make less money on worse contracts because of this.
 
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DeadMansParty

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He's not wrong. It feels cheap budget to me and HBO needs to offer way more. The app feels barebones and looks like a college kid project.
 

FullMetalx117

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Welcome to the new world where quality of content no longer matters but quantity does. Reality is most don’t care about quality, they just want some background noise.
You know most people didnt really care for game of thrones/breaking bad story. They just wanted the action sequences
There’s also a reason why young Sheldon/Big Bang theory gets like 20-30 million views per episode. That’s the crowd the new hbo is gunning for and the crowd Netflix already has
 
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O-N-E

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That's why his films look better than your digital garbo

Nah.

There's a reason Arri Alexa is leading the industry right now. Beautiful footage out of the box.

You can literally just slap a filter on to give it the film grain look like.

For archival purposes, yeah, film can be blown up way bigger down the line, but it doesn't have a particular edge when going up against contemporary movies.
 

xrnzaaas

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From what I've read HBO Max needs to improve in terms of the technicals (better app, higher max image quality), but other than that it's the only reasonable thing to do right now. People won't be going back to the cinemas in numbers which would justify releasing big budget movies only in cinemas on release day. Not to mention the situation is different in each country - in some the fight against corona is progressing better, in some worse.
 

TriSuit666

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He is acting like a spoiled brat.Warner went with his plan to release Tenet in theatres and it flopped.Now he's throwing tantrums because of what?Movies will still be in theatres plus hbo max.New movies will probably have smaller budget now so i think that what hurts him most.Rich people bitching that they will be less rich and will have more restrictions when it comes to production.Sooner or later (when covid is over) they will go back to the old plan anyway.

No, he isn’t. He’s a Cinema purist, which’s why it was literally him that forced Tenet onto the big screen.

In fact I would have thought it odd of him NOT to make massive fuss about it.
 

OneBigPuss

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No, he isn’t. He’s a Cinema purist, which’s why it was literally him that forced Tenet onto the big screen.

In fact I would have thought it odd of him NOT to make massive fuss about it.
Studio always have a final say in that matter so like i said he wanted and they went with it and it didn't pan out.They had to do something and they chose to promote new streaming service.Warner was always questionable when it comes to their decisions but i think this one is understandable even if it looks bad.
 

INCUBASE

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No, he isn’t. He’s a Cinema purist, which’s why it was literally him that forced Tenet onto the big screen.

In fact I would have thought it odd of him NOT to make massive fuss about it.

He films on imax cameras for a reason
 

TriSuit666

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Studio always have a final say in that matter so like i said he wanted and they went with it and it didn't pan out.They had to do something and they chose to promote new streaming service.Warner was always questionable when it comes to their decisions but i think this one is understandable even if it looks bad.

Nah, this is simply AT&T wanting to chase the money - and they don't give a fuck about giving away their product to a service (in this case cinemas) where 'their' potential profit is lost to something they dont' control.

Same reason why DC Comics is going the way of the dodo.

It's a poor decision, made in a shortest of short term forecasts, that has effectively written the death note for theatrical releases.
 

thefool

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It's good him and his peers are putting pressure on warner. The future of cinema is...piracy.
 

Fox Mulder

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People arent going to theaters dude, and WB is still providing the option for all those movies.

Studios can only sit on these big budget blockbusters for so long and it’s presumably costing them money on loans. Might as well try to bump up a streaming service.
 
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.hacked

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Back in the day I loved going to the movies.

I remember seeing The Lord of the Rings and Matrix movies dozens of times in theaters.

yeah also was under $5 a ticket at time.

last movie I saw in theaters was Star Wars Rise of Skywalker, ticket price $46 for 2

That would be dam near $100 if I brougt my kids, when in 30-60 days I can just own the movie for $15.

I look forward to the death of over priced moive theaters.

People stopped going to arcades to play games about time we stop going to theaters to watch movies.
 

sol_bad

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Back in the day I loved going to the movies.

I remember seeing The Lord of the Rings and Matrix movies dozens of times in theaters.

yeah also was under $5 a ticket at time.

last movie I saw in theaters was Star Wars Rise of Skywalker, ticket price $46 for 2

That would be dam near $100 if I brougt my kids, when in 30-60 days I can just own the movie for $15.

I look forward to the death of over priced moive theaters.

People stopped going to arcades to play games about time we stop going to theaters to watch movies.

It's not the same audibly or visually,
It's great that you hate the cinemas but there are millions of people who love it. The haters still get their films at home, just let the people who love the cinema enjoy the cinema.
If cinema dies, big budgeted films die. And if you hate big budgeted films, good for you. There are millions that love them so let us see them.
 
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thefool

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It's not the same audibly or visually,
It's great that you hate the cinemas but there are millions of people who love it. The haters still get their films at home, just let the people who love the cinema enjoy the cinema.
If cinema dies, big budgeted films die. And if you hate big budgeted films, good for you. There are millions that love them so let us see them.

This.

Ain't nobody making you spend money on a movie theater. Every movie is, eventually, accessible in a format easily digestible at home. But the selfishness of wanting a parallel release will, not only disrupt the industry, but lead to the death of theaters. Sure, big budget cinema will always have its place there with studios pushing their releases, but its going to be pretty hard to catch some lesser films in there without the exclusivity of only being played on a theater. We already have this issue now with big chains not playing certain movies, imagine when there's barely any chain.

You don't like it, just wait a while. I'm all for closing the gap of that window tho, although lots of people forget their neighborhood ain't the world and several films have spaced release dates worldwide.
 
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FunkMiller

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Do fuck off, Chris. I adore your movies, but your pretentious bullshit is hard to ignore. You wanted people to go out in the middle of a pandemic to watch your time travel spy movie, like it was a piece of unmissable high art that could only be appreciated in a picture house. It had a plot out of a Doctor Who episode. Hush up there, chap.
 
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thefool

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Nolan biggest issue, is his films sound mixing

Horrific alot of the time

I would say it's one of his best qualities, actually. That's why you can't really replicate the experience at home. Tenet felt like a fucking concert and I loved it for what it tried to be. Bold, innovative and loud.

Banes voice and tenets mix disagree

Bane voice actually sounded great in the prologue but some dudes complained online and warner asked him to change. Bane is what happens when you listen to amateurs.
 

INCUBASE

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I would say it's one of his best qualities, actually. That's why you can't really replicate the experience at home. Tenet felt like a fucking concert and I loved it for what it tried to be. Bold, innovative and loud.



Bane voice actually sounded great in the prologue but some dudes complained online and warner asked him to change. Bane is what happens when you listen to amateurs.

Well there's the issue then, the film has been mixed purely for imax or cinemas.

Thats pretty limiting. Sound/scores is one of the main things that sells a film to me sometimes, at home his mixes aren't up to par, some films I have to either smash the volume up, or just use subtitles to hear what people are saying. His films are the only films I have to do this with

Apart from that, I dont really have any other complaints
 

INCUBASE

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At the end of the day, if multiple outlets are all asking why tenet sound is so muffled, then there's a bit of an issue. having not seem tenet yet, I cant really give a full opinion, shame he could ofmmuffled bales batman lisp

We'll agree to disagree
 

ManofOne

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Does anyone get the feeling Nolan prob has sex with his films after making it? The way he describes it sometimes .......
 
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At the end of the day, if multiple outlets are all asking why tenet sound is so muffled, then there's a bit of an issue. having not seem tenet yet, I cant really give a full opinion, shame he could ofmmuffled bales batman lisp

We'll agree to disagree

Nolan made a creative choice with TENET and having people complain about that doesn't make it objectively have issues. The critics weren't fans of Blade Runner or The Thing at release, who cares. I'm not sure what the point of that video is, is it that you preferred the original version? I did, too, I don't like bending to public opinion from an artist but he probably only had so much leeway with a property like Batman.
 

INCUBASE

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Nolan made a creative choice with TENET and having people complain about that doesn't make it objectively have issues. The critics weren't fans of Blade Runner or The Thing at release, who cares. I'm not sure what the point of that video is, is it that you preferred the original version? I did, too, I don't like bending to public opinion from an artist but he probably only had so much leeway with a property like Batman.

If people can't understand what people are saying, id say that's a bit of an issue

But if you prefer the more muffled version, more power to you, not like dark Knight rises is even a film worth watching twice anyway
 
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