After the recent announcement of the Warner Bros. about the new release model, the Directors Guild of America has written a critical letter to the studios to discuss the release plan of all its films on HBO Max on the same day as in theatres.
Theater owners and filmmakers have criticized the plan of Warner Bros. The industry speculates that the new model will destroy the theaters already affected by low ticket sales and production setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The production studio announced a week ago that it would release some of its big-budget blockbuster movies such as Godzilla vs.Kong, Dune, and the fourth Matrix on its streaming platform HBO Max on the same day in theatres. Many suggest that the decision is one of the worst ones and will kill the already crippled theatre business. Some critics are also predicting that even though Warner Bros. is calling it the release plan of 2021, the model may extend beyond that, and it would lead to creating a monopoly.
However, the executives of Warner Bros. at AT&T Inc. stuck to their point that the plan is a short-term fix and does not represent a new business model.
Although the studio’s action delivers a different message, before the release of Wonder Woman 1984, it will provide a discounted subscription plan to the consumer. It has also announced that all the movies would be streamed on HBO Max with no additional charge with no delay. Warner Bros. made all the public announcements without consulting or previously informed the other major players in the industry.
According to THR, the Directors Guild of America is criticizing the plan of Warner Bros. and sent a letter requesting a meeting to discuss their complaints. The Guild is frustrated as in the November meeting, the CEO of Warner Bros. Ann Sarnoff discussed their future plan. She assured that the studio would figure out the role of HBO Max by keeping the fair market value of movies. Now, many feel that the announcement is contradicting her words at that meeting. Hence the Directors Guild of America is requesting another conversation with the CEO.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, the film industry is facing a huge backlash. Even before the pandemic hit, the theater business was suffering due to the increasing popularity of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, etc. The new model of Warner Bros. will continue the pain of executives and talents despite having the potential benefits during this social distancing period.
However, the Guild’s letter is not the first vocalized criticism against the studio’s decision. Previously, the long time collaborator, Christopher Nolan, also attacked the selfish strategy of Warner Bros. Many other famous figures speak up in opposition to the decision. Hopefully, Warner Bros. make some changes in their new model so that everyone can run their business smoothly and make a profit.