Understandably, cinema owners weren’t too happy when they heard that Warner Bros. plans to release their entire slate of 2021 films on HBO Max the same day that they arrive in theaters. While it might be financially beneficial to a lot of people as a family of say, three or four, would be much better off paying the monthly subscription fee for the platform rather than shelling out for several tickets, the decision has caused a lot of commotion in the industry. Not only with theater chains, but many of the talent attached to the projects that are now headed to the streaming service.
Legendary Pictures, in particular, have been kicking up a big fuss, and may even be launching legal action now, given that they were responsible for a good chunk of the financing for both Godzilla vs. Kong and Dune. In fact, they were going to sell the former movie to Netflix for $250 million before WB put a stop to the deal, only to announce shortly after that it’d be going to HBO Max.
But it seems there’s now a chance that the monster mash-up may be changing course. According to a new report from Deadline, if Warner Bros. doesn’t pay $250 million to Legendary, then they may not be able to bring Godzilla vs. Kong to their streaming site.
Apparently, the two companies are discussing a new deal where Dune would be kept as a traditional theatrical release to help “maximize franchise potential.” It’s also not set to be with us until October 2021, at which point, life is expected to have returned to at least some sense of normality.
Godzilla vs. Kong, meanwhile, could still be dropped into cinemas and put on HBO Max, but only if Warner Bros. pays “around $250 million or more” to Legendary. Apparently, the production company is open to the theatrical/HBO Max model since the pic is due to hit in May and COVID-19 will probably still be impacting things. But only if they get more money for it going to streaming. Which makes sense.
Right now, it remains unclear what’ll happen, but as we head into the new year, it’ll be fascinating to watch how Warner Bros.’ bold decision ends up playing out.