There have been two sides to Warner Bros. hybrid release strategy. On one side are those who remain concerned about what the shift could mean for the theater industry, and on the other are those who believe we should let the past die and kill it if we have to.
But a factor that's being ignored by many consumers who want what they want when they want it is the very simple fact that movies cost money. And we're not talking a little money, either. These mega-blockbusters that folks are thrilled to watch on their screens at home without having to trudge out into a movie theater cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make. Those budgets won't exist should this hybrid release strategy become a regular thing among powerhouses like Warner Bros.
Legendary Entertainment, the production company that co-financed Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong, is putting forward a pretty strong reminder of that today. When the Warner Bros. news broke, it was rumored that the production company was not made aware that their films, both of which cost a pretty penny (Dune comes in at $175m with Godzilla vs. Kong hitting around $160m), would be released in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time.
The reason Legendary is considering legal action is because, with this strategy, those films won't likely gross a fraction of that money back, even considering international markets.
As of right now, sources close to Legendary say that they're hoping to have conversations with Warner Bros. - conversations that should have occurred well before any announcement was made. No legal challenges have been filed yet, but this hybrid release story appears to be far from over.
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