If you hadn’t heard by now, you should know Warner Bros. Pictures is going to extreme lengths to ensure its films can debut in 2021 amidst the pandemic. After a dismal 2020, the studio shared its plan to release most of its 2021 movies in theaters and HBO Max simultaneously. This move is unprecedented to say the least, and some film partners weren’t too happy about this hybrid strategy. But if a new report is right, Warner Bros. has taken a step to assuage the teams behind films such as Godzilla vs Kong.
Recently, Bloomberg put out a report about this hybrid release plan and its fallout. It was there the financial trade told fans that the films which stream on HBO Max will be subject to guaranteed payment regardless of the actual box office.
“[The plan will] guarantee payment regardless of box-office sales and to increase the odds of performance-based bonuses.” Bloomberg writes about the new payment deal.
“Anyone entitled to a bonus will receive one at half the box-office revenue that would normally be needed to trigger a payout. And if more theaters close down, the threshold will fall further — a stipulation called the ‘Covid-19 multiplier,'” the report continues. “Those who would normally participate in profits from box-office receipts will continue to do so, as well as benefit from on-demand and online sales.”
As the report indicates, this payment plan will most likely ease financial objections to the hybrid release plan. After all, which the strategy was first announced, it was said Legendary Entertainment opposed to the measure and wasn’t even informed about the change ahead of time. A limited box office release traditionally means less money for the companies that footed the movie’s bill. As Legendary oversaw Godzilla vs Kong and Dune, you can see why the company wanted to make money back on these films, and this compensation plan should do just that. But when it comes to artistic objection, well – that is a whole other debate.
What do you make of this new report? How do you feel about this hybrid distribution plan? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.