Legendary Pictures may be asking for $ 250 million in compensation for premiering Godzilla vs Kong on HBO Max
The Godzilla vs Kong production company, Legendary Pictures, is asking for at least $ 250 million for WarnerMedia, owned by AT&T, to premiere the film on the HBO Max streaming service, according to a publication by Deadline. Last month, Netflix offered more than $ 200 million to the studio to release the sequel to the MonsterVerse, which was delayed five times, to its streaming service, but WarnerMedia blocked that deal. Days later, the parent company of Warner Bros. announced that it would release the full list of 17 films from the studio, including Dune, The Suicide Squad, and Godzilla vs. Kong, to HBO Max the same day they are released in theaters under a one-year hybrid release model.
Almost immediately, it was reported that Legendary, which funded 75% of Godzilla vs Kong and Dune, was considering taking legal action over WarnerMedia’s unilateral decision to send the two long-awaited blockbusters to the streaming service. Industry operations reported that Legendary was also not informed about the hybrid model’s launch strategy prior to WarnerMedia’s announcement on December 3.
Godzilla vs Kong could still air on May 21 if Warner Bros. reaches a deal with Legendary with Netflix’s offering of more than $ 200 million as a base. Warner Bros. has already financially compensated Wonder Woman 1984 director and producer Patty Jenkins and her star Gal Gadot, who has also served as producer for the film, to ensure the premiere of the Wonder Woman sequel on HBO Max, the first big-budget movie to go-to streaming service on this new simul-release model.
After Warner’s move took its production stars and agents by surprise, the decision to release titles at the same time on HBO Max drew strong criticism from top studio filmmakers such as Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan.
“We live in unprecedented times that demand creative solutions, including this new initiative for Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Ann Sarnoff, President, and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, in a statement announcing the hybrid distribution model. “Nobody wants movies to return to the big screen more than we do. We know that new content is the lifeblood of theatrical display, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the US will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021. ”
Sarnoff continued, “With this unique one-year plan, we are able to support our showcasing partners with a constant stream of world-class films, while also providing viewers who may not have access to theaters or are ready to return to theaters for the opportunity to see our incredible films of 2021. We see it as a mutual benefit to film lovers and exhibitors, and we are extremely grateful to our film partners for working with us on this groundbreaking response to these circumstances ”.
However, this movement has been seen as a strategy to enter the fight in the streaming transmission sector at the cost of cinemas losing money in it, so the company has a large open front to compensate for the millionaire losses to the Production companies that could see their income reduced if people choose to stay at home in watching than going to a movie theater to see their movies.
Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on May 21, 2021