You don’t have to unwind a Christopher Nolan time warp plot to get to the heart of this story.
Nolan, famed director of “Dunkirk” and “Inception,” is making his next movie with Universal Pictures, according to Deadline, ending a 19-year relationship with Warner Bros.
AT&T believed in streaming…
… so much so that leadership across AT&T and WarnerMedia decided to put all 2021 Warner Bros. movies on HBO Max at the same time as their theatrical release to boost subscribers.
Nolan wasn’t thrilled with the news, and replied with a devastating burn, saying:
Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service.
The HBO Max experiment has produced mixed results
- The good: HBO and HBOMax added ~11m more US subscribers than last year by the end of Q2.
- The bad: After “Godzilla vs. Kong” and “Mortal Kombat” produced solid showings, recent Warner Bros. films like “The Suicide Squad” ($26.5m debut) and “Malignant” ($5.6m debut) have bombed at the box office.
- The ugly: Now, Nolan, whose films have grossed ~$5B worldwide, is taking his talent elsewhere.
His next flick (about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the A-bomb) might have been the blockbuster Warner Bros. needs… but perhaps not the one it deserves.
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