Christopher Nolan Blasts HBO Max As ‘Worst Streaming Service’

WarnerMedia’s decision to debut 17 films directly to HBO Max in 2021 has Hollywood talent fuming. Inception and Tenet director Christopher Nolan, who has been working with the studio for 18 years, said, “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.”

Nolan’s Tenet, which was delayed three times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, premiered in the UK on August 26, 2020, and in the US on September 3, 2020, in IMAX, 35 mm, and 70 mm. The sci-fi action film, starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh, is the fourth highest-grossing film of the year, bringing in $359 million worldwide, yet it lost Warner Bros. a reported $100 million, due to marketing and production costs.

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“Warner Bros. had an incredible machine for getting a filmmaker’s work out everywhere, both in theaters and in the home, and they are dismantling it as we speak. They don’t even understand what they’re losing. Their decision makes no economic sense, and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction,” Nolan added.

Sources say the idea to send the 17 films directly to HBO Max came from Warner Bros. COO Carolyn Blackwood, who saw it as an opportunity to avoid failure at the box office while boosting the faltering streaming service. HBO Max, which launched last May, has fallen short of expectations with only 4.1 million current HBO subscribers activating their HBO Max accounts within a day of the launch, compared to the 10 million subscribers that Disney+ reached when it debuted in November 2019.

Following the furor over Warner’s decision to bypass movie theaters, studio chairman Toby Emmerich reassured filmmakers with projects in the pipeline for 2022 that their films wouldn’t go directly to the streaming service without being notified first.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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