AMC theaters declare war on Warner Bros.

Thunderclap in Hollywood! After Warner Bros. announced that all of their 2021 films will be released in both theaters and on HBO Max. The AMC group shows its teeth …

War is declared

It is an understatement to say that 2020 will have put a lot of effort into cinema. Due to several consecutive terms of imprisonment of different lengths, which differed in length depending on the territory, the theaters also had to cope with the absence of the big Hollywood blockbusters. The cinemas gritted their teeth and hoped for a better future after the health crisis was over. The latest announcements by the Warner Group therefore sound like a disillusionment.

As we told you last Thursday, Warner Bros. announced in a press release that all of the films planned for 2021 would have a single release mode, which the group calls a hybrid: they will be in theaters and on the streaming platform of the Group, HBO Max, released. for a period of one month. A decision with dire ramifications as it is not content with increasing competition between theaters and SVODs, but also forcing them to compete with illegal download sites where Warner films are in 1080p a few hours after they were released on HBO be hosted. Max. Cinemas that were hoping for the imminent arrival of unifying blockbusters like Dune, Matrix 4 or The Suicide Squad must therefore coexist with their massive presence on the Internet.

Following this decision, the AMC Group, the largest group of cinemas in the world that owns 978 multiplexes on the planet, criticized Warner Bros.’s choice of Warner Bros. Its CEO, Adam Aron, told The Hollywood Reporter:

WarnerMedia clearly intends to sacrifice a significant portion of the profitability of its film studio arm and that of its production partners and filmmakers in order to subsidize the launch of HBO Max.

Adam Aron is visibly recovered and promises a counterattack by the AMC Theaters:

As for AMC, we will do everything in our power to ensure Warner does this at our expense. We will become economically aggressive to keep our business going.

As you will understand, the most important word in the statement by the CEO of AMC Theaters is the adverb “aggressive”. The group is determined to economically counterattack Warner Bros. to abandon its decision. And it would be wrong to underestimate the potential of AMC theaters to tip the scales in their favor.

In fact, we remember that after the success of the animated film The Trolls 2: World Tour on VOD, Universal Studio, one of the most powerful majors in Hollywood, announced its decision to simultaneously release its films in theaters. and on VOD. A decision that sparked the ire of AMC’s CEO, who threatened Universal to withdraw their films from being released in their theaters. A threat that has been taken very seriously by the studio, which has signed an agreement to this effect with AMC. Universal Pictures then agreed to release its films on VOD 17 days after they opened in theaters.

Can AMC influence Warner Bros.’s decision this time around? ? In contrast to Universal Pictures, Warner Bros does not want to publish its films on VOD, but on SVOD. In other words, unlike the movie The Trolls 2, whose revenue was very precisely quantifiable thanks to VOD ($ 100 million), revenue from movies slated to be released on HBO Max will be hard to calculate because they are Subscriptions from correspond to the platform of the Warner Group. Films that have been budgeted and designed for a theatrical release.

Additionally, we’d like to remind you that the decision to have the movies released in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time allows Warner to take advantage of both opportunities: make money on theatrical releases and get subscribers to their SVOD. That balance is likely to be upset if AMC boycotted the Warner films: the group would then put HBO Max in direct competition with illegal download sites that the theaters allow a buffer.

But AMC still needs to be able to boycott Warner films … Because circumstances have changed a lot since the deal with Universal Pictures: In fact, Disney is increasingly considering putting its blockbusters directly on Disney + . If the Hollywood norm is to favor spending on SVODs, AMC simply cannot weigh the scales and thus influence the Warner Group’s decision. As with a game of poker, the Warner / AMC problem is likely to end in a giant bluff. Of the ?

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