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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

After movie theaters, digital streaming services threaten stars and producers

On December 3, Warner Media announced its intention to show a full year of films through its new entertainment broadcasting service, HBO Max, which shocked many movie fans and critics for fear of what they described as the “demise of the movie era.” However, many others were resentful of this decision for another reason, which is the loss of huge sums of movie profits.

It is worth noting that most of the films that are released on broadcast platforms as premieres are not shown in cinemas, and because the company is paying the price of the film in advance, the stars, producers and directors will be deprived of the huge sums they get from films that break the box office.

Box office profits
Before the Corona pandemic, Avengers: Endgame, produced by The Walt Disney Company, topped the top-grossing films in 2019, after raising $ 900 million, according to Deadline Hollywood magazine. What enabled the film’s stars to achieve large profits, such as the main hero of the film, Robert Downey Jr., who raised $ 75 million from the film thanks to his wages and his share of the profits he made in theaters.

“Roma”, Netflix
For example, Alfonso Cuarón presented the movie “Roma” inspired by his childhood in New Mexico. It was implemented entirely to present it with black and white scenes and in Spanish, a film that perhaps no Hollywood production company would accept to make. Nevertheless, Netflix showed it online through its service in 190 countries and in hundreds of movie theaters. Cuarón later won an Academy Award for Best Director for this film.

In light of the success achieved by “Netflix” and the decline of the fan base of movie theaters, many studios (production companies) have started making films intended for viewing through broadcast services, and the Corona pandemic has contributed to giving additional impetus to this trend; However, Warner Brothers’s decision to show its 2021 films on “HBO Max” and in cinemas on the same day aroused the dismay of the financiers and directors who had previously made these films for it, and today it is seeking to calm their anger.

Such a decision could have dire consequences for revenues. The movie “Wonder Woman 1984”, which was shown in theaters and the “HBO Max” service, starting on December 24, 2020, made $ 16.7 million at the end of its first week in American cinemas. In contrast, the previous version, which was presented in 2017, had made $ 103 million at the end of the first week.

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