The CEO of WarnerMedia concedes that the way the studio handled its controversial HBO Max release strategy could have gone better.
Few decisions made by a major Hollywood studio have gone down quite as badly with filmmakers in the last year than Warner Bros’ infamous HBO Max announcement of last year. It announced a strategy of releasing its entire 2021 slate of big screen releases simultaneously on its HBO Max streaming service in the US, and it went down with some filmmakers like the proverbial fart in a car.
It certainly seemed to cost the studio its 20 year relationship with Christopher Nolan, and other directors weren’t said to be on the happy side. And now, the CEO of WarnerMedia – Jason Kilar – has conceded that mistakes were made in the deployment of the policy.
Chatting at the Vox Media Code Conference, he said that “I will be the first one to say, and the responsibility rests on my shoulders, that, in hindsight, we should have taken the better part of a month to have over 170 conversations — which is the number of participants that are in our 2021 film slate”. Instead, Warners tried to implement everything in under a week, and it caused, well, problems.
On the flip side, Kilar insists that the strategy was a successful one. That as a fast response to the situation brought about by the pandemic, it worked. “We’re now in a very good situation”, he insisted. The studio will return to a 45-day cinema window from next year too.
You can read more about his comments, here. HBO Max begins its European rollout – albeit not in the UK – later this year.
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