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HBO Max - 2021 WB Films


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Not sure where they have gotten their info from but read a Eurogamer article which says "HBO Max is not yet available in the UK - it's set to launch in Europe in the second half of 2021."

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1 hour ago, gospvg said:

Not sure where they have gotten their info from but read a Eurogamer article which says "HBO Max is not yet available in the UK - it's set to launch in Europe in the second half of 2021."

By Europe, they mean a handful of continental countries where HBO already operate. I think I read a couple of weeks ago that they intend to launch in those countries next year. UK not among them. 

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You can get HBO Max on Hulu, which you can get dodgily. I tried it though and then realised there's no actual Firestick app for it in the UK and the Android APK running on a firestick doesn't actually let you play anything, so don't bother with that. Unless someone knows of a workable way to get Hulu working on their UK Firestick and has actual real life experience? Cos all the tutorials online show you how to correctly get it on there, but when it comes to actually being able to play anything, you can't - presumably because of such limited functionality, including the lack of a touchscreen.

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We have Hulu working on our Apple TV, but that required:

 

1. To initially be in the US with a US address. 
2. Setting up a US iTunes account. 
3. Having a US bank account and means of payment. 
4. Using a DNS service to fool the App into thinking we’re still in the US despite now living in Lincolnshire. 
5. Maintaining the US bank account to pay for Hulu. 
 

Having done all those it works fine. I’m sure someone cleverer than me can work out ways around all of those steps. The good thing about the Apple TV is that you can have apps from different regions active at the same time and even switch between iTunes stores really easily. I haven’t investigated using HBO Max through Hulu but might when some good films come out. 

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Lengthy article about the behind the scenes corporate wrangling among AT&T, WarnerMedia, and HBO executives, and their attempts to compete with Netflix:

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/04/att-dismantles-time-warner-to-battle-netflix-the-inside-story.html

 

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In December 2018, John Stankey sat down with HBO CEO Richard Plepler and his leadership team.

 

Stankey, the AT&T veteran running WarnerMedia at the time, was meeting with division heads to hear ideas on how to combat the threat from Netflix and the secular decline of cable television. This was the first time Stankey had heard from Plepler’s full team about their plan.

 

[...]

 

According to five people familiar with the meeting, Plepler laid out a simple path forward:

  • First, give HBO more money to spend on content.
  • Second, augment the Cinemax premium TV channel with more family-friendly original, library, and licensed children’s programming.
  • Third, sell HBO and Cinemax together for a couple dollars more than HBO — around $17 per month.
  • Fourth, hammer out a deal with Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, allowing the broadband distributor to sell HBO Go directly to broadband-only customers.
  • Finally, and most importantly, don’t blow HBO up.

Plepler’s team estimated this plan would guarantee $7.5 billion in annual revenue plus future upside depending on the success of the new content.

 

Stankey heard them out. Then, he ignored their advice. Stankey had bigger ambitions for streaming video. Less than three months later, Plepler announced he was leaving WarnerMedia.

 

Instead, Stankey decided to use HBO as the centerpiece for a new mission: Build a true Netflix competitor, dubbed HBO Max.

 

Quote

Alhough Stankey was new to media, he suffered the same disease as every other media executive: Netflix envy.

 

He thought Plepler was aiming too low. Plepler’s plan to generate $7.5 billion in annual revenue was 12% more than HBO’s eventual 2019 revenue. But it was a far cry from the $20 billion Netflix generated.

 

Stankey told Plepler he wanted a direct-to-consumer solution that could get to at least 60 million subscribers in five years, according to people familiar with the matter. HBO subscriptions had fallen from about 37.5 million in 2017 to 34.5 million in 2019. Over the same time, Netflix global subscriptions jumped 50%, from 111 million to 167 million.

 

If Stankey could convince investors that HBO Max would mirror Netflix’s growth trajectory, he might be able to capture a higher trading multiple for AT&T. This is the holy grail for media companies this decade — convincing Wall Street that streaming growth will make up for the decline of legacy businesses like cable TV and movie theater viewing.

 

And how has it done so far?

 

Quote

Almost all of the executives who spoke to CNBC — including several still at WarnerMedia — felt the HBO Max experiment isn’t going particularly well so far. Only 8.6 million people have signed up to activate the service since it launched in May. Compare this to Disney, which has signed up 73.7 million people for Disney+ in less than a year.

 

“Jason’s belief is — wrongly — if any piece of content available anywhere other than HBO Max, it cheapens HBO Max,” said one recently departed executive. “Jason is forgoing billions in revenue by turning his back on licensing to preserve content for HBO.”

 

By pricing HBO Max the same as HBO, Stankey seemed to assume HBO users would simply switch to HBO Max over time. But the transition has been slow, as pay TV and streaming distributors — once HBO’s needed partners — have little incentive to market HBO Max to the millions of people who already get HBO.

 

“The risk here is that they end up pouring all of their Warner Bros. Studios content into HBO Max only for it to continue to be a premium service that serves only the top third of households,” said MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett. “There’s a real risk that 1+1+1=1 here, and that all that will be left of Warner Media when they are finished is an HBO division that is more or less the same size as it was when they started.”

 

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In defence of the creatives at HBO they do have an incredible track record for making quality content, if I see a miniseries come out that HBO have made I’ll watch it without question. It’s always been a premium service in the US, you basically had to get a cable package that came with absolutely everything to get HBO a S that’s how they raised finance to be able to take bigger risks and have more creative freedom.

 

Seems they’re trying to keep it the same way here too and Sky are the only realistic comparable, despite the people who own ad founded it.

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Actors and their agents - and Legendary Entertainment - aren't pleased...

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/07/business/media/warner-bros-hbo-max-movies-pay.html

 

 

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LOS ANGELES — Last month, Warner Bros. quietly approached Hollywood’s two biggest talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists. The studio wanted to release the much-anticipated “Wonder Woman 1984” simultaneously in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max on Christmas Day. And they wanted to get the film’s star, Gal Gadot, and director, Patty Jenkins, on board with the plan.

 

WME, which counts Ms. Gadot as a client, and CAA, which represents Ms. Jenkins, had a lot of questions, but the biggest involved money: How are you going to pay them?

 

With “Wonder Woman 1984,” agents argued that Ms. Gadot, Ms. Jenkins and the producer Charles Roven (among others) needed to be paid what they most likely would have received had the sequel been released in a traditional manner (an exclusive run in theaters before arriving online) and not during the height of a pandemic. After all, that was what they signed up for, and Warner Bros. and HBO Max, its corporate sibling, wanted their help in promoting the film, did they not?

 

After a tense negotiation, Warner Bros., which is owned by AT&T, agreed that Ms. Gadot and Ms. Jenkins would each get more than $10 million, according to two people with knowledge of the deals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private agreements.

 

The upshot: Warner Bros. kept crucial talent and their powerful representatives on its side.

 

Last week, when Jason Kilar, WarnerMedia’s chief executive, announced that 17 more Warner Bros. movies would each roll out on HBO Max and in theaters à la “Wonder Woman 1984,” talent was handled in a very different manner. To prevent the news of the 17-movie shift from leaking (and to make the move speedily rather than get mired in the expected blowback), WarnerMedia kept the major agencies and talent management companies in the dark until roughly 90 minutes before issuing a news release. Even some Warner Bros. executives had little warning.

 

The surprise move left agencies on a war footing. Representatives for major Warner Bros. stars like Denzel Washington, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Keanu Reeves, Hugh Jackman and Angelina Jolie wanted to know why their clients had been treated in a lesser manner than Ms. Gadot. Talk of a Warner Bros. boycott began circulating inside the Directors Guild of America. A partner at one talent agency spent part of the weekend meeting with litigators. Some people started to angrily refer to the studio as Former Bros.

 

Quote

“For the longest time, Warner Bros. has been known as the best home for talent, and that has been a significant competitive advantage,” Michael Nathanson, a founder of the MoffettNathanson media research firm, said in a phone interview. “With this move, they alienated the very talent they have worked so hard to attract. These aren’t engineers you can just replace.”

 

Yeah! They're actors, not mere engineers!

 

Quote

The company cited the pandemic as the primary reason for moving the entire 2021 Warner Bros. slate to a hybrid release model, although some films — notably the big-budget “Dune” and “Matrix 4” — are not scheduled to arrive until the fourth quarter, long after vaccines are expected to be deployed.

 

“Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone,” Mr. Kilar said in the news release. “We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”

 

The 97-year-old studio, the ancestral home of Humphrey Bogart (“Casablanca”) and Bette Davis (“Now, Voyager”), suddenly finds itself at the uncomfortable center of a Hollywood that is changing at light speed. Even before the pandemic, streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video were upending how movies get seen and their creators are compensated. Now, with theaters struggling because of the coronavirus and the public largely stuck at home, even traditional film companies are being forced to evolve.

 

It’s not that all actors and directors are against streaming. Plenty of big names are making movies for Netflix. But last week’s move by Warner Bros. raised fundamental financial questions. If old-line studios are no longer trying to maximize the box office for each film but instead shifting to a hybrid model where success is judged partly by ticket sales and partly by the number of streaming subscriptions sold, what does that mean for talent pay packages?

 

How studios compensate A-list actors, directors, writers and producers is complicated, with contracts negotiated film by film and person by person. But it boils down to two checks. One is guaranteed (a large upfront fee) and one is a gamble: a portion of ticket sales after the studio has recouped its costs.

 

If a film flops, the second payday never comes. If a film is a hit, as is often the case with superheroes and other fantasy stories, the “back end” pay can add up to wheelbarrows full of cash. That money trickles down through Hollywood’s financial ecosystem to agents, lawyers and managers — funding Pacific Palisades mansions, the latest Porsche and $1,000-per-person Urasawa dinners.

 

But are the days of the jackpot back-end payoffs now coming to a close?

 

“Precedent is being set over the value of talent and what kind of transparency is essential to creating equitable partnerships,” Bryan Lourd, a co-chairman of Creative Artists, said in an email. “We will do everything necessary to make sure artists are fairly compensated for the value they are creating, and that their creative and artistic work and rights are protected.”

 

William Morris Endeavor declined to comment for this article.

 

It is unclear whether Warner Bros. has a legal requirement to renegotiate back-end arrangements for the 17 movies, as it did with “Wonder Woman 1984” heavyweights. Mr. Kilar said in a phone interview on Friday that, while these changes might be jarring to those who expected one thing for their movie and were now getting something very different, the end goal was to honor talent relationships as the studio had done in the past.

 

“The most important statement to make is we endeavor to be generous,” he said. “It has served us well for 97 years, and I think it will serve us well going forward.”

 

WarnerMedia has called its hybrid movie distribution plan a one-year-only strategy. But most people in Hollywood believe it will prove permanent. Mr. Kilar publicly positioned the move as being all about fans, many of whom have chafed at Hollywood’s traditional rollout of movies (first in theaters for an exclusive period, then online for rental and purchase, then on streaming services and television). He’s just going to take that away in 2022?

 

Each movie Warner Bros. releases next year will appear on HBO Max for only one month before leaving the service. At that point, films will cycle through the usual release “windows,” leaving theaters when interest has run out and heading to iTunes, DVD and points beyond.

 

Under the WarnerMedia plan, HBO Max will pay Warner Bros. a licensing fee for the 31-day concurrent rights. The fee will be equal to the studio’s portion of ticket sales in the United States. (Ticket sales are generally split 50-50 between studios and theaters.)

 

Other factors could influence the fee, including the percentage of theaters that are operating. HBO Max and Warner Bros. also agreed to a floor for these fees: $10 million or 25 percent of the film’s net production cost, whichever is greater.

 

In the eyes of some agents, this is unfair self-dealing. They believe that WarnerMedia had an obligation to maximize value for the profit participants — to make a good-faith effort to see what prices other companies might have paid for the Warner Bros. movies before selling them to itself. The licensing fee does not appear to be connected to the value each movie will create for HBO Max in the form of subscriptions or engagement.

 

Litigation over self-dealing has been relatively common in Hollywood since the 1990s, when industry consolidation led to media superconglomerates.

 

WarnerMedia’s aggrieved partners include Legendary Entertainment, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Owned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group, Legendary produced the upcoming “Dune” and “Godzilla vs. Kong” under a deal that required Legendary (and its affiliates) to ultimately shoulder 75 percent of the production costs, with Warner Bros. paying for the balance. Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” a science-fiction epic starring Timothée Chalamet and an array of other big names (Zendaya, Jason Mamoa), cost an estimated $165 million. “Godzilla vs. Kong” cost about $155 million.

 

Not only did Warner Bros. blindside Legendary about the distribution shake-up, but HBO Max immediately began advertising itself using footage from “Dune” and other movies. Stars involved with the much-anticipated project were stunned: Some had agreed to lower their upfront fees (to reduce production costs) in return for expected back-end paydays. In success, “Dune” could spawn multiple sequels.

 

Legendary was already upset with Warner. In recent months, Netflix had offered the partners a huge sum — at least $250 million — to buy “Godzilla vs. Kong.” Legendary was in favor of the deal, which seemed to optimize the film’s value. But Warner had blocked the Netflix sale.

 

Legendary declined to comment, as did Warner Bros.

 

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Nolan is obviously and inevitably pissed, but for a guy who's so worried about the audience experience he didn't seem to mind adopting a format that might literally cause you, your family, or your neighbours to die from a virus.

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On 04/12/2020 at 10:51, Down by Law said:

I wonder how those investors who gave James Cameron a billion dollars to make sequels nobody asked for are feeling right now :unsure:

 

I unironically am very excited for the Avatar sequels!

 

Who's with me lads?

DL_508Tumbleweed_TUMBLEWEED_ROLLS_NEXT_TO_FREEWAY.gif.bebbfd0a6cdcc56e131299b3246a2ca0.gif

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On 08/12/2020 at 01:13, Nick R said:

Actors and their agents - and Legendary Entertainment - aren't pleased...

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/07/business/media/warner-bros-hbo-max-movies-pay.html

 

My heart goes out to the wonderful creatives, along with their various hangers on and parasites, who are now set to make slightly less enormous mountains of cash due to this shift away from cinemas to streaming. How can they be expected to live through the sheer penury of only making a seven figure sum for their work instead of an eight? Who will think of their manicurist's Feng Shui consultant?

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Meanwhile in the UK Warner are releasing Wonder Woman 84 on 16 December at the height of a second wave of Covid, with a large portion of the countries cinemas closed, and with Johnson possibly announcing London into tier 3 on the same day.  

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On 11/12/2020 at 12:13, dug said:

 

My heart goes out to the wonderful creatives, along with their various hangers on and parasites, who are now set to make slightly less enormous mountains of cash due to this shift away from cinemas to streaming. How can they be expected to live through the sheer penury of only making a seven figure sum for their work instead of an eight? Who will think of their manicurist's Feng Shui consultant?

My heart goes out to AT&T and their shareholders. Why shouldn’t they screw over everyone else involved in financing the movies production, and the freelancers they agreed contracts with, to bolster their failing subscription service?

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  • 4 months later...
On 08/05/2021 at 23:07, Loik V credern said:

Is there no Hulu thread? Where is someone meant to show this great make up job in the upcoming Pamela Anderson Tommy Lee tv series?

 

image.png.5ff0604b15d314fe3b12efbc900f203b.png

 

image.png.ed1e407b49a3bfcb91cef1a5e2e5f10e.png

 

Yes, somewhere in there is Lily James. 

 

Hmm, but really, really heavy make up isn't that difficult to simulate.

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6 hours ago, memories said:

Could always start a new thread for the new show.

 

Crazy idea though, will never catch on.

 

I don't think the show is worth a new thread, I'm not interested in that story personally. 

 

46 minutes ago, Festoon said:

Hmm, but really, really heavy make up isn't that difficult to simulate.

 

I never said it was difficult, just impressive how good the likeness is given how Lily James has always appeared.

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43 minutes ago, Loik V credern said:

 

I don't think the show is worth a new thread, I'm not interested in that story personally. 

 

 

I never said it was difficult, just impressive how good the likeness is given how Lily James has always appeared.

 

Don't mind me. I'm just grumpy as she seems to turn up everywhere.

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On 08/05/2021 at 23:07, Loik V credern said:

Is there no Hulu thread? Where is someone meant to show this great make up job in the upcoming Pamela Anderson Tommy Lee tv series?

 

image.png.5ff0604b15d314fe3b12efbc900f203b.png

 

Yes, somewhere in there is Lily James. 

 

It's fascinating how films/tv shows fictionalise reality, isn't it? Stan is way too clean-looking there with his mammy's haircut.

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