Godzilla Vs Kong’s relatively strong box-office gross has Warner Bros potentially correcting course and may yet send Dune exclusively to cinemas.
Of all the films to release as part of Warner Bros’ decision to port its entire 2021 slate over to HBO Max, its streaming platform, Denis Villeneuve’s new film of Dune has caused the most problems. The film’s financier, Legendary, has reportedly been very unhappy with the distributor’s decision, in part because the film is slated to be a major franchise starter. In theory, should a small screen debut damage those prospects, the potential loss of earnings could be severe.
As the film’s distributor, the decision may lie with Warner Bros, but Legendary has allegedly threatened legal action and at the very least, the decision to release the film on HBO Max at the same as it hitting cinemas could damage the working relationship between the two companies. That’s an issue Warner Bros has already had to contend with following the apparent breakdown of its professional partnership with Christopher Nolan, who also complained vocally about the HBO Max strategy.
However, a better solution may be in sight for both parties.
Godzilla Vs Kong’s strong box office performance over the past week in the US (plus an equally strong HBO Max debut) means that Warner Bros is reportedly considering a distribution strategy more in line with its 2022 plans. Basically, to give the film a 45 day theatrical exclusivity window. That would still allow for the film to drop onto HBO Max this year, thus fulfilling the streaming platform’s promise to customers.
Here in the UK the film is set to release on October 1st. We’ll bring you more news on the film’s release plans as we hear them.
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