If there’s one thing we’ll take away from 2021, it’s the constant war between distributors and their talent. Scarlett Johansson famously sued Disney for releasing Black Widow on Disney+ Premier Access and going against her contract. There have been many fears regarding what the digital release might do mean for the industry moving forward, as the pandemic still continues to rage on.
Of course, when exhibitors were holding this year’s CinemaCon event, there was going to be a lot of dismay on these recent strategies. Yet, it looks like one person joined in on the conversation, as Wonder Woman 1984’s director Patty Jenkins openly shared her thoughts on the digital day and date release strategy from HBO Max. She stated the following after the disheartening debut of her film back in December while many theaters were still just opening.
It was detrimental to the movie. I knew that could have happened I don’t think it plays the same on streaming, ever. I’m not a fan of day-and-date and I hope to avoid it forever. I make movies for the big screen experiencePatty Jenkins
She also openly stated she would not make a film for Netflix or any other streaming service, as she also points out the challenges of handling a limited run in theaters. While she also openly criticized exhibitions avoidance of change over the years, it’s still showing that Warner Bros’ decision to release all films simultaneously on HBO Max throughout the year left some scars. Yet, their strategy paid off as the pandemic continues to threaten theatrical experiences to this day, and it took quite some time before cinema was able to recover. Right now, it’s a hard decision to make for anyone in the industry and it’s uncertain how long it’ll drag out moving forward.