Why doesn’t Warner Bros. just release Batgirl on HBO Max?

The film world has reacted with shock to Warner Bros.’ decision to put it back bat girl Film, although the film is in post-production and largely complete. Such moves are rare, and it seems inconceivable that a company would just throw away a project that reportedly cost $90 million, no matter how bad it might be. In the past, it was more common for problematic projects to be quietly released in streaming or home video formats than never to see the light of day.

Why shouldn’t Warner Bros. decide to recoup some of their investment and just release the film on their HBO Max streaming platform? As a matter of fact, bat girl was originally conceived as an HBO Max streaming exclusive, and this was one of the reasons for its demise.

The New York Post presented the decision in its original report as a decision motivated solely by quality. Sensationally, the film was described as “unspeakable,” “irredeemable,” and a “DC disaster” that would severely damage the brand. But further reports suggest that this is inaccurate, or at least an oversimplification.

bat girl Directed by the esteemed duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the hit action sequel of 2020 has been made bad boys for life and were the senior directors on Mrs Miracle for Disney Plus. The cast introduced in the heights star Leslie Grace, as well as the heavyweight acting trio of JK Simmons, Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser. Deadline reported that the film was tested with viewers and the result was “not that bad” despite unfinished effects.

Variety’s sources agreed that the decision was not about the quality of the film. Instead, they coupled it with a strategic move at the newly merged Warner Bros. Discovery organization, headed by new CEO David Zaslav, to ensure all DC movies were “blockbuster-scale” theatrical releases. bat girlThe budget of , while far from tiny, was set with a streaming release in mind and would not have matched the scope of planned DC releases such as Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Lightning.

Zaslav is said to be looking for an executive to oversee a newly centralized DC film department – to essentially play the role Kevin Feige plays at Marvel Studios. Meanwhile, the studio was considering a promotion bat girl to a theatrical release, Puck says, but it seems that idea has fallen out of favor.

Even the desire to reform Warner Bros.’s messy management of DC real estate doesn’t quite explain the decision to make the film, however. The extremity of this move could be explained by two other factors: an accounting quirk and a philosophical shift within Hollywood.

The deadline report and another follow-up from Variety points the finger at studio accountants. Variety said the bean counters decided that a tax write-off was the most financially sensible way to recoup the film’s costs, while Deadline reported that being able to write off the film’s losses was a temporary by-product of Warner Bros. merger with Discovery, and by mid-August the window for such accounting maneuvers would close. That would explain the suddenness and unusual nature of the decision.

But the move also appears to be fueled by a dislike of streaming as the be-all and end-all of Hollywood entertainment that goes beyond mere DC brand management. Zaslav has openly denied his predecessor Jason Kilar’s decision to release all Warner Bros. films, including dune and The Matrix Resurrections, Day and Date on HBO Max during the pandemic. Kilar wanted to grow HBO Max subscribers, and his strategy worked, but the long-term value of those subscribers versus box office earnings is now being questioned.

Hollywood executives and Wall Street investors alike have noted that streaming leader Netflix’s focus on subscriber growth, primarily, will falter once that growth stops. Meanwhile, Paramount proved the wisdom of sitting Top Gun: Maverick for two years, despite having his own streaming service, Paramount Plus, when that film raked in $1.3 billion at the box office.

Cinemas are clearly not dead yet. In fact, many in Hollywood are concluding that a theatrical release gives status to a streaming service when it gets there; The Batman reportedly did extremely well on HBO Max after earning Warner Bros. $770 million in theaters. As Deadline puts it, “Companies have come to philosophies, espoused by Sony’s Tom Rothman and Universal’s Donna Langley, that films acquire cultural relevance when they are first released in theaters at a significant theatrical expense. When they appear on streaming sites about 45 days later, they are valued for their cultural relevance.”

Viewing habits may have changed in recent years, but money talks and it’s clear films can still make money and generate subscriber growth in theaters. Direct-to-streaming movies are no longer in vogue. bat girlThe cancellation of may be an accounting issue, but it’s also a symbolic move that has certainly not escaped the notice of investors and industry watchers. This is Hollywood saying it won’t play this game anymore.

https://www.polygon.com/23290387/batgirl-hbo-max-canceled-streaming-movies Why doesn’t Warner Bros. just release Batgirl on HBO Max?

Charles Jones

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