Why did Warner Bros drop out bat girl and Scoob! The holiday haunt?
Warner Bros’ cancellation of two streaming movies made for HBO Max came as a shock to the city. There are multiple threads here, but this move amounts to an outright rejection of former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s strategy to create $70 million original live-action and animated films. dollars directly for the HBO Max streaming site.
The Creators of Live Action bat girl and the anime Scoob! learned today that these films were stopped in their tracks. The moment was particularly awkward for bat girl co-directors Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah. Both are in Morocco for El Arbi’s wedding – a wedding present – and they expected to return to the editing room and continue working on the film starring Leslie Grace, JK Simmons, Brendan Fraser and Michael Keaton.
There were initial cries that the scrapping of bat girl worn bad optics because the title role is played by a Latina actress. But there were reasons for the move. In both cases, the filmmakers were informed that it was a “buy accounting” maneuver available to Warner Discovery, as the company had changed hands and also changed its strategy in relation to the previous regime. That opportunity expires in mid-August, sources said, and it frees Warner Bros. Discovery from having to bear losses to its books at a time when the studio is trying to reduce its $3 billion in debt. divisions.
There has been a lot of speculation about why bat girl was canceled because it was a bad movie. Sources said the film was tested once and the result wasn’t that bad, as the cut had temporary visual effects that tend to dampen audience enthusiasm in the scores. Already, the studio plans to conclude various agreements with the directors and Miss Bala star Grace, because it wasn’t so much a reflection on their talent as the radical shift in strategy. It was a difficult decision for all and very unusual to simply abandon a film which cost between 60 and 70 million dollars, made by the directors in vogue who directed Black and the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel under Kevin Feige as well as pre-pandemic success of over $426 million bad boys for life .
Much of the decision went like this: Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav dismissed Kilar’s strategy of relying heavily on creating streaming subscriptions for HBO Max. This was punctuated by his Project Popcorn initiative which put the entire theatrical slate of 2021 – including Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong, King Richard, Matrix 4 – day and date in theaters and on HBO Max when theater attendance was sparse during the pandemic. Even after being shown the door, Kilar continued to call the strategy a winner. Many disagreed, especially after Top Gun: Maverick expected and reported north of $1.3 billion. It’s a decidedly different world from the one Kilar has moved to. Wall Street is no longer as impressed with subscriber numbers as it is with earnings, as evidenced by the precipitous drop in the value of Netflix shares.
Companies have embraced philosophies like Sony’s Tom Rothman and Universal’s Donna Langley that films gain cultural relevance when they debut in theaters with a sizable theatrical outlay. When they appear on streaming sites about 45 days later, they are prized because they have cultural relevance. This will be the strategy Apple will use next year with the Leonardo DiCaprio-Robert De Niro drama directed by Martin Scorsese. The Moonflower Slayerswhich pulled out of 2022 and, as Deadline revealed, is set to debut at Cannes 2023 ahead of a full theatrical release through Paramount.
Return to bat girl and Scoob! bat girl is a serious entry – not near the budgets of DC theaters the flash and Aquaman 2 – and was not designed to compete with tentpole theatrical releases, nor was it Scoob! Additionally, there were character introductions in this film that the studio wanted to save for these theatrical DC titles. Rather than spending large sums to increase the budgets of each film to compete in the theatrical market, then spending $80 million on worldwide P&A, the studio felt that scrapping the two films was a better choice, when combined with the purchase accounting maneuver.
Sources don’t expect any more movies to be killed off like this, as the accounting opportunity expires in the middle of this month. But as all of Warner Bros. Discovery gears up for Thursday’s quarterly earnings report and the layoffs that are sure to occur, no one with a purpose-built project for HBO Max or the executives there can feel confident. right now.
Warner Bros. Discovery has just released this statement: “The decision not to publish bat girl reflects the strategic shift in our leadership with respect to the DC Universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actress and this decision does not reflect on her performance. We are extremely grateful to the filmmakers of bat girl and Scoob! Holiday destination and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.