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HBO Max streaming controversy - Christopher Nolan versus Warner


Andrew Reid
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10 minutes ago, AnthonyBert said:

Sorry to disagree but... Netflix makes just over 20 billion revenue a year!!!  there is nothing to replicate. Cinema will never be able to make as much as streaming, it is just that streaming survives on a lot of content but can also auto-finance a lot f it. Your example is only talking about a handful of films capable of making such revenue, While Netflix is steady revenue. I believe that with more streaming platform more job will be created as they can only survive with more content. I guess time will tell...

But there are only a handfull watchable netflix original films. Only "the irishman" and "the devil all the time" come to mind. So if we become reliable to only netflix original content we might be in trouble. Hbo for instance isnt even available over here in Belgium. Most netflix content looks like easy consumable content for netflix and chill and you forget what you watched after a day.

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52 minutes ago, AnthonyBert said:

Sorry to disagree but... Netflix makes just over 20 billion revenue a year!!!  there is nothing to replicate. Cinema will never be able to make as much as streaming, it is just that streaming survives on a lot of content but can also auto-finance a lot f it. Your example is only talking about a handful of films capable of making such revenue, While Netflix is steady revenue. I believe that with more streaming platform more job will be created as they can only survive with more content. I guess time will tell...

It's worth pointing out that Netflix had a net free cash flow of -$3.3 billion last year. Which isn't to say it's losing money, almost no successful startups have positive balance sheets for their first few years or even decades, but it's not like Netflix is making gobs of net money.

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10 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

A couple examples of top earners getting massive deals is exactly what I'm saying is wrong. The industry as a whole is making plenty of money, but the middle class worker base is shrinking with a few rising to the very top and most losing jobs or getting lower pay. Same as every other industry, actually.

Exactly. It is as you stated like “every other industry”. But, I don’t have a problem with that...

Now, as an example... I don’t expect the person straight out of high school - getting his/her first job as a server at McDonald’s to be making the same amount as the CEO of McDonalds. Obviously, the current CEO had to earn their way to the top... they didn’t just magically get there.

Now, there are times where Nepotism, favouritism and/or connections comes into play... I hope that it is less in companies that are public over private companies, as board of directors vote for CEOS, and they have to have investor’s interest and confidence; yet I’m not naive enough to believe it doesn’t exist at all in public companies. Private companies on the other hand... well... it is what it is... but at the same time... come on... you build a company... you should decide who you want as your right hand man, who you want to promote, who you want to demote, who should replace you, or who you want to fire. How is it any different from building yourself a house??? Not everyone that you decide to live there at first... can and/or should live there forever - upon the owner’s judgment.

Look, now... Perhaps... you can’t see my point of view, but I am trying to build a few businesses myself and I don’t need people to come at me in 30 years, because they cannot see the blood sweat and tears that I put into the businesses over those 30 years.

sorry, I went a bit off track... but going back to artists... you can’t expect some fresh face from Juilliard’s drama program be paid the same as Daniel Day Lewis <- he earned his spot... period.

The other problem that exists is the fact that people don’t know anything about show business... show business is 10% show (talent) and 90% business. How often do you see an independent movie without a production house behind them, no promotions, no Oscar buzz... make it to millions of dollars? Forget billions...

2 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

It's worth pointing out that Netflix had a net free cash flow of -$3.3 billion last year. Which isn't to say it's losing money, almost no successful startups have positive balance sheets for their first few years or even decades, but it's not like Netflix is making gobs of net money.

I don’t want to jump to conclusions, so I have to ask... do you think Netflix is a startup???

3 hours ago, zerocool22 said:

But there are only a handfull watchable netflix original films. Only "the irishman" and "the devil all the time" come to mind. So if we become reliable to only netflix original content we might be in trouble. Hbo for instance isnt even available over here in Belgium. Most netflix content looks like easy consumable content for netflix and chill and you forget what you watched after a day.

I have to agree... As much money as they are blowing... nothing is memorable... in terms of movies. I didn’t even like The Irishman.

But, their shows on the other hand, I like... can’t complain.

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1 hour ago, mkabi said:

Exactly. It is as you stated like “every other industry”. But, I don’t have a problem with that...

Now, as an example... I don’t expect the person straight out of high school - getting his/her first job as a server at McDonald’s to be making the same amount as the CEO of McDonalds. Obviously, the current CEO had to earn their way to the top... they didn’t just magically get there.

No one expects a fresh high school grad to make CEO or even middle class pay, but I think it's not healthy for our society to decrease the number of middle class people, have a larger number of people in poverty, and concentrate wealth in fewer mega-millionaires and billionaires. When a trend applies to 350 million people, I don't think it's the result of "everyone is just not working as hard."

1 hour ago, mkabi said:

Look, now... Perhaps... you can’t see my point of view, but I am trying to build a few businesses myself and I don’t need people to come at me in 30 years, because they cannot see the blood sweat and tears that I put into the businesses over those 30 years.

I agree. I hope that in 30 years, you've got a respectable amount of wealth and power in your business ventures! What I don't like is that given 1000 random people who all put in the average amount of work, the percent that will be in poverty in 30 years is larger now than it was when America had a booming middle class, through no direct fault of their own.

Like we agree, it happened or is happening in all industries and ultimately it's worse for a large number of people, and better for a small number of people. Technology has increased that trend. Here's an example:

Theaters employed thousands of low paid cashiers, janitors, middle class managers, owners. A streaming service might employ a few dozen highly paid software engineers instead. This is not the fault of the software engineers and ideally they should be rewarded for doing skilled labor and increasing efficiency. But if we don't figure out a way to deal with the large number of displaced workers, wealth disparity will grow. More people fighting over fewer low paying jobs means the wages of those jobs will go down. And of course it's simply impossible to expect everyone to work harder or become a software engineer, because A) there aren't as many jobs required B) we don't have the resources to educate everyone as software engineers and C) not everyone has the aptitiude.

I guess that's straying a bit off topic, but it is related.

1 hour ago, mkabi said:

I don’t want to jump to conclusions, so I have to ask... do you think Netflix is a startup???

It's not anymore.

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Nolan should first make sure that people that pay for his moves can actually listen to the fucking dialogue. He is deluded in thinking it makes us concentrate harder... I wont even go into  him not being able to give a movie a decent ending.

Nolan's bleating  is uncalled for and it is sheer hypocricy. Streaming is here to stay. The likes of netflix have given the possibility to actors and directors to flesh out and narrate stories in true depth. Something that would not work in two hours with Hollywood exec editing, is given flesh and life in 5 one hour episodes.

Nolan's bizzare concoctions such as Tenet will of course suffer because they are bad in the first place not because they were not shown in the cinema. When Pattinson is the best think in that movie (whenever you can hear him speak of course), then you have made a bad movie, period.

Villeneuve's Dune will have to be enjoyed in a theatre , if any of his past work is taken into account. That man deserves it.

Yes people that are true cinephiles and actually want to watch a movie for its craft rather than its "entertainment" value  are best served with the great silver screen.  It does take a proper movie to do so.

The  mistake of the cine industry  is not having a decent streaming service available around the globe with fair prices. Once they short that out , Nolan can go direct Tenet 2 - Reading lips in the space time continuum.

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Oh, come on.  The empty and grandiose filmmaking of Nolan and Tarantino helped bury cinema long before streaming.    Essential human drama?  Please.


VHS cassettes, unsocialized audience members and multiplexes killed the "theatrical experience" for most thoughtful adults, years ago.  The Hitchcock ideal of 2000 people coming to the Church of Cinema once or twice a month was dead before he was.  

There are people now who see more drama in a day than most of humanity did in a lifetime.  No form of art or entertainment can survive that much accessibility.  These days, everything is a passing diversion.  King Lear or reruns of Two and A Half Men, it's all the same.

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22 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

It's worth pointing out that Netflix had a net free cash flow of -$3.3 billion last year. Which isn't to say it's losing money, almost no successful startups have positive balance sheets for their first few years or even decades, but it's not like Netflix is making gobs of net money.

Netflix is only one, and their revenues are going up pretty fast. Amazon lost money for the better part of two decades as they built out their infrastructure, something that's still soaking up tons of cash. Disney already has almost 87million subs at $7/mo and are forecasting 250 million in the next few years. They're about to jack prices and are creating a ton of originals exclusive to streaming. Its a long game.

To the topic in general - Time Warner's subscriber numbers suck in comparison, this is an effort to drive up their subscriber base since there will be almost no box office over the next year and who knows how much longer this will last. Seriously, how long before people are willing sit shoulder to shoulder with 300 strangers for three hours to watch a movie? Two years? Five years? I don't know anyone that wants to go to a theater anytime soon, if ever. Just like live sports, I'd rather watch at home. Box office revenues will never reach pre-covid levels again.

Chris

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22 minutes ago, Trek of Joy said:

Seriously, how long before people are willing sit shoulder to shoulder with 300 strangers for three hours to watch a movie? Two years? Five years? I don't know anyone that wants to go to a theater anytime soon, if ever. 

People who actually enjoy going out of their houses? 😛

Not everyone is rocking a 75-inch screen in their tailored-made domestic movie theater.

If some of you guys are lucky enough to own a monster TV set and speakers then great, but going out for dinner and a movie is still a popular and accesible way to have fun. Has been like that for the last 100 years.

Streaming services tend to rack-up. Their prices, as many have said, will only go up, even if we don't care for 99% of the crap Netflix and others push on their platforms.

I WILL happily pay once or twice a month for cine ticket I know my family or friends will watch with me in a movie theather. Nice way to spend time and actually enjoy the outside world (facemask included).

 

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17 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

Theaters employed thousands of low paid cashiers, janitors, middle class managers, owners. A streaming service might employ a few dozen highly paid software engineers instead.

Once such a service has been programmed, the company can ultimately dump most of its computer programmers while keeping one or more of them to maintain it. This, of course, isn't just applicable to the movie industry.

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21 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

Like we agree, it happened or is happening in all industries and ultimately it's worse for a large number of people, and better for a small number of people. Technology has increased that trend. Here's an example:

Theaters employed thousands of low paid cashiers, janitors, middle class managers, owners. A streaming service might employ a few dozen highly paid software engineers instead. This is not the fault of the software engineers and ideally they should be rewarded for doing skilled labor and increasing efficiency. But if we don't figure out a way to deal with the large number of displaced workers, wealth disparity will grow. More people fighting over fewer low paying jobs means the wages of those jobs will go down. And of course it's simply impossible to expect everyone to work harder or become a software engineer, because A) there aren't as many jobs required B) we don't have the resources to educate everyone as software engineers and C) not everyone has the aptitiude.

I guess that's straying a bit off topic, but it is related.

It's not anymore.

I feel that all of it is going to implode on itself eventually. The billionaires are not going to get on their knees to clean every room in their 1000 room mansion... nor will they build their own homes by themselves. Even if there are layoffs in the middle class area where reasonable knowledge is required... what I often witness is that there is deep regret afterwards, because they have to waste money and time finding a reasonable substitute, or whoever takes on the duties is overwhelmed and overworked then the company pays in the long run from letting go not one but 2 (even if the guy goes on vacation is like all hell broke out). Even if we are talking about automating and Netflix... at the end of the day... there is always going to be something in this world that you can’t automate... such as creative endeavours, food prep (gourmet foods), etc.

And, if you are one of those people that lost their job for whatever reason... it’s time to learn new skills and find an opportunity that is irreplaceable... 

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5 hours ago, Matins 2 said:

Once such a service has been programmed, the company can ultimately dump most of its computer programmers while keeping one or more of them to maintain it. This, of course, isn't just applicable to the movie industry.

Exactly. It's not that all janitors will disappear but when 1 janitor + some automation can take the place of 3 janitors, you have a few million people out of work across the country.

2 hours ago, mkabi said:

I feel that all of it is going to implode on itself eventually.

Yes, if we don't figure out a plan it will. Amazon's retail business model taken to the extreme would mean that their workers won't have enough money to afford their products, meaning no profits. Everyone at Amazon knows this, but the short term profits are so high, and the possibility that it will affect anyone currently in the company's top positions is so far fetched that there is no incentive to address the issue.

2 hours ago, mkabi said:

The billionaires are not going to get on their knees to clean every room in their 1000 room mansion... nor will they build their own homes by themselves.

Basically what I said to Matins above, it's just a numbers game. There are ~5,000 cinemas in the US, and ~500 billionaires. Each billionaire will employ personal janitors, but will each billionaire employ 10x as many janitors as the average cinema? Probably not, so we can look at the numbers and see that a large number of janitors will be out of work in this ultra-simplified example even though the profession will continue to exist.

2 hours ago, mkabi said:

at the end of the day... there is always going to be something in this world that you can’t automate... such as creative endeavours, food prep (gourmet foods), etc.

To bring it back to the topic, that's the exact argument against removing theaters. Theaters support filmmakers like Nolan and Tarantino, where fans pay extra to pick out a movie that they like and want to watch it in the "proper" setting, as opposed to streaming whatever is trending where generally the attitude is more often "well it's free* so I can't complain." Or People have it on in the background and tune out most of the content. Whether you like Nolan or not, you have to admit that he puts a lot more personal thought into his projects than the average Netflix production.

(*Netflix isn't free, but when you pay per month instead of per movie, the content feels free to a lot of people).

Now I don't believe that streaming is bad intrinsically. I love watching movies at home. I don't care if I watch Inception in theater or stream it, I love it either way. That's why I put "proper" in quotes above, it's not that theaters are the Correct way to watch movies, but that we all know that it is easier for low quality content to be popular on Netflix or YouTube, than it would be in a traditional box office. The trend towards streaming is catering towards a less-discerning audience, and that having a broader, less interested, and less invested audience will reduce the number of unique, high quality productions, both the ones that I love and the ones that I don't.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/11/disney-stock-had-its-best-day-since-march-jumping-14percent-to-a-record.html?&qsearchterm=disney

Its interesting that Disney's share price has just hit an all time high....

1) Remember Disney had the top 6 grossing films in 2019 and that business has gone away

2) Disney's cruise business has gone

3) As has it parks business

So why are investors so bullish? Because of the streaming business and its projections...

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The following puts the whole cinema vs home big screen into financial perspective at least, for me (apart from the fact the cinemas are currently shut and we are still in lockdown!).

As a family of 3, there are 2x Marvel movies we have not seen; Civil War and Dr Strange.

We'd like to see Star Wars Rogue One again.

Plus both seasons of The Mandalorian.

Whole lot, this next month, 8 euros/dollars, ie, a single months subscription on the Disney+ channel which I will then unsubscribe from.

Own home, no travel, no parking costs, no queues (and in France, you can't pre-book tickets so if it's popular and you get there too late...after driving 1 hour to get there in the first place, you might just have to watch the turkey movie instead), no specific time scales, the ability to pause, your own food at a decent price and no risk of food poisoning, comfortable seating. The list goes on...

And no, we don't have some fancy 'home cinema' room, simply a 55" 4K TV that cost about 600 euros we got last year after 3 years of no TV and it's in our living room with no fancy surround sound or anything.

A future of no bricks and mortar cinemas has nothing to do with the movie industry. Nothing. And it does not mean you have become some kind of introverted hermit if you don't make a monthly visit to your local fleapit cinema, ie, it's not the end of society as we know it.

 

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If cinemas are a thing of the past, and complete digital media is the future, why not phase out actors (human ones)? Surely, most people will have a hard time distinguishing CGI actors from their real life counterparts if done right. We might as well do away with script writers. Who's going to need them when artificial intelligence is able to come up with scripts that can suck more money out of the masses than human scripts do now?

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On 12/11/2020 at 10:08 PM, KnightsFan said:

To bring it back to the topic, that's the exact argument against removing theaters. Theaters support filmmakers like Nolan and Tarantino, where fans pay extra to pick out a movie that they like and want to watch it in the "proper" setting, as opposed to streaming whatever is trending where generally the attitude is more often "well it's free* so I can't complain." Or People have it on in the background and tune out most of the content. Whether you like Nolan or not, you have to admit that he puts a lot more personal thought into his projects than the average Netflix production.

This is where our thought processes diverge... 

Theatres don't support filmmakers... studios support filmmakers... I know you are going to say that theatres support studios and so from super structure point of view that if theatres support studios then theatres support the creatives/artists... right? Perhaps, but that only gives half the story.

Here you go: https://money.cnn.com/2002/03/08/smbusiness/q_movies/

Most of that article is about movie snacks and that garbage, but the biggest takeaways for me is that:

"Most of the money from ticket sales goes back to the movie studio. A film booker leases a movie to a particular theater for a set period of weeks. The percentage of ticket sales that the studio takes decreases on each week that a movie is in the theater. If the screening was arranged by an independent middleman, he also takes a slice. So the movie has to pull in sizeable audiences for several weeks in order for theater owners to make any serious profits.

During the film's opening week, the studio might take 70 to 80 percent of gross box office sales. By the fifth or sixth week, the percentage the studio takes will likely shrink to about 35 percent, said Steven Krams, president of International Cinema Equipment Co."

I know we are getting into Economics here, but if we are talking about leasing structure... streaming services also "lease" from studios.... see here:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/office-why-nbcuniversal-is-paying-500m-pull-hit-netflix-1221020

Now, if you are going to talk about "proper" setting in your home versus a movie theatre.... yeah I agree.... but at the same time aren't you guys like Apple's 1984 commercial:

In my opinion, if you can't turn off your phones or be distracted without being in a movie theatre.... then the movie or show that you are watching at home isn't captivating enough. I wasn't born when "The Godfather" 1 & 2 came out, nor was I born when the "Star Wars: A New Hope" and I was just born when Empire Strikes back came out, and about 3 years old when Return of the Jedi came out (yeah, you can guess my age by all this), and what I'm getting at is that I wasn't around or old enough to watch those movies in theatres... where did I watch those??? Thats right, in my living room on VHS, DVDs and now streaming.

Sure.... there are plenty of stuff that is polluting the streaming service and I can't watch more than half the stuff on there.... but sometimes you have to look through the fluff and find that diamond in the rough. Stuff that captivated me made me watch it without being distracted: "Tiger King", "Last Dance", "Surviving R. Kelly", "Chernobyl" (still watching this by the way), "Itaewon Class", first few seasons of "Stranger Things", first season of "13 reasons why"... thats all I can think of at present.... but you get it.

 

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6 minutes ago, mkabi said:

 

 

Sure.... there are plenty of stuff that is polluting the streaming service and I can't watch more than half the stuff on there.... but sometimes you have to look through the fluff and find that diamond in the rough. Stuff that captivated me made me watch it without being distracted: "Tiger King", "Last Dance", "Surviving R. Kelly", "Chernobyl" (still watching this by the way), "Itaewon Class", first few seasons of "Stranger Things", first season of "13 reasons why"... thats all I can think of at present.... but you get it.

 

You're over simplifying.  I can happily watch many things without consulting my phone.  My wife though is another matter and will happily chat with friends, message, talk to me, insist I help her with dinner.... plus the odd occasion of someone at the door.  Not so frequent this year, but still... so even if you're well behaved, others in the household are not. 

There is still a place for cinema.  Of course its always competing against TV.  Hence one of the reasons why movies went wide-screen when TVs first entered peoples home; to open the cinema experience out.  Unfortunately its hard to find something unique to cinema that can't be easily replicated at home.  3D was one such method, no doubt why cinemas tried to push it over 2D releases, but its waned since the peak a decade ago.  

Obviously 2020 has been hard on cinemas, but prior to that, there was no evidence that cinemas were on their way out.  Box office numbers in 2019 were good.  I've seen a few larger cinema complexes built in the last decade.  I've been in quite a few packed out cinema screenings.  So I'd say its too early to predict the demise of cinema over streaming.  Both have their place in delivering movies to the audience.  

Whilst I've go fewer times now than I did 10 years ago, I still go half a dozen times a year and enjoy the experience.  Yes, the adverts are annoying, and you get the odd bad experience with other members of the audience, but I enjoy the larger screen and sound system.   Its nice to hear the movie loud without the neighbour bashing on your wall to turn it down, and my wife behaves much better too at the cinema...  😅😅😅

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54 minutes ago, SteveV4D said:

You're over simplifying.  I can happily watch many things without consulting my phone.  My wife though is another matter and will happily chat with friends, message, talk to me, insist I help her with dinner.... plus the odd occasion of someone at the door.  Not so frequent this year, but still... so even if you're well behaved, others in the household are not. 

There is still a place for cinema.  Of course its always competing against TV.  Hence one of the reasons why movies went wide-screen when TVs first entered peoples home; to open the cinema experience out.  Unfortunately its hard to find something unique to cinema that can't be easily replicated at home.  3D was one such method, no doubt why cinemas tried to push it over 2D releases, but its waned since the peak a decade ago.  

Obviously 2020 has been hard on cinemas, but prior to that, there was no evidence that cinemas were on their way out.  Box office numbers in 2019 were good.  I've seen a few larger cinema complexes built in the last decade.  I've been in quite a few packed out cinema screenings.  So I'd say its too early to predict the demise of cinema over streaming.  Both have their place in delivering movies to the audience.  

Whilst I've go fewer times now than I did 10 years ago, I still go half a dozen times a year and enjoy the experience.  Yes, the adverts are annoying, and you get the odd bad experience with other members of the audience, but I enjoy the larger screen and sound system.   Its nice to hear the movie loud without the neighbour bashing on your wall to turn it down, and my wife behaves much better too at the cinema...  😅😅😅

My wife behaves the same way... I feel like if its a nightly thing.... she does all that and more, but say I'm working and don't have time to watch TV.... a week or 2 passes by... and I have about a couple of hours to spare and watching a movie is the only option - my wife shuts up and watches a movie. Similarly a movie theatre does the same thing... its not like we are doing it everyday. Choose a movie night and lay down the rules.

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I remember discussing the decline of the high street cinema circa 1988/89 when I was at art college and doing an advertising campaign in order to support the cinema.

I used Jaws as my visual with the caption 'Big Fish, Little Fish' referencing the big screen vs the TV.

And that was 30 years ago.

But then they said 'the talkies' would never last about 100 years back...

I think we can all agree on one thing and that is the experience isn't what it once was.

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