A new year has begun, but the world is far from having left the coronavirus crisis behind. Regarding the Hollywood industry, the persistence of the pandemic aims to provoke another succession of delayed releases, the first having been released this week. Given the figures for Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984, and the circumstances in which the films still have to be released (with multiple cinemas closed or with capacity restrictions), it seems that the majors have no choice but to delay their releases again, but curiously this time it has not been the case of Warner Bros., in a surprising move, it has decided to advance one of its films.
Specifically, Godzilla vs. Kong, the film directed by Adam Wingard and which is a new installment in the franchise that makes up Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. According to Deadline, the company has changed its date set on May 21 this year to March 26, leaving just over two months to hit theaters … and HBO Max, of course. Last December Warner announced a controversial hybrid model between cinemas and its streaming platform by which all its 2021 films had to be governed, starting with Wonder Woman 1984. It will not be different for Godzilla vs. Kong, although the advancement of its premiere may be related to the consequences of this strategy.
And it is that Wingard’s film is financed 75% by Legendary Entertainment, a company that was about to accept a millionaire offer from Netflix for its distribution rights. Warner, however, blocked this sale and later announced that both Godzilla vs. Kong as Dune (the other great blockbuster financed by Legendary) would go to theaters as well as HBO Max. Legendary then threatened to sue the major, tense negotiations having taken place in recent weeks that, as regards Godzilla vs. Kong, seem to have settled with fortune for Warner, keeping its premiere as the best wanted and bringing the date forward.
Godzilla vs. Kong, also, would premiere in the space reserved for The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel to The Sopranos that recently had its premiere postponed from March to September 24. Although Wingard’s film will embrace this hybrid model, the same may not happen with Dune: the combined complaints of Legendary and Denis Villeneuve, as well as the fear that a simultaneous premiere on HBO Max could jeopardize its possibilities to expand a series. have helped make it possible for Warner to announce Dune’s exclusive arrival in theaters at any moment. Right now, its premiere is scheduled for October 1st.