‘Godzilla vs Kong’ Moves up Its Release Date, Will Debut in Theaters and HBO Max
Godzilla vs Kong will now be released on March 26, 2021, simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.
After several weeks of disagreements and a public dispute, Legendary and Warner Bros. have agreed on the release details of the upcoming Adam Wingard-directed epic Godzilla vs Kong. It all started when the studio blocked a $250 million check Netflix had extended to buy the movie, which did not sit well with Legendary. Then, in early December, the studio publicly announced they would be releasing their entire 2021 slate both in theaters and on HBO Max, without consulting any of their associates.
Legendary threatened to take WB to court, as Dune had contractual obligations to do a theatrical-only release. They had financed the vast majority of both Dune and Godzilla vs Kong, so WB couldn’t just blindside them when making such a radical decision. For that reason, the studio tried to settle an agreement to avoid court, which would have ruled in favor of the production company.
While the Variety report on the new release details does not mention whether or not Warner Bros. had to pay the $250 million Legendary was demanding to concede on the streaming rights, it is entirely possible they did.
Nonetheless, I find it very surprising they decided to move the release date up. I applaud the attempt to support the theaters, which need any dollar they can get these days, especially after the delay of Morbius and the inevitable delay of No Time to Die. However, from the studio’s perspective, it doesn’t make much sense. They will be releasing Zack Snyder’s Justice League that same month, and that’s gonna be four weeks of having your subscribers paying the monthly fee. Because, let’s be honest here, there is a lot of cross-over between both audiences, so I don’t know why they wouldn’t wait another month to keep the new subscribers. That being said, I will be inside a theater the first week of release, with two fully-loaded buckets of popcorn and ready to go.
The final release details for Dune are still being worked out by the two companies. I honestly think it will end up having a theatrical-only release, with maybe a shorter theatrical window so that the movie will debut on HBO Max three or four weeks after it debuts in theaters. I fully expect more details in the next couple of weeks.
Miguel Fernández is a Spanish student that has movies as his second passion in life. His favorite movie of all time is The Lord of the Rings, but he is also a huge Star Wars fan. However, fantasy movies are not his only cup of tea, as authors like Scorsese, Fincher, Kubrick or Hitchcock have been an obsession for him since he started to understand the language of filmmaking. He is that guy who will watch a black and white movie, just because it is in black and white.