Indie Producers Worry That Warner Bros’ Streaming Move Could Squeeze Them Out

”There will be competition on the digital platform with first window movies…in the past independent films weren’t competing with ‘Wonder Woman’ at first window,“ IFC Films President Arianna Bocco says

It didn’t take long for big studio filmmakers to push back when Warner Bros. announced on Dec. 3 it would debut its entire slate of 2021 movies concurrently in theaters and on HBO Max — the so-called “day-and-date” plan.

Now leaders in the independent film community are stepping forward to say Warner’s approach — and even a hybrid release model by Disney — raises particular issues when it comes to their films. Art-house producers and distributors worry that the day-and-date approach will inevitably siphon attention away from their films in theaters — which already struggle for attention compared to megabudgeted blockbusters. And that having blockbuster films on streaming platforms make it harder to grab attention there too.

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Diane Haithman

Senior Entertainment Business Reporter • • @dhaithman