The legendary Godzilla threequel that has been the talk of the town since years will probably not be available for screening in the theaters. If reports are to be trusted, there’s a fair bit of chance the movie will be streamed online. Major Streamers are already negotiating with WarnerMedia for an acceptable offer. The two streaming platforms in the frontlines of the race are Netflix and HBO Max. But who will have the cake and eat it too? Here’s what we know so far.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the bidding wars have already begun. Netflix has already offered an amount north of $200 Million for exclusive streaming rights to the movie. Other sources have confirmed that WarnerMedia is in advanced talks with HBO Max. Netflix’s offer may not be enough to dissuade them from striking a deal with the long-time Warner Brothers streaming platform. WarnerMedia has blocked further negotiations with Netflix to strike a deal with HBO Max but Netflix remains adamant it can get its hands on the movie rights.
Legendary Entertainment, which financed almost 80 per cent of the movie, has an affinity for Netflix. Netflix is yet to have an online presence in the world’s largest movie market – China. Godzilla vs. Kong would have hit the big screens there since theaters have already opened up in Mainland China.
With the Monsterverse movies being massively popular in China, the Big Screen route seems likely for Godzilla vs. Kong for the nation. Almost a third of King of the Monsters’ Gross Box Office earnings came from China. The amount was appropriately $386 Million. Kong: Skull Island also enjoyed a good run in China, earning more than $170 Million of its total of $567 Million from the country alone.
Slated for a May 2021 release date, it is unclear whether US Theatres will have opened up by then with the pandemic raging on. WarnerMedia only controls a 25 per cent stake in the project. It is still the final decision maker with regard to the movie’s release. Legendary is stuck with several high profile movie projects whose release dates were delayed due to the lockdown.
The final decision for Godzilla vs. Kong’s fate is in the hands of WarnerMedia’s top management. WarnerMedia’s CEO Jason Kilar is in talks with Warner Brothers‘ Chairman Ann Sarnoff to come up with an “unprecedented” solution. The current likeliest option is a combinational release pattern. Godzilla vs. Kong will be released theatrically where needed while HBO Max (or Netflix) will gain streaming rights to the movie in tandem. In theory, this model could lay down the roadwork for other movie projects that are sitting idle like Wonder Woman 1984 and Tom & Jerry. The future looks uncertain.
What will WB choose to do?