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

Diane Haithman
·1-min read

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. “In the past, if independent films in their first window were day-and-date, they weren’t competing with ‘Wonder Woman’ at first window, they were competing with ‘Wonder Woman’ in a home video window,” Arianna Bocco, president of independent film distributor IFC Films, told TheWrap. “There will be a competition on the digital platform with first-window movies.” Independent film producer Mynette Louie, whose films include “I Carry You With Me,” “The Tale” and “Swallow,” took to Twitter on Dec. 15 to express her fears about...

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