A long relationship between Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan recently seemed to come to an end in a disagreement over release strategy. Nolan was said to not support WarnerMedia’s day-and-date in theaters and HBO Max release strategy during the pandemic. Warners is now moving to a 45-day window which appears to be bedding in as a new industry standard.
His new home, Universal, has an even more narrow window where movies can become available as PVOD releases in just 17 days if they underperform. If they hit pre-agreed measures it can still be as fast as 31 days.
For Christopher Nolan’s next? Oppenheimer is his first movie at Universal and they reportedly had to satisfy a list of demands. A director’s rider! One of them was a 100-day exclusive theatrical release window from July 23rd, 2023.
In an interview with Deadline, Universal executive Donna Langley was clear it’s only relating to Nolan:
“Look, Chris has a precedent at Warner Bros. in the 20 years he was making movies there and he was very clear with, I think, everybody that he spoke with that that was something he was looking to do and so I think that (the lengthy exclusive theatrical window) was a sort of point of entry. We are happy to accommodate it.
I am obviously thrilled that they made the decision to come with Universal. It took conversations over a number of years actually with myself and with Jeff Shell when he was with us in the film group. He is a huge fan of Chris’ and he really put the time and the effort there.”
She then gave more detail on the thinking behind the shorter windows, saying that consumers now expect it, and that industry analysis points to shorter theatrical windows as movies these days make the bulk of their revenue within 3 weeks.
So Peacock is about to get a slew of prime content?