Steven Spielberg: Celebrities like HBO Max ‘thrown my best friend in the movie industry under the bus’

Steven Spielberg said in a new interview with The New York Times that streaming services like HBO Max have thrown filmmakers “under the bus” by dumping high-profile new releases “unofficially” on live streams rather than in movie theaters. The Oscar winner points to Warner Bros. The decision to release all of its 2021 films on HBO Max and in theaters on the same day. For Spielberg, this decision changed the movie habits of adults.

“The pandemic has created an opportunity for streaming platforms to raise their subscriptions to record levels and also throw some of my best director friends under the bus because their films have not been unofficially given theatrical releases,” Spielberg said. “They were paid and the movies all of a sudden relegated, in this case, to HBO Max. The case I’m talking about. And then everything started to change.”

“I think the older fans were relieved that they didn’t have to eat sticky popcorn,” Spielberg continued. “But I really think those same older audiences, once they get on the stage, the magic of being in a social situation with a group of strangers is invigorating… It’s up to the movies to be good enough to get all audiences to say this to each other when the lights come back on.

Spielberg cited Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis as one of the films that gave him hope for the future of adult films at the box office. “There is no doubt that big sequels, movies from Marvel, DC, Pixar, and some animated films and horror films still have a place in society,” the director said, given the box office revenue. Elvis, with a domestic total price tag of $151 million, proves that adult fare still has a fighting chance.

“I found it encouraging that Elvis broke $100 million at the domestic box office,” Spielberg said. Lots of old people went to see this movie, and it gave me hope that people started coming back to the movies with the outbreak. I think the movies will come back. I really.”

While the pandemic hasn’t completely changed Spielberg’s commitment to the play, he admitted to The Times that it at least made him think more openly about the value of a potential move toward a streaming-only release.

“I made ‘The Post’ as a political statement about our time by reversing the Nixon administration, and we thought that was an important reflection for a lot of people to understand what was happening to our country,” Spielberg said. “I don’t know if I was given that script after the pandemic whether I would have preferred to make this movie for Apple or Netflix and get it out to millions of people. Because the movie had something to say to millions of people, and we wouldn’t have made those millions of people in enough of it.” theaters to make that kind of difference. Things have changed enough to make me say that to you.”

Spielberg’s latest directing effort, “The Fabelmans,” opens exclusively in select cinemas on November 11 before expanding nationwide on November 23.


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