After the Dune scandal, it is the production company Village Roadshow Pictures' turn to attack the Warner Bros. Pictures studio for having blocked the theatrical release of Matrix Resurrections for the benefit of its streaming platform, HBO Max.
Box office sealed?
According to Variety, the studio which produced the four feature films of the Matrix saga would have a hard time digesting the failure of the exploitation of the film in the cinema and considers that it suffered financial damage following this position. "Warner Bros.' only interest in moving the Matrix Resurrections streaming release date forward was to create a desperate need to subscribe to HBO Max Premium at the end of the year to access the blockbuster," he said in a statement. The studio knew full well that this would decimate the film's box office receipts and deprive Village Roadshow of any economic advantage that Warner and its affiliates would enjoy, especially in relation to an exclusive theatrical release in 2022. Before we drive the point home: Warner's strategy not only dented The Matrix 4 at the box office, but it also inflicted serious damage on the entire saga. There is no doubt that the catastrophic box office figures have considerably weakened the franchise. A film's lack of profitability usually prevents studios from investing in other sequels and spin-off films in the short term”.
Let's talk numbers
Currently, The Matrix 4 has grossed $153.6 million at the worldwide box office with an estimated production cost of $190 million. On HBO Max, the film was viewed “only” 2.8 million times in its first week of broadcast.
Warner super confident
Warner's official response was immediate: “This is a futile attempt on the part of Roadshow to avoid its contractual commitments and participate in the commercial arbitration we have informed it of. We have no doubt that this case will be resolved in our favor”.
Remember that Warner's strategy of releasing its blockbusters simultaneously in theaters and on its platform has already cost it millions of dollars in damages, notably for Dune and The Suicide Squad. What about Matrix 4? To be continued…