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WarnerMedia Revises Compensation Terms for Angry Filmmakers (Report)

Jason Kilar
(Image credit: WarnerMedia)

WarnerMedia has extended an olive branch to its alienated filmmaking partners, significantly lowering the performance benchmarks needed for them to get paid for their movies. 

According to an unsourced Bloomberg report, any producer, actor or other creative community member who is contracted with Warner Bros. to receive compensation based on box office success will receive their money at much lower performance thresholds. WarnerMedia will also pay a larger group of cast and crew members fees from what it makes from HBO Max, the report added. 

Also read: WarnerMedia’s Kilar: Bereaved Creative Partners Will Be Made Whole ‘Through the Lens of Generosity’

The move follows a declaration made last month by WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar, who said the conglomerate would renegotiate with the creative community out of the “lens of generosity.”

WarnerMedia came under fire from high-profile filmmakers, union officials, talent agents and other filmmaking partners after it announced that its entire slate of 17 theatrical films for 2021 would debut on HBO Max at the same time they premiere in theaters. 

Denis Villeneuve, director of one of the 2021 Warner slate’s biggest movies, Dune, said the decision would “kill” the Dune franchise. 

According to Bloomberg, WarnerMedia will now compensate its filmmaking partners once movies achieve just half of their targeted box office goals. And the threshold will be reduced further the more movie theaters are shut down. 

“There is no situation where everyone is going to stand up and applaud,” Kilar told the New York Times in an interview last month. “That’s not the way innovation plays out. This is not easy, nor is it intended to be easy. When you are trying something new, you have to expect and be ready for some people who are not comfortable with change. That’s OK.”