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Why Warner Bros.; Ann Sarnoff, Doesn’t Believe In Profit-For-Business

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Befuddled

I’m not sure you heard, but back on November 17th, 2019, #ReleaseTheSnyderCut reached a million tweets on Twitter. At that time, it was the most hashtagged trend for any film Warner Bros. had, and it wasn’t even released yet. Fast-Foward to March 18th, 2021, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, aka The Snyder Cut, is released. And before we even find out what the weekend numbers were on HBOMax, Warner Bros. and their CEO, Ann Sarnoff, decides to release an article explaining that they want the Multiverse to continue, just not with Zack’s world. Pardon my English, but you couldn’t be more fucking stupid.

In all my years of being in sales, I’ve never witnessed a company publicly state “The customer is wrong.” Even before Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released, Head of DC Films, Walter Hamada, and unnamed WB Execs, called The Snyder Cut a “cul-de-sac” of films that lead to nowhere. But if you think about it, all these responses came BEFORE the film was released. Which makes it pretty evident that the Executives running the Film divisions of Warner Bros. don’t know what they’re doing. They have actively campaigned for one of their hottest products to be discontinued BEFORE RELEASE. Imagine that: They’re adamant that their most talked-about film in history should only be a one-off. Poppycock.

Surprised

This is where I become beside myself. As of this writing, it’s been a FULL WEEK since the debut of the film and NO ONE has released viewing numbers. But just a few months ago, when Wonder Woman 1984 came out, not only did they release their numbers, they greenlit a sequel THAT MONDAY. News flash: Zack Snyder’s Justice League is rated higher both by critics AND fans on Rotten Tomatoes, a site you would NEVER talk about as a fan of Zack’s. And not a peep. Nothing. But the funny part is we KNOW it’s been viewed more than Wonder Woman 1984. The silence is because if they release those numbers, people will ask why Wonder Woman 1984 got a sequel and all the studio has done is say Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a “cul-de-sac.” More like a Cul-de-Zack.

I could understand some people putting their feet in their mouths. But Warner Bros. is literally chopping off their entire face d to spite their head. That’s a colloquial metaphor. And it stands to reason that pride has taken over gluttony at the studio. What other reason would Warner Bros. not want to take advantage of dominating the theaters AND streaming-service space? That’s the entire purpose of market share; to dominate. You want your cake? It’s baked with Matt Reeve’s The Batman and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. You want to eat it? Dig in with Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBOMax. After all, we got in this stupid mess because Warner Bros. forced Zack to create all types of spin-offs, but I digress.

Shocked

What if I were to tell you that on March 25th, 2021, a new trend broke the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut record? That’s right. Would you like to know what caused it? After shattering records and viewership the world over, people came to Twitter to say one thing: #RestoreTheSnyderVerse. And guess what? It wasn’t just the fans clamoring for it but bloggers AND critics alike. And against unfathomable odds, Zack Snyder’s Justice League has taken the world by storm. It’s entered the zeitgeist of pop-culture in the best ways. The hottest selling ticket of anything Warner Bros. has released in years. And what have they said? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

This is a studio that caved in to pressure from a vocal minority that didn’t like Batman v Superman. It’s their M.O. They cave. And THIS is where they’re putting their foot down? By telling fans who generated OVER 1 MILLION TWEETS in one day, that what they want isn’t important to them. That we should be excited about Blue Beatle and like it (no disrespect to Blue Beatle but it doesn’t have that power). Or tell us who’s playing characters in films that haven’t even begun filming. While you’re at it, why don’t you tell us who’s playing Hourman, I’m sure that’ll quiet down interest in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Curious

This is me at my most masochistic. Because as a DC fan, I’ve come to realize that Warner Bros. doesn’t want ‘certain’ types of money. They believe DC Films are a Zero-Sum game. That if I enjoy Zack Snyder’s Justice League, that I won’t pay/watch The Batman or The Suicide Squad. What’s that ancient Atlantean saying? “None are taken back from the darkness. Not without giving one up in return.” I imagine that’s how Warner Bros. leads their meetings when discussing what they should greenlight. It’s the only thing I can think of. Because no business would actually be in business if they actively made their own customers question the product. I want to watch them all. And yet, I get the feeling that Warner Bros. doesn’t want me to.

Also, add the fact that even The Snyder Cut got meddled with. The goddamn thing we fought so hard for, got studio interference. And for what? So they could have the multiverse with possibly different interpretations of characters Zack would’ve used? Is the big-bad studio THAT insecure that with all their resources and money, they can’t make a product better than Zack Snyder? And if they are, THAT ALONE should be the reason that you would take that momentum and run with it. Imagine actually giving fans what they want and using their MILLION TWEETS, AS FREE PUBLICITY. I have to laugh out loud because there’s so much potential for making money and the only people that don’t want it are the people that benefit from it.

Angry

Why doesn’t Warner Bros. want their fans to be happy? The blueprint is there. Their business plan was laid out in plain English. Zack even has HBOMax spin-off shows that could be worked into his 5-Film arc. At what point do I say enough is enough? First, Warner Bros. told me I was wrong for liking Batman v Superman. And now they’re telling me I’m wrong for liking Zack Snyder’s Justice League. But it’s not just me anymore, it’s the world. Maybe they thought they could ignore me back in 2016, but they can’t ignore us this time. And surely, Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, doesn’t stand for his subordinates undermining his one purpose for operating business, right? To make a profit.

But Warner Bros. is making it the most difficult thing to do.  All because they’re afraid of their own egos being outshined by one man. That’s why you hired him in the first place. If studio executives could make the films Zack Snyder has, they would’ve done it. No one was forcing Sarnoff or Hamada to make press releases that said Zack Snyder’s Justice League was a “cul-de-sac.” All they had to do was play a wait-and-see, and they could’ve used all of this momentum to prop up their new streaming service with top-tier shows and films. Unless, of course, they’re against HBOMax and WarnerMedia. Oh wait, I never thought of that.

Father // Senior Editor // Co-Host for The Reel in Motion Podcast @TheReelinMotion // Male Feminist // Unapologetic Snyder Enthusiast // Xbox X

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