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Why Video Game Movies Always Come Up Short

Why Video Game Movies Always Come Up Short

I like video games.

That shouldn’t be a shocking statement if you’ve read the other articles I have on the site. I even dedicated an entire article just to talking about old Adobe flash games that I played as a child. I also like movies, and my blog on my website *shameless plug* covers movies quite a bit.

Naturally, this predisposed me to watch a whole bunch of video game movies over the years. The many films came rushing back to me as I watched the latest trailer for the new Mortal Kombat movie, and this question kept coming back to me:

Are we ever gonna see a good video game movie?

Sure, we’ve had enjoyable video game movies—your Sonic The Hedgehogs, Lara Crofts, Mortal Kombat, if you will. And there are films and games that pair together to tell a bigger story. But there’s also been the god awful—Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros., and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to name a few. None of these have been good in my view. The highest I’d rate them would be a below-average or average grade. 

All of this kept running through my head as I was watching the trailer, and my excitement for the movie started to slowly leak out of my body the more I watched. I realized I’d been here before, excited to watch the latest video game movie thinking ‘this’ll be the one’, only for it to turn out like it always does: hollow and disappointing. I asked myself why this is the case, and I reckon I’ve got a pretty good idea why.

You can’t play a movie.

I mean, of course, you can’t play a movie, but that’s beside the point.

The interaction audiences have with movies and video games is quite different. Movies are mostly passive unless you decide to pass the TV remote between your mates. In contrast, video games are generally one of the most audience-interactive modes of entertainment we have.   

A lot of AAA games developed these days have production values on par with most modern movies. However, I believe that video games’ interactivity lends more weight to the experience because it’s you controlling the events instead of just being along for the ride. I think this is always there in the back of gamers’ minds when they’re watching these video game movies. 

It would make sense that when you watch the Tomb Raider movies, you’re reminded of all the action set pieces you’ve played through. You’re inevitably going to compare them to the scenes in the movie. Thus, most of the time you’ve either seen it before and played it in the game or it’s just not as exciting as the game.

This interactivity also allows video games to connect with audiences in a completely different way compared to a movie’s passive nature. The best way to explain this would be by using an example. Let’s just pick a random game as an example…

Ah yes, Yager Development’s 2011 underrated gem Spec Ops: The Line, that’ll do nicely. (This choice isn’t surprising for those that know me considering I recommend this game to everyone any chance I get.) Spec Ops is a great example of how video games’ stories are inherently unique to the medium.

For the purposes of this post, I’m only going to be looking at the game’s story because the gameplay isn’t anything to write home about, and that’s not what I’m talking about today.

In Spec Ops, you follow Captain Martin Walker as he and his fireteam of Delta operators travel through a sandstorm-ravaged Dubai. They’re searching for a way out of the city when they discover survivors of the storm and are fired upon. This inciting incident leads Walker and his team along an inexorable path in a downward spiral as they delve deeper and deeper into the city. This concludes in a hideous maelstrom of violence and death as the player’s control over Walker is called into question. Players becoming unwitting passengers as the war crimes start piling up.

This basic plot isn’t anything groundbreaking or revolutionary. The developers are very open about their inspirations from Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness. Where the game’s story takes on a new level is when the player’s direct interactions with the game world are used to show the state of Walker’s fractured psyche.

At this point, I’m going to be talking spoilers for the game, and there are also some images that some of you may find distressing.

The best example of this is towards the end of the story when any semblance of buddy-buddy warfare has crumbled along with the squad’s mental state. Your squad member Lugo was hanged by civilians in a refugee camp. Walker and Adams are surrounded by the civilians, and the player can choose to fire into the air to scare off the civilians or gun them down without mercy. This choice may not look like much, but if we were a passive observer (like with a movie), we can’t know what kind of options Walker has. This would stop us from being able to analyze his actions with as much depth as we can as the interactive player.

See, that’s the thing. The fact we control the characters and make decisions for them gives us an insight into the characters that we can’t get from watching a movie portraying the same events.

However, this control being taken away from us in-game is also a way games can affect us on a much deeper level than movies can. Going back to Spec Ops, specifically the white phosphorus scene, Walker and the player encounter heavy enemy resistance outside The Nest. At this point in the game, the mission for Walker has morphed from fleeing Dubai to rescuing civilians held past The Nest. The team knows that they can’t win a straight firefight against that, and we learn that a mortar is nearby loaded with white phosphorus.

White phosphorus is a horrible chemical that does horrible, unspeakable things to humans when they come into contact with it. I’m not going to list them here; you can look that up in your own time if you so wish. Using the chemical is also a war crime in certain situations. Lugo even states that the team knows what the chemical does and is reluctant to use the weapon, bordering on being insubordinate. He even flat-out states that there’s always a choice, to which Walker replies, “There’s really not.”

We’ve already experienced these movies… every time we pick up the controller. 

This entire dialogue is played out in cutscene, a passive movie-watching experience that cuts away from your interactive gameplay. You can’t stop it. You can’t try and rationalize another way out of the situation. All you can do is watch as Walker commands his squad to set up the mortar and fire on the enemy encampment. However, the game drops back out of the cutscene with you looking upon the battlefield through the targeting system of the mortar, unable to stop until you have killed every last one of the enemies.

Except that not every person at The Nest was an enemy.

Do you feel like a hero yet?

Right at the end of the set-piece, you fire upon a huge mass of people that you believe are enemy combatants. After you walk your team through the scorched earth that you created, watching soldiers try to escape their fates, their screams assaulting you, you’re greeted with a terrible sight—civilians that you had set out to save, their bodies burnt and hollowed out by the white phosphorus.

It’s easily one of the most horrific acts Walker commits in the entire game.

But he wasn’t the one pushing the button and giving the commands.

That honor goes to the same person you see when you look at your screen right now.

That person is you.

That scene, more than any other in the game, shows how games draw the player in and can put them in the character’s headspace so easily. Movies just can’t get close to that experience.

That’s why I don’t think we’re ever going to get a good video game movie. Because we’ve already experienced these movies… every time we pick up the controller.     

Do you have a favorite video game movie? What movie game franchise do you want to see on the big screen next? Let me know down below.

Author’s Note:

This post delved into some pretty dark subject matter. If that’s dredged up some stuff for you on a personal level, know there are always people on hand to help you through it.

All around the globe, there are countless organisations there to help you through any tough times you may be having. You can link here to search for a mental health organisation in your country.

Stay safe and I’ll catch you all next time. -Rohan

 

SPOILERS and YOU: A Guide to “Twists”

SPOILERS and YOU: A Guide to “Twists”

Vader is Luke’s bad guy. Rosebud was the name of a 2-hour long question. From the beginning, Bruce Willis was in the movie the WHOLE time. 

We live in a time of SPOILERS everywhere. One of the big questions about it, if you haven’t heard, is “Does knowing the twist of a movie or video game actually ruin the whole story for you? Or was the whole thing only hanging on the twist alone, making the story weak by comparison.”  Well, much like buttholes, everyone has an opinion. And I have a butthole because I’m one of those “everyones.” So, let’s explore my… “opinion” in this article, which I’m certain no one asked for.

Here’s a short story for you to set up the discussion:

A woman walks into a room with a glass of wine, sits next to her husband, and says, “I love you so much. I just want you to know that I couldn’t make it without you.” The husband says, “Is that you talking, or the wine?” The woman says, “Neither. It’s me talking to the wine.” (pause for laughter)

This is an example of subverting expectations, otherwise called “the twist.” This twist is what can be “spoiled” for an audience if they know about it before experiencing it. 

Let’s science this bitch.

Expectation subversion a commonly-used tool in telling jokes. You set up the story and tell it in a way that forces the audience to logically think of how it’s going to end. By the end of it, you have presented a “twist,” forcing the audience to rethink the story and see it in a new way with new information. In joke-telling, you have to make this new information work without the need to think too long about it. It needs to hit quickly, register fast, and invite the audience to laugh at the jab. The audience laughs not because they were tricked but because they feel rewarded for deciphering the information correctly. 

And that’s the word I want you to focus on when it comes to the twist: the REWARD

Ok, lesson over. 

Now my big question: Is giving key information about a story actually spoiling that rewarding experience?

Let’s take that concept of reward and try to contextualize it to a shared experience. Given the subject matter, I believe many people familiar with this website and its contents have completed a little unknown Indie video game called Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. If not, get the hell off the internet and go play this masterpiece of a game and have your life changed forever. NOW! If you prefer to trudge on, please be forewarned: MAJOR ACTUAL SPOILERS AHEAD! Let’s do this.

So after Nathan Drake dies… ok, just kidding (always wanted to do that). 

Zoran Lazarević: A mug only a mother can love… after a whole bottle.

The entirety of Uncharted 2 tells you the story of Nathan Drake and company trying to blah blah blah. If you made it to this part, you know the story. The point is that the focus of the story always sustained itself to one primary objective: finding the Cintamani stone. The only character that actually knew what was going on was the antagonist, Zoran Lazarebitch (great joke, and I don’t know how to do the accented c on my keyboard). When you finally realize what all the cryptic information about the stone actually meant and what it did, it was a proverbial “kick to the nuts.”

I’ll never forget what I felt when Drake said, “You gotta be shittin’ me,” after realizing the stone’s true purpose. When he knew something was up, I knew something was up. When he received the new info, I figured it out with him. Granted, he was quicker than me to grasp the concept, and then he told me, but I was there for the ride every step of the way. WE earned this together. And everything in my soul felt that reward. This is subversion done correctly.

So, for Uncharted 2, is knowing this key information spoiling the rewarding experience?

Well… EVERYTHING about the information gained in your first playthrough affects how you experience the story on the second playthrough. Noticing the twist being foreshadowed throughout the game and putting the information together actually AMPLIFIES the reward felt each time you play it. That’s why so many people play the game multiple times a year even to this day.

That’s why I’d refer to this as “good” subversion.

Now for an example of bad subversion (dun dun duuuuuun). For this one, I’m going to exploit my headache-inducing memory at the expense of making my article work: Game of Thrones’ series ending. (Sorry, Michelle!) Obviously, SPOILERS AHEAD.

Honestly, this would have been an improvement.

Unlike Uncharted 2, the Game of Thrones series is all over the place. There are characters making decisions on things everywhere for different reasons all the time. When they eventually act on those decisions, their actions are arbitrary at best. If you think about their actions for more than half a nanosecond, you’ll notice toward the end of the series that all the characters started acting in different ways (like complete dumbasses) than we recognize because they needed to get to the predetermined (bad) ending the show-runners created. The result was that every character’s decision was forced to trigger that “twist effect.

When the subversion itself is done well, as in Uncharted 2, the media in question gets noticed and elevated to artistic ranks. It’s no wonder why everyone is trying to capitalize on this “expectation subversion” mechanic. But when you continue to do the “expectations” part for years and then “subvert” only in the final minutes, it has an opposite effect on the people taking in the information: they feel no reward and, instead, feel cheated.

So how does knowing Game of Thrones’ key information affecting that rewarding experience?

The setups were cheap thrills that kept me watching through the end of the series but then left me feeling punished for retaining all that info by the end, making me a sad, sad boy. Many current shows are actually guilty of this same tactic. And that’s by design. Not the sucking part, but trying to keep people guessing and then forcing the twist at the end. Bad subversion.

By the way, if you’re loving this topic, dive into it more in this video from Overly Sarcastic Productions, which inspired my article: Trope Talk: Plot Twists.

So, knowing the twist in a story will absolutely change the experience. That said, it can either hurt or enhance your experience. If I spoiled the punch line of the joke at the beginning for you, it wouldn’t have had the same impact. It would have weakened your experience and cheated you out of a laugh. Knowing the end of Uncharted 2 won’t lessen the impact of such an incredible story because you need the whole story for the impact to matter. In contrast, knowing the end to Game of Thrones does spoil the ending because you know that the cheap thrills they give you aren’t leading to a rewarding payoff.

People will experience things differently, that much is known. People also want to have control over how they consume those experiences. When someone changes that organic experience for someone else by forcing information on them about a story, it can rob them of the intended emotions created by the storyteller. Everyone has the right to choose what information they want going into a story, and that’s always fine. But please keep in mind not everyone thinks like you.

As a writer, I create stories that I hope will “wow” the audience. I want the reader to enjoy the journey, and I hope they’ll want to return to that journey and experience a new kind of joy each time. Even if knowing the big “twist” doesn’t ruin their reward, it would deny them that FULL experience I initially intended. It robs them of that gut punch from the reveal, something that storytellers usually work very diligently to create. So, to all the people that get a rise out of spoiling things for others, I say this:  

Don’t be asshats… um… please

You made it to the end! This is for those of you that didn’t TLDR.

 

What stories have you had spoiled for you? Or what are some great, or terrible, twists that you’d like to praise or vent about? Let’s chat in the comments, but let’s try to keep things spoiler-free. (You know, like I didn’t.)

 

The C-List Heroes We Need in the DC Cinematic Universe

The C-List Heroes We Need in the DC Cinematic Universe

Picture the scene, dear reader. It is 2003, and my good self, an avid Comic Book fan is browsing the shelves of my local comic book store. I’m tired of the constant stream of big comic events that pit entire casts of A-list heroes against a cataclysmic threat that is on the brink of consuming existence as they know it, rebooting the universe and, once it’s all over, they all get reset back to issue #1. Or the age-old tale of one top-selling hero battling against another in a crossover event that, for some reason, needs to be collected across multiple comic titles that aren’t usually on your pull list, but you have to buy them all in order to get the full story.

The growing need to break from the norm of superhero comic books is strong and, so far, going unsated. I’m just about to give up when, like a shining beacon of curious hope, two brightly coloured covers leap out from one of the lower shelves where the graphic novels live. The books in question are Formerly Known as the Justice League and I Can’t Believe it’s not the Justice League. Take it from me, dear reader, these are two of, if not the best, books about C-list Superheroes that have hit hard times. From writers Keith Giffen & J.M Dematteis and artist Kevin Maguire, this is a comic series about an unlikely and sometimes unwilling bunch of would-be heroes that are just trying to be relevant in a world inhabited with more powerful and successful superheroes.

The stories contained within, while being a call back to the JLA International era, are also full of chaotic, over-the-top scenarios with some suspense and a lot of humor thrown in for good measure. And because they are so well written, there are even some subtext and plot points that build toward a big event that comes home to roost down the line in a future, much bigger book. Heavily impacting on the lives of the entire DC universe.

This is world-building at its finest, and it’s done with characters that even a seasoned comic book reader wouldn’t expect.

I mean, seriously, who would’ve thought I’d care about Blue Beetle? Never mind how his storyline would impact an entire universe and do what it did to Wonder Woman? See, I bet you’re intrigued after reading that right? These books are fantastic and surprisingly, despite their more comedic tone, lead into one of DC Comics’ most lauded and dramatic stories, Infinite Crisis.

So, this begs the question: if these stories can be told so well in comic book form, why can’t they be translated to the big screen? They are ripe for adaptation, and I think they would truly solidify the DC Cinematic Universe in the same way that the story arcs in the Marvel Universe have done.

DC’s TV outings have been a big success. The CW’s Arrowverse showed that a plethora of heroes could be mined for small-screen stardom. The Arrowverse went so far as to have big crossover events taken straight out of the comic books that inspired them, pulling these off to great fanfare given their limited budgets. And, for the most part, they showed their big-screen counterparts how to actually handle the heroes living through these events. Also, Titans and Doom Patrol showed that show creators could cater to an older audience of comic book fans to great success without making them brooding affairs of despair.

original artwork by Wayne Talbot

It is on the big screen that Warner Bros and DC have had mixed results, at least critically if not financially. Unlike Marvel’s offerings and their ability to tie both motion pictures and TV shows together in one big universe, DC has faltered along the way. And while their more recent offerings are showing some cohesion, they have yet to build a foundation that isn’t plagued by cracks.

There is a definite divide in the fanbase, with the more extreme fans decrying any negativity towards the overly dour and somber world these heroes inhabit, a world in a perpetual state of infighting and self-doubt. 

It is a world without hope, something that a universe that Superman inhabits should never be without in its darkest hour. Yet in the movies of this DC universe, much-needed hope is as rare as color in a palette of browns and greys.

For the less venomous within the fanbase, the seemingly rushed attempt to create a world that all these heroes inhabited together has been viewed as being forced and built on a lack of understanding of the core elements of the heroes and also the villains themselves. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will be the first to admit that some of the casting has been fantastic. Margot Robbie’s turn as Harley Quinn is a bright spot, first in the critically panned but financially successful Suicide Squad, and then in Birds of Prey (which I really enjoyed).  Warner Bros definitely seem to be giving more thought and effort to Harley’s place in the world than any of the main trinity going so far as to hire director James Gunn of Guardians of the Galaxy fame to helm the Suicide Squad sequel. With Gunn bringing his own flavor to the impressively cast follow-up, I have hope in the DC’s cinematic universe that I was so very much lacking until very recently. 

original artwork by Wayne Talbot

Now, I don’t know if the creative teams behind these movies have met in boardrooms, or (more than likely in recent times) over a Zoom call, but since the release of Wonder Woman 1984, they now have a key element in adapting the Formerly Known as the Justice League titles to the screen in the form of none other than Max Lord, as played by Pedro Pascal. (Pascal is so hot right now.) Albeit his portrayal leans heavily on Lord’s used car salesman aspect of the character. If Warner Bros and DC were to expand his story past WW84, maybe to atone for his deeds in the movie, which would be an interesting way to move him forward and allow him to bring the other characters along for the ride.

The premise in the comic book is that Lord wants to create a team of superheroes for hire, made up of lesser-known heroes who have either retired or are at the lower rung of the hero ladder. A group is formed, and misunderstandings and hijinks ensue. But the beautiful thing about the stories contained within are the relationships between the characters as they find their feet and try to make their way through the chaotic world they live in. We get to see Blue Beetle and Booster Gold’s bromance. We learn about the innocence of Mary Marvel (who can easily tie the Shazam movie into the rest of the world) as she tries to find her place among the more seasoned heroes in the group. We see the marriage of Sue and Ralph Digby, which also leads into a truly heart-breaking storyline in the event Identity Crisis. These books even contain a dry-witted cameo of Batman, whose jokes are unnerving for those around him.

These two books are the root of some truly brilliant pieces of storytelling that would give Warner Bros and DC a really solid foundation on which to build a world of intertwining events. They would add substance, stability, and a much-needed sense of humor and self-awareness to a currently disjointed collection of movies that continue to divide fans. DC superhero movies have long been a victim of needing to be a serious affair.

From Christopher Nolan’s crime drama Batman movies to Zack Snyder’s bombastically dour Dawn of Justice, but given recent releases like Shazam and Birds of Prey, it seems that some things might be changing. I mean the Snyder Cut of Justice League is on the way, and the precedent of its reworking and subsequent release is a worrying one given it as essentially the studio giving in to the social media mob and collective throwing of toys from the pram. But if Warner Bros and DC really want to try and build a sustainable and expandable cinematic world to rival that of Marvel’s, they need not look far. The inspiration or countless pieces of storytelling are right at their fingertips, simply waiting for someone to actually read them.

DC fans, what do you think of bringing these C-list heroes and stories into the cinematic universe? Let’s discuss in the comments.

 

Does Warner Bros Releasing Its 2021 Movie Lineup On HBO Max Matter In The Long Run?

Does Warner Bros Releasing Its 2021 Movie Lineup On HBO Max Matter In The Long Run?

2021, and still in quarantine.  COVID-19 brought us a completely new way of life.  We have had to learn how to adapt our home-life to accept our work-life, school-life, and gym-life.  Companies have had to adjust to working from home, even if they were reluctant to at first.  We have spent more time bathing in hand sanitizer, abiding (hopefully) by new state regulations, keeping our distance, and yet becoming more connected to people we never would have been able to before this.  (YAY THIS WONDERFUL COMMUNITY!)


Wonder Woman 1984 is the first of big titles slated to open at home.

In order to appease our new way of life, companies have also had to adjust how they do business.  This has resulted in many small businesses unfortunately closing, and large businesses completely re-doing their business plan.  Movie theatres, among so many others, have been hit extremely hard.  This has caused closures of theatres (in some cases permanently), large movie releases have been delayed, and the largest business that we never thought could be held back, the film business,  was basically placed on hold.  Due to this, one company has decided to release all their 2021 film line-ups directly to a TV near you!  That’s right…Warner Brothers is releasing their entire 2021 lineup on HBO Max (you know, just like the title says).  But why does this matter? We’re going to break this question down and see how this does matter, both from a consumer and a business point of view.

Live-action film Mulan, which was released at home on Disney+ for $30

First, we’re going to look at the business side.  Currently, the release date that has been set for the movie will be the same date that the movie will simultaneously be released onto HBO Max for one-month access.  This allows studios to maintain the relationship with movie theatre distributors while adjusting for the at-home streaming needs.  Those who do not have access to HBO Max, since it is localized, will have the ability to “safely” see the movie in theatres if they so desire.  Warner Brothers are considering this an experiment.  They released the hit, Tenet, in theatres during the pandemic, and ultimately lost hundreds of millions of dollars.  Releasing their line-up to an in-home streaming service is keeping them in the game with the likes of Disney +, who released Mulan earlier this year, as well as attempting to catch-up on lost revenue from the year that is 2020.

Historically, studios have viewed streaming services as the enemy, as they were taking away an integral part of the experience, i.e., going to the theatre.  Because streaming services are their own companies, if studios were to give their movies to them, the studios would then lose control of the distribution of the film, as well as lose the box office statistics.  Studios viewed the theatre as the only feasible way to make money, as it is considered a 1:1 profit relationship.  However, that is also because there has simply never been another option to finance box office film budgets.  It could be the whole “old school” thought process getting in the way, and resistance to change.  Now, though, especially due to the pandemic, studios have had to begin looking at releasing their films to streaming services.  With this new option, it is thought that the only way to be profitable is by releasing it to a streaming service they own, i.e.  Warner Brothers and HBO Max.  This is not only an experiment but also a gesture of goodwill pointing towards the potential future, and Warner Brothers are willing to be the guinea pig.  With 35 million subscribers, they will be giving audience members the chance to see hit movies, on either platform they desire (movie theatre or streaming at home), ultimately and potentially, increasing the viewer numbers. 

However, will it bring box-office smash numbers?  The initial thought is no, not likely.  There is so much money spent on the movie theatre business that many of you may be asking how will releasing on a streaming service increase revenue?  Let’s look.  If there are 4 people in a party going to a theatre, and tickets are ~$8 each.  That would be $32 for the box office, as food sales do not go into box office numbers.  If there are 4 people in a party at home, let’s estimate that the movies will be $30 (as that was the cost of Mulan) on top of the subscription fee.  That is an approximate ~$2 loss at the box office, for 4 people.  The trick here is the company is ‘assuming’ that everyone will be following the pandemic rules, and not going to other people’s houses.  What if a group of friends gets together, or 3 families sit in on one purchase of the movie?  That will actually result in a major profit loss.  If the 3 families are of 4 people, to make math easy, that would have been $96 which is now dropping to $30, resulting in a $66 profit loss.  We are obviously not in the board rooms to hear the meetings; however, this potential streaming option doesn’t look to be as profitable at first glance.  Will this mean the quality of movies has to drop?  Has this pandemic really shaken up foundations to that extent?

Are we destined to have to say goodbye to the deliciousness that is movie popcorn?

Now from the consumer side.  If you, like me, are thinking, “But what about the movie-going experience?!  The popcorn?!  The butter?!  The surround sound?!  The giant screen?!  THE BUTTER?!,” it may be time to begin mourning the loss of that delicious popcorn and it’s butter.  However, we can now think about the convenience; the comfort of our couch, home-made snacks, family movie time, and not having to put on pants or a bra to see a hit movie!  It can also result in savings for a family because, as stated above, we were only discussing box office revenue.  The movie theatre does its part for a family by providing the food and drinks, so a trip to a theatre for a family of 4 could easily be up to the $70 range, depending on what extra snacks and drinks are purchased (a key contributor to theatre profits).

The other side of this is, what if you don’t have that subscription service?  The way it seems Warner Brothers will be looking at it is if they release a hit movie they have already spent millions on that has people sign up for the service they didn’t already have, that would be more than the price of the film.  Those people would then continue the subscription service to watch some of the shows provided exclusively on that service (oh, hey Game of Thrones).  Once the movies that have been made prior to 2020 are released, it could be that film production budgets reduce, TV production budgets increase, making the two more similar in production values, and the subscription service more attractive for retaining customers.

So, does it really matter that all hit films from Warner Brothers will be released on HBO Max in 2021?  My thoughts are – I am stoked to see Wonder Woman 1984 at home with no bra on!  What do you think?  Leave a comment below!

 

References:

Alexander, S.(2020, December 3). Warner Bros will release all of its new 20201 movies simultaneously on HBO Max, The Verge, https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/3/22150605/hbo-max-warner-bros-movies-2021-simultaneous-release-matrix-godzilla-suicide-squad-space-jam

Zeitchilk, S. (2020, September 18). ‘Tenet’s’ dismal U.S. debut has some calling for a change in Hollywood’s approach to the blockbuster, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/09/18/tenet-box-office-hollywood-future/

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