From Richard Rushfield‘s Ankler newsletter — “Special Dispatch: Mad Max,” posted earlier today:

“Pump and Dump, I believe, is the term of art. AT&T would not be the first corporation to come to Hollywood and once the excitement of Oscar floor seats fades and the checks start coming due, their first thought is ‘Somebody get me the hell out of here!

“With all that as the backdrop, let’s first stipulate that I’ve frequently criticized the leaders of our little industry as too timid, conservative, reactive, and lacking guts and vision. Whatever else you can say about [Warner Bros.’ decision to offer all 2021 films simultaneously in theatres and HBO Max], timid and piecemeal it ain’t.

“A giant entertainment conglomerate is risking everything it’s got, betting the entire store on a new division — a floundering new division, no less. So whatever else we say about it, let’s bow to a rare show of moxie.

“This may turn out to be brilliant, or the greatest disaster in entertainment history, but at least it’s not ‘Are there any other Spider-Man supporting characters we can make a movie about?’

“Whatever else happens, you can’t say they didn’t try.”