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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer. Photo: David Livingston/GC Images

The release of the entire Warner Bros. 2021 film slate on HBO Max at the same time that the films debut in theaters has sent Hollywood into a frenzy.

Why it matters: Creators feel misled about its release strategy and worry that a simultaneous release could mean less cash for them.

  • Christopher Nolan told The Hollywood Reporter yesterday: "Their decision makes no economic sense, and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction.”
  • Nolan pushed theaters to open Labor Day weekend to debut his film "Tenet," but its performance was so bad it pushed studios to delay more releases.

The big picture: The pandemic has caused entertainment giants to embrace streaming faster than most were prepared to do, resulting in lots of reshuffling at top companies and heightened tension between studios, creators, and theaters.

  • There's been major clashes at AT&T over whether top execs were right to dismantle operations at WarnerMedia — including its crown jewel HBO — in an effort to build a broader competitor to Netflix, per CNBC's Alex Sherman.
  • Disney's focus on Disney+ has put Hulu on the back-burner, per the FT.
  • ViacomCBS has started axing some of its smaller streaming services to focus on Paramount+ next year.

Yes, but: Disney, ViacomCBS, and others all face the same dilemma: While their futures are tied to streaming, their current profits are tied to businesses in terminal decline — theaters and traditional television.

What to watch: Discovery+ launched with lots of positive press this week. The streaming service aims to be complimentary to platforms like Netflix, by focusing on unscripted series.

Go deeper

Dec 15, 2020 - Economy & Business

2020's been a breakout year for creators

Expand chart
Data: Apptopia; Chart: Axios Visuals

Nearly every major app geared towards content creators has seen significant percentage increases in downloads this year, according to data from Apptopia.

The state of play: Cameo expects to make $100 million from video transactions this year, a spokesperson tells Axios. Over 1 million Cameo videos have been sold-to-date, Tens of thousands of talent now use the app to sell videos.

Updated 3 mins ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.