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2019 At The Box Office

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Tino, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. Message #1081 of 1150 Dec 7, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I think this probably explains much of it. Aladdin was a pre-sold concept based on a beloved animated film. They could have cast almost anyone in the role and it would have made a similar amount of money. Massoud did not really do anything to contribute to the success of the film; he just had to go through the motions of the established character and not completely screw it up. There was not a lot of potential to show any "acting" here, and I don't imagine many people bought tickets because of the presence of Massoud vs. it being the live action "Aladdin".

    For some other actors, I also think that some of it happens when they've made a few films in a style people like, then try to "stretch" into other types of films such as when comedians or action stars try and make serious dramas. Audiences tend to typecast actors, and when they stop doing roles that fit those expectations, a good share of the audience will stop attending their films.

    I'm not really sure how to explain Hemsworth. Audiences enjoy him as Thor, but don't seem to respond to him regardless of what other genre he appears in. He's made other sci-fi, thriller, action, drama, and comedy films, and none seem to really connect with audiences.
     
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  2. Message #1082 of 1150 Dec 7, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I think you kind of answered your own question. People like him as Thor. When he's not playing Thor, they'd rather stay home, regardless of what the film is. I think that's unfortunate -- for the record, Bad Times at the El Royale was one of my favorite movies last year -- but it seems to be the case nonetheless. He was smart to sign on for Thor 4 and not opt for Endgame to be the end of his story in the MCU as it was for Downy and Evans.

    As for Massoud, I hated the new Aladdin movie, but I don't think it was his fault necessarily. He had a terrible script which wasn't fun and an incompetent director for a musical. I do think it's a bit weird and unfortunate that he can't even get an audition for something else. The success of Aladdin should at least mean that people know his name and would be willing to see him for something. Whether he has the acting chops to pull off other roles is for him to prove in auditions, but it is a bit strange that he isn't being given the chance to be seen for auditions.

    On another note, the box office is really slowing down. I know this is normal for this time of year in the lull between Thanksgiving and the mid-December blockbusters. But I just went to Frozen II in the early afternoon on a Saturday and was the only person in the entire auditorium for the #1 movie of the weekend. This has happened to me a few times before, but usually it's when I'm seeing something that has been out for several weeks (like when I saw Slumdog Millionaire for the sixth time on its final day of play at my theater a couple weeks after the Blu-ray had already been released, or for late weeknight showings of very small arthouse titles, like The Diary of a Teenage Girl.) But this has never happened to me for a major release when it's still the #1 movie in the world. Of course, my theater still has Frozen II on multiple screens, so it's possible that people were just in the other ones and didn't want to pay the premium-format upcharge, but still. I loved seeing the movie again, but it was very weird to be totally alone for it. According to the reserved seating chart for the next showing after I left, eight tickets were sold for that one.
     
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  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    And I think that also speaks to changes in how we as a culture consume media content. If this was 1950 and the only chance you had to see a movie was when it played in the theater, I bet that star power would have translated for Hemsworth. But there’s now no consequence for missing a movie in theaters. Maybe you heard about the new Ghostbusters and saw Hemsworth do something funny in the trailer; you don’t need to rush to the theater to see it, you can simply wait two or three months and see it practically for free at home. So for someone like Hemsworth, I’d be curious to see what the metrics are for his other roles on subscription streaming services. I’d be willing to bet that while people are less willing to spend $15 to see him in other roles, a lot of that is tied to today's reluctance to spend $15 to see any non-tentpole picture, and that people would be more likely to click on something with him in it if it showed up on Netflix.

    Sidenote: in NYC, Netflix rented out a Broadway theater for a month to show The Irishman. Though theatrical isn’t very important to Netflix, they may have stumbled into what the future could look like for tentpoles.

    If, for arguments sake, we stipulate that audiences are losing interest in leaving the house and paying top dollar for content that will come to them for free soon after, and that the only things immune are franchise pictures with built in audiences, continuing storylines and what the Russo Brothers called “weaponized spoilers” (where the audience is almost blackmailed into seeing the movie immediately before it is ruined for them), multiplexes will have a really tough time surviving. Frozen II can be a billion dollar hit, but if all that money comes in the first weekend, a business can’t survive to empty houses nearly every day of the week, nearly every week of the year. NYC keeps losing theaters as rents go up while audiences shrink, and as older, larger theaters close, they’re being replaced by tiny arthouses that are appealing to an entirely different audiences. The middle is vanishing. It’s proving to be a better business model for theaters here to open up a place that has five screens with just twenty to forty seats each, to charge more, and to offer more premium luxuries and food options, than it is to open a traditional multiplex with several screens seating a few hundred each, especially when that capacity is only needed maybe 10 or 20 days out of 365 days of the year.

    I think we may be moving to a future where we see small art houses surviving by providing a premium luxury experience where the movie is just one small component of an evening of gourmet dining and drinking and snacking, and where big movies are shown in retrofitted other environments as one-off engagements at inflated prices, and everything else goes direct to consumer via streaming.

    It’s not that hard for me to imagine that, ten years from now, the next Star Wars or Avengers movie could have a one night or one weekend event at venues associated with live performance and sporting events and priced as such, and then debut on streaming shortly after. Want to see Star Wars Episode X? That’ll be $50-500 a ticket at Madison Square Garden opening night, and then on Disney+ a week later. For $50, you get just a seat, for $100, you get a better seat, for $500 you get a meet and greet and photo op with one of the stars.
     
  4. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    That would dramatically shrink their earnings potential. I really don't think Disney would sink $200 million into any movie if it was only going to be screened once or twice. Disney+ is an important component of their business moving into the future, but I don't see the traditional theatrical model disappearing for a long time, when it comes to tentpoles. You're unfortunately right that the mid-size films are being squeezed out, but they'll keep making big blockbusters like The Avengers and Star Wars for the theatrical model as long as people keep showing up to them. The "weaponized spoilers" aspect prevents these films from being treated like live events because an event like that inherently has a limited number of seats available, regardless of the cost of them, than if Disney takes the film wide into 4,000+ theaters. Even if that type of event sold out, there would be millions more people who would be shut out and worried about waiting for it to launch on Disney+ however many days later because they don't want spoilers from the people who did get in.

    There's no better way to reach a massive global audience all at once, for a huge tentpole that everyone wants to see, than by debuting it all around the world in theaters and making it a shared cultural event. Streaming simply lacks that capacity. A lot of people have watched The Mandelorian since it launched, but we're all doing that individually on our own schedules. The Rise of Skywalker will have an entirely different level of cultural impact on its opening weekend when everyone who cares to see it will be clustered together in theaters sharing that experience with each other. If The Rise of Skywalker received a Madison Square Garden-type exclusive run like you're talking about, The Mandelorian's impact would be larger than it.

    Incidentally, my theater opened Honey Boy last weekend and Waves this weekend. The only reason I know they're there is because I checked the theater's listings online. There was next to no promotion associating them with this release window. I don't know how they're doing because I haven't been to see them yet, but my guess is that their grosses are probably lower than the other films that are targeting adults right now, because there has been enough marketing telling people that Knives Out (for example) is available everywhere this weekend. Platform releases are great and can be very effective, but you've got to get the word out when the films are playing, and I'm not seeing that. Both of these went to the big Cinemark here rather than the arthouse, where it seems like they would be more at home. I'd like very much to see them, but haven't had the chance yet; Frozen II jumped to the front of the line today because I wanted to see it on the premium screen one more time before it cedes those rooms to Jumanji next week. With limited buzz locally and decreased attendance overall this weekend, I'm hoping but don't really know that these will stick around long enough for me to get to them.
     
  5. Message #1085 of 1150 Dec 7, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
    Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Jake, I think what you’re failing to take into account in my hypothetical scenario is that Disney won’t be able to open a movie on multiplex screens in ten years because they won’t exist anymore.

    Obviously, I could be wrong about all of this, and some unforeseen change could develop that brings people back to theaters en masse. But it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle.

    I see this as one possible future following roughly this chain of events:
    1. Theatrical movie attendance continues to fracture and decline. The biggest movies draw large numbers but everything else, even more so than now, is DOA.

    2. Content producers continue to shrink the window between theatrical and streaming, reducing audience appetite for going out when it’ll come to them faster than ever. (Studios keep trying to force this now. A few years ago, Universal was going to release a major picture to theaters and Pay-Per-View simultaneously with PPV screenings priced between $50-100. The theaters threatened not to show the film, and the studios blinked. But it could be a different outcome today. And while I think most of us here would still choose the theater if you had both options, a family with young children might decide that $50 for Frozen II at home opening night makes more sense than buying five tickets and concessions and braving crowds. Or that $50 for Star Wars is a better value than hiring a babysitter so mom and dad can see it on date night.)

    3. Because of the shrinking windows, if anyone does to the theaters, it’ll be an even more compressed schedule than it is now. If you thought your week 3 screening of Frozen II was empty now, imagine what that’ll look like when the window from theatrical to home is less than 30 days, or even day and date (which is what studios have been pushing towards for years).

    4. Disney has probably been propping the industry up for the past several years with their big event pictures but their biggest properties may have peaked. Avengers and Star Wars hit at the right time and had certain intangibles that are even harder to recreate in the current environment. It may be that they hit the ceiling of what is possible in the current environment this year.

    4. Between decreasing attendance, shorter exclusivity windows, and the revenue sharing split that gives studios more than 90% of opening weekend box office, one or more of the major chains will collapse. The fixed costs of operating a theater - rent, equipment, staffing, electricity - will be more than the companies can endure. AMC’s stock has all but collapsed in the past year or two and the other majors aren’t doing much better.

    5. When multiplexes reach their end of life, it’ll happen fast, faster than anyone can imagine. Much in the way streaming has not only destroyed record sales but also wiped out the cultural relevance of the album format. 20 years ago, it would have been unimaginable that the majority of the public would stop buying albums, and instead would simply pay $5 a month or less to have access to virtually all popular music ever recorded, but that’s where we are. There is no reason to believe the movie theater business is immune to such changes.

    6. When multiplexes go, wealthy companies making tentpoles will look for ways to monetize them besides streaming. (Though streaming will be lucrative because instead of getting a person to buy one or two movie tickets a year, customers will subscribe to services year round, and the middleman will be eliminated.)

    7. Similar to Fathom Events renting screens across the country, you may see Disney renting out large concert halls and sporting venues simultaneously around the country. It would likely not be one showing only. These venues will want the business, and they’ll find ways to make it work despite existing sports schedules, etc. And much like sporting events, it’ll have tiered pricing with incredibly high price ceilings that allow each location to gross millions of dollars per show. Throw in ancillary business opportunities like photo ops and meet and greets and there’s virtually no limit to what they can ask for at the top end.

    Of course, things could go differently, but I don’t see how multiplexes survive the current environment. And without them, the business as we know it will be forever altered. The key point that sometimes gets missed when I make this prediction isn’t that movies and movie theaters are totally going away - I always say “as we know them” because while I believe the business will survive and evolve into something else, it won’t be the same as it was the last 100 years.
     
  6. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    Your argument is well-reasoned, but all I can say to that is, I hope you're wrong.
     
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  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Me too.

    Just because I can see it doesn’t mean I want it!
     
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  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I didn't think he did an especially good job in Aladdin -- a movie I had many problems with -- but the unspoken elephant in the room is that his parents were Egyptian and he looks Middle Eastern. Hollywood doesn't traditionally see actors who look Middle Eastern as leading man material, despite a $350 million argument to the contrary.
     
  9. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I don’t want to click “like” and have it seem that I like that that’s true, but I think you’re right.
     
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  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think the box office of “Doctor Sleep” scared the pants off a lot of industry people. It had everything that’s supposed to be the formula now:

    -Sequel to one of the most well known horror films of all time
    -Carries a huge brand name (Stephen King)
    -Featured actor well liked in franchise roles (Ewan McGregor)
    -Made on relatively low budget

    A slightly different mixing of similar ingredients made Halloween huge last year. And It the year before.

    These same people must be aware that the same quality work is driving subscriptions and winning awards on premium cable and streaming and thinking “oh shit”.
     
  11. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Movie theaters wouldn't be dying if they actually made you feel as if you were sitting in a theater, rather than a bigger version of one's living room watching network TV with all of its commercials.

    I watched "Gemini Man" at the theater. I spent 20 bucks so I could sit and watch commercials then trailers and then more commercials. It took so long that, when the movie finally started, my first thought was, "Thank you very f'ing much for starting what I had actually paid for".

    It is the feeling of watching a bigger TV screen that is killing the theatrical experience and making it irrelevant.
     
  12. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I'm a bit skeptical of the end of theatrical movies. People have been declaring "the end is nigh" for theaters for decades (after the invention of television; after the widespread availability of affordable home video; etc.).

    The problem is that theaters are stagnating, while the home experience is nearly caught up to their technology. For decades, you couldn't come close to the theatrical experience at home. Now you can. If all theaters are willing to do is provide a similar experience to what most people now have at home, then yes, they will likely drive themselves extinct.

    They need to continue to innovate to provide an experience people cannot easily get at home. They tried this recently by bringing 3D around again. But rather than just chalk it up to the cost of business innovation, they decided to charge everyone a premium price and turned off nearly everyone by charging more for an often less than stellar 3D experience. They've followed a similar pattern with things like D4 and large format cinemas like IMAX and Dolby Vision. "Come see our fancy new technologies! (But it'll cost you an extra $5 per person.)"

    If they want people to keep coming to theaters, they need the technological innovations without constantly making the admission price more and more expensive.

    It also doesn't help theaters when we keep seeing headlines from the studios about the huge opening weekends, and how the box office is billions upon billions of dollars every year. People see these headlines and feel like they're being gouged by theaters when ticket prices keep rising. Joe Average doesn't understand that 90% of that opening weekend take goes back to the studio and the theaters get next to nothing.
     
  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    This is 100% the problem right here. We’re social creatures, we like communal experiences, but we’re weird and we also like solitary experiences and the movies checks off either or both of those depending on what you need.

    People go out all the time to do things they can do at home too. There just has to be a compelling reason to go.
     
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  14. Message #1094 of 1150 Dec 7, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I've never quite understood why so many expected DS to be a slam-dunk, for the following rebuttal reasons: :P

    -Sequel to one of the most well known horror films of all time [which was not made completely clear in the marketing, IMO. As suggested by someone previously, perhaps it should have been titled "The Shining: Doctor Sleep"; and while The Shining may be well-known in pop culture for various reasons, I'm not sure the film itself is widely well-liked.]

    -Carries a huge brand name (Stephen King) [King's name has always been shaky at the box office. His name over the title has never ensured a hit, and outside of perhaps Carrie, The Green Mile, Pet Sematary (1989) and the two recent IT films (with the worldwide gross of the second well short of the first film ($700m vs. $468m)), none of the films based on his books have ever been HUGE hits. And for every hit like those mentioned here, there's a Maximum Overdrive, Graveyard Shift, The Night Flyer, The Mangler, Apt Pupil, etc.]

    -Featured actor well liked in franchise roles (Ewan McGregor) [As we've also been discussing, actors no longer sell tickets or draw audiences to the box office, regardless of past successes.]

    -Made on relatively low budget [$50-ish million is quite high for a horror title, when most of these genre films top out around $40-50 million in grosses for a "hit".]

    Based on these reasons, I don't see why everyone is so shocked by the performance of DS.
     
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  15. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Theater chains need to stop being lazy. I don't know about your guys' experiences, but my local theater is so pathetic that they will not even use masking for 2.35:1 films. They just throw it up on screen and you can watch the light bleed in the black bars.

    It is pathetic when I can get better contrast and darker bars at home on my OLED than at a supposed commercial venue. I wouldn't even bother going to a theater if I wasn't old school in my belief that certain types of films need to be seen on a large screen or I just want to escape from the house for awhile.
     
  16. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I still say that the number one reason for the underperformance of Doctor Sleep is that Warner Bros. put its entire focus on It Chapter Two, and Doctor Sleep became an afterthought.

    You also don't release a horror movie a week after Halloween.

    I think it will find a real second life on home video and streaming.
     
  17. Message #1097 of 1150 Dec 7, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I want to be clear up front that I started composing this response to @Josh Steinberg's post #1087. This thread has been extremely active during the time that I've been writing this. I'm going to try to touch on as much of what you've all written as possible, but if the posts continue to come in before I get done, at some point I'm just going to have to hit reply and be finished for now.

    Unlike some people here, I don't have a fancy home theater. I've got a very good, but not especially huge 40-inch TV with stereo sound in my room and no surround sound system. My family who I live with don't care about watching movies, so the chances of us getting something fancier is slim to none. (This is also why I normally don't future-proof for UHD unless there's some other reason I want to get that edition, like a steelbook.) I would be sad if theaters went away because I get a larger screen and better sound even on the tiniest multiplex screen than I do at home. I'm not complaining about this at all; I'm very lucky to have what I have at home.

    However, if what you are talking about comes to pass, then I would be watching the next Avengers or Star Wars for the first time on a 40-inch TV with stereo sound, which I would find kind of sad. It's good for repeat viewings, but I would be disappointed if I had to start watching big movies exclusively at home on a small TV. I will go to the theater for big movies like Star Wars, and even smaller ones like Marriage Story, as long as I am able to do so.

    At this time a week ago, I was sitting in my arthouse watching Marriage Story even though I knew it was going to be available to me on Netflix six days later. I loved the experience of seeing it there on a big screen with a crowd and consider that money and time very well spent.

    I like going to the theater because they still provide me a more immersive experience than I have at home right now. Personally, I suspect I would still go to the theater even if I had a fancier home theater, but that's purely a hypothetical statement. This might influence my view on the matter because I simply refuse to see a future where the multiplex disappears until such time as my local theaters are all gone.

    Of course, I'm also a bit of an anomaly in another regard. Unless it's an enormous event, I almost never go at night. I went to the opening night show for Avengers Endgame, of course, but for Captain Marvel, I was perfectly happy waiting until the actual weekend and going to a reduced-priced matinee. I also never (and I mean never) buy snacks or drinks in the theater. I don't sneak in snacks or drinks either. I go to the movies to watch the movie and concentrate on it with all my attention. I'll eat before I leave for the theater or after I get back. So when I go to the movies, my net cost is the price of a matinee movie ticket and that's it. There's nothing else I pay them for, and I almost always go alone. It's not that expensive if you're just buying one ticket at matinee price and that's it.

    Of course, huge cities like New York and LA are a different beast entirely so I can't speak to what it's like there. But here, single standard format matinee ticket is $8.15. If you go to the first showing of the day of your movie, that cost decreases to $7.07 for "early bird" pricing. It obviously gets to be much more expensive if you're going with a group, going at night, paying regularly for premium formats, and/or buying popcorn/soda/candy, etc. I paid a premium upcharge for Cinemark XD maybe three or four times this entire year. Otherwise, I don't do any of that, so the amount of money I spend at the theater is relatively low, compared to other people for whom the ticket is just one piece of a larger outing.

    Obviously, for those of us -- including many on this board -- who have more elaborate equipment at home than I do, the choice to stay home more and go out less makes sense. I totally get that. I also share the frustrations @Edwin-S and others have brought up. As we have discussed in another thread, Cinemark (which my local theater is) and Regal (which we don't have here) began last month extending the length of the preshow ads several minutes past the scheduled showtime. There's also another ad (today, for the Coca-Cola company's sustainability efforts) that plays in between the final trailer and the start of the movie. This results in it being about 25 minutes or so between the advertised start time and the actual start time.

    Prior to this change, my theater was averaging about 20 minutes of trailers between the listed start time and the actual starting time. This is worse. Today, in addition to all this junk, there was an extra ad for Wal-Mart in the middle of the trailers, which is the first time I noticed that. I arrived in the theater parking lot at 12:29 for a 12:30 show. I waited in line at the box office while the cashier enrolled the people in front of me in the theater's rewards program before completing their transaction so that they would get points for their purchase today. I also took time to chat with a theater employee for several minutes before I went into the auditorium.

    And I still saw multiple trailers, the Wal-Mart ad, multiple more trailers, and then the Coca-Cola sustainability ad, before the movie started. Even six months ago, I would have been antsy waiting in line or taking time to talk to employees, but I knew there was so much junk in front of the movie that there's no way I would miss anything I actually paid to see. And I was right. I easily saw the entire movie with time to spare.

    If @Josh Steinberg is right about the demise of theaters, this increase in the amount of junk is going to hasten that decline, because it creates further disincentive for those with good home theater systems to go out to the theater. If you can't rely on the listed showtime to even be remotely accurate, why bother? I know friends with young children for whom a babysitter is an added expense anytime they want to go to the theater, and they need to know in advance what time they will be home in order to schedule the babysitter properly and figure their pay into the cost of the evening. Why should they do that if they're just going to sit there and have to watch Wal-Mart ads?

    Cinemark and Regal have obviously decided that the guaranteed additional payment from advertisers, who are being charged more to run their ads closer to the feature than before, is worth the hypothetical potential loss of business from anyone who decides to stay at home as a result of this nonsense. That is a very shortsighted view, but there doesn't seem to be much we as customers can do to change it.

    I have mentioned to employees at my local theater that I'm very displeased by this, and they have heard my concerns and will pass them along to the manager. Many of them have also told me that they agree with me. However, it's not the manager's call. It is Cinemark corporate that made this decision, working with National CineMedia (NCM), an outside company that handles the preshow junk. Unless Cinemark suddenly sees a huge decline in attendance -- which would be very bad, because I don't want them to close down -- they are unlikely to reverse this stupid decision. And what am I supposed to do? I still want to go to the movies. Depriving myself of seeing a movie I really want to see to spite the junk just seems pointless to me.

    I was the only one in the auditorium for Frozen II today and they were still showing the junk; Cinemark would have been paid for running the ads close to the feature whether I had come in or not. I also can't switch to another theater chain. The only multiplex around here that isn't Cinemark is the AMC which did a remodel about two years ago and moved all of the wheelchair spaces to the very back row, which is both insulting to me and not conducive to me seeing well because I am very nearsighted. So going there again is simply out of the question. So I am still going to Cinemark in spite of all this junk. The employees who recognize me would probably notice my absence if I stopped coming, but I wouldn't sink their business if I disappeared. It's been not quite but almost two years since I stopped going to my AMC. I'm sure they're doing just fine in my absence.

    And, although not a horror title, also Joker. Warner released several other titles in the fall (The Goldfinch, Motherless Brooklyn, Doctor Sleep, The Good Liar) and all of them outside of It and Joker have failed to catch on at the box office. Even It fell off from the previous installment. They must be really, really thankful for Joker's overperformance right now.

    Unfortunately, I think you are right on this, too. Although the flip side of this is that Henry Golding is nonwhite caught on after the enormous success of Crazy Rich Asians, and he doesn't seem to have a problem getting work. Dev Patel has been in a number of successful indie films since Slumdog Millionaire (and also he was in The Last Airbender, but we can forget about that one.) So sometimes it works out for performers to break out and sometimes it doesn't.

    I certainly wish Massoud well. I think part of the issue is with the stories being told, and that's unfortunate. Because he looks Middle Eastern, he will never be able to be cast in a story that is not about a Middle Eastern character. For his Batman film, Matt Reeves was courted Jonah Hill to play Penguin and ultimately give the part to Colin Farrell. Those guys are two extremely different actors, and yet they were able to go in for the same part. If Massoud were to go in for that part, either: a) the Penguin would have to be written as a character of Middle Eastern heritage; or b) the film would have to not touch on his ethnicity at all. He'll never be able to play a generic white male, but studios keep giving the greenlight to scripts where the characters are white men. Massoud needs for studios to accept him to play roles that aren't tied specifically to his ethnicity (as Aladdin was) and/or for more movies about people of Middle Eastern people to get made.

    Going back to my Henry Golding example, his two most prominent movies following Crazy Rich Asians have been A Simple Favor and Last Christmas. There is nothing in A Simple Favor that suggests that a white person could not have played Golding's role. He got it because he was the best person for the job, which is great, but it was not necessarily written with an ethnic specificity. I didn't see Last Christmas, so I can't speak directly to that one, but nothing in the trailer indicated that his character in that had to be a particular ethnicity either. Only Crazy Rich Asians required an Asian cast, but Golding has been able to cross over outside of that box.

    Massoud needs to make casting directors and studio heads believe that audiences will accept him in those kinds of roles, where the ethnicity could be anything. I'm not sure how he can do that but hope that happens for him. Aladdin should be demonstrating that audiences are willing to see movies about nonwhite heroes if the story is compelling. Sadly, Hollywood is oftentimes pretty slow to catch up to what the audience wants.

    I've been working on this post long enough. I'm not sure if I covered everything that's been going on in this thread since my last post, but I think this is enough for now. It's someone else's turn to respond. ;)
     
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  18. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Cinematographer

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    I agree. While the theatrical business is certain to undergo more changes, the bottom line is that people are still going to the movies. Attendance has been on the rise for two years now, as opposed to declining. Granted, prior to 2018, attendance had been on a downward slope for several years (although still higher than 1993).

    I do agree with what Josh says in regards to the mid-tier films being forced out to an extent. However, in recent weeks we've seen some cracks in the tent-poles with Terminator: Dark Fate and Charlie's Angels flopping while films like Knives Out, Ford Vs. Ferrari and Queen & Slim have done far better than projected. While attendance overall is on the rise, a very small number of films is responsible for that. I still would disagree with the theory that multiplexes are going away.

    That may be the case for people like us here at HTF, but I really don't think the general public doesn't give a shit about any of that. I wish they did, but I just don't think so.
     
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  19. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    It’ll be very interesting to look back in five and ten years and see how close or far off the mark we all are. The only thing I feel really comfortable in guessing with any certainty (as opposed to, I could see how this could play out) is that it’ll probably be a “death by a thousand cuts” thing and not only a single factor.
     
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  20. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Cinematographer

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    Same here. I knew I could wait and see it for free less than a week later, but I still went because I wanted to experience it in a theater. I did the same thing with The Irishman.

    I agree and in addition to that, I go because I feel it's a pretty good value for 2 hours of entertainment. Even if I weren't on a subscription plan, I'd still go.....I'd just adjust my showtimes to more economical showings.
     
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