2020 At The Boxoffice

jcroy

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Cinemas, especially multiplexes, are not easy to convert for other uses. Some or all of the major chains may go under during the shutdown period, but that doesn't mean the cinemas themselves cease to exist.
There is one obvious scenario where cinemas/multiplexes can be easily converted for other uses: demolish the old cinema building and build something new there.

Though this means the old cinema is permanently gone.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Yeah, but in the middle of a pandemic as we teeter at the edge of an economic collapse, with individuals having less spending money due to being out of work...

Exactly what new business is going to buy or lease that land, demolish the theater, and establish a new business that can pay more rent than the theater did, and accomplish all of that before the pandemic ends?

It would take at least as long to do all of that than it would be to wait for the public health emergency to end and allow theaters the chance to try to pick up where they left off.
 

Tino

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“But "Tenet" has made 100s of millions WW. As I've noted, it seems likely to finish around $300m.”

Which still translates to a $300 million loss.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I should clarify. I am high risk and therefore have not been going out much.
Hear ya! Honestly, I don't know what risk level I am.

At 53, I'm not "young", but I'm also not "old", either.

Pretty healthy overall - no underlying conditions, so I guess I'm at fairly low risk.

Still wasn't excited to fly last week! :unsure:
 

Colin Jacobson

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I forget I'm wearing it after a minute or two (unless my glasses start to fog up).
I got a cloth on Amazon that really works well. I kinda expected it to be crap but damn if it didn't help!

Worked so well that I didn't even need to use it again for like 3 days. I'd been fogged up the wazoo previously!

I'll post the link if people want.
 

Colin Jacobson

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“But "Tenet" has made 100s of millions WW. As I've noted, it seems likely to finish around $300m.”

Which still translates to a $300 million loss.
Sure, but what was the alternative - hold it for a year and cross fingers?

WB knew they weren't gonna turn a profit on "Tenet". It's not the end of the world if some movies take a hit to help keep the industry active.

As I've noted, we've seen plenty of bigger bombs during normal times. People act like one financially disappointing film right now will crush Hollywood forever!
 

jcroy

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Yeah, but in the middle of a pandemic as we teeter at the edge of an economic collapse, with individuals having less spending money due to being out of work...

Exactly what new business is going to buy or lease that land, demolish the theater, and establish a new business that can pay more rent than the theater did, and accomplish all of that before the pandemic ends?

It would take at least as long to do all of that than it would be to wait for the public health emergency to end and allow theaters the chance to try to pick up where they left off.
I'm guessing it depends on which part of town such a theater is in.

(As an example).

If a cinema is in a standalone building in the middle of town where parking is at a premium, one possibilty of another land use is to demolish the old cinema building and whatever is left in an entire city block, and build a multi storey parking garage there.
 

jcroy

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In various towns I have lived in over the decades, I have noticed when a large retail place starts to decline or becomes "almost dead", the property owners will sometimes demolish / bulldoze away the spaces they can't seem to rent out to a new tenant. This seems like a waste, though I suspect it might be less expensive for the property owners (ie. less property taxes, maintenance costs, electricity, water, etc ...).

For example in the case of a dead mall which doesn't have anything left other than a grocery store wing, the property owner might demolish the entire middle of the old mall and just leave the old grocery store wing still standing. The now bulldozed area formerly occupied by the middle of the mall, is turned into another parking lot.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Same point applies... when is that gonna happen?

Localities don’t have money to begin demolition or new construction because they’ve lost a significant amount of tax revenue due to businesses being shuttered from the pandemic, in addition to whatever pandemic related new expenses that they’re shouldering. Retail shopping is down, restaurant traffic is down. There’s no demand for new parking at present time and no funding to create it.

There is nothing that is going to be more lucrative for landlords who have theaters on properties they manage, that could come in and replace a theater, that could be successfully established between now and the end of the pandemic.

Theaters in the US may remain closed (in areas where they havent opened) or may continue to underperform (in area where they are open) for another year. There is nothing that is magically immune from the same forces depressing the theatrical business that could swoop in and magically be profitable tomorrow. And if the theater is in a location where other businesses coexist with it, like restaurants, closing the theater will make the recovery on those businesses harder too, which will affect the landlords even further. Landlords and banks foreclosing on theaters are cutting off their nose to spite their face. They’re taking whats guaranteed to be a loss for the next year with a strong possibility of rebounding later on, and putting themselves in a scenario where now it will take much longer to rebound. Kicking out one tenant when there are no viable options to replace that tenant is more spite than smart business.
 

jcroy

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Ok josh. You're examining it on a shorter time horizon, over the next year or so.

I'm thinking of it more from a longer term and historical perspective.

If something is shorter term like another year or so, then I'm guessing the issue becomes whether rent, mortage payments, property taxes, etc ... can be deferred slightly until the pandemic is over. The question is whether banks and other mortgage lenders are able to come to an arrangement (or subsidy) to minimize defaults.
 

jcroy

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I'm not as familiar with how banks and mortgage companies would be able to make an arrangement of this type to avoid mass defaults. Besides a government bailout or subsidy of some type. (Without getting heavily into politics).
 

Worth

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...Most other countries outside the United States aren't experiencing hundreds upon hundreds of deaths a day. The domestic situation and the international situation are apples to oranges. Psychologically, going to the movies is a bigger lift in the United States than it is in many parts of the world. I know I would feel a lot more comfortable risking going to the movies in Germany than I would in the US...
Maybe not for long. The case numbers are starting to creep back up in many parts of the world. In August, Toronto's daily new cases were in the single digits. Today, we hit 344, the highest since the pandemic began. It wouldn't surprise me if cinemas are forced to shut down again in many countries.
 
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Wayne_j

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I like Dan's take on random movies appearing on top streaming charts. "The Last Starfighter. Why not!"
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Deadline has an interesting article about how MGM's hybrid approach for "Bill & Ted" is proving profitable.

They did a couple novel things:

On the PVOD side, they provided an ownership option right out of the gate that was cheaper than the rental options for many of the other cinema at home titles.

On the theatrical side, they helped ease the bad feelings over the elimination of the exclusivity window by offering the independent theaters that agreed to show the movie a more generous share than usual of the box office grosses.

Co-creator Ed Solomon and star Alex Winter secured financing for the picture independently, with Alex Lebovici's Hammerstone Studios handling the production. Orion Pictures, which had distributed the first two movies, was now a subsidiary of MGM. MGM agreed to distribute and market the third picture under a low-risk arrangement where it gets paid back its marketing costs first, and then collects 15 percent of whatever the movie makes after that. The financiers who put up the film's actual budget take on the bulk of risk up front, in exchange for international rights to the picture and the bulk of the revenue after MGM has been made whole.

If the $32 million PVOD figure that's circulating is accurate, MGM is already in the black on the picture and the investors are starting to make back their investment. With premium cable deals and future streaming deals, nobody's going to be losing too much money on this one.
 

Jake Lipson

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My theater is opening Beetlejuice and Hocus Pocus at $5 each this weekend, which is their regular pricing now for older titles in re-release.

Meanwhile, they are also going to be showing Close Encounters of the Third Kind at the standard TCM/Fathom nationwide price of $12.50.

Of course, I'm not going to go to any of them at present, but this seems even crazier than usual when the Fathom films are priced higher than a standard engagement. Now, they're actually saying, "For this old movie and this old movie you can get in for less money, but for this one over here which is also older, you've got to pay extra."

I'm not sure why they expect that strategy to work.
 
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