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2020 At The Boxoffice (1 Viewer)

Jake Lipson

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That's easy for Nolan to say because he didn't put up the money to make the film, which as of now is still at a loss for WB. Its receipts have slowed to a crawl, so the chances of it becoming profitable based on its performance right now are slim.
 

Jake Lipson

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I just saw that Deadline says Universal is making a deal for Netflix to handle distribution of of News of the World outside of the US.

Theater owners around the world aren't going to like that.

Frankly, this seems inane to me. I know it's Universal and they have the 17-day window thing with AMC, but seriously. The theatrical market is in a coma here, so it won't make anything significant here. As soon as Netflix drops it internationally, there will be a pristine and unwartermarked HD copy available for people in the US to pirate. I'm not saying I would, but in general there are people who would. So they might as well just send it to streaming here too, where it could perhaps act as a boost for Peacock.

If they do the 17-day thing with it, I doubt I would pay $19.99 for a rental but I would probably blind buy a disc for it in the spring whenever that rolls around.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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That seems especially bizarre given that some of the other countries have managed COVID better than the US and have healthier box office as a result.

The only way this choice makes sense is if Universal is using the theatrical release to boost the movie's profile for awards season.
 

Jake Lipson

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That seems especially bizarre given that some of the other countries have managed COVID better than the US and have healthier box office as a result.

China (which does not have Netflix) and Japan are doing quite well. Multiple countries across Europe are closing theaters again and going back into lockdowns. Maybe they think given the circumstances that theatrical is a moot point in those countries right now. But the domestic box office isn't doing much better.

Since everyone already expects Wonder Woman to move again, plus Disney already took away Free Guy and Death On the Nile, that would make News of the World the only major studio wide release still scheduled for December at all. With respect to Tom Hanks and Paul Greengrass, who have both made lots of films I like, this type of film is not a huge tentpole. It will not be enough for the theaters to justify keeping their lights on. Particularly if it skews older, which Hanks dramas can often do, I just don't see a scenario in which it moves the needle in a big way for the holidays.

The only way this choice makes sense is if Universal is using the theatrical release to boost the movie's profile for awards season.

I doubt that very much. If it happens, tscars ceremony is set for April 25. That's four months after the Christmas release date penciled in for News of the World, so even if its theatrical run were both normal and healthy, it would be out of theaters (and possibly out of voters' minds) by the time the awards are supposed to occur. Because it is Universal, they have their 17-day window thing with AMC. That means the earliest Universal would be allowed to put it on PVOD is Monday, January 11, 2021. Who is going to pay $19.99 for a premium 48-hour rental of something that can be pirated off of international Netflix at the same time? Like I said, I have no intention of pirating it, but what I'm going to do is beside the point because there are other people who would.

So far, the studios have not found anything that would make me consider a $19.99 PVOD rental. However, if News of the World comes out on disc in early 2021, I might consider a Blu-ray blind purchase of it.
 

Jake Lipson

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Cinemark has signed a shortened window deal with Universal similar to the one already in place between Universal and AMC.


Interestingly, if the movie opens above $50 million, the minimum agreed upon window expands to 31 days. Anything below $50 million has a minimum window of 17 days. This seems a moot point for the time being because nothing is going to open anywhere close to $50 million in a pandemic marketplace, but seems to indicate they are looking at this as a long-term change.
 

Josh Steinberg

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So now we have an answer for what a film that would normally open at $100 million could do during the pandemic, since there was a good natured debate that Tenet’s gross wasn’t representative of what a franchise tentpole could achieve. Maybe that number gets doubled if it’s not on HBO Max but I tend to doubt it.
 

Colin Jacobson

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So now we have an answer for what a film that would normally open at $100 million could do during the pandemic, since there was a good natured debate that Tenet’s gross wasn’t representative of what a franchise tentpole could achieve. Maybe that number gets doubled if it’s not on HBO Max but I tend to doubt it.

Maybe not double, but I'm sure HBO Max cut into ticket sales to a decent degree.

Perhaps a theater-only release would've been 50% higher?
 

Malcolm R

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From the tepid reaction to WW84 around these parts, it might not have done that great anyway as a theatrical exclusive, even in normal-like times. At least once word of mouth started to circulate.
 

Wayne_j

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Still a good performance for a time when about half the theaters in the country are closed including all the ones in the major markets. And yes, this definitely would have opened to $100+ million pre pandemic while Tenet would probably open safely in the $60 - $80 million range.
 

Jake Lipson

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Maybe not double, but I'm sure HBO Max cut into ticket sales to a decent degree.

Perhaps a theater-only release would've been 50% higher?

I doubt that very much. People who are comfortable going to the theater right now and people who aren't seem to be mutually exclusive.

I would love to see WW84 in a theater, but there's just no way I'm going to do that during the virus. If WW84 was a theatrical exclusive, I would do the same thing I did with Tenet and wait to buy the Blu-ray. The fact that I can stream it on HBO Max does not decrease the box office by even a cent because I would never have gone theatrically right now anyway. The only way I would have seen this theatrically is if they waited out the pandemic. Since they didn't, I think this was what they were going to get.
 

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