Movies & Cinema during the Pandemic? Catch-all Discussion

Jake Lipson

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The Croods is a DreamWorks property.

But, yes.

I liked the first Croods film when I saw it in theaters in 2013, but that was a very long time ago indeed, especially for a family film. I think they might have missed their window on this one, even without the pandemic. Frozen took six years between installments, but that movie had a much larger cultural footprint and never really left the public consciousness. The Croods did well for itself, but simply not to that degree. I suspect a lot of people may have forgotten about it. So even prior to the pandemic, I wouldn't have necessarily bet on it being a big draw. Now, there's no way families are going to want to take kids to a movie theater in large numbers. That's why I expected they would do the same PVOD model as with Trolls and see what they got.

I would probably go to the sequel in a normal situation, but it is not one that I will be terribly upset to miss.

Deadline has another article about the problems facing studios and exhibitors right now:

 

TravisR

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The Croods is a DreamWorks property.

But, yes.
Oops, Universal. Moving the date forward means Universal gets it in theaters to make money at Thanksgiving and also have it PVOD before Christmas. It doesn't matter that no other chain than AMC has agreed to that deal because the theaters are completely at the mercy of the studios now so they'll have to go with it.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Hell has frozen over.

I hate that I am saying this because I have been a staunch defender of the theatrical window for years. I still think it is essential to their survival after the pandemic. But right now I think the best course of action for all the theater chains is to allow the 90-day window to disappear for the duration of the pandemic.

There is no way that I will go out to the movies before a vaccine is widely available. But I would pay for big titles like Wonder Woman or Soul in home. If the 90-day window is still in place, the theaters will just keep delaying their films, which would leave the exhibitors with nothing significant to play. At least if they let the studios go day-and-date in homes, they would have something to play. Of course, availability elsewhere would make the crowds smaller in the theater, but at this point I'm not sure they have much to lose because the crowds at the theaters appear to be relatively minuscule anyway.

As it is right now, the next major studio release is Death On the Nile 37 days from now. As much as Warner Bros. wants Tenet to have legs, there's just no way that it is going to sustain the theaters for that long on its own. They need new product, and the only way to get the studios to agree to give it to them now is if it can also be exploited in homes.

It's their choice.
 
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jcroy

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Hell has frozen over.

I hate that I am saying this because I have been a staunch defender of the theatrical window for years. I still think it is essential to their survival after the pandemic. But right now I think the best course of action for all the theater chains is to allow the 90-day window to disappear for the duration of the pandemic.
I suspect what will happen is the theater chain C-level suite executives will defend it until the very day of bankruptcy. Once they lose the "leverage" of that window agreement, it is gone forever.
 

Jake Lipson

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I suspect what will happen is the theater chain C-level suite executives will defend it until the very day of bankruptcy.
I am inclined to agree with this, but at this point they might be going bankrupt anyway. They need to figure out something because what's going on right now with the grosses the way they are in North America simply is not sustainable. So it might be time for some radical thinking, unless they want to go bankrupt.

A local black box theatre (live theatre, not movie theater) is proceeding with their previously announced season of shows. Actors are masked, silent, and essentially miming to a pre-recorded soundtrack of all the play's dialogue and sound effects. Capacity is capped at 48 people (instead of the 170 they normally perform to) and a streaming video option is provided for those patrons who don't feel comfortable returning to the theatre yet.

This clearly isn't the way they wanted to produce shows this year. It isn't how I wanted to see them, either. (I am taking the video option.). But it's going to help them keep the lights on until COVID is over and they can resume normal theatrical practices so that they are still here when this is all over. It's not ideal, but it is creative out-of-the-box thinking.

Movie theaters need to do the same thing.
 

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