Movies & Cinema during the Pandemic? Catch-all Discussion

Malcolm R

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Without theaters budgets would have to drastically come down. You can't spend $200 million plus on a film and expect it to turn a profit from VOD.
Agreed, that's why I can't figure out why studios don't seem to be doing anything to help exhibitors.

Without any new titles of interest to moviegoers, theaters are going to have to shut down again. The local small town theater near me has apparently closed again, and the bigger multiplex that I often drive to has further cut back their showings to only Fridays-Sundays, and are largely showing discounted catalog titles (Hocus Pocus, Empire Strikes Back, Coco, The Nightmare Before Christmas).
 
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jcroy

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Without theaters budgets would have to drastically come down. You can't spend $200 million plus on a film and expect it to turn a profit from VOD.
Or such a budget is re-allocated into making 12+ episodes on hbo, netflix, amazon, hulu, etc ...
 

Josh Steinberg

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That’s basically how it goes - I think CBS spent something like $20 million on the Discovery pilot and $10 million on each new episode after.

I don’t think the $200 million budgets are as bad as the $400 million spend on promotion that comes with a film of that size. And if the project is being made for television, the effects work doesn’t have to be done to the same level of detail. The other thing that drives up effects and budget on theatrical tentpoles is the rigid scheduling that requires lots of extra people and bandwidth to hit predetermined release dates. For streaming and premium cable, there’s much more willingness to take more time between seasons, allowing the same work to be done by fewer individuals over a long period of time, bringing down costs. A project like Avengers Endgame is going to be expensive no matter what but it’s even more expensive when it has to be completed on such a rigid and rapid schedule.

I think studios will be fine regardless. But I’d like to see more help and compassion for all of the groups that have put studios in a position to be successful in the first place.
 

jcroy

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This will be a malignancy in many places that could spread to the rest of the community. For those who care about supporting and protecting small businesses and their owners, AMC and Regal may not be small businesses, but their existence supports a lot of small businesses that will struggle without them.
Similar to what happened when the large Sears Roebuck department stores closed down in the towns I lived in. Basically if there wasn't another huge outlet which attracted a lot of foot traffic in the same area, the entire commercial area became inactive and eventually became a run down eyesore.
 

jcroy

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Nice of those folks to waste their time signing a letter that will absolutely be ignored.
Even if it is a complete waste of time, this letter may very well end up being a CYA (cover your ass) measure for the signatories.

So in the event if (or when) the shit hits the fan via mass bankruptcies, they can argue "they tried" even at a minimal level.
 
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steve jaros

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Similar to what happened when the large Sears Roebuck department stores closed down in the towns I lived in. Basically if there wasn't another huge outlet which attracted a lot of foot traffic in the same area, the entire commercial area became inactive and eventually became a run down eyesore.
Back in 2007, a huge Cinemark theater closed in my town. It sat there vacant for a full 8 years until it was torn down in 2015. But it never became run down. It just sat there, glistening like it was ready for business, for eight empty years. It was like one of those McDonald's cheeseburgers that allegedly can sit unwrapped in a refrigerator for 10 years and still look the same because of all the preservatives.
 

TravisR

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Colin Jacobson

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Might not be any place to play them by April.
Yeah, that's why I've been saying Hollywood needs to "take some for the team" and release at least one reasonably big-ticket movie a month to keep theaters semi-functional.

If all we're gonna get for 6 months is movies that otherwise would've been straight-to-video and re-releases of old flicks like "Jurassic Park" and "Empire Strikes Back", then theaters just can't continue to function.

I'm willing to continue to patronize theaters but that's contingent on them presenting something new and reasonably compelling.

So far there's been enough to keep me moderately interested, as at least I live in a big metropolitan area with a 20+ screen AMC.

I imagine people in smaller markets find slimmer pickings and won't hold on much longer...
 

Wayne_j

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And here I was just watching a video where they said that the release of the No Time To Die music video indicated that they were probably intending to keep the release date.
 
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TravisR

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So far there's been enough to keep me moderately interested, as at least I live in a big metropolitan area with a 20+ screen AMC.

I imagine people in smaller markets find slimmer pickings and won't hold on much longer...
I have a 22 screen Regal in my area that is shut down for a remodel (excellent timing for Regal to spend millions of dollars on that) and my local AMC is only 9 screens but it has the best variety it's ever had. Normally, it's 2 or 3 screens for the big movie that week, 2 for the previous week's #1 movie and then one screen for the 3 or 4 movies that are still doing the best. Now, every movie has one screen and they have smaller and older movies. Granted, that doesn't seem like it's doing anything for ticket sales there or anywhere really but at least there's finally a variety.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I have a 22 screen Regal in my area that is shut down for a remodel (excellent timing for Regal to spend millions of dollars on that) and my local AMC is only 9 screens but it has the best variety it's ever had. Normally, it's 2 or 3 screens for the big movie that week, 2 for the previous week's #1 movie and then one screen for the 3 or 4 movies that are still doing the best. Now, every movie has one screen and they have smaller and older movies. Granted, that doesn't seem like it's doing anything for ticket sales there or anywhere really but at least there's finally a variety.
My nearest AMC will show 17 different movies tomorrow.

6 are reissues of old movies, so I guess 11 2020 releases isn't bad.

Except many of them have been out for weeks, and the newer ones - like "Kajillionaire" and "Infidel" - aren't exactly titles that make potential viewer pulses race.

While "Tenet" may have disappointed financially, at least it gave theaters something BIG to advertise.

Based on IMDB's listings, "Soul" is the next potential blockbuster still on the schedule. That's November 20 - and hardly anyone actually expects it to come out that date.

December has a few potential hits, but again, who believes they'll be released as now planned?

As I've said, I understand that no one in Hollywood wants to toss an expensive movie to the wolves, but I remain concerned that if studios let theaters go under - which seems highly likely when the total weekly US gross is around $11 million - that there will be no theaters to use when COVID does recede!
 

Josh Steinberg

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I think there is a very strong likelihood that theaters are in trouble no matter what because there simply is not the desire among the general public to go out to the movies in this country at this time, and that the audience’s decision to remain at home is practically making the capacity restrictions (which in and of themselves prevent profitability) irrelevant.

At the end of the day, the movie is exactly the same whether you watch it at home or in a theater, and that gives theaters a much higher bar to clear than other businesses that offer things that aren’t the same at home.
 
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Colin Jacobson

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I think there is a very strong likelihood that theaters are in trouble no matter what because there simply is not the desire among the general public to go out to the movies in this country at this time, and that the audience’s decision to remain at home is practically making the capacity restrictions (which in and of themselves prevent profitability) irrelevant.
I agree with you to a decent degree, but I still think that some squeamish folks might "take a chance" if theaters offered something truly compelling.

I don't know, like Bond or MCU!

As I've mentioned, I think people are probably less afraid of theaters now vs. 2 months ago because they've been open without incident.

This doesn't mean I think a November Bond release would've made $100m opening weekend, but I wouldn't have been surprised to see $50m opening. "Tenet" did $20m though it was a) the canary in the coal mine and b) an unproven property.

But we'll never know.

My only firm belief is that the studios really do need to sacrifice some theatrical lambs to ensure that there's something to keep theaters going.

Crud, they're even bailing on theatrical for fairly cheap movies like "Greenland"! :(
 

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