Movies & Cinema during the Pandemic? Catch-all Discussion

Jake Lipson

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producing a disc in any format would just be more wasted money.
Is this a joke? No brend new studio theatrical release has yet skipped a physical release. Of course there is going to be one. I don't see any reason to think a disc release won't be successful. It probably won't become the best seller of the year or anything, but there are people who want it and will get it enough to make it worth WB's while to release it. They want to make a s much money on this film as they can, so restricting it to a streaming service exclusively is counterintuitive. There are still people who don't stream. It's a smaller portion of the potential audience, but they exist.

I read somewhere that the cost to produce a new disc is +/- $6,000. I don't remember where though so if I'm wrong on that, someone should feel free to correct me. WB is easily going to make more than $6,000 on a physical release of Tenet. I think it will easily outperform other titles of its gross range because there are lots of people who won't go to the theater right now but will be happy to check it out on disc. If they put it out in December, you'll also get people impulse buying for holiday gifts.

I know I'm going to buy the Blu-ray as a blind purchase as soon as it is made available to me.
 

JackieT

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I think they would be wise to follow the path of Mulan. Rent for $20-30 for set time, then roll out to "free" full stream on a stream platform. If anything produce very limited hard copies for the non stream crowd to avoid huge loss on non selling discs like days of past.
 

Jake Lipson

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I think they would be wise to follow the path of Mulan. Rent for $20-30 for set time, then roll out to "free" full stream on a stream platform.
Mulan is going to get a physical media release. It hasn't come out yet. But it is coming. They've already released artwork for steelbook versions of both the remake and the animated film, and there is temporary art for standard releases. It should be formally announced fairly soon.

If anything produce very limited hard copies for the non stream crowd to avoid huge loss on non selling discs like days of past.
Why do you think they will take a huge loss on physical discs of it? I don't see any reason to believe WB won't make money selling discs. They're not going to sell as many as they would have ten years ago, but I don't think it will be a money-losing enterprise.

I don't think they're going to be able to charge $30 for a premium VOD window either. They might have if they had put it out within the first few weeks of its run, but now It is just a movie that has run its course at the box office. People who are interested in getting it will expect to get it for the standard pricing structure for a new release movie on both streaming and disc.

Somehow I think Nolan would be more in the physical media camp than he would be in streaming.
Absolutely. If Nolan was able to convince WB to release this expensive film theatrically in the middle of the pandemic, he's not going to have to twist any arms to get them to release a disc.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I don't think so. I feel like the only people who care about Tenet right now fall into two camps:

1) Hardcore film people who are willing to travel to see it.
2) People who aren't ready to go back into theaters yet.

For people who fall into #1, the Eastern and Southeastern parts of the state (where the bulk of the population lives) are relatively close to neighboring states (NJ, CT, or MA). I think a good amount of this group is willing to drive an hour or so to see it and have probably already seen it. The same thing is going on in Los Angeles with people driving an hour down to Anaheim.

The rest of the state has a few medium size markets (Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Ithaca) but I don't think it's enough to give WB any reason to delay a home release.

If we were in a situation where theaters were going gangbusters as they've reopened, it'd be a different story. However, we're not seeing that.
Agreed... but in large part because they aren't reopening here in NYC AFAIK -- NYC population nearly matches the rest of the state (and exceeds that if we're talking the larger metro area) and could certainly change the narrative somewhat.

NYC doesn't really fit what you describe... because plenty of city folks wouldn't be inclined (or be able) to drive to see something like Tenet, but may well be inclined to travel just 5-30 street blocks or so by foot, scooter, bike, vesper, perhaps even bus or subway (during non-busy hours), etc that couldn't happen if we're talking say 30-plus miles -- and then, there's probably also a small group that might be willing to travel more substantial distances (by NYC standards) to see it at the Lincoln Sq IMAX or the like. You have to realize a lot of us don't have cars, and quite a few who have cars in their households either need to factor in the parking hassle being a significant deterrent or simply don't drive even if they have licenses (or both) -- my observation has been that often only 1 of 2 spouses/partners do nearly all the driving, especially in-and-around the city itself.

And I'm guessing most city folks who'd actually get around to driving out away from the city aren't looking to schlep themselves to a theater just to watch something like Tenet in another (dark) closed-in space w/ Covid-19 concerns, but largely to be outdoors doing outdoors-y stuff instead. Granted, there are a few theaters not far away across the river in NJ, including at least one (in an indoor shopping mall) reachable by mass transit (though not quite so conveniently for most), but that's pretty much it -- CT isn't realistic at all for most city folks who aren't looking to drive at least 10-20 miles.

But yeah, AFAIK, NYC isn't reopening theaters yet, if ever before a viable vaccine or the like, so that won't be a factor regarding Tenet...

_Man_
 

Colin Jacobson

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I think they would be wise to follow the path of Mulan. Rent for $20-30 for set time, then roll out to "free" full stream on a stream platform. If anything produce very limited hard copies for the non stream crowd to avoid huge loss on non selling discs like days of past.
If this site is correct, the 100th top-selling disc in 2019 - DVD and BD combined - sold 391,000 copies.

"Tenet" will clearly sell a lot more than that.

And you think WB will take a "huge loss" on it? :rolleyes:
 
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JackieT

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I doubt Tenant has enough widespread interest to pull in 400,000 discs at this stage. Too many will await streaming vs. spending $20 or even more for it.
 

jcroy

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I doubt Tenant has enough widespread interest to pull in 400,000 discs at this stage. Too many will await streaming vs. spending $20 or even more for it.

If I were to ever watch Tenet, it will likely be when it shows up on a basic cable channel in a year or two, or if the bluray is a $5 impulse buy at wallyworld. Whichever comes first.
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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If I were to ever watch Tenet, it will likely be when it shows up on a basic cable channel in a year or two, or if the bluray is a $5 impulse buy at wallyworld. Whichever comes first.
But at least in your case (based on your prior comments here or elsewhere), that would probably also have been true if this was pre-pandemic 2019, which is the relevant issue. You're not likely representative of those who would generally buy most new release titles of interest on disc at anything more than $5 bargain bin prices.

I doubt Tenant has enough widespread interest to pull in 400,000 discs at this stage. Too many will await streaming vs. spending $20 or even more for it.
I don't usually buy discs at $20-plus a pop either, but I probably would've bought a Tenet disc release for $15, especially if it's 4K. I'd probably even consider buying a 4K release for ~$20, especially since I didn't already see it in the theater -- if I did see it already, which has been rare, but very possible (maybe even probable) for Tenet under normal circumstances, it would depend on how much I loved it and whether I think my family would also like/love it enough to wanna see again asap at home. I certainly wouldn't just wait for subscription streaming or the like.

And I certainly wouldn't be waiting for the $5 bargain bin for Tenet (or most any other new release I'm particularly interested in) either regardless of the pandemic... and I do buy some titles at $5-7 -- they are usually titles on the fringe for me or were at least off my radar for several years or more until hitting the bargain bin. And for such bargain bin cases for me, I've indeed been switching gears and buying most of them on iTunes instead. But even w/ iTunes, I've been willing to spend as much as $8 (so far) for such titles in 4K that were released w/in roughly a year and probably $10-13 for the disc version if the price dropped that far by that point -- in most such cases now, I'd probably end up paying $5-8 for the 4K iTunes just because disc prices don't usually fall as fast to the $10-13 level, especially 4K discs... though if the BD comes w/ a DC that can be upgraded to 4K on iTunes for free, then I'd be willing to pay a little more.

Anyway, point is I don't think the pandemic likely changed people's appetite for disc purchases all too much. It certainly has helped direct a whole lot of people to PVOD, but most of those people already weren't buying much of any discs long before this point. Sure, fewer discs will be sold in general than prior years, but it's probably not primarily caused by the pandemic. And if a Tenet disc is released day-and-date w/ PVOD, it should still sell fairly well w/ the same caveats as just before the pandemic. It might even sell a bit better than the prior trend would predict just because many interested folks (like me) couldn't see it in theaters...

_Man_
 
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Colin Jacobson

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I doubt Tenant has enough widespread interest to pull in 400,000 discs at this stage. Too many will await streaming vs. spending $20 or even more for it.
As noted, that was the 100th most popular title of 2019. If you don't think "Tenet" would be in the top 100, you're 100% wrong - especially given how many people skipped it in theaters due to the pandemic.

Also, you might have a smidgen more credibility if you didn't keep calling it "Tenant". :rolleyes:
 

JackieT

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It has a good chance of being top 100 since 2020 had next to no theater releases. It will do well once it hits streaming is my prediction. I still don't see folks running out to grab a $20+ blind buy.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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It will do well once it hits streaming is my prediction. I still don't see folks running out to grab a $20+ blind buy.
Hard to predict in this case.

It wouldn't be the usual kind of blind buy under the circumstance. I'm inclined to think there might be a modest spike for Tenet.

For instance, there are a lot of NYC folks (and maybe folks in a few other similar city situations) who might consider doing that just because they didn't have meaningful chances to see it in the theater and $20 isn't as much to them as to folks in more rural and/or lower cost-of-living areas. Going to the theater at all woulda easily cost $20 per person, especially if one isn't living w/in 15min walking distance.

I'm actually only a bit reluctant mainly because I value a good bargain and almost always shop that way even though I can probably afford more if I really want -- I just prefer to use more of my $$$ elsewhere that I (but probably not everyone else) also highly value...

_Man_
 

JackieT

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One hurdle any new release has in a pandemic environment is that so many folks have embraced staying at home and are streaming their entertainment day in and day out. You won't have as many people hopping off their sofas during flu/pandemic season to browse the limited disc aisles of their local Target or Walmarts.

Add to the mix more people are unemployed and tossing $20 at a blind buy vs. buying food or paying bills seems foolish.
 

TravisR

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True. How many new releases were there in 2020? One or two?
There's not the usual number of studio disc releases this year but the first part of 2020 still had all the theatrical releases from late 2019 which are obviously counted towards this year's disc sales. It's very fair to assume that Star Wars, Joker, Frozen II & 1917 all did very well and I'm sure movies like Parasite, Terminator, Ford v. Ferrari, Knives Out, Birds of Prey, The Invisible Man and Onward did well too. However, that's basically irrelevant because you were originally saying that Tenet should only go streaming because it would lose money if they released it on disc. Under any circumstances in any year, Tenet would easily be in the top 100 video releases of the year because it's a major theatrical release from a major director and I think this year, it will likely be in the top 10. Either way, it will make money for Warners.
 

Colin Jacobson

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One hurdle any new release has in a pandemic environment is that so many folks have embraced staying at home and are streaming their entertainment day in and day out. You won't have as many people hopping off their sofas during flu/pandemic season to browse the limited disc aisles of their local Target or Walmarts.
Yeah, it's too bad there's no way for people to buy Blu-rays and DVDs other than on the shelves at local retailers! <_<
 

JackieT

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Oh I realize online ordering is king, but with in person displays the temptation is higher to buy. Not many everyday shoppers will actively be searching online to buy a movie like this.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Oh I realize online ordering is king, but with in person displays the temptation is higher to buy. Not many everyday shoppers will actively be searching online to buy a movie like this.
IF they release it just in time for the holiday shopping season, I'm sure that won't be too much an issue.

Pretty sure people who are remotely interested and can afford the $15-20 for the disc won't have trouble buying it online by this point.

Those who aren't already familiar or remotely interested woulda mostly been lured into snapping up something else instead if they shop in-person. And it's not like we don't all receive plenty of well-targeted ads to lure us online afterall... w/ Amazon making it super-easy killing business for BB, et al long before this pandemic...

_Man_
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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Add to the mix more people are unemployed and tossing $20 at a blind buy vs. buying food or paying bills seems foolish.
No doubt it's a major drag for that part of the populace and economy, but despite that, there are actually still a lot of people who can actually afford $20 on something like this.

Afterall, if we're only talking on the order of 400K copies (or even 1M), we're talking much less than 1% of the population.

Most of the people who can't afford it now probably couldn't really afford before either.

Meanwhile, there are a lot less, different, often expensive diversions people can (or feel safe to) spend their $$$ during this pandemic, including as simple as going to the theater or dining out to going on a more substantial vacation.

People still have felt needs to see things, be entertained, etc whether that's thru streaming or thru physical media or something else. And if they know they can't do other (more expensive) things, they may be more willing to splurge just that little bit on a movie at home or the like...

But yeah, nobody can be sure what exactly the masses will do re: a Tenet disc release... though I expect it to be a safe bet to make at least the usual $$$ for such a release, if not more...

Look at the bigger picture another way perhaps. Have you seen how Wall St's been doing these days? It's bounced all the way back and then some w/ nary a sign of trouble going forward. While I know Wall St isn't some perfect indicator for the economy wrt the avg person, it also isn't so completely out-of-whack though. And we're not even talking about the avg person buying Tenet on disc for $20 anyway -- that was something 10-20 years ago, but not now anymore.

_Man_
 
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