Wednesday, week #37 of 2020 (9/10-9/13/2020)
The one wide release movie in theaters plan continues with a romcom this week. Tenet box office is still chugging away and passed $150 million worldwide to date with $20 million the opening weekend in the United States.
Meanwhile, Mulan are seeing what kind of numbers they can carve in the experimental premium streaming service space (access for those not in the know requires Disney+ subscription and $29.99 to “own” the movie). Disney asserts this is a one-off and while we want Mulan, if it’s a good movie, to do well, our hope is this new release model is not a success (see: Will Movie Streaming Buffet Keep Adding Premium Titles Like Mulan for Extra Fees?). A success will encourage others to try this space. Pretty soon your streaming service will cost $x/month and some percentage of new movies will require an additional fee in order to access before it is released as part of the subscription. It just sounds like another way to surcharge customers.
Just to be clear, we do favor reducing the 90-day theatrical window (see: Collapsing Theatrical Windows Are Not The End Of Cinema Life As We Know It) and technically this supports moving in this direction, but asking people to pay for a subscription and additionally to access to certain new movies doesn’t seem like a moviegoer-friendly idea. Why not just go straight to VOD/PVOD? Why the requirement to be a subscriber of a service and require an additional fee?
(that’s rhetorical, Disney is hoping this will be an incentive for more people to sign up for a monthly or annual subscription)
Most industry articles and Cinemark and Regal (the other two big theater changes) did not like the AMC 17 day theatrical window deal cut with Comcast / Universal, but we did (see: Good deal – AMC strikes historic deal with Universal to shrink theatrical window to 17 days). I think this shows the general disconnect that theater chains and the general movie community have with moviegoers habits. More are migrating to watching movies at home and the pandemic only pushed this process along further. It is probably never going to completely replace watching movies in theaters — nor do we think it should — but it’s foolish not to recognize technology is disrupting the traditional moviegoing experience.
The Broken Hearts Gallery
Since there’s only one new movie coming and we like watching new movies, any movie, no matter how bad or good it looks, is something we’re immediately looking forward to seeing. The trailer looks just OK, and doesn’t spark interest further. We may see it on opening night or wait and see it another day this weekend. It’s not the “hey, we must rush out and see this” like we had with Tenet.
Wherever you are watching movies, happy watching to you!