VOD Doesn’t Compete With Movie Theaters, Says Alamo Drafthouse Founder

Thankfully in 2020 there are still some theater chain owners unafraid of VOD.

“Cinema is not competing against VOD. It’s not competing against home entertainment. It’s competing against restaurants, comedy clubs and out-of-home experiences,” said League, over Zoom, after sharing, “At Arthouse Convergence years ago, Ira [Deutchman] gave a keynote address about the long history of the death of it, from television to cable to VHS to DVD, and everything had been wrong so far. People inherently as a society want to get out of the house and that is more true than ever right now.

Alamo Drafthouse Founder Tim League:
“Cinema Is Not Competing Against VOD”

League is sort of correct. The bolding in the quote above is mine. It’s important to understand the movie theater experience is different than the at-home viewing experience. I’ve detailed the differences several times in the past here.

The other thing to understand is how much people are willing to pay for live events vs. pre-recorded events.

Movies are not epic live sports matches.

$100 is too expensive for watching a new movie. Studios might (crazily) try this price point and there might be some equally crazy takers, but the numbers won’t be there.

I don’t see how movies will ever be comparable to live events.

A play is a live event, but I can’t even see paying $100 to watch a play streamed live. In person, sure, if the seats are good, but not on TV. Live is, well, live. Something recorded and edited just has a different value to it. Not the same entertainment experience.

Sports are different. You need to see them live so you can share in the result. Like when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in their famous rematch (yes, we paid for this pay per view and saw this live)

Mike Tyson goes into full Dracula mode on Evander Holyfield … this PPV was crazy entertaining!

Kevin Smith thinks the only way Black Widow goes straight to VOD instead of a theatrical run is if it Disney/Marvel could get $100 for the VOD. Sorry, but no way. $19.99 is a stretch (see: Yes, Some Are Paying $20 to Rent New Movies – But Is This The Right Price Point?), this isn’t a one of a kind live pay per view sporting event (which is about the only type of event that can command that kind of money).

In fact, he predicts it would force movie studios to abandon the theater model altogether. “If we all did that, that would change the world,” he said. “They’d be like, ‘F*ck movie theaters! Sell them these movies for $100 a pop.’” Considering the average movie ticket is $10 to $12, that’s a hefty price jump. Sure, people love the Marvel movies and flock to see them in droves. But do they love them enough to drop a cool hundred just to rent one?

Kevin Smith Bluntly Explains The Only Way That ‘Black Widow’ Could Ever Go Straight To VOD

Even if the pandemic renders movie theaters a place not as many will be going — we will be there as soon as they reopen — overpriced VOD/PVOD will not be the future.

I think the $19.99 price point was tested with Trolls World Tour. Any higher and the number of people that sign up will fall. This isn’t a Mike Tyson boxing event, which, ironically, he seems to be tooling up to box again in exhibition matches for charity. Would I pay to see $100 to see Tyson-Holyfield III live? Probably not, but $50 seems like an instant purchase.

No idea if that would ever happen, but if you think I’m just floating out fictional events, check your news feed with a search on Mike Tyson.

As for movies pushing VOD pricing? I think we’ve seen the ceiling. It’s $20, maybe a little higher. That isn’t going to generate a billion in 2020. This means we can expect to see movie theaters open again and showing new blockbuster movies. More and more people will come back to the theaters for a wide variety of reasons (see: One Big Reason Why Movie Theaters Will Be OK Compared To Streaming)

Summer will get hot and, hopefully, we’ll see theaters open again. July 17, 2020 seems like a target date we’ll be able to watch Tenet in theaters. Sure, that could change, but as of this writing anyway, that date — unless there are more pandemic setbacks — seems at least a little possible.

2 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in May 2020 (maybe) + 7 Movies Rescheduled

NOTE: This post will continue to be updated until the end of May 2020, as movie release dates change, newer trailers drop, sometimes within weeks of the scheduled release date

Normally — not these times right now — when theaters are open, this post would have been made about 45 days prior to all theatrical releases. The studios are changing movie release dates so frequently right now, we waited until the end of April to publish this post.

As of this writing, there are only *2* movies scheduled to open in theaters and, at least in our area, no theaters are open anywhere. Washington State has a stay at home order that runs until May 4, 2020.

Just for reference, I’ve left in details of the other 9 movies that were originally scheduled to be released in theaters on May 2020 as well as where they will be showing if announced.

The following are movie trailers and my anticipation on a scale from 0 (no interest) to 10 (highest interest in seeing).

If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post updated throughout 2020).

2020 Theater Releases
JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY

All movie release dates unless otherwise indicated are for the United States, the release dates in other countries may vary.

May 2020 Movies (2 scheduled)

The High Note
[FIRST LOOK]

The High Note is opening in theaters on May 8, 2020 will be released on VOD on May 29, 2020 

Anticipation for The High Note: 4/10

Irresistible
[FIRST LOOK]

Irresistible is opening in theaters May 29, 2020

Anticipation for Irresistible: 3/10

Movies originally planned to release May 2020, but moved by studios

Black Widow
[FIRST LOOK]

Black Widow will open in theaters November 6, 2020

Anticipation for Black Widow: 8/10

Legally Blonde 3

No trailer as of March 1, 2020. No plot summary available at IMDB has been shared either. Reese Witherspoon is returning in the title role as Elle for the sequel. The movie was originally scheduled for Valentine’s Day 2020, but pushed back for release until May 8, 2020. Now, it’s been pushed back to “TBA” — to release date is unknown.

No anticipation is possible without any real information on this sequel to base on, Marking as NR (No Rating).

Scoob!
[FIRST LOOK]

Scoob! will be released on VOD on May 15, 2020

Anticipation for Scoob!: 6/10

Spiral: From The Book of Saw

Spiral release date has been pushed back and is currently unknown (“TBA”)

Anticipation for Spiral: From The Book of Saw: 5/10

The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window release date has been pushed back and is currently unknown (“TBA”)

Anticipation for The Woman in the Window: ?/10

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020)

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run is opening in theaters on August 7, 2020

Anticipation for The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020): 4/10

Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl will open June 12, 2020 on Disney+

Anticipation for Artemis Fowl: 3/10

Run

No trailer is available as of March 1, 2020.

A homeschooled teenager begins to suspect her mother is keeping a dark secret from her.

IMDB Plot Info

No anticipation rating without a trailer, marking as NR (No Rating).

Run is scheduled for release on May 8, 2020.

Ranking all May 2020 movies by anticipation

  • Scoob! 6/10
  • Artemis Fowl: 4/10
  • The High Note: 4/10
  • Irresistible: 3/10
  • Run (2020): NR
  • Legally Blonde 3: NR

What movies in May 2020 (scheduled + rescheduled) are you looking forward to seeing?

FIRST LOOK: Black Widow

Scar Jo (that’s meant affectionately) will soon be suiting up as Black Widow again, this time for an origin tale.

Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow in Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow”–the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour as Alexei aka The Red Guardian and Rachel Weisz as Melina. Directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige

Rotten Tomatoes movie info

When Natasha walked in and captured Tony Stark’s eye in Iron Man 2⭐️⭐️⭐️½ it was clear that Scar Jo was perfectly cast as Black Widow.

I see a fair amount of mostly positive buzz around Florence Pugh who is in this movie as Yelena.

Teaser trailer below:

Scar Jo gets her own origin film a la Joker, how will she do in the spotlight?

Random Teaser Trailer Thoughts

  • Double-gunning Black Widow in black is smoking
  • The sisters like to violently tangle (cool!)
  • LOL on the big bearded guy squeezing on the mask “It fits!”
  • Flying through the debris-filled air is a wicked site to behold
  • Why isn’t time travel possible so I can see this film NOW?!?!

Black Widow opens in theaters on May 1, 2020.