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EmpireCity last won the day on July 4 2018

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About EmpireCity

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  1. There is mega mega money out there right now and the longer this goes on, the more desperate the streaming services are for big content. The longer this goes on, the more desperate every studio not named Disney is for money. The longer this goes on, the less confidence in traditional theaters being a reliable option for at least another year. I've always said no chance on Dune going to streaming because the scope and scale and filmed for IMAX nature of it, but if this much money is getting thrown around and you have something like Dune that would be a crapshoot to make money under normal conditions, if someone comes to you with $200m for North American rights, how do you pass that up?
  2. The rumors are real and IF this happens (big IF), it will only be because Eon Productions goes along with it. Buying MGM won't do anything if Barbara doesn't agree to it. The biggest detriment right now is they want a theatrical release outside of North America, and with COVID-19 having the expected fall/winter spike, that makes it unlikely to happen in Europe anytime soon and might be a deal breaker. I don't think Netflix would end up with it, going to come down to Apple or Amazon. I would put my money on Apple. Personally, I would do it. There is going to be almost nothing really different between now and mid-April 2021 when it comes to theaters being at any opening capacity that would allow pre-2020 level grosses. They should take the $500m or $600m and run for the hills. Maybe turn it into a $1b deal and throw in television production and exclusive streaming rights to all prior Bond films. Theaters aren't going back to normal until maybe late summer 2021 at best and more likely into late 2021 or early 2022.
  3. I knew it was coming, but today was the official death of 2020 and movie theaters as we have known them for the last 100+ years. Don't expect to see a major release movie in the domestic market until Spring 2021. Given that theaters are already begging for a Congressional bailout, the situation is dire and congrats to whoever has deep pockets and picks them up at a rock bottom discount bargain later this year.
  4. I think that PVOD/theatrical/streaming simultaneous releases are here to stay on many levels. The first is that NATO and their membership will have no real leverage over the studios. Second is that if what I am talking about above happens and large tech companies scoop up theaters that they will be more than happy to have a hybrid model. I don't think that this will include blockbuster movies. Marvel, Star Wars, DC, and large tentpole movies will always release in theater first and then have a rollout after as they currently do. I think it will still stick to the 2-3 month window for digital and 3-6 months for streaming/physical. Even Netflix is happy to release simultaneously in theaters. They have been doing that for 2+ years. I think Apple and Amazon would do the same under this model. Disney will always support theatrical, but they will put their "risky" movies on streaming only.
  5. Don't forget that data is king. Amazon didn't buy Whole Foods because they wanted to own physical grocery stores so they could become brick and mortar grocers, they did it so they could tap into dynamic real time data. What they have learned about consumer behaviors that they can feed into their database and algorithms is pure gold. The same principles will apply to theaters for the big tech companies. Data that they can get and analyze from buying a theater chain like AMC or Regal or Alamo Drafhouse or Studio Movie Grill is invaluable. As a secondary measure, they can use it as a further data proving ground as a loss leader or subscription driver. There is a reason that Wal-Mart's big move this week is to get into a subscription model.
  6. Theaters will survive. They might sit empty until late spring or summer 2021, but they will survive. Once there is a viable vaccine (and sounds like that is at best late fall 2020 or early 2021) on any level things will return to normal shortly after. The buildings are there. The equipment is there. Most have either been upgraded or are newer. Revenue producing kitchens and other options are there. The theater companies and current owners as we know them might not survive, but someone with hordes of cash sitting on the sideline will step in and get them for pennies on the dollar. Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros. and others all have incentive to buy them for various reasons. Billions of dollars sit out there waiting to pounce. They are waiting for Chapter 11 or outright shut downs to happen and then when the time is right they will step in. Look back to the 1920's for an indicator. The world came off a terrible 2-3 year pandemic that killed far more people, but once it was gone and people felt comfortable entertainment boomed and people were ready to go out and gather in groups. It is how we got the roaring 20's. It is coming again.
  7. Hello, old friends. Hope you are all healthy and happy as can be in this time of pandemic. Speaking of, pandemic or not, the industry was largely headed for a self-made hell for the last 7-10 years. The good and bad news is that theaters will survive. The good is obvious. The bad is murky. Mostly the industry will need to be bailed out by studios and large tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Netflix and others. It is already happening. There are things in the works that will blow your mind. Amazon will absolutely own one of the larger chains and likely a smaller dine-in type chain as well. It will be a loss leader to drive Prime membership similar to what they have done with Whole Foods. Studios with resources will either move on their own or with strategic partners to cut out the middle man. The very, very bad of the industry is that at least for the next year or longer programming will be the definition of stale. My personal prediction is that pretty much EVERYTHING is moving from 2020. Not such a bad thing as with many productions shut down or delayed, the content can slide into 2021 and fill large gaps. The win/win for the studios and consumers is that straight to VOD/streaming/PPV or whatever you want to call it is here to stay. Mid-budget movies are thriving. Creative freedom to take chances that aren't considered failures because the opening weekend wasn't large enough is a thing of the past. It allows things like The Old Guard, Greyhound, Extraction and others become actual hits. Forget 2020 and gear up for 2021. The industry will be back, it will take some time and look different, but theatrical is here to stay.
  8. I thought I would let everyone here know that in the next week or so will be starting a new YouTube channel and Twitter feed. Going to guess most won't give a shit, but want to get my random thoughts out there and smack down losers like Grace Randolph.
  9. The cinema and industry overall will look radically different in a few years if not sooner.
  10. This gives studios even more incentive to make it harder on theaters in the near term to drive their price down and buy them for pennies on the dollar if that is where they want to go.
  11. This is currently behind the scenes, but all movie theaters are struggling right now and it is only going to get worse in 2020. There are huge layoffs already happening, planned expansions are being put on hold, many theater locations holding on by a string hoping that the busy Holiday season will make things better. The reality is the fall of 2019 has been a disaster and the outlook for 2020 is dire. Current projections are a 10% drop in overall box office. If you add in the pressure of Disney pulling the Fox catalog and all of the major streaming services hitting, then it could get even worse. If theaters contract and can't stay open because studios are giving them even less product than before and concentrating their talent and budgets on streaming, you aren't going to see those massive numbers as you point out. The next 18 months are going to be a crucial time. No more Star Wars coming to theaters for multiple years, no more Avengers, the Avatar sequels are a shaky bet with no tech gimmick to push them.
  12. Theaters have already largely done this. Bigger screens, laser 4k projectors, Atmos sound, luxury recliners, D-Box seating, upgraded full menu including alcohol, VIP service, no talking or texting policy, etc... None of it has truly mattered in the long run and all of it is done at an enormous cost. Short of having the stars of the movie show up at every screening and serve you, not sure how else the theaters can serve the customer.
  13. It is depressing, but it will be fine in the long run. Things change.
  14. That is one of the last ditch efforts, but as you can see a lot of the people that sign up for it mostly complain about the service fees and aren't happy with even a reasonable cost because moviepass conditioned them to an unreasonable price. It will help but won't save theaters. At the end of the day, owning and running theaters is incredibly expensive. Top of the line projectors, surround sound, premium recliner seating, staffing, food and beverage costs and even the normal brick and mortar costs of things like heating/cooling, electricity, insurance are all costly. Gone are the days when you could have a big screen, a relatively cost effective 35mm projector, some normal seats and only popcorn / candy / soda because everyone now expects a premium experience with upgrades everywhere for the same cost. The same time the cost of running theaters has gone through the roof, the cost and quality of home entertainment equipment has never been cheaper along with the availability and quality/quantity of streaming entertainment options. It is about 20 converging factors that don't add up to anything but negative for theaters.
  15. Quite the opposite. Disney will make far more from Disney+ than they would from box office. If theaters disappeared tomorrow, that box office money wouldn't disappear. Disney (or any of the streaming services) would simply put their new release theatrical films on Disney+ and places like Vudu / Amazon and for an extra charge people could watch them on release or choose not to do that and wait 3-6 months for when they are included in the normal streaming price. Disney would love that. Instead of splitting that money 65/45 with movie theaters and playing a ton of money in booking and distribution logistics, they simply put it on Disney+ and with a few clicks start accepting money from credit cards already on file. They keep all the money. The other part of this that has been a dirty secret until recently is how much better this is for the studios when it comes to compensating talent. The days of most back end deals would be gone. No more having to pay Robert Downey Jr. something like $250m-$300m for his participation in the Marvel Universe. Hollywood has mostly killed off movie stars anyways, so having a further veil of unknown in how much streaming films actually make is another advantage to them.
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