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Dear Eric Hansen

Raya and the Last Dragon | March 5, 2021 | Premier Access/Theater simultaneous release

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Beyond the theaters boycott (which is not only in US), maybe the disappointing numbers is just related to bad marketing. The trailers aren't very good and the plot sounds confusing the way they sell it. Also it doesn't seem they're paying lots of ads, at least here where i live.

 

The numbers aren't bad, we're just expecting more since T&J break out (that was a solid brand tho and the first family movie since Croods), and i suppose it could gross more without the boycott and with a better marketing campaign. At least they're probably was expecting it to lose money anyway since they decide to release now.

 

And it could be like Onward which are destroyed by COVID but ended up being huge on D+ and help to keep and increase their numbers, the reception for Raya are also good, it got an A cinemascore.

Edited by ThomasNicole
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Corporate Disney is gonna need a rethink going into Black Widow for how they are gonna handle movies in a current and post Covid environment.  What they did/are doing with Mulan, Soul, and now Raya isn't working, and if they continue into Black Widow, it could go from bad to ugly. 

 

Being inflexible on theatrical terms isn't working.  Thinking they can expect folks to just show up or pay on tv b/c it's a Disney film is not working.  Getting a sense of the popularity of their product in the environment isn't working (Soul was the goldmine, and that was given free).  

 

Maybe some shuffling needs to be done at the top of the division.

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Few weeks back, @WandaLegion pointed that perhaps Disney is doing Soul without PA just to test a model for future.

 

Mulan was just PA only release.

Soul was free Disney + release to check whether giving free film will boost sub.

Raya is testing PA + Theatrical release if they can co-exist.

 

They probably will have their own target to judge which model works best and have enough subs to experiment.

 

One thing to point tho, we all don't judge Netflix original success by how much they did in limited release they had but only Netflix know if something's hit or flop. May be cut Disney some slack assuming Raya is basically Disney+ original.

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19 minutes ago, jatvision said:

One thing to point tho, we all don't judge Netflix original success by how much they did in limited release they had but only Netflix know if something's hit or flop. May be cut Disney some slack assuming Raya is basically Disney+ original.

No. Netflix films aren’t in 2,000+ cinemas and don’t have marketing campaigns.  
 

If this was a WB/HBOMax release, the tone would be different on here. 

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From deadline 

Quote

I’m told that Disney’s terms for Raya were a two-week minimum play with a scale that starts at a 50% rental if the film grosses ultimately between $0 and $37.5M, and then 51% if the domestic gross finals between $37.5M and $50M. 

This was actually super reasonable. Disney wasn’t trying to squeeze anybody with terms like that, it’s more generous than pre-pandemic terms. Seems the theater hissy fit was more over the 0-day window at all than the rental terms per se.

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2 minutes ago, Krissykins said:

No. Netflix films aren’t in 2,000+ cinemas and don’t have marketing campaigns.  
 

If this was a WB/HBOMax release, the tone would be different on here. 

Agreed! Look at WW84 and how it’s numbers were viewed. But that doesn’t mean that this movie did badly because people on this site still don’t grasp the impact of the pandemic. 

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Disney has been experimenting, and though we can’t say for sure without internal metrics I feel all 3 experiments basically failed —  

Mulan as exclusive PA didn’t seem to do that much business, might have been better to delay and theatrical  

Soul did really good BO business considering, but didn’t see much sub bump and D+ has plenty of original content coming in 2021 anyway, not a drought like 2020. Probably would have been better delayed and theatrical (or even PA, lol)

Raya seems to be doing poorly. Probably would have been better delayed and theatrical

 

Seems like there’s a pretty clear signal here about how to proceed, especially as virus will be basically done domestically by May or June at latest and Europe not lagging that much behind.

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Just now, Krissykins said:

No. Netflix films aren’t in 2,000+ cinemas and don’t have marketing campaigns.  
 

If this was a WB/HBOMax release, the tone would be different on here. 

Well Disney has 70M subs at this moment, unlike Max while is still under 20M. 

 

Besides there is no doubt on fact that it's a box office flop, my point of discussion was on overall status of film.

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7 minutes ago, Krissykins said:

No. Netflix films aren’t in 2,000+ cinemas and don’t have marketing campaigns.  
 

If this was a WB/HBOMax release, the tone would be different on here. 

Amen.

 

Consistency is key for box office analysis.  Folks could pooh-pooh Tenet b/c no one knew what was possible in the Covid era.  Now, we know Tenet, the Croods 2, WW, and T&J are possible.

 

Disney greatly missed the T&J open of just last weekend with more possible open theaters...and it's probably gonna miss the overall DOM (and INT) BO of the other openers, even in more favorable opening conditions than all 4, with a budget that at least rivals or surpasses many of them.  

 

That's a fail.

 

You can have a great movie suck at the box office.  Ask many Oscar nominees.  It doesn't change that it's a sucky open.  And it does not yet seem D+ rentals are saving it from that sucky open (although it will likely be 3 months til Disney tells us if they aren't enormously huge).

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2 minutes ago, WandaLegion said:

Disney has been experimenting, and though we can’t say for sure without internal metrics I feel all 3 experiments basically failed —  

Mulan as exclusive PA didn’t seem to do that much business, might have been better to delay and theatrical  

Soul did really good BO business considering, but didn’t see much sub bump and D+ has plenty of original content coming in 2021 anyway, not a drought like 2020. Probably would have been better delayed and theatrical (or even PA, lol)

Raya seems to be doing poorly. Probably would have been better delayed and theatrical

 

Seems like there’s a pretty clear signal here about how to proceed, especially as virus will be basically done domestically by May or June at latest and Europe not lagging that much behind.

Didn't Disney+ have their biggest sign-up boost with Soul since Hamilton? Pretty sure there was some data from Antenna or whatever that showed that.

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2 minutes ago, charlie Jatinder said:

Well Disney has 70M subs at this moment, unlike Max while is still under 20M. 

 

Besides there is no doubt on fact that it's a box office flop, my point of discussion was on overall status of film.

I didn’t say anything about subscriber numbers for the services. 
 

People go easy on Disney films, yet enjoy pile-on’s for other studio films. 
 

Can see a Black Widow release delay announcement next week after Raya’s misfire. 

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If Raya had a scenario like this: failed in the USA with maximum possible theaters, and was more successful in China/SK, then I could see Disney taking that into account for Black Widow. But this performance seems like it just kinda failed everywhere including places where BO is back to normal, which means that it may have never been that successful even without COVID. So I don't know that this should affect the thinking around Black Widow.  

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3 minutes ago, TwoMisfits said:

https://deadline.com/2021/03/raya-and-the-last-dragon-opening-weekend-box-office-new-york-city-disney-1234708406/

 

$8.3M Raya - maybe it recovers to $9M by Monday so I can go back to being dead on:)...

$6.75M T&J

$3.7M Chaos Walking

$1.26M Boogie

$890K Croods

 

In good news, with these numbers, the DOM BO will exceed $20M this weekend, BUT it will not exceed $30M.  This is not gonna be the rapid recovery folks want in box office this year.  Godzilla was smart to take the best weekend opening of the spring, b/c that's now the only shot for a $50M weekend before May...

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2 minutes ago, Krissykins said:

I didn’t say anything about subscriber numbers for the services

You did said if this was Max release tone will be different.

 

That's the reason for different tone. 

 

Just to reiterate, Raya is a BOXOFFICE FLOP just like WW84, T&J, etc. Overall, it may not be losing as much as WW84.

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17 minutes ago, WandaLegion said:

From deadline 

This was actually super reasonable. Disney wasn’t trying to squeeze anybody with terms like that, it’s more generous than pre-pandemic terms. Seems the theater hissy fit was more over the 0-day window at all than the rental terms per se.

Well, Disney still wanted 6% more than WB - that's HUGE when you're not talking a lot of money to begin with for a movie that you (unlike WB) are also getting PVOD on.  Universal is sharing PVOD, so I'm sure Cinemark wanted some of Disney's share or wanted 45%.  Theaters are barely breaking even right now at the WB/Universal terms...

 

And for this movie, it does seem theaters made the right call keeping TJ and passing on Raya...

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2 minutes ago, Eric and the Last Dragon said:

Didn't Disney+ have their biggest sign-up boost with Soul since Hamilton? Pretty sure there was some data from Antenna or whatever that showed that.

It was pretty solid, though a bit hard to disentangle from Xmas. But it was probably 1B potential if released like, this August. For it to work out sending a huge movie to D+ for free you really need a lot of people to sub who weren’t going to otherwise, and then stay subbed for a long time.    
 

I think they’ll be happier with Soul than Mulan or Raya, and as a “let’s just try to keep parents happy with some animated content and not get too blocked up on delayed films” move it worked pretty well. But it was also inherently less of a real experiment than the PA stuff, nobody was thinking “maybe the future of Disney is to send Luca, Encanto, Lightyear, etc all to D+ free as a pure sub play.”

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3 minutes ago, Menor said:

If Raya had a scenario like this: failed in the USA with maximum possible theaters, and was more successful in China/SK, then I could see Disney taking that into account for Black Widow. But this performance seems like it just kinda failed everywhere including places where BO is back to normal, which means that it may have never been that successful even without COVID. So I don't know that this should affect the thinking around Black Widow.  

Yeah this is pretty key. This thing is failing even in markets that are banging. The 8-9M is a bummer for the movie but not really an indictment of the broader market recovery. If T&J opened this weekend with no competition it might well have beaten WW84 (much to my surprise, I really didn’t think T&J had much brand value but seems it did).

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2 hours ago, filmlover said:

A handful of chains aren't showing the movie because Disney is still asking for their usual absurd terms despite the movie being available to watch at home the same day.

 

That's here in the US at least. Not sure about everywhere else.

It's even worse up here in Canada. Cineplex is far and away the biggest chain here with 164 theatres and none of them are showing Raya. The next two largest chains, Landmark and Imagine, are showing it but combined they only have 59 theatres (Landmark has 45, Imagine has 14) of which a handful are still closed, which to be honest, screws over Imagine far more than Landmark. Premier, a drive-in chain here, isn't showing it here either.

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