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Eric Crowe

Corona/Streaming: The End of Box Office As We Know It?

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Meh. More independent films theaters will occur.


No limits,.theaters with comfy chairs that I like. Once I can take my kid more regularly or not sorry about her I would pay $100 monthly for a combo pass. 


Streaming at home is a horrible experience in comparison.

Edited by cdsacken
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I actually think its the end of smaller films in theaters.


Like personally the only thing getting most people to a theater anytime soon would be IW/Endgame level film.


Meaning a film you must watch right away and not jsut wait 2-3 months to get at home.  

Edited by Lordmandeep
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On 6/28/2020 at 7:09 PM, Lordmandeep said:

I actually think its the end of smaller films in theaters.


Like personally the only thing getting most people to a theater anytime soon would be IW/Endgame level film.


Meaning a film you must watch right away and not jsut wait 2-3 months to get at home.  

I could see that and we could see a lot of theaters close. Consolidate to maximize profit.

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With movie theaters in a nail-biting waiting game to reopen and films trickling on demand, a new study shows there’s room for both as most once-frequent moviegoers are eager to return. Face masks and hand washing stations would make them feel most secure when they do.


The study by UTA IQ, United Talent Agency’s data and analytics group, and market research platform Suzy, found 73% of fans are excited about getting back to theaters. It polled 1,000 frequent filmgoers – people who went to at least one movie a month — on June 26 and July 1.


The numbers look positive for theaters, but maybe not fantastic, as about one in five (19%) who have paid to watch recent PVOD releases say they will watch new films exclusively on demand. Some 44% of respondents who have paid to watch at least one of the five PVOD films available at home during the pandemic (Trolls World Tour, Scoob!, The High Note, The King of Staten Island and Irresistible) said they would watch an upcoming release both ways even after theaters re-open safely.


However, nearly half of respondents (45%) would wait as long as is necessary to see one of the following 15 highly-anticipated films in a theater: Black Widow, Candyman, The Conjuring 3, Connected, Free Guy, The French Dispatch, Halloween Kills, The King’s Man, Mulan, No Time To Die, A Quiet Place Part II, Soul, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, Tenet, and Wonder Woman: 1984. Another 39% of respondents say they would wait until the end of 2020 before considering buying or renting these films for viewing at home. And 16% preferred to pay for these films right now as opposed to waiting for a cinema.


Some 52% of respondents interested in these films say they would pay more than $20 to see them. Nearly a third (28%), say they would pay more than $25; and, about one in seven (14%) say they would be willing to pay more than $30.


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In or around 1976, I caught a forlorn moment near New York’s Bleecker St. It was early morning. The sun was just up. Two ragged guys were shuffling toward me on the sidewalk, when one offered the other a bottle in a bag.

But the drink was declined.

“I guess I lost my taste for it,” sighed the saddest voice I’d ever heard.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about those guys when I think about the movies. I mean, what if we’ve lost our taste for them? What if we’ve kicked the habit?


One of the more alarming developments of the last few weeks—along with a new wave of opening date delays—was that Netflix guidance, advising analysts that third-quarter subscriber growth would probably be around 2.5 million, less than half of what had been expected. Among other things, said Netflix, the “astounding” growth of TikTok was changing the digital landscape. Goodbye movies and extended series, hello dance videos?



But watching films is, or was, a reliable habit, and sometimes an addiction. In the 1980s, savvy marketers used to talk about the “wheel of movies.” Hits breed hits, they said. Trailers attached to a Beverly Hills Cop or a Die Hard brought new lucky winners spinning along behind them.

Now, the theatrical wheel has almost stopped, and streaming has radically different dynamics. Inevitably, audience behavior will change.


Early this month, even the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the ultimate film booster, quietly acknowledged that the movies may suffer very deep damage from the virus. In a July 3 posting of a disclosure document for its latest round of museum bonds, the Academy expanded a list of risk factors to include a potential “decrease of popularity of motion pictures, including by virtue of a slowdown in motion picture production on account of public health concerns.”


Noting that the next Oscar ceremony and the museum opening have already been delayed until next April, the risk warning added: “In the event the pandemic continues through the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, attendance and operation of the Academy Museum may be adversely affected and the broadcast of the Oscars may be affected, postponed, or cancelled.”


Let’s hope not.


On the bright side, old habits die hard. But if people do without the movies for another six months—books, dance videos, political strife are all diverting–they might learn to do without them altogether.


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That Deadline piece seems a bit needlessly bleak. The Oscars aren’t the movies, and popularity of one doesn’t determine the popularity of the other. Netflix also has a massive subscriber base at the moment — while I’m sure they’d like to keep growing up, minimal growth is still positive growth, especially since you have to figure that almost everyone who’s interested already has an account. Lastly, money’s tight now and it’s possible people are avoiding extraneous expenses... but that doesn’t mean they’re ditching them entirely.

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I think theaters will come back, but attendance won't be what it was pre-Covid-19. I think die hard movie goers will still see movies, but families and the occasional movie watcher may go even less than before. Pretty much, the trend theater movie going was on but accelerated. 

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On 11/16/2019 at 1:00 PM, EmpireCity said:

I think within the next few years the 90 day release window will be eliminated or adjusted.  The model going forward will be something like this.....


Disney will release Thor: Love and Thunder day and date on Disney+ (and possibly other services like Vudu, Amazon) and in theaters. Disney+ subscribers and other streaming platforms can pay an extra $25 to see it immediately.  If they choose not to, they can wait however many months Disney chooses to put it on the streaming platform as part of the regular cost.  The movie will also be released in theaters for a normal ticket price.  


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Universal and AMC are looking like saints in the exhibition business right now after taking a kicking in the teeth by rival circuits for their controversial deal last week to crunch the theatrical window to 17 days with an option for PVOD thereafter.


Disney’s announcement Tuesday after the market closed that it is bringing Mulan to its 60.5 million Disney+ subscribers for a rental of $29.99 (and in theaters in those places of the world that don’t have the streaming service) over Labor Day weekend is indeed seismic, unprecedented, and stoking fears in exhibitors about their future livelihoods.


Of those exhibitors we spoke with this afternoon, many were blindsided by Disney’s decision. Some rival distributors already saw the writing on the wall, some believing that Disney’s decision to take Hamilton straight to Disney+ over Independence Day weekend was a punch in the face to exhibition; that movie was originally intended to be a theatrical event.


“They don’t need exhibition partners anymore! Why would you share your profitability with an outside company?!” cried one owner of a dine-in cinemas chain. “Think about it: if 10% of their subscribers buy into Mulan, that’s $181 million Disney makes. If 50% of their subscribers rent Mulan, that’s $906 million! That’s money that Disney gets to keep all on their own!”

Mulan, just as COVID-19 was setting in back in early March, came on domestic tracking with a forecasted weekend of $80M+.


“This is a death blow to theaters — did we just lose Disney as a provider? Think about this, every exhibitor has to readjust and start over with everything in their rental deals. If all of the studios are going PVOD, we have to negotiate our terms by occupancy rates; R-rated movies will no longer play at 10 a.m., they’ll play at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. We’ve just become a destination restaurant that has an upper level of entertainment. If you’re a mall 20-plex theater — you’re toast,” continued the exhibition boss.


When reached about the Disney move today, NATO provided no comment



Said MKM Partners’ Eric Handler today about the shocking news: “It’s definitely the sign of the times. Disney has been the biggest supporter of the theatrical window over the last several years, and they know how to maximize all windows. We’ll have to see what happens. The more successful it is, the more they have to think about the streaming service as their own PVOD platform. It’s a big test, and some ways it’s a big risk because this has never been done before. It’s a bit of a shock especially since Tenet was dated. They don’t have to wait for the results of Tenet going forward to go ahead with their plan.”


Despite the current ire of mid-level exhibitors, there are some cooler heads prevailing out there about Disney’s Mulan pivot. There are some who believe CEO Bob Chapek when he said during the company’s earnings call where he made the announcement that the Mulan experiment is “a one-off as opposed trying to say that there’s a new business windowing model.” We’re in the middle of a pandemic, Disney released some pretty bad numbers today and Disney+ is the only thing that’s working for them. What’s appeasing Wall Street is when entertainment congloms adapt and make lemonade out of lemons in these currents times, i.e., creating revenue events out of finished movies instead of rolling the dice on a big event movie theatrically, which is risky right now. Also, some who’ve already seen Mulan say it’s OK, not great, which could factor against it at the box office in a marketplace that’s not completely restored.


Just like with Universal and AMC’s news last week to shorten windows — it remains to be seen whether other exhibitors go along with it — we don’t know the financial impact of these decisions until movie theaters open up. Universal swears that it won’t shorten the window on a tentpole, and that the plan is strictly meant for product that doesn’t perform at an enormous global level, or smaller fare. All of this noise is over what many are theorizing right now, but not what’s actually being practiced.


Says one film finance sage who funds feature productions: “Disney has no revenue coming in now, they’re losing money on theme parks, they can’t get TV into production. If 50% of subscribers rent it — well, that’s a lofty projection. It can make between $300M-$400M, but I don’t think it switches anything in the long term in shaking up moviegoing. I don’t think they can do this on a regular basis. There’s still a lot of money to be made in the theatrical windows model. These market conditions are unusual. People would rather have a theatrical experience with their family rather than being cooped up.”


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The likelihood of a critical mass getting inoculated by mid-2021 is slim (assuming there is a vaccine by the end of the year). The 2021 boxoffice is in jeopardy as well. Studios are going to gave to look long and hard at their 2021 tentpoles, especially those delayed to 2021. We could see most people seeing the major blockbusters only via SVOD.

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7 minutes ago, YourMother the Edgelord said:

Now that I’ve finished lunch, it’s time.


I think the age of blockbusters that the 2015-2019 years have shown us are wayyyyy over. We already know that Covid troubles likely won’t be over until mid 2021, and to add to that scientists say that the 2020s could see a wave of pandemics. Regardless, I don’t think we’ll see a film over $850M+ WW until 2022, we might get a $1B grossing movie but it won’t be much over it.


I’m about to drop the most arguably nonsensical take which I think will happen for next year at the box office but $150M-$250M tentpoles are in trouble. Spielberg warned back in 2013 that the tentpole only business will hurt Hollywood and theaters and Covid is an the potential straw for the camel’s back. The tentpole audience at least domestically isn’t coming back for a while. Overseas may fair better but Covid numbers are starting once again to rise. I think the aftermath of pandemic crisis is over, we will see smaller OW in exchange for big OWs since there’s less of a much of a rush and potentially set up the new normal


But now I have the two hottest of tales: I think mid budget movies are going to be the thing to help keep theaters alive I think Disney might be in trouble since they rely on pricy tentpoles only (and from a none film side they rely on families going out to experience their products), if during the crisis continues throughout 2021 like anticipated. Other blockbusters primarily superhero movies, $150M+ budgeted animation and other tentpoles like Bond, MI, JW are going to feel this sting especially due to the musical chairs.


More likely than not, I do see Disney pushing to squeeze more mid budget content out of Fox and their other studios but studios especially Disney should focus on keeping cost down like Sony. I do think for the tentpoles unlucky to be pushed back will see simultaneous release on streaming/PVOD and theaters. I also think we will see a wave of new feature length animation content either theatrical or streaming, including potential  

(There’s more but i need to head to the washroom.). Animation can be done cheaper, less risky for Covid and the crunch can allow for experimentation. I think studios will outsource a lot of their features to other animation studios similar to Sony, Warner and Paramount. A good idea for Disney is to convert Blue Sky Studios into a successor of WDAS-Florida to make cheaper yet still well done animation.

Other studios will have different effects during 2020-late 2021: here’s my predictions:

Universal seems best suited same with Sony as they can do a healthy mix.

WB can do mid to low budget DC films, horror, has the dreaded WAG that has just low enough budgets to break even 

Disney will of course survive but will have less yuge hits and more $550M-$750M hits which is good but not great for some budgets also Fox to fall back on helps.

Paramount will be bought out by someone

A major theater chain will be bought out by Amazon


Anyways hope you enjoyed my asspull/thoughts. 


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