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Maggie

Will BLOCKBUSTERS cease to exist without theaters?

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10 hours ago, Avatree said:

Netflix hasn't been interested in sequels in like...  ever? That's just part of their business model.

 

Aside from their #1 show, they cancel every single TV show after 2 seasons, max 3, even if it's popular. Their business model doesn't benefit from continuing successful IPs, it instead relies upon making new, new, new, and more new content.

 

 

Not sure what your point is with mulan/ww84. Like I saiid they were not straight-to-streaming, they were premium VOD, there is a huge difference. The overwhelming majority of audience clearly are not willing to pay $30 for a movie at home.

 

Killing series after 2 or 3 seasons is a good thing IMO.

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I wish everyone in the post-covid can realise how eventful of each good blockbuster

 

long live cinema!

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15 hours ago, Barnack said:

I am not sure if the notion of blockbuster (if you mean movies that get watched a lot or that cost a fortune and achieve to get watched a lot) will disappear without theater if movies continue to exist.

 

I am not sure movies will continue to exist (outside niche affair) without theater, the point of a fully contained story told to be watched in one sitting could loose it's mainstream appeal without theater, why a movie instead a mini series to tell this story and so on.

 

It will take a good amount of time (for everyone that was born when theatrical existed to pass away) but yes obviously feature length film could stop to be popular completely, making 1 off giant budget for a single 1h20 to 2h30 hours only project a thing of the past (with obviously the movie franchise entry, or potential first one of a wannabe franchise continuing to a thing) much longer.

 

Would a Titanic make sense to take a chance for a streamer with 0 chance of making new customer, but just not losing them in the next 8 months and the calculation become, how many customer do not take a pause or cancel for how many months investing 250 millions in a movie that can completely flop make it worth it, when something like Tiger King at that price point is worth an incredible amount for a platform (or a proven The Office).....

 

 

The concept will have momentum and will not die right away, 100% certains, especially not with Disney IPs and Pixar studio existing, but will it survive just the first 100 years after movie theater become a niche affair ?, not so sure, many medium art form-format stopped to be mainstream level of popular over the years.

Excellent post. A film like Titanic would definitely not be getting made for streamers.

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1 hour ago, Maggie said:

Excellent post. A film like Titanic would definitely not be getting made for streamers.

In their growing early days they would (and kind of are), on mature one not so sure, there is a reason Disney is playing so much with VOD instead of pure "streaming" for their big movies after all, I imagine it is something they will want to have in the future.

 

 

Maybe netflix will pivot, if not, I expect a lot more of Bright, Extraction type instead of the Titanic type yes.

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It's still too soon to tell and like @Barnack said a dramatic change like this won't happen overnight.

 

But in the theoritical worst-case X years in the future scenario where theatrical release is just a side thing for superfans and filmbuffs and everything is on streaming, blockbusters like we know them will absolutely cease to exist. Disney won't cut Marvel budgets in half because Black Widow or the Eternals might not break even, but if the big movies continue to not make much money in theatres 2-3-4 years post-pandemic, everyone will rethink their strategy. Throwing 200m 2-hour movies for "free" into a sea of content is not a long term strategy for anyone including Netflix. Streaming atm is throwing hundreds of millions to Bullock, Scorsese, The Rock, DiCaprio etc. specifically to poach them from traditional studios. If/when streaming completely absorb the movie industry, they won't need to. 

 

Wonder Woman and all the other day-and-date with HBOmax blocbusters that are about to be released won't really say anything about where this is going. The next "only in theatres" blockbuster (released with enough of them open worldwide) might say something but I have no idea when we will see that. 4 months ago I thought Bond or Fast9 would be the next "experiment" like Tenet. I'm not so sure anymore.

 

 

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Off-topic but may be it will be close.

 

Last week, the sequel to a big local Malayalam blockbuster released on Prime Video. Drishyam 2. The original was a massive hit in 2013. Got remake in all major language industries in India and even got remake in China, which grossed $200M.

 

So the sequel released and surprisingly got a great response, which was surprise because first one was such perfect film. The film got good response online during the weekend, and now its done and silence.

 

 

 

A Blockbuster got a really good sequel and yet within one weekend its all hype seem to have died because almost everyone who was going to watch it, watched it.

 

If released theatrically, this one could have probably the biggest grossing Malayalam film. The daily box office updates, hold would have kept discussion alive. Since not almost everyone has watched in one weekend, the opinions would have kept coming for atleast 2 weeks. 

 

Now nothing.

 

Without theatrical, films seems like will lose their event status. 

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2 hours ago, jatvision said:

Without theatrical, films seems like will lose their event status. 

That is more likely, giant amount of status lost is more certain that blockbuster disparition without theatrical.

 

Online movie festival vs theatrical one like Canne, Venice, Sundance, .... the Oscar in a streaming world would become the emmy pretty much, premiere, OW, lot of the pageantry would become a bit like the TV level.

 

And the length of the hype with how easy and fast it would be for everyone to have all seen it, would also probably something.

 

Avengers III dual movies total cost of sales is now up to around 1.4 billion USD (the guy that talked about the first 1 billion production going on was maybe not that off after all).

 

With a $70 box a year Disney+ deal, that 100 millions people signing for 2 years just to cover the old model cost of giant movies if it would go on unchanged, I feel like VOD model Disney is pushing could be a necessity to keep them alive.

 

If people pay an extra to watch them, it would make the event feel more like an event (and some will group with people to share the cost as well, helping that effect, like PPV wrestling-UFC-boxing could feel like an event when the cost was really high)

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May be term I was pointing was longevity of the event. Theatrical release give weeks of feel of event. 

 

OTT release is weekend and done thing mostly.

 

In fact can be made from Netflix shows and weekly approach. Stranger Things is probably biggest show currently. But Netflix dump it all in once approach means it's peak hype last just a week.

 

While something much smaller like Wanda Vision is getting much longer span of hype.

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6 minutes ago, jatvision said:

In fact can be made from Netflix shows and weekly approach. Stranger Things is probably biggest show currently. But Netflix dump it all in once approach means it's peak hype last just a week.

 

For sure a season of GoT felt different than a stranger things big week, Tiger Kings could be another example of such a different between the size and length of an event.

 

And a 2 hours movie would normally be even more short lived than a 4 hours mini series.

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8 hours ago, jatvision said:

Without theatrical, films seems like will lose their event status. 

I completely agree. If you think the way box office legs have been trending in recent years is bad, with movies becoming more and more frontloaded to their opening weekends, then the "legs" for a premier access movie are even worse in comparison.

 

From the data I've seen, movies released on streaming services tend to make 80-90% of their total gross in the first week, and very little thereafter. That's obviously a natural result of the distribution method: streaming removes almost all of the barriers to entry in comparison to watching a movie at the theaters, the result being that when a movie releases on streaming, the vast majority of people who want to watch the movie will watch it pretty much as soon as it's available.

 

With streaming, you need only a couple of hours of free time to watch a movie—it needn't even be uninterrupted free time—and you can watch the movie practically anywhere, from the comfort of your own home to on your commute to work. With the theaters, you need at least 3-4 hours of uninterrupted free time; you need to be able to actually physically get to the movie theater; and, if you're watching a movie with friends or family, you need to find a time that suits everyone, which is not always an easy task.

 

The nature of the movie theater movie, with audience participation being spread far more evenly over multiple weeks, obviously lends itself well to keeping a movie relevant and in the public consciousness for a longer period of time, whereas with streaming, you get maybe a week or two until everyone's seen it, the discussion has worn out, and everyone's moved on. As you mention, the contrast is very similar to that between a TV series that's dumped on a streaming platform all at once, and a TV series that's released episodically every week over the course of a couple of months.

 

It's one of the many reasons why I'm of the strong opinion that movie theaters won't be going anywhere for a long time: a blockbuster released on streaming loses out on a large part of its potential gross simply by virtue of falling out of the public consciousness far faster than it would have done had it been released in theaters.

 

For certain movies, this doesn't matter, but for most blockbusters, their maximum potential can only be realised in theaters. It's also far more difficult to build brands in this way: GoT wouldn't have been nearly as big as it was if whole series had been dumped on Netflix every year, and nor would the MCU have built up anywhere near as big of a brand had its movies been released exclusively on streaming. As much as streaming is now the best platform for serialized TV shows, movie theaters remain the best platform for (most) movies.

Edited by hw64

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I'd be totally ok with 'event movies' dying. Looking over the last couple of decades, there really haven't been many good ones.

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God, I hope not!  I went to see Tom and Jerry this afternoon.  Since King Jay Inslee saw it fit for us commoners to go back to the theaters again, AMC decided to open their doors (why Regal hasn't, I don't know), I have seen 4 movies: Wonder Woman, News from the World, the Croods, and Tom and Jerry.  In all showings, there was a decent audience, around a couple dozen patrons, maybe more.  People still want the theater experience.  Once capacity rises and Regal reopens, the Box Office will regain some of the momentium lost.

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Well if the definition of blockbuster isn't necessarily by budget but by a movie that is so popular that it has people lining down the block to see it, then yes and no. Obviously as others in this thread have said, you still have the big streaming films/miniseries/tv seasons that everyone flocks too in the first week, but it dies hard and fast and is subject to however people watch it in their own homes. You won't have physical crowds lining up for weeks like they did Avatar or Titanic, or even Shrek 2 or The Force Awakens. I don't think film as a medium will ever die, but it certainly won't stay the same. Even with tv screens getting bigger and closer to cinema sized screens, the experience is lost with watching something in a dark room with an audience. Probably the most fun I ever had at the movies was watching Paranormal Activity 3 in a sold out theatre on opening weekend, which turned what is a really a three star movie at best into five star enjoyment due to unity of people screaming, laughing and cracking jokes at the right times.  Same with "event" movies. You don't get the vicarious validation of strangers enjoying something like you do and applauding at a great scene or during the end credits. It is kind of upsetting, especially to a box office forum, but for those who love film we are just going to have to adapt to whatever happens with industry and audience trends. There are still great artistic visions out there that will continue to explore the medium and even throwback to the event movie period we got so accustomed to for a time. 

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