The Future of Cinema Going

Scarlet Johanssen as Black Widow

May 2021? May?

I was expecting February so why does May sound so much worse!

So Disney moved Black Widow too May of 2021. Pushed Death on the Nile to December 18th (so it’s going to be a very Gal kind of Christmas and also likely be the impetus for pushing Dune boo…) but no question now domestic cinema is going to continue to struggle.

(I’m sure all cinemas are struggling but I’m not as familiar with international box office as domestic.)

And now after pushing to open with no real movies there’s talk of them having to close, or too close during the weeks and only open on the weekends, just to stop the bleeding. This puts No Time To Die in November as the next big release.

Scarlett and Florence in Black Widow

I had high hopes for Bond at least being willing to open internationally first a la Tenet and let the domestic box office fall where it may but I know that new restrictions have been imposed to hopefully stop an uptick in numbers over there so who knows?

Interestingly enough Croods 2 has moved up to November and Soul (so far) is sticking which seems strange to me because I would think family films would be least likely to do well in this environment. It’s usually more of a cost to the family and how many kids are going to want to sit in a theater in a mask?

Plus I’ve never been entirely too sure who Soul is meant for as escaping purgatory doesn’t seem like it’s going to be much of a kids film in the first place.

I think there’s a couple of things going on here…

The studios have to accept the days of $100 million + opening weekends and a billion in returns are likely over for the time being. I think if the right movies are released you’ll get people back in the theaters more and more but not at that level those levels won’t be even possible I would think until theaters can open at 100% capacity either way. If they can’t accept that and aren’t willing to even put out films so far it’s going to crush the cinemas.

Henry Cavill and Sam Claflin in Netflix’s Enola Holmes

People’s habits change quickly these days and Netflix is a bottomless well of content to keep people busy whether good or bad. The other streaming services will catch up eventually as well and I think people are just going to come to expect it in the end. I mean the trailer for Wandavision pulled in Avengers movie numbers.

Will cinemas die?

Well that’s an interesting one because one other thing that happened this summer is the overturning of the Paramount Consent Decrees which means that the major studios will be able to buy into or completely buy their own theaters or the currently operating chains. Whether that would be better than worse than what cinemas were six months ago probably depends on how much you like going to the movies.

I think it’s definite though that if the studios don’t give up any of their product when we do come out of this on the other side cinema going could look vastly more different than we had imagined it would even a couple months ago.