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Hollywood prepares to postpone blockbuster

Again. In the second half of last year, Warner Bros. announced that it would premiere all of its new films in both HBO Max and cinemas in 2021, which surprised them. Movie theater operators, rival studios, and even some of the filmmakers behind the movie are all wondering aloud, why would Warner Bros. make such a big decision when the coronavirus vaccine is imminent? This move seemed to wave the white flag over the next 12 months.

No one expects a mass immunization to be carried out overnight, but in the United States, it seems that Warner Bros. may have been considering it because of the vaccination. In early 2021, there are still many movies on the release calendar, but there are more cases of the virus in many regions than ever before. About 65% of theaters in the United States (including theaters in popular markets such as New York and Los Angeles) have been closed. As with the closure of national cinemas in March last year, it seems unrealistic to return to movies in any conventional way.

To be sure, most potential blockbusters have been postponed to midsummer or later. However, there are very few movies scheduled to be screened in the first quarter of this year: Sony’s “Cinderella”

; by Camila Cabello (February 5), Disney and the 20th century “King’s Man” ( (March 12), and Jared Leto’s superhero thriller “Morbius” also came from Sony (March 19), to name a few. These seem unlikely to maintain their drama release dates, at least without some kind of hybrid digital or video-on-demand debut.

Even in the traditional period, the extension between January and March is a kind of cinematic garbage dump. Therefore, until May Disney, Marvel’s “Black Widow” (May 7), Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ “Godzilla vs. King Kong” (May) debut, the current release calendar is until May. It’s not entirely unexpected. 21 years old), “Freeman” by Ryan Reynolds’ 20th Century Studio (May 21), “Infinity” starring Paramount’s Mark Wahlberg (5 28th), Disney and Emma Stone (Emma Stone)’s “Croula” (May 28) and Universal Pictures’ “F9” (May 28)). However, if the situation does not improve significantly in the next month or so, many of these games are also expected to transfer.

During the pandemic, Hollywood actors will continue to operate in different ways and find the best way to reach the audience. Disney, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures seem to be more willing to exit the market in the next few months, with contingency plans ranging from the latest version of the streaming service to an accelerated advanced video-on-demand window. Neither Sony nor Paramount have streaming services available for offloading subtitles, so these companies may continue to delay the release date or sell their movies to platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Paramount Auctions has auctioned off most of the upcoming movies, and it didn’t show anything until the “Quiet Place Part 2” (no sales plan yet) on April 23.

For now, “Cinderella” is scheduled to be released from a large studio in 2021. However, it is hard to believe that the fairy tale adaptation directed by Kay Cannon will maintain its release date in early February.

Sony declined to comment on this timetable.

But this does not require detectives to notice the obvious lack of marketing activities in the market-no hints at first glance, no flashing effects of trailers, no evidence of promotional toys inspired by Camila Cabello-the movie should be released next month. Most films start advertising six weeks before release, and if they are sequels or derivative works of popular series, they are usually even earlier. Sony sources emphasized that this classic princess will make her stand out on the big screen. Last year Sony sent Seth Rogen’s “American Kimchi” to HBO Max and Kristen Stewart rom-com’s “Happiest Season” to Hulu, but industry insiders said that “Cinderella” will not be sold to streamers, and Sony Committed to theatrical release.

Disney also remained silent in the often-delayed prequel of the “Kingsman” series, which is scheduled to be released in early March. The studio has always had a little more time to start showing trailers and other promotional materials, but if the ads do not start to appear in the next few weeks, it can be assumed that director Matthew Vaughn’s latest spy comedy series is on the rise again. There are rumors that a major streaming media service company wants to take the film away from Disney, but it is not clear whether the studio will sell the film. And, if it goes that way, it can always make its “King’s Man” debut on the Hulu it owns.

There are also rumors that Disney’s other support rod, the Marvel adventure film “Black Widow” led by Scarlet Johansson, may follow the studio’s “Raya and the Last Dragon”. And issue. Premium. Disney insiders continue to deny these whispers. However, in the age of coronavirus, nothing has been considered. Disney sources objected to reports that Pixar’s “Soul” will premiere on Disney Plus, but it was announced a month later that “Soul” would premiere on Disney Plus.

Indeed, for any movie, as long as the pandemic is still spreading, the plan will be unstable. However, what remains unchanged is that without a traditional theater window, it becomes more challenging for a movie of the size and scale of “Black Widow” to be profitable. Many rival studios are dismissive of Warner Bros. Decided to send “The Spectacle of 1984”, “Suicide Squad”, “Dune” and other movies with huge budgets to HBO Max. As far as “Wonder Woman 1984” (Wonder Woman 1984) is concerned, skipping the movie theater premiere may mean that the film’s box office will lose more than $100 million. It may boast of HBO Max subscriptions, but if the additional revenue can make up for the loss of ticket sales, it is difficult to determine. Other Warner game titles scheduled for mixed releases may also suffer losses.

Medium-budget movies can get a more compelling return on investment through high-quality video-on-demand, because they need to trade a single title and make money without swiping too much. And, if this means increasing streaming media subscribers, some studios may occasionally write down write-downs, just like “Hamilton” on Disney Plus. However, it is almost impossible for a film with a price tag of around $200 million to make a profit in the current film industry. This means that the “Fast & Furious” sequel “F9” and James Bond’s “No Time to Die” (scheduled for release on April 2) are likely to vacate those release dates unless more people get vaccinated.

MGM, the financial backer of the 007 series, and Universal Studios, the studio behind the high-octane series, declined to comment. Universal Pictures also enjoys the international right of “no time to die”.

Universal Pictures has deployed its early advanced video-on-demand agreements with exhibitors such as AMC and Cinemark, and has achieved considerable success. Among them, films such as “Troll World Tour” and “King of Staten Island” The studio made money. But few people expect Universal will test its PVOD transaction-which allows the studio to put new products into digital rental services within 17 days of the theater premiere-in a turbulent market, its pivotal “F9” “Such a pillar. The latest article in the series led by Vin Diesel broke the billion-dollar milestone with relative ease. Both “F9” and “No Time to Die” depend on box office revenue worldwide, especially in Asia where action franchising is particularly popular. Since their respective studios have invested a lot of marketing expenses in global promotional activities, the two companies must make a decision before the end of January to avoid reducing unnecessary expenses. If these films are postponed again, film studios may set their sights on the 2021 holiday corridor in order to get rid of the COVID-19 crisis once and for all.

For many studios, delay, delay and delay again may be the best option, hopefully the last time. However, if the pandemic proves everything, Hollywood may find itself repeating the song and dance within six months.

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