Movie Theaters Are Still (Mostly) Open, But That Won’t Last

The Frame


It's been a devastating week for the entertainment industry as Kovic Nineteen forces to cancellation of public gatherings. All over the world. Movie theaters are struggling to cope with two major factors declining attendance and delayed film releases from Motion Picture Studios theaters around the globe have closed but major change like AMC and cinemark have not yet decided to close up shop here in the US. Here's John Horns discussion with senior film writer at Variety Matt. Donnelly one that we've been reporting on depicted but theaters will close regionally not a blanket. You know all the movie theaters in the country represented by trade group called NATO But we imagined that they'll they'll try to close out in pockets of the slow wave to get as much you know revenue as they can. Nato is the National Association of Theatre Owners and just a couple of days ago. They cancelled their annual convention which was scheduled for the end of the month in Las Vegas. The other factor is that a lot of major releases are being pulled from the calendar. Disney has pulled. Moulin the new James Bond Movies. Nocco come out the next fast and furious sequel. Fast Nine has moved to next year. There are a number of other movies that have been placed on hold. What kind of problems does that create for those theaters that remain open because it seems like a lot of the tentpole movies aren't going to get released? Yes the great question. I mean it doesn't incentivize an audience to brave public faces when you don't have really premium and exciting new films to show them and also let's talk about just the agrees Spending on marketing studios have already completed to promote rely on and stuff nine. They're looking at hundreds and millions of and across the board for movies that aren't going to hit theaters for another year or so. If movie theaters are considered dangerous or if they're actually closed might companies like Disney and. Maybe it's not move on. Maybe it's another movie down the line just get released on Disney plus or an equivalent streaming service. Do you think that is part of the potential conversation going forward I can tell you confidently that over the past month or so of all been you know? They won't dare speak out loud The strategy of going directly to digital. But don't forget that a lot of companies are publicly traded so they have an onus to create value for general that. They can't get their movie theaters. They might be obliged to release them through streaming for higher price point or just to incentivize customers to stay but yeah. I think absolutely this is the reason to To look at sort of Shattering will be called the traditional theatrical window. Which is where movie theaters get ninety days or exclusivity with all the movies that come out and then they moved down two places like streaming and on demand. I think he could absolutely see some of the mid range films. You take something like marbled new mutants which is Sort of young adults giving property. I don't think that anyone to expand that to blow minds in the movie theater. They could easily put that directly on Hulu wish neons and and see up taking subscribers just before we got on the phone. I looked at the stock of cinema world which runs Regal United Artists and Edwards Theatres. Its stock is down. Almost eighty percent in the last month compared to the overall market dropping about twenty-five percent cinemark another major chain has seen its stock dropped almost sixty percent and at the same time. Netflix is down just seventeen percent which is better than the overall market so it feels like Wall Street sentiment on the at least short term potential for exhibition is really grim and at the same time. A lot of movies in production are shutting down as well and that won't be felt for months if not a year down the line. Is that going to be a factor as well not just for exhibition but for streaming services? Yeah I mean we. We've been having conversations about e even take the last round of of film festivals that went up. Jones going distribution all the time to to places like Toronto telluride Sundance. I think the OC a spike in sales of those finished movies But they can put up on services today but in terms of original production places like netflix. Amazon impact will be dramatic. Episodes opened a brand new six down stage facility in New Mexico where they intended to shoot the stranger things that will be delayed. You're talking about like theory of Marquis Properties in the stream or so. I think there will be a bit of a shock to either licensed beloved prize old content to put on or a scramble to fine finish work. They can put up in the near term. It does feel like some smaller exhibition chains are trying to come up with creative solutions. Alamo Draft House said that it in its San Francisco Theatre. It's doing something where no more than two hundred people can be in the theater and it's GonNa ask people to kind of separate themselves from one another. It feels like an interesting idea. I don't know how sustainable it is. Are you hearing other things like that where people can buy seats and maybe block off the seats around them or is it just whatever you find when you get into the auditorium? I think you'll find a lot of people finding creative solutions to enjoy the game. But I think at the end of the day there's so much option And there's just such a volume of content. You can watch at home so I think it's just more about separating the the brave from those would rather stop by Saly and you and I cover the movie business. I haven't been in a theatre at least a week and a half. How are people who cover movies? Seen movies are a lot of people now watching films on their laptops as opposed to going to screenings or theaters absolutely You know I went to a screening of a short film that one of the talent agency last week and of Savonarola Laura dern who just gave everybody an elbow bump to say hello and handshake so I think people are increasingly quite. Get us about Coming together so they do a lot more digital screeners for for industry professionals. Another interesting note As of last night The South by Southwest Film Festival organized. A last minute of sort of virtual festival with an online screening library to try to give some of those Indians. That didn't get to play a chance to get in front of accredited president. Chris I think is really cool and also what kind of solution that keeps everybody

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