For Warner Bros. the news is not bad, as “Tenet” has performed excellently abroad. The film, which opened internationally in late August, has so far brought in more than $ 205 million globally. But for domestic theaters, the rough start of “Tenet” puts a significant strain on an industry that needed a giant to lure moviegoers back to the cinema.
With no other major film planned until at least November, American theaters are in a gloomy fall season in the films.
Bock added that without big movies, theaters are “basically left to reserve library titles and alternative content themselves.”
“This does not end well for chains or independent theaters, many of which operate at a loss. Without major blockbusters until November – although they are not remote in stone – theaters will probably have to make the unfortunate choice to shut down again or limit their operating time. ”
Other movies in theaters like “Unhinged” and “The New Mutants” have not found an audience either, leading to a sad box office last weekend. This weekend, domestic box office brought in only $ 15 million, a figure that is “not enough to cover operating expenses,” according to Tom Brueggemann of IndieWire.
So is there any hope near theaters? Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com, believes that if key markets like New York City and Los Angeles open, the industry could see a much-needed boost.
“The presence of these open markets would certainly not hurt,” Robbins said. “Combined, they contribute 10% to 15% of the average box office domestic box office average. Based solely on” Tenet’s “performance so far, these markets alone will not immediately normalize box office revenue. What they can do, however, galvanizes the perception of reopening. . ”
Robbins noted that theaters “rely heavily on word-of-mouth from suburbs and urban areas to convey security and accessibility by returning to cinemas.”
However, there are no promises that even if these cities open theaters that audiences will return, Bock said.
“The opening of NYC and LA will give a small boost, but it is doubtful whether it will cure the box office year that COVID has inflicted,” he said.
What about streaming?
Then there is the streaming option.
Following Disney’s decision to release “Mulan” on Disney +, the studios were able to decide that it’s less risky to release a movie digitally than in theaters right now.
“There’s no way to stream right now in North America,” Bock said. “This is not a solution that will be set in stone in the future, but it is the best solution for reality right now.”
With streaming numbers kept close to the West, it’s hard to gauge the impact that digital releases can have on the film’s bottom line, but Bock believes streaming can work in line with theaters, at least for the time being.
“Studios need to offer other alternatives right now,” he said. “In the rest of the world, studios may be able to get away with a traditional release, but in the domestic market we are in a funk, and reaching potential consumers is about delivering content in the safest and most effective way. It is [premium video on demand]. Or a combination of PVOD and theatrical. “
Nothing major comes to the theaters
Without major releases for several weeks, however, the industry will find itself in the direction of November, when “No Time to Die”, the latest James Bond film, opens. Then the long-awaited and often delayed “Wonder Woman 1984” highlights the holiday season opening for Christmas. In late October, there are two movies opening in theaters with “Death on the Nile” from 20th Century Studios and Sony Animation’s “Connected,” but these movies are not on par with the franchise movies that open in November and December.
But if the theaters were to mount a comeback, it could make it worse than movies with James Bond and Wonder Woman.