Hollywood Tent Pole Film Delays Threatening More Than Just The Domestic Box Office


When it comes to looking at things, we tend to be myopic in terms of Hollywood and how movies impact other countries. In more recent years Hollywood has chased money from other countries, like China, and have released films ahead of the U.S. market to certain countries. But as Variety points out, it isn’t just the domestic box office that is in jeopardy, the Global Box office might have to come first.

Recently some theaters began to reopen with pandemic appropriate guidelines stateside. They were planning on running some older movies first, to let the American audiences get comfortable again, and then lead right into new releases like Disney’s Mulan and Warner Bros. Tenet. But not long before their scheduled releases, they were pushed back again due to the pandemic. Now Tenet appears to have been removed from the release calendar. States that have a large influence on box office takes, like Florida, California and Texas have stricter guidelines and theaters would have likely remained empty. Studios decided to wait on their releases to accommodate the U.S. box office.

Here’s the problem:

The global box office is not suffering because the large tent pole movies aren’t being released. Many locations have allowed for theaters to reopen, with guidelines, and are waiting for the new releases to come from Hollywood. Even though many countries have their own films, the big Hollywood films still account for a large part of their box office take. While the studios want to release domestically first, likely to avoid leaks, bootlegs, etc. In fact sources indicated to Variety that the studios don’t want to give more than “two-weeks due to piracy.” However, the global “exhibition community” is concerned that there won’t be anything left if they have to wait much longer.

In the U.K. the large theater chains Vue and Cineworld were set to reopen on July 10th, but then pushed back their plans until July 31st over the delays for Mulan and Tenet.

Variety talked to some of the U.K. theaters and here’s what they said:

“If the exhibition community doesn’t have any new movies in the next few months, there will not be an exhibition community. For most, if not all big studio movies, between 70%-80% of all box office is offshore, and it feels like that’s been forgotten.”

The CEO of Vue. Intl., Tim Richards made this statement:

We are waiting to see what happens with the release dates before making any final decision, because it’s different if one movie moves versus several moving. We can see momentum and consumer confidence building, but we can’t thrive again as an industry without a concerted effort on the major releases. I’d like to think, as an industry, we can look at this globally, as some U.S. states, China and Europe recover, and release films in markets that have reopened.

The dependency on Hollywood:

Hollywood might get a double blow after it’s all said and done. Now that the global market is being hindered due to the lack of American studio content. It’s making some countries question the dependency on Hollywood.

Nathanaël Karmitz, CEO of MK2, with locations in Spain and Paris is calling out the “dangerous dependency” on U.S. film studios and the need for a stronger European film industry. France and Germany are now offering “financial incentives” to release films from local producers.

But at the end of the day Hollywood is still a dominate force globally and the theater industry needs the “tent pole” films to hold on. It’s really easy to just focus on our own country, but it’s a global economy now and a global box office. Domestic theater chains are worried that we will see Mulan, now scheduled for August 21, pushed back yet again. Tenet has apparently been pushed back as of this update, with no release date listed at this time. It’s not just our box office that’s in trouble now. So Hollywood may have to reach some kind of compromise is the situation doesn’t improve soon.

Source: Variety

Image: Wikimedia

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