The struggle has been real for top-end studios and theatres to make a plan during this pandemic. There were a plethora of titles to be released between mid-March and the end of the year. Top Gun: Maverick and A Quiet Place Part 2 were on that list.
A couple of titles released to digital for a first release doesn’t appear it will be the norm. Movies like Scoob, The King of Staten Island, and Greyhound all made their way to digital-first. The program seems straight forward. The premium rental fee for the first couple of weeks and we get to enjoy a new release. I thought this was taking even more of a step with Bill and Ted Face the Music getting a dual release on September 1st. This recent trend however will not continue with the big titles.
It was recently announced that Top Gun: Maverick and A Quiet Place Part 2 would be joining a long list of delayed titles. This comes shortly after Disney’s Mulan as well as Tenant from Christoper Nolan also announced they would wait. These titles join a laundry list of movies we have all been waiting for. James Bond, Black Widow, and Peter Rabbit 2 are also delayed. While some titles have been delayed indefinitely, Maverick has a new release date of July 2, 2021, and A Quiet Place will release on April 23rd.
Although there has been a solid move towards digital releases with titles like Hamilton and Artemis Fowl (which is amazingly fun by the way), there just isn’t enough momentum to have the big studios cave. The official statement is that these studios are trying to persevere the excitement of seeing these big titles in a big setting.
My concern is this; if this lasts too much longer there may be no big venues to show these movies in. AMC in the States is in well documented financial trouble after upgrading all of its furniture and screens. Accumulating 5 billion dollars USD in debt was poor timing right before COVID-19 hit. Cineplex is now in a pretty well-publicized battle after a fallen deal to have them acquired. At what point are we saving the experience so much we lose?
I feel like a broken record on this topic. Allow Cineplex and other theatres that have a streaming app to release these movies at a premium without the ability to purchase. Have revenue come back into the stream and pay the theatres and the studios. When the world reopens theatres then re-release them. There is plenty of opportunities to recapitalize on these big releases. Digital allows people to get their new release fix and bring revenue to a struggling industry.