| August 3, 2020
As we head toward the premiere of Trolls World Tour tomorrow, a wholly different experiment than the rest of the adjustments that have been made to the VOD window in the last month, let’s get some idea of where we are.
The number of titles that have been released in the change-of-plan direct-to-paid-streaming or window-shrinking paid-streaming is almost exhausted unless more are added. Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island lands next Tuesday and that is pretty much that for films that had theatrical runs. (That movie got 4 four full weekends at the box office and was pretty much played out by the March 1 box office cliff.) There is a wave of December titles that would be coming out now regardless of the virus and there hasn’t been a significant change in the pricing or timing on those.
The most dramatic experiment, until tomorrow, the Rental-Only class, which has been Comcast with one film from Lionsgate. None of these titles are currently in the iTunes Top 30 Revenue Producers, while six catalog titles are in that 30, including a package of the 10 pre-JJ Star Trek movies, The Patriot, and Cast Away, all of which are on deep discount.
The Invisible Man, $20 Rental Only 3/20
The Hunt, $20 Rental Only 3/20
Emma, $20 Rental Only 3/20
I Still Believe, $20 Rental Only 3/27
Never Rarely Sometimes Always, $20 Rental Only 4/3
I would love to know the numbers for these releases, but they can’t be very good, in this context.
Second, the group of films with oddball pricing. There are four titles with cheaper Own prices and one title with a one-dollar premium on rental pricing.
The Fittest Sale 3/24 ($12.99), Rental
The Gentlemen Sale Only ($15) 3/24, Rental 4/14
Dolittle Sale Only 3/24, Rental 4/7 ($5.99)
Downhill, Sale Only 3/27 ($9.99), Rental 4/10
The Call of the Wild, Sale Only 3/27 ($14.99), Rental 4/10
Dolittle is the #3 revenue producer on iTunes today, primed by new rental money… Although it has been Top 10 for most of its release. The Fittest, at this lower price, was a Top 10 title on release as an iTunes exclusive and is now off the Top 30. The other two are not Top 30 today.
The third group of titles are those with sped-up dating, but with traditional VOD pricing and rental schedules. Sale Only is $19.99. Rental is either currently or advertised at $4.99 or could vary for still unreleased for rental titles.
1917 Sale Only 3/10, Rental 3/24
Onward Sale Only 3/24, Rental 4/3
Birds of Prey Sale Only 3/24, Rental 4/7
The Way Back Sale Only 3/24, Rental 4/14
Bad Boys For Life, Sale Only 3/24, Rental 4/21
Bloodshot Sale Only 3/24, Rental moved up from “June” to May 5
Sonic, Sale Only 3/31, Rental 4/28
So, 1917 wasn’t off schedule by much when it was released. The film grossed $156 million by March 1 (10 weeks in theatrical) and the virus probably cost it $5-$10 million in domestic. More internationally.
As you can see throughout this list, March 20/24 was the moment when the VOD dating dam broke.
Birds of Prey and Onward, which added Rental revenue this week, Bad Boys For Life, and Sonic (newer, in its second week of availability), are Top 10. The Way Back and Bloodshot had some success charting in their first week.
There is no “evolution.” There is no wave of significant change. There are studios trying things under stressful circumstances. Some will work. Some will fail. But so far, not a single thing has happened that suggests that this changes anything in terms of the traditional windows of theatrical release, no matter how many people dream of it.
| August 3, 2020
| July 23, 2020
| July 14, 2020
August 11, 2020
James Mangold on Copland: "It’s what’s going on in our country in general, which is that as you deny resources and opportunities to people, they end up pitted against each other for what little remains. At that time, in the ‘70s and ‘80s, it seemed like it was only getting worse. My movie was about a community of cops and the point of view that emanated from it. My own point of view is more sympathetic toward the communities of color that are besieged. But, in the context of what we’re talking about, it seems to me that we’re never going to unlock the white pathology that participates in this cycle if we don’t unpack what’s underneath this anger. I don’t mean to excuse it but to understand how people end up way out there in a cultish anger, where a uniform and a badge unites them with other like souls, and they start to develop a mercenary and deeply cynical attitude about the people they’re actually there to protect."
| August 10, 2020
"Amid massive layoffs at Warner Bros, I'm getting word of an absolute bloodbath at DC Comics. Bob Harras is apparently gone; so are editors Mark Doyle, Brian Cunningham and Andy Khouri. Jim Lee still with the company, but no longer publisher. DC Collectibles gone entirely."
"These are just the names I’ve heard multiple times. Many other longterm – I’m talking VERY longterm – DC employees have also been let go.Those who had large titles and big salaries are gone. This is a huge and significant downsizing of DC’s publishing operations that will have huge ripple effects across the entire scarred comics industry landscape. It’s impossible to see this as anything but a huge sign of disinterest in the comics publishing business by AT&T, WarnerMedia and the Global Brands division. While other WB divisions faced severe layoffs, losing such a huge swath of the executive leadership at DC is a lot more than just more layoffs."
| August 10, 2020
| December 13, 2019
| December 4, 2019
| December 4, 2019