MCN Commentary & Analysis

Fact-Based VOD Updates

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.

61 Responses to “Fact-Based VOD Updates”

  1. Stella's Boy says:

    I never saw any kind of collective cheering for the death of theatrical releases. My experience has been the opposite. People missing movie theaters and hopeful to return to them sooner rather than later. Some have speculated about potential industry changes following Covid (and in many ways the jury is still out since we have no idea when we’ll be back at the movies), but I never came across anyone insisting that this is or hoping this is the end of movie theaters.

  2. Serg says:

    “Not a single thing happened..” er.. yeah more than 60 percent of people saying they would severely cut back on going to the movies or just stop after the virus is a significant “thing that happened” that won’t be measurable for months if not years so… yeah.
    Look I’m not asking for the house to be torn down, I’m just wondering why the entire industry is STILL defending the indefensible, exclusionary practices which severely limits choices for consumers and inhibits career opportunities for thousands of filmmakers worldwide who already have product finding audiences, only they have to do it in the shadows of the mythical corporate temples that won’t open to them.
    Ultimately it’s a matter of what fighting for cinema’s future means to every person. Like healthcare. Some of us believe that to be a cinema warrior is someone who fights for the widest, most accessible distribution channels allowing anyone, regardless of location, language, income, institutional backing or funding, to get their work out in front of people and be able to make a living doing it.
    To have millionaire pencil pushers who can’t even turn a camera on say who is and who isn’t “doing cinema”, or be dismissive and derisive towards any new platform or idea (or the Films and filmmakers exploring them) that seeks to open up the playing field is lame and insulting to our basic intelligence.
    Interesting how you can find hundreds of trade articles on Netflix debt bubbles, and Moviepass corporate irresponsibility over the past couple of years alone… where are all the tell alls on Wanda AMC? Wanna compare runways with Netflix? Did all serious trade journalists realize they have no clue about corporate economics and stopped writing these types of articles? Or is AMC this industry’s too-big-to-fail?
    Everyone’s got an interest in shaping the narrative of how all this plays out. Just notice how nobody really cares that the system they’re preserving was already broken and benefitting the few at the top while leaving scraps for the rest of us, while also making fun of us for picking them up off the floor. Cinema is the universal language of emotion in time, not a venue, format or business plan.

  3. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah not sure how anyone can make definitive statements given that you know theaters are still closed. And I forgot about that survey. It was only one survey but the findings suggest most people will not rush back to theaters.

  4. Bob Burns says:

    This looks like book publishing and sales. As David has said, often, opening weekend for theatrical is driven, nearly determined, by promotion…. huge publicity budgets. VOD is in something of the same position as new book titles. The smaller launch budgets do not lift up the brand enough to make them more interesting than an existing title.

    I have soured on the format of films. It seems like a lot of work to learn a new set of characters and a new moral universe every couple of hours, especially since well acted and produced TV dramas are available now.

  5. SideshowBill says:

    Bob Burns wrote:

    “ I have soured on the format of films. It seems like a lot of work to learn a new set of characters and a new moral universe every couple of hours, ”

    As I read this I heard the voice of Otho from BEETLEJUICE in my head.

  6. cadavra says:

    “I have soured on the format of films. It seems like a lot of work to learn a new set of characters and a new moral universe every couple of hours.”

    Well, you’ve still got the “Fast & Furious” movies.

  7. Bob Burns says:

    Honestly, I had Manchester by the Sea in mind as a pilot/first episode. Or Carol.

  8. Dr Wally Rises says:

    The Patriot?! That movie is still this popular after twenty years? If I remember correctly it was a huge seller back in the early days of DVD as well. There must be something about that movie that hits people in the right way that many are oblivious to.. It has one undeniably terrific action sequence (the ambush in the woods). Caleb Deschanel’s cinematography is gloriously rich. It has one of the best ever John Williams scores outside of Spielberg and Star Wars. Tom Wilkinson is subtle as General Cornwallis. But it’s odd that at this point the movie seems to have endured in people’s affections more than. bigger contemporaneous hits like Gladiator and The Perfect Storm.

  9. Christian says:

    We rented “The Whistlers” last night (my choice) after discovering that “Emma” was no longer available to stream through the local-theater websites that had it as a rental option as recently as a couple of weeks ago. (We later found it on Amazon Prime. We’re Prime members, so maybe we’ll watch it eventually, although both me and my wife were eager to support our local arthouses through a purchased stream – our first.)

    The trick was – and skip the rest of this paragraph if this is old news to you; we’re slow on the uptake when it comes to all things streaming-related – one of the theater sites had a disclaimer on its “Whistlers” listing stating that it “has come to our attention that this film will not stream with Apple TVs.” We don’t have an Apple TV – whew! – so we clicked through, only to read on the next page that the film also won’t stream to Roku TVs. We have a Roku TV! But, after weighing a couple of other streaming options (the 4K “Mephisto,” chiefly; I’ve never seen the film in any format) that would’ve required the KinoNOW app, my wife lit upon the idea of purchasing “The Whistlers” on our laptop, then hooking the laptop to our TV via a 4K HDMI cable she recently purchased (and which had worked for streaming our Sunday church service to our TV, even though our TV isn’t a 4K TV. Who knew?? We do. Now.) It worked! And the stream was, might I say, pretty stunning in terms of quality. I simply eyeball these things – I don’t know how to measure picture quality/resolution on our set – but it looked quite stellar.

    I sat rapt through the film, knowing I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the plot twists (I’m terrible with such things), but thoroughly enjoying the performances, the director’s use of color and the overall ambition of the storytelling (by “ambition,” I mean that the central plot point seems borderline ridiculous – and yet it proves tremendously effective during the film’s climax). Most of all, I was close to thrilled with the presentation, realizing this could be a tipping point of sorts. I’ll never not want to go to the theater, but if I can get this kind of quality on my home set – all for $12 for two of us – I might choose to stay at home to watch movies, even when I don’t have to.

    As for how “The Whistlers” is doing in terms of home rentals/streaming, I’ve seen no reports. The focus on home streaming seems to be those Top 10 or Top 20 lists – and smaller films don’t make that cut.

  10. movieman says:

    I enjoyed “The Whistlers,” too, Christian.
    Like A.O. Scott said in his NYT review, it had the feel of a Romanian Coen Brothers movie.
    I’ve been a major fan of the Romanian New Wave and their this film’s director Corneliu Porumboiu, but this was the most flat-out entertaining Romanian “joint” I’ve seen to date.
    (As great as they were, it’s hard to describe “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” or “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”) as popcorn movies.)
    No kids, so I have zero rationale to spend $20 on the Trolls sequel.
    I’m pretty sure it’ll hit DVD eventually.

    I have decided to give Disney Plus a try after seeing how reasonably priced ($6.99 a month!) it is.
    If I only watch “Artemis Fowl” and the “live-action” “Lady and the Tramp,” I’ll still get my money’s worth.
    And if I’m not impressed with their viewing options, I’ll just drop it after a month.

  11. Stella's Boy says:

    Watched Onward with the kids last night even though both said they didn’t want to see it. Just an effort to shut them up for a while and we have Disney Plus. It’s…fine. I wasn’t bored but it is pretty pedestrian overall. Not all that funny or charming or engaging. And wasn’t all that moved by the ending despite their best intentions. Mildly pleasant and diverting. Very forgettable.

    Porno is fun. I’ve been a big fan of Fangoria’s recent movies (VFW, Satanic Panic) and I’m glad they’re making horror flicks now. Very low budget and pretty raw acting but frequently hilarious and goofy charm to spare. Supported an indie theater by renting it, too.

    I’ve done a few group viewings via social media and they’re fun. Nice distraction. Shudder is doing them on a weekly basis. Did The Exorcist III the other night with special guests providing trivia. Good times.

  12. Christian Hamaker says:

    MM: Greetings here on the “new” MCN! Yeah, I love much of the Romanian New Wave, and am a fan of Porumboiu’s “Infinite Football” and “The Treasure.” His “Police Adjective” was a very difficult sit – until those final 20 minutes, which delivered a bigger cinematic punch to the gut than I’d experienced in some time prior to seeing that film. But yeah, “The Whistlers” is more like breezy “fun” relative to other RNW films – grim in a film noir, femme fatale way, which means it’s a bit of relief next to more thematically heavy RNW films (which is … most of ’em). I’m kicking myself for never having seen “12:08 to Bucharest” back when the library had the DVD. It disappeared from the shelves long before the coronavirus shutdown.

  13. movieman says:

    Christian- I’ve liked all of Porumboiu’s previous films (“12:08 is worth checking out if you can find it), but “The Whistlers” was the first that made me think he might have the makings of a commercial director rather than just a critics’ darling.

    And I definitely want to recommend “True History of the Kelly Gang” which is going to be available as an IFC VOD in two weeks.
    It’s easily the best thing Justin Kurzel has ever done, and it cements George MacKay’s status as one of the leading actors of his generation. It’s also visually stunning–even on a small screen which is how I saw it.

  14. SideshowBill says:

    Stella last week I did a double feature on Shudder of Exorcist and Exorcist 3. The original remains one of my all-time favorite films. I do prefer the cut that has Merrin and Karras talking on the stairs, and the Kinderman and Dyer meeting. But it’s still great

    3 is such a weird curio. I love it. A lot of it makes no sense and it has a strange rhythm but even it’s theatrical cut entertains me. The book, Legion, is even better.

    I’ve been watching a lot of comedies lately to alleviate the impending doom: Airplane (which totally holds up but boy is it cringe-worthy with the gay and black stuff), Hot Rod, Kingpin, Game Night, This Is The End, Zach and Miri, Sausage Partry, Walk Hard. It’s been helpful. Need to watch some new stuff, like the aforementioned Porno and We Summon The Darkness. When will The Lodge be streaming? Soon I hope

    Stay frosty, Hot Bloggers.

  15. Bradley Laing says:

    —the “are we there yet” column was March 26, and it suggested that June 1st through July 1st would be the point the movie industry could resume. Should we move the prediction two weeks to June 14th through July 14th?

  16. Stella's Boy says:

    Bill they did a group viewing of The Exorcist that I missed paired with the first episode of their new series Cursed, which is interesting if erratic and too short (first three episodes are The Exorcist, The Omen, and Poltergeist). It’s a classic and three has its charms including some great scares but it’s also amusingly incompetent at times.

    Porno is fun and Sea Fever is very good. Solid aquatic horror that does a lot with what was clearly a small budget. Hopefully watching We Summon the Darkness soon.

    No way are theaters back open that soon. It’s going to be much longer than that or they’ll risk erasing all the progress that’s been made. If sports won’t be back then (at least with a crowd) theaters won’t be either.

  17. leahnz says:

    maybe y’all should be watching (OG) ‘robocop’…

    (i liked ‘underwater’ ok, watched it in complete darkness cuddled up in my blankie, i am a sucker for the mysteries of the deepest ocean & lovecraftian beasts & kstew’s eyebrows)

  18. Amblinman says:

    Poland is just being disingenuous. He keeps using the same tiny sample of movies during the same tiny sample of a time…which is odd for the stats guy unless he’s bad at stats. I don’t think Dave is bad at stats so I’ll go with “phony” on this one.

    Dave: the entire reason for Disney+ is to kill theatrical at some point. When you are ready to engage on that fact, let us know.

  19. Stella's Boy says:

    Underwater is fun. I have some nitpicks and it’s definitely flawed. But I love that it just starts and has no first act, is only 90 minutes, features some cool creatures, and tells its story well. And I love aquatic horror. Will be watching it again with my kids after it hits VOD on Tuesday.

    It’s a little weird that he pops up here every couple weeks, insists he is right, and then disappears again. No way can anything be declared definitively given we have no idea when theaters will be open again and what that will entail (will they sell some seats and require distancing at first?). I still think some changes could stick even as obviously movie theaters will be back at some point (still haven’t come across this cheering for the death of theaters that DP insists was widespread).

  20. movieman says:

    Watched a nifty little 1968 A.I.P. racing flick on Prime yesterday:
    “The Wild Racers” starring Fabian, Missy Farmer (a year before she starred in Barbet Schroeder’s X-rated “More) and “Talia Coppola.”
    Was gobsmacked to discover both Verna Fields and Nestor Almendros listed in the credits. (Fields was one of three editors; Almendros, one of the movie’s two cinematographers.)
    It’s surprisingly artsy for a drive-in movie that was targeted at young and undiscriminating teen audiences, and I wound up liking it a lot. Plus, it’s only 80 minutes.
    Fabian was easily the best actor among the Italian-American teenybopper heartthrobs of his era.
    I’m not including Bobby Darin who kind of transcended the whole Tiger Beat genre through sheer force of will (and talent).
    I bet Fabian could’ve had a post-Bandstand career with a different name.
    “Fabian” (no last name) just sounded so cheesy.
    Adding his real last name, “Forte,” to later credits was apparently a case of too little too late.
    Planning a mini Fabian film fest this week, including an early Richard Rush (“Thunder Alley”) and “Bullet for a Pretty Boy” (another A.I.P. “Bonnie and Clyde” knock-off, but unlike the latter “Boxcar Bertha,” it wasn’t directed by Martin Scorsese, alas).

  21. leahnz says:

    ‘underwater’ is similar to ‘crawl’ in that respect, super basic plot: trapped in watery confines with monsters trying to eat you, GTFO! theme-driven with character notes rather than woven plot. i’m ok with it, more please (underwater is is kind of a rehash of 80’s-dorkfest ‘deep star six’)

  22. Stella's Boy says:

    That’s a good comparison. They do have a lot in common. I’m OK with it, too. Definitely more please. They are both lots of fun.
    And I love Deep Star Six (and Leviathan). Some great ’80s aquatic horror.

    Obviously Universal wants to brag about breaking some on-demand record but stop being cowards and release the actual numbers.

  23. Amblinman says:

    I rented Underwater this morning for viewing later. I was not even a little interested in the movie until I accidentally found out what the deal is. Now I need to see it because we need way more of that in our modern horror.

  24. SideshowBill says:

    I enjoyed Underwater a lot but the ending was a nice surprise. I don’t know why somebody else hasn’t done that.

    I’m a big fan if Crawl. I almost put it on my top 10. It is exactly what it wanted to be and it’s fantastic genre filmmaking. I really really love it.

  25. movieman says:

    Anybody else watch “Tigertail” on Netflix?
    It really (really) wants to be an early (i.e., pre-Hollywood) Ang Lee movie.
    But despite nice performances and some lovely moments, it’s just another Netflix movie at heart.
    A shame.

  26. movieman says:

    “Zoradi, the former president of Walt Disney Pictures, said he working extremely closely with the studios to manage the crisis and, for instance, expects to be showing high-profile library content as early as the last week in June for a staggered opening of theaters with limited hours gearing up for a stronger second half and a busy 2021 slate.”

    Zoradi is Cinemark’s CEO.
    I’m not sure whether to take his comments at face value or with a grain (mountain?) of salt.
    He seemed to blow off the $50-million VOD opening weekend of “Trolls 2” like a duck shaking water off its feathers.
    P.S.= And what exactly constitutes “high-profile library content”?
    And please define “limited hours” and “staggered opening of theaters.”

  27. Stella's Boy says:

    Did Trolls 2 officially make $50 million over the weekend? It’s impossible to imagine theaters opening in June. Stay at home orders will last into May if not longer and if concerts and sporting events are off for spectators how can it be different for movie theaters? And now there’s the study saying physical distancing needed until 2022.

  28. Glamourboy says:

    LA Mayor, Eric Garrett, said today that it is hard to imagine large gatherings able to continue until 2021. Are all these feature films just going to go on hold? Will they even have the Oscars? Would the nominees for Best Picture be Invisible Man, The Way Back, Emma, and 6 other movies that happened to get released before theaters shut down?

  29. Pete B. says:

    If TENET still gets released on 7/17, I will be in the theater if I have to wear a Hazmat suit.

  30. Stella's Boy says:

    Even if theaters can start to reopen on say July 1, there’s no way they’ll be open everywhere and there’s no way theaters will be selling tickets for every seat in auditoriums. Not to mention a whole lot of people won’t be going to the movies right away even if the option is there. Warner Bros. doesn’t want to release Tenet in a situation like that do they? Being the only new movie around doesn’t seem like enough to make up for all those obstacles. And I can’t imagine liking Nolan enough to risk Covid fuck that is dumb shit right there.

  31. Pete B. says:

    Well Stella, considering I risk COVID by going to work each day maybe Nolan is a good enough reason for me.

  32. Rams says:

    To paraphrase a twitter person- I miss watching movies in a movie theatre the way a flower misses the sun. How beautifully poetic.

  33. leahnz says:

    bring back drive-ins

  34. Christian says:

    Well, my wife and daughters are paying to stream “Emma” tonight. I haven’t been invited to join them, so I’ll continue my Criterion DVD binge, probably with “Watership Down.” I own the Blu and have watched it twice, though it’s by no means an all-time favorite. However, I’m using my extended time at home – and a looming voting deadline in a side project related to great films – to knock out several unseen or too rarely seen Criterion titles on my shelf.

    Speaking of which: I watched “Night and Fog” last night for the first time, thinking it was a WWII drama. Uh, it sort of is, but it runs all of 31 minutes – and it completely leveled me. Guys, I’ve studied film history, but it’s been a few (!) decades now. I somehow didn’t know about this film – its form or its content. To be so surprised like this is a rarity for me, particularly with classic / Criterion titles. (Contemporary films are more likely to surprise me because I don’t pay close attention to many of them.) I was frankly horrified by some of the footage but simultaneously kind of grateful that the imagery was so graphically unsettling. I thought maybe I’d grown numb to Holocaust footage. Nope. That’s a good thing.

  35. Pete B. says:

    As a follow-up to my earlier post, here’s a bullet point from Insider.com:
    “The theater business has a goal of opening at full strength by the time Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” is to be released on July 17.”

    The whole article is available at:
    https://www.insider.com/when-will-movie-theaters-reopen-masks-social-distancing-2020-4

    So I must not be the only one champing at the bit.

  36. movieman says:

    I rewatched “Night and Fog” a few years back when it was on TCM, Christian. Hadn’t seen it since college.
    Resnais’ impressionistic doc still has extraordinary power decades later, even after the flood of Holocaust movies that have come along since.

    Very much enjoyed “How to Build a Girl” which is coming to IFC streaming sites next month. Felt a bit like a distaff British “Almost Famous.”
    Also reminded me a bit of John Carney’s “Sing Street” and last summer’s wonderful “Blinded by the Light.”
    Amused by the knocks against Beanie Feldstein’s English accent.
    Seriously?
    Brits have been employing wonky “American” accents in films large and small forever–now more than ever it seems–with nary a knuckle rap. And yet on the rare occasion when a Yank plays a Brit, everyone is reaching for their knives.
    I’m incredibly sensitive, probably over-sensitive, about the accent thing (I still get nightmares whenever I think of Dan Stevens’ frequent attempts to do “Generic American Accent”), and Feldstein sounded just fine to me.

    Amazon’s “Selah and the Spades” is worth checking out, too.
    Tayarisha Poe’s direction–and the terrific performances she elicits from her mostly unfamiliar young cast–are better than the script, but it’s still a very impressive first film.

  37. Stella's Boy says:

    We all want to get back to movie theaters. Not arguing that point. But safely and smartly. Best case scenario by July 1 is some theaters are open again but many will not be and physical distancing measures will need to be in place and many people will not feel ready to go to movie theaters again. Can’t imagine Warner Bros. wants to release a huge movie with all that being true. And with all these fucking degenerate morons calling for a return to normalcy yesterday things are going to get worse before they get better. So we could be worse off July 1 than we are now.

  38. movieman says:

    Was surprised to discover Searchlight’s “Wendy” available as a VOD for $4.99.
    Which is the same price as new DVD releases like “Little Women” and “1917.”
    The inconsistent pricing on some of these things is wackadoodle.
    For example, why is WB’s “The Way Back” which opened March 6th $6 whereas “I Still Believe,” “Bloodshot” and “The Hunt” (all of which opened a mere week later) are all $20?
    Not to mention the fact that late February releases “The Invisible Man” and “Emma” are still priced at twenty bucks as well.
    Is this an example of “tier-pricing” that some have posited in recent years as a new business model to help keep multiplexes afloat?
    If so, there needs to be some logic and/or consistency to the pricing models.
    At present, it’s just confusing and a bit of a turn-off.
    (Btw, I WILL be watching “Wendy” this weekend.)

  39. Dr Wally Rises says:

    One point I’ve seen elsewhere that was quite interesting – that when theaters open up the usual rules of being judged on the opening weekend and blockbusters having to frontload their gross won’t apply for obvious reasons with nothing else out there.

    So Tenet and Mulan could end up having very long, leggy runs IF (let’s stress that) they are released to plan and audiences gradually feel more comfortable venturing back into the theater, which will take time.

  40. Stella's Boy says:

    Do you think Warner Bros. wants to take that chance with Tenet? That even without all theaters open and with physical distancing in the theaters that are open and with many people not ready to go to the movies yet it’s worth the risk because there won’t be any competition?

  41. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Stella, you’re right. But at some point, someone has to be the first out of the gate when the shutters come up again. And it makes sense to make it a movie from a director who emphasises the primacy of the communal big screen experience. For a new Nolan on the IMAX or in a Dolby theater, if the theaters are open then I’m going. That’s it. I’ll be sensible, I’ll be cautious, and I expect the mood in those first weeks of reopening to be muted, even tense. But when I take my seat with an audience in a theater again, I’ll feel so glad. And when the lights go down and the opening logos come up again, I honestly think that I might cry. And I will never, ever, take that simple joy for granted ever again.

  42. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah you could be right. And Nolan probably loves the idea. I miss the movies too but can’t imagine going back while this still rages on. Seems incredibly dumb to me.

  43. Mostly Lurking says:

    The part about returning to movie theaters that I just can’t get past is the risk of contact transfer. I recognize that the most likely way to get the virus is through the air and that because of this social distancing has no doubt been the key factor in slowing the spread. However, you can’t ignore that the virus lives on surfaces for several hours or even days depending on conditions (i.e., the type of surface, temperature, etc). Unless every seat that was occupied in the prior showing is properly sanitized, you’re taking a big risk simply sitting down and placing your arms on the armrest (or, in many theaters, touching the controls for reclining the seat). Even if you’re not eating a snack and constantly putting your hands near your mouth it’s darn near impossible to sit for 2-3 hours without touching your face. I’ve now read several articles discussing the social distancing measures theaters could take to operate relatively safely, but have yet to seen anyone address what exactly theaters are planning on doing in the auditoriums between showings to sanitize individual seats. Until that’s addressed, I can’t imagine going to the movies, and I’m someone who damn well would have found a way to see Tenet on the biggest screen possible on opening weekend.

  44. Stella's Boy says:

    Very good points. It can also spread up to 13 feet, so six feet apart doesn’t really cut it.

  45. movieman says:

    At this rate, I’d be surprised if movie theaters (or any theaters for that matter: that includes concert venues and sporting arenas) re-open before mid-2021.
    And that’s ONLY if there’s a proven vaccine that can actually be accessible to the masses–unlike, say, the Coronavirus test.
    I also can’t see schools, restaurants, libraries, “non-essential” stores (i.e., anything other than grocery stores and gas stations), pretty much anything re-opening before then either.
    I’ll be shocked if there’s a presidential election in November.

    So thank you, Donald Trump, for all that you’ve done for America.
    The world would have already died if you weren’t president.
    (Those last two sentences were intended to be sarcastic.)

  46. leahnz says:

    once again: bring back drive-ins. you stay in your fucking car, a metal and glass bubble. ‘contact-free’ payment on entry (like ‘pay-wave’ here) with some geared-up attendant in a booth, pick up your speakers, bob’s yer uncle

  47. Bob Burns says:

    “bob’s yer uncle”…. ? hahaha

    I am reading that it will take 25 years for survivors to recover from the damage done to lungs, liver, kidneys and cognitive function by COVID 19. “Panic porn”, my ass! Bill Maher should be quarantined into an abandoned hotel in the Catskills.

    Right now we don’t know the long term effects of COVID 19 on the cognitive capacities of children, even when they are otherwise asymptomatic. The first publicist to advertise a theatrical release for this year should be tried in the Hague for crimes against humanity, and treated with the same public disgust as Harv.

  48. Stella's Boy says:

    See you all in Georgia next week!

  49. leahnz says:

    holy shit be afraid be very afraid

    (so much still unknown about C19, buying time is all we can do. pulmonary embolism seems heavily indicated in many deaths – tiny blood clots – so blood and clotting is a factor as is major organ and even neurological damage in survivors; the virus receptors appear to be found in the blood/brain barrier, which could explain the neurological damage, very insidious and adaptable pathogen — and immunity is still quite unclear, herd culling is just that: culling; this whole ‘immunity’ claim is unsupported by the science and utterly insane at this point. but have at it, death cultists! newsflash: if you contract the virus YOU ARE HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS and will on average infect around 5 other people while not quarantined so it’s not just YOUR BODY you absolutely fucking nitwit wankers)

  50. movieman says:

    Rewatched “The Hustler” which is still fantastic, and reminded me of “The Color of Money,” its equally terrific 25-years-later sequel.
    In 1986, a quarter of a century seemed like a lifetime to me.
    Now Paul Newman’s “Money” costar has an imminent (well, maybe not that imminent) “Top Gun” sequel that will arrive 34+ (!!) years after the original.
    Funny how Newman looked so, um, seasoned in the Scorsese movie while Cruise still looks so Tom Cruise-y in the “Maverick” trailer.
    (Interesting factoid: Newman was only 3 years older when he made “Money” than Cruise was when he shot “Maverick.)

  51. Stella's Boy says:

    Movieman have you seen Juggernaut? I figure you have. Having only just learned of it is embarrassing considering the cast and director and that it’s from a major studio. And holy shit that cast is something else. Plus I love a disaster movie set on a plane/train/ship. I didn’t finish it as I started it pretty late last night but I watched most of it and it’s super fun and entertaining.

  52. movieman says:

    Love “Juggernaut,” SB!
    That was back when Richard Lester was on a real winning streak: its release was sandwiched in between his groovy “Musketeers” movies.
    Sadly, it was something of a b.o. disappointment at the time.
    Audiences were led to expect a dumb-dumb “Poseidon Adventure”-style Disaster Movie, but instead got an erudite Disaster Film.
    Glad it still plays; haven’t seen it in years.
    Is it on Prime?

  53. Stella's Boy says:

    I wondered if it might have been a bomb because it’s pretty far removed from something like The Poseidon Adventure. But it definitely still plays. Highly entertaining. And fun seeing people like Anthony Hopkins and Ian Holm with lots of hair. Yup it’s on Prime.

  54. movieman says:

    I’ll definitely look it up on Prime.
    I’ve been on a nostalgia kick lately: rewatching “Juggernaut” will take me back to my junior year of high school: the year of “Chinatown,” “Godfather II,” “The Gambler,” “Daisy Miller,” “The Last Detail,” “The Conversation,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Alfredo Garcia,” “California Split,” “Duddy Kravitz,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Badlands…”
    Sigh.
    UA sold “Juggernaut” as a “shipboard disaster movie,” so naturally “The Poseidon Adventure” sprang to everyone’s mind.
    Needless to say it’s definitely not.
    Maybe if 50’s Ealing Studios had made “Poseidon” it would have looked something like Lester’s film.

  55. Stella's Boy says:

    Finished it a little while ago. It is definitely not. If someone went in expecting The Poseidon Adventure they’d likely have been extremely disappointed. But it is pretty great. Glad I finally saw it. And yeah that was a good year.

  56. Bob Burns says:

    They don’t want to pay unemployment insurance in Georgia, that’s why they are opening the movie theaters, massage parlors, restaurants, etc.

  57. Bradley Laing says:

    —What specific movies would re-opened movie theaters in that state show?

  58. Bradley Laing says:

    —This is the answer to my question, or not?

    “Otherwise, theaters could play so-called library movies, or films that have already previously been released in cinemas, during the period where there isn’t a new movie release. Companies like Fathom Events have hosted these kinds of releases, bringing back movies like “Gone With the Wind,” “Batman” and “Star Wars” to the big screen. However, if there are still concerns about potentially contracting coronavirus, moviegoers may not want to stray from their homes to see a film they could already watch from home.

    PUBLISHED TUE, APR 21 20201:31 PM EDT UPDATED TUE, APR 21 20202:16 PM EDT
    Sarah Whitten”

  59. Stella's Boy says:

    I read that the majority if not all of the theaters in Georgia won’t be open next week despite getting the OK. Much more to it than a governor saying it’s fine to open.

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