MCN Commentary & Analysis

How Movie Windows Work

In light of the theoretical showdown between Universal Studios and the exhibition business and the many opinions thrown around, a simple guide to how the current exhibition/distribution relationship works, in the broadest terms, is called for.

Movie theaters are brick & mortar outlets for a small percentage of the content produced by major studios. Via their labels, the majors release around a hundred movies a year via theatrical. They produce thosuands of hours of television each year that are never intended for theatrical release.

Majors spend between $20 million and $60 million domestically to bring a new movie to market. A hundred times a year.

Movie theaters charge the same amount for every movie in each theater, regardless of the cost of production or marketing. Theaters pay distributors, on average, 50% – 55% of box-office gross. The exhibitor’s cut of the gross represents about 60% of the revenue for a movie theater. So while we talk about expensive concession prices, exhibitors cannot run their theaters on $9 popcorn alone.

Exhibitors expand the screen count within each theater to accommodate the expectations for each film… Both their own expectations and the distributor’s. The physical expansion that allows for accordioning was a result of exhibition bankruptcies in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Exhibitors consolidated, got out of bad real estate leases, and started to build new mutliplexes to replace poorly chopped-up multis that were made out of bigger theaters.

This rebuild – at the expense of exhibition – has allowed for bigger and bigger openings over time. Another element of this is a worldwide 2008 co-funded effort between exhibition and distribution to replace celluloid projectors with digital projectors.

The ability to have these huge opening weekends – we have had at least six $100 million domestic openings every year of the last five years – has also indulged the impulse of the distributors to shorten the theatrical window, as a larger and larger percentage of the revenue is being generated in the first three or four weekends. The more distributors can make in theatrical in a shorter window, the sooner they can get to post-theatrical revenues… and they hope, the less they have to spend to market those post-theatrical windows.

This urge to shorten windows is directly connected to the DVD sell-thru market that started in 1997. This accelerated when DVD revenues surpassed theatrical revenues, both in gross and net. Distributors started leaving millions and tens of millions in theatrical revenue on the table in order to get to their DVD window, often driven by quarterly financial reporting (as in, “Get Batman into sell-thru for the Christmas window after a June opening!” or “We took some big losses and need Star Trek‘s DVD sell-thru to make our winter quarter work!” ).

But that financial reality hasn’t been true in more than a decade. Still, the fantasy of getting past theatrical quickly and cheaply lives on in the heads of bean counters.

As cable, then satellite, and then the internet made video-on-demand more viable for a wider and wider audience, the dream of shortened or nonexistent windows returned. But the industry ran into the same problem. VOD wasn’t generating that much money. It might have been cheaper than a Blockbuster rental, but there weren’t big enough numbers to seriously threaten anything. And thus, the fantasy of “fight pricing” – at$35 – $50 a rental for each film, figuring that if three or four people watched, it was cheaper than going out – never became more than a mirage.

Meanwhile, along came Netflix, first disrupting the DVD sell-thru model, and then destroying the idea of fight pricing like Godzilla destroying Tokyo with their streaming subscription model.

Back at the Stable Relationship of Exhibition and Distribution, the rules are changing. Why?

Not because there is a problem with exhibition for distributors. Things haven’t changed much in the last decade, aside from exhibitors spending more money to improve and adjust theaters to current standards and audience expectations of seating and projection. Domestic theatrical went from $10.6 billion to $11.4 billion. The cost of a domestic movie ticket went from an average of $7.90 to $9.16.

Internationally, theatrical exhibition has boomed. In 2010, it was $21.2 billion. In 2019, it was $30.8 billion. That has been a big change, to the benefit of both exhibition and distribution.

Likewise, digital has boomed in the last decade. As DVDs have subsided, the digital market has grown, with MPAA citing Digital passing the overall gross for Theatrical for the first time this year since the DVD boom ended a decade ago, with almost $49 billion worldwide. But keep in mind, this figure is dominated by subscription streaming.

DEG puts the entire domestic single-sell digital market (VOD and rentals) at just $4.6 billion a year with the streaming subscription market at about 3x that. In 2019, that single-sell digital market was down 6% on the VOD side and up 5% in rentals from 2018.

Domestic Theatrical: $11 billion
International Theatrical: $30 billion
Domestic VOD/Rentals: $5 billion
Estimated International VOD/Rentals: $4 billion
Estimated Worldwide Subscription Streaming: $30 billion

VOD is a declining market in a rising digital world. So why are distributors so hot to bet on it?

VOD delivery companies (iTunes, Amazon, etc) have no more vested interest in selling or supporting movies than they do music or toilet paper. Unlike the exhibition industry, there is no investment on the part of consumer-facing digital distributors that connects them to distribution.

Movie Theaters exist almost exclusively as a distribution portal for movie distributors. That is their design. That is their purpose. They are a fruit stand in a world of big-box grocery stores. Those big boxes used to be cable and television. Now they are streamers. But the economies of scale remain the same.

If you own a fruit stand and one of your half-dozen primary distributors decides to stop distributing a certain kind of fruit, you need to fill the space at your store. If it was a popular kind of fruit, it will probably affect your bottom line. And if it was a whole category – say, citrus – it may affect you so much that your store is in danger of closing.

In the current market, keep in mind that Fox is all but gone and that will already reduce inventory by 10% – 15% a year. They may have mostly delivered boring old Red Delicious apples, but those things are still a staple product, no matter how many Neon Asian Pears or A24 Guavas With Teeth we are selling to the cool kids.

To stretch this analogy past sanity, when you find out that your distributor is cutting out the citrus to your fruit stand because they have a new customer closer to their warehouse and hope to save 10% on gas, even though that new customer is a new fruit stand in a neighborhood where others have been closing… It might piss you off. And you may decide that you don’t want to carry that distributor’s fruit salad, which you sell so well that you represent 20% of their worldwide fruit salad business… because all you wanted was the same citrus you have been selling for decades, which is part of what stabilizes your fruit stand revenues.

Yeah, you might be willing to open a fruit-salad-only store, but that would require that you sublease three-quarters of the store you have and the profits would be marginal and once you have shut down most of your old store, your distributor might well see that it has an advantage and squeeze you for more money per fruit salad, like Disney did. After all that, you’re out of business anyway.

Okay. Enough fruit. (But really, it’s accurate.) I don’t think Universal or Jeff Shell are evil. I don’t think they want to drive theaters out of business. I don’t think they want to sell just fruit salad. But while AMC and Regal and Cinemark aren’t mom-and-pop retailers, they spend a lot of money to maintain and operate a nearly single-revenue stream business. And Universal has decided, after a LOT of private talk, to try out something over their partners’ objections. They had a modest success with a single movie under one unique circumstance that encourages them to keep experimenting.

But only one side of this couple is satisfied. Exhibition and Distribution aren’t dating, they have been married for decades. For better or worse. For Pete Davidson or James Bond. And what either side of the relationship thinks is a sweet experiment may not be so good for the other side.

Reading about this disagreement, you would think that only one half of the couple matters… or in fact, that they aren’t really a proper couple. Distribution is sexy and powerful and rich and Exhibition is homely and needy and desperate?

But if you think that you aren’t doing the math. In business, no one cares who is sexy and who is homely… they care where the money is. Exhibition does desperately need the big hits to pay their leases. But you can’t find another math equation that leads to any movie getting to a gross net over $500 million with VOD as the primary revenue stream in anything but the most fluky of circumstances, much less an equation that will take over a dozen movies there each year (which we had last year).

The problem is that when you come back to the relationship and expect to get the parts of that relationship you love after “experimenting” in ways your partner finds degrading of the relationship, the problem is real. And it’s not always going to be rational. It isn’t all on one side, “failing” to accept the other’s choices.

If Noah Baumbach is writing it up, it will all work out in the end. Both sides will grow and learn and find their next love. But I tend to imagine it will end more like a David Simon script. A truce forced on both sides after a lot of filthy language has been uttered and gallons of blood are spilled.

Let’s hope HBO Max cancels this one before it gets to air.

38 Responses to “How Movie Windows Work”

  1. Amblinman says:

    “ They had a modest success with a single movie under one unique circumstance that”

    Huh. It’s almost like it’s silly to try to extract a trend from a small sample size.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Isn’t that not accurate though? It was more than a modest success and they also made good money with several other releases like The Hunt? Universal sure seems to see it as more than a one-movie blip. DP still digging in his heels sounding like NATO or AMC.

  3. Mostly Lurking says:

    Very interesting piece, thanks. Definitely gives me a better sense of the dynamics between distributors and exhibitors than my prior assumptions that almost all exhibitor profits come from concession sales. However, as touched upon in Stella’s response, one factor you’re still not really discussing is the reality that it will be a long time before theaters can run at anywhere near full capacity and likely nearly as long before enough patrons are comfortable going to the movies even at half capacity. What are distributors, who also answer to their investors, supposed to do in the meantime? It’s easy enough to speculate that they will simply hold off on the biggest budget releases in order to maximize profits down the line, even if it’s not for a year. But what about mid-level fair? Trolls 2 at least provides an indication of a viable source of revenue in the interim for such films. Look at it this way, with Universal knowing what it does from Trolls 2, if it has a similar movie on the shelf and theaters are running at 1/2 capacity, wouldn’t it be a waste to just distribute the film as if it’s business as usual? Wouldn’t that be leaving money on the table (and quite a bit of money)? Even though the distributor/exhibitor relationship traditionally benefits both sides, should the distributor just go down with the exhibitor ship when it has other alternatives for weathering this storm, particularly since presumably the tentpole movies are still being held in reserve? There are lots of interesting aspects to this discussion for which I would welcome your further analysis. Stay safe!

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    I was just thinking that Mostly Lurking (and you touch on something I have been wondering; who has more leverage here, the studios or the theaters? Is it an even 50-50?). This is so far from over. We are a long way from when movie theaters will be open and full nationwide. Who knows how long it will be. Could me a few months. But chances are it will be much longer than that. So much is unknown. But it sure seems like premium VOD isn’t just a blip that will immediately disappear when theaters open again. Wish other studios like Warner Bros. and Sony would release figures for their movies like The Way Back and Bloodshot. Again, I don’t think this is the death of theaters, nor do I think that’s really an argument anyone is seriously making. But we are almost two months into no new movies with many more months to go and it’s hard to imagine a total return to normalcy despite what NATO and AMC claim. A return to normal in general isn’t likely.

  5. Sam E. says:

    Thanks for the column. You’re one of the few entertainment writers/commentators who seems to have some level of understanding of economics and business. One question I have is you talk about Fox and seem to indicate that there’s going to be less films be distributed because of them merging with Disney. I thought that were actually a lot more distributors than there were 15 years ago. In 2005 there were 607 movies released versus 908 in 2019. Granted some of those were smaller films and maybe in the near term it’s a hit to the industry but in the medium to long term it seems like more films not less are being distributed.

  6. David Poland says:

    Sam E – There are a lot of indie distributors. But you will see, if you look, that the vast majority of the films that aren’t from the majors or the next tier (Lionsgate, A24, NEON, etc) are doing theatricals on less than 100 screens. That is a different business and a very different model. Those companies have almost all gone primarily day-n-date or some close proximity for years now. And it works for them. It is when you are seeking bigger numbers that it becomes problematic.

  7. David Poland says:

    Stella –

    It’s not about digging in my heels. It’s math. And we have been through cycles like this before, though not something like all theaters being shut down. But the issue of streaming is not unlike the original pop growth of television or the rental of VHS or the sales of DVDs.

    Time after time, a new delivery system arrives, has initial success, sometimes has massive success, and someone asks, “Why are we spending so much money on theatrical?” And time after time, they learn the answer.

    I should do more specific analysis on this, but I think it is probably fair to say that the film industry would already by mostly destroyed had day-n-date been introduced – as they ALL wanted to – with DVD. Because for a few years, DVDs generated more money than theatrical. And then, price competition and the exhaustion of DVD buyers who needed to buy furniture to keep all these discs, 95% of which they watched once and never again, and the subscription model at Netflix killed DVD off at an alarming rate. But had they put all their eggs in that basket, many theaters would have closed and there wouldn’t be enough screens for $200 million or $150 million openings… maybe not $100 million openings.

    It is the law of unintended consequences. And it happens all the time when people start to obsess on the new shiny object.

    I have posted the stat dozens of times, but the revenue for streaming will come out of the ass of cable/satellite, not people leaving the house to be entertained. I don’t believe people just want to stay home and stare at the screen. And I really, really don’t believe that people will pay twice as much as it costs for Netflix a month or 3x what it costs for Disney+ to see all but a very select handful of movies a few months early on a TV.

    A lot of this story is the tail wagging the dog… not unlike Netflix being perceived as being worth more than Disney or almost as much as AT&T, etc. That doesn’t make streaming NOT a huge part of our future. I believe it is absolutely the future. But I believe it is the future of home/personal entertainment. It is the same as I believe people will overpay to go to concerts rather than just listen to Spotify. Human nature.

  8. SideshowBill says:

    Look this is all great but speaking strictly from the heart I just want movies back. I want to go see a big dumb Summer blockbuster in a 95 degree day in late June. Whatever happens, however it does or doesn’t come together, all that stuff is fine.

    I want to go to a fucking movie. I miss it badly

  9. Hcat says:

    I would think another argument against releasing smaller films on Co-VOD is all the future releases are stalled in production. If they take a chance on people watching it at home they will have nothing in the pipeline when theaters do reopen.

    I like how AMC is tossing their weight around. Refusing to open in states that are easing restrictions. Taking Universal to task for touting Trolls as the future. The standoff won’t last, AMC isn’t going to pass on the foreign release of Bond.

  10. Bob Burns says:

    Looking at those numbers, if a film comes close to breaking even, theatrical pays for the promotion.

    The group of films under awards consideration make up about 20% of the total numbers for theatrical, in a good year…. about the same as total box office for Broadway…. more than Broadway, but similar. Probably the same audience, plus some.

  11. Sam E says:

    @Hcat Despite all the huffing and puffing I have to agree with a pretty good Blooomberg article by Tara Lachappelle. Theaters actually don’t want to deal with the backlog of four months including a big chunk of the Summer being released immediately and Studios don’t want blank or reduced earnings reports.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    From this morning: “The coronavirus pandemic is likely to last as long as two years and won’t be controlled until about two-thirds of the world’s population is immune, a group of experts said in a report. Because of its ability to spread from people who don’t appear to be ill, the virus may be harder to control than influenza, the cause of most pandemics in recent history, according to the report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. People may actually be at their most infectious before symptoms appear, according to the report.”

    So what does this mean for movie theaters? I saw a story the other day that people won’t go back to the movies unless, among other things, theaters maintain physical distancing policies and only sell half of the seats or less. Will studios just be happy to have theaters open again and not care about strict capacity restrictions? What about for blockbusters? Will premium VOD seem like a better, safer option for certain movies if theaters are at half-capacity at best? If the virus comes roaring back in the winter as experts expect it to, theaters won’t be able to open will they?

  13. Bob Burns says:

    T
    I have no doubt that theatrical will return, that many people love the theatrical experience, and that it is very valuable to the overall financial success of a commercial film.

    For myself, I will not return to a theater, movie or otherwise, until there is a great treatment, or a vaccine. Social distancing within a movie theater doesn’t exist, given the virus’ ability to stay afloat within enclosed spaces.

    McConnell wants to trade liability protection for businesses for continued aid to individuals, so that businesses can open up without fear of lawsuits….. removing much of the incentive for businesses to provide safety to workers and customers. Senators, buying our health. Creepy. But as cheap as our politician are, it could pass. My point being… possible safeguards are under attack (as in meat packing plants) so there is more reason to mistrust any assurances of safety.

  14. Hcat says:

    Sam, I will look for that article, and I absolutely agree it would be a terrible idea for the studios to simply stagger their schedule and try to turn October into what would have been June. In fact in terms of scheduling I think things should be spaced out more. The response should not be ignoring the theatrical window but lengthening it. Pre-Batman (and some post like Jurassic Park) the biggest hits would play in theaters for a year. If moviegoing relies on social distancing for the next few years a longer release window is going to be needed to allow for demand. We will go back to a few sold out weekends instead of being able to jam everyone into seven screens on opening weekend. Demand can be maintained by NOT having a giant blockbuster every single weekend. It would be shortsighted to release the lionshare of product that is completed in the later half of the year to either theaters or VOD. You can’t film a blockbuster with social distancing. In a worse case scenario the films that are in the can now might have to last us through Christmas of 21.

  15. Stella's Boy says:

    I agree. Theatrical will return. But yeah for now a movie theater seems like one of the most dangerous places a person could be. I saw the way it easily and quickly spread in a restaurant. Scary.

  16. Stella's Boy says:

    That worst case scenario seems more like the most likely scenario to me. If it forcefully returns in the fall like Fauci and others say it will theaters won’t be open. I still think it will be a long, long time before theaters are open nationwide.

  17. Dr Wally Rises says:

    One things for sure – we’re going to see a new boom in animation in about 12-18 months time. The pipeline will become chock-full of it. Any work that can literally be phoned in, will be. I’d be stunned if new instalments of reliable brands like Shrek, Cars, How to.Train Your Dragon etc. weren’t on the starting blocks right now.

  18. Amblinman says:

    “Isn’t that not accurate though? It was more than a modest success and they also made good money with several other releases like The Hunt? Universal sure seems to see it as more than a one-movie blip. DP still digging in his heels sounding like NATO or AMC”

    Oh, I was a making fun of Dave’s previous analysis in which he declared the streaming argument put to rest because of one weekend of Invisible Man on streaming

    And I see Dave is still coming at this with the Ttumpian resolve to pretend we aren’t about to blow past 70k dead. This happens to the movie industry all the time! They’re closed for months on end, maybe even a year or two. This happens frequently! This is just like DVDs all over again.

    Here is a graphic of a cough moving through a plane cabin.

    I am not rooting against movie theaters. But movie theaters aren’t gonna be in U.S. (at lease) calculus for a couple of years. All these takes on how it works, how it doesn’t work, and what we don’t understand about it won’t matter. An axe-throwing chain in one is the states that reopened this past weekend expected just 10% of their business year over year for the weekend. They got a total of two customers.

    What’s going to happen is studios are going to be faced with a choice: let it sit on shelves for 2 years in major global markets or recoup what you can from stuff filmed and work on the new normal for content and revenue moving forward.*

    *Obviously some 4th-quarter-didn’t-see-that-coming-miracle like a vax or super effective treatment changes things.

  19. Stella's Boy says:

    Oh I figured as much amblinman. That was directed at DP. I think you and I are in total agreement here. Definitely not rooting against theaters and don’t think this is the end of them. But the idea that they’re all open in a few months playing to a full house is ludicrous. People aren’t going to flock to theaters when it means a modified, TSA-like entrance plus temperature screening plus wearing a mask plus not feeling safe because sitting six feet apart in an enclosed area does not keep you safe.

    Is Warner Bros. not moving Tenet because of Nolan? How much longer can they pretend like a $200 million movie will open in two months?

  20. Amblinman says:

    @SB great question regarding WB/Tenet. We’ll probably soon hear of it being pushed out. WH’s own internal projections is 3k/day in deaths by June. Ain’t gonna be no July openings.

    This is all uncharted territory stuff on its own but my god what an abysmal failure we’ve been in our response. We were supposed to use this time under lockdown to prep a testing/quarantine regime and prep for the fall. Nothing. Absolutely nothing has changed except more dead Americans piling up by the day. Trump is awful but we are also an unserious country. This is gonna be a fucking slog.

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    I was just reading about those projections. Scary and sad and maddening. Indeed the response has been terrible and I agree not just from the federal government. Nearly 70,000 deaths & counting and states reopening and it feels like nothing has been accomplished these last seven or eight weeks.

  22. leahnz says:

    this is so awful and surreal. seems like at some point the U.S. will need a national pandemic memorial of some type, a place of remembrance for your mass casualties/dead? hope you can stay safe

    (i must admit until reading the thread of amblin’s link there i had not thought much about farts carrying covid19 — adds a whole new meaning to ‘keep your pants on’)

  23. Amblinman says:

    Thanks for that, Leah. Now Trump voters are gonna walk around without pants just to own the libs.

  24. leahnz says:

    oh my i hadn’t thought of that. this truly is the worst timeline

  25. Sam E. says:

    @Amblinman

    Maybe this works fine for Trolls and the Hunt. Remember it’s easy to say these films might not make as much as they would in theaters but their marginal value is literally zero if they’re just put on another streaming service.

    For a huge tentpole title though like a new Bond film is there really going to be 10 to 20 million people willing to pay $50 as opposed to just waiting to see it? That’s realistically what studios would want to replace the revenue from theatrical distribution. I know studios are touting a kind of pay-per-view model where people get together and all chip in but I think makes a lot more sense for sports than movies.

    Also, are we living in a world where piracy doesn’t exist? Because barring some unforeseen shift in technology a sense of moral obligation is all that keeps people from accessing high definition versions of streaming movies for free instantly. Maybe harried parents and young kids don’t get it but if studios think that the average person going to see a Marvel movie won’t pickup on this they’re living a fantasy.

  26. Stella's Boy says:

    It is going to be a very long time before theaters nationwide are open again. In the meantime there will be theaters open in some places but not all. Theaters might even open and close and open and close based on whether or not the virus gets worse and stay-at-home orders adjust. Theaters that are open will have TSA check-ins and 50% capacity at most. Even with some theaters open millions of people won’t feel safe and ready to return. In that kind of marketplace, does a studio want to open a $200 million movie like Tenet or Bond or Fast & Furious 9 or whatever? Will they all be content to wait until 2022 or whenever it is theaters nationwide are all open again? I get that what works for The Hunt or Trolls 2 doesn’t necessarily work for a huge blockbuster. But are studios ready and willing to sit on all their tentpoles for two years? Or if most theaters are open in 2021 is that good enough (even if theaters are abiding by physical distancing and not everyone is willing to venture back to theaters)?

  27. Sam E says:

    @SB

    Actually I’ve reevaluated this. I think DP is basically right that the biggest blockbusters don’t make sense without theaters. However, I’m beginning to think it’s entirely possible that theaters are going to go away or at least decrease substantially and that what we think of as blockbuster films could go away with them. I don’t really see what the market incentive is for a Netflix or Hulu to spend 200-million or even 50-million on an hour and half to two and half hour production. Yes, I know Netflix has but they’ve also never been in a net positive cash position.

    What changed my mind was reading some of the plans about as you pointed out temperature checks and other intrusive procedures and comments from a theater owner about how people ‘don’t breathe a lot during movies’. Scott Mendelson had a pretty good piece yesterday about studios expecting lower openings and longer shelf-lives for blockbuster. Who knows a lot of things are changing pretty dramatically and in a world with no sports or concerts, limited movie releases and scaled back offerings of new tv programming it doesn’t seem completely insane. However, if that’s their strategy going in it seems like theaters could in pretty big trouble.

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    As you allude to there are so many more questions than answers right now. Who knows how this will pan out. Even as so many states rush to reopen the idea of people nationwide gathering indoors (even with distancing in place) to watch a movie seems very far off. How many theaters have to be open before studios feel comfortable releasing a new movie? How confident do they need to be in enough people showing up? What do states or local officials need to be doing in order for chains to feel safe reopening? Can’t imagine all the questions they’re asking and scenarios they’re playing out as they evaluate all this.

  29. Sam E. says:

    Fwiw this is probably the longest I’ve gone without going to the movies since the late nineties. I plan to see Tenet when it opens but almost definitely at my local drive-in theater.

  30. Stella's Boy says:

    You don’t think that’s opening in July do you?

  31. Amblinman says:

    @Sam dude, I get it. But my main point is this:

    Virus don’t care about your feelings, your distribution deals, your tent pole strategy, nor next year’s themepark/movie tie in.

    Dunno what part of that is such a struggle here unless you, Dave, whomever are of the opinion this is over much much sooner than much much later.

    Trump just declared his intention to do nothing. Tell
    me the earliest Americans will feel comfortable returning to movie theaters, in example?

  32. Sam E says:

    @SB
    What I know with absolute certainty is what is scheduled right now. I actually think it will because studios are in a no-win situation. Maybe they release it and no goes to see it. If Tenet is released exclusively on PVOD though it’s exactly the sort of title that could have five people pirating it for every one paying to see it especially if they try to charge $30+.

    @Amblinman
    Dude, calm down…we all know what the virus is. Maybe you’re right theaters are going to be closed down for two years. If that happens though and it’s a real possibility we’re likely going to see a major studio or possibly more than one just go bankrupt or close shop if it’s a division of a larger entity. David’s point is that the math of having a tentpole doesn’t make sense without theaters and he is correct.

  33. Stella's Boy says:

    If the math of having a tentpole doesn’t make sense without theaters why would Tenet open in July when it is likely that not all theaters will be open and those that are will be at only 25% or 50% capacity?

  34. Sam E. says:

    Well it’s a hope and a prayer but what studios have said is that the ideal is the movie will open lower and then play for an extended period. I’m dubious but the theory is given a relative dearth of other entertainment options people will see the movie over a longer period.

  35. Stella's Boy says:

    I suppose but that sure seems risky for such an expensive movie. Are they going to start running TV spots for it? Web ads? Seems like it would be wise to let people know that if they live near a theater that’s open in July they should go see Tenet.

  36. Sam E. says:

    That’s still more than two months away and I agree it seems risk. To be clear I’m not saying it couldn’t be delayed. As of right now that is the studio’s official release strategy though.

  37. Stella's Boy says:

    Will be interesting to see how it plays out. Uncertainty seems like the only certainty right now.

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"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."

Matt Bors: "If there's any point to being owned by a $33 billion company, you'd think it would be that the publishing arm creating IP would actually be underwritten and not demolished."

"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."

Twitter | August 10, 2020

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May Calamawy, Ramy

David Poland | June 15, 2020

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