| August 2, 2021
I am beyond sick of reading about every minor move by any studio with any theatrical movie being hailed as a paradigm-changing event. It’s absurd.
But I realized I haven’t broken down what there is and where it is likely to land. So here we go.
I made a list of 107 studio releases (Disney / Universal / WB / Sony / Paramount) and high-profile titles from indies like A24 and MGM that are ready to go or in some stage of post-production that suggests they will be available to release in the next 15 months. Please feel free to send in corrections. There are details that I know and details that I don’t know. Some of these titles won’t be ready. Some will. But mostly, this should be a pretty fair picture of the content on hand.
First, the nineteen 2020 movies that are unlikely to be repurposed for VOD or any other reduced-profile release, based on expectations. (Ten of the 19 have already had to move at least once.) Anything that is expected to gross more than $400 million in worldwide theatrical isn’t going anywhere. The closer to that number — or the more shaky the prediction -— the more of a chance that it will be converted.
As I started writing in June, there may be an experiment or two in Foreign-First release. But the danger of this remains that the U.S. is underwater, specifically, four of the five largest cities in America (NY, LA, Houston, Phoenix) and eight of the Top 10 (add San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas and San Jose) and piracy is a real issue, especially since there is no clear date for theaters to release in NY, CA, TX or AZ.
THE UNTOUCHABLES (alphabetical order)
|A Quiet Place II (moved) (2021 as of 7/24)|
|Black Widow (moved)|
|Coming 2 America|
|The Conjuring 3 (moved)|
|Connected (animation, Lord/Miller)|
|The Croods 2|
|The Eternals (moved)|
|Free Guy (moved)|
|The King’s Man|
|The Last Duel|
|Mulan (moved) (undated 7/23/20)|
|No Time To Die (Bond) (moved)|
|The King’s Man|
|Top Gun Maverick (moved) (2021 as of 7/24)|
|West Side Story|
|Wonder Woman 1984 (moved)|
The next group is studio movies that the studios absolutely want to hold for theatrical, but under the right circumstances, could push out in some other way… such as by streamer or by sale.
Please be clear… inclusion on this list does not come with any specific assumption that any of these studios are not committed to these films. But budget and relatively limited theatrical upside make them titles that could be considered for commercial experimentation.
|355 (Kinberg directed – Chastain/Cruz/N’Yongo)||U|
|Clifford The Big Red Dog||Par|
|Death on The Nile||Disney/Fox|
|I’m Your Woman (Rachel Brosnahan, Julia Hart dir)||Amazon|
|The New Mutants||Disney/Fox|
|News of the World||U|
|Peter Rabbit 2||Sony|
(Paramount’s Without Remorse is dated 2021… and is being discussed for a sale to Amazon. 7/23)
Next is the High Art group. Established filmmakers with strong reputations, but susceptible (in spite of contracts committing to theatricals) to potential reconsideration of their distribution windows.
HIGH ART MEANT FOR THEATRICAL BUT THAT COULD SCORE ON VOD OR STREAMING
|C’mon C’mon||A24||Mike Mills, Joaquin Phoenix (in post)|
|David Copperfield||Searchlight||Armando Iannucci, released in UK|
|The Duke||no dom||Roger Michel/Broadbent/Mirren|
|The Eyes of Tammy Faye||Searchlight||Chastain/Garfield/D’Onofrio, in post, dated 2021|
|The French Dispatch||Searchlight||Wes Anderson (undated 7/23/20)|
|Next Goal Wins||Searchlight||Taika Waititi (in post)|
|Nomadland||Searchlight||Chloe Zhao (in post)|
|On The Rocks||A24||Sofia Coppola (in post)|
|Promising Young Woman||Focus||undated|
|Stillwater||Focus||Tom McCarthy/Matt Damon|
DOCS THAT COULD BE CONVERTED
|Velvet Underground||Todd Haynes|
HORROR THAT COULD BE CONVERTED
|False Positive (Ilana Glazer)||A24|
GAY-POSITIVE COMEDIES THAT COULD BE CONVERTED
|Everybody’s Talking About Jamie||Disney/Fox|
FILMS WITH STUDIO DISTRIBUTION THAT SEEM LIKE POSSIBLE VOD TITLES
|Cinderella (Live action w/ Billy Porter as Fairy Godmother)||Sony|
|The Empty Man (horror/thriller, originally Aug 20)||Disney/Fox|
|The Good House (Forbes/Wolodarsky feel-good w/ Sigourney, Kline)||Amblin|
|Land (Robin Wright directorial debut)||Focus|
|Let Him Go (Costner/Lane weepie/feel good – Bezucha dir)||Focus|
FILMS WITHOUT THEATRICAL DISTRIBUTION BUT WITH STUDIO-LEVEL ELEMENTS THAT MIGHT GO VOD AFTER MISSING FESTS
|After We Collided (Roger Kumble dir w/ younger sister of K Langford)|
|Blonde (fictional Marilyn Monroe movie, no big names)|
|Kilroy Was Here (Kevin Smith, self-produced, ComicCon @ Home)|
|The Tax Collector (David Ayer/Shia LaBeouf w/ non-theatrical distributor)|
|The Water Man (Oyelowo directing debut, produced by Harpo)|
That covers 2020. It is possible that there are some unsold films that, like Broken Hearts Gallery, could be bought and converted to 2020 VOD product.
Looking at 2021, most of the titles are in the “untouchable” category. The list is not anywhere close to complete.
But there are already 20 sequels/spin-offs on my list of 38. None are close to finished. Some need more shooting. Others, elaborate post-production.
So… I end this piece here for now and spend time considering how the back-up of 2020 films will affect 2021. (One amusing note is that some still have the moved F9 and the shot-at0the-same-time F10 both coming out next April.) This should give you a fair amount to chew on.
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July 25, 2021
"A subsidiary of South Korean entertainment company HYBE in April acquired Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings for $1.05 billion. Seoul-based CJ Entertainment and Merchandising invested in studio Skydance last year, as part of a $275 million strategic funding round with other investors."
South Korea Wants A Hollywood Footprint: JTBC Studios Acquires Majority Stake In Content Arm Of CAA
| July 25, 2021
The Staff And Board of The Canyon Cinema Foundation Address SFMOMA On Planned Elimination of Film Program
"SFMOMA’s recent decision to eliminate its Film Program (among other vital, inclusive, and community-focused programs) is a stunning disavowal of its own history. Moreso, it is a shocking divestment from SFMOMA’s stated commitment to “exhibiting film as an essential medium of modern and contemporary art” and to fostering a vibrant film culture in San Francisco. Following the renovation of its state-of-the-art Phyllis Wattis Theater in 2016, SFMOMA has demonstrated the ability, and financial willingness, to present film at the highest quality. Combining excellent film curation and world-class projection, SFMOMA has become a flagship of cinema exhibition in the Bay Area, which makes the decision to cut its Film Program especially puzzling. It is disappointing and disheartening to learn that a museum that claims to be a center for “the most innovative and challenging art of its time,” now holds the medium of film and the projected moving image in such low regard..." [More here]
July 24, 2021
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