Seems like each day a new movie is either delayed or sent to the dreaded “Theater At Home” list. Theater At Home is the new straight to DVD of years past. Movie studios are so worried about losing billions of box office they keep delaying movies to the point 2021 seems on track to fast becoming the year without a blockbuster. It’s either that or studios will do what Disney started with Mulan 2020. They will jack up the price of movies you want to enjoy on a big screen at home to earn back some of the millions they’re losing each day as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
It started with James Bond 25 “No Time To Die”. Daniel Craig was hosting Saturday Night Live to promote the film’s release the following week. But in a twisted horror version of Groundhog Day, the following week never came. As a result, we never made our way to the theater to see Daniel Craig in his final appearance as Bond. They kept pushing it back six months at a time until that time ran out. Instead of seeing Bond in April 2020, as of this writing, we’re now looking at April 2021.
Look to Disney to figure out how to solve this problem. With Mulan 2020, they took their Disney+ streaming platform ($6.99/month or $69.99/year) and created a premier access subscription. Premier access subscribers pay $30 on top of their Disney+ subscription for the privilege of watching the movie on a service they’re already paying for while non-subscribers simply wait until December to see the same movie free. You can read our previous blog entitled “Disney+ Minus Mulan”, in which we shared our opinion on this experimental business model. Better yet, you can watch our Mulan 2020 YouTube video for free to hear our opinion after we paid $30 to watch and let you know if you too should become a “premier” subscriber. Don’t forget to hit the thumbs up and pay zero to become a subscriber to “Oh Brother”. A much better deal and far more entertaining if you ask us!
Many films slated for 2021 have already been pushed to dates in 2022. Some are ready for viewing like “Black Widow”, the next chapter in the Marvel Universe, sure to make Disney a cool billion. But, they aren’t willing to sell this one to premier subscribers to recoup a portion of their likely box office take. They want the cool billion with a “B” and to heck with fans because Disney is certain people are going to run back to the theaters to see the next Marvel movie right? The truth is no one can predict the future and no matter how successful the Marvel Universe was people may be ready to move on to the next big thing.
Every day we get a new movie delay with the latest being “The Batman” postponed until March 2022, along with “Matrix 4”, “Jurassic World: Dominion”, “Avatar 2”, “West Side Story” (yep this is a thing), “Black Adam” (the Rock enters the super hero game), “Cruella” (another Disney remake, yeah!), “A Quiet Place 2”, “The Eternals”, “The Flash”, “Ghostbusters Afterlife”, “Godzilla Vs Kong”, “Halloween Kills”, “Jungle Cruise”, “Mission Impossible 7”, “Thor: Love and Thunder”, and “Wonder Woman 1984” (wow, this one really got delayed!).
Some of these you’ve been anxiously awaiting while others you may have clicked the link to find out what they were. This isn’t even a comprehensive list, but rather the biggest of the big and they all have one thing in common, they’ve been significantly delayed. Who’s to say if these new dates are anything more than the next placeholder given the current conditions resulting from the COVID pandemic.
Are people still going to be excited for some of these films? Will you be willing to pay the kind of money movie theaters are likely to charge if/when they reopen? Will families be able to afford to go to the movies almost every week? One thing is for sure, with so many movies vying for prime real estate on the big screen come late next year and beyond, there won’t be much down time between opening weekends!
Circling back to the title of this blog entry, could 2021 already be a bust at the Box Office? It certainly seems like it with so many movies being continually delayed. In the meantime, will people seek out other forms of entertainment to take the place of going to the movies? As I was writing this an ad came on for this week’s big movie “The War with Grandpa”! Surely you’ve been waiting to see another Robert Dinero comedy where he plays an obnoxious Grandpa (I’m laughing already). Part of the ad shows “real people” leaving the theater saying how much they’ve missed going to the movies and how they never laughed so hard, etc. Anyone want to bet this one doesn’t hit the billion-dollar mark? As we wait to see what the future of the movie going experience will be, make sure to keep listening to the “Oh Brother” podcast or watch our latest episode on YouTube!
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