MAY 25, 2020
BY JAMES BENNETT
Right now cinemas are closed across the globe, and even as they reopen in the coming weeks and months, it’s unlikely that they’ll go back to the way we remember them for a while. There are likely to be fewer sessions per day and the sessions won’t be as full as cinemas put social distancing policies in place. All of that will have impact on the box office results for movies – it will be a long time before we see movies get billion dollar box office results.
Even the biggest studios – Disney, Sony, Warner, etc – are suffering from months with no cinema revenue coming in. We know that the movie industry is looking for different ways to get their product in front of people, hence, Home Entertainment has become even more important to studios. We estimate that ongoing we will see shorter release windows once the cinemas reopen as studios won’t be waiting 90 to 120 days from the cinema release date until putting them out on physical media.
Entertainment will change moving forward, much like how studios responded to 9/11– we’ll see increasing numbers of movies made about medical first responders, we’ll see more movies made about both confinement and conversely about freedom. We’ll see more medium budget films made, especially as studios try to make up for the halts in production that they’ve all suffered. We’ll see studios green light and fast track more product to fill the release schedule, and the easiest product to do that with are those medium budget titles – they aren’t effects heavy, and they can get made with the right balance of a good script and a couple of bankable stars to get the project moving and attractive to the decision makers.
Depending on how long it takes for cinemas to get back to some level of normal, we could also see some bigger titles that were anticipated to do well at the box office suddenly get put into the home entertainment schedule.
Interesting times ahead!