Killing Off Movie Theaters

 

scales justice movie projectorRecently, Scarlett Johansson filed suit against Disney for breach of contract, because they allegedly violated the contractual agreement under which Johansson acting in and promoted Black Widow. Her lawyers pointed out in the complaint the shift, after the contract was signed, from exclusive wide release on several thousand screens for the first weeks to immediate streaming, cannibalizing box office for the benefit of Disney executives’ compensation. Noting that other studios were doing the same thing, I wondered what would happen when a likable superstar in a kid’s summer movie got the same treatment. We now know, with the opening weekend box office results for Jungle Cruise.

Disney turned out to be a rat rather than a friendly mouse, perhaps another alternate storyline in the Disney Universe. They attempted to smear Ms. Johansson as a COVID-19 Cruella, seeking to profit off people getting sick and dying from going to movie theaters. They then revealed Scarlett Johansson’s substantial salary figure, suggesting she was a grasping woman. This brought an immediate response from three media industry women’s groups: Women in Film, ReFrame, and Time’s Up:

Disney Rat

Johansson’s talent agency then joined the melee, throwing a sharply worded statement at the big rat.

“I want to address the Walt Disney Company’s statement that was issued in response to the lawsuit filed against them yesterday by our client Scarlett Johansson,” Bryan Lourd, co-chairman of the Creative Artists Agency, said in a statement. The agent, one of the foremost power brokers in the film industry, was incensed that Disney implied the actress was disregarding the impact of a global pandemic on the entertainment business.

“They have shamelessly and falsely accused Ms. Johansson of being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic, in an attempt to make her appear to be someone they and I know she isn’t,” Lourd said.

Lourd went on to note that Johansson has appeared in nine Disney and Marvel movies, which he said have earned the company billions of dollars in ticket sales.

“The company included her salary in their press statement in an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and businesswoman, as if that were something she should be ashamed of,” Lourd added. “Scarlett is extremely proud of the work that she, and all of the actors, writers, directors, producers, and the Marvel creative team have been a part of for well over a decade.”

Jungle Cruise stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. It is entirely a Disney product, where Black Widow was snapped up as part of Disney’s acquisition of Marvel. Both, then are streaming on Disney+ and are being promoted to pump up subscriber numbers. We see the results in a head-to-head first-weekend comparison. The whole picture is a horror show for movie theaters. First, Black Widow versus Jungle Cruise:

Black Widow vs Jungle Cruise

Black Widow outperformed Jungle Cruise in absolute numbers and per screen. This makes sense, as taking kids to the movies is more expensive than paying the premium for a new release on your big screen in the family room. Throw in renewed plandemic panic propaganda, benefiting Disney, Amazon, Apple, and former purely cable entities like HBOmax, plus these players’ collusion with the radical left Democrats. The dominant messaging is against going to the theater and for huddling at home punching the button for more services to be delivered contact-free into the home.

movies shiftingThe Box Office Mojo front page tells a tale of things to come. Clifford the Big Red Dog will not be placed on the big screen next month. The comedy The Comeback Trail has also been yanked from movie theater distribution. Meanwhile, other projects are being pushed later, perhaps as a first step before just bailing on movie houses.

Consider just how poorly the top 2021 movies have done domestically, and then see how limited the worldwide 2021 box office has proven so far this year.

This cannot bode well for the popcorn palaces. It could be otherwise. I wish it were. But the big content producers have their own streaming services and were looking for any excuse to wipe out brick-and-mortar movie-going, capturing consumers in streaming subscription plans.

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  1. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    There is no reason to be surprised by this shutting out of the movie going experience from American life.

    Did you see the opening ceremony in the Tokyo Olympic Opening ceremony? Very very spooky.

    The people at the top have already told us by 2030 that we will not own a thing.

    I guess that means not even a movie ticket. Or a bucket of popcorn.

    • #1
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    They want us isolated from each other.

    • #2
  3. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Movie Theaters have been dying for a long time.  Its an experience that doesn’t make sense anymore.  Covid is largely a nail in a coffin.  Whether its the last nail who knows?

    Disney isn’t strategically wrong to untie their fortunes from their fortunes.

    Yes, they should have fixed the contract with the talent, but ScarJo isn’t going to get anywhere near what she is asking for.

    The talk about gendered attack is also stupid.

    In the end there will be a settlement, and The Black Widow film will lose slightly more money.

    • #3
  4. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Mr. Charlotte and I absolutely love going to the movies (ie, in an actual theater). As inviting as our basement family room and giant TV are, we’d be devastated if movie theaters disappeared.

    Black Widow was fun (saw it in the theater a couple of weeks ago!). It was lovely to be back in the MCU. :-)

    • #4
  5. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Movie Theaters have been dying for a long time. 

    Between insane prices and popcorn no longer popped in coconut oil, the death of the movie theater was inevitable . . .

    • #5
  6. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge
    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr.
    @BartholomewXerxesOgilvieJr

    I don’t think movies theaters will disappear, but they will have to change. The big screen and the elaborate sound system are no longer a good reason to go, not if you have a home-theater setup at home. For a lot of people (me included), the only real reason to see a movie in the theater is if you’re not willing to wait a few months for the home-video release; and as we’re seeing, that’s becoming less of a factor.

    So the theaters need to find other reasons to get people to watch movies there rather than at home. A lot of theaters are serving food now, and some are quite good. Others have become entertainment complexes with game arcades, bowling alleys, and other such attractions alongside the movie theater. I see little reason why I should go to a theater just to watch a movie, but I might still go if there is also restaurant-quality food and draft beer, and maybe even other things to do, with the movie just one of the attractions.

    So yeah, this kind of shakeout was inevitable. Movie theaters don’t need to die, but they do need to get better.

    • #6
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I have moved ot the point that if it ain’t dinner theater or a theater with a bar, it is not worth it. 

    That being said, I am planning to go watch Young Frankenstein in the theater in the Marietta Strand in October

    • #7
  8. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Bryan: They want us isolated from each other.

    Bingo. 

    Disney is deep in bed with  Xi and the Great Reset psychos. They  do not care what you think anymore. In their mind, you will accept the crumbs they give you, no matter what by slowly eliminating all  your other choices. 

    • #8
  9. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Stad (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Movie Theaters have been dying for a long time.

    Between insane prices and popcorn no longer popped in coconut oil, the death of the movie theater was inevitable . . .

    Sooner or later, people will realize that no one gets out of this world alive, and that it’s better to live until you die rather than die before you die. There is one way to:

    SAVE THE THEATERS: BRING BACK COCONUT OIL POPCORN!

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    What’s up with the claim that this was a “gendered character attack”?  What, precisely, did someone at Disney say?  Was it based on sex at all?

    The sex discrimination claim doesn’t look like it came from Johansson, though it’s possible that she or her agents procured it behind the scenes in some way.

    I am getting really, really tired of this nonsense.

     

    • #10
  11. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    Clifford A. Brown:

    Disney turned out to be a rat rather than a friendly mouse…

    They’ve been a terrible company for the last 20 or 30 years.  Someone needs to make a list of all their bad practices.

    • #11
  12. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    SAVE THE THEATERS: BRING BACK COCONUT OIL POPCORN!

    I make it at home. Fantastic.

    • #12
  13. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Clifford A. Brown: This cannot bode well for the popcorn palaces. It could be otherwise. I wish it were. But the big content producers have their own streaming services and were looking for any excuse to wipe out brick-and-mortar movie-going, capturing consumers in streaming subscription plans.

    We lost our two second-run theaters in July last year, early in the lockdown. I suppose the margin was thin when you’re only charging a few dollars. I haven’t checked recently if the first-run theaters have reopened. I suppose they have. When theaters were trying to reopen this spring our lovely tyrant of a governor wouldn’t allow it. I rarely go to movies anymore except for an occasional one with my daughter. 

    • #13
  14. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Movie Theaters have been dying for a long time.

    Between insane prices and popcorn no longer popped in coconut oil, the death of the movie theater was inevitable . . .

    Sooner or later, people will realize that no one gets out of this world alive, and that it’s better to live until you die rather than die before you die. 

     

     

     

    With lyrics:

     

     

    • #14
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. (View Comment):

    I don’t think movies theaters will disappear, but they will have to change. The big screen and the elaborate sound system are no longer a good reason to go, not if you have a home-theater setup at home. For a lot of people (me included), the only real reason to see a movie in the theater is if you’re not willing to wait a few months for the home-video release; and as we’re seeing, that’s becoming less of a factor.

    So the theaters need to find other reasons to get people to watch movies there rather than at home. A lot of theaters are serving food now, and some are quite good. Others have become entertainment complexes with game arcades, bowling alleys, and other such attractions alongside the movie theater. I see little reason why I should go to a theater just to watch a movie, but I might still go if there is also restaurant-quality food and draft beer, and maybe even other things to do, with the movie just one of the attractions.

    So yeah, this kind of shakeout was inevitable. Movie theaters don’t need to die, but they do need to get better.

    Yes, I saw the restaurant and bar upgrades in the past few years. When the studio is also the distributor, however, while not owning brick and mortar venues, there is more than consumer choice and experience at play.

    • #15
  16. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Stad (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Movie Theaters have been dying for a long time.

    Between insane prices and popcorn no longer popped in coconut oil, the death of the movie theater was inevitable . . .

    The Villages FL still pops in coconut oil. If ever in the area, pop into any of the 3 (or 4?) theaters for the real thing.

    • #16
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Was anyone else curious about the top grossing movie to date in 2021? Did you miss the ads for Hi Mom? That is because this was a Chinese movie that has raked in over $820 million at the Chinese domestic box office. So, the CCP is not playing the plandemic game, domestically, like their collaborators in our government. Chinese people are going to the movies.

    Hi Mom is a time travel dramatic comedy, in which a daughter goes back in time to make her mother’s life better.

    • #17
  18. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Disney has never been shy about trying to manipulate things to their advantage. In 1988 they released Lady and the Tramp to home video without checking the contracts they signed with Miss Peggy Lee who co-wrote the songs with Sonny Burke. She sued.

    Lee had inserted a clause that stated Disney retained no right to ‘make phonograph records and/or transcriptions for sale to the public.’ VHS copies were neither, said the Mouse’s lawyers. The jury disagreed and awarded her $3.8M (around $9M today). A paltry sum considering that initial release earned Disney $90M.

    • #18
  19. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Was anyone else curious about the top grossing movie to date in 2021? Did you miss the ads for Hi Mom? That is because this was a Chinese movie that has raked in over $820 million at the Chinese domestic box office. So, the CCP is not playing the plandemic game, domestically, like their collaborators in our government. Chinese people are going to the movies.

    Hi Mom is a time travel dramatic comedy, in which a daughter goes back in time to make her mother’s life better.

    China is already one big prison, what does it matter if the prisoners get a “movie night?”

    • #19
  20. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    I caught Fast 9 at the theater last weekend (it was awful, even for a mindless punchy/gun-gun romp), and I’m becoming convinced that I will likely not return.  Why?

    People talking next to me.

    Idiot next to me pulling his phone out.

    A family of four brought in two children – one a baby, and one a toddler.  The baby screamed a few times during the movie.  The toddler toddled, as toddlers do, on the chairs and down the aisle.  When I got up to leave, they had already left – but there was a diaper on the floor.  It was clean, but clearly there was diaper-related activity happening during the flick.

    What in the holy hell is wrong with people?  What’s wrong with you?  

    • #20
  21. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):

    I caught Fast 9 at the theater last weekend (it was awful, even for a mindless punchy/gun-gun romp), and I’m becoming convinced that I will likely not return. Why?

    People talking next to me.

    Idiot next to me pulling his phone out.

    A family of four brought in two children – one a baby, and one a toddler. The baby screamed a few times during the movie. The toddler toddled, as toddlers do, on the chairs and down the aisle. When I got up to leave, they had already left – but there was a diaper on the floor. It was clean, but clearly there was diaper-related activity happening during the flick.

    What in the holy hell is wrong with people? What’s wrong with you?

    Among other things, I expect it’s especially difficult to get baby-sitters now.  But that’s their problem not yours.

    • #21
  22. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):

    I caught Fast 9 at the theater last weekend (it was awful, even for a mindless punchy/gun-gun romp), and I’m becoming convinced that I will likely not return. Why?

    People talking next to me.

    Idiot next to me pulling his phone out.

    A family of four brought in two children – one a baby, and one a toddler. The baby screamed a few times during the movie. The toddler toddled, as toddlers do, on the chairs and down the aisle. When I got up to leave, they had already left – but there was a diaper on the floor. It was clean, but clearly there was diaper-related activity happening during the flick.

    What in the holy hell is wrong with people? What’s wrong with you?

    In NYC, there were plans to have a theater chain that would expressly allow for cell phones being on.

    If a cell phone is that important, why aren’t you at home waiting for the movie release on Netflix?

     

    • #22
  23. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    They want us isolated from each other.

    Disney may be short-sighted.  They may be mis-calculating the market.  But I am sure their motivation is maximizing profit.  I doubt they care whether we are isolated or not.

    • #23
  24. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    What’s up with the claim that this was a “gendered character attack”? What, precisely, did someone at Disney say? Was it based on sex at all?

    The sex discrimination claim doesn’t look like it came from Johansson, though it’s possible that she or her agents procured it behind the scenes in some way.

    I am getting really, really tired of this nonsense.

     

    Nonsense is right.  Everybody wants to be a victim, no matter how preposterous they sound.

    • #24
  25. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    They want us isolated from each other.

    Disney may be short-sighted. They may be mis-calculating the market. But I am sure their motivation is maximizing profit. I doubt they care whether we are isolated or not.

    Maybe in terms of their movie/video offerings, but they better care about isolated or not if they expect Disneyland/World to remain in business.

    • #25