For most movie studios, patience means profit

by | Apr 24, 2020

As movie theater screens fade to black nationwide during the coronavirus pandemic, people sheltering in place are turning to streaming services for much-needed entertainment. With theaters expected to be closed until at least mid-June, you would expect movie studios to release films that were meant for cinemas directly onto the small screen, right?

Wrong. Very few films have been released directly to streaming services. The majority of Hollywood films have pushed to late 2020 or found a new home in 2021, still seeking a piece of the $42.5 billion global film industry.

The few movies that have gone to video on demand or plan to were low- to mid-tier budget films that weren’t forecast for a massive box office.

Worth the wait: “It’s vitally important for the majority of big-budget, high-profile films to await the return of movie theaters around the world and that’s why we are seeing so many films pushing their release dates down the road,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, said.

Disney’s “Mulan,” Sony’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” MGM’s “No Time to Die,” Paramount Pictures’ “Top Gun: Maverick” and more have all found new release dates. These high-budget blockbusters wouldn’t be able to recoup their production and marketing spending if they don’t go to theaters. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show wait.

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