Headline, December 01 2020/ ''' '' HOLLYWOOD STREAMING HOURGLASS '' '''



''THERE WILL BE A NEW NORMAL,'' SAID JASON SQUIRE, editor of ''The Movie Business Book'' and professor at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.

Over the years, there has been a lot of tension between theatrical exhibition and studio distribution but not a lot of change. The pandemic has jump-started the change.

NO LONGER WOULD A FILM'S SUCCESS BE JUDGED SOLELY by the box office revenue it generates in theaters. Instead it would be measured partly by the number of HBO Max subscribers it is able to attract.

With many theaters shut because of the coronavirus and the opens that are open struggling to attract audiences, many studios have either pushed the release dates of major films into 2021 or created a hybrid model in which the  theaters still in operation can show new releases while they are also made available through streaming or on-demand services. 

''Wonder Women 1984'' is the most prominent example so far with a scheduled release using the hybrid model. But when it appears on HBO Max on Christmas Day, it will be pixar's animated ''Soul,'' and DreamWorld Animation's ''The Croods : A New Age'' as marquee holiday-season films that were expected to be box office favorites but are now likely to be primarily seen in people's living rooms.

For companies that have their own streaming platforms, like WarnerMedia and Disney releasing movies this way is now seen as an opportunity to drive subscriptions.

Both companies said that the movies will last only through the pandemic, but they also both recently shuffled their executive responsibilities to make it clear that streaming is the new priority.

IT WASN'T LONG AGO THAT HOLLYWOOD VIEWED STREAMING as an unwelcome insurgency. Several years ago when Netflix began to seriously compete for Oscars, traditionalists scoffed at the thought of bestowing prestigious awards on films that were nominally released theatrically.

[This year, bowing to pandemic reality, films can skip a theatrical release and be eligible for Oscar consideration.]

Still studios have long wanted to shorten the exclusive window given to theaters. Theater chains aggressively lobbied against that, worried that people would be reluctant to buy tickets to a movie that they could see at home.

The sanctity of the theatrical release was being zealously guarded even after the pandemic lockdowns began. In April, Universal Pictures had a successful video-on-demand release for ''Trolls World Tour'' and said it would make more movies available that way without an exclusive theatrical run.

Adam Aron, the chief executive of AMC, the largest theater operator in the world, called the move ''categorically unacceptable'' and said his company would no longer book any Universal films.

Disney chose to bypass U.S. theaters and release the $200 million ''Mulan'' on Disney+ in September, charging the subscribers $30 on top of their monthly fee to watch the live-action adaption of the animated film. And Disney is planning to send several more big-budget movies to Disney+.

For studios without their own streaming services, the calculus is new and different. While many opted to postpone their theatrical releases until 2021, others sold off films as a way to recoup some cash. Paramount offloaded ''The Trial of the Chicago?'' to Netflix and ''Coming to America 2'' to Amazon for example.

''A little over four million fans in the U.S. enjoyed the first 'Wonder Woman' movie on its opening day in 2017,'' Mr. Kilar, WarnerMedia's chief wrote. ''Is it possible for that to happen again this Christmas with ''Wonder Women 1984'' between theaters and HBO Max?

We are so excited to find out, doing everything in our power to provide the power of choice to our fans.'' Should that work, it's unlikely that things will be ever the same.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on State-Of-The-World continues. The World Students Society thanks author Nicole Sperling.

With respectful dedication to Films and Fans, Hollywood, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Push - Pull '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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