Industry Leaders Blast Day-And-Date Releases: ‘It Doesn’t Work For Anyone’
By Movieguide® Staff
AMC’s Adam Aron and National Association of Theatre Owners chief John Fithian implored attendees of CinemaCon to return to a theatrical exhibition, claiming that the hybrid strategies employed by HBO Max and Disney+ will not revive the entertainment industry.
“Exclusive release periods remain vital to the success of the theatrical business,” Fithian said. “To make one thing crystal clear that the best work that they make is made for the big screen. Leading creatives know better, and they are on the right side of history.
“Simultaneous release does not work,” Fithian added. “It doesn’t work for anyone. A steady flow of strong movies released with windows is essential to the recovery of the industry and to the profitability for the entire ecosystem.
“Exclusive release periods remain vital to the survival and success of the industry. They won’t be what they were before, but they can’t be what they were during the pandemic.”
Many movies’ failures to perform at the box office have been attributed to their simultaneous release on streaming.
Most recently, Disney Marvel’s BLACK WIDOW box office dropped by over 60% after an impressive opening weekend, according to Deadline. Moreover, the sci-fi thriller REMINISCENCE, starring Hugh Jackman, earned only $2 million—a low number even by pandemic standards.
Listen now: Movieguide® staff discuss streaming, superstars, theaters, and Tim Tebow in their latest podcast!
While Fithian also claimed that adaptability and experimentation were necessary to keep the show going, Aron said that the only way for the box office to succeed is through a theatrical release.
“We are entering a great era of experimentation. Movies that were starting to shy away from theatrical release will grace our screens again. Customers want more options. Our members will redefine what the theatrical experience means,” Fithian said.
Aron added: “The only way to prevent massive piracy, show movies in movie theaters first! There is a happy Hollywood ending that will be unfolding before all of us.”
“Look at the history books,” Aron continued, referencing the Spanish flu. “It was the roaring ’20s! Our industry is that of the sequel. Roaring ’20s is a movie that will be coming soon to a theater near you.”
Both agreed that movies are essential to maintain, even as studios strategize the best way to move forward.
“Cinema is much more than a passive form of entertainment, it’s immersive and life-changing. People around the world had movies taken away from them and the longing to return to the theatrical experience was palpable. The sense of community that cinema creates is more important than ever,” Fithian said.