WONDER WOMAN Director Patty Jenkins Bashes Day-To-Date Releases: ‘I Hope to Avoid It Forever’
By Movieguide® Staff
Patty Jenkins, best known for directing 2017’s WONDER WOMAN and its sequel and pandemic release WONDER WOMAN 1984, bashed the day-and-date release model at CinemaCon.
WONDER WOMAN 1984 opened to $16.7 million in December 2020, an abysmal performance that Jenkins credits to its simultaneous release on HBO Max. WONDER WOMAN 1984 was also selected as one of Movieguide®’s Best Movies for Mature Audiences earlier this year.
“It was the best choice in a bunch of bad choices at the moment,” Jenkins said. “It was detrimental to the movie, I knew that could have happened. I don’t think it plays the same on streaming, ever. I’m not a fan of day-and-date and I hope to avoid it forever.
“I make movies for the big-screen experience,” she added.
Jenkins also noted that while she would partner with a streaming service for a TV show, she believes that studios should show movies in theaters.
“I like working with Netflix for television, I wouldn’t make a movie there or any streaming service with those terms,” Jenkins said. “It’s hard to market a movie when it has a limited run.”
Earlier in the panel, Paramount Domestic Distribution Boss Chris Aronson discussed how to get more people in theaters and how ticket sales are different between live sports and the theatrical experience.
“I think it’s a fallacy comparing going to the movies to live sporting events. Live sporting events are a once-only experience,” Aronson said. “That experience quality should be the same. You can’t compare the price of movie tickets to a NFL or NBA game.”
“Pricing is an issue in our business. If we simply rely on large format (pricing), attendance will continue to go down and down,” continued Aronson. “We need to figure out how more people can go to the movies.”
AMC’s Adam Aron and National Association of Theatre Owners chief John Fithian echoed Jenkin’s attitude towards day-and-date releases.
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.”