Movie theaters’ future uncertain as studios focus on streaming

Disney, Cinemark couldn’t reach a deal for showing a new movie

National /
Mar.March 08, 2021 12:15 PM
(Getty, iStock)

(Getty, iStock)

A lackluster box office performance of Walt Disney’s new movie is putting a cloud over the future of movie theaters.

Ticket sales for the Walt Disney Company’s highly-anticipated “Raya and the Last Dragon” totaled only $8.6 million over the weekend in the United States and Canada, the New York Times reported, citing data from Comscore.

The result is considered “soft,” even taking the pandemic into consideration, said David Gross, who runs movie consultancy firm Franchise Entertainment Research.

The film cost an estimated $150 million to produce and is now available in 2,045 theaters in North America, including some in New York City, where state officials allowed venues such as AMC theaters to resume operations at 25 percent capacity for the first time in a year.

But Cinemark, the No. 3 theater chain in the U.S., refused to book the movie, citing its simultaneous streaming debut on Disney+. Cinemark demanded a discount, but the negotiations apparently fell apart.

“We are making near-term booking decisions on a discrete, film-by-film basis, focusing on the long-term benefit of exhibitors, studios and moviegoers,” Cinemark said in a statement to the Times.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek pointed to viewers’ changing behaviors as one reason for the streaming debut; as people have been stuck at home, they’ve been able to watch new movies on demand. The company now plans to roll out new releases in different ways, with some offered to theaters exclusively, some made available on both at theaters and Disney+ with an additional fee, and others showing only on Disney+ with no additional fee.

For the new “Tom & Jerry” movie, Cinemark and other theaters struck a deal with Warner and are playing in theaters even though the film also debuted on HBO Max .

[NYT] — Akiko Matsuda






    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Cherre CEO L.D. Salmanson (Cherre/Facebook)
    Real estate data firm Cherre raises $50M
    Real estate data firm Cherre raises $50M
    (Tropicana Las Vegas via Facebook, Bally's Corp)
    Bally’s buys Las Vegas’ Tropicana casino for $150M
    Bally’s buys Las Vegas’ Tropicana casino for $150M
    Hammerson CEO Rita-Rose Gagne and Brookfield's Bruce Flatt. (Hammerson, Brookfield, Getty)
    Brookfield’s US malls are struggling. Now it’s buying some in Europe
    Brookfield’s US malls are struggling. Now it’s buying some in Europe
    (iStock)
    Homebuilder sentiment ticks up in April
    Homebuilder sentiment ticks up in April
    Doctors and medical professionals have remained on time with their rent payments in the past year (iStock)
    Medical offices are just what the doctor ordered for landlords
    Medical offices are just what the doctor ordered for landlords
    The rate of loans sent to special servicers continued to fall in March. (Unsplash)
    CMBS special servicing rate declines in March
    CMBS special servicing rate declines in March
    Sao Carlos CFO Fabio Itikawa. (Getty, YouTube via Levante Investimentos)
    In pandemic-battered Brazil, 3G Capital founders hunt for real estate deals
    In pandemic-battered Brazil, 3G Capital founders hunt for real estate deals
    JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich. (Getty)
    JLL explores sale of China property management wing
    JLL explores sale of China property management wing
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...