Theaters reopen, but Disney cautious on families returning to big screens

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Nov 10 (Businesshala) – Movie lovers are back in theaters in the United States as the pandemic subsides, but it’s not clear if a vast majority of audiences – families – can be happy to see the comfort and safety of their homes Huh. ,

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Offering new movies at home in the safety of the living room could ease any clamor for the big screen, an issue Walt Disney Company (DIS.N) by shortening the time between blockbuster releases in theaters and on Disney+ streaming. is addressing.

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comScore media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said, “It’s about ping-pong viewers from the theater back to their TV and vice versa. Disney clearly has an incredibly bright future. But it just got more complicated.” Because the pandemic has forever changed consumer viewing habits.” said.

Theater owners insist that film slates are strong and that theaters are filling up.

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Phil Contrino, Director of Media and Research, said, “Watching movies at home was nothing new, but generally speaking people want to go back … this is proving to be the case every week at the box office when new movies are opening.” who are really strong.” National Association of Theater Owners.

Movie theater chain Cinemark Holdings Inc. (CNK.N) noted that “predictable blockbusters appealing to families and adults alike” were in store.

But Disney CEO Bob Chapek was less certain when he spoke to analysts this week.

“We are still unsure about how the market will react when family films return” with theatrical debut, he said. Disney has shortened the time between openings on the big screen and at home.

“We’re doing this so that we can get our films to Disney+ faster,” he said. ,

During the pandemic, Disney experimented with releasing some big-budget movies like “Cruella,” “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise” on Disney+ for an additional fee and in theaters.

“While COVID will be in the rearview mirror, God willing, I think changing consumer behavior is something that’s going to be more permanent,” Chapek said.

Disney+ and rival Netflix Inc (NFLX.o) both recently reported modest increases in subscriptions.

comScore data shows new box office launches in October grossed nearly 10 times more than they did at the start of the year, thanks to Disney hits like “Shang-Chi,” “Black Widow,” “Jungle Cruise” .

Data also showed “Rons Gone Wrong”, an animated family film that hit theaters in late October, with nearly half of its audience aged 13-17 years old in its first week. The latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die”, had 72% in the over 25 age group after its release in early October.

Businesshala Graphics

For an interactive graphic, click here: https://tmsnrt.rs/3Hgut6Y

Analysts said Disney will have to strike a balance to keep theater operators happy, as well as creating new content to feed streaming customers.

“Studios like Disney still have to find a balance between the two,” said Edward Jones analyst David Hager.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu, Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Lisa Richwin in Los Angeles, Additional reporting by Tapanjana Rudra in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Henderson and Sriraj Kalluvilla

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