Warner Bros. may have received a lot of flak for its decision to release 2021 films simultaneously across theatres and its streaming service HBO Max, but it may also just be a sign of the future that awaits the entertainment industry. Disney is apparently also well aware of this paradigm shift and according to a new report from The Wrap, its biggest money-maker Marvel Studios is considering new contracts with actors writers, directors, and producers that offer the flexibility of films releasing on Disney+ as opposed to just looking at revenue shares from the box office.
This new deal, which would reportedly only affect films that have yet to enter production, marks a major shift for the studio which has become a $22 billion box office behemoth for Disney. It perhaps also just shows how much the world is starting to shift away from theatres and to streaming services, and that studios are simply just preparing themselves for that big shift.
2020 was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and 2021 likely will be as well. It’s still not clear exactly how the world of movie theatres will look beyond that, but I would hazard a guess that many studios may not survive till then without a steady flow of moviegoers. It makes perfect sense for studios to prepare for the inevitable that many theatres will no longer be around and people will have simply gotten used to expecting many films to release via streaming by then.
Perhaps the lesson that Disney learned from the Warner Bros. backlash is that the studio is considering negotiations and discussions with its partners rather than making executive release decisions without them. It is an interesting time for the movie business, and it will be even more interesting to see what sort of impact a future without a traditional box office will have on summer blockbusters.
Last Updated: December 18, 2020