Without a box office or streaming numbers, Hollywood struggles to plan

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“The Suicide Squad” should have been a big hit for Warner Bros. last month. There were superheroes, a renowned director (James Gunn) and a huge production budget ($ 185 million) and received very good reviews. But instead of delivering a ka-pow at the box office, it went ker-thud: ticket sales total $ 156 million (split around 50-50 with theaters), compared to $ 747 million for the former. “Suicide Squad” in 2016.

Of course, the last one had to fight a pandemic. And it was also made available for free on HBO Max at the same time as its theatrical debut. On this platform, it was a relative success – at least according to HBO Max, which announced “The Suicide Squad” as the service. second most watched first movie of the year.

But he offered no number.

“Paw Patrol: The Movie” (Paramount) was released simultaneously in theaters and on Paramount + at the end of last month. He cashed in $ 13 million in his first weekend, enough for second place behind “Free Guy”, a holdover. But the actual demand for “Paw Patrol” has been shrugged off. Regal Cinemas, the second largest multiplex channel in the United States behind AMC Entertainment, declined to play The Animated Adventure due to its streaming availability. Paramount + said on August 25 that the film “ranks among the service’s most viewed originals.”

But he offered no number.

In contrast, Disney-Marvel released “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” exclusively in theaters on Friday. The Disney CEO had called the old-fashioned version an “experiment.” Would the coronavirus keep people at home?

In surveys conducted at the end of August of American moviegoers by the National Research Group, a consultant to the film industry, about 67% of those polled said they felt comfortable (“very or somewhat”) sitting in a theater. Disney cited coronavirus concerns for making films like “Jungle Cruise,” “Cruella” and “Black Widow” available in homes on Disney + at the same time as in theaters (although Hollywood suspected the real one reason – or at least an important one – helped Disney +).

The crystal-clear result: Audiences flocked to “Shang-Chi,” which was on track to raise $ 83.5 million at 4,300 theaters in the United States and Canada from Friday to Monday, according to Comscore, which compiles the data. from the box office. Overseas, the highly rated film, notable for being Marvel’s first Asian-led superhero show, generated an additional $ 56.2 million. “Shang-Chi” cost around $ 200 million to manufacture.


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