BOX OFFICE FORECAST: On-Demand First-Run Movies

Written by on March 19, 2020

The CDC recommends that only small groups congregate in an effort to thwart the transmission of the virus. Hollywood studios have chosen to wait until coronavirus passes before they release another major movie. Regal Theaters and AMC have locked the doors to 1200 screens for up to 12 weeks. (Box Office Mojo)

Taken together, this pandemic could usher in a new era of movie-going. New releases from Universal can be rented at home for $20.

A startup wants to stream blockbusters at your home — even in the film’s opening weekend. The idea is to give every American home their private “Screening Room.” Billionaire Sean Parker founded Napster a generation ago. Now, he wants to provide access to first-run movies in the privacy of your living room. You pay a premium but avoid hassles with parking or finding a babysitter. And invite all the friends you wish for movie night. (Variety)

If The Screening Room or one of its competitors gets a foot hold, movie theater chains could soon be bankrupt. Even in the current environment, the National Association of Theatre Owners seeks a bailout. Congress will hand financial relief to airlines, hotels, casinos and cruise ships. The theater chains want a piece of that pie for their 150,000 employees nationwide. (The Wrap)


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