“Black Widow” breaks record at the box office, Disney and the cinema are torn apart

"Black Widow" breaks record at the box office, Disney and the cinema are torn apart

Produced | Tiger Sniffing Business Group

Author | Miao Zhengqing

Title Picture | IC Photo

Scarlett Johansson, who once made Durant “shocked into heaven”, ended her screen tour at Disney.

When the global box office of “Black Widow” reached US$215 million on July 11, Scarlett Johansson’s final work set a record: the highest-grossing film premiered in North America since the epidemic.

For Disney executives, “Black Widow” means more-before leaving, Scarlett Johansson, who has been cooperating with Disney for 11 years, completed the last task: testing the feasibility of online distribution for Marvel blockbusters Sex. “Black Widow” became the first movie released simultaneously in the theater and online in the Marvel Universe.

Judging from the online box office, Disney executives are quite satisfied.

On July 11, Kareem Daniel, Chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Publishing Company, specially issued a statement for the online results of “Black Widow”: “Black Widow’s strong performance this weekend confirms our flexible distribution strategy.”

According to information from Disney, “Black Widow” has already generated more than $60 million in box office revenue through Disney+. It is worth noting that “Black Widow” also increases the depth of users’ payment : you need to purchase a Disney+ member first, and then pay an additional $29.99 ticket to watch the digital version of “Black Widow”.

The online box office of US$60 million is an astonishing number. You must know that the box office revenue of “Black Widow” in the North American theater market during the same period was US$80 million. If you take into account the cinema share ratio and the related tax system, “Black Widow” brings more revenue to the company through the Disney+ channel.

But in the eyes of the cinema, “Black Widow” is not so sweet and pleasant. Since Disney+ and the theater chain adopt a simultaneous release model, this means that the theater chain has completely lost the “window period.” After a North American theater leader was released online for “Black Widow”, he said bluntly that “Disney has torn apart the theater.”

The theater was fooled by Disney?

The core reason that makes the theaters “stressful” is that after the severe winter of 2020, the theaters originally expected to rely on Disney’s Marvel IP to return to their blood. Statistics from the American Theater Owners Association show that in 2020, 96% of theaters in the United States lost more than 70%, and 153,000 employees were affected as a result.

In the past statistics, Marvel movies can often bring real money to theaters. In addition to the box office share, the popcorn and beverage income generated by Marvel movies is extremely important to theaters. Take AMC as an example. In the third quarter of 2019, AMC’s total revenue was US$1.2 billion, and 35% of the revenue came from food and beverage items such as popcorn, french fries and hot dogs. This means that once people choose to watch movies at home, theaters will not even be able to sell popcorn.

Disney also gave hope to theaters. In December 2020, Marvel Cinemas CEO Kevin Feige publicly stated that “Black Widow” will be resolutely selected for theaters.

But this kind of verbal promise eventually vanished under the pressure of the epidemic . Data from Disney’s 2020 financial report shows that under the influence of the epidemic, revenue from parks and film and television entertainment ( large original film and television projects for theaters ) has declined significantly, but at the same time, Disney’s DTC department led by Disney+ has increased significantly. ( Disney DTC: Direct-to-Consumer&International )

"Black Widow" breaks record at the box office, Disney and the cinema are torn apart

Image Source: Disney Earnings Report

In response to this situation, Disney’s first “anti-water” to the theaters was “Mulan”.

Compared with “Black Widow”, Disney’s attempt is much gentler: online and theater channels are strictly separated. For example, “Mulan” in North America only landed on Disney+, but in some countries and regions it was adopted. The model of theatrical release.

But this kind of action has allowed Disney to witness the “anger” of the theaters, and in France, the director of the theaters smashed the “Mulan” propaganda board. The British Film Association CEO Phil Clapp said bluntly: “If Disney no longer needs cinemas, it will be a disaster for all theater practitioners.”

In fact, Disney is not the first person to eat crabs.

In March 2020, Universal Pictures released its animated film “Tangling 2” online at a price of $19.99. Universal Pictures was the first film studio to open Pandora’s box. Through online movies, “Tangling 2” earned $100 million in revenue in three weeks, which shocked the entire Hollywood.

What Universal Pictures has really changed is the “window period” rules and the split accounting model. In the traditional mode, “Magic Hair Wizard 2” must be honestly landed on the theater chain. During the long “window period”, the theater chain has a protective exclusive broadcasting clause. During this period, the ratio of the film party to the theater chain is often equal 5:5 or 6:4 (some of Marvel’s movies will enjoy greater dividend rights, but this still cannot satisfy Disney ).

“Tangling 2” shocked Hollywood because it crossed the theater chain, Universal Pictures has a brand-new accounting system-after deducting marketing expenses, all streaming media income goes to the film side.

In fact, this broke the shackles formed by the Paramount Act of 1948 on producers . According to the Paramount Act, Hollywood studios must separate film production and distribution and projection operations. In short, content producers are not allowed to be channel owners.

It is this bill that makes the cinema chain a strong side: if any film wants to be shown to C-end users, it must be selected, judged, and evaluated by the super B-end cinema chain.

Streaming media such as Netflix tried to form new channels outside of theaters, but the results of such efforts before the epidemic were limited: As early as 2015, Netflix bought the new film “Beasts Without Borders” at a cost of $1,200. “, and tried the on-demand business in Netflix’s channels. Since then, Netflix has been trying to take the path of simultaneous theater and online releases.

But Netflix finally found that the producers did not buy it-high-quality film producers still tend to be distributed in theaters . In desperation, Netflix began to invest heavily in creating “original movies” in 2017 and successively released works such as “The Irishman” and “Rome”.

There were many reasons why producers did not dare to try Netflix’s channels. For example, super blockbuster movies had limited liquidity in streaming media. Netflix’s own “Ireland” was known for “burning money and losing money.” Secondly, at that time the theaters united to boycott Netflix, and once the film was released on the streaming media, it would lose its vitality in the theaters.

The epidemic has changed the trajectory of the fate of the film market.

Take “Tangling 2” as an example, before deciding to land online channels, Universal Pictures is facing huge cost pressure. The production cost of “Tangling 2” is as high as 90 million US dollars, and due to the epidemic, “Tangling 2” has not been released as scheduled. If it continues to be distributed through theatrical channels, it will not only need to wait for the theaters to resume business, but also need to invest more publicity costs. In desperation, Universal Pictures chose to release it online.

An embarrassing situation that followed was that the “Paramount Act” promulgated in 1948 did not consider the existence of “streaming media” in the future. The release of “Tangling 2” did not violate the principles of the “Paramount Act”, but actually broke the monopoly of theater chains.

“Tangling 2” not only triggered a war of words between Universal Pictures and AMC theaters, but also eventually led to the cancellation of the Paramount Act, which was completely abolished in August 2020.

It is interesting to note that in less than half a month after the repeal of the bill, Disney announced that “Mulan” would land on Disney+.

Disney wanted to fight back on the channel a long time ago

“Mulan” is just the beginning.

However, Disney does not want to directly engage with the theaters: in many public interviews, Disney executives have frequently stated that “Mulan” is just an accidental attempt, and Disney does not want to create a new way of distribution.

However, Disney’s “action” is very honest. In the past year, Disney directly put “Black and White Witch Kuila” on Disney+, and did not even reserve any window period for the theater: “Black and White Witch Kuila” adopted a simultaneous release mode. This caused strong dissatisfaction with the hospital coil. In North America, some theater managers directly tore off the posters of “Black and White Witch Kuila”, while in Japan ( Japan is also one of Disney+’s core markets ), some theater managers directly refused to arrange the film.

What makes the hospital coil feel “happy” is that “Black and White Witch Kuila” has a poor box office. In the North American market, the box office of “Black and White Witch Kuila” barely exceeded 35 million U.S. dollars 8 days after its launch. At that time, the North American media interpreted this achievement as “Disney+ diverted the box office”, and some cinema practitioners even hope that Disney will get lost.

However, it is not difficult to see through Disney’s latest quarterly report for 2021 that until April 2021, Disney’s offline business has not fully recovered, and it is even hard to compare to the level of the same period last year. This means that the development of Disney+ is more like Disney’s “last resort” Of”.

"Black Widow" breaks record at the box office, Disney and the cinema are torn apart

Image source: Disney 2021 Quarterly Report

According to statistics from the Motion Picture Association of America, as of May 2021, the North American theater market is still in a downturn. In some theaters, although theaters have adopted the method of price reduction + snacks, the attendance rate still cannot reach the level of the same period in 2019. . Under such circumstances, it is full of danger to rashly put the core IP in the “dissatisfied” theater.

It is not difficult to see that Disney executives are trying to wait for the theater to recover: starting in 2020, the release time of “Black Widow” has been delayed, and the tone of Disney executives has changed from “resolutely not going to the theaters” to “the theaters.” Synchronize with Disney+”.

There are two reasons why Disney finally compromised with the new traffic. First, “Black Widow” can no longer be delayed. If it cannot be released in July, then Disney will follow the fourth stage of the universe with “Eternal Family” and “Shangqi” as the core. Movies will be affected by scheduling. At the same time, the long-delayed cinema market has made Disney executives increasingly worried about whether the blockbuster movies will be able to recoup their costs through cinemas. As of July 2021, the resumption rate of theaters in North America has just exceeded 80%, and some theaters are not yet fully loaded.

Secondly, the landing of “Black Widow” on Disney+ has also become Disney’s new capital story. In the past ten years, Disney has won the favor of capital through realizing methods such as super IP movies, offline parks, and IP authorization. But starting in 2017, this story has been less exciting: Disney’s annual revenue fell 0.8% year-on-year in 2017, and operating profit fell 4.2%. Under the influence of the epidemic, Disney needs a powerful new story to boost its stock price.

Faced with this status quo, one of Disney’s high-level initiatives is to make efforts to stream media, initially just supplying other streaming media channels until Disney officially launches its own paid online channel Disney+ in 2019. In 2020, the DTC business covering streaming media content lines such as Disney+ has jumped into one of Disney’s four major businesses, and even became Disney’s fastest-growing business since 2018.

"Black Widow" breaks record at the box office, Disney and the cinema are torn apart

Image source: Tiger Trade

With Disney+ rapidly gaining more than 100 million users in a year or so, Disney has also ushered in a new year in the capital market: in March 2021, Disney’s share price exceeded $200, reaching its peak since its listing.

Even Disney+ made Disney start to be regarded as a “potential Internet concept stock”-Disney began to be listed on the list of companies such as Netflix, Amazon, and Apple more frequently.

From a broader perspective, Disney has also become a model of “content counter-attack channels.” In fact, it’s been a day or two for Disney to try to get rid of channel constraints. In 2005, then Disney CEO Robert Iger publicly discussed the issue of film and television channels and described it as “a new model that may be similar to the iTunes platform.”

At that time, whether it was a movie or a TV series, the content party was often constrained by the channel. In the field of movies, you can’t get around the major theaters; in the field of TV dramas, you can’t get rid of paid or free TV stations.

Subject to the influence of channels on content parties are manifold, such as the degree of freedom of content creation. This degree of freedom actually has two dimensions. The first is the “creator freedom” in common sense, but for Disney there is another dimension of freedom: access to consumers.

In several public exchanges around 2006, Disney executives have repeatedly expressed their in-depth thinking about “separated from users”. From the future Disney resolutely referred to its streaming media business as the “DTC” department can peep this mentality. In 2021, when talking about the limited drama “Rocky”, the head of Disney’s marketing department said that “Rocky” is actually an upgraded DTC product, and the distance between the creator and the audience is closer.

In a sense, Disney almost launched Disney+ more than a decade ago. At that time, Disney already had product ideas that were very similar to the future Netflix model, but at that time Disney was known for being “conservative.”

So after Netflix launched its online on-demand service in 2007, Disney executives were very shocked and regretful. But they did not expect that since this time Disney began to play the role of “chaser”-in the capital world, people began to like to compare Netflix to Disney, the former is regarded as a model of cutting-edge and innovative, while the latter is regarded as OLD Synonymous with Money.

The path explored by Netflix made Disney and many traditional film and television producers feel terrified and surprised: What frightened them was that this kind of content logic based on new traffic seemed to be a challenger; what surprised them was that Netflix was gaining ground. Open channels for TV stations and theaters, and do what they dare not do.

The head-to-head exchange of fire between the two parties accelerated Disney’s transformation. In 2018, Disney’s producer Sanda Remus (the masterpiece “Grey the Intern”) was poached by Netflix. It is worth noting that it was also this year that Disney began to accelerate the promotion of Disney+ business. In fact, Disney’s artillery fire is not only aimed at Netflix, but also includes traditional movie theaters and traditional TV networks outside of Disney.

At the moment, whether the success of “Black Widow” in Disney+ will make Disney executives further bet on new traffic and become the focus of attention in the North American film and television market.

It is reported that Disney still has not expressed its stance on whether the following “Eternal Race” and “Shang Qi” will be changed to a mixed release. ( Mixed release: theater and online synchronization ) However, there have been public expressions of dissatisfaction by theater parties. Just as “Black Widow” landed on Disney+ in Japan, there was a boycott in Japanese theaters-which resulted in “Black Widow”‘s first-day box office in Japan at only $700,000.

However, such “resistance” may be difficult to stop Disney’s heart for transformation. In a public interview in May of this year, Disney CEO Bob Chapek once said: “We can’t put all our eggs in one basket, for example, all of them are issued by theaters. It is the wise way to diversify risks.”

Perhaps from the recent actions of the movie master Spielberg, we can see the changes in the whole arena. In June of this year, Netflix and Spielberg’s company Amblin Partners signed a cooperation plan. Spielberg and Amblin Partners will produce multiple movies for Netflix during the agreement period.

And this pressure from opponents is also forcing Disney to accelerate its transformation: Disney+ is already the largest streaming media channel outside of Netflix. When Netflix is ​​about to “move” Spielberg’s new work on its own screen, what should Disney do? Against? Perhaps Marvel IP is a good choice.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/black-widow-breaks-record-at-the-box-office-disney-and-the-cinema-are-torn-apart/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

Like (0)
Donate Buy me a coffee Buy me a coffee
Previous 2021-07-13 04:46
Next 2021-07-13 04:55

Related articles