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Wonder Woman 1984 - June 5/2020

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Deuce66, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    That was an unusual case, and it's rare these days for a studio to even gross 10 times what the film cost to make. 60 times is unheard of, so you're kind of grasping at the one exception to make your case rather than looking at the reality of what it really costs to make a mass-market film nowadays.

    BTW, Moonlight actually cost about $4 million to make, and even more when you factor in what they call P&A (prints and advertising, which is basically overhead, advertising, and distribution costs). It generally costs a minimum of $10M to market a film nowadays, and I'd say $20M is more normal.

    I've referred to this book many times, but read it:

    Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales of the New Abnormal in the Movie Business
    by Linda Obst
    https://www.amazon.com/Sleepless-Hollywood-Tales-Abnormal-Business/dp/1476727759

    This will explain to you in great detail how the film business has changed in the last 15-20 years and why it's very hard to get a small (under-$40M) movie made, and why it's even harder to make one that's profitable. It's an eye-opening analysis of how tough things are in Hollywoo these days.
     
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  2. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I knew "WW84" would play theatrically elsewhere. I've not looked, but I assume the HBO Max deal is just for the US, not worldwide.

    If that's correct, it should have decent WW theatrical revenue as well...
     
  3. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Yes, totally agree on all points. The big question mark is how long this kind of marketing philosophy can play out, and if the movie business will go back to normal next year... or if it will ever go back to any kind of normal.
     
  4. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I don't think it's ever going back to normal. This was happening in slow motion anyhow. The pandemic has only accelerated the collapse.

    These tentpole films are more thrill ride than cinema, anyhow. Almost all of the interesting drama is already happening on TV, and has been for a decade, since stuff like Mad Men went from the exception to pretty much the norm.
     
    mx20 likes this.
  5. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I think that once the vaccine is out in quantities that let the average Joe get it, we'll go back to normal in a heartbeat! People are already fed up with COVID restrictions and ready to party!
     
  6. JohnG

    JohnG PROG Nation!


    It was always my argument for the past 10 years that the best stuff is on tv and the movies had deteriorated over that time led by the Marvel Universe (which is fine as a tent pole joy ride).
     
  7. radickeyfan

    radickeyfan Forum Resident

    AT&T regrets the whole Warner merger in a big way...Obviously COVID played a part...But do not be shocked if they try to unload the whole Warner operation to someone else
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  8. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Problem is, who would buy it right now? Apple? Google?
     
  9. radickeyfan

    radickeyfan Forum Resident

    Google ...I am guessing , would be the best bet ...... though I would not count out WalMart
     
  10. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Amazon would be another contender I'd imagine...
     
  11. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    Agree 100%. When Disney announced their big shift to streaming because of the pandemic, their executives stressed that this transition was already happening anyway. As with so many other trends, such as videoconferencing eating away at the traditional face to face business trip, the pandemic has only accelerated a trend that was happening already.

    The pandemic has created brand new TV behaviors.
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  12. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    As @sunspot42 notes, streaming TV is now where “serious” movies happen, where movies for adults happen, where art movies happen. The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix is a seven hour movie for grown-ups, with lavish production values, that has received rave reviews on this forum. I wouldn’t be surprised if it cost more than $40 million to make, but it got made by Netflix, after, as this article notes, “languishing in Hollywood development hell” since 1983, when the film rights to the source novel were first optioned.

    'The Queen's Gambit' creator on 'bringing sexy back to chess' and the series' long journey to TV

    Again, the pandemic has probably sped up a trend that was already happening, so that we may never see another “small” movie like Moonlight succeed in theatres again: instead, that sort of film will appear on Netflix or Amazon or HBO Max. And, to the extent that people still go to actual physical movie theatres going forward, outside of New York and L.A. and a few other cinephile enclaves, they will only go to see the latest blockbuster superhero mega super duper special effects film.
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  13. JAuz

    JAuz Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    I think that HBO Max is only available in the US at the point in time. So releasing it in other countries will have to be done with a different strategy (e.g. theatrical and/or a different streaming service).
     
    Oatsdad likes this.
  14. Daddy-O4

    Daddy-O4 Senior Member

    Location:
    United States
    I think you’re spot on. For ATT wireless customers, HBO Max is a free/included service. Makes it even more surprising that they’re not going to charge for WW84 a la the Disney+ model (Mulan, etc).
     
    Stormrider77 and PH416156 like this.
  15. PH416156

    PH416156 Alea Iacta Est

    Location:
    Europe
    I'm not claiming it's a bad thing; just shocked because WW1984, released now, looks to be destined to lose money. I don't know how much profit HBO generates, though.

    If a vaccine, as they say, it's round the corner, why not wait a few months to give this $200M movie a better chance?

    Btw, it'll be interesting to see the how it goes. If I had to bet money, without a vaccine, I'd say this movie is doomed, HBO or not. And sadly so. I really want to support theaters, but nowadays I can't. In Europe too, the whole Covid situation is a mess. For now, this looks to be another film to buy on blu ray and see on TV, only.
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  16. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    The vaccine won’t be ready for the general public until late spring or summer. And keep in mind, a lot of people will refuse to get it. So it’s smart to get the movie out to the public.
     
  17. tomhayes

    tomhayes Senior Member

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    Hey, during a pandemic/plague it's pretty logical that movies will lose money.

    Be okay with it.

    And watch the 1080p version since HBO Max doesn't think 4k is needed.
     
  18. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I think those might be living on borrowed time, too. With theaters set to close down by the thousands, many locations aren't even going to have a theater nearby to watch one of these things in. Meanwhile, the remaining outlets might be too crowded to give these $200 million plus behemoths the number of eyeballs they need the first couple of weeks of release to breakeven.

    This is the thing that makes me think the film is pretty weak. If the execs had faith in the project, they'd be holding it 'till next summer. If they think it's a dud, they might intentionally be doing the franchise a favor by dumping it straight onto HBO. Better luck in 2-3 years with the third installment...
     
  19. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Yeah, I know. I've worked in LA for 43 years. Read the book.
     
    JohnG likes this.
  20. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I don't think the "Mulan" model worked as well as Disney hoped. Probably some subscriber backlash, too...
     
    P(orF) likes this.
  21. P(orF)

    P(orF) Forum Resident

    I agree, but really, who knows? “Subscription model” has become the current mantra of a very confused visual entertainment business. It’s really moving too fast for any business models to predict. (The basic movie production model, from theater to second run theater to rental to network TV to syndicated TV was relevant as recently as what, ten years ago?) Now you have Netflix and HBO spending billions on original programming for literally no first day profit.

    The fact Netflix (which not that long ago was simply a distribution company mailing DVDs) has seemingly succeeded in the original content arena is not a predictor of any of these subscription models future success. Unlike the theater chains, with their actual theaters, where you could go and cuddle up with your date in the dark, there is no, in the subscription world, there there. You can have a very pleasant, even transcendent, experience at a crappy movie in a dingy theater, but if Netflix, or Hulu or HBOMax doesn’t provide an immediate gratification then they are only a cancellation click away from oblivion.

    I think Warner is making a bold move here, and given that the economics of the streaming model require, for instance, an investment of 9 figures to produce a season of Game of Thrones, sacrificing Wonder Woman to streaming probably makes some kind of sense.
     
  22. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I run into people all the time who complain, "there's nothing good to watch on TV!" And I shake my head and say, "we're in a new Golden Age of TV where a lot of fantastic projects that would have been mid-budget films have now become TV series instead." So as Linda Obst said in her book, if you have that kind of small- or medium-sized drama or historical biography or murder mystery or comedy, that's where you have to sell that kind of film these days: as a limited series, or maybe as a made-for-streaming movie.

    I can argue the opposite side: Netflix has about $180 million subscribers worldwide, each paying more than $10 a month. That's $1.8B a month (minimum) for their worldwide budget. We pay more than that because we also get Blu-ray rentals and have multiple accounts. I bet the reality is they have over $15 billion a year to produce and buy new content and run their streaming service.

    That is a huge amount of money that far dwarfs the budget of any competing movie studio, even Warner/HBO/AT&T. They could make ten $50M budget movies every month and not even feel it.

    One company that's in trouble is Showtime, which is part of CBS / Viacom / Paramount. What's going to happen to them once CBS All-Access becomes Paramount+? I see an implosion of all these studios where they each have just a single pay TV platform, and that business will very quickly surpass what they're doing with theatrical films.

    The thing that's troubling is this happened in less than a year, because of the pandemic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
    JohnG, Spencer R and sunspot42 like this.
  23. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Another big X factor in all of this is China. The entertainment market there is huge and growing fast, and they're perfectly capable of producing tentpole-quality films of their own (like The Wandering Earth). How this plays out over the coming decade isn't clear, but I could certainly see them posing stiff competition if nothing else oversease for the Hollywood studios and streaming giants, and there's always the possibility they buy themselves into our market by gobbling up a flailing studio (Paramount in particular is pretty fragile).
     
  24. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Yeah, I have no clue how the bean-counting works for these streaming services.

    With theatrical releases, we had a basic "movie needs to make 2-3 times its production budget to turn a profit" concept, but I have no idea how they figure out how much $$$ a movie that's straight to streaming is "worth".

    "Irishman" supposedly cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million - how does Netflix compute that it'll recoup that expense?

    They must have some idea what these movies are "worth", but it seems nebulous to me! :shrug:
     
  25. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    The Irishman is worth it to Netflix for the prestige, buzz, and Oscar nominations it generated. Studios have always funded the occasional Oscar bait project in addition to their blockbusters. Emily in Paris, Queer Eye, and The Great British Baking Show doubtless attract more eyeballs and subscriptions, and something like The Crown generates both prestige and ratings, but there’s also a place on Netflix for projects like Roma and The Irishman.
     
    JohnG likes this.

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