- October 5th, 2020, 10:29 am#4940436
Ive worked at several movie theaters back in my late teens and 20s as an usher, cashier, and even a consultant (which is what i was hired for but it was all a rouse to get someone to fill in for miss shifts by teenagers) and i can tell you for a fact that if the major franchise theaters are hurting this bad, forget about any mom and pop run theaters remaining open for this long.
First of all, how are they going to pay the rent alone on these places? Unless somehow they are running a theater on a piece of property they outright own, odds are they are in some ruined down strip mall somewhere being charged extreme prices just to keep their business on the property.
Having worked for both private and corporate theaters, the smaller guys are screwed royally. Imagine having to pay the rent on your business for a year that cant open its doors or generate any kind of revenue what so ever? Forget it
As for the major theater chains, sure they may have some money to weather the storm, even if they are helped out by the studio (as some studios do own theater chains! When i worked for National Amusement, we were owned by Paramount Pictures and it was a mandate that all Paramount films got priority when it came to posters, displays, trailers, etc and even had studio representatives inspecting us to make sure we followed orders) If the studio isn't making money they cant keep the doors open!
This is honestly the perfect storm when it comes to the death of theaters. You cant have large crowds of people in a indoor contained space because of the virus.
You can get the virus within 15 minuets within 6 feet of someone. Your average movie is 90 minuets and your usually sitting within a foot of another person in a indoor space.
Theaters are a breeding ground for the virus! Hell even movies themselves know this. Remember Outbreak? the virus in that movie SPREAD IN A THEATER!
So naturally you got to close all them down. They are a health hazard! (Spoiler alert, they always have been. Users dont usually clean anything more then the ocasional popcorn and soda bag and the theaters themselves only get a decent at best cleaning once they are closed by a overworked underpaid cleaning crew)
So..all that said...everyones saying go digital....(which seems like a built in solution on the surface...if you want to LOSE MONEY)
Heres the deal with that. When you go to a movie, even at a matinee, they are charging you a set price for a show. Say 10 bucks per ticket PER PERSON! (minus a few bucks for children or senior citizens or vets, police officers, etc)
Matinee is usually a reduced price before a certain time...usually around 5-6 in the afternoon then its PRIME TIME baby, 15 bucks average ticket!
But for arguments sake, lets average every ticket at 10 bucks, regardless of age, 3d or standard, etc...
Your average family of 4 pays 40 bucks for matinee on a summer Saturday afternoon! The studios get around 50-80% of that money! (figure 32 dollars for a family of 4) The theater gets the rest to keep its doors open, to pay overhead costs for employees, maintenance, etc...
only after all those are covered, what little there is left over, is profit.
so theaters themselves are running on a very slim profit margine!
Now lets go digital. Everyone can see a movie at home, you pay an upfront fee...everyones happy right?
Say they put out Ghostbusters Afterlife on Digital and charge 30 dollars to own it!
YOUR LOSING MONEY BECAUSE YOU CANT CONTROL HOW MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY WATCH IT!
You could pay 30 bucks to own the movie, have 20 people over at your house to watch the movie at the same time, and the studio cant profit over any of that.
Thats 20 people paying 10 dollars a ticket at a theater...equals 200 dollars...160 dollars lost to the studio!
They cant tell you who can come over and watch a movie in your house. They cant say "Only 3 people at a time can watch this movie in your own home", how would they be able to en force that!
So naturally, the movies they do put out directly on digital, have to be smaller scale lower budget films! You cant expect to put a 200 million dollar movie directly on digital and expect to generate a profit, let alone cover the cost of the film and the marketing itself!
So thats why i doubt we are going digital anytime soon. The moment the film goes digital, its a sign of sony saying "We're cutting our losses and just want to make what ever we can off this thing...which means no sequel in the future!"
The last movie Answer the call LOST MONEY! 200 million plus dollars. The very idea they made Afterlife in the first place means they really still think the brand can be saved.
You put the movie out on digital, its the final nail in the ghostbusters coffin, because no accountant or investor is going to look at the track record of the last two films in the franchise and see any sort of profit margin what so ever, and say "Na I'll spend my money elseware on a brand that will generate me a profit!"
I hate to be cruel but thats all the studios and their investors care about...generating a profit!
You spend 200 million dollars to shoot a movie, 200 million on marketing, hoping to make OVER A BILLION DOLLARS back!
Thats why when they say a movie bombed even though it made the money it cost to make it back, it still lost money because it did not make enough to cover its marketing and to turn a profit!
thats not what we want with afterlife. The whole goal is to relaunch the brand.
"can i have your watch when you are dead?"