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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

The Future of Cinema: Re-imagining Theaters

 Ok, let's assume that the coronavirus is going to be around a while and that a vaccine is some time away from being ready. Let's say another 12 to 18 months. That would probably require the re-imagining of theaters by theater owners, right?

Thankfully, many theaters and their employees have been saved somewhat by federal stimulus (USA) so far, is it enough?

Theater patrons need to feel that they are safe when they return to the cinema, so social distancing and mask-wearing must be in place and monitored (probably not too far off from monitoring recording devices in the audience). It can be done.

Christopher Nolan's TENET (July 17) is tentatively planned for release in July as well as Disney's live-action MULAN (July 24). Does this mean there is a good chance it will happen? Well, let's go to the top to find out:

When John Fithian, CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) spoke to Variety on this very subject, he said:

"Some states will be able to reopen relatively quickly. Others may take a while. The question is how long will that take? We’re not just a national industry. We’re a global industry. Major studios won’t release big, wide-release films if only a couple of states and a handful of countries in Europe are open. They need a wider footprint. We don’t need 100% of markets to be in business, but we need a majority of them."

Aha. So a majority would mean literally 50%+ of all worldwide markets must be open for business, not just some states and provinces where Covid-19 has had its restrictions reduced. That's about 100 countries, give or take out of the 195 that exist today. Clearly, some countries have more impact than others (USA, China).

Will this happen for July 2020? Good question. I won't get into coronavirus numbers here, but some countries are not doing well, or are experiencing new outbreaks and hotspots. To release tentpoles like TENET and MULAN, studios are going to need some sort of confidence of box office return. 

Now, this is focused on NATO and theatrical release, what about a combination of theatrical and streaming? That might be able to whet the appetite of studios. What do you think?

And what about social distancing within theaters? Have you seen mockups of what a theater might look like when they reopen? It's not pretty, but functional. Revenue will be clearly down from pre-coronavirus. More screenings may alleviate demand.

Wearing masks must be mandatory obviously and while not being comfortable at all, it's a sacrifice that has to be made for the privilege of going to the cinema.

Improved air filters for air conditioning / heating would probably be prudent.

As I mentioned yesterday, drive-ins will need to address washrooms and concessions; so will theaters. There must be protocols to be strictly followed. Ordering your popcorn and soda through an app (reserving a washroom stall?) and having it delivered to your seat might help with lineups.

So, if the stars align and half the world box office markets open around the world; studios decide to release their big-budget tentpoles; theaters adopt revised seating plans / restrict washroom use to one or two / clean everything all the time / deliver concessions to your seat, and you don't mind wearing masks, maybe paying more and risking infection, WOULD YOU GO?

Surely I've missed some things here - let me know in the comments!

Sources: Variety
Images: The Guardian | IMDb

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

The Future of Cinema: Drive Ins?

At least in the short term what are our options? With Covid-19 still a threat and movie theaters being a contagion even before the coronavirus was a big deal (I can't tell you how many times I've caught a bug from someone sneezing close to me), what's left?

Could this be the return of the drive-in theater?

Several aspects of drive-ins have to be looked at as dodgy (I've been watching a lot of Ozzy Man reviews lately), namely the washrooms and the concessions.

The latter could be addressed by having car window service by masked servers (with or without rollerskates) but the biggest issue in my mind is the washrooms. With double and triple features being the norm, that's a lot of time to go without facilities, so something has to be done. The perfect solution (albeit expensive) is perhaps the public washrooms that are abundant in France:



Or perhaps a washroom that uses UV rays?



To be sure though, something needs to be improvised. I'm not sure having an attendant outside of every washroom to go in a clean after each user is the answer. Anybody have a suggestion?

On to projection! I'm wondering if it is possible to remove projectors from the cinemas and place them in improvised shelters to project onto screens (or large walls)? Is that even possible with the need for much larger screens and longer distances involved? What about brightness? If we need a short term solution only for drive-ins, perhaps using this strategy and using vacant stadiums (or their parking lots) for the cars?

I'd like to see something that is pop-up, easily removed, yet highly functional for seeing what we all love - the movies.

And until such time as new releases are made available, we'll have to rely upon past films and curated evenings for entertainment. Clearly, drive-ins alone won't amount to the box office revenue that the industry has enjoyed in the past, but as a stop-gap perhaps it will be enough.

What are your thoughts on drive-ins as a short term (or longer) solution to get Hollywood up and running again?


Monday, June 01, 2020

Alright - Who's up for more MarketSaw?

Hey guys! I think I'm in a place now where I can spend some amount of time a day on the site and I'm anxious to get back to things that I love to do - like this.

I'm thinking that a new direction might be a good idea - something like "The future of cinema" or "What to look for in the coming years in Hollywood", or similar.

3D is still around obviously, but in a much different way after much evolution over the years.

Coronavirus has changed the world and that includes cinema. What things will be changing permanently? Let's discuss.

What about new technology? Have you seen the new Unreal Engine 5 that is around the corner? Check the review below:



What do you think? I think it looks bloody amazing. More TOMORROW!

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

AVATAR 2 Pushed to December 2021

Disappointed to hear this one guys. But surprised? No. AVATAR 2, once slated for December next year has been pushed back another year to December 17th, 2021.

Disney has also announced that AVATAR 3 is now pegged at December 22nd, 2023 and AVATAR 4 is December 29th, 2025. If there is an AVATAR 5 it won't see projector light until 2027.

I haven't heard the reasoning behind the decision to delay but I would add it up to be post-production needs and internal influences within Disney.

More when I get it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

"Gemini Man" First Trailer Drops - 3D HFR

Hey everyone, Tim here. It's been a while, I know, but I wanted to share the first trailer for Gemini Man. This movie was shot natively in 3D HFR, and I did a set visit a year ago. More on that at a later date, when we're closer to the film's release. For now let's enjoy the trailer.

Directed by Ang Lee and starring Will Smith as an over-the-hill hitman that faces off against a younger clone of himself. The movie also stars Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Benedict Wong. Should I mention that Will Smith also stars in the movie? I'll mention it again since he does both roles of the over-the-hill hitman and the younger clone thanks to some VFX wizardry.

Check out the trailer below:


That trailer was great! Can't wait for the finished movie. The fantastic 3D team behind the movie is Demetri Portelli (Stereographer) and Ben Gervais (3D Systems Engineer). I can't go into details yet about the technology used for the 3D, but we'll have more to share on that later.

Synopsis:
Gemini Man is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.

The film is directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Ang Lee and produced by renowned producers Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger.

Connect with #GeminiMan

Facebook: facebook.com/GeminiManMovie/
Twitter: twitter.com/geminimanmovie
Instagram: instagram.com/geminimanmovie

Gemini Man hits 3D HFR screens October 11, 2019.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

MUST WATCH: New Trailer For ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL

Hey guys - here's trailer #3 for ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL and it looks stunning! I won't spoil it for you, but be sure to watch it on a big screen with the volume up :-)

I'm first in line for this thing! It's been a long time coming and I'm really looking forward to it.

Here's the movie's storyline:
From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Screenplay by: James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis and Robert Rodriguez
Based on the Graphic Novel ("Manga") Series: "Gunnm" By Yukito Kishiro
Produced by: James Cameron and Jon Landau
Cast: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Keean Johnson

Connect with Alita: Battle Angel Online:
Visit the Official Site Here: AlitaTickets.co.uk
Like Alita: Battle Angel on FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/AlitaMovieUK

Follow on Instagram: www.instagram.com/20centuryfoxuk
Follow on Twitter: twitter.com/20CenturyFoxUK
Like on Facebook: www.facebook.com/20thCenturyFoxUK/

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL launches on February 14, 2019.

Monday, August 13, 2018

THE MEG Opens Wide And Takes Huge $44.5m Bite From Weekend Box Office!

Of course it opened huge - Jason Statham is no slouch! Ok, the megalodon has something to do with it too.

THE MEG opened this past weekend to the tune of $44.5 million with the overseas markets yet to come on stream. That's an impressive debut. Rottentomatoes.com critics has the movie at a 49% rotten rating while audiences gave it a 61%. Personally I liked it. I still haven't seen it in 3D yet (*GASP* I know right?!), but I will in the coming week or so. I had to catch the flat version as it was the only screening at the time and I was on a tight schedule. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of those action scenes in 3D because I think they nailed it. Some excellent editing really brings the Meg into your lap - even in 2D.

China played a large part in the making of the movie (very evident from the credits and content) and should open amazingly well in that country. Seriously. AMAZINGLY well. And that's a good thing for Warner Bros. - THE MEG cost $130m to make.

I think Shark Week on the Discovery Channel helped the cause - they even had a show entitled "Megalodon: Fact vs. Fiction" to help feed the frenzy.

You know, we should look into using old dino-DNA to bring back Meg. I mean, what could go wrong?

THE MEG is now playing.

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Jim Dorey
Editor-in-Chief
jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com

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