Thursday, May 30, 2024

How SAG-AFTRA Strike Could Change This Year’s Movie Release Schedule and Box Office – Deadline

On the eve of what is expected to be a third domestic box office weekend of $200 million thanks to Barbie AND Oppenheimerthe concern of the film industry is whether the big comeback of movies after the pandemic will be stopped due to the SAG-AFTRA strike and actors banned from promoting.

Barbie AND Oppenheimer expected to gross a total of $150 million this weekend, with many moviegoers planning double features. All this momentum has been built on the back of each actor’s globetrotting press tour.

Currently, 2023’s domestic box office through July 16 at $5 billion is up 13% over last year, which ended at $7.4 billion. Is it a big thing that will go terribly wrong?

Marketing and distribution studios remain vigilant as to whether titles will begin to move, assessing the weekly calendar. Consistently, we’re told the SAG-AFTRA strike will affect the latter part of 2024 versus 2023. If the SAG-AFTRA strike lasts more than four to six weeks, it could wipe out Q4 productions that need reshoots, and more.

However, don’t think that 2023 will escape harm.

As for the rest of the summer, the theatrical release schedule is jammed with long campaigns already underway. Studio executives say a movie’s box office potential has more to do with its TV spot, theatrical and online trailer spend, then say an interview or a red carpet appearance by Robert Downey Jr.

Haunted Mansion Trailer

From left: Tiffany Haddish, Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stanfield and Danny DeVito in ‘Haunted Mansion’

Walt Disney Studios Films / The Everett Collection

Media spending is what drives moviegoers: Already cute social media memes and hysterical trailers for Ryan Gosling’s Ken are driving Warner Bros. Barbie with a start of 100 million dollars. Last August was left barren at the box office as the films were delayed due to the post-production lockdown due to Covid. However, this August is back to pre-pandemic normalcy and ready to be richer. Already, box office predictions for August’s lineup look mostly strong — and that’s without any stars on the red carpet brass, Disney’s that is Haunted Mansion on July 28 it’s looking at a $30 million debut; Warner Bros.’ the sequel to Jason Statham, I 2 ($28M+) and Paramount Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($40 million + 5 days) on the weekend of August 4; as well as Sony’s Grand Touring ($25M+) on August 11th. The rest of the summer lineup includes Universal’s dog-for-dog comedy Wanderer, and Warner/DC’s Blue Beetle on August 18, an extensive expansion of Lionsgate’s The white bird on August 25 (after a limited release on August 18) and Sony Equalizer 3 on September 1.

From left, in front of the board: ‘Gran Turismo’s Neill Blomkamp, ​​Maximilian Mundt, Geri Halliwell, Orlando Bloom, Archie Madekwe and Asad Qizilbash

Getty Images

In some cases, studios have gotten ahead of the strike and recorded electronics, social media/theatrical outlets, and press packed with big stars, read Denzel Washington did some embargoed press outside of CinemaCon at Equalizer 3. It has also prompted studios to get really creative in raising the profile of their films and hitting their core audiences: Sony first announced the world of Neil Blomkamp’s films Grand Touring, inspired by the SonyPlaystation game, taking picture stars David Harbor and Orlando Bloom on a photocall at the Cannes Film Festival and a press tour of the Monaco Grand Prix. The studio is also ramping up the action film by inviting gaming and racing enthusiasts to a real-life Gran Turismo Racing Academy in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

Any kind of franchise movie according to sources should have no problem launching at the Q3 and Q4 box office ie. The Nun 2, The Exorcist: The Believer, The Marvels, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakeseven Sony/Marvel’s Kraven the Hunter.

THE FLASH, © Warner Bros. /Courtesy Everett Collection

When it comes to a tentpole that didn’t get much press support from its actors and ultimately died at the box office as a result, many see this summer Flash as a prime example. A large part of Flash The cast avoided interviews because they didn’t want to be interested in questions about the titular Warner Bros. DC tabloid star Ezra Miller. Additionally, because of the WGA-Strike, late-night shows — mostly safe havens that avoid touchy-feely questions about the stars — were unavailable to the cast. However, distribution sources say that FlashThe failure went beyond the cast’s unavailability: There was a bad smell on the film before its release, with the picture earning a B CinemaScore. This bad word of mouth rapidly declined Flash’The domestic opening earns from a projected $70 million to $55 million. The picture has a current price of $106.9 million domestically, $160.5 million worldwide.

Right now, some distributors are swearing to god they’re not moving any titles. However, sources say the award season blockbuster, which badly needs the support of its stars, remains more sensitive at the box office this year.

Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan in

Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan in Drive-Away Dolls

Job title / Features of focus

If the SAG-AFTRA strike lasts more than four weeks, it could cast its spotlight on films such as Emma Stone’s absurdist fantasy Poor things (Sept. 8), the Matt Damon-Pedro Pascal-Margaret Qualley road movie Remove the dolls (September 22), and Paul Giamatti HOLDER (October 27) among several others. Luca Guadagnino’s Zendaya starring R-rated tennis champion romance, The challengerswhich is booked to make its world premiere on the opening day of Venice, was depending on that heat to fuel its September 15 US/Canada release.

If these titles see release date changes, it wouldn’t be shocking.

Poor things has also been buzzing for a Venice premiere, and could be in a similar situation as The challengers: a global platform without the sights and sounds of its stars.

Currently, I hear that Apple Original Film/Paramount’s The Flower Moon Assassins will remain on its runway starting October 6: Leonardo DiCaprio traditionally does a limited amount of press and director Martin Scorsese is available to talk about the film as the DGA has signed a new contract with AMPTP.

While distributors are confident in releasing tentpoles without star support during the SAG-AFTRA strike, the question is whether directors are comfortable with that.

Dune: Part Two


After watching his sci-fi spectacle Dune stymied by a day-and-date theatrical release on HBO Max during the pandemic, will Denis Villeneuve have the support of his brilliant new cast Zendaya, Timothee Chalamet, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh by his side on a global press tour so that he might explode Dune: Part Two and make it the hit it’s destined to be on November 3rd? The first film was embraced by viewers with an A-CinemaScore and was one of the highest-grossing films during Covid 2021, despite also being broadcast on HBO Max, with a domestic total of $108.3 million, $402 million in WW and six Oscar wins. Ultimately, it’s up to Legendary, not Warner Bros Dune: Part Two shifts.

If the actors’ strike goes really deep into the fall, how will it affect any Q4 releases that may require last-minute voice or casting? The big films that the Christmas-time exhibition relies on are Warner Bros.’ Wonka (December 15), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (December 20) and purple colour (Christmas Day) and Sony’s Ghostbusters sequel (December 22); the latter which just closed in London before the actors officially picketed.

As one executive points out, “the day after the SAG-AFTRA strike ends, everything from recording studios to film crews will go into extreme demand. Another post-production setback may occur.”

Awards season strategists have told us that if SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP come to peace with a new contract in four weeks, then a star-studded film festival season is in store. Aside from the fall film festivals that reserve a large portion of the foreign awards, the hope lies in non-AMPTP independent productions that give up and star. These actors can appear at TIFF, Venice and Telluride.

Says a vet of the hopeful awards season publicity, “It only takes one big star to show up at a festival from one of these independent films to make others feel comfortable and committed.”



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