Why are movie theaters showing so few movies now?

After Sony’s action movie “Bullet Train” starring Brad Pitt, the movie list for August, September and October, which will be released next week, is deserted. It’s hard to find any blockbuster in the mix. In fact, not many movies have grossed over $50 million at the box office until Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, which won’t hit theaters until November 11.
The scarcity of movies comes in a year that lags far behind Hollywood’s pre-pandemic output. At this point in 2019, there were 63 broadcasts nationwide in North America. comscore (SCOR). This year’s number is 39 – a 38% drop from three years ago.
Despite the delay, 2022 has mostly gone by itself. Ticket sales in 2019 are roughly 30% behind pre-pandemic levels and are pretty good given the lack of movie releases in theaters.

So where are all the movies? There is still much to be produced and released, but many are either going straight to flow or are being delayed because the industry is experiencing many of the same problems as the rest of the economy.

In short, Hollywood has supply chain problems.

Slow down in Tinseltown

“A number of persistent issues with supply chain and production pipeline backups have affected several movies,” Shawn Robbins, principal analyst at Boxoffice.com, told CNN Business. “It’s important to remember that studios set their broadcasting strategy for six months to a year or more in most cases.”

Robbins added that while the summer films are an “audible success” in theaters, the industry is “still trying to capture audience sentiment and expectations for new content on the big screen.”

Think back to two years ago, when studios postponed movies almost daily as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on Hollywood. The repercussions of these decisions are still felt today.

There’s another reason why there aren’t a normal number of movies in theaters: streaming.

As streaming becomes more of a focus for media companies, studios now find themselves supplying both theaters and broadcasters. Some movies that look great for theaters, like “Prey,” the next installment in 20th Century Studios’ “Predator” franchise, are simply streaming instead of the big screen. In fact, most of 20th Century Studio’s and Searchlight Pictures’ movies are now making their way to Hulu.

“It’s no secret that studios want to diversify their distribution strategy, publishers want to expand their content offerings and compete among their subscriber bases,” Robbins said. Said.

The direct streaming strategy makes sense for many movies. “A big-budget movie that’s streamed directly can have a low box office ceiling to begin with,” added Robbins. Otherwise, “it wouldn’t make much sense to cut off this lucrative income stream”.

silver linings

While there won’t be many big hits in theaters in the next few weeks, there will still be movies to watch.

A24 has smaller films such as the horror movie “Bodies Bodies Bodies”, which hits theaters on August 5, the devious “Don’t Worry Darling” starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, the romantic comedy “Bros” on September 23. On September 30, “Halloween Ends,” the next and potentially final film in the Halloween franchise, on October 14, and “Black Adam,” a superhero movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, on October 21.

'Thor: Love and Thunder' hits a strong box office opening for Marvel

Any of these films can surprise and find an audience.

There will even be previous blockbusters in theaters, with “ET: The Extra Terrestrial” in August and IMAX re-releases of “Jaws” in September.

Also, hits like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru” could continue to drive ticket sales this summer, due to a lack of theatrical releases.

So there are a few silver linings for theaters in the next few months. But that doesn’t change the fact that “Wakanda Forever,” Hollywood’s next big blockbuster hope, is forever away.

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