CinemaCon for this year is over, but the convention which is all about supporting the theatrical exhibition sector closed out with a luncheon that has gotten people talking.
Specifically, the talk is over the comments of filmmaker Patty Jenkins, whose “Wonder Woman 1984” was the first of Warner Bros. Pictures’ films to adopt the theatrical and day-and-date release on HBO Max.
Opening when NY and LA were closed, there’s no doubt the film’s box-office was hurt with the movie grossing just $46.5 million domestic and $166.5 million worldwide. Whilst the bad reviews didn’t help, a drop of nearly 80% like that goes beyond a weak reception.
Jenkins participated in Thursday’s luncheon and revealed that she has a major distaste for the day-and-date release model and called having to adopt it for “Wonder Woman 1984” as a “heartbreaking” experience:
“It was the best choice in a bunch of bad choices at the moment… It was detrimental to the movie… I knew that could have happened. I don’t think it plays the same on streaming, ever. I’m not a fan of day-and-date, and I hope to avoid it forever. I like working with Netflix for television; I wouldn’t make a movie there or any streaming service with those terms.”
Jenkins’ targets weren’t just streamers and distributors, but also some of the exhibition sector in the room as she slammed how the quality of the moviegoing experience has waned in recent years as auditoriums tone down the volume and have lost a “diversity of content”.
She wasn’t the only one making comments though as Paramount Domestic Distribution Boss Chris Aronson took aim at exhibitors ticket pricing:
“You can’t compare the price of movie tickets to an NFL or NBA game. Pricing is an issue in our business. If we simply rely on large format (pricing), attendance will continue to go down and down. We need to figure out how more people can go to the movies.”
Jenkins, who is currently prepping the “Star Wars: Rogue Squadron” film at Lucasfilm, may get her wish as Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi says he’s heard that “every content provider is going back to an exclusive theatrical window, that it’s good for the business.”