Indie filmmakers see the benefits in straightforward release
Director Emerald Fennell was delighted to see how the audience was treated and what they received Promising a Girl when it was first screened at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2020.
“You push and then you release, and the people in the room are [understanding] things at different times, “says Fennell, a political activist who gave Oscar a chance to win the first show.” There are so many ways to make a movie… they’re there to make it look like a ride. You make a video because I play. “
But as it turned out, very few people ended up watching the movie on television. The cause of the U.S. drama on April 17 last year was abolished when Covid-19 was forced to close. Promising a Girl she was finally unveiled in the movie on Christmas Day 2020, and has made $ 13.3m, a small amount but what made her the most successful all movies nominated to be the best photographer at this year’s Academy Awards.
A few weeks later on January 15, the video was found to be rented at home via a high-resolution video (PVOD), a format that has been around for ten years but began to find new ones last year when the epidemic blocked a movie theater. In addition to the monthly fee, subscribers to platforms such as Amazon Prime, Sky’s Now player and Apple iTunes can rent Promising a Girl about $ 20.
When the US $ 40bn box office faces uncertain future, a trip to Promising a GirlTheir release could serve as a stand-alone video for the post-epidemic video, say executives at Focus Features, a studio that oversees Comcast’s NBCUniversal and distributors of the video.
“Donna [Langley, chair of Universal Pictures] we decided to go to PVOD exactly on the first day of the epidemic and a week later we were there, “said Peter Kujawski, chairman of Focus Features, referring to some exhibitors who were released this way last year.
“There was a curiosity [if it] it was possible [strategy] and Donna. . . felt strongly: this is not the best time to do movies, but also for the whole business. ”
Home borrowing early was an important test during the epidemic. But while the US reopens after a year of empty video, entertainment executives are asking if companies have changed forever.
Many agree that big budget screens will be shown in movies when these problems are reduced, even with shorter windows. However, low-cost movies, which do not require millions of dollars to sell tickets to break, may be more efficient at home, perhaps being released from dining rooms via PVOD a few days after the release.
Kujawski said: “You will see a world where everyone has to meditate a lot on what is happening in theaters.” “The biggest focus on the game will be growth and budget.”
Universal led the transition, offering rent for films such as Invisible Man and Emma as soon as the movies close.
Jeff Bock, an office inspector at Exhibitor Relations, said PVOD became a “studio-based solution” last year, especially for certain types of video that could be “lost in ether”. [of streaming]”.
Promising Girl: Indie plague released in numbers
$ 13.3 Million
Extras made in cinemas
Cost higher rental when video first goes online
However, he warns that without financial numbers, which the studios did not hide, it is difficult to know how effective this method is. “All we can do is monitor what traders will do in the future as their actions sound more than words.”
Universal’s disruption of the traditional “window” between video in video and online has been criticized by video owners who have been around for years strongly defending their line New release from the advent of search platforms like Netflix.
But two major chains, AMC and Cinemark, made an agreement with Universal, allowing the studio to release their videos on PVOD just a few weeks after they started performing in home theaters.
Meanwhile, Alamo Drafthouse, who resigned in March to protect bankruptcy, took action by launching its PVOD platform last year.
Although Focus was uploading some videos online via PVOD, there was an internal controversy over whether Promising a Girl, A video that aims to promote homosexuality, can create social media through the internet.
“We really wanted the theater,” Fennell said. “Obviously when you make something that is designed for the same purpose and look different. . . it will take a moment to change. ”
Leading directors decided to wait to see how other Universal movies played, suspending the release until Christmas.
The following year, the company said the release had performed well, economically and culturally. With a budget of $ 10m, Promising a Girl he had already earned a profit from his office box. The release of PVOD made the video more profitable, generating less ticket costs, say people close to the company.
Focus declined to say how many PVOD vendors the movie had made. However, its volume, which is considered to be the total cost compared to the opening of the week, is much higher than the All Natural PVOD released last year, said a source familiar with the matter.
“You have the scales you want every video to hold, dollars and cents and that’s what we do,” Kujawski said. “But everyone has an eye for small experiments that can affect culture. And seeing that [PVOD] Releasing the video in this way was important because it was not obvious it was going to happen. ”
The high cost differentiates movies that could have been lost in the ocean, he added. “There is something more valuable when you think you are paying $ 20 to watch something instead of just being fed something.”
The biggest problem with this type of PVOD is the simplicity of the economy: for large screens, it doesn’t make as much money as a stadium. Rich Gelfond, head of Imax, told a conference last year that PVOD was a “difficult experiment”.
“This number has never worked with a pandemic, so how can it work without a pandemic?”, He said, pointing out that the studio does not want to share financial statistics.
But there are indications that PVOD exists, even for blockbusters. Disney, who paid $ 30 to watch movies like Mulan on its fast-paced platform at the same time as it was released around the world, it will make two of its biggest films in the summer, Black Widow and Cruella, It can be rented the same day as those who go to the movies.
For creative talent, the search war between the major entertainment companies around the world is a very good story because it implies the importance of content, regardless of what people can see.
Fennell, who said he co-wrote “probably any hunting activity”, is working on trends, from the West End show to a radio program and a video game show.
“For me to move forward, all I would like to do is write the thing down and then I know where it goes,” he said. “Sometimes you want to do something fun in a stadium. Sometimes you just have to motivate yourself. The most important thing right now is that it makes sense. ”