The international box office: at an acceptable rate despite the pandemic
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With the closure of movie theaters in practically the entire planet in recent weeks, due to the coronavirus pandemic, some territories have decided to take measures to appease the devastating effect on the film industry, and thus be able to stop the bleeding that already It has started to have very strong, but not yet catastrophic, effects on the entertainment industry.
Thus, the French National Film Center (CNC) has decided to relax the notoriously strict window policy in that country. A reduction from the traditional four-month delay between theatrical release and DVD and On Demand (TVOD) release was previously granted for all titles already in theaters as of March 14, while films that had been released set after theaters closed now also have that option.
During the movie theater closure period, the CNC, upon request, will exempt producers and distributors who opt for a DVD or TVOD release from reimbursing the subsidies provided by the organization. The CNC was careful to point out that these measures “in no way question the chronology of the media” and are restricted to the duration of cinema closings due to the pandemic only.
France closed its cinemas on March 14. The box office during the first three months of the year was down 36% according to analysts. The overall market in 2019 was number five internationally, and is currently in fourth position.
In a list published by the CNC there are 31 titles that have been granted permission to break the four-month window. Among them are Warner Bros’ The Truth, Birds of Prey and Richard Jewell , Paramount’s Sonic The Hedgehog, Amblin / Universal’s 1917 and Universal’s Dolittle.
The CNC also announced measures to support the industry, including an emergency fund for writers who have seen their work decrease by more than 50% amid the crisis, which stems from a percentage of ticket sales and is used for projects. futures.
Meanwhile, Korea unveiled support measures for film exhibitors, including giving them an exemption from paying the national film development fund, since that country is one of the largest markets in the world and like the other territories. has suffered from theater closures and record lows at the box office amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Korean government said the exemption will be applied retroactively starting in February, right after China withdrew its Lunar New Year launches, which had a side effect in the region.
Like France and other offshore markets, Korea levies a ticket sales tax that goes into a centralized fund. In the case of Korea, the 3% tax has averaged about $ 44 million annually since 2016.
Admissions for March were $ 1.83 million, the lowest since KOFIC began collecting box office data in 2004. Box office revenue in March 2020 fell 88% from 2019, to $ 12.4 million. Korea in 2019 was the fifth largest market in the world with strong local business. This year so far he is in eighth place.
The Korea Herald reported that the government also said it would contribute to the marketing costs of 20 films that will be released in the first quarter, but which were delayed due to the coronavirus. It will also provide funding to help bring another 20 titles back into production and assist in vocational training for film industry workers who have lost their jobs.
On the other side of the world, in the United States, the Universal studio decided to withdraw the global release of Minions: The Rise of Gru that had been scheduled for late June in some international markets and for July 3 in North America. It is now scheduled for July 2, 2021, taking the place that the animated film Sing 2 had, which in turn has now been postponed to Christmas 2021 (December 22 in North America). Universal has indefinitely postponed the release date of director Stephen Daldry’s film Wicked, based on the Broadway musical, which was scheduled to release in summer 2021.
For its part, the Disney studio made some changes to the release date, which means that the summer box office season is going to start later than usual. The Artemis Fowl film, which was originally scheduled to run on Memorial Day weekend, is set to premiere on Disney +, and the Disney / Pixar film Soul will open in June. Mulan will open on July 24, while Jungle Cruise, with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt has been pushed back to July 30, 2021.
MGM’s James Bond film No Time to Die was pushed back to November, Black Widow will be released on November 6, which sets off a chain reaction for the Marvel studio, as Eternals moves to February 12, 2021. Shang- Chi will now premiere on May 7, 2021, Doctor Strange 2 will premiere on November 5, 2021, Thor: Love And Thunder moves to February 18, 2022. Black Panther 2 remains on May 6, 2022 and Captain Marvel 2 is now scheduled for July 8, 2022.
20th Century Fox’s Ryan Reynolds comedy Free Guy is postponed from July 3 to December 11, while Disney / 20th December releases include Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel , whose dates of the films remain unchanged for release on December 18 and December 25.
For its part, the Fox Searchlight film The Fresh Dispatch, directed by Wes Anderson, runs from July 24 to October 16.