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The Year in the Box Office

December 9, 2023
Notes
Transcript
On this week’s episode, Scott Mendelson returns to the show to discuss how 2023 shook out at the box office, why niche films and niche audiences became more important than ever to movie theaters, and whether or not studios are hiding that Wonka, The Color Purple, and next year’s Mean Girls remake are musicals because they’re worried about the impact on box office. Make sure to check out Scott’s new Substack, The Outside Scoop. I’ve long loved his breakdowns of the weekend box office and look forward to seeing what he’s putting together here on Substack. And if you enjoyed thispodcast, I hope you share it with a friend!
This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1

    Welcome back to the Bullbrook Coast
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:04

    of Hollywood. My name is Sunny culture editor at the Bulwark. And I’m very pleased to be rejoined today by Scott Mendelson. Now we’ve had Scott on the show a couple of times. We’ve got big exciting news.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:16

    Scott has his own sub stack. We’re gonna we’re gonna we’re gonna talk about that a little bit. If you go to Scott mendelson dot step stack dot com, the outside scoop, it’s gonna be it’s gonna I’ll I’ll link to it in the newsletter that comes with this this podcast, and we’ll we’ll get it out there. You should go sign up if you like Scott’s box office musings, and I do. So I’ve been reading Scott for years now.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:37

    He’s always, he has a he has a recall for numbers that I, greatly envy It will just be like, well, yes, of course, you know, this movie dropped twenty seven percent in its third weekend, and that compares with this. And it’s it’s it’s very impressive stuff. I’m I’m always, glad to read him. Scott, thanks for being back on the show.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:57

    It’s an absolute pleasure. Thank you for having me back.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:00

    So, As folks know, you are, a box office guru. You are, my guy who I like to talk to about what is what is the actual health of, the cinematic landscape. So let’s start there, just talking about the state of the overall box office. I mean, on the one hand things, look better this year. Year over year box, all sorts of scrozes are up about twenty two percent.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:27

    You know, that means that if if that holds, the the final year end number is gonna be I forget. I forget. I looked at Lebeth.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:34

    Nine million ish. Excuse me. Nine billion ish.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:37

    Nine billion ish. Which, obviously is is better than last year, much better than twenty twenty or twenty twenty one, still two billion so below the high water mark in two thousand nineteen, two thousand eighteen. I I can’t I don’t know. I feel like things are getting better and yet there is, there may be some permanent loss.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:58

    Well, yes. And couple things. I don’t I believe that twenty nineteen was sort of a a a I wanna say a fluke, but you had the last star wars, the last Avengers, frozen two, what was theoretically the last toy story. Disney had a fire sale of all of its the the biggest possible versions of all of its biggest brands. That was arguably both because Bob Eiger was about to retire, and because Disney Plus was about to launch and theoretically, if you put all these films out in twenty nineteen that can be on Disney Plus at some point in twenty twenty.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:32

    In fact, you know, rival studios, I would argue, moved some of their films out of twenty nineteen. Either because of that or just by circumstance, you know, wonder woman eighty four was supposed to come out in two late twenty nineteen. Death of the Nile was supposed to come out in twenty nineteen. Sonic the Hedgehog, no time to die. Upgood Maverick was supposed to come out in twenty nineteen.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:54

    And moving those films out of this this, you know, Disney wrecking ball seemed like the smart play because, all due respect, I don’t think any of us saw a global pandemic coming down the bike. So a lot of the circumstances that studios like Disney are dealing with now were stuff that they probably would have had to deal with in twenty twenty or twenty twenty one, But because of COVID and because of the circumstances thereof, you know, now they’re dealing with it. For example, You know, a wish is obviously a catastrophic flop for Disney animation. They haven’t really had a breakout smash. Since frozen two.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:37

    Elemental led out to four fifty, but still on a two hundred million dollar budget. It’s it will probably make money in the end, but it’s not a blowout hit. Good, you know, quality notwithstanding. Now, is that, oh, no. People don’t go to Disney animation movies anymore?
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:53

    You know, did Disney plus, you know, teach people to stay at home? That’s a that’s a fair argument. But something else to consider was that since after Coco in late twenty seventeen, original animated films had been struggling theatrically even before COVID. But Disney’s output in twenty eighteen and twenty nineteen were all sequels. Frozen two, Toy Story four, record Ralph breaks the internet, igradables too.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:26

    And, you know, Illumination hasn’t had an original films since sing. That’s not a criticism. You they had a number of original hits like sing and despicable me, and that allows them to make, you know, cache and sequels to those properties. So and, obviously, twenty twenty, the co you know, the pandemic occurred. So Disney really didn’t deal with this new normal of you know, non sequel animation struggling until in Canto in twenty twenty one.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:55

    And that’s unfortunate because in Canto is a very good movie. I would argue the three films they sent to Disney Plus were very good movies. I didn’t hate Lightyear, but obviously there was no interest just like there was no interest in, you know, soloist Star Wars story, especially overseas. So that is an example of a problem that studios probably would have had to deal with in twenty twenty absent COVID circumstances. Because there were a lot of rough and tumble, you know, high level theatrical franchises that were coming to a natural end in twenty nineteen or as it turned out, it was supposed to be twenty twenty.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:34

    Like Daniel Credit James Bondfilms, you know, again, like the Skywalker saga, like the infinity saga, you know, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, the it series for, you know, Uniline. So what was Hollywood going to look like theatrically after these surefire sagas were coming to a natural end in a world where it is very, very, very hard to make new to cinema franchises. That was always going to be a challenge after, you know, this pack of newbies, this pack of of declining franchises. And I don’t know what the answer looked like because everything’s been changed because of COVID and it pushed to streaming, etcetera, etcetera. And not to be mean about it, but, you know, lots and lots of people died in the COVID pandemic.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:23

    And those included people that would have gone to the movies otherwise, And that includes, you know, loved ones who were left behind that are otherwise might not think of it as a big of a deal to go see the new Marvel movie as maybe they did in twenty eighteen.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:37

    Yep.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:38

    So but getting back to where we are now, I think if we get back to something resembling twenty sixteen, twenty seventeen, twenty eighteen, that would be a huge victory. That being said, as we’ve seen this year, you know, in twenty twenty two, Overall box office was down by about a third. But overall releases were down by about a third. Mhmm. Because Hollywood was frankly gun shy in terms of putting films in the feeders.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:10

    And even though I think they had kind of learned their lesson in terms of putting all their eggs in a streaming basket, that unfortunately wasn’t a light bulb light switch, you could just turn on and off. So this was the first year since COVID, where we saw something approximating a normal number of wide theatrical releases. And the fact that we’re getting pretty close to pre COVID normality is a very encouraging sign that if you have a normal amount of movies, you’re going to have a normal amount of box office. So as long as you don’t have something like, oh, I don’t know, a dual labor strike to screw over the release slight to leave twenty twenty four Yeah. With, you know, another lower than expected slate of movies, you’d be fine.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:53

    Ish. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:56

    I mean, that that is I mean, that’s certainly a thing we’re going to have to consider for the next year is the, the decreased output that will naturally result as a as a result of the, twenty twenty three strikes. But the, but, they’re they’re so the You know, COVID COVID did a number of things in terms of just closing theaters down. Period. I mean, just like theaters theaters were closed. People couldn’t literally could not go to them, which resulted in studios not releasing films, etcetera.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:29

    But there is also I mean, there there are like, enormous business changes that have occurred. And I just wanna I two recent examples of this phenomenon. The holdovers, which is released by focus features, which is owned by Universal, which owns Peacock, and, saltburn, which was released by MGM, which, MGM was purchased by Amazon. Of course, Amazon has prime video. And you have these two movies, the Holdovers and Saltburn that come out and they do okay in limited
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:59

    release.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:02

    Not not they’re not putting up, you know, thirty thousand dollars per screen in their third week or anything, but they’re they’re doing pretty well. They’re holding while they’re not dropping that much. And yet, the holdovers is now on VOD. The holdovers is now on VOD. There was a email or a a press release went out the day after Salt Burns, I think it was third weekend in medium release.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:24

    You know, the it had dropped just ten percent. It dropped nine percent or something like that. And yet, a press release goes out and says, guess what? Saltburn’s gonna be on prime video on December twenty second. And it’s just like, why why are you cutting yourself off at the knees like this?
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:39

    Give these things time to breathe. But on the other hand, look, from the perspective of the studios, They, they are looking at movies that aren’t making a ton of money, they can make more money, they can keep a higher percentage of the money on VOD, So why not just shift the audience there?
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:57

    I am of several minds about this. First of all, I mean, Saltburn is going to do whatever it’s going to do. I don’t think, you know, even thirty years ago, that’s a film that we’d all be saying, oh, critics liked it, but nobody’s showing up. I mean, I’d know I’m, you know, when I was fourteen, we were all, you know, re hand wringing about why nobody was going to a quiz show. So he was like the holdovers.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:21

    Great movie, but all giamatti is not a Buttsman seats movie star. That’s not an insult. I mean, who is these days with a couple exceptions to Caprio Bulwark, you know, in certain circumstances, Denzel, Washington. But there has been very little evidence to suggest that the PVOD marketplace that’s where a film comes out and is available to rent for about twenty bucks for forty eight hours. This was started by universal slash comcast in April of twenty twenty with Trolls World Tour.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:53

    There is very little evidence to suggest that that revenue stream has cannibalized theatrical. Studio seem to think, and although they’re hiding numbers, as if they’re, you know, state secrets, they seem to suggest that they can have their cake and eat it too. That they’re getting that revenue from people that wouldn’t have seen it in theaters anyway. And in my mind, if that’s true, then BBOD has made the studio programmer a safer theatrical bet than it was, you know, in seven years, probably. Because audiences staying home and watching stuff on streaming instead of going to the theaters to see just a movie.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:34

    That’s been a problem, a big problem since late twenty fifteen, early twenty sixteen. But if these films can make some danceled revenue, relatively speaking, on PVOD, but they only make that revenue if they are wide theatrical releases as we’ve generally seen. If you look at the v o d lists, you know, weekend, week out voodoo, Google, whatever, most of the films at the top of those lists are theatrical releases. So then you have a financial incentive to release those films in theaters. Now Do I think that, you know, in Comcast case, not to pick on Comcast, maybe the rule should be seventeen days after a movie goes wide?
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:22

    As opposed to seventeen days after it, you know, platforms? Yes. I do. I do think if I were, you know, if it was my company, I would have changed it to where, okay. The holdovers goes wide over Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:36

    Seventeen days after that is when it goes on PVOD. But that may be just, you know, to, you know, you know, that may just be nitpicking.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:46

    Well, sure. And I and I I do think that that we should draw a distinction here between PVOD premium video on demand. Yes. The twenty dollar thirty dollar rental or purchase, after after some period of time. And streaming video on demand, which I think are, you know, I mean, I look at Disney plus I look at Disney’s struggles in the animation realm, and I’ve liked that entirely on, streaming video.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:10

    The the existence of Disney Plus has destroyed the theatrical market for Disney animated films. And look, and they’ll release Frozen three, and that’ll make a billion dollars and people Will Saletan, back. But, like, at the same time, I, I, I think, you know, I I do I think there there there are two separate issues here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:29

    Yes. I agree with you. And I’m I’m less air who cares about something like saltburn going to peep to streaming where it’s freed everybody that has free shipping. As soon as, what, the twenty second, I think. Mhmm.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:43

    And again, the argument there is, like, look, it’s a grim two hour and change mellow drama that’s basically the talented mister ripley, but a lot less, you know, even less commercially appealing for various reasons. This movie’s gonna make whatever it’s gonna make in theaters. Whatever. And I am sympathetic even if I don’t agree on a case by case basis. As far as Disney, I mean, yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:08

    I agree with you that Disney Plus has hurt Disney theatrical in a way that say HBO Max or Max has not heard Warner Brothers or in a way that obviously peacock has not hurt universal. Part of that is just because I think Disney has a lot more subscribers than some of these other services. And largely because to state the obvious, Disney plus is far more associated with the Disney brand, than something than something like EACock is associated with universal or Max is associated with Warner Brothers. Now is there a fear, you know, in the future that you are slowly but surely trading audiences to wait seventeen days to thirty one days to rent something for twenty bucks or to watch something for free on a streaming service in, you know, sixty to ninety days? Yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:02

    But it’s been three years since Troll’s world tour, almost four years. There have been countless examples of theatrically successful films that not only did very well in theaters despite a re a smaller theatrical window, that they didn’t drop dead as soon as they went to PVD or Paramount Plus. You know, from a quiet place too to the Batman to Barbie. To Oppenheimer, whatever. Right now, EVOD doesn’t seem to be hurting theatrical.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:32

    And in some ways, it may help by financially incentivizing studios to release a greater variety and perhaps a greater number of films in theaters than they might have done if it was just theatrical or bust.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:49

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:49

    But that’s my very optimistic point of view on that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:53

    No. I I think there I look. I think there’s a good case to be made for that. Right? Look at something like the North Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:58

    Focus features Ron DeSantis that the Northman was profitable after PVOD. You know, it didn’t it didn’t do a ton of business in theaters, but they they’ve made their money back on, VOD. And you can’t really make the money back on VOD without having the thirty to forty million dollar advertising campaign for theatrical. So, like, I I I’m I am less skeptical of, PBOD as a, as as a as as a new window than I used to be. I I I would I would I would, you know, during the pandemic, I was very nervous.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:32

    And I think I think it has been a net benefit. But, but streaming is is is a different thing entirely. Alright. Let’s, let’s shift, let’s shift to
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:42

    You know, I do think, and I’ll I’ll I’ll I’ll be fairly quick because I know you wanna shift, but I do think most of the studios have gotten to a point where they treat streaming, like, for free, you know, free on a streaming platform as sort of the end of the theatrical window. So, you know, that is that, you know, if they the extent that they don’t necessarily consider DVD and VOD and PVOD separate entities anymore, the way they used to, movies are getting a ninety day theatrical window to a certain extent.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:10

    Right. You know,
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:11

    because a movie comes out in theaters from Disney and ninety days later, it’s on Disney plus. Right. I think in a skewed way, that is the new normal.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:20

    Yeah. Well, I mean, I do think look, before we shift. I I do think that there is a, you say that there’s there the the audience for HBO Max is not necessarily thinking about Warner Brothers as, you know, tightly branded to that and not necessarily, I would look at something like Blue Beatles or even the Flash Right? And and kind of push back on that a little bit because those are two movies where because because, like, first off, they’re they’re kind of mediocre. They they weren’t getting tons of great buzz.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:53

    And, you know, folks weren’t that excited for them. Add to that the well, it’s gonna be on HBO Max and sixty days, ninety days. We know it’s gonna be there. That’s where all the Superman movies show up. That’s where all the Batman movies are.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:06

    Right? Like, We we’re just gonna wait. I hear that. I heard that from a ton of I just I, like, anecdotally, I will say that I heard that from tons and tons of people. Didn’t go see Blue Beatles because it’s gonna be on HBO Max in two months.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:18

    So why bother?
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:20

    And that may be the case for films that themselves are already commercial theatrical ritz. Obviously, the internet vastly overestimated the interest in the Flash. Not to toot my own horn, but, you know, the real world didn’t give a shit about Michael Keaton being batman again, all due respect. The real world did not care about a flash movie in the abstract, starring an actor who either no one’s ever heard of or they’ve heard of for not great reasons. As part of a franchise that you know, has not been particularly successful in terms of making people excited about the universe itself.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:59

    Ron DeSantis it’s it’s again, it’s it was a very different situation from Spider Man no way home.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:07

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:07

    Right. That being said, I do think Delete Beatles, which I thought for the record was a pretty damn good movie, and I am angry that it was not released in twenty seventeen, twenty eighteen Backman comic book superhero movies were automatically a big deal. And I do believe there is Whether it’s correlation or causation, I do think Warner Brothers and especially Marvel has something to answer to in terms of spending so gosh darn long to truly diversify and unclosify their lineup until right before people stop to stop giving a shit. Because I think the marbles would have been a hit in twenty seventeen, twenty eighteen. You know, blue beetle would have been a hit in twenty seventeen, twenty eighteen.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:51

    And they basically waited to put out, you know, films fronted by not a white guy named Chris until almost the end of that moment in time.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:02

    Yeah. I I think the Marvel’s had separate issues, which mostly again, I, like, I keep coming back to Disney. People are probably tired of me talking about Disney Plus, but like the the Marvel’s, the big issue with that movie is that it’s the sequel to television shows that nobody watched. Like, in addition to being to to being to being in in addition to being the sequel to a movie that is, I think, not super despite grossing one point one billion dollars was not, like, at the top tier of Marvel.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:32

    No. It’s it’s fine whatever.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:34

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:34

    It’s a solid three star picture. And for that matter, I think the Marvel’s, even though it obviously was hacked to death in the editing room, and it looks it, I think as big screen entertainment, it’s a fun enjoyable three star romp. It looks great in IMAX. The cast is charming and charismatic. The dialogue is funny, and there’s a lot of cat stuff.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:54

    Yeah. In a world where that was, you know, being being Venom quality was enough. I think it would have been fine.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:00

    Oh, yeah. I mean, look, two thousand two thousand two thousand eighteen, two thousand nineteen was a wild time. Like movie movies like Captain Marvel and aquaman grossing one point one to one point two billion dollars. Like, that is, you know, that’s that’s a very weird moment in our our cultural history, and things have, I think, changed a bit. Alright.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:21

    So so comic book movies on the decline, what what has really kept the box office afloat this year in a surprising way, or at least has has provided some cushion, is the explosion of niche films, you know, movies, movies that are appealing, to fairly narrow cast but still sizable audiences, you know, you we sound of freedom earlier in the year was a huge one. Taylor Swift’s the Arris tour was another very big one. You know, Beyonce’s concert movie comes out and has one of the biggest openings for a concert film. Of all time. You can look at godzilla minus one, which I believe, is the first I think I I think I read this correctly if I’m wrong, had the first number one day for a Japanese live action movie.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:11

    For any foreign live action picture. I think since and since he Jetley’s hero in late twenty two thousand four.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:18

    Okay. Okay. So, like, that that is that’s pulling in another kind of interesting small audience. And in the
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:25

    to be fair, Beyonce is not playing on the weekdays, but nonetheless,
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:28

    Right. Right. Right. Man, that well, I same with Taylor Swift, you know, they’re doing Yeah. The AMC is is doing that kind of interesting weird, distribution thing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:37

    But and then you have the explosion of Indian cinema. Indian cinemas very very popular or at least is putting together a nice little niche product. How have niche, films targeted at niche audiences, found great prominence this
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:52

    year? Well, I think this goes back to twenty twenty one. They have basically kept theaters alive. And know, theaters are opening in twenty more or less opening in twenty twenty one. And, obviously, you know, when nothing else was show you know, when people weren’t showing up for normal movies, people were showing up in numbers good enough to, you know, justify him to animate pictures like demon hunter.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:17

    I’m sorry, demon slayer. And other, you know, other ones that I’m gonna I’m not gonna try to pronounce because it’s not my cup of tea. My kids love them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:27

    They’re The dragon balls, etcetera. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:29

    The dragon ball pictures and other ones that I would butcher if I tried to pronounce them. And you have the Indian pictures that, you know, like r r r and baton and Jawan. And this weekend, animal made about six and change. And we’ve always had Indian cinema. Almost on a weekly basis, if you happen to live in an area where they play on a weekly basis.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:52

    But the difference is in twenty seventeen, when, I’m I’m gonna butcher this. I apologize. Eyes. Balu Hobby, the conclusion, made almost twenty million dollars domestic in early twenty seventeen, that wasn’t seen as a valuable lifeline keeping theaters afloat. It was just, oh, that’s cool.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:10

    Or when something like Tahoe would open in late two thousand nineteen, and and a ch, you know, a Chinese animated spectacular like, oh god. I just forgot the name of it. I should not have brought it up, but it’s wonderful.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:27

    It’s fine. It’s a call.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:28

    It’s clogging. Anyway, I’ll look it up later while while you’re talking. And but, yeah, what we’ve seen is what I like to call demographically, demographically specific event movies, which they play to a specific fan base that otherwise isn’t gonna show up to theaters. And they show up to those films in numbers that are, you know, and a twenty million domestic total. You ever take?
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:52

    Obviously, there’s some exceptions. There’s something like demon slayer or the sound of freedom goes Bauchner’s bananas. But that’s more than enough to justify them being in theaters. And these are films that previously would play as if they didn’t exist. And by that, I mean, the audience that sees that wasn’t gonna go to theaters if these films weren’t in play.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:19

    And in a healthy marketplace, everything else exists as if they weren’t around. The example I would give to this is the Last Twilight movie, which made eight hundred million dollars worldwide in late twenty twelve, but that played exclusively to the fan base. So because of that, it did zero damage to films like Skyfall Lincoln and the Hobbot unexpected journey or life of life of life of That was twenty twenty ones, twenty eleven, so that was the previous Twilight movie. But and in a healthy, theatrical environment, you know, films like the later Harry Potter films, the later Toylight sequels, the later Hunger Game sequels. And even to a certain extent that Zack Sanders DC movies, that are playing, I would say, exclusive to you a very big fan base, but aren’t doing any damage to everything else in the marketplace.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:08

    What’s changed is that in a decline in a theatrical marketplace where it’s harder and harder for what I have to call studio programmers to survive. Those films are essential. Theater need that ten to twenty million dollars on the semi regular. And that was sort of the whole point of the Taylor Swift thing that if AMC can build a a miniature business of marquee movie star, pop stars with big concert films, that even if they aren’t gonna do be, you know, Taylor’s swift numbers, even if they aren’t gonna do beyonce numbers. If they can do, you know, twenty to forty million worldwide on the semi regular, that can make up for a lot of product that isn’t there.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:49

    And they could make up for a lot of under underwhelming tentpoles. Bauker’s bananas example. So humor me for a second. Found of freedom was probably projected to do fifty million domestic at most because you have something like breakthrough that does fifty million. God’s not dead does sixty.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:06

    Again, it wasn’t crazy. You know, Barbie, I think we kind of expected Barbie to do around two hundred million domestic at best, and that would have been spectacular. Same thing with, Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer. If it does, you know, Dunkirk interstellar numbers and does around two hundred million domestic, spectacular. Wonderful.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:26

    Everybody wins. Those films made about eight hundred and fifty million dollars domestic more than expected. Which means they gave feeders an extra eight hundred and fifty million dollars in revenue that they were not expecting for that quarter. And it would be great. You know, if they, oh, you know, you can’t bet on that every time, you know, that that that isn’t gonna happen every year.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:52

    And that is true. But why not? You know, last year, it was top gun. The year before that, it was Spider Man no way home. In twenty nineteen, it was, you know, Avengers doing Bocker’s business and Frozen two doing Bocker’s business.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:09

    You know, and in twenty eighteen, you had Incredibles two
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:12

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:12

    Selling more tickets than return to the king in North America. So it it isn’t, you know, as much as I hate the idea of fi theaters sort of depending on a top gun maverick tie style blowout, we might get one or two of those a year. The films that aren’t breaking out and becoming event films are making less than they would have in pre COVID times, maybe by around ten to twenty percent. But the films that are breaking out are leggier and probably making more money than they would have in non COVID times.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:48

    Mhmm.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:48

    And this goes back to godzilla v kong. Which was expected to be a disappointment after godzilla king of the monsters flopped.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:55

    Mhmm.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:56

    And there are there were several films in twenty twenty one. Spider Man no way home, obviously. God’s Love kong, dune, free guy, then I would argue did better when they came out, then they would have done as just another, you know, franchise tentpole whatever in non COVID times.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:15

    Well, part of this also is we discussed the the reduction in number of films. I mean, part of this is instead of having two hundred million dollar movies out, every weekend as we did. I feel like I’ve I feel like we were there there was a real glut in there was a real blockbuster gut, but in two thousand eighteen, two thousand nineteen, in particular. But then but now, will will you get something like one, one hundred million dollar movie every two or three weeks. And that feels like a much more sustainable pace of production and release than what we what we had before.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:52

    For the studios, maybe? But for the theaters, the problem is is that the twenty to fifty million dollar movies barely make money anymore.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:00

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:01

    And people are like, oh, you know, why don’t theaters, you know, why don’t studios make more regular movies, because you, generically speaking, I’m talking to you, stop showing up to see the Bend Theatre. You know, in late twenty nineteen, Warner Brothers leased released a shitload of, you know, exactly what we claimed we want to see in theaters. Did you see the good liar in theaters? Did you see Doctor sleep? Did you see Richard Juelle?
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:23

    Did you see the kitchen? You know, did you see blinded by the light? Probably not. You saw Joker. You saw it chapter two.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:35

    And, you know, even in early twenty twenty before COVID happened, Did you see the way back with Ben Affleck? Did you see birds of prey even? Which was a freaking comic book superhero movie? You know, the internet claims everybody wants birds of prey, but they show up for Joker. Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:51

    And that is a huge problem. You know, it it, you know, studios are not Charlie Sykes, but they’re all they also like money. So if you show up to Doctor Sleep, they’ll make more Doctor sleep. If audiences showed up to Queen of Catway, cut got to you. Sorry.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:10

    Disney would make them. You know, I I don’t know Sean Bailey that well, but I think, you know, I know for a fact that if people still showed up to McFarlane USA, he would rather make money with both the Lion King and the Rickland time. The problem is the market is spoken.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:27

    Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny, talking thinking about AMC because, I mean, for years AMC and maybe they still have this. I I don’t know. I I don’t go to his AMC as as often as I used to.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:38

    But AMC, the AMC artisan program, right? So AMC had this, essentially indie ish arm that they would They
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:45

    do kinda have it on their side. Yes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:47

    So so they had that. And it I maybe I’m wrong here, but I always got the sense that this was a, this did not work as a as a business model or at least it it was not it was not it did not work in the sense that it it was not producing lots of, like, big surprise hits. I’ll put it that way. Certainly in the way that, like, that
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:06

    ironically, with the exception of one of the first films to do it, which was yesterday. The film yesterday. The, you know, the the the, you know, the guy everyone forgets the beatles existence. Right. This guy does beatles.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:17

    I’d love to see a remake with Rida Yankovic, but I digress. And, you know, that that was a shockingly leggy, you know, adult skewing movie. Mhmm. I thought it was one of the worst movies of the year, but I’ll know that theatrical and, you know, the vehicle ecosystem has has truly recovered when I can kind of root for movies like that to fail again. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:38

    You know, I’m old enough to remember in twenty fourteen, and I was like, exodus is bombing because it’s terrible.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:43

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:44

    And I I I you can’t root for any, against anything anymore. Now you have to root for space jam a new legacy and walk up.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:51

    The look on your face right now is wonderful. I wanna it’s it’s we don’t have video, but it’s it’s it’s pretty great. The, let’s let’s talk about speaking of Ridley Scott, and, and, historical epics. I want, I want your opinion on this. Is are Let me let me rephrase.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:12

    Are Napoleon and killers of the Flower Moon hits because they’re found money or flops because they made they’re gonna make a hundred fifty million dollars worldwide on two hundred million dollar budgets.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:25

    I think for now, and if you’re somebody that’s upset that, like, Nupolians being there to hit one of the marbles because there’d be a flop. I get that. I really do. The difference is I would argue the Marvels was made to make money in theaters while Napoleon and killers of the Flower Moon and Air were arguably not. And for now, if Amazon and Apple feel like basically playing modern day you know, patriotism of the arts, you know, the rich, you know, royalty that gives money to people that make good art and, you know, entertain the masses.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:01

    And they don’t really care if anyone actually sees those films in theaters. Great. Wonderful. Awesome. But if we do get to a circumstance in a year or two, where they’re like, yeah, we’re really tired of, like, spending two hundred million dollars on these movies that at best make a hundred to a hundred and fifty worldwide and don’t really boost the streaming numbers, then I think that notion will be will be gone as fast as it came.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:28

    Yeah. And then we’ll be back to whatever stream whatever Netflix is willing to fund. But for now, it they are being held by a different standard app judged by a different standard. Absolutely. But there is a different standard.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:43

    You know, the right now, Apple and Amazon are basically hoping that they will get credit just for those films existing. Which to be fair is how Netflix came to be Netflix in the late twenty tenths, which drove me nuts and, you know, don’t remember the person’s name and they don’t work at Paramount anymore, but I one of the people at Paramount on the weekend that mother opened quite badly. Despite good reviews and gotten f from cinema score because, of course, it did. And they basically said to the effect of and these are my words, not fairs. But, like, Fuck you.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:16

    If Netflix had made this movie, you’d all be dancing in the streets and give them, wow. Netflix has make you movies that Hollywood won’t yippee Skippy. But now that Hollywood makes a movie like that, you’re all, oh, it didn’t do well at the box office and it got from cinema score. And I had long been angered by Netflix basically getting credit just for a movie existing regardless of whether anyone was going to watch it. And often cases, they would not watch it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:43

    Or they would not watch it to the extent that, like, the latest, you know, Ryan Reynolds fantasy, and that’s, you know, I I think the Adam project is fine, so I’m not picking on Ryan Reynolds. Or, you know, the latest, you know, Cokamot Cokamelan episode. Or and this has been something I’ve been tracking since twenty twenty when there was nothing else to write about. You know, we see this every week where some random theatrical nothing burger ends up the most watched movie on Netflix. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:10

    And the media likes to act like it means something. It doesn’t. It’s just that people gravitate toward theatrical movies. They want theatrical movies in terms of production value and prestige and all of that jazz they just are a hell of a lot less likely to see it in theaters. And that’s the that’s the conundrum of the streaming era right now.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:29

    Yeah. And I got off the topic a little bit, so I’m gonna try to come back to dry land. To answer your question, yes. They are being treated by, you know, the the the the mega budget epics from Scorsese and Ridley Scott. And for now, you know, Matthew Von’s Argyle, which is opening in January, that’s going to, you know, it’s it’s universal’s releasing in theaters.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:50

    Apple’s gonna put it on Apple TV plus and for now, all of those films have to do is just make enough money to not be embarrassing. They are glorified PR campaigns for the streaming, you know, the streaming release. And you could argue the same thing for, like, the films that were supposed to be on BL Max that came out in theaters this year, blue beetle, evil dead rise, magic match last dance, and the house party relaunch. Of those, you know, evil dead rides was actually a hit.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:23

    Right. Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:26

    And it’s it’s weird. It’s complicated. But again, we were seeing that before COVID. You know, to me, it’s like, oh, you know, it’s it’s skewed. I, you know, almost tug and cheek way.
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:34

    You know, when Nancy drew in the hidden staircase was at AMC theaters for three weeks, before it went on PVOD from Mora Brothers, I was like, this could change everything. And I wasn’t entirely joking. And because right now Netflix is really the only holdout in terms of not putting their, even their big prestigious films something resembling a normal theatrical release, and you can say, oh, glass onion. And which I will say, no. Glass onion was released in wide theatrical release over Thanksgiving weekend for one reason to fuck over the actual theatrical studios that had a bunch of movies opening over Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:12

    Yes. Because they could have done that in any number of relatively empty October, November, December weekends. They chose Thanksgiving to screw over the fablements, to screw over devotion, to screw over strange world, and they got away with it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:28

    Well, that is that’s the Netflix getting away with it. I, you know, look, I like Netflix. Fine. No. I like I like Netflix fine.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:34

    And I They’re
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:35

    not the villain in this story. We’re all adults doing, you know, running an adult business. But sorry. I interrupted you. Please.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:43

    No. No. No. No. It just a like, this the I this is this is a a common frustration I also share with you when it comes to Netflix is that, like, it is very clear that they are doing certain things in a way to deprive theaters of, product.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:59

    Yes. And and I I I find I find that’s the thing I find most annoying about Netflix is when they, you know, when they buy something up that was gonna have that would that may have would may have played in in theaters, and, then is not going to.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:18

    And it’s weird how whenever somebody has like a a theatrical breakout adult skewing or non adult skewing yet, It’s weird how Netflix just always catches them up for their next movie.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:29

    Yeah. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:30

    I wonder why that is.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:31

    Well, I this is the, What is the, the Glen Powell movie hitman?
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:37

    Right? Yes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:37

    That was that was a, another perfect example. You’ve got this guy who is, big, the breakout star, of top gun Maverick, you know, people saw him, they liked him. He makes a movie with Richard Linklater, you know, people like Richard Linklater. He’s made a lot of good movies. And where does It’s supposed to
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:53

    be very funny. I did not see it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:54

    It’s supposed to play it plays great with audiences. People people at the festivals loved it, and where does it end up? It ends up on Netflix. Because Netflix throws thirty million bucks or whatever at the distributor and snatches it up. And now that’s not gonna be in theaters.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:08

    It’s gonna be on Netflix, which, you
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:11

    know Yeah. And it’s my issue with Netflix isn’t so much Netflix. It’s that they are graded on it. They are judged on a different standard in terms of the choices that they make. And most importantly, the reason we’re in this entire mess that we’re in is Wall Street basically bullied the entire industry to be like Netflix led them off a cliff and then said, get yourself back up assholes?
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:37

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:40

    That’s for that’s for sure. Alright. So, moving on, our final topic here. This is this is the thing we’ve dis we discussed it a little on, on, Twitter. We discussed it a little bit on Twitter.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:54

    Musicals. Now, there was a, there was a story Mona Charen crush, about how Great.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:59

    Wonderful, Matt singer.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:01

    Matt singer, Mutual. He’s been on this show.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:03

    Which new is Cisco Lambert book. I will eventually listen to the audio book and he will get my money one way or another whether I have I’m gonna read it. I don’t know.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:10

    He he he voiced the the audiobook if you Oh, even better. So if you if you wanna listen to Matt Singer talk about his book, that would be he was he was on this show talking about his book. He was a great show. Everybody seemed to seem to like it. But, Matt Matt made a very good point, which is that a lot of, a lot of there we have we have three high profile musicals coming out in the in the coming month or so.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:35

    We have Wanka. We have, the color purple remake. And mean girls. And all three of these movies are being advertised in a way that at least does not emphasize that they are musicals, and may actually be actively hiding the fact that they they are musicals. I I I I I I linked to Wanka the other day.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:57

    I linked to a review of it or something and somebody replied and surprised, wait, this is a musical. I didn’t even understand. And, yes, it’s it it is a musical. Like the like the original. So the the I made I made, I tweeted kind of tongue in cheek, like, well, you know, the the reason that they they’re not marketing these as musicals is because nobody wants to see musical, so Hollywood should really stop making musicals.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:23

    And this is a position that endears me to many of my listeners here at the Bulwark. They they but, the but the the I I
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:31

    I said somebody is wrong on the internet.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:33

    And To the office. You said you said I was wrong. But I wanna I wanna I really actually look, it it depends on a couple things here. It depends on how we define musicals, and I foolishly forgot to carve out animation. Animeated musicals still do okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:49

    The less than they used to because Disney has shot itself in the foot with Disney plus coming back to that hobby horse. Yep. But but but but We have seen a series of high profile musical flops in recent years, and I don’t think it’s you can’t count Bohemian rhapsody, or a star is born or the Whitney, Houston.
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:10

    Oh, oh, happily, not the optimistic Houston one because that one flopped. You can’t you can’t
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:14

    you can’t count those because those are not musicals. We all know what we mean when we say musicals. Musicals are movies where song and dance break out for no good reason on the street. And in in real life, that is a music That is because he’s not a musical biopic, not a musical biopic. That’s but my point here is I and I think this is, again, I think it’s a totally reasonable argument.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:37

    You look at, like, in the Heights or West Side’s story, or, I mean, I you could just cast.
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:45

    Derevan Hansen.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:47

    Derevan Hansen is the best example of this because it’s a just awful awful movie awful bomb. And you you kind of have to go. I think where I where I, drew the line was, the greatest showman, which was a surprise hit and only a hit because it legged out. Like, nobody showed up for that movie. People people saw people saw it and the word about this very good and it built and built and built.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:12

    It it had multiple of like twenty or Right? I mean, it was, like, some crazy numbers. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:17

    I mean, it was the most leggiest wide release is titanic.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:19

    Some just this absolutely
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:21

    Doing the daily updates back in twenty eighteen, Dink, because people like to reading them. And it’s like, you know, I was looking at the leggiest wide releases of all the time. It’s like, now it’s past that. Now, like, holy. Shit.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:32

    They ended up like like fifth place for anything.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:35

    Yeah. So so that was a legitimate hit, but that was like six or seven years ago. And since then everything, every musical, every musical musical, every proper musical has bomb. Now look, obviously, this is like saying, you know, any other, like, oh, well, the sword sandal genre is dead, though, you know, or the historical biopic is like, obviously, things come and go. Genres, Wayne, and wax, etcetera, but I do think that the reason they are hiding this is because they think correctly that audiences are not very interested in musicals, qua musicals, and have shown that at the box office.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:13

    In a post COVID world, whatever the hell or a COVID era world, obviously, it’s not overall due respect. That may be true because you’re right. I mean, there’s no evidence. Again, unless you’re like me and you count Elvis as a musical, but
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:24

    I Not a musical. Yes. It’s a biopic. It’s a music biopic. No.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:30

    And people go for a lot of the same reasons they go to a rock concert. I mean, stars The concert
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:35

    concert movies also not musical. Somebody was like, oh, but the Taylor Swift era is towards a hit. People love me. I would think that’s not a musical cuts out lately. It’s totally different.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:44

    It’s perfect too. The Hunger Games bound of songs. I mean, Rachel Zinkler has like twenty musical numbers on which never enough. I love listening to her sing. But anyway, but yes, here here’s first of all, studio is hiding that a film is a musical.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:00

    It’s not new. You know, Sweeny Todd, that was an infamous example in in late twenty seventeen, where you literally had people going to the movie you know, an r rated Tim Burton, you know, horror movie. Like, why is Johnny Deb singing? What the hell? Which, again, open to Google.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:19

    To be fair,
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:20

    I I just wanna that actually happened to me. I, like, I I was I had no idea that it was a stupid time musical. I had no idea that was not I because I’m not a musical theater guy. I just showed up and, it was it I sat down and it was an audience unlike the audience I was expecting for that movie. I’ll just put it that way.
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:39

    It was it was a very, it was a it was a the it was it was not who I was in a and the movie started probably, I was like, oh, oh, I see what’s happening. I see what I’ve
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:48

    done here. So they did their homework.
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:52

    Well, they they knew. They just knew. They were, you know, the musical theater fans had shown up. And I was like, oh, okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:58

    That being said, I find again, we can debate. Again, I’m more lenient about defining what a musical is. And but I think the musical is like the western and what everybody likes to say to third dad, but whenever Hollywood makes a good one that works as crowded with the entertainment, it tends to do well. And, you know, British showman, la la land, les miserables, Mamma Mia, Mama Mia’s revenge. And then if you’re dealing with the animation, sing, sing two, Yep.
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:34

    Obviously, all the Disney stuff, all the Disney live action remakes, which I think tend to do better when they’re based on musicals. Mulan’s a weird because, I mean, that was going to be a for the record, Mulan was going to be a smash before theaters shut down. It was tracking to make so much money worldwide that wouldn’t have even needed China. But I digress. And even a little mermaid, I mean, it costs too much and there was no overseas interest.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:00

    Again, same thing with ghostbusters. Same thing with solo star wars story. Same thing with lightyear. But it still made three hundred million world in North America. So, now ask for why they are hiding that it’s a musical.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:14

    I just think it’s it’s old habits that are wrong. Now having said that, they’re, you know, they may drop a trailer at some point with all the songs. People wind in twenty thirteen that, oh, you know, frozen and it’s hiding that it’s a musical. Yeah, the announcement teaser did. But pretty much every trailer and TV spot after that gave you a pretty good hit that A, it was a girl powered animated feature.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:38

    This wasn’t a tingle type thing where they were hiding that it was a rapunzel movie, and that there were songs. And, you know, we may get a second mean girls trailer that has songs in it. We may get a second, walker trailer that has saw or a third walker trailer that has songs in it. And I don’t know why they are hiding it. I really don’t.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:02

    But I think in terms of the live action musical, in terms of at least pre COVID, it was as bankable a as a live action theatrical genre as anything else other than, you know, other than high concept horror and DC Marvel superhero movies. Is that still the case? I don’t know. I do think in the heights would have been a bigger hit. In in, you know, in a non covid world.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:29

    I though I mean, and I do think West Side story, well, not a blockbuster. Would have done a little bit better in a non COVID world. Dear Evan Hansen, I think that’s a problem. It’s the same thing with cats where you don’t have marquee characters. You know, and as for cats, that’s a classic example of a property that everybody’s heard of, but nobody actually likes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:49

    I mean, even when I was a kid, cats was the one, you know, the was a punchline. It’s the one that you take your kids when they’re in New York because you can’t they’re too young for miss Saigon. Right. No one actually liked cats. It was just the one you took your families to.
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:03

    There. And, otherwise, still remain shocked. At the number of people that watched the cat’s trailer not having any idea what the property was. And then six months later, somehow managed to come to the movie without bothering to do a simple Wikipedia search. And we’re shocked all over again by not knowing what Katz was.
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:22

    Yeah. But my feeling on cats is it was a pretty accurate adaptation of a pretty mediocre musical.
  • Speaker 2
    0:50:31

    I I have friends who will defend that movie, and I think I do think it’s an interesting. It’s an interesting deal.
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:35

    I don’t know how to tell you. It’s a swing of this, but it’s an elephant swing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:50:39

    It’s a it’s a big, big swing big mess.
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:41

    And other of belief, that film didn’t break the world. It was rise of skywalker.
  • Speaker 2
    0:50:46

    Well, if that the whole different. Again, there’s there are Disney plus issues that play here with Star Wars and and and rise of Skywalker and Everything else. Alright. So Scott, I I wanna, I give give people the pitch on your sub stack because I have, like I said, I’ve been reading you, for years now, back, for for that. The the, I think, I think you are the the the most accessible but also most in-depth, box office person, out there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:51:20

    Give me give me what you’re what you’re throwing out for folks.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:25

    Basically my pitch is giving me money so I can keep doing it. No. It is a substack. And it basically, the intent is to sort of do what I was doing at Forbes and do what I was doing at, you know, Mendelson’s memos, if you’re old and you remember that was my blog spot that got me into this, you know, madness that I did as sort of an obsessive compulsive hobby for five years before I was hired by Forbes. Five bucks a month.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:52

    Right now, nothing is PayWALT. But as of New Years, it will be at least partially PayWALT, and I’m still trying to figure that out for myself. In terms of but let me let me put it this way. If I do a post on a trailer, that will not be Paywalled. But, you know, because I I’d like to not just do one epic poem a day, but I also don’t wanna spam everybody’s in, you know, email.
  • Speaker 1
    0:52:15

    With, like, six emails from the outside scoop every day. So I’m still kinda trying working on that. My goal is to sort of go back to my roots in terms of the kind of deep dive numbers analysis that people liked. Or they didn’t like, but they read it anyways for whatever reason. You know, I, you know, at my best, I ended up predicting many industry trends years before they actually happened, like Hollywood losing interest in in or sorry.
  • Speaker 1
    0:52:47

    China losing interest in Hollywood movies. Because they had their own tentpole industry. And I’d I didn’t come to that conclusion in the late twenty fourteen because I was a genius. I went and saw a few few Chinese tentpoles at IMAX said, oh, shit. They can do this now.
  • Speaker 1
    0:53:04

    You know, I wrote a piece in twenty eighteen about, no, no, do not oversaturate, you know, with Star Wars and Marvel TV shows just to boost Disney Plus. You will kill your brand. I remember who wants to be a millionaire. I know how this ends. And again, I’m not saying I’m the only person that thought this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:53:23

    I’m not saying I’m the only person to put it down on Digger Lake, but, you know, it has been a source of frustration that, you know, Years later, people, you know, as the big observational insight, something that I wrote about seven years ago. So what do you get if you pay up? You get to be way out of the curve and helpless to do anything about it, which kinda is terrible because the member of times where I was John McLean with the fire torches and the snowy airport saying, don’t land. Don’t land while the plane crashes. Not fun.
  • Speaker 2
    0:53:56

    Yep. We we have a we have a guy here, Jonathan Last Last, who is very much the same way. He’s gonna put you ahead of the curve. You just may not like where that
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:04

    with you.
  • Speaker 2
    0:54:04

    That that’s in the political realm. It’s not, you know.
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:07

    So, yeah, it’s it’s it’s, you know, it’s it’s My analysis and my commentary is always my opinion. My subjective, educated, hopefully informed opinion, And if you disagree with my take, that’s okay. Hopefully, I’ll show enough work so you could at least understand how I got there. And when I am critical, I try to, you know, it tries to be tough love. I want the the industry to succeed because if they don’t amount of a job, you know, if theatrical goes to the plot, there’s not much analysis you can do with you know, Netflix and and Amazon.
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:40

    Like, oh, you know, Deadpool three was the most watched movie on Disney Plus. Over the weekend of February, not counting holiday weekends. Okay. Thanks. Meet.
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:54

    So, yeah. I mean, it’s it’s it’s, I am also doing a weekly column for Buck News. That will be sort of a macro box office related essay. But those that just want the weekly the weekend roundup, you’ll still get that on Sunday mornings. If you want the Friday numbers, you’ll still get that on Saturday mornings and probably the midnight numbers, Thursday numbers too on Friday mornings.
  • Speaker 1
    0:55:18

    The difference is twofold. A, I’m not gonna try to stretch one post worth of news into like six posts, so I can chase every SEO headline. And b, I’m gonna be trying to do this so I don’t alienate and frustrate every member of my family in the process. So if that weekend write off needs to wait, it will wait. I promise you it will be worth waiting for, but it might not be first.
  • Speaker 1
    0:55:46

    Because if this is going to work, it’s going to have to work in a way that where I’m not inconveniencing everybody else in my household. As as Sarah b as that sounds.
  • Speaker 2
    0:55:56

    Life. The life of a substair. This is not this is not unfamiliar to us. Anyway, folks should sign up. I I am, after I hang up with Scott here, I will be signing up myself.
  • Speaker 2
    0:56:08

    So you should follow me and do that. We’ll have a link in the email again that goes without this podcast.
  • Speaker 1
    0:56:14

    Are people that are signing up for a free subscription even though I know you have company credit cards? I see you.
  • Speaker 2
    0:56:21

    Well, that’s, you know, that’s a there’s there’s a lot of things to subscribe to out there. But, but folks should should pay for it because as I always if you like something, you should pay for it because if you don’t pay for it, it’ll stop existing. That is a Yeah. A real problem.
  • Speaker 1
    0:56:37

    That’s a good reason to see the movies, and this has come become my most controversial hot take over the decades. You need to see the movies that you play. We want see in theaters when those films are in theaters. If you wait, until streaming, if you wait until honestly even physical media to a certain extent, Those films will cease to exist. Because in terms of production value, in terms of the star power, those films need theatrical budgets to exist and in order to justify theatrical budgets, they need to make at least some money while they’re in theaters.
  • Speaker 1
    0:57:13

    Yep.
  • Speaker 2
    0:57:15

    Alright. Scott, thanks for being back on the show. I appreciate it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:57:17

    You’re very welcome. It’s a pleasure. I hope I didn’t ramble too much. And I hope I didn’t talk too loud. But, yeah, it was a pleasure.
  • Speaker 2
    0:57:25

    I think it was a perfect amount and pitch of rambling. It was great. Alright. Again, thanks, Scott, for being on the show. My name is Sunny Bunch.
  • Speaker 2
    0:57:33

    I am Culture Editor at the Bulwark, and I will be back next week with another soda, the Bulwark goes to Hollywood.
  • Speaker 1
    0:57:37

    Yeah, but. That was the Chinese cartoon from late twenty nineteen. I took my kid in IMAX. It was freaking awesome. I think it’s on Netflix.
  • Speaker 2
    0:57:47

    Alright. It flat call back. Call back previously in the episode. Alright. We’ll see you guys next week.