A leading analyst has said studios may be forced to look again at how they release movies.
The research from Ampere Analysis comes following a fall in box office revenue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Disney recently announced that its much-anticipated Mulan (pictured) would no longer receive a Box Office premiere, but instead would become a premium release on its streaming service Disney+. Ampere says this gives a “clear indication” as to studios’ current thinking.
Ampere has created a model based on a fictitious mid-tier movie. It says there are four scenarios of possible windowing practices.
- Scenario 1: Replace first window theatrical distribution with Premium Video on Demand (PVOD).
- Scenario 2: Adopt strategies of using PVOD and theatrical windows sequentially, similar to Universal’s recent deal with AMC.
- Scenario 3: Replace traditional windowing with a pure direct-to-consumer offering.
- Scenario 4: Release films theatrically before making titles available exclusively on their own direct-to-consumer services.
The first scenario would completely replace the traditional model, as has been the case with including Disney’s Mulan and Universal’s Trolls World Tour. It has strength in the size of the
US transactional video market which stands at roughly 40% of theatrical’s size.
Ampere found that an accelerated PVOD window, like the deal Universal and AMC have recently agreed, is the most stable for exhibitors and studio groups, offering comparable returns for cinemas and increased revenue for the studio on mid- and lower- tier releases.
Top-tier titles are likely to be better monetised via traditional windowing models.