When sales decline 100%, it can’t get much worse for a business. But that’s the reality facing movie exhibitors. Through May 21 of the second quarter, the box office is trending down 100% year-over-year as the industry remains shut down due to the coronavirus.
Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter expects “very minimal” box office revenue in the current quarter, with most domestic theatres likely remaining closed through June 30.
The first quarter domestic box office ended down 25.4% $1.79 billion as most theaters didn’t shutter until March. The North American box office in 2020 is trending down 58.1% compared to 2019.
“We do not expect attendance levels to begin to normalize until the end of the year at the earliest,” Pachter wrote in a May 26 note.
The analyst says theaters and studios have some incentive to release new content before a return to normal, as a theater would be able to show a single film on all of its screens thereby allowing for social distancing while still providing the studio with the opportunity to drive box office revenue.
Director Christopher Nolan’s Tenet (Warner Bros.) is poised to be the first in line to take that risk, although Pachter doubts the international espionage thriller will be able to hold its current release date target of July 17.
“Our estimates are clearly subject to change given the fluidity of the release slate and the mood on social distancing as stay-at-home orders begin lifting across the country,” the analyst wrote.
He thinks it unlikely consumers will return to cinemas with any semblance of normal before a vaccine is widely distributed. Additionally, the dearth of newly produced content may negatively impact theatrical attendance in 2021, while streaming services will be competing at the highest levels for content to bolster their offerings in an extremely competitive environment.
There are now 68 films that have been moved or pulled from the release slate, worth an estimated $7.5 billion. Of these films, seven moved to a streaming platform, worth an estimated $358 million in box office dollars. Fifteen have yet to be rescheduled or slated for streaming, worth an additional $652 million in box office dollars.
“All 15 are likely to be moved to streaming platforms, in our view,” Pachter wrote. “When taken together, we expect the negative impact to 2020 domestic box office to be $3.1 billion, only partially offset by a positive impact to 2021 domestic box office of $1.5 billion.”
LG Electronics touted support for the UHD Alliance’s Filmmaker Mode Jan. 6 at CES with video testimonials by directors Chris Nolan and Christopher McQuarrie hailing the feature that brings the home viewing experience closer to the filmmakers’ intention.
“We’re proud to be among the first to embrace the UHD Alliance’s new Filmmaker Mode,” said Tim Alessi, senior director of product marketing at LG Electronics.
Current TVs use advanced video processing capabilities to offer consumers a broad range of options in viewing various types of content, ranging from sports to video games. Filmmaker Mode allows viewers to enjoy a more cinematic experience on their UHD TVs when watching movies by disabling all post-processing (e.g. motion smoothing, etc.) so the movie or television show is displayed as it was intended by the filmmaker, preserving the correct aspect ratios, colors and frame rates.
LG also showed a 65-inch, 20mm thick TV; its rollup OLED TV, which Alessi said would be introduced this year; and support for DolbyVision IQ.
In addition, the electronics company touted Nvidia G-Sync-compatible TVs that can play games in 4K with up to 120 Hz. Alessi noted that game playing capability on TVs is increasingly important to consumers.
In honor of the 80th anniversary of the first published appearance of the Batman comic in May 1939, Warner Bros. March 13 began selling tickets to special Imax screenings for all three movies from director Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy featuring Christian Bale as the masked crusader.
Moviegoers who acquire tickets for all three films receive a lanyard and special “Dark Knight” Trilogy collectible.
On March 30, the films — 2005’s Batman Begins, 2008’s The Dark Knight and 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises— will screen back-to-back at the Universal Cinema AMC in Los Angeles. During an interlude between the second and third films, Nolan will join the audience for a moderated Q&A discussion on the movies.
On April 13, the three films will screen at AMC Lincoln Square in New York and AMC Metreon in San Francisco, followed by Cinesphere Ontario Place, Toronto, and Imax Theatre at the Indiana State Museum, Ind., on April 20, each accompanied by the footage of Nolan’s Los Angeles appearance.
In all five cities, all three movies will be seen in the director’s preferred 70mm format, providing an all-encompassing moviegoing experience.
Nolan with The Dark Knight (with Heath Ledger as The Joker) was the first director to shoot action sequences of a major feature film with Imax cameras, revolutionizing the integration of Imax and standard formats. He utilized Imax cameras more extensively in The Dark Knight Rises.
“Christopher Nolan broke new ground with the ‘Dark Knight’ Trilogy, and this is a rare chance for today’s audiences to experience these extraordinary films as they were meant to be seen,” Jeff Goldstein, president, domestic distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, said in a statement. “To have the added privilege of hearing Chris’s insights firsthand makes this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Christopher Nolan was presented with the first-ever DEG “Vanguard” award at the 4K UHD Summit Nov. 6 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
The event was produced by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and the UHD Alliance (photo gallery).
Presenting the award to Nolan was Ron Sanders, president, Worldwide Theatrical Distribution and president, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
“For those of you who’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with Chris, you know that whatever project he is involved with he doesn’t take it on unless he is fully committed — and I mean all in,” Sanders said. “The good news for all of us in this room is that Chris immediately got the potential for 4K.”
The DEG Vanguard Award is in recognition of Nolan’s place at the forefront of filmmakers using groundbreaking technology to deliver increased scale and resolution, enhanced color and immersive audio to film audiences both in cinemas and in the home theater environment. The director, writer and producer most recently earned dual Academy Award nominations, for Best Director and Best Picture, for Dunkirk, which in July 2017 received the largest 70mm release in the last quarter century. His filmography also includes Interstellar, Inception, “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” The Prestige, and Memento, for which he received his first Oscar nomination, for Best Original Screenplay. With the December 2017 release of the seven film “The Christopher Nolan Collection” on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray by Warner Bros., Nolan became the filmmaker with the largest number of films available in the most advanced home-based viewing format, according to the DEG.
Sanders noted the director’s commitment to preparing his films and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey for the new format.
“He agreed to oversee the remastering of his entire film library for 4K,” Sanders said. “It took months and months out of his schedule. It was during the release of Dunkirk, by the way. But he was really determined to deliver the best of what our format offers to consumers in the home, and as a result I think he’s become the world’s foremost filmmaking expert on 4K and how to use the technology to present films for the home screen.”
Nolan has been a longtime advocate of the best home viewing experience available to consumers.
“It really puts us in a position where we can get closer and closer to a theatrical print in the home,” Nolan said of 4K UHD with HDR.
He also said he was a “big fan of the 4K disc because it removes the uncertainties of streaming.”
“It’s fantastic for the filmmaker to have a physical media that eliminates the variabilities, the compression and so forth,” he said. “That’s the gold standard that streaming is going to have to reach.”
He noted his generation of filmmakers came up with access to home video, which informed their art.
“I’m really part of the first generation of filmmakers who grew up with home video in the form that we know today, starting with VHS, and the idea that you could have access to a film and you could go back and look at different parts of it and have a different kind of relationship with it,” Nolan said.
He said home video affected his filmmaking on several levels.
“My generation of filmmakers, who were starting out just as DVD was becoming the dominant format, I think were very influenced by our relationship with that new way of looking at films with chapter selection and random access,” he said. “I think we started thinking of films and owning films more like books in a way. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a lot of us at the time, myself included, started exploring various different narrative structures. I think the things are very related. I think my experience with home video has always informed my filming both narratively and technically.”
Nolan hailed the industry for expanding film viewing.
“Thank you to all of you for all the great work you do in positioning filmmakers like myself to be able to present our work to wider and wider audiences,” he said.
The 4K Ultra HD Summit focused on advancements in 4K UHD technology, increasing affordability of the technology, and widening availability of content.
“It’s about the splendors of the UHD format and what it does in delivering an experience to consumers that is beyond anything that they’ve experienced prior to this point in time,” said Michael Fidler, president of the UHD Alliance, in opening the inaugural summit.
“We’re really excited and bullish about 4K, the full 4K ecosystem, the TVs, the device players, the discs and of course the digital 4K movies as well,” said Amy Jo Smith, president and CEO of the DEG.
“4K UHD has really transformed the home viewing experience and clearly consumers are getting it,” said Bob Buchi, president, worldwide, Paramount Home Media Distribution. “Product sales are up 87% in comparison to the first three quarters of last year. There are now 42 million homes with a 4K UHD television, and in terms of content, there are now 392 titles available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc and 595 titles available on digital, so the numbers keep growing and for good reason.”
Buchi said Paramount, along with the other studios, is “really expanding the number of films from our library available on 4K UHD with HDR, including in our case, all of the films from the ‘Mission Impossible’ franchise.”
The latest installment, Mission: Impossible — Fallout, debuts on the 4K UHD Blu-ray format Dec. 4.
“I can tell you, hands down, the best way to see it is on 4K will all of the bells and whistles,” he said.
The format also offers preservation capabilities, he noted.
“We’ve been using 4K to scan classic titles in our library for archival purposes,” he said. “In fact, Paramount has preserved over 1,000 films in 4K.”
That includes such classics as Grease, Nashville, Chinatown, To Catch a Thief and the original War of the Worlds, he said.
“I think the detail, the color and the light that the filmmakers left us from the original film elements have never been more vivid, and the creative genius from these filmmakers is really coming through,” Buchi said.
He said the 4K edition of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life shows the Oscar-winning snow effect, an innovation from more than 70 years ago, “with greater detail and sharpness thanks to the innovation of 4K.”
“The success of the format really helps us deliver the content that better represents each filmmaker’s original vision,” he said.
Citing Nolan’s contribution to 4K UHD, Buchi said, “We worked with him on Interstellar, and I can tell you there’s no one who’s been a bigger and better champion for optimizing the home viewing experience.”
The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan,topped a FandangoNow survey of more than 1,500 film fans with 4K Ultra HD TVs asking which streaming movies they say require 4K viewings.
Avengers: Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok and Dunkirk, also directed by Nolan, were the next in line that fans said were a must see in the highest resolution possible, according to the FandangoNow survey.
According to the FandangoNow survey, more than 60% of respondents indicated they are more likely to watch a movie at home if it is available in 4K Ultra HD.
“Our 4K survey reveals that fans are still excited about experiencing The Dark Knight at home in the highest resolution and with the best sound available 10 years after the film’s release,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis in a statement. “Watching a movie in 4K just enhances the entire viewing experience exponentially, and it’s no wonder that audiences are navigating toward the films of Christopher Nolan, because he is one of the top filmmakers to fully embrace the technology in every way.”
Filmmaker Nolan, who directed five of the movies (in addition to The Dark Knight and Dunkirk, The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar and Inception) among the top 44 FandangoNow 4K titles, will be honored at the 4K Ultra HD Summit with the DEG Vanguard Award Nov. 6.
The full list of Top 44 4K films in the FandangoNow survey is:
As part of the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the groundbreaking science fiction epic on 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-ray in premium collectible packaging Dec. 18.
The classic returned to U.S. theaters in May following the debut of an “unrestored” 70mm print at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival. The film is playing throughout the summer at select theaters. For the first time since the original release, new 70mm prints were struck from pristine printing elements made from the original camera negative. A longtime admirer of the Kubrick, director Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk, Interstellar, Inception) worked closely with the team at Warner throughout the mastering process. Building on the work done for the new 70mm prints, the 4K UHD with HDR presentation was mastered from the 65mm original camera negative. The 4K UHD also includes both a remixed and restored 5.1 DTS-HD master audio track, as well as the original 1968 six-track theatrical audio mix (formatted for 5.1 DTS-HD master audio).
“2001 to me is the most cinematic film that has ever been made and it has been an honour and a privilege to be able to share the film with a new generation,” Nolan said in a statement. “4K UHD allows the closest recreation of viewing the original film print in your own home. Kubrick’s masterpiece was originally presented on large format film and the deeper color palette and superior resolution comes closest to matching the original analogue presentation.”
Originally released in the 70mm Cinerama roadshow format on April 4, 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey was directed and produced by Kubrick and written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, inspired by Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel.”
The 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K UHD Blu-ray with premium packaging ($41.99) includes the feature film in 4K resolution with HDR (including Dolby Vision HDR), a remastered Blu-ray disc, a Blu-ray disc with the special features in HD, and a digital version of the feature film. The premium packaging also includes a collectible booklet and art cards featuring iconic images from the film.
The remastered Blu-ray Disc will also be available as a standalone product at $19.98.
2001: A Space Odyssey is also available for purchase in 4K UHD from select digital retailers, including iTunes, Google and Vudu on October 30.
The 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K UHD contains the following 4K and Blu-ray elements:
4K UHD Blu-ray with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
Remastered Blu-ray with Commentary from Dullea and Lockwood
“The Making of a Myth”
“Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001”
“Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001”
“2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future”
“What Is Out There?”
“2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork”
“Look: Stanley Kubrick!”
a Nov. 27, 1966 Interview with Stanley Kubrick (audio only)
the original Theatrical Trailer
a premium booklet
The 2001: A Space Odyssey Blu-ray disc contains the remastered Blu-ray with commentary from Dullea and Lockwood.
Update: This story previously posted June 21, 2018, has been altered to reflect a change in street date from Oct. 30 to Nov. 20, later changed to Dec. 18.
DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group will present its inaugural Vanguard Award to Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Christopher Nolan.
The award presentation will take place during a reception at the 4K Ultra HD Summit to be held Nov. 6 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
The DEG Vanguard Award is in recognition of Nolan’s place at the forefront of filmmakers using groundbreaking technology to deliver increased scale and resolution, enhanced color and immersive audio to film audiences both in cinemas and in the home theater environment. Nolan has been a longtime advocate of the best home viewing experience available to consumers.
The director, writer and producer most recently earned dual Academy Award nominations, for Best Director and Best Picture, for Dunkirk, which in July 2017 received the largest 70mm release in the last quarter century. His filmography also includes Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Prestige, and Memento, for which he received his first Oscar nomination, for Best Original Screenplay.
With the December 2017 release of the seven film “The Christopher Nolan Collection” in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Nolan became the filmmaker with the largest number of films available in the most advanced home-based viewing format, according to the DEG.
The 4K Ultra HD Summit, presented by the DEG and the Ultra HD Alliance, will advocate and educate about the benefits of 4K Ultra HD televisions and content while highlighting the changes to all things 4K. The goal of the Summit is to help consumers understand the benefits of 4K UHD with HDR and provide information about new hardware and software products for the holiday buying season.
The program will focus on advancements in 4K UHD technology, increasing affordability of the technology, and widening availability of content.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Warner Bros. Pictures will debut an “unrestored” 70mm print of the director’s groundbreaking science fiction epic at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival and screen it in select U.S. theaters in 70mm beginning May 18.
The world premiere will be held May 12 during the Cannes Classics section of the festival, featuring an introduction by award-winning filmmaker Christopher Nolan. The screening is also scheduled to be attended by members of Stanley Kubrick’s family, including his daughter, Katharina Kubrick, and longstanding producing partner and brother-in-law, Jan Harlan.
Warner Bros. will continue the celebration later this year when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first timein 4K resolution with HDR. Also produced in close collaboration with Nolan, the home entertainment release will be available in the fall of 2018.
For the first time since the original release, this 70mm print was struck from new printing elements made from the original camera negative. This is a true photochemical film recreation, according to the studio. There are no digital tricks, remastered effects, or revisionist edits. This is the unrestored film that recreates the cinematic event audiences experienced 50 years ago.
A longtime admirer of Kubrick, Nolan worked closely with the team at Warner Bros. Pictures throughout the mastering process.
“One of my earliest memories of cinema is seeing Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, in 70mm, at the Leicester Square Theatre in London with my father,” Nolan said in a statement. “The opportunity to be involved in recreating that experience for a new generation, and of introducing our new unrestored 70mm print of Kubrick’s masterpiece in all its analogue glory at the Cannes Film Festival is an honor and a privilege.”
“I’m delighted that 2001: A Space Odyssey will be reissued in 70mm, and that Cannes has chosen to honor it,” said Christiane Kubrick in a statement. “If Stanley were alive today, we know he would be in admiration of the films of Christopher Nolan. And so, on behalf of Stanley’s family, I would personally like to thank Christopher for supporting his film.”
Nolan will also participate in a Cannes Masterclass, set for May 13, during which he will discuss his filmography and also share his passion for the work of Stanley Kubrick.
Street 12/19/17; Warner; Drama; Box Office $188.05 million; $28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $44.95 UHD BD; Rated ‘PG-13’ for intense war experience and some language. Stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy.
Christopher Nolan is the kind of filmmaker who doesn’t stick to a particular genre or subject matter. Rather, when he delves into a project, he leaves an indelible mark on it that immediately sets it apart from other films that would aim to cover similar ground. Indeed, at those times when Nolan’s vision can even be classified as one thing or another, his films, such as Kubrick’s before him, stand apart as his own unique take on the genre. Much as Insomnia was Nolan’s murder mystery, Inception was his heist film, and Interstellar his science-fiction film, Dunkirk is unmistakably Nolan’s “war film.”
Told through stunning visuals with minimal dialogue, Dunkirk relates the soldier’s experience of the 1940 evacuation of the eponymous French town, where during the early years of World War II Allied troops were surrounded by Nazis and had to be evacuated from the beach. With time of the essence, the British even called upon civilian ships to save as many troops as possible, so they could regroup and hold off further German advances until the Americans were ready to enter the war.
The film relates the evacuation through three storylines covering three different time frames. In one, a group of grunts scours the beaches, desperate to find room on any ship to flee the impending doom to come. In the second, a civilian yacht is commissioned to head to Dunkirk, and encounters several soldiers adrift at sea. In the third, a Royal Air Force fighter squadron races to the beach to provide cover from German air raids against the exposed crowds of British soldiers waiting for a ride home.
The three time frames occasionally overlap, as events from one are foreshadowed in another. The film is generally cut together to cross between the time frames to give a sense of the shared experiences of the men involved, even those who never meet each other. Some find courage in their duties. Others seek only to outrun their fears.
Nolan shot much of the film with Imax cameras, allowing it to pull the audience in with its immersive framing, letting viewers absorb the details of a wide picture. Needless to say, the larger the screen, the more impactful the images will be.
To achieve his vision, Nolan and his crew had to innovate many new filmmaking techniques in order to place the Imax cameras in places they were never intended to be. Much of this is covered in the bonus material, showing how Nolan pushed the boundaries of aerial photography by mounting cameras on both ends of a plane that could keep up with and maneuver with the fighter planes during the dogfight scenes.
Rather than a series of disparate bonus materials, the Blu-ray extras are contained on a single bonus disc and consist solely of a series of behind-the-scenes featurettes that can be played separately or as a whole documentary that runs nearly two hours.