Should Warner Brothers cancel the window period? Should Chinese cinemas be anxious?

 Should Warner Brothers cancel the window period? Should Chinese cinemas be anxious?

It will definitely have an impact on the Chinese film market, which increases the uncertainty of cinema development. In an interview with Securities Daily, Wang Zheng, President of central studios, said that Chinese films may shorten the window period, but will not directly cancel (window period) synchronous access to streaming media, because cinema revenue is still an important part of film revenue.

American cinema anxiety

In fact, before that, Warner brothers had already adopted the above-mentioned distribution mode for this years magic woman 1984, but it was the first time that such a large-scale streaming media was synchronized with the cinema.

Warner executives said the operation is only for 2021 and is not expected to last until 2022 and beyond, because they predict that North American Theaters will not be fully open throughout 2021, and we have these films to launch and audiences are very eager for content. So we chose this way of distribution to let the audience see it.

Affected by the news, AMC, the largest cinema line in the United States, and cinemark, the third largest cinema line, fell by 16% and 22% respectively (regalcinemas, the second largest cinema line, announced the closure of all theaters in the United States in October).

Adam Aron, AMCs chief executive, said he had immediately launched an urgent dialogue with Warner Bros. asking why the company made the decision when a new coronavirus vaccine was about to be available. It is clear that Warner Bros. intends to subsidize hbomax startups by sacrificing a significant portion of the profitability of its studio division, as well as the profitability of its production partners and film producers. As for AMC, we will do our best to ensure that Warner does not do so at our expense.

Rich Gelfond, IMAXs CEO, said he was confused by the Warner Bros. decision. Because as the distribution of vaccines in the United States begins in the next few months, theaters may reopen and a large audience will follow. The pattern of moving movies to streaming during a pandemic makes sense. However, given the strong box office rebound in Asia and the rest of the world, it doesnt make much sense for all new films to do so throughout 2021.

There is also anxiety. A manager of the northern region of a domestic chain cinema told the Securities Daily that although Chinese production companies will not follow up this action for the time being, they are still worried about the revenue of Chinese cinemas in the coming year. The income of Chinese cinemas comes not only from Chinese films, but also from imported films which have contributed half of Chinas box office revenue in the past few years. If Hollywood studios all choose to premiere in streaming media In the future, the income of Chinese cinemas will also decrease accordingly.

In 2017, Warner Bros.s film magic woman earned 610 million yuan in the Chinese market. This years magic woman 1984, which was released in streaming media, also had 35300 people saying want to see on the lighthouse system.

Window period reduced to consensus

The contradiction between streaming media and offline cinema is particularly prominent in 2020. At the beginning of this year, Xu Zhengs film lost mother landed on byte beats streaming media platforms for free. The price is that byte jump will pay at least 630 million yuan to Huanxi media subsidiary as the basis for in-depth strategic cooperation between the two sides.

The move also triggered a joint protest by domestic cinemas. 23 cinemas jointly submitted to the marketing department of the state film administration the urgent request for the competent authorities to regulate the film window period, believing that the current film release window period is broken down by the current film release window period, which is inconsistent with the film and television revenue and the payment mode cultivated by the industry over the years, and it is a trample on the current Chinese film industry and distribution mechanism And sabotage, which can lead to destruction. .

This default rule for global filmmakers is being broken. In North America, at the beginning of August, Universal Pictures and AMC reached an agreement: to break the previous three-month theater window policy, allowing Universal Pictures and its companies films to go online for high-end pay on demand (PVOD) 17 days after they are released on the cinema line, while AMC can share about 10% of the profit from the on-demand expenses.

In the domestic market, the animation Mr. Miao, which was released in China on July 31, was officially launched on iqiyi and Tencent video on August 7 for pay on demand. The cinema window period of the film has been reduced to only seven days.

Shortening the window period has been a major trend in China and the United States in the past two years. Whether there is an epidemic or not, it is a normal phenomenon that movies appear more and more quickly in streaming media. This years epidemic has accelerated the occurrence of similar situations, and embarrassed mother is a typical case Ye Dong, CEO of Yuedong culture, told the reporter of Securities Daily.

Shi Yidong believes that in the past years, streaming media and cinemas in the U.S. market have been in a state of fierce competition. Warner Brothers measures should also accelerate the pace of attack of streaming media. In the short term, it may lead to a follow-up in the US market, but it may be difficult for the streaming media platform to directly follow up in China, because on the one hand, the epidemic situation in China is well controlled, and the film market is positive On the other hand, domestic streaming media is not as capable of producing high-quality films as Warner does, so it is difficult to tear face with domestic film producers. In addition, the vaccine has also come out, if the effect is good, the global film market may begin to gradually recover next year.

Source: Securities Author: Xie Ruolin, editor in charge: Wang Xiaowu_ NF