They simply do not consider the movie-going experience as something that is worth risking their lives for.
When structures collapsed, and operations became derelict, two major film studios Disney and Warner Bros decided to play their trump cards. Disney went with a make-believe-diverse superhero film Mulan, and Warner Bros called their trusted lieutenant Christopher Nolan to pull off something utterly mystifying. To be fairly candid here, Disney, Warner Bros. or maybe Marvel are the only ones that can save theatres at this dreadful hour. We will not talk about Marvel as it is not in the game for now, but Disney and Warner Bros. are there on the fields with a huge reputation of being a gigantic crowd-puller. Disney has made a total of $3 billion with their classical remakes since the 2014 film Maleficent with Jon Favreau’s The Lion King alone garnering over a billion at the time of its release last year. Warner Bros., on the other hand, are even bigger players than Disney with their partnership with Christopher Nolan alone making a profit of over 4.5 billion spanning over eight films which include Academy Award-nominated blockbusters like The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, and Dunkirk.
However, their showmanship has taken a blow due to the coronavirus pandemic. The advertisements have failed, the magic of theatre experience has disappeared, and even Nolan and Warner Bros.’ persistent appeal to the audience to help them save the theatres has gone unnoticed. So, now it should be an underrated and undisputed statement that the saga of these two films had been a Shakespeare-Esque tragedy.
Their sadness had begun with the dispute over their release dates, and very understandably, they had gone through a series of extremely painful but necessary delays. “Mulan” which was energetically pumping itself up for March the 27th, was first postponed for July and then to August before Disney finally decided to release it on their own streaming site (Disney+) with a Premier Video on Demand (PVOD) option. Christopher Nolan was more stubborn as he stood his ground for July the 17th before being delayed indefinitely but finally winning a nod for September the 3rd domestic release (international release a week earlier).
Well, everything has been said and done. We are reaching the end of September now, and the judgement for the two films is out. If you are a cinephile, you should look away because the mathematics of the judgement is not giving any hope for the future and has put the upcoming releases in a very dire situation. With the budget of $224 million, Tenet has given an abysmal performance by garnering a meagre $239 million worldwide and has managed a profit of less than half of what was expected by Warner Bros. (which had taken the pandemic into consideration). Domestically, the film is hearing a more sorrowful tale, but the biggest problem right now is that the numbers aren’t going up, and, in fact, it is exponentially decreasing forcing Chis Nolan and Warner Bros. to finally consider giving up on the film.
Mulan, on the other hand, had its hopes pinned on China but is looking at a straightforward failure in the country with just $36 million in the bank ($57 million worldwide), even on Disney+, the film hasn’t performed well and is managing close to $33 million as on today, more than three weeks after its release. Disney+ would be quite surprised as it had hoped that film would at least manage a worldwide performance similar to that of Walt Dohrn’s “Troll World Tour” which had crossed the $100 million mark only weeks after its release.
Although, it will be too early to speak anything about the quality of the films and the box office performance can easily be pointed towards the pandemic as many markets are still in lockdown with giant markets like New York and Los Angeles still reeling with safety concerns. However, there are some problems with the films itself which have been pointed out by the critics.
Christopher Nolan, this time, has been severely criticized for his overtly use of complex plot, lack of expositions, and poor choice of sound mixing. Mulan, on the other hand, has controversy problems. The below-par performance in China has been speculated to be the result of controversial statements made by the lead actress Yifei Liu regarding the Honk Kong Police brutality against the pro-democratic supporters. The fact that it thanked the Chinese government in its credits did not please the worldwide audience, and the production location of Xinjiang where there have been reports of human rights violation also did not help its popularity.
The biggest blunder Disney did with Mulan was making it available for an expensive $29 price tag; the fact that “Troll World Tour” was only priced at $20, and the fact that the world is currently reeling with unemployment issues points us to the excessive pride and stupidity of Disney. It is being reported that now they are planning to re-release the film on the platform without PVOD option, i.e., without any extra charges. Too late.
What is imperative to remind ourselves again is that there is nothing much that can be said about the quality of the films simply because an awful lot of people haven’t seen it, but the producers definitely had overestimated their expectations of the number of people who are missing theatres at this moment.
Hallie Smith is a creative person who has been writing blogs and articles about cybersecurity. She writes about the latest updates regarding mcafee.com/activate and how it can improve the work experience of users. Her articles have been published in many popular e-magazines, blogs, and websites.