Disney Struck. Cinemas, Landlords Live Nightmare in Brick-and-Mortar-Meltdown Series as Movie Debuts Shift to Streaming

Efforts to redevelop dying Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco turn into mess. The beating of landlords will continue until mood improves.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

It was another stab in the back of the already bleeding brick-and-mortar movie theater business and its landlords and their lenders. But for Disney, it was the next big step in selling direct to consumers, rather than through movie theaters, cutting out the middleman. Ecommerce is doing the same to brick-and-mortar retail. And the Pandemic has compressed what would have taken years into a few months.

Disney has a slew of problems on its hands. It had to close some of its theme parks. When it reopened parks, it was with diminished capacity. It announced last week that it would lay off 28,000 workers, as its Disneyland parks in California would not reopen soon. It had to suspend operations at its Disney Cruise Line. It halted some movie productions. For a while, it ran out of live sports events to stream. It halted and delayed distribution of movies to cinemas because cinemas were closed, and when they reopened, people didn’t come.

But Disney+, a subscription video on-demand streaming service launched in November 2019, is one of the stars of the Pandemic, like most everything related to doing or watching at home, as consumption has massively shifted in all kinds of ways, powered by spending more time at home, working at home, learning at home, riding bicycles at home, or even cutting hair at home. Oh, and buying entertainment at home.

So today, Disney announced a reorganization of its media and entertainment businesses. It said its “creative engines will focus on developing and producing original content for the Company’s streaming services….”

The writing has been on the wall. After the fiasco in the movie theaters of Disney’s Warner Bros. production “Tenet” in early September, when movie goers didn’t go, Disney released “Mulan” directly on Disney+, for $29.99, and the entire family could watch it for that price, and watch it several times too.

Then on October 8, Disney announced that its Pixar animated movie, “Soul,” will not debut in theaters but on Disney+ on December 25.

Disney reported in August that the number of paying subscribers for Disney+ had already grown to 57.5 million by the end of June, up from zero in November. It also reported 35.5 million subscribers to Hulu (up from 27.9 million a year earlier), and 8.5 million subscribers to ESPN+, up from 2.4 million a year earlier. In total, over 101 million paying subscribers on its streaming platforms.

For brick-and-mortar movie theaters, this is toxic.

Cineworld Group announced on October 5 that it would close all its 536 Regal Theaters, the second largest theater chain in the US, behind AMC and ahead of Cinemark.

Cineworld blamed precisely the fact that, with theaters still closed in some areas and movie goers not going to movies where theaters are open, “studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films.”

Without big new movies, cinemas cannot survive – assuming that they could survive with big new movies in this environment.

What Cineworld didn’t spell out, but what’s now clearer than daylight is that studios are and will be releasing big new movies, but the action is now shifting to their own streaming services and away from theaters.

Universal Pictures, which is owned by Comcast, has started down that route as well, selling “Trolls World Tour” directly on Comcast’s platforms rather than debuting it in theaters.

All this is part of the broader brick-and-mortar meltdown that started years ago, when ecommerce in the retail business and streaming in the movie and music businesses became ever more powerful forces. Netflix, Amazon, and others not only distribute movies via streaming but also create their own movies and sell them directly to consumers. All of them have been relentlessly growing competition for movie theaters and legacy studios for years.

Movie theater ticket sales peaked in 2002 at 1.58 billion tickets, and by 2019, were down 22% to 1.24 billion tickets. On a per-capita basis, ticket sales plunged 31%. At the same time, Americans watched more movies than ever, but at home. And that was before the collapse of ticket sales in 2020. The Pandemic just compressed the developments of years into a few months. And Disney confirmed it.

Concerning this shift to streaming,  Disney CEO Bob Chapek told CNBC’s Closing Bell on Monday, “I would not characterize it as a response to Covid. I would say Covid accelerated the rate at which we made this transition, but this transition was going to happen anyway.”

Like ecommerce, this is not a blip, but a structural change in how Americans consume entertainment.

The beating of mall landlords will continue until the mood improves.

That shift to streaming and its consequences among movie theaters form the latest challenge for mall landlords. Many landlords have tried revitalizing malls by replacing the shuttered department stores with services and entertainment options that offer an “experience,” and movie theaters are high on the list.

For example, the Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco. It had been anchored by a Macy’s and a Nordstrom, both of which closed. In August 2018, an entity of Brookfield, a giant private equity firm in Canada, with publicly traded subsidiaries, bought the two-thirds of GGP it didn’t already own for $15 billion, and thereby ended up with the Stonestown Galleria.

So it decided to plow a lot of money into redeveloping the mall. Much of the 40 acres are parking, and some of it will eventually be turned into apartments. The rest of the mall will be redeveloped as mall, with a different flair.

In 2019 construction started on the first projects on the property, including: A Whole Foods, with grocery stores at the time still having mostly been spared the beating by ecommerce; and, you guessed it, an 11-screen Regal movie theater inside the mall.

OK, back to the drawing board. Maybe more housing instead. Oh wait, rents have plunged by over 20% year-over-year in San Francisco and now there’s a historic glut of condos on the market. For mall landlords who’re trying to redevelop a mall by building movie theaters to replace zombie department stores, Disney’s – and other studios’ – shift to streaming is another nightmare in the long-running Brick-and-Mortar Meltdown series.

The out-of-money-date for Cineworld is in November or December, but it’s hoping for a US taxpayer bailout. Read... Cinema Chains Near Collapse: The Problem Beyond the Pandemic

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  121 comments for “Disney Struck. Cinemas, Landlords Live Nightmare in Brick-and-Mortar-Meltdown Series as Movie Debuts Shift to Streaming

  1. 2banana says:

    Typo?

    “Movie theater ticket sales peaked in 2020 at 1.58 billion tickets, and by 2019, were down 22% to 1.24 million tickets.”

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Yes. Thanks. Hasn’t collapsed quite that far yet 🤣

    • leanfire_Queen says:

      Just bought a 65 inch TV for $400, can eat food that’s so much healthier and tasty while watching great movies from all around the world that the American market would not be able to appreciate.

      The democratization of the home theater is here! I’m very much into South Korean and South American cinema lately. Enough of Hollywood already! So shallow, so fake. Why pay for that crap?

      • MonkeyBusiness says:

        If someone were to tell me that I would be a K-Drama fan a year or two ago, I would have laughed out loud and said never.

        But yeah, K-Dramas are what’s keeping my Netflix subscription alive.

        • leanfire_Queen says:

          Parasite… masterpiece. I’m from Argentina, a country that’s much more educated than the US when it comes to good cinema.

          So rightly so, Parasite was the most-watched movie in the country the year it was released. In the US, most Americans don’t know it LMAO

        • Seneca's cliff says:

          My wife started watching the K-Dramas about 5 years ago, and I thought she was silly but she was clearly ahead of her time. Now I watch too, but mostly the action based ones like “Iris” or “A man called god”.

        • uhop says:

          Hey Monkey, which ones? I’m game.

      • roddy6667 says:

        A recent trip to Costco showed me that you can buy a TV the size of a drive-in theater screen for under $2000. Why go to a theater to listen to kids talking and puking in the aisles?

        • nocte_volens says:

          Why go to a theater to listen to kids talking and puking in the aisles?

          It’s called ambiance.

  2. Skara says:

    “ Movie theater ticket sales peaked in 2020 at 1.58 billion tickets, and by 2019, were down 22% to 1.24 million tickets.”

    Did you mean they peaked in 2010?

  3. 2banana says:

    Does Disney+ subscribers make up for all this financially?

    There was lots of synergy with Disney movies and theme parks. They seemed to feed and build off each other.

    Wondering if that loss of “magic” will have long term impacts.

    “Disney has a slew of problems on its hands. It had to close some of its theme parks. When it reopened parks, it was with diminished capacity. It announced last week that it would lay off 28,000 workers, as its Disneyland parks in California would not reopen soon. It had to suspend operations at its Disney Cruise Line. It halted some movie productions…”

    • raxadian says:

      Disney had more than just one failed theme park in their history, take a look at the Defuntland channel in Youtube to find out more. So at long as this pandemic doesn’t last more than 3 to 4 years they will be fine.

      Not to mention that as Wolf mentioned, cutting out the middleman saves them expenses and gives them more money.

      Worldwide Disney is more know for TV and movies than it’d know for Theme Parks.

      Not to mention that Theme Parks are a business that constantly needs new attractions and money investment for repairs and maintenance.

      Meanwhile once Disney has made a movie they can keep milking it basically forever thanks to keep extending copyright. A bit less with TV series but is still a better investment in the long run than a park attraction that just keeps attracting less and less people as time goes on.

      With an online service? Even better! Not only you have people constantly giving you money but as the service has basically most of Disney stuff on it they get too distracted by what they really want to see to complain about the bad movies and TV series.

      • MonkeyBusiness says:

        Meanwhile Disneyland in both Japan and China are now open at around 50% capacity. Actually they’ve all been open for a while now.

        As usual with America it’s go big or go home. Actual result is going home big as in 28K people laid off.

        USA, USA!!!

        • Joe Saba says:

          let all corporations go broke
          only stimulus we need is to retrain all these folks in TRADE SCHOOLS TO FILL ALL THOSE JOBS companies keep complaining about not being able to find qualified applicants

          maybe we ought to let these companies come in and screen Unemployed and use stimulus to retrain(by company) them

          otherwise WE NEED TO CLAW BACK THE $6,000,000,000 in stock buybacks 1st

      • Randy says:

        Frankly I don’t know why anyone would want to go to any theme park anymore. Tickets are ridiculously priced anymore. You wait in line for hours to get on a ride that last a couple minutes. Walt would be rolling in his grave if he seen how his dream turned out. It’s become unaffordable for the common family to go to a theme park. They rip you off from bottled water to the tickets. All so you spend most of the day standing in line.

  4. MCH says:

    Disney+ really need to collude with the other streaming services to up the monthly prices. May be it’s a signal move to see what the market can bear.

    Let’s increase Netflix pricing by 5%. Then Disney follow suit, then Hulu, then HBO, then Prime, one bit at a time…. heh heh.

    Not sure how well that will all work out though. Eventually, it’ll be like paying for cable. Except. Better. And we can get rid of traditional networks.

    • MonkeyBusiness says:

      Except Netflix and Amazon Prime are both turning into traditional networks. How? By slowly getting rid of binge watching. Take The Boys Season 2 on Amazon Prime. Amazon released the whole Season 1 in one go, but for Season 2, they released one episode per week. Netflix started down this path even earlier than Amazon.

      Honestly the only good thing on Netflix nowadays is Korean dramas. Before the pandemic, I rarely watched K-dramas, but nowadays I understand why their entertainment industry is taking over the world.

      • Keith says:

        I have been annoyed by that, too. The reason is obvious, to keep you coming back to the service. But what is the benefit, does each unique logging in/accessing the platform improvement their re-portable numbers? I do not see it improving data aggregation over their subscribers any better, and the point of these services is to avoid ads (memo to Amazon Prime), so they are not getting anything from that.

        • Tony22 says:

          Reposting others’ idea here. Instead of 24 monthly fees to watch Netflix and Prime for a year, sign up for one month, binge watch all you want to see, drop the service, go to another service, binge watch, wait six months, go back and sign up for a minimum period to see the new stuff you want, drop it, etc. You saved 20 months of payments. Don’t forget Youtube and free streaming from your public library.

      • MCH says:

        I have Amazon prime, I’ve tried Disney+, I have tried Netflix, I think it all comes down to a matter of value. I simply find prime to be more valuable than the others. Take that for what you will.

        But then again, I really don’t watch that much TV anyway. Although I wouldn’t mind Amazon getting NFL at some point.

        • Petunia says:

          We went to Disney once in all the years we lived in Florida, over a decade. Disney priced out the average family a long time ago. At over $500 a day for the three of us, plus a 4 hour drive, it wasn’t worth it 15 years ago. We never missed it, still don’t.

        • I watch TV a few hours a day, evening news, sitcoms, etc. When I watch TV it is not important what I watch. PBS is great. I am on the antenna, and watching entertainment from the previous generation is more efficacious. Watch new stuff you pay those high cable bills and you end up with a lot of second rate material. Wait for them to go into syndication. The act of watching TV is enough. It relaxes me. Also the tone of those older shows is kinder, and gentler. Same reason I gave up on rock music after the White Album.

        • Rodney says:

          especially as NETFLIX is upping their price again, Amazon Prime looks better and better, plus i find less and less i like on Netflix, which is annoying.

      • Lawefa says:

        Great research and article Wolf. Funny how when you think about it, we are now paying monthly for traditional networks…

        • Lenz says:

          Sounds very deflationary.
          No more dvd profits after season releases. now you are a turning a $15 /per ticket sale to a $15/month for the whole family.

          I can imagine the next moves. Everyone focuses into creating their own IP, and very likely you’ll start seeing commercials make an appearance. Try watching any show that’s being re-negotiated. Try Mad Men on amazon, can stream it but with commercials or buy it independent of your subscription.

          I was talking to a developer who owned a lot of apt in Vegas, they still had an 80% coverage on payments, and echoed Wolf in his views on malls. They will start converting them to mixed use. Half residential / half services/custom mall crap.

          but doesn’t this direction feel like a desperate move, wouldn’t it start putting pressure on prices of residential offerings?

        • ROTI says:

          @Lenz I think it would help alleviate issues in the residential market, if the transition occurs. There is a lot more housing demand than there is supply.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          Traditional OTA networks are the vehicle for infomercials. Networks rent the cheapest programs to try to retain viewers: 60’s-70’s sitcoms, old game shows, B&W westerns, etc. PBS gone to heck with continuous 90 minute stream-of-consciousness “programs” about the poor colored downtrodden; some is OK, saturation is not.

    • Kurtismayfield says:

      The only reason I am subscribed to Disney, Hulu, and ESPN is the $13 bundle price. As soon as they try to start boiling the frogs slowly I will cut them all.

    • Ross says:

      As long as movies and TV series keep coming out on DVD, I’ll keep checking them out from the local library. For free.

  5. Brady Boyd says:

    Great news!!!

    Convert movie theaters to homeless camps.

    • They used to be in the 1930s, for a dime you could find a place to sleep if the ushers didn’t throw you out.

    • leanfire_Queen says:

      > Convert movie theaters to homeless camps.

      Even better: pay $10k to remote workers who are renters to relocate to areas where homelessness isn’t an issue. I did that and it helps a lot, bringing demand for housing down in areas infested with NIMBYs is the right thing to do.

      Also, it frees those remote workers who relocate from the burden of unfunded public pensions. Let the NIMBYs take care of that ticking bomb.

      • roddy6667 says:

        Homelessness isn’t caused by a shortage of housing. It is caused by mental illness and addiction. They had a place to live, but they lost it because they spent their money on their addictions or were evicted for damaging the property or being disruptive. Large state and city hospitals used to provide shelter to many, but they were shut down. Flophouses and fleabag hotels served a purpose in keeping them off the streets, but they were all shut down and torn down. Traditional housing is not a substitute for them.

        • Petunia says:

          You can keep saying this but it’s not true. Homelessness is cured by money and housing. The addicted and mentally impaired may need specialized housing but they still need housing.

        • Tony22 says:

          And it is not evenly spread around our country. San Francisco sees large numbers of voluntary arrivals seeking the benefits, like free stays at luxury hotels, alcohol, drugs and even syringes.

          “San Francisco, which gets an influx of about 450 chronically homeless people a year, needs to shed any perception that it is a sanctuary for people who are unwilling to participate in programs designed to get them off, and keep them off, a life in the streets.
          That a city can spend $241 million a year on programs and still confront such human misery suggests those dollars are not being spent with anything close to optimal effectiveness. Eight city departments and 76 private and nonprofit organizations draw from those funds in 400 contracts, yet the degree of accountability is highly suspect.”

          https://projects.sfchronicle.com/sf-homeless/civic-disgrace/

  6. Keith says:

    From the outside looking in, it seemed like Walmart had a good plan with Vudo (which it sold, to Hulu, I think?). You could watch videos for free, with the rub being you watched a few commercials. They seemed to tie my commercials with items I would actually buy to had been shopping/surfing for (I have the app), which also included a handy buy function right from the video with the click of the bottom. I never bought; perhaps I wasn’t the only one which is why they got rid of it. It seemed like a good idea. While not being a fan of commercials, I am much more tolerant of ads that are actually relevant to me.

    • Petunia says:

      I watched a “free with ads” movie yesterday. There were at least 5 interruptions with up to 7 adds each, most had 6 ads. They are definitely making money on “free” movies. Which leads to an interesting question, why are we paying for the movie theater when they run half an hour of ads before each movie? Maybe they need to move to a “free with ads” model.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        10-4, Pet,
        We too do watch the movies on the local antenna accessible TV stations sometimes, and some live sports too, we especially enjoyed the woman’s final at Paris Open Sat morning!
        How some ever, no matter what watching (( except for live futbol from almost all venues, )) we also are watching something else to be able to turn to quickly when the ”live action” ads start in with the really annoying fast cuts, jumps, etc., as though one of the action movies that we never watch.
        We actually enjoy and watch some of the ads that present things in a calm and orderly way.
        That way, with 60 channels on antenna, combined with all the free content on the internet, including tons of old and older movies is much more than we ever want to watch, so lots of choices.

        • Anthony A. says:

          I love watching anything (usually sports, or a cops show) with my remote next to me. When an ad comes on, I MUTE the damned thing. Or, if I have recorded the show, I just fast forward through the commercial.

          Perfect!

      • Anon1970 says:

        Before you totally give up on the “free with ads” format, try several different services. Not all of them are that bad.

        Re ads at the movie theater: I also found them annoying as I did the super high sound volume of the movies themselves. I rarely went to the movies even before covid. Invest in an Amazon Firestick device and teach yourself how to program it. You’d be amazed at the content you can access at little or no cost. You can find several free self help programs on You Tube.

        • Keith says:

          I have to agree here. There are a lot of “free” services out there, some of which are quite reasonable with the amount of ads.

      • Tony22 says:

        Petunia,

        As far as Youtube, if you watch it on the Firefox browser and then take advantage of their extensions, like AdBlocker Ultimate,you will not see any ads on youtube. For the ultimate in privacy, also use NoScript, although you have to tweak it to your preference. Yes, we have a mug and support this site.

  7. BuySome says:

    Shouldn’t we now say brick-and-moiter ’cause they’re sure moiduring this sector Moe. Woo, woo, woo, woo. All the stooges will now pay to line up at the gates and stare through the keyhole to see the mouse run about the house. There’s plenty of cheesewiz at the kitchen concession stand. Again, Pluto’s a dog but what the hell is Goofy?!

  8. Yort says:

    Disney may have “101 million subscribers”, yet how many turn the service off and on three to four times a year? Personally I only keep netflix 24/7, and rotate “one to two” subscriptions three to four times throughout each year, out of at least a dozen services I watch each year. The big reason is I like to watch the entire series in a day or two and not spread it over months. It doesn’t hurt it is much more cost effective turning each service off and on. Last time I turned HBO on for two months, cost me $28 dollars total, and watched at least $200 to $250 dollars worth of content verusu if I had bought the TV series and movies via Vudu, etc. At some point I bet they require longer subscriptions due to “Subscription floaters” like me? I would guess there are a lot of people turning these services off and on for many reasons…

    • Zantetsu says:

      I’d say not many do what you do. Most people don’t have time or patience for that level of micromanagement just to save a few dollars.

      • Harrold says:

        Rotatr – my new start up that will, for one monthly price, rotate your video subscriptions.

        I am off to San Fran to pitch this now!

        • BuySome says:

          Not sure about launching something where the name begins with “Rot”, but if so then maybe forming a holding company called “Shifty” to go along with the rotational theme.

      • Jon says:

        I do this usually with Netflix. I keep Netflix for 2 months of the year and turn it off. This is not to save money but most of the good content per me is done in these 2 months.
        I have observed that If I keep netflix subscription ON, then I do tend to spend more time in front of tv which I don’t like.

    • Rumpled Bemused says:

      I am playing the same game. I do subscribe to Netflix and Amazon. I subscribe briefly to others to watch specific programs, and then I’ll browse those sites to see if they’re worth keeping; they never are. Month to month is all I will sign up for.

      On a related note, why hasn’t the radio industry died yet? Who is still listening?

      • leanfire_Queen says:

        > On a related note, why hasn’t the radio industry died yet? Who is still listening?

        I used the FM radio on my smartphone to listen to the movie The Outsiders last week shown on the drive-in cinema that the same movie was filed in by Coppola.

        Pretty unbelievable cast of unknown actors back then, all massively famous by now.

        • Fat Chewer. says:

          Radio streams now too. I heart radio is my favorite. It has I heart 60s. I swear, just by playing a 60s radio station, it feels like being back in the 60s. Not that I was around back then, but the Supremes, the Stones, the Beatles, Elvis, the Byrds, 5th Dimension (Age of Aquarius, props to the Wrecking Crew), the Ronettes and just about everything from the mad genius Phil Spector with his wall of sound and the Wrecking Crew, Simon and Garfunkel, Johnny Rivers (a revelation to me since he wasn’t as well known in Oz), not to mention Soul and Motown, are timeless. They still got a lot of airplay when I was young so I still know all the lyrics. My bosses now spend a lot more time wandering around near my radio. You know what they are doing.

        • BuySome says:

          Good cast, but Rumblefish was far superior film that did not get the credit it deserved.

        • p coyle says:

          i had to read the outsiders for english class in junior high. i liked it ok. the movie came out a few years later, with that “unbelievable cast of unknown actors … all massively famous by now.”

          coincidence?

      • Whatsthepoint says:

        I listen to Classic FM but admittedly I have a keen ability to block out ads!

      • Tony22 says:

        Don’t forget to share your login and password with your friends.

        Use an ad free, private, secure dedicated email like Proton just for subscriptions.

        With different credit cards and email addresses, you can continually get trial offers, which you can share. There should be an app to organize that!

    • Ethan in NoVA says:

      Did some providers like Verizon include free one year subscriptions? There could be a chunk of those subscribers that are rolling on promo service that will drop once they are required to pay monthly.

  9. Engin-ear says:

    – “So today, Disney announced a reorganization of its media and entertainment businesses. It said its “creative engines will focus on developing and producing original content for the Company’s streaming services….”

    I am genuily puzzled.

    I am totally unable to say why the streaming (which is a simply channel of distribution) would require producing original content.

    Marketing – for sure.
    Splitting 1.5h movies into 20-minutes chunks – yes (apparently public attention goes away after 20 minutes) – maybe. But that would be a direct competition with cats and rockstars on youtube.

    Perhaps Disney just showing to the investors that they noticed too the wind of change.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Engin-ear,

      It’s the debut that matters here — producing content to debut in theaters or produce content to debut on their streaming platforms. It used to be: theaters first, everything else later. Now it has switched.

  10. Nacho Libre says:

    Thanks China!

  11. Frederick says:

    Looks like Wolf wouldn’t touch my last comment with a ten meter pole 😀Alittle too much truth in it

    • Random Person says:

      More Tech Censorship? Sad.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Frederick,

      There was “some” truth in it, and some dragged-out-of-nowhere stuff and name calling of the worst kind that’s not appropriate here.
      Commenting guideline #7.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Wolf does a great service for us, here, AND for some time now with the commenting guidelines, manages to keep things relatively civil (old enough now to understand a goodly portion of our fellow citizens did not come of age in a time where civility is valued-you don’t value that which you don’t. Sad to say i haven’t fought hard enough against base conversation over the course of a lifetime). To paraphrase R.A. Heinlein: “…good manners are the vital lubricant of social interaction. To discard them is to throw sand in the gears of a mechanism that doesn’t function well in the best of times…”.

        Wolf’s sandbox, Wolf’s rules, and you didn’t pay a dime to play unless you (hopefully) chose to. There are other sandboxes out there!

        may we all find a better day.

    • Zantetsu says:

      I’ve been censored by Wolf many times but I have never blamed him or made the butt-hurt claim that my post had “too much truth in it”. It’s his site, and curating the comments is part of why it remains a readable site, and if it affects you sometimes, just suck it up. I do.

      • Zantetsu says:

        p.s. maybe not never. I think on one or two occasions I got a little grouchy about it. So maybe I’m just being a hypocrite.

        • Fat Chewer. says:

          Yes, same, but I tend to think of it as Wolf saving my reputation from myself!

        • Wolf Richter says:

          I’ve deleted my own comments many times. I get into commenting mode and write stuff that I have to delete later when I’m in moderator mode 🤣

    • Classic marketing concept, now I have to see what you said! Like going to a movie where you see a trailer for another movie. Is your comment on pay for view? By the way are you two splitting the fees?

    • drg1234 says:

      LOL ok Colonel Jessup. The rest of us will sleep better tonight knowing you’re on the wall.

  12. S.J. Bronkowitz says:

    Who wants to pay big money these days to watch Hollyweird productions in a theater anyway, these movies are stuffed full of toxic woke propaganda and they are systematically killing off good franchises like Star wars, Ghostbusters and 007 using this method. Same for TV series that are getting worse by the year.
    I stick to oldies from the 90s or earlier.

    • Petunia says:

      I watch a lot of foreign content because of the lefty propaganda. The northern european countries are worse than us with the lefty junk.

      • The content is not propaganda if it is the popularly held view. I am curious what it is about the “lefty junk” that appeals to you. I suspect it is content contrary to what you believe, and allows you to stay a comfortable distance removed. This is where Roseanne Barr went off the rails. She got inside the midwest thinking and went native. She became one of them politically. The audience could only enjoy her show when she wasn’t one of them, she was just another rich Jewish Hollywood comedian doing a schtick. Most Swedes do not identify with Bergman’s angst either, or our view of them. The story now is that they achieved herd immunity by allowing older people with Covid to die at home, with copious amounts of moriphine. Our view of their angst. Jim Rickards say the Chinese government vivisects political dissenters alive for their government organ transplant program. You can’t make this stuff up, which is why Disney has such a hard time.

      • nick kelly says:

        Is Germany in that basket, the world’s most successful economy? In 2019 they ran about a 2% budget SURPLUS.

        If Europe shocks the US, believe me it’s reciprocal.

        How does someone who doesn’t know that China and India share a border, or what the Pearl Harbor monument is about, become, personally, a coequal branch of govt?

        The China / India border issue came to light when
        the Pres was in India and he and Modi were both concerned about China. ‘At least they aren’t on your border’ says T. Modi’s eyes bugged out and he looked at Tillerson who put a hand to his brow.
        The Pearl thing happened when T and then Chief of Staff Kelly were on the ferry to the monument.
        ‘So what’s this about?’ says T.

        At some point left and right are overtaken by other concerns.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Pet-maybe “Triumph of the Will” or “Olympia” by Riefenstahl might give you a different slant on NorEur cinema…

        may we all find a better day.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          The last great Riefenstahl film I’ve seen is “The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden” on US PBS. Leni could not have done better. I bought “Triumph of the Will” as a reference many years ago out of curiosity and I’ve watched it perhaps 3-4 times. Try muting the sound on either one and watch the power of the visuals.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      !! RIGHT ON sjb,
      You hit the nail squarely on the head, and Pet did too!!
      The only ”hitch in the giddy up” is that holly weird has been the greatest organ of propaganda for many decades.
      Just looking at some of the movies from the early 1940 era alone should be enough to convince anyone of the long term extent of their propaganda practices.
      While we can almost all agree that WW2 was a righteous war to keep the world safe from fascism, etc., the problem was and is that after that, the holly weirdos kept right on with the propaganda/brainwashing, and THEY , especially their owners, decided what that propaganda should be, as the very clear results, including the break down of global morality of the masses today show.
      ( BTW, reading about the holly weirdo folks starting in the 1930 era, it’s fairly clear the mostly had no morals at all even then, so it’s not too surprising that they have now spread that so far and deep. )

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Vintage-check out Henry Miller’s observation on this subject in Beatty’s ‘Reds’.

        may we all find a better day.

    • leanfire_Queen says:

      > I stick to oldies from the 90s or earlier.

      YES!!!

      Watched The Outsiders and Spaceballs with my 12 year old, he LOVED them. We tried to do a Tuesday movie night back in Denver, he ended up getting tired of trying to find something worth watching. Most weeks finding a movie that seemed worth watching felt like serious WORK, not fun.

      So we stopped trying.

      • Seneca's cliff says:

        My guilty pleasure is watching the entire original McGyver series from front to back. I did not have a TV back when it first aired in the 80’s. Some of the dialogue and effects are a bit cheezy but I like how it promotes the values of ingenuity, self reliance, dialogue with those who you disagree, and a casual disdain for random government authority.

  13. Michael Engel says:

    1) Hollywood bad news are good news.
    2) SPX/TY pair. TY is US 10Y note Futures, price.
    3) When TY fly, SPX slump. When TY plunge, SPX rise.
    4) TY monthly RSI was flying like a rocket from Apr 2018 extreme
    bearish condition to an extreme bullish condition in Mar 2020. TY monthly
    RSI is still in extreme bullish territory. TY must be neutralized. That’s the
    long view. Lower TY / rising SPX. TY monthly RSI might correct in bullish
    territory, like from the Sept 1986 peak to Sept 1987 low. It led to SPX Oct 1987 plunge and TY jump. Or in a deeper correction from bullish to bearish TY RSI territory. 1998 extreme monthly TY RSI correction led to the dotcom jump to the Nasdaq vertical in 2000.
    5) The long term view is not the short term view. TY daily RSI is in a deep
    bearish territory. This bearish condition can be relief by a TY bear
    market rally / SPX correction. Or from bearish to bullish territory / SPX deeper correction.
    6) Wells Fargo & Disney are big whales. WFC decided to kick the can down. After their stop losses were taken, DIS dump assets, passing the brick & mortar theaters, soon the stadiums, because DIS is not Progressive.

  14. Paulo says:

    It would be nice if modern movies actually had some writing, acting, and suspense that did not reply on computer animation to splash gore and bullshit into your living room. Then, theatres might actually work.

    In our house we usually watch BBC streamed from my son’s netflix account. Or the news. Otherwise, music and a good book beats the crap out of junk time wasting movies.

    I get a kick out of big name stars hired to do the ‘voices’ on what we used to call cartoons. I guess that’s acting in 2020. No wonder people don’t go to movies anymore, before or after Covid. Why bother?

    • Engin-ear says:

      No harm intended but…

      I think this state of soul is called wisdom.

      Such thing happens naturally providing your life is thoughtful and long enough.

      The victims of this natural disease start to moan about how superficial the mainstream (also known as commercial) culture have become…

      It is safe to predict that mainstream will not target the pockets of most smart: not profitable enough.

  15. Michael Engel says:

    7) The Canadian pyramids builders : Brookfield might follow the Reichman Bros footsteps.

  16. Michael Engel says:

    9) A negative picture. TY monthly, RSI : TY six month trading range will lead to a TY jump and lower RSI. A Bearish Divergence in repetitions can send TY flying higher and US10Y diving, possibly underwater, joining Germany, France, Switzerland… but not Turkey !

  17. Brant Lee says:

    What’s the latest, about 75% of adults in the US are obese? Now with the longest trip anyone makes anywhere being the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, we’re going to give obese a whole new meaning by Spring. If the movie houses and airlines ever revive, we’ll also have a new standard for seating width.

  18. Crush the Peasants! says:

    Exactly why movie theaters need to stock the vaccines and antibodies next to the Jujubes and Milk Duds.

  19. AlamedaRenter says:

    Couple of things.

    All these subscription services, as of now, still don’t care about multiple logins/share accounts.

    My wife and I watch PrimeTV because we have a Prime account with HBO add on. We watch Netflix on an old roommate’s account, whom moved out 4 years ago. And we watch Hulu on my sister’s account.

    Also, they released the first 3 episodes The Boys at once and then episodes 4 to 8 weekly.

  20. Lou Mannheim says:

    I cut the cord 15 years ago, first with BitTorrent and then streaming services. I’ve been using a Roku player since 2009, and it’s terrific. If I had kept my cable subscription I would have shelled out about $18,000 over that timeframe. I doubt I’ve spent more than $2K and have had way more options.

    And THAT is the deflationary force of the internet.

    • The Original Colorado Kid says:

      I cut the cord 20 years ago by taking my TV to the dump and shooting it.

      • BuySome says:

        Were you listening to Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads at the time?

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Buy-some of the most sublime pickin’ to ever grace the ears (and Mart’s voice weren’t bad, either. Auld Americana…).

          may we all find a better day.

      • California Bob says:

        “I cut the cord 20 years ago by taking my TV to the dump and shooting it.”

        Shooting range combined with a dump??!! Great idea! Kinda what you’d expect from the first state to legalize weed.

    • Anon1970 says:

      Check to see if your public library is a member of Kanopy.com If it is you can sign up for a free Kanopy account on your computer and watch a few free movies and documentaries each month. With your Roku player, you can watch the programs on your TV. Without Roku, you can still watch them on your computer.

  21. Gerry says:

    Briookfield Properties must be having a lot of “all hands” meeting these days, to try to figure out what went wrong on 2019. Besides that GPP mall purchase, Brookfield made a deal in 2019 with Jared Kushner to lease his money pit 666 Fifth Avenue, NY, office building for 99 years, paying the total billion dollar office space leasing cost upfront in a lump sum. Even if it is Qatari money financing this payment, this deal still makes Brookfield look like a chump.

    https://ny.curbed.com/2019/10/16/20917258/midtown-nyc-skyscraper-666-fifth-avenue-brookfield

    • nick kelly says:

      Good point. Next, why would Qatar do that, knowing that a lot of folks had passed on the building and it was heading to foreclosure unless something turned up?

      With Saudi and UAE blockading Qatar, the latter needed help in high places.

  22. Marty Mc mort says:

    I discovered a rare technology during an archeological dig in Egypt a few years ago.. called “BOOK”. It can also be accessed with a rare technical system known as “LIBRARY”. Total cost FREE.. monthly sub ZERO. HAD TO RE BOOT “Brain” and upload system for “thinking and for imagination”. That was a tough gradient!!
    But worth it.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Marty Mc mort,

      Movies were never designed to replace books. They run in parallel. Like operas, ballets, and plays were never designed to replace books. In fact, back in Shakespeare’s day, lots of illiterate people went to see his plays for entertainment (those were the blockbuster movies of the time). It would have never occurred to them to try to READ the plays. Books are a very different medium than movies. There is lots of room for both.

    • The Original Colorado Kid says:

      I don’t have the patience to sit through a 5-minute video, but I can spend hours watching things like a hawk or clouds or a waterfall. I can also read books as a default or look at good nature photography (not the oversaturated Photoshopped type), but videos and movies make me feel like my brain is being manipulated.

      • Fat Chewer. says:

        +1

      • IdahoPotato says:

        Ditto. But cat videos on YouTube are interesting. And free.

        I watch a couple of movies a year at our independent theater run by a local family, and some documentaries borrowed from the library.

        I read threads like these to determine which stocks to invest in.

  23. The Bob who cried Wolf says:

    Thank you for the informative site. I’ve learned a lot here.

  24. Seneca's cliff says:

    The big multi-screen theatre near me has started using its huge parking lot for vintage cars shows and auto swap meets. I figure that is a way forward for many of these special purpose buildings. Use the parking lots for farmers markets, swap meets and car shows then turn the indoor part in to something that seems to be growing in popularity since the Corona started, Gun Ranges.

  25. Robert says:

    “It announced last week that it would lay off 28,000 workers, as its Disneyland parks in California would not reopen soon. ”

    Obviously this will have a negative domino effect on the already struggling southern California economy. So the movie studios are getting hit and the So. Cal tourist economy is destroyed and many retailers are closing for good and will not be replaced.

    Question: Can the bay area tech economy hold up the entire Californian economy?

    Without tourism, much of California will become a dust bowl.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Not much dust bowl IMO R, but me thinks it will at least somewhat revert sooner and later to what it was before the water wars of the first half of the 20th century, and that is likely a good thing…
      Living in CA ”off and on” since 1965 when I joined the tin can that was on its way to VN, and absolutely LOVE the place, especially the SF Bay Area..
      However, my last visit to that area ended with sitting over an hour in traffic just from SFO to the Bay Bridge, so now work out my itinerary to arrive well outside of any kind of ”rush hour” etc., etc., and ditto departure.
      CA is waaayyy over populated in many places, that’s far shore, but we who love it will wait it out for the next cycle, etc…. and meanwhile, keep looking for those many out of the way spots in which to hang out until then.

  26. gorbachev says:

    Poorly built homes get ravaged in a storm

    People love to go out

    People love movies

    People love dining out

    People want to be safe

    The genius who can put this together will be well rewarded

    The genius

  27. Mike78 says:

    Hi Wolf

    At what level are u intending to cut loss/take profit on your shorts?

  28. Kasadour says:

    Doubtful the Hollywood A-listers will still garner those $20 million dollar paychecks per movie under these circumstances. It seems under these circumstances, almost any warm body that can remember his/her lines will replace the spoiled, cosseted A-lister and all his/her expensive demands. It’s amazing how fast things can and often do change.

    • Seneca’s Cliff says:

      The A-listers may not make as big a salary, but they might just get an even bigger share of the movie budget. Without big box office openings and theatre hype how is the viewer to know which new streaming movies are “big deals” and which are “straight to video quality.”

  29. sunny129 says:

    Too many streaming services trying to compete with Netflix and Prime video like – Disney, Hulu, Apple ++besides premium Cable channels like HBO, Showtime etc. most of them mediocre.

    With PLEX (Qnap) system one could select/download ( movies, TV dramas and documentaries+) from various sources on the net and create your ‘own’ ‘netflix, for those who are tech savy.

  30. DanS86 says:

    Tenet is below $30M in USA yet Disney will not release it on demand. Dummies. As Winter comes theaters will not reopen.

  31. Anthony Parella says:

    Streaming is lost a joke as well. Just look at the music business. The wall Street guys impressed with Netflicks which isn’t really making money.

  32. BuySome says:

    Aha, it really is a Canadian plot. People living in shopping malls on an endless mind-controlled holiday shopping spree was an episode of Sliders…and we know where that show was made. Sorry kids, it’s coal for Christmas this year! Be sure to leave a tray of Maple Leafs and a glass of oil out for Santa Claws as the supplies of milk and cookies may be low.

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