Apple and Amazon are reportedly “very pleased” with the results of their recent forays into the theatrical exhibition space according to Cinemark CEO Sean Gamble.
Speaking with Wall Street analysts to discuss the cinema chain’s third-quarter results, Gamble says his conversations with the two tech firms indicate they remain firmly committed to theatrical releases and says: “There’s real value they see in this space”.
Amazon plans 8-12 wide releases a year, with “Creed III” and “Air” among its releases this year. Apple on the other hand is only “really just getting going” with “Killers of the Flower Moon” being the first of three major titles coming – the others being “Napoleon” and “Argylle”.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” just crossed $100 million at the global box office. Combined with a wave of Taylor Swift-inspired concert movies, the shortfall from the recent downturn in traditional studio pipelines could be more than made up for:
“We clearly see a scenario where two to three years out, we could be looking at more content than ever, more releases than we’ve ever seen in the marketplace.”
Gamble adds that day-and-date releases are effectively done at this point, and he doesn’t see it coming back:
It’s clearly something that has been tested and, quite frankly, it didn’t work. Our studio partners recognize that. They tried it. They’ve seen that the best way to drive and maximize value for their financial assets and maximize promotional impact is with a theatrical window. And there’s no real indication of moving back in that direction.”
He adds that flexibility on windowing, rather than a mandatory 75-90 day rule across the board like pre-pandemic, has eased concerns about the need for day-and-date. Now films that don’t spark well in cinemas can come to digital sooner whilst hits can play for much longer.