After more than six months of cinema halls remaining closed, things are finally picking up for both theater owners and movie lovers. While things are far from going back to normal with the pandemic still raging all over the world, film distributors and exhibitors are looking to get back to business.
The must-see film of the year. TENET – in CINEMAS across Pakistan September 18.
Mulan, releasing nationwide on September 11, will be the first to brace moviegoers whereas Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which has also already released in the US and the UK, will finally release in Pakistan on September 18.
Losses In Pandemic
There is a world where Mulan barely sells on Disney+, Tenet doesn't come close to breaking even, consumer behavior + theaters (which Disney warned about) doesn't recover in next six months, production problems continue, and Netflix becomes even scarier than they already were.
— julia alexander (@loudmouthjulia) September 7, 2020
Both films have had to change their release strategies and face the harsh realities of releasing during a global pandemic, performing below the margin. Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s return after Dunkirk was set to be a huge deal before it released in the pandemic where it managed to do dismal box office business. As it stands right now, the movie is expected to close its run with $300 million, which is a far cry from the $500 million needed for the film to break even let alone make a profit.
This means that because of the constant money spent shuffling the film and having to keep advertising it in new dates over the entirety of 2020, Tenet’s studio WB now stands at a loss and will likely not recoup upwards of $200 million dollars. This means that their strategy to depend solely on box office in a global pandemic isn’t likely to be profitable, meaning you might see some of their upcoming films either delayed indefinitely, till next year, or on streaming services.
Also navigating uncertain terrain is Disney’s Mulan. In the countries where the company had launched its new streaming service Disney+ such as US and UK, consumers could opt to pay an additional fee and stream the film immediately or wait till December for it to be made for free on the service they had subscribed to. Other countries such as China, saw the film being released in theaters. However, the movie has been receiving excessively poor reviews in China and is being boycotted by many for a plethora of reasons.
Although the film received a good Rotten Tomatoes score, which is an aggregated critics score, it failed to enchant viewers, many of whom were more disturbed by the choices Disney made. The #BoycottMulan movement has even hit Pakistani Twitter just before the launch of the film, and it is anyone’s guess whether or not it will factor into the decision making of the public who will be picking between seeing Tenet and Mulan.
In places like Rawalpindi, stage plays and theaters are also feeling bold enough to reopen. As crowds feel comfortable enough to gather again, more stage plays and cinemas will be opening soon. However Tenet and Mulan may be the litmus tests on whether or not the public in Pakistan is ready to spend on movies again.