Studios waiting for the “Goldilocks moment” to open their tentpoles are prolonging for everyone that so-called “perfect” time to reach moviegoers.
As we just saw with Disney/Marvel’s sizzling SHANG-CHI (pictured) Labor Day launch, moviegoers are back seeing films they want to see. When they skip titles, the doomsayers immediately blame the Delta Variant and say the exhibition’s dying. They don’t understand that ticket sales depend on the strength of the movie’s opening. Rejecting a film isn’t the same thing as rejecting moviegoing. If people watch a picture that’s streaming instead of seeing it in a theatre, it could be they don’t think it’s worth paying for — not that they’re afraid to “risk” being in a cinema.
Labor Day weekend brought news reports of airports packed with people eager to travel over this last-gasp-of-summer weekend. They weren’t scared to be packed in like sardines in confined planes for hours with hundreds of strangers, who may or may not be healthy. Why should anyone think they’d be terrified to be in cinemas with new state-of-the-art air filtration systems, very high ceilings and much more space between seats?