Before anyone comments, I would like to address that this is NOT the same NATO that you're probably thinking of. No, there's actually a different NATO that isn't part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Nope, this NATO represents the National Association of Theatre Owners. Not to be confused with the NATO that most of you were probably thinking of.
Anyways, the NATO I'm talking about represents the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, with more than 33,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and more than 32,000 additional screens in 103 countries worldwide.
Anyways, to follow up on what was discussed in my last thread asking whether or not movie theaters will become obsolete due to streaming and the coronavirus, it seems more information has come out about the topic recently.
According to popular YouTube insider, John Campea, the reason why Universal decided to forgo a theatrical release for "Trolls World Tour" actually had a lot more to do with the fact that the movie was projected to be a flop upon release according to statistics, even without the Coronavirus shutting down all non essential businesses. And since Universal had already spent that money promoting the film way before the coronavirus outbreak got worse, and they figured with the current situation keeping kids at home that Trolls 2 would make more money on VOD, they decided at the last minute to recoup some of their losses by informing NATO approximately only 20 minutes in advance that they would forgo a theatrical release for Trolls, and followed that up 20 minutes later, after telling NATO, with announcement to the public that Trolls 2 would go straight to VOD, while citing that in April that Trolls 2 would be released simultaneously on both VOD and theaters in April.
However, that's not the end of the story. NATO released a press statement saying that Universal studios is LYING to their customers with that announcement because they know damn well theaters will NOT be opened in April of this year. And it was later stated by NATO that they did not appreciate Universal pulling this stunt at the last minute, and that they would not forget this moving forward.
A lot of people, including myself, firmly believe that Universal Studios had just received an unveiled threat from NATO moving forward, and it could cost Universal Studios a lot of money in the long run if VOD and streaming doesn't replace movie theaters like some people think it will. In layman's terms, it basically means that Universal studios, while trying to prevent a short term loss, screwed up by pissing off one of their main business partners. That's what it means, and their business partner might not be as willing to work with them as well as they have in the past once this coronavirus situation settles.
Before anyone comments, I would like to state a few facts to consider. When the government ordered all non essential businesses to shut down, movies that just barely came out that were still in theaters like "Bloodshot", "The Hunt", "The Invisible Man", "Emma" and etc were forced to go into VOD and streaming a lot earlier than expected out of necessity. NATO even said they understood why movies like those had to be rushed to streaming and VOD because it wasn't the studios fault that the coronavirus would cause theaters to shut down during their theatrical ones, and they were already in theaters at the time when this all happened, so NATO never held that against the studios that were behind each of those films because they were only doing what they had to do.
It's also worth noting that in the past when the time period that films had to wait to be released on VOD and streaming once their theatrical runs ended was shortened in large part because NATO was willing to work with their business partners like Disney, Universal, Fox and etc in the past to try to keep up with today's growing market.
The point is that in layman's terms, NATO has always been a willing business partner for these big movie studios, and worked with them on various occasions even if it wasn't to their benefit, like when Disney was demanding that "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" be shown on four or five of their biggest screens at each theater is premieres at for x amount of weeks in a row, or else pay a penalty fee to Disney, yet NATO never once complained about it publicly.
As John Campea said, a lot of this could've been avoided if Universal Studios had actually treated NATO as a business partner, and discussed this with them in a meeting instead of just giving them a twenty minute notice before making their announcement public about their intentions at the last minute. Yeah, NATO still would've been pissed, but they would've been a lot more understanding according to Campea, and I agree. This way it would've made NATO feel more like a business partner if they had shown that level of consideration to at least consult with them first before doing this. But they didn't, and this could cost them in the long run.
But then again for all we know, "Trolls World Tour", could become the first VOD movie to reach a billion dollars, and all of this could become moot.
Here's a video link to John Campea's youtube video discussing this further, as he pretty much says everything I have to say on the topic and probably a lot better than I ever could say it to be honest:
Oh also, "Trolls World Tour" is going to be 20 dollars to "rent" if Universal sticks to their guns to forgo a theatrical release and have it go straight to VOD next month. So my biggest questions to you guys is this.
First for all you parents out there, do you think you'll be "renting" Trolls 2 when it comes out on VOD next month at a whopping 20 dollars just to entertain your kids? Do you think NATO should just be grateful movie studios even consider them business partners at all, and that NATO is overreacting? Do you think what Universal Studios is justified, or do you see this as a dick move like I do?
Will "Trolls 2" be a game changer for movies once it comes out? Or do you think Universal fucked themselves long term for a short term gain? Please discuss.
What does one theatre ticket cost on average? Most of the theatres these days are so small I'd much rather stream them to my big screen at home--along with low cost munchies--than be crammed into a small space with strangers.
Besides, if several people can watch the stream for $20 total, then it's a bargain compared to going to the theatre, even if it is an IMAX.
NATO could be a thing of the past before long.
Not as long as piracy exists. As long as piracy is a thing, then nato will never be obsolete. Besides even if you claim you would pay 20 dollars to stream a movie at home vs going to a pirate site that shows the same movie in the same level of quality for free, it doesn't mean everyone else wouldn't take the free option. It's common sense. Not saying that theaters deter piracy completely.
However movies that are usually pirated off movies still in theaters are in that shaky cam shitty quality. Whereas movies pirated off streaming services or vod are often in the same quality as the version you'd get by paying for it honestly.
I didn't refer to pirated movies in my comment, Steve. I was speaking of the cost of a family going to a movie, plus the exorbitant prices the theatres charge for cokes, popcorn etc.
20 bucks would be a bargain for streaming the movie.
I know you didn't bring that up in your comment. I was just explaining why vod and streaming will never replace movie theaters is all I'm getting at.
Although on a side note you are right that is a bargain compared to how much you'd pay seeing a movie at a theater. I can't disagree on that one.
I see your point, but theatres are pricing themselves out of the market with the present technology available. I have a great surround sound system and a huge screen. I can also pause the movie when I need to replenish my adult beverage or smoke a doobie. Something else you can't do in a public theatre.
Very true. Oh shit. Now I'm hearing rumors that Disney is now considering the possibility of releasing black widow on vod and streaming directly instead. This is getting interesting. I think a lot of this still depends on how well trolls 2 does. I'm not saying it needs to make a billion dollars but if it can be profitable even by a tiny bit like Shazam was last year then I think we can expect more high profile movies that were supposed to head to theaters go to streaming, as I know companies like Disney and universal are desperate right now. Hell Disney recently had to raise 6 billion dollars to pay off some of their debts as they're still paying their employees during this pandemic in spite not getting much revenue coming in so I think if trolls 2 does reasonably well you'll probably see other studios getting desperate enough to at least get something during this pandemic. Not sure how nato is going to feel about it but we'll see. Too many variables to consider honestly.
Plus John campea said this in another video that apparently the highest grossing vod release was the Floyd Mayweather fight with Manny Pacquiao with a 90 dollars fee that grossed around 400 million dollars. Compare that to something like the joker and captain marvel that each made over a billion dollars in theaters and avengers endgame making over 2 billion at the box office so you can say nato will be obsolete but the numbers and facts don't support your claim.
Stuff goes direct-to-video or direct-to-streaming all the time.
So why would the theaters be mad at Universal for taking a movie off of their hands that was likely to be a massive failure anyway?
Because it's the general principle of the matter. If you watch the YouTube video, John campea said it best. Nato is a business partner to movie studios. If universal studios wanted to do this then they should have at least shown them respect by asking to have a meeting with nato for a day to discuss their intentions and while nato probably still would've been unhappy, they would have at least felt they were being treated respectfully rather than a last minute heads up like they did.
It would be like if you and I owned a restaurant and we both decided to serve Italian food. However at the last minute before the grand opening, I decided to change the menu to Mexican food instead without consulting with you about it first and then only gave you like maybe a twenty minutes heads up right before the restaurant opened. It's just standard courtesy.
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