Patty Jenkins, whose latest film, Wonder Woman 1984, has been delayed three times, is warning that movie theaters face extinction and she’s calling on Congress to take action.
She shared her warning for theaters threatened by the coronavirus lockdowns when talking with Reuters. “If we shut this down, this will not be a reversible process,” she told them.
Jenkins added the dire prediction, “We could lose movie theater-going forever,” and worries the movie industry could become scarcely profitable.
She compared its future to the struggles of the music industry. “It could be the kind of thing that happened to the music industry,” Jenkins said. “Where you could crumble the entire industry by making it something that can’t be profitable.”
Teaming with other filmmakers representing The National Association of Theatre Owners, the Directors Guild of America, and the Motion Picture Association, Jenkins co-signed a letter urging members of Congress to take action by providing stimulus to theater operators.
Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan, and Martin Scorsese also signed the letter. The filmmakers and associations stated in their letter 93% of theater exhibitors suffered a loss of 75% in second-quarter 2020.
They claim if trends continue 69% of small and midsized movie theater companies will have to file for bankruptcy or close for good, begetting a 66% loss in theater jobs.
Regal Cinemas and AMC Theaters, the largest chains in America trying to power through a dearth of content to screen, are hemorrhaging money.
Regal alone suffered a loss of $1.6 billion. The chain’s owner, Cineworld, announced they are closing all 500+ locations in the US indefinitely over the pandemic and the postponement of releases.
Theaters internationally and in parts of the country are reopening and showing movies such as Tenet and Bill & Ted Face the Music, but they don’t have increased ticket sales to boast about.
Jenkins made note of the shift by studios to streaming which is where Mulan and Trolls World Tour wound up, with the latter reportedly making a killing. She doesn’t see an appeal to that future.
“I don’t think any of us want to live in a world where the only option is to take your kids to watch a movie in your own living room and not have a place to go for a date,” Jenkins stated.
She recently shot down a rumor Wonder Woman 1984 would be released to streaming for a premium fee this Christmas and continues to have faith in a theatrical release.
Jenkins wrote on Twitter, “Director to streaming is not even being discussed. We are still 100% behind the theatrical experience for Wonder Woman 1984 and supporting our beloved theater business.”
What do you make of Jenkins’ warning? Do you think theaters could be in dire trouble?