Tom Holland as Peter Parker in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’.
Spider-Man, the Na’vi and a disparate group of galactic rebels return to theaters this summer.
Disney will release the Star Wars prequel “Rogue One” and “Avatar” in domestic theaters in the coming weeks, while Sony will release a bloated version of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
Re-releases aren’t new to the industry, especially when it comes to major anniversaries of popular and iconic features, but 90% of those screenings are scheduled through Fathom Events, not the studios themselves, according to data. from Comscore. Fathom is a joint venture between AMC, Regal and Cinemark that brings legacy titles back to theaters for limited engagements.
The timing of Disney and Sony re-releases comes as box office ticket sales are down 30% from 2019 and there have been 30% fewer films released in theaters. There are few major movie releases over the next few weeks until Universal and Blumhouse’s “Halloween Ends” on October 14 and Warner Bros. “Black Adam” on October 21.
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Not only is there room on the schedule for Disney and Sony to get these films into theaters, but their appearances are part of a larger strategy, particularly for Disney, to promote theatrical and streaming debuts at come.
“Rogue One,” a solo Star Wars film first released in 2016, hits theaters again on August 26, a month before its spin-off “Andor” series debuts on Disney+. The film will be accompanied by an exclusive look at the new series, and is exclusively available in IMAX.
“Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff,” a production collaboration between Sony and Disney’s Marvel Studios, arrives September 2 just in time to celebrate 60 years of the Spider-Man comic book and 20 years of the Spider-Man movies. . The updated version has added and extended scenes.
Then, on September 23, “Avatar” returns to national cinemas, three months before the release of its sequel “Avatar: The Way of Water” and 13 years after its first theatrical release.
“For studios, a re-release of a specific title can seemingly serve as a two-hour infomercial to remind audiences of the upcoming final installment of a particular movie franchise or TV series,” said Paul Dergarabedian. , senior media analyst at Comscore. “And for theaters, these special releases can provide much-needed filmed content in a slower lane of the release schedule.”
Source: Walt Disney Studios
“Avatar,” in particular, “is the biggest” of the upcoming releases, said Shawn Robbins, chief media analyst at BoxOffice.com. “That might give us a first indication of where the anticipation for ‘The Way of the Water’ stands.”
The focus on IMAX is also noteworthy, Robbins said. Theater operators reported throughout the year that patrons are opting for premium formats much more than before the pandemic. This includes IMAX, Dolby, 3D, and other experiences that offer immersive seating or panoramic screens.
“These formats continue to be an important part of the present and the future of the exhibition, and there’s really no way to relive films in these formats once they leave theaters,” Robbins said. .
Not to mention that once audiences are in theaters, operators have also seen them spend a lot more on food and drink.
“It’s a win-win solution for studios and theaters,” Dergarabedian said.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. Universal is the distributor of “Halloween Ends”.