Monday, July 01, 2013

Filling in the Squares

... but five years out?

Studios are escalating the tentpole race, claiming dibs on the best dates into late 2018 as big bets grow ever more important to the bottom line. ...

"This is the future of tentpole release dates," Exhibitor Relations vice-president and senior analyst Jeff Bock told TheWrap. "The fact that so much time and money goes into making these big-budget movies and animated films, nailing down the right release date is of utmost importance to the studio and the creators." ...

[Long advance dates] allow more time for the studios’ marketing machines to build momentum. And the extra lead time will come in particularly handy when setting up promotional partnerships and licensing deals.

Another benefit could be the signal that it sends to investors. These are big-budget movies, and their success or failure can move a company's stock. For shareholders, actual dates could make the potential for profits from blockbusters seem more solid. ...

There's a couple of movie trends that are happening here: big, live-action trendsetters (usually super heroes in capes) and animated features. It's useful to have both kinds of movies be sequels, but isn't totally necessary. One muscular crime fighter is much like another, and animated features are the most profitable subsets in moviedom. (So if you make one filled with the expected characters, comedy and action, the odds are pretty good that it'll rake in cash.)

With animated features, there is also the issue of development time. Years are usually required. (Tangled had more than a decade of tinkering before being released.) The average, high-end, animated movie is generally in work for three years.

So setting release dates faarr in advance? Seems like a rational decision to us.


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