It is supposed to be summer, at least here in the northern hemisphere. It’s a time that historically is meant to be filled with relaxing, laid back sunny days, family vacations, blockbuster movies that earn beaucoup box office and most importantly, at least for those of us here at Celluloid Junkie, a string of incredibly slow news days. What we’ve gotten this summer is a never-ending heatwave due to some atmospheric occurrence known as a “heat dome,” torrential rains flooding entire cities within minutes, exorbitantly priced airfare, supposedly underperforming film releases and, worst of all, more industry news stories than one small trade publication could possibly handle.
I mean, I was personally hoping for a few quiet weeks after CineEurope to do some strategic planning for longterm initiatives, you know, the kind that we always say will be done by next summer. Instead, the industry is now contending with not one, but two labor strikes for both writers and actors which have halted film and television production. It’s the first time both the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild have been on strike at the same time in over 60 years. So just as cinema operators were getting a steady flow of new film releases they now have to prepare for a drought at some point during the next 18-months.
There are a ton of business stories to research that have nothing to do with the WGA/SAG strikes such as Cineworld exiting bankruptcy, Empire Cinemas entering administration in the United Kingdom and the pending court ruling over AMC’s shareholder settlement. And don’t get me started on whatever absolutely insane conspiracy theories have generated the frenzy of headlines around Angel Studios’ hit “Sound of Freedom.”
Oh, and what’s with all the announcements concerning industry CEOs? We’ve got Donna Langley getting a well earned promotion at NBCUniversal, Bob Iger extending his contract as Disney CEO for two years and the restructured Cineworld landing Eduardo Acuna as their new CEO. Couldn’t these kind of personnel decisions have waited until September when trade journalists are prepared to work overtime getting the word out?
And before anyone writes back telling me that I’d complain just as much if there were no news to report or that it’s better than the summer of 2020 when there was only bad news, well, you’d be right… on both counts. I guess I’ll try and adopt filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s attitude. When asked about having his latest movie, “Oppenheimer,” open against “Barbie,” he said optimistically, “Summer, in a healthy marketplace, is always crowded… I think for those of us who care about movies, we’ve been really waiting to have a crowded marketplace again, and now it’s here and that’s terrific.”
So fine, I guess if there are a lot of exhibition and distribution updates to cover this summer then it’s a sign of a “healthy” industry and I won’t complain. But can someone at least find out if there is a retractable roof on this heat dome thing so we can all cool off a bit?
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