Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman-CEO Tony Vinciguerra figures Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour could gross $200 million, calling it a “massive, unexpected rescue” for movie theaters as Hollywood strikes have led to shifting release dates and slowed the production pipeline, casting a damper on this year’s vigorous box office recovery.
“The exhibitors are our friends there’s such a symbiosis between our business and the exhibitors,” he said during a Q&A at the BoFA media conference. “It is a very big concern that in… early to mid-2024, if we don’t end the strikes at some point, that there will not be a lot of films around.”
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And yes, after that there could be a crush. “Once we do end the strikes, which will happen obviously, there’s going to be a gold rush to get actors and producers and directors back in production.”
He said Sony has several films that are about ready, just “need a little more work, and once they’re done, will be in theaters. And I think other…studios have the same situation. So there will be a moment in time, like early second, third quarter this year where there were a lot of films in theaters, we will probably have that again.”
“But that’s not the terrible thing. The terrible thing is not having films in the theaters.”
A number of studios have moved release dates including Sony for the Sony/Marvel property, Kraven the Hunter from Oct. 6, has moved to Labor Day weekend of 2024, and the Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel from Dec. 20 this year to March 29, 2024.
On the studio’s film slate and industry in general, he agreed that there were too many superhero films “coming out all the time. And I think everyone has seen that and now is spacing them out a little bit more.”
(A few that underperformed expectations include Shazam: Fury of the Gods, The Flash and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.)
“We have the animated Spider-Verse, live-action Spiderman, and all the characters that we are working on as well [and] trying to keep a distance between them. Scarcity sells. We are keeping that very much in mind.”
Anime is big and that’s a market Sony’s is plugged into as the owner of Crunchyroll, which distributes films and, he thinks, is one of only two profitable streaming services after much larger Netflix.
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