It has become clear, however, that the dual release has led to cannibalization of theater ticket sales.
Sure but the question is does the money they make from Disney+ premier access offset that cannibalization. AND what’s the effect on Disney+ subscriptions in general.
Certainly doesn’t seem great to me for the theater only model that Shang-Chi got outperformed by a movie that people could watch at home. But it’s a different movie on a different weekend of the year. Early July was a more optimistic time, Delta has ramped up at the end of the summer so that surely had an effect.
For me personally, I still like the simultaneous model. That’s largely because I have small kids and going to the movies is an expensive affair. Usually if I get a babysitter I don’t want to spend that time in a theater. I have to really want to see the movie. Which is basically just reserved for Star Wars movies.
Could be great if they switched to opening weekends were theater exclusive and after that it could be purchased on streaming. If you want to see it immediately, you have to go to a theater, but you don’t have to wait long if you can’t do the theater.
I’m also a little surprised Disney+ treats it more like a purchase than a rental. $30 to rent a new release for 48 hours makes total sense to me. We did it with Trolls World Tour. It’s expensive but no more so than taking a 3 or 4 people to the theater. Either way they can play with that pricing in a way they can’t in theaters. Not all new releases need the same price.
HBO Max’s free streaming model is a nice way to boost their numbers, but it’s a ridiculous strategy I think (but I will continue to enjoy it for the rest of 2021). I never would have paid much money for Mortal Kombat or Kong v. Godzilla, but I really enjoyed them both.
All that to say I like watching movies in our new world. I certainly don’t thinking going back to the old ways is happening. I’m excited to see how companies experiment.