When is the right time to release a movie?
It’s a question that executives have always confronted, trying to win counterprogramming battles with rival studios and dodging huge blockbusters. Over the course of the last year-and-a-half, however, it’s become a question riddled with tricky asterisks. Is now a good time to release a movie or are executives setting themselves up for a massive loss because of the ongoing pandemic and shifts in how people want to watch movies — mainly, streaming.
On the other side of the debate is one optimistic question quietly muttered around conference tables: What if we release it now, and it becomes the movie that drives people back to theaters? (Sorry, Christopher Nolan!) How much are we willing to bet to see if it actually pays off? With new COVID-19 statistics every week, changing guidelines, and individual state/national laws to contend with, trying to figure out when to release a movie has become a migraine-inducing task.
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