22 Comments
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Oppenheimer and Killers of Flower Moon had similar runtimes, but Killers of Flower Moon was out of theaters by the time I had a day where I could go see it.

Maybe three-hours-long, R-rated historical dramas need more time in theaters because they are 3 hours long and R-rated? I gotta snag that babysitter in advance.

The amount of time Napoleon spends in theaters will ultimately determine if I get to see it on the big screen.

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Unfortunately I was not able to see Oppenheimer in IMAX, but it certainly sounded worthwhile from reading the comments here. But it got me thinking about the potential impact of Apple's Vision Pro where the ability to create a virtual IMAX screen was a highly touted tent pole feature. If it lives up to Apple's hype and as the tech progresses and gets more affordable, it could be fatal blow to the theater going experience.

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This is the point I’ve been making for a long time, Sonny. The “a movie is only profitable for 45 days so it should be available on streaming on day 46” mindset always ignored the obvious psychological effect this would have on your average, non-super film nerds. Not only would a more traditional 6 month delay from theatrical-to-home timeline help mediocre tentpole flicks but probably also get far more $40M budget thrillers/dramas back on the big screen.

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I’m looking forward to watching Oppenheimer on my iPad in my first class seat during my flight to Hawaii in two weeks. Had no desire to see it in a room full of people who may or may not have appropriate self control. Also, being over 60, I might have to pee during the 3 hour movie. Hit pause, micturate in a tiny stinky dimly lit and worn out closet (First class, but on United), restart movie.

I’d imagine if there’s a hell and I end up in it, I’ll get to see Barbie.

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I recall Siskel and Ebert's comparing the widescreen version of the gladiator scene in "Spartacus" to pan-and-scan. It really drove home the notion that nothing beats seeing a film the way a director meant it to be seen.

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People will go out of their way to watch events. Oppenheimer and Barbie were events. They were in theatres, not going to be on TV for awhile, and sold as “you gotta see this in the theatres.”

When movies are sold as anything else, they become another bit of entertainment that you might watch but it isn’t worth driving to see.

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See it now or wait until Christmas is as valid now as it was in the 80s. The mostly positive change was selling directly to consumers at Christmas instead of video rental places. The streaming services sort of take the place of video rental stores to create a market for lower tier fare.

Sidebar: In my small Mississippi town, black customers cleared the rental shelves of Westerns and Kung Fu movies on Saturday night.

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I’m 61 and I have one-tenth of a normal field of vision. Yes, I’ll watch Napoleon--hoping that I like it better than The Rock and True Lies--on a phone I can hold four inches from my face. Just my regular reminder that the theater experience isn’t for everyone!

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Dec 2, 2023Liked by Sonny Bunch

We saw Oppenheimer on an IMAX big screen. It was astonishing. I can’t imagine that a substantial impact won’t be lost on the small screen.

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Dec 2, 2023Liked by Sonny Bunch

The longer window also provides more opportunity. I really wanted to see Oppenheimer, but due to my schedule making movies difficult, I rarely go. I happened to have time, and noticed that it was (shockingly) still available. I think I saw it on the last possible day, and was glad I did, because parts of it would have lost a lot on the smaller screen.

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Dec 2, 2023Liked by Sonny Bunch

In the before times, I would go see every Disney and Pixar movie in the theater, knowing that it would be on DVD by Christmas (and that I would then buy the DVD.) But the movies were GOOD. It's not just that I know (fill in the blank) movie will be on streaming soon, I usually know WHERE. If it's a DC movie, it will be on MAX (which I get for free.) If it's Disney/Marvel/Star Wars, it will be on Disney+. Paramount has its own service. Illumination/Universal will be on Peacock (maybe at the same time it hits theaters.) It's a rare movie that I wanted to see that hasn't hit one of the half dozen streaming services that I subscribe to.

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Dec 1, 2023Liked by Sonny Bunch

"Curious audiences need to feel as though they’ll be deprived if they decide to wait until something hits their TVs."

It's easier to make them feel deprived if the movie is good. Right now nothing Disney is showing makes me want to rush out to the theater to see it, and I don't have Disney+, so that's not the reason for my lack of motivation. It's just that their recent features seem so blah.

But certainly if a movie is GOOD, it has far more earning potential if it gets a longer theatrical release before being relegated to a streaming platform where it can be watched for no additional charge. I can't imagine any movie actually earning 1 billion dollars in revenue solely through streaming.

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Dec 1, 2023Liked by Sonny Bunch

For all the Ivy+ MBAs in Hollywood studios these days, seems the value-add of “scarcity” remains a head scratcher for them.

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I was one of the few people who waited six months for Top Gun: Maverick to make it to streaming!

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I’m not saying Jason Kilar and Bob Chapek need to go to prison for what they did in 2021...but I would settle for 6 months house arrest and an apology statement. It needs to be written in Word though and not the Notes app.

You know what...I want recriminations for every blogger, website, and film critic that slander Chris Nolan. He was *quite* clear that more than be a cinema enthusiast he was protecting the actual business with his stance back in 2020. He has been proved 150% correct. If we aren’t going to have recriminations then at the very least he needs the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Or, failing that, his first Oscar for Oppenheimer.

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I blame really big tvs that are "kinda movie like" ... of course you have to put something up on 'em.

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