The actor-director believes that the big screen releases will be relegated to big-budget films and will be almost like special events.
«40 movies a year in theaters, probably all sequels, animation, and franchisees». This is how Ben Affleck sees the future of exhibitors, as he commented in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. The actor has just released The Tender Bar -in Spain, The bar of high hopes– via Amazon Prime Video, after your previous movie, The last duel, was a hit at the box office that has found its place in the world of ‘streaming’.
He knows that there is an audience for all the films that are made and that it is not always in a movie theater. Affleck reflects on it without resentment or regret, but in a practical way.
If I had to bet I’d say a drama like ‘Argo’ [del que es director] it wouldn’t be released in theaters right now. And it wasn’t that long ago. It would be a miniseries. I think movies in theaters will be more expensive, like events. Aimed at young people and especially like: ‘Hey, I love the Marvel universe. I can’t wait to see what happens next. ‘
The actor’s career has not always been a succession of critical successes. He knows he’s made movies that aren’t good, and while he doesn’t blame people for not seeing them in theaters, he’s surprised that his recent Ridley Scott film, The last duel, was not well received in theaters. «I’ve had bad movies that didn’t work and I didn’t even blink. I know why people didn’t go, because they weren’t good. But [en esta] I liked what we did. I’m very proud so I was really confused. Seeing how well he did on streaming, I thought, ‘Well, there you have it. That’s where the audience is«.
Affleck does not blame the pandemic alone for this situation. It is something that comes from behind. Premiere The Way Back a week before everything closed due to the health situation and already then I knew that this film was not going to move people to theaters, especially if they have products as brilliant as Rome, Mare of Easttown or Succession -examples that he himself gives-. «Wonderful things are being done streaming. It is not a procedural for television that follows the formula, as when we were children, «he says.
The current state of the industry provokes a necessary debate and, at times, drastic decision-making. Christopher Nolan, for example, broke his relationship with Warner Bros., the studio with which he had developed his latest films, after the latter opted for a simultaneous theatrical release and HBO Max, thus detracting from the work of the exhibitors.
If we analyze the list of highest grossing films of 2021 we find that Affleck’s prediction is already coming true. If we eliminate the big blockbusters in China -which only with the data of their country of origin reach 800 and 900 million dollars of collection-, we find that the three most watched films are Spider-Man: No Way Home, No time to die Y Fast and furious 9. All of them deliveries of infinite sagas.
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