Hollywood turns to the online streaming to save its films from the coronavirus catastrophe


In Hollywood, the industry is setting the tone and anticipating the initiatives that have emerged in Spain and Europe for premieres on platforms postponed by the pandemic.

Until a few weeks ago, audiovisual content platforms were the declared enemy or at least an uncomfortable new traveling companion of the traditional film industry. Now, suddenly and by the greater force of the virus that threatens us all, the online cinema system can be the lifeline of an old business that sees the ground beneath its feet tremble. And Hollywood has begun to set the tone.

A few days ago, production organizations in Spain and Europe announced to La Vanguardia the start of negotiations with the government and the EU executive to lift or relax the regulations that make it difficult to launch a film on the Internet without having released it in cinemas.

It's obvious that producers here face important obstacles to organize this migration from theatres to the Internet. The administrations have set up a complex system of protection for the cinema that subjects official subsidies to certain conditions that tend to give certain stability both to the production apparatus itself and to the distributors and exhibitors.

In Spain, for example, public aid for a film is only granted if the applicant meets three conditions: release the film in at least 40 theatres; allocate an investment of 15% of the project's budget to promoting the film; and allow 16 weeks to pass between the release and the exploitation of the film by other means, whether it be DVD sales or platform broadcasting.

Some large studios, such as Disney, have it much easier by controlling practically the entire chain of production and exploitation of their films.

This Friday, the Hollywood studios began to move, without as many obstacles as those defended by our more modest cinema, to move directly to the platforms some big releases planned for the next weeks or months in the theatres of the country. Of course, some of these companies, like Disney, have it much easier by controlling practically the entire chain of production and exploitation of their films.

As a preview of this crucial operation, we have precisely the latest from Disney: the expected Onward. The new animation film was released in US cinemas a week before the Covid-19 took over Italy and Spain and knocked on America's doors. A week later, as Efe pointed out this Friday, the film's takings fell by 73% and it became the least viewed film in the history of Pixar

Disney will broadcast Pixar's latest animation, 'Onward', online and for a fee, before moving it to its own streaming platform.

Solution? Starting this weekend, Onward will be available for download on the Internet, for a fee of $19.9. And from April 3rd it will be part of the catalog of the streaming platform Disney+.

Already another recent premiere of animation, Frozen II, had advanced its entrance in Disney+ without waiting the wait of months that the studies came respecting after each premiere in cinemas. And Trolls 2: World Tour will be released directly to homes on April 10, the same date it was to arrive in theaters.

Warner is also planning to skip the cinemas to launch 'Wonder Woman 1984' directly online.

Warner Bros. is also considering the possibility of skipping the cinemas and launching Wonder Woman 1984 directly online, according to the specialized magazine The Wrap, citing "two anonymous and knowledgeable sources of these discussions.

Everything indicates that one of the side effects of the coronavirus is going to mean a substantial change in the film industry. The transformation that began with the outbreak of Netflix and the other platforms is accelerating and suddenly acquires a dizzying speed. The consequences are impossible to calculate yet, but they will be very relevant.

Source: La Vanguardia