CinemaCon 2022: Summer Movies, Box Office recovery Post-Pandemic

Summer Movies, BoxOffice Recovery

CinemaCon runs April 25-28

Paramount is showing theater owners the first public screening of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick, one of many films delayed by the pandemic.

Much has changed since Hollywood studios and theater owners gathered together for in late August of 2021. The box office was still in the early stages of recovery, and most media and entertainment analysts questioned whether the theatrical experience would ever return to normal amid the streaming gold rush.

In the time since, Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home earned north of $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office to become one of the top-grossing films of all time.

In recent weeks, families are finally returning in earnest to the multiplex. Thus, the success this past weekend of Sonic: The Hedgehog 2 and The Bad Guys).

There’s reason for optimism on the part of cinema operators as they head to Vegas.


Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans) in LIGHTYEAR.
Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans) in Lightyear, after being marooned on a hostile planet, attempts multiple test flights in an effort to reach hyperspeed and return home.
Last week, Netflix saw its value drop $54 billion in one day after announcing it had lost 200,000 subscribers. The unprecedented decline might be a cautionary tale.

Netflix has never been willing to give their films a traditional theatrical release.

Netflix, My Ass

The streamer has long been a thorn in the side of theater owners.  In 2017, Sony chief Tom Rothman drew cheers when declaring, “Netflix, my ass.”

Will Rothman have any choice words for Netflix when he helps presents Sony’s slate Monday night inside the cavernous Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

But the issue of streaming versus theatrical is sure a hot one. Sony is the only one of 5 major studios which doesn’t have a sister streaming service.

“The mythology has been taken out of streaming. Maybe it isn’t the future that everyone thought it was,” says top theater exec. “Theatrical wasn’t in the game during the pandemic, and streamers had the playing field all to themselves.”

Would Netflix begin giving its films a conventional wide release in cinemas. “Netflix is a clearly trying to think about a second revenue stream. Putting their movies into a brief, exclusive theatrical window, could be a possible option,” says Wall Street analyst Eric Handler.

One the burning issue is the optimal window in the post-pandemic era: 45 days vs. 74-90 days previously.

Smaller titles can hit PVOD as early as 17 days.

Summer films are billed as the main focus of CinemaCon. All major Hollywood studios are touting their slates.

Paramount is treating exhibitors to the first full public screening of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick.

The movie makes its world premiere the following week in San Diego, followed by a screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

Teasers and footage are expected for Avatar 2, Jurassic World Dominion and Black Adam.

Family movies include Lightyear, the Toy Story spinoff, and Minions: The Rise of Gru.

Studios, especially Warner and Universal, will have sessions with filmmakers and stars.

CinemaCon runs April 25-28.