Theaters suffered great losses with the onset of the pandemic as cinema owners saw a record low in business and a great struggle to keep their livelihoods afloat. While streamers managed to keep their revenue at decent amounts and people flocked to their laptops instead of the big screens, theater releases are still managing to scrape by at passable box office collections.
The Legendary Entertainment CEO Joshua Grode talked with Variety during Power of law breakfast past Wednesday and took part in the questionnaire, answering what he thinks the future of theatre would be for Hollywood.
The CEO is positive that business for theaters is going to have an increase in profit very soon when conversing with Claudia Eller, the Chief Editor of Variety. The CEO shared that his organization has been working on bringing big-name Hollywood productions as an effort to draw back the audience to theaters.
The efforts also include competent prices for VOD experiences along with television deals that could benefit the audience in the long run. After all, streamers are known for exploiting the audience and it will take only too long for people to once again appreciate the in-cinema film culture.
Not to mention, the at-home movie experience does not hold the same awe when watching films as compared to theater setups. The films feel a lot muted and it does not do justice to the extensive hard work put in by the productions when it comes to designing the soundtrack of the films.
Legendary's two latest productions from 2021 Godzilla Vs. Kong and Dune were both theater releases and managed to scrape by with a decent box office collection despite the pandemic scare associated with the public cinema experience around the time.
Even standalone films that do not hail from tentpole franchises have seen a decent collection with theater releases. Paramount's The Lost City, starring Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, and Sandra Bullock, created a major buzz as a non-superhero film in the theaters and bust all myths that have arisen and surrounding cinema releases.
The theater is poised to make a big comeback in the coming times, regardless of the genre concerned, said the CEO. If a romantic comedy film has succeeded in drawing the attention of the audience towards theater screens, there is hope that the cinema culture will once again take a healthy flight. If anything, it only adds more hope to where action flicks and multiple film franchises are concerned.
The lockdown period was admittedly a much distinct experience of entertainment consumption, which broke down the fourth wall and allowed people to stream massive budget films right from their home screens. Yet, there is also the concern that films are only being allowed a maximum of three months as theater releases.
The CEO expressed a strong dislike towards the 90 days policy and shared that the time frame of a film to be run in theaters should be left to personal experimentation. Studios like Universal, Paramount Pictures, and more are setting their own theater window limit, which could range anywhere from 45 days and more, along with streaming releases.
This will allow studios their own control over monetization and marketing as they decide what fits better with their goals and visions. The CEO also shared that there could be a merger of TV and cinema deals including pay-one offers that could help people experience both the home screen and cinema releases.
Grode also shared how he managed to update his designation from a high-end lawyer to the CEO of Legendary Productions. Apparently, the lawyer had warned the Wanda leaders against a business transaction that would not have benefitted them. Yet the deal was carried out anyway only to fall back on them.
Hence, the corporation saw the worth of his advice and courted him for the seat of the CEO of Legendary. The lawyer added that he will continue practicing law and after he was happy with the deal that he drew up for Legendary with the help of his wife, he said yes to the position.
The actor inherited the company at a time when it was operating at the risk of $200 million per year. But since his ascension to the seat of CEO, the company has made great advances, with 2020 and 2021 being the two most profitable years of the company in its history.
The company is now making headfast success with no pending debt to their name and a very strong profit score that would let them continue the good work for some time now. Only recently, Apollo invested in Legendary, solidifying their stakes in the entertainment industry. The management and the employee count of the company have been seeing great numbers added to their success.
Grode explained that there is a lot that goes under the surface in showbiz considering that only the tip of the iceberg is seen while there is so much that is hidden. The lawyer also brought attention to the lawyers in the entertainment business who managed to keep deals afloat in the pandemic days and spared the public the pain of franchise shutdowns and cancellations, enabling many people to keep at their livelihoods.