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The Big Screen Is Back Event Unites Every Major Studio to Celebrate the Return of Movie Theaters

Posted 2021/05/20 6 0


After taking 2020 off, the summer movie season is finally back. As more and more theaters begin to reopen, studios are finally seeing the opportunity to release their blockbuster films into theaters for large audiences. To celebrate this, the National Association of Theater Owners, the Motion Picture Association, and many of the most influential studios and figures threw a big “The Big Screen is Back” event on Wednesday, showing off quite a bit of stuff that had already been shown mixed with a few new teasers.

J.J. Abrams and Jason Blum appeared in person alongside pre-recorded messages from various other filmmakers and theater distributors. The event showcased over 30 upcoming movies that will be released by the end of 2021 in movie theaters. Everything from massive tentpole blockbusters to small indies were represented. Arnold Schwarzenegger kicked off the proceedings with a big speech like only he could.

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“I wouldn’t be here if it wouldn’t be for the theaters, if it wouldn’t be for the big screen.”

“The Big Screen is Back” audience was made up of journalists, film industry professionals, and exhibition executives who were all masked up and socially distanced, even though the CDC has said that unmasking amongst vaccinated individuals is fine, with the majority of those in attendance having been vaccinated. The event went beyond the three hour mark. Most of the footage shown during the big event has already been released online. Among the footage shown included sneak peeks at F9, In the Heights, The Green Knight and Respect.

This event was first teased during the Oscars with a video featuring Matthew McConaughey, however, it has now happened, hosted at the AMC Century City 15 in Century City. “Over a dozen studios” were involved in the conference which featured “studio heads, executives and film clips including Warner Bros, Paramount, Sony, Disney, Universal, United Artists, NEON, IFC, A24, Focus, Lionsgate and Sony Pictures Classics.”

A statement released by the committee for “The Big Screen is Back Event” states the following.

“After a year-and-a-half of theater closures, restrictions, consumer confusion and moving slates, this event is meant to be a joyful celebration of the industry that we all love – one that includes entertainment press gathering together to celebrate the re-opening of theaters nationwide this summer. There is a lot to be excited about and much for audiences to look forward to this summer.”

Each of the presentations by the studios featured somewhat new footage, moderated Q&A’s, and conversations with filmmakers. Many of the films featured in this event are films that were supposed to debut in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these films were delayed and studios were forced to experiment on how to distribute their film slate.

Some of the blockbusters set to debut this summer include Cruella on May 28th, A Quiet Place: Part II on May 28th, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It on June 4th, In The Heights on June 11th, F9 on June 25th, Black Widow on July 9th, Space Jam: A New Legacy on July 16th, Snake Eyes on July 23rd, Jungle Cruise on July 30th, The Suicide Squad on August 6th, and Free Guy on August 13th.

Many of these selections are being distributed in hybrid formats. Warner Bros. has been debuting their films for 2021 in theaters and for a limited run on HBO Max for no extra price. Some of the summer blockbusters coming to HBO Max includes Space Jam: A New Legacy, In The Heights, and The Suicide Squad.

Disney will also continue to offer their Disney+ “Premier Access” service in which films will be available in theaters and on Disney+ for an additional $30. Cruella, Black Widow, and Jungle Cruise will be a part of this service for those who may not be ready yet to return to theaters.

“In terms of going beyond this fiscal year, we’ve not announced exactly what our strategy is going to be in terms of which titles will be theatrical plus Disney premier access, which ones will be direct to Disney+ or which ones will go into theatres,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said. “We’ll continue to watch the evolution of the recovery of the theatrical marketplace and we’ll use that flexibility to make the right call at the right time.”

Even with many of the summer films going to streaming services, movie lovers can still be excited for the return to theaters. This summer will hopefully serve as the bounce back that theater chains need for the future. This news originated at Variety.


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