In a major movie news event, Disney announced they’re sending their summer blockbuster Artemis Fowl straight to streaming, bypassing any theatrical release. They’re skipping cinemas entirely. This is significant. Every other feature initially on Hollywood’s 2020 summer roster has been rescheduled to late Fall — or next year. Or, in some cases, are now on permanent hiatus. (Moment of silence, please.)
Let’s assume you understand why the movie theaters/production studios are offline right now. (Concerns over CoVid-19…but you know this, right?)
Returning to the topic of Artemis Fowl, Science Fiction book website Tor.com reports:
The film was originally slated to premiere on May 29th in theaters, and because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the studio has opted to pull its release, joining numerous other films that were supposed to come out this summer.
Based on a children’s book series by Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl clearly wants to be the next Harry Potter phenomenon. But AF has elements of both science fiction and fantasy: a hard combination to get right. Can you think of any film that managed to pull if off? Yet if Artemis Fowl is a hit, this origin story will found a new
cash-cow franchise. From the trailers, it looks like Disney spared no expense.
Why This is an Important Event
While Artemis Fowl is the first film announcing this move, it probably won’t be the last. This will be something the rest of the Hollywood is going to be following very closely. And probably nervously. (As well as movie theater chains, like AMC, who announced their intention to file bankruptcy.) The movie industry is extraordinarily big and wants people to go to theaters. The studios will lose many millions of dollars if staying home to stream new flicks becomes the new normal. Studios need butts in seats, and soon.
Disney can afford to lose money on movie tickets, since they’re pretty fabulously wealthy, but with people desperate to watch new movies — and probably still quarantined at home — they probably won’t. Making an entertainment ‘event’ in this way, Artemis Fowl should introduce a lot of people to Disney’s subscription entertainment channel.
Artemis Fowl will be available for streaming on June 12.
UPDATE: Three new movies have just joined the straight-to-streaming list: Trolls World Tour (Universal), The Love Birds (Paramount) and Scoob! (Warner Bros). YAY for kid’s movies?
PS: Watch this trailer. Between “Hagrid” and “Harry” — not to mention the English accents — they’re not being very subtle, are they?
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