Movies & TV / News

Sony Doesn’t Plan to Release Expensive Tentpole Films Until Theaters Fully Reopen

September 12, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

If you have a big-budget Sony film you’re looking forward to like Morbius, Venom 2, or Ghostbusters: Afterlife, you may be waiting a while. Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Tony Vinciquerra spoke during B of A’s 2020 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference (per The Wrap and suggested that their biggest films won’t be hitting theaters until those theaters are fully reopened.

“What we won’t do is make the mistake of putting a very, very expensive $200 million movie out in the market unless we’re sure that theaters are open and operating at significant capacity,” Vinciquerra said. The quote comes as Hollywood is grappling with how to handle releases with theaters starting to open up. Warner Bros. took the plunge with Tenet and while it is doing okay, it is raking in far less than it otherwise would have due to the fact that the number of available theaters are down over 30% from maximum — not to mention limited capacity and public fears about going to theaters.

Vinciquerra noted that the situation is allowing studios to learn and innovate, noting, “You’ll see a lot of strange things happen over the next six months in how films are released, how they’re scheduled, how they’re marketed, but once we get back to norma,l we will have learned a lot I think and found ways to do things that are somewhat different and hopefully better. We have a film opening this weekend [the rom-com Broken Hearts Gallery], a small film, which I think will do pretty well.”

While none of the above-mentioned blockbusters are actually believed to be $200 million films, they won’t be cheap and will require big grosses to make money. The first Venom cost $110 million, and the sequel is expected to cost more. Sony released the top-grossing film of 2020 thus far with Bad Boys For Life, which has grossed $427.8 million worldwide on a $90 million gross.