It’s getting spicy in the streaming bid wars! Amazon has offered an aggressive (and record-breaking) $200M for The Tomorrow War from Skydance. While the deal is not set in stone yet, it’s an exciting evolution for streaming features and a positive overall for producers. IN an industry where great productions have been languishing, waiting for a venue to release too under uncertain state lockdowns, this could prove to be a fantastic step forward for the industry. BLAKE & WANG P.A entertainment Lawyer Los Angeles dive deeper into this exciting development.

Unprecedented, but predicted

It’s not the first hefty price tag Amazon has put out for recently. Paramount’s Coming 2 America was bought for $125M, ripe for a debut over the holiday season. Likewise, Skydance’s Without Remorse, originally set for an autumn release via Paramount. Without Remorse, another Skydance feature, has also gone to Amazon, while 2 animated features, Spellbound and Lucky, will head to Apple from Paramount.

With Chris Pratt in the lead as well as executive producer, The Tomorrow War was pre-screened to the major streaming networks over the weekend. Reports suggest it was exceedingly well-received overall, and that the interest in the movie has been superb. Featuring a soldier drafted to fight a future war for the survival of humankind and relying on his ability to confront his past, it’s an original IP with a lot of promise.

Exciting innovation

The idea that this could go to a streamer for its launch is a pretty exciting one for the industry as a whole. With such positive test reception, this is exactly the sort of picture we’d classically see stick to a theatrical release plan, were the market anything like normal. We do have the exhibition industry poised to return with a strongly-branded relaunch later in the year, too. In fact, The Tomorrow Wars was originally slated for a Christmas tentpole. Instead, with a projected release date of July 23, 2021, releasing to a streamer could make sense in the current climate- and they’re willing to pay for it.

With 60% of North American/Canadian theaters closed still, it certainly makes sense that Paramount has pushed a number of it’s slated movies to streamers. It’s worth noting, of course, that most of these were so financers could finally get a return on planned event features they had invested in while the theatrical market looks so dismal. Even the greatly anticipated Wonder Woman 1984 dropped to 67% then 45% from its $16.7M opening weekend. While some of that was driven by an overall disappointing reaction to the sequel, it can also be attributed to fear of movie going during the COVID-19 pandemic and the film’s simultaneous release to HBO Max streaming.

Streaming has certainly risen as the venue-of-choice for some exciting film releases, and we’re seeing a rise in the price tag the channels are willing to pay for a theatrical premiere. While it’s still hoped the exhibition industry can make a recovery, we could well see some exciting streamer wars in the future.

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