Theatrical or no Theatrical?

As the entertainment industry starts to rethink release strategies due to the impact of the enduring COVID crisis Cinelytic provides critical insights into the economics of a traditional theatrical vs. direct to OTT release by using our OTT demand data and our content evaluation platform. 

As a case study, we ran the Tom Hanks film GREYHOUND as the original theatrical release it meant to be and discovered that base case it would have barely broken-even with an ROI of 1.6%.

GREYHOUND was sold to Apple+ for a streaming release when the COVID crisis hit generating a substantial profit for Sony with a reported sale price of $70m.

Our OTT demand data from July10-20 shows that GREYHOUND turned out to be the first major hit for Apple+ which also had to do with the fact that audiences are starved for new content as traditional studios hold back titles for the theatrical window.

The chart below shows the success of GREYHOUND and the current dominance of streaming titles vs. 6 months ago (Jan 10-20) when major studio titles dominated the Top 20:

With theatrical reopening being pushed back further, we recommend that studios/content providers should seize the opportunity of content-hungry audiences combined with a lack of competition and release more titles direct to OTT.

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