Share article:
Share article:

Kinepolis down 15% on news of streaming choice by studios

Kinepolis Brussels. © Kinepolis

News that two major movie studios intend to release films next year straight to streaming saw shares in the cinema chain Kinepolis drop by 15.% overnight.

Yesterday Warner Brother announced it would release 17 films next year in cinemas and simultaneously on the streaming service HBO Max, which has nine million subscribers.

WB ‘s planned 2021 releases include Godzilla vs Kong, Mortal Kombat and the latest in the Matrix franchise.

The news follows an announcement by Disney that it would release the new live-action Mulan and Soul (an animation voiced by Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey and Graham Norton) on its Disney+ service, and skip the cinema stage altogether. And industry news is that MGM is looking for a streaming outlet for the new Bond film.

The developments will affect cinemas whether the studios release their films there or not. At present, cinemas are allowed a period of about two months during which new films are not available anywhere else. That pulls the audiences for blockbuster films into the cinemas when impatience and fashion see to it that audiences are reluctant to wait for other releases, to TV for example, specialist movie channels or DVD.

If, however, films are available for streaming immediately, that is likely to hit cinema sales hard. As if things weren’t already bad enough.

Since March, cinemas in Belgium as elsewhere have spent a lot of time in the dark, while the tendency in recent years towards multiplexes has left them with giant movie warehouses with no customers.

News of the WB announcement saw Kinepolis shares fall by 15% on Euronext, recovering only slightly to stand down about 10% this morning.

Kinepolis CEO Eddy Duquenne is not panicking, he told De Tijd. Both WB and Disney have said their move is a one-off reaction to the closure of cinemas worldwide.

The studios are still postponing film releases, and they are not giving up the lucrative cinema income,” he said. Kinepolis hands over half of your ticket price to the studio, while making the majority of its income from the concession stands.

In the entire life cycle of a film (cinema, streaming, DVD, TV), Hollywood generates the largest share of its income in the cinemas.”

With the closure of the cinemas, Hollywood is also losing income, by that calculation, and needs to look for alternative markets. At the same time streaming services are springing up like mushrooms, and fighting for market share. The sums they are offering studios for simultaneous release are likely to be be higher now than they would be in a normal market, or can be expected to be later once the less successful players drop out of the game.

And Duquenne has new ideas up his sleeve, too. Such as the cinema showing of TV series from the likes of Netflix.

During a guest lecture at Ghent University I asked 266 students whether they would watch a TV series in the cinema,” he said. “59% said they would.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

New, reportedly more contagious Delta mutation being monitored
A new mutation of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is reported to be more contagious, is being monitored by health authorities in the ...
Angèle releases new single: ‘Bruxelles je t’aime’
Belgian singer Angèle has unveiled her latest song ahead of the release of her new album, due later this year. 'Bruxelles je t'aime' (Brussels I ...
23 million chickens and 1.7 million pigs: Climate experts call for livestock cut
Flander's livestock needs to be drastically cut to save the climate and reach the emission reduction targets, according to the latest advice from the ...
Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...
Health minister supports use of Covid Safe Ticket in workplace
As the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been expanded in Brussels and is set to in Wallonia, federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has ...
Maggots show Conings may have lived longer following disappearance
Former army soldier Jürgen Conings, whose disappearance in mid-May resulted in a month-long manhunt, may have been alive for longer than has been ...
Pandora Papers: European Parliament describes UK and US as global hubs for money laundering and tax evasion
The European Parliament adopted on Thursday a resolution taking the European Commission to task for not doing enough to combat money laundering, tax ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 29 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than 100 people hospitalised with coronavirus per day
More than 100 people are being hospitalised per day in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus, as the rise in new Covid-19 infections continues its ...
Digital well-being: being healthy in a hyperconnected world
There was hardly any doubt about the direction that digital innovation was moving in, but whilst the pandemic restricted human contact and slowed ...
Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...