The monumental success of “Barbenheimer” is a hot topic at the moment, with the opening weekend of these two movies contributing to the highest weekend box office since 2019.
Greta Gerwig’s comedic Mattel movie has since taken over $1bn dollars worldwide, making it the first to do so with a solo woman director.
Meanwhile, Nolan’s atomic biopic looks set to be the director’s most successful non-superhero movie, and who would bet against it sweeping the board at The Oscars?
What has been proven is that cinema can still generate huge attendances when the content is strong enough. The industry has been in a period of recovery since the pandemic when filming schedules were hugely disrupted and we are only now seeing a return to a consistent stream of quality releases.
However, there is another threat on the horizon…
Since the 2nd of May, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been in dispute with The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). On the 14th of July, the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) went on strike, joining the WGA in calling for better pay and job security. It’s the first dual strike by the two unions in more than 60 years.
Productions affected by the strike so far include Deadpool 3, Gladiator 2 and Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part Two. The follow-up to this year’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, originally scheduled for release on 29th March 2024 has been delayed indefinitely.
But it’s not just cinema schedules that will be affected, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and Showtime’s “Yellowjackets” have halted production. Season two of HBO’s “The Last Of Us” is also on hold, with the absence of writers affecting preparations for casting. Writing on season six of “The Handmaid’s Tale” has halted ahead of filming that was supposed to start in late summer.
Talks were held last Friday to resolve the situation but as yet it’s anyone’s guess as to how long the strikes will continue. For the sake of the cinema industry, and its patrons, the sooner it’s resolved the better!