COVID19 and the ensuing lockdown was a kick in the teeth for theatres. They were already highly sensitive to the march of the streamers particularly as Amazon, Netflix and Apple TV were ramping up the content creation, Quibi was launching and Disney+ charged into the market place with such force.
The news today that Netflix has signed a first look deal with one of the most active content creators in recent years will send shivers down the spine of those whose livelihood depends on people seeing big movies in theatres.
Chernin Entertainment has switched from Fox to Netflix. The first look dead with Fox expired on their acquisition by Disney.
Chernin were so active they had over 80 movies in various stages of development and in the last year managed to push 24 of those into cinemas.
These included the new Planet of the Apes trilogy, Hidden Figures, Spy, The Drop, Oblivion, The Heat, The Greatest Showman, Red Sparrow, Tolkien, Underwater and Ford vs. Ferrari. They also were behind Terra Nova and New Girl on TV.
These are serious content creators with a way above average success rate. And now a Netflix gets first dibs.
Of the 80 movies they have in development they have taken 70 with them. Only a few remain behind at Fox including the Wes Ball-directed Planet of the Apes continuation.