Paramount keen to stick with theatrical release schedule

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Paramount Global’s CEO has hinted that its 2023 release schedule will go ahead despite the ongoing strikes in Hollywood.

Whilst we’ve seen Sony and Disney cancel a slew of scheduled releases due to the ongoing strikes, the majority of 2023’s release schedule continues to hold, although for how long we simply don’t know. The situation seems to be an ever-evolving one: if one film release bombs due to a perceived lack of star power in its marketing, it’s likely we’ll see a domino effect that will affect tentpole releases across the board.

As of right now though, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The twin successes of Oppenheimer and Barbie have given the industry a shot in the arm and amid something of a renewed interest in the theatrical experience, we’d wager that studios are keen to ride that perceived surge.

That appears to be the case for Paramount at least, with its CEO and president, Bob Bakish hinting on an earnings call that the company is looking to stick to its 2023 schedule. Bakish said, “from a content perspective we’re in pretty good shape,” before going on to list films that Paramount expects to release in cinemas this year, including Martin Scorsese’s Killers Of The Flower Moon (in a distribution deal with Apple), A Quiet Place: Day One and Bob Marley: One Love.

Bakish added that continuing with its schedule as planned was important for Paramount “in the near term, we’re working to mitigate the impact to our consumers and other constituents.” However, he did admit that the longer the strike goes on, the more difficult it could become to continue releasing films, adding, “it all comes down to duration. And I want to reiterate that we’re hopeful that we can solve this as an industry sooner rather than later, because we’d all like to get back in the content production business.”

Of course, in an earnings call with investors we’re very much used to hearing studio brass say what investors want to hear. Bakish would be particularly keen to win over his audience because the studio’s revenues are almost 40% down from last year (when as you’ll recall, they were sizeably fattened by a small film called Top Gun: Maverick). Still, we’d rather hear studio heads talking about stability and wanting to end the strikes like Bakish and Netflix’s Ted Sanrandos have done, as opposed to throwing fuel onto the fire like Disney’s Bob Iger recently did. We’ll bring you more on this one as we hear it.

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