“I prefer to watch movies in a theater with a lot of people, and the loss of that experience would be pretty sad,” Marvel president Kevin Feige said during a media press tour of the comic book studio, “The movies we make are best enjoyed on a big screen with a crowd.”
Feige’s statement Monday arose when he was asked his thoughts on the major studios’ push for a high-end PVOD window that potentially could encroach on theatrical windows. While the other majors such as Universal and Warner Bros are huge proponents of this, Marvel’s parent Disney is not, given its rich theatrical business from its Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Disney animation brands.
“I hope that communal experience of going to the movies remains for a long time and we make movies that are worthy of getting into the car and worth going to a parking lot,” said Feige.
Marvel’s two 2016 tentpoles Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange minted a combined domestic take of $640.6M and global of $1.83 billion. Last night, Marvel screened its May 5 summer-kickoff film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to a great positive response to the media last night on Disney’s Burbank lot (not only is it hysterically funny but bound to make audiences pull out the Kleenex). The pic is projected to open to $150M, which would be a 59% hike over its first 2014 chapter’s debut ($94.3M).
While there isn’t a stat to how many times people watch a Marvel movie in the theater — Feige has quipped that moviegoers see them four times — the Marvel chief said: “If you look at a film like Beauty and the Beast, you don’t get to those numbers unless there’s a significant amount of people viewing. We make movies to be seen multiple times, not just because we want people to keep buying tickets, which we do, but we’ve grown up obsessing over the movies we love. It’s fun to revisit and revisit movies again and again.”
Feige said that every summer while he was growing up “there’d be two or three movies I’d see. … Those are the ones that stick with you.”
While other studios remain bullish about a new PVOD window, exhibitors aren’t necessarily settled on the idea, and the whole notion, besides what tidbits the majors leak to the press, remains in purgatory. Said one major exhibition chief to Deadline at CinemaCon about the whole PVOD pitch, “There are no contracts being passed around, these are small talks. We aren’t even in negotiations.”All news out of last night’s Marvel press event at its Burbank HQ was embargoed until this morning.