While the studios stacked up a number of trailers and clips for their upcoming summer slate at today’s conference The Big Screen is Back sponsored by the MPA, NATO and studios, three-time Oscar nominated producer Jason Blum was one of the few notable pieces of industry talent (outside distribution and marketing execs) mentioning how theatrical is king. Blum closed out the conference which was opened up by Arnold Schwarzenegger. J.J. Abrams even stopped by to highlight a short about NY movie theatre worker Catherine Lawrence.
Blum’s remarks come after a weekend where Discovery and WarnerMedia announced a merger with Amazon and MGM reportedly around the corner. Indeed, the time’s are a-changin’.
“The theatrical moviegoing experience matters. To our creative community. To the audience. And to our investors,” said the producer of Oscar-winning genre pic Get Out and triple-Oscar winner Whiplash.
“I make movies and television shows, of all shapes and sizes, for almost all the studios and streaming platforms in town. And I love them all. But some movies just scream to be on the big screen. It’s where they belong. And when the lights go down. And that magic happens up there, more than 50 feet tall, with 57 Dolby Atmos speakers plunging me into an ocean of sound ….. there is nothing else like it.”
Those are welcome words to hear from a producer on the state of theatrical. Movie producers, increasingly, are required to be agnostic about where their films wind up as studios shift at the last minute and send product on a streaming service or truncate a theatrical window.
Blumhouse has The Forever Purge coming out this summer via Universal on July 2.
Below is Blum’s speech from today:
Hello everyone. I’m Jason Blum and I’m truly excited to be here today.
Our world is at an inflection point, and our industry with it. The collision of pandemic recovery, shifting business models and corporate consolidation puts us at the intersection of recovery and change.
It’s been a packed news cycle this week, and, of course, it’s tempting to draw hasty conclusions about what it all means. But I know one thing for certain, if you told me right now that you were going to turn down the lights and show me any of the movies that were previewed here today, I would stay.
I’d gladly take that two hour journey – knowing that it might shift my perspective, move me to laughter or tears, scare the crap out of me – if it was one of our movies — or show me something profound about the human condition.
The heart of this industry is the enduring value of great storytelling. And when the story is great, the audience will come.
There is a palpable buzz in the creative community. Movies are heading back into production. And more importantly, movies are heading back into the movie theater. New stories are being readied. We are eager to get back to doing our best work. The pandemic accelerated change, but with change comes opportunity. Each studio is experimenting with its own bespoke business model. But they all collectively came together today to tell you one thing – the theatrical moviegoing experience matters. To our creative community. To the audience. And to our investors.
I make movies and television shows, of all shapes and sizes, for almost all the studios and streaming platforms in town. And I love them all. But some movies just scream to be on the big screen. It’s where they belong. And when the lights go down. And that magic happens up there, more than 50 feet tall, with 57 Dolby Atmos speakers plunging me into an ocean of sound ….. there is nothing else like it.
Thank you all for coming today to celebrate this experience we all love. It’s good to see us all honoring it together.