In a strongly worded statement, the National Association of Theatre Owners defended the practice of exclusive theatrical release windows for exhibitors and used Disney’s latest movie, Black Widow, as its prime example. Here is NATO’s statement in full: “Black Widow’s excellent reviews, positive word of mouth, and strong previews and opening day total ($13.2 million/$39.5 million) led to a surprising 41 percent second day drop, a weaker than expected opening weekend, and a stunning second weekend collapse in theatrical revenues. Why did such a well-made, well-received, highly anticipated movie underperform? Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life.
The National Association of Theatre Owners
The National Association of Theatre Owners, on behalf of six major movie theatre chains, has filed a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey, claiming a First Amendment right to reopen their locations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Calling their treatment by the state "neither fair nor reasonable," they assert that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's administration has allowed churches, malls, museums and other establishments to reopen without laying out a timetable for the reopening of movie theatres and other entertainment venues.