All 92 Oscar best-picture winners, ranked from worst to best by movie critics

parasite
“Parasite”

  • The 93rd Oscars ceremony is Sunday.
  • 92 movies have won the Oscar for best picture in the history of the Academy Awards.
  • We ranked them all based on how well they fared with critics, including last year’s winner “Parasite.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

It’s been a turbulent year for the movie business, but the show must go on.

The 93rd Oscars ceremony is Sunday after being pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. And the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also bent the rules a bit for this year’s Oscars.

Movies that debuted on streaming services qualified as long as they had a planned theatrical release (a movie usually has to have a qualifying theatrical run). And movies released between January 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 qualified (it’s usually only the calendar year).

The delay meant that last year’s best picture winner, “Parasite,” was the reigning champion for a bit longer. It broke barriers as the first international feature to win the Oscars’ top prize.

This year’s frontrunner is “Nomadland,” directed by Chloé Zhao and starring Frances McDormand. Seven other films are also competing for cinema’s most prestigious award, including Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Mank.”

Business Insider ranked all 92 best picture winners – from the first winner, “Wings,” in 1927 to “Parasite” – based on their critic score on the reviews-aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

In the case of ties, we broke them based on their audience scores on the site. (And if those were the same, the film with more critic reviews came out on top.)

All 92 best picture Oscar winners are ranked below:

92. “The Broadway Melody” (1929)

broadway melody

Rotten Tomatoes score: 33%

91. “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952)

greatest show on earth

Rotten Tomatoes score: 47%

90. “Cimarron” (1931)

cimarron

Rotten Tomatoes score: 52%

89. “Out of Africa” (1985)

Out of Africa

Rotten Tomatoes score: 62%

88. “Cavalcade” (1933)

Cavalcade

Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%

User score: 26%

87. “The Great Ziegfeld” (1936)

great ziegfeld

Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%

User score: 50%

86. “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956)

around the world

Rotten Tomatoes score: 69%

85. “Forrest Gump” (1994)

forrest gump

Rotten Tomatoes score: 71%

84. “Crash” (2004)

Crash Lionsgate

Rotten Tomatoes score: 74%

Audience score: 88%

83. “A Beautiful Mind” (2001)

A Beautiful Mind

Rotten Tomatoes score: 74%

Audience score: 93%

82. “Gentleman’s Agreement” (1947)

gentleman's agreement

Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%

Audience score: 78%

 

81. “Gladiator” (2000)

gladiator

Rotten Tomatoes score: 77%

Audience score: 87%

80. “Terms of Endearment” (1983)

Terms of Endearment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%

Audience score: 83%

79. “Braveheart” (1995)

braveheart

Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%

Audience score: 85%

78. “Green Book” (2018)

green book

Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%

Audience score: 91% 

77. “Going My Way” (1944)

going my way

Rotten Tomatoes score: 81% (31 reviews) 

Audience score: 74%

76. “Gigi” (1958)

gigi

Rotten Tomatoes score: 81% (37 reviews)

Audience score: 74%

75. “Tom Jones” (1963)

tom jones movie

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

Audience score: 58%

74. “The Life of Emile Zola” (1937)

Life of Emile Zola

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

Audience score: 73% 

73. “Chariots of Fire” (1981)

Chariots of Fire

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

Audience score: 80%

72. “Oliver!” (1968)

oliver!

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82% (33 reviews)

Audience score: 81% 

71. “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989)

Driving Miss Daisy

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82% (65 reviews)

Audience score: 81% 

70. “A Man For All Seasons” (1966)

a man for all seasons

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83% (42 reviews)

Audience score: 87% 

69. “Dances With Wolves” (1990)

dances with wolves orion

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83% (76 reviews)

Audience score: 87% 

68. “The Sound of Music” (1965)

The Sound of Music

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%

Audience score: 91%

67. “The English Patient” (1996)

the english patient weinstein company

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

Audience score: 83%

66. “Gandhi” (1982)

Gandhi

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

Audience score: 92%

65. “Grand Hotel” (1932)

grand hotel movie

Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Audience score: 77%

64. “Chicago” (2002)

Chicago

Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Audience score: 83%

 

63. “Ben-Hur” (1959)

ben hur

Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Audience score: 89%

 

62. “Platoon” (1986)

platoon

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87% (69 reviews)

Audience score: 93% 

61. “American Beauty” (1999)

American Beauty

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87% (190 reviews)

Audience score: 93% 

60. “Midnight Cowboy” (1969)

midnight cowboy

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%

Audience score: 88% 

59. “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979)

kramer vs kramer

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%

Audience score: 89%

58. “Titanic” (1997)

Titanic

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Audience score: 69%

57. “How Green Was My Valley” (1941)

how green was my valley 20th century fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Audience score: 81%

56. “Ordinary People” (1980)

Ordinary People

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89% (54 reviews)

Audience score: 88% 

55. “The Last Emperor” (1987)

Last Emperor

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89% (72 reviews)

Audience score: 88%

54. “Rain Man” (1988)

tom cruise rain man

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Audience score: 90%

53. “Million Dollar Baby” (2004)

Million Dollar Baby

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Audience score: 90% 

52. “The Departed” (2006)

the departed jack nicholson matt damon

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Audience score: 94%

51. “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” (2014)

birdman michael keaton

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Audience score: 77% 

50. “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Audience score: 90% 

49. “Gone with the Wind” (1939)

Gone with the Wind

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Audience score: 92%

48. “Rocky” (1976)

rocky

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Audience score: 69%

47. “The Shape of Water” (2017)

the shape of water

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Audience score: 72%

46. “Shakespeare in Love” (1998)

shakespeare in love miramax

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Audience score: 80%

45. “From Here to Eternity” (1953)

from here to eternity

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92% (61 reviews)

Audience score: 84%

44. “West Side Story” (1961)

West Side Story United Artists

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92% (78 reviews)

Audience score: 84%

43. “The Deer Hunter” (1978)

the deer hunter

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Audience score: 92% 

42. “Wings” (1927)

wings

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 79%

41. “Mutiny on the Bounty” (1935)

mutiny on the bounty

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 84%

40. “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” (2003)

return of the king lord of the rings

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93% (275 reviews)

Audience score: 86% 

39. “No Country for Old Men” (2007)

No country for old men javier bardem

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93% (288 reviews)

Audience score: 86%

38. “You Can’t Take It With You” (1938)

you can't take it with you

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 88%

37. “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962)

lawrence of arabia

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 93% 

36. “The Apartment” (1960)

The Apartment

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 94%

35. “Amadeus” (1984)

Amadeus Orion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Audience score: 95% 

34. “The King’s Speech” (2010)

kings speech

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Audience score: 92% 

33. “Patton” (1970)

Patton

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Audience score: 93% 

32. “The Sting” (1973)

the sting

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Audience score: 95% 

31. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975)

one flew over

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Audience score: 96% 

30. “All the King’s Men” (1949)

all the king's men

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 78%

29. “Hamlet ” (1948)

hamlet

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 80%

28. “Mrs. Miniver” (1942)

Screen Shot 2018 02 21 at 11.25.05 AM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 85%

27. “The Artist” (2011)

the artist movie

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 87%

26. “My Fair Lady” (1964)

my fair lady audrey hepburn

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95% (58 reviews)

Audience score: 90% 

25. “12 Years a Slave” (2013)

12 years a slave

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95% (371 reviews)

Audience score: 90% 

24. “In the Heat of the Night” (1967)

In the Heat of the Night

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95% 

Audience score: 92%

23. “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957)

bridge over river kwai Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Audience score: 93%

22. “An American in Paris” (1951)

american in paris

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 79%

21. “Argo” (2012)

argo

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 90% 

20. “Annie Hall” (1977)

annie hall

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 92%

19. “Unforgiven” (1992)

Unforgiven

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 93% 

18. “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

Silence of the Lambs

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 95% 

17. “The Godfather Part II” (1974)

Godfather Part II

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Audience score: 97%

16. “The Hurt Locker” (2009)

hurt locker trailer bomb explosion

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Audience score: 84%

15. “Spotlight” (2015)

spotlight 1 final

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Audience score: 93%

14. “The Godfather” (1972)

godfather
“The Godfather.”

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Audience score: 98%

13. “Moonlight” (2016)

moonlight

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Audience score: 79%

12 “Marty” (1955)

marty

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98% (42 reviews)

Audience score: 87%

11. “The French Connection” (1971)

french connection

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98% (83 reviews)

Audience score: 87%

10. “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1930)

all quiet on the western front

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Audience score: 89%

9. “The Lost Weekend” (1945)

the lost weekend movie

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98% (44 reviews)

Audience score: 90%

8. “Parasite” (2019)

parasite
“Parasite”

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98% (458 reviews)

Audience score: 90%

7. “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946)

best years of our lives

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98% 

Audience score: 93%

6. “Schindler’s List” (1993)

Schindler's List

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Audience score: 97% 

5. “It Happened One Night” (1934)

it happened one night

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Audience score: 93%

4. “All About Eve” (1950)

all about eve

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Audience score: 94%

3. “On the Waterfront” (1954)

on the waterfront

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99% (102 reviews)

Audience score: 95% 

2. “Casablanca” (1942)

casablanca

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99% (122 reviews)

Audience score: 95% 

1. “Rebecca” (1940)

rebecca movie

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

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Netflix’s huge subscriber growth miss in Q1 was still better than HBO Max’s performance

godzilla vs kong
“Godzilla vs. Kong”

  • HBO Max added nearly 3 million subscribers in Q1, while Netflix added about 4 million.
  • Netflix’s quarter was considered terrible and sent its stock down 10%. It still beat HBO Max.
  • Still, there was some good news for both Netflix and HBO Max.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Netflix had a disappointing first quarter that sent its stock tumbling 10%. But it still beat HBO Max.

WarnerMedia’s HBO Max gained almost 3 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, but fell short of Netflix’s worst miss since 2013. Netflix added about about 4 million subscribers – 2 million shy of its initial projections for the quarter. It’s now projecting just 1 million subscriber additions in Q2.

AT&T, the corporate parent of WarnerMedia, said during its Q1 earnings report on Wednesday that Max now had 9.7 million retail subscribers (those who subscribe directly to Max), an increase of 2.8 million from the previous quarter. It didn’t disclose “activations” as it previously has, which account for HBO customers who have accessed their Max subscription.

zack snyder justice league
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League”

The results come after a quarter in which WarnerMedia made bold moves to help boost Max subscribers. Its decision to release movies simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max this year was particularly met with backlash in Hollywood.

Movies like “Godzilla vs. Kong” and “Tom and Jerry” have been box-office successes despite also streaming. (“Godzilla vs. Kong” has passed $80 million domestically and is approaching $400 million at the worldwide box office.) “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” the long-awaited director’s cut of the superhero teamup movie, also debuted exclusively on Max in the US after a years-long fan campaign.

That didn’t seem to translate into huge subscriber growth, however.

Still, despite lackluster quarters, there’s some good news for both Netflix and Max.

Netflix missed subscriber expectations, but churn decreased. As Insider’s Ashley Rodriguez reported, retaining existing subscribers could help Netflix sustain its edge in the streaming space during what will be a challenging year after pandemic-related growth in 2020. Netflix has 207 million subscribers worldwide, with 67 million in the US.

And data has shown that WarnerMedia’s hybrid theatrical/streaming strategy has helped Max. “Wonder Woman 1984,” which debuted on Max and in theaters at the same time, generated 4.3 times the signups compared to the average weekend in December, according to the analytics firm Antenna.

As more Warner Bros. movies are released throughout the year under the same strategy, including “The Suicide Squad,” “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” and “Dune,” Max could benefit.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Disney will stream new ‘Spider-Man’ movies and other Sony franchises after they leave Netflix

spider man far from home sony
“Spider-Man: Far From Home”

  • Sony and Disney have struck a US licensing deal for its theatrical movies beginning next year.
  • The movies will move to Disney after their theatrical, home-entertainment, and Netflix runs are complete.
  • The Netflix window is expected to last 18 months.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Netflix isn’t the only streaming giant that Sony is striking deals with.

Sony and Disney announced on Wednesday that Disney had landed the US streaming and TV rights to new Sony theatrical releases beginning in 2022 until 2026.

The deal means that Disney will be able to stream new Sony theatrical releases on Disney Plus and Hulu, and air them on its linear networks like ABC and FX, but only after the movies complete their theatrical, home-entertainment, and Netflix runs.

The agreement also gives Disney the rights to Sony library titles that include franchises like “Spider-Man,” “Jumanji,” and “Hotel Transylvania.”

Netflix and Sony announced their own five-year licensing deal earlier this month. Netflix will stream new Sony movies beginning next year after they complete their theatrical and home-entertainment runs. Then they’ll go to Disney after the pay-one TV window with Netflix expires, which is typically after 18 months.

Sony’s 2022 theatrical slate includes “Morbius,” about a vampire who is a frequent Spider-Man villain in the comics; “Uncharted,” based on the hit video-game series; and a “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” sequel. The studio is expected to make “Jumanji” and “Bad Boys” sequels in the future, as well.

Sony owns the movie rights to Spider-Man and 900 related Marvel characters. Disney, which owns Marvel, and Sony struck a deal in 2019 for Spider-Man to star in one more Marvel Cinematic Universe solo movie and appear in another MCU film. That solo movie, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” hits theaters in December.

The “Spider-Man” movies aren’t currently streaming on Disney Plus, but this new agreement between Sony and Disney means that could change. Disney noted in its announcement on Wednesday that Hulu will have access to a “significant number” of library titles beginning as early as June.

Read the original article on Business Insider

China’s box-office dominance was accelerated by the pandemic and it has big implications for Hollywood’s future

godzilla vs kong warner bros
“Godzilla vs. Kong” opened strong in China.

  • China is projected to be the box-office champion of the future in the wake of the pandemic.
  • The Chinese theatrical industry will continue to grow as the US box office slowly recovers.
  • Local movies have put China over the top, but experts say there’s hope for Hollywood releases.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

China had for several years been projected to dethrone the US as the world’s largest theatrical market. But the coronavirus pandemic accelerated its ascent, and pushed it over the top, as it surpassed North America last year with $2 billion.

Before the pandemic, the research firm Ampere Analysis had projected China to overtake the US by 2022. Now, it expects China to remain the No. 1 market in the world indefinitely, as the US theatrical market slowly recovers from the pandemic.

The company projects the Chinese box office to earn $6.9 billion this year compared to $4.5 billion in the US. By 2025, it sees China being well ahead of its pre-pandemic numbers with $13.7 billion while the US falls short of $8 billion.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for the Chinese theatrical industry. In early 2020, as the coronavirus began to spread throughout the world, China’s 70,000 theaters shut down for months. But the region has been able to recover faster than the US. And while the recent release of “Godzilla vs. Kong” showed hope for the US box office, no movie is reaching the hundreds of millions of dollars in one weekend that some locally produced Chinese movies have.

Hollywood is hoping that its blockbusters can roar back to life this summer with the help of China, but they will face stiff local competition.

Local productions have accounted for more and more of the box office in China in recent years, and that trend came to a head during the pandemic when few Hollywood movies were being released in the region. The top 10 movies at the Chinese box office in the last year were local films. While that’s a product of the pandemic’s impact, it also presents potential long-term changes for the dynamic between Hollywood and China.

Insider talked with industry experts about China’s dominance during and after the pandemic, the success of locally produced films, and what it all means for Hollywood’s reliance on the Chinese market, which was seen as a reliable box-office stronghold for many Hollywood tentpoles (from Marvel movies to the “Fast and Furious” saga).

China’s theater business will keep growing

“The previously stable US market will reduce in size following the pandemic,” said Richard Cooper, the Ampere Analysis research director. “This is largely due to a forecast downturn in film financing and the fact that some US cinemas will shutter permanently.”

Cooper said China’s theater business, on the other hand, will keep growing.

That growth is exemplified by Imax Corporation, the film technology company that specializes in high-quality cameras and projection systems. Richard Gelfond, the company’s CEO, told Insider that China is its biggest market with 750 Imax theaters in the country (there are 400 in the US). It expects that number to grow to more than 1,000 in the next few years.

“As China’s cinema buildings programmes swing back into action post-pandemic, the availability of cinema in the country and the volume of ticket sales will rise as will the Chinese revenues of US films,” Cooper said. “Whilst this doesn’t mean Hollywood’s returns will increase in-line, it will still have a positive impact on revenues generated in China by US films.”

That’s at least some much-needed good news for Hollywood.

There’s still hope for Hollywood blockbusters

As China’s theatrical industry started to rebound from the devastation brought by the pandemic, Hollywood blockbusters were underperforming.

Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman 1984” and Disney’s “Mulan” and “Soul” all flopped in the region as locally produced movies thrived.

The outlook was bleak. Then “Godzilla vs. Kong” happened.

Warner Bros. and Legendary’s monster mashup grossed $69 million in China in its debut weekend from March 26 to March 28. It fell just 37% in its second weekend with $43.5 million. The movie has so far earned more than $285 million worldwide, $136.5 million of which is from China.

“When there are global releases that open up in a traditional way you’ll see similar box office in China to what you saw before,” said Gelfond, the Imax CEO.

Experts said “Godzilla vs. Kong’s” performance shows that there is still strong interest in China for Hollywood blockbusters. Gitesh Pandya, the editor of BoxOfficeGuru.com, noted that many of Hollywood’s most anticipated blockbusters that might do serious business in China, like “Fast and Furious 9,” have been postponed to later this year.

“There’s certainly plenty of hope in Hollywood that China will still be a crucial market,” Pandya told Insider. “The right movie is still going to sell.”

Still, though “Godzilla vs. Kong” is performing well in the coveted Chinese market, there has been a shift in consumer behavior in the region that can’t be ignored.

my people, my homeland
“My People, My Homeland”

Local movies are boosting the Chinese box office

The low-budget local drama “Sister” dethroned “Godzilla vs. Kong” at the Chinese box office over the weekend. It cost just $4.6 million to produce and earned nearly $53 million in its debut.

It’s the latest Chinese movie to excel domestically during the pandemic. No Hollywood movie entered the Chinese box office’s top 10 grossing films from April 1, 2020 to March 29, 2021, according to data provided to Insider by the analytics company Comscore.

The top two Chinese movies in that time period, “Hi, Mom” and “Detective Chinatown 3,” have earned $823 million and $691 million there, respectively, since debuting this February.

That doesn’t mean that Chinese films didn’t perform well in China before the pandemic. They absolutely did (in 2019, the Chinese films “Ne Zha” and “The Wandering Earth” were the two highest-grossing movies there). But locally produced movies have accounted for more and more of China’s box office over the last five years.

Local films accounted for nearly 85% of China’s box office in 2020, according to the research firm Ampere Analysis, propelled by a diverse array of releases like the war movie “The Eight Hundred” ($439 million in China) and the anthology film “My People, My Homeland” ($419 million).

Local movies accounted for just under 60% in 2018 and 50% in 2016.

As Pandya pointed out, many major Hollywood releases were benched during the pandemic. But China’s ability to release its own films in that time, and audiences’ interest in them, could set the stage for a more competitive market in the future between Hollywood and Chinese productions.

“There was a strong demand for locally produced Chinese films [out of lockdown],” Pandya said. “But before the pandemic, Chinese films in China were doing gangbusters. As Hollywood players start coming in, you might see more of a mix.”

Here were the top 10 highest-grossing movies at the Chinese box office from April 1, 2020 to March 29, 2021, according to Comscore:

  1. “Hi, Mom” – $823.6 million
  2. “Detective Chinatown 3” – $691.2 million
  3. “The Eight Hundred” – $439.3 million
  4. “My People, My Homeland” – $419.1 million
  5. “Jiang Zi Ya” – $232.1 million
  6. “A Little Red Flower” – $217.9 million
  7. “Shock Wave 2” – $200.2 million
  8. “Sacrifice” – $166.6 million
  9. “A Writer’s Odyssey” – $158.3 million
  10. “Warm Hug” – $131.5 million
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Netflix has landed the streaming rights to Sony’s future ‘Spider-Man’ movies and franchises like ‘Jumanji’

spider man far from home spidey and aunt may
“Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

  • Sony and Netflix struck an deal where Netflix gets first-look streaming rights to future Sony movies.
  • It includes future “Spider-Man” movies and other titles in Sony’s universe of Marvel movies.
  • Sony owns the film rights to Spider-Man and hundreds of related Marvel characters.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sony, without its own streaming platform, has found a home for its movie library.

The studio and Netflix announced on Thursday a five-year agreement that gives Netflix domestic streaming rights to Sony’s theatrical releases beginning with its 2022 lineup. The deal means that Netflix will have a first-look option for Sony titles beginning next year and the streaming giant has already committed to a number of releases. It will also license select older movies from Sony’s library.

The deal includes future Sony “Spider-Man” movies and other titles that are part of Sony’s universe of Marvel characters like “Morbius,” which hits theaters in January 2022 and stars Jared Leto as a vampire that is a frequent Spider-Man villain in the comics.

Disney, which owns Marvel, ended its streaming deal with Netflix last year after the launch of its own streamer, Disney Plus. But Sony still owns the film rights to Spider-Man and 900 related Marvel characters and the MCU “Spider-Man” movies have been absent from Disney Plus.

Sony and Disney struck a deal in 2015 in which Spider-Man could appear in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. After a brief feud in 2019 in which neither studio could agree on terms for the character’s future appearances, a deal was reached in which actor Tom Holland’s Spider-Man could star in a third MCU solo movie and appear in another future Marvel Studios film.

That third “Spider-Man” movie, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” is scheduled for theatrical release in December.

Other Sony movie franchises include “Men in Black,” “Ghostbusters,” “Bad Boys,” and “Jumanji.” Future installments in the latter two franchises are in the works. Sony’s “Uncharted,” based on the hit video-game series, is also set to hit theaters in February 2022.

Sony is the only major studio of the big five (Disney, Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros.) without a streaming component. Its deal with Netflix puts its future movies in front of millions of users after their theatrical runs, and gives Netflix a library to compete with Hollywood studios that have been taking back their content to boost their own streaming businesses.

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‘Knives Out’ director Rian Johnson and star Daniel Craig could each reportedly make up to $100 million for Netflix’s sequels

Knives Out Lionsgate
Daniel Craig in “Knives Out.”

  • Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig could each make “upwards of $100 million” for Netflix’s “Knives Out” sequels, THR reported.
  • Netflix struck a deal last week reportedly worth more than $400 million to make two sequels.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

“Knives Out” director Rian Johnson and star Daniel Craig are set to make bank for Netflix’s sequels to the hit 2019 mystery-comedy.

Johnson, his producing partner Ram Bergman, and Craig could make “upwards of $100 million each” for the sequels, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit reported on Tuesday.

Netflix did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Deadline first reported last week that Netflix landed two sequels to “Knives Out” in a deal worth “north of $400 million.” THR’s report has the figure at $469 million.

The studio Lionsgate released the first “Knives Out” to critical and box-office success, striking a 97% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and grossing $311 million worldwide off of a $40 million production budget. Johnson was also nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay.

But Johnson and Bergman could license the franchise on a picture-by-picture basis, according to Deadline. The pair “questioned the near-term viability of theatrical releasing” in January and, hoping for a summer production start, shopped sequels to other potential buyers, according to THR.

The deal gives Johnson “immense creative control,” and Netflix’s only demands were that Craig star in the sequels and they have at least the $40 million budget of the first movie, according to THR’s report.

Netflix has been beefing up its library of original franchises and “Knives Out” gives the streaming giant an already-proven hit property to expand.

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‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ was a hit at the box office and on HBO Max, and it shows why the post-pandemic terms between studios and theaters are far from settled

godzilla vs kong warner bros
“Godzilla vs. Kong”

  • Experts say “Godzilla vs. Kong’s” pandemic-best opening shows promise for theaters, but urge caution.
  • The movie was also a hit on HBO Max, but WB plans to abandon day-and-date releases after this year.
  • Still, a studio exec said WB is in talks with exhibitors to shorten the theatrical window.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After more than a year, the US theatrical industry finally had some good news.

“Godzilla vs. Kong,” the new monster battle royale from Warner Bros. and Legendary’s “MonsterVerse,” earned $48.5 million at the domestic box office in its first five days, and $32.2 million over the three-day Easter weekend – a pandemic-best opening. It’s so far made more than $285 million worldwide (it cost $200 million to produce).

It’s more impressive considering the movie, like all of Warner Bros.’ movies this year, also debuted on WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max on the same day it arrived in theaters.

Does that suggest that moviegoers will still see films in cinemas whether they’re streaming or not?

“Many audiences actively seek out the big screen, big sound, and shared experience [of movie theaters],” Jeff Goldstein, the Warner Bros. president of domestic theatrical distribution, told Insider. “With the right properties, theatrical exhibition can significantly ignite a cultural moment and increases the entire value chain.”

But while the numbers signal some hope for movie theaters that have been rocked by pandemic-related closures, experts caution that the industry isn’t out of the woods just yet.

“It’s difficult to determine anything concretely from just one film, especially after the year we’ve had,” said Jeff Bock, the Exhibitor Relations senior media analyst.

He added that theaters “just have to keep providing a safe and compelling environment for audiences, as ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ certainly shows folks are ready to return for the right film.”

“While the film experienced a huge increase in box-office performance relative to ‘Wonder Woman 1984,’ we are still well below how films had performed pre-pandemic and concerns remain that a meaningful portion of moviegoers now prefer streaming at home,” said Joe McCormack, an analyst with the research firm Third Bridge.

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the largest movie-theater trade group, cautioned that while theaters in the US are heading in the right direction, markets in Canada, Europe, and Latin America are still struggling.

“We are a national and a global industry, and we need many of those markets to recover to ensure the biggest box-office potential for global hits,” a NATO spokesperson told Insider in a statement.

While theaters still have a long road to recovery, the movie does suggest that theatrical and streaming distribution strategies can coexist.

godzilla vs kong
“Godzilla vs. Kong”

Theatrical windows may never be the same

“Godzilla vs. Kong” wasn’t just a box-office hit. HBO Max said that the movie had the largest audience in its first four days of any title since the service launched last May.

In response to “Godzilla vs. Kong’s” performance, some analysts praised WarnerMedia’s day-and-date release strategy, which received backlash from Hollywood after it was announced in December.

Lightshed Partners’ Rich Greenfield noted on Twitter that Max was the No. 1 app in the Apple app store on Sunday and said “the future is day and date releases.” B. Riley Securities analyst Eric Wold upgraded his stance on shares of AMC Theatres, the world’s largest theater chain, from “neutral” to “buy.”

Warner Bros.’ strategy reflects a big shift in film distribution amid the pandemic.

But NATO, the theater trade group, isn’t convinced it will have lasting consequences.

“Exhibitors are, of course, concerned about meaningful changes to release models, including the length of the exclusive theatrical window,” the NATO spokesperson said. “It is important to understand that pandemic release models, driven in part by the studios’ need for revenue right now, may bear little resemblance to what comes after, when the theatrical market can operate at full capacity. A large piece of the studio movie output simply does not make sense – or profit – without a robust theatrical performance.”

Still, there are already signs that the traditional theatrical window, typically 75 to 90 days before the pandemic, could be a thing of the past. Warner Bros. isn’t the only movie studio to embrace streaming during the pandemic and it could have lasting ramifications for movie theaters.

Major studios like Warner Bros., Universal, and Paramount have struck deals with exhibitors to dramatically shorten the window beyond 2021. That doesn’t mean day-and-date releases like what Warner Bros. is doing now, but it does mean movies could wind up on streaming or digital-rental platforms earlier than ever before.

Warner Bros., for instance, struck a deal with Cineworld (which owns Regal Cinemas) to shrink the window to 45 days beginning in 2022. Goldstein, the studio’s head of domestic theatrical distribution, told Insider that Warner Bros. is in talks with other exhibitors for similar deals.

He suggested that the day-and-date model is for 2021 only, which Warner Bros. had previously stressed.

“Our day-and-date strategy was right for us given the hobbled marketplace at this point in time,” Goldstein said. “Our plan for 2022 makes sense for that period of time.”

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‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ earned $48 million at the US box office over the weekend, the best opening during the pandemic

godzilla vs kong
“Godzilla vs. Kong”

  • “Godzilla vs. Kong” earned $48.5 million in its five-day opening weekend at the US box office.
  • It’s the best opening yet for a movie at the domestic box office during the year-long pandemic.
  • It signals hope for movie theaters, though the industry still has a long road to recovery.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

“Godzilla vs. Kong” beat the odds over the weekend at the box office.

The new monster movie from Warner Bros. earned $48.5 million at the US box office in its first five days (it opened in theaters on Wednesday), and $32.2 million over the three-day Easter weekend from 3,064 theaters.

It’s the best domestic opening yet for a movie during the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated the theatrical industry over the past year. The movie grossed $121 million during its international opening last month, which was also a pandemic-best. Its global total is now $285 million.

The movie’s predecessor, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” earned $47.8 million domestically over its first three-day weekend in 2019. It went on to earn $110.5 million domestically and $386 million worldwide.

It’s more impressive considering that “Godzilla vs. Kong” debuted on WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max for no additional fee to subscribers on the same day it hit theaters in the US, as are all of Warner Bros.’ movies this year.

Theaters across the country are also operating at limited capacity, including in New York City, one of the biggest theatrical markets in the US that finally opened last month after a year of being shut down.

While the numbers would normally be underwhelming for a blockbuster that cost $200 million to produce, “Godzilla vs. Kong’s” strong start signals hope for movie theaters – though they still have a long road to full recovery.

The last pandemic-best domestic opening was Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman 1984” in December with $16.7 million. The movie also debuted on HBO Max simultaneously with theaters. While it would ultimately slow at the box office with a $45 million domestic total (and $165 million worldwide), data showed that it boosted HBO Max signups.

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New Jersey tried luring Netflix, Disney, and other Hollywood studios after Georgia passed its controversial voting law

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy sent a letter to Hollywood studios like Netflix and Disney on Thursday.
  • Murphy wanted to lure studios to the state after backlash to Georgia’s new voting law.
  • Some media companies like ViacomCBS and AT&T have issued statements opposing the controversial bill.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New Jersey wants to be in business with Hollywood.

The state’s governor, Phil Murphy, sent a letter to major Hollywood studios like Disney, Warner Bros., and Netflix on Thursday in an attempt to lure business away from Georgia after it passed a controversial voting law, according to several outlets that obtained the letter, including The Wall Street Journal and The Hollywood Reporter.

Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed the sweeping elections bill into law on March 25, which has been met with backlash from Democrats and civil-rights groups who say it targets Black communities. Among the most controversial aspects of the bill are changes to absentee voting and banning volunteers from delivering food, water, and other items to people waiting in long voting lines.

Murphy wrote that “restricting the right to vote is more than just wrong, it’s un-American” and that the “vast majority” see the law as “an attack on people of color by a Governor and Legislature willing to do anything to stay in power.”

Georgia offers attractive tax incentives that have made it a major Hollywood production hub. Murphy emphasized New Jersey’s 30% tax credit on film projects and a 40% subsidy for any brick-and-mortar studio development, according to THR.

“Our new $14.5 billion economic incentive package makes the Garden State just as competitive as Georgia to attract film and television production businesses,” Murphy wrote. “One thing is clear: when it comes to social policies, corporate responsibility, and – not to be overlooked – economic opportunity, New Jersey is now a top contender for your business.”

Some media companies have issued statements condemning the Georgia law, but have not called for a boycott of the state.

ViacomCBS, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, was the first major media company to speak out: “We unequivocally believe in the importance of all Americans having an equal right to vote and oppose the recent Georgia voting rights law or any effort that impedes the ability to exercise this vital constitutional right.”

Comcast, NBCUniversal’s corporate parent, and AT&T, which owns WarnerMedia, Warner Bros., and Atlanta-based CNN, followed with their own statements.

Comcast said: “Voting is fundamental to our democracy. We believe that all Americans should enjoy equitable access to secure elections and we have long supported and promoted voter education, registration and participation campaigns across the country to achieve that goal. Efforts to limit or impede access to this vital constitutional right for any citizen are not consistent with our values.”

AT&T’s CEO John Stankey said in part: “We believe the right to vote is sacred and we support voting laws that make it easier for more Americans to vote in free, fair and secure elections. We understand that election laws are complicated, not our company’s expertise and ultimately the responsibility of elected officials. But, as a company, we have a responsibility to engage.”

Disney and Netflix have not released statements regarding the Georgia voting law.

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How the major Hollywood movie studios are collapsing the theatrical window

black widow
“Black Widow” will stream on Disney Plus for an additional fee the same day it hits theaters.

  • The pandemic has resulted in movie studios renegotiating theatrical windows with exhibitors.
  • Shorter windows will last after the pandemic and change distribution strategies for years to come.
  • Insider laid out how each major Hollywood studio is collapsing the theatrical window.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Hollywood and the theatrical industry have faced significant changes during the pandemic, and the results will last long after it’s over.

Movie studios have embraced streaming in unprecedented ways over the last year. Warner Bros. is releasing its entire film slate simultaneously to theaters and on parent company WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max this year. Disney announced last week that “Cruella” and Marvel’s “Black Widow” will premiere this summer in theaters and on Disney Plus for an additional $30 fee on the same day, following other “Premier Access” titles like “Mulan” and “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

But those strategies don’t eliminate the theatrical experience. Studios and movie theaters will just have a very different relationship going forward and consumers will have more options to watch movies than ever before.

Day-and-date releases, in which a movie is available to rent or stream the same day it hits theaters, may not be a regular occurrence after the pandemic like they are now. But the traditional theatrical window, in which theaters played movies exclusively for 75 to 90 days, will no longer be the industry standard for many movies. Some studios have already struck deals with major theater chains to considerably shrink the window and release movies to streaming or digital-rental platforms earlier.

“I think the old window concept was so outdated,” Harold Mintz, the president of the movie-grading company CinemaScore, told Insider last month. “The pandemic forced it [to evolve], but it was bound to happen eventually … most movies are played out [in theaters] after three weeks so it just makes sense.”

Here’s where each of the five major movie studios stand on the post-pandemic theatrical window:

the batman
Warner Bros.’ “The Batman” comes to theaters next year.

Warner Bros. and Cineworld struck a deal for a 45-day window.

Last week, Warner Bros. and the theater chain Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, announced a multiyear agreement beginning in 2022 that Warner Bros. movies will play exclusively at Cineworld theaters for 45 days before being made available to stream or rent online.

The deal follows other studio/theater agreements that hint at the new normal.

Warner Bros. did not return a request for comment on whether it is negotiating with other theater chains to shrink the window. Cineworld, for its part, said on Thursday that it’s in active talks with with other studios about the evolving window.

Adam Aron, the CEO of the world’s largest chain, AMC Theatres, said in December that AMC “will aggressively pursue economic terms that preserve our business” in response to Warner Bros.’ 2021 distribution strategy.

Universal was the first to shrink the window after a feud with AMC Theatres.

Universal was ahead of other studios at nearly every step throughout the pandemic. It was the first to move a major tentpole release, “Fast and Furious 9,” by an entire year. It was the first to release a movie, “Trolls: World Tour,” straight to digital-rental platforms.

And it was the first to strike a deal with a major theater chain to shrink the theatrical window for all of its movies.

Universal’s “Trolls: World Tour” decision rubbed AMC Theatres the wrong way after NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in April last year that the studio would release movies to both theaters and digital platforms after theaters reopened. Aron, the AMC CEO, said in a statement after Shell’s comments that the chain would not be playing future Universal movies.

The feud was short-lived.

In July, Universal and AMC reached an agreement to shorten the window to just 17 days, at which point Universal can choose to release movies to digital-rental platforms. It has since reached a similar agreement with Cinemark (movies that gross $50 million or more in their opening weekends will have 31-day windows under this agreement).

a quiet place 2
“A Quiet Place Part II”

Paramount will stream some tentpole movies after 45 days in theaters.

Paramount’s parent company, ViacomCBS, launched the rebranded and expanded version of CBS All Access this month called Paramount Plus. And with it came a look at the company’s future plans for the theatrical window.

Paramount will move upcoming tentpoles “A Quite Place Part II” (in theaters May 28), “Top Gun: Maverick” (July 2), and “Mission: Impossible 7” (November 29) to Paramount Plus after a 45-day theatrical window. Other titles will have a 30-day window.

A Morning Consult and Hollywood Reporter survey of 2,200 US adults, conducted from February 18 to February 21, found that 29% of respondents were likely to subscribe to Paramount Plus. But 35% of respondents would be more likely to subscribe to Paramount Plus to watch “Mission: Impossible 7.”

Disney and Sony have yet to announce new theatrical-window deals with exhibitors.

Disney has reorganized around its streaming business amid the pandemic and Disney Plus, which has surpassed 100 million subscribers since launching in November 2019, will be a major part of the company moving forward.

But Disney hasn’t announced any new windowing agreements with theater chains beyond its decision to release some movies, like “Black Widow,” to Disney Plus and theaters simultaneously. The company has said that theaters will still be a major part of its business going forward, but has hinted at shorter windows in the future.

“The consumer is probably more impatient than they’ve ever been before, particularly since now they’ve had the luxury of an entire year of getting titles at home pretty much when they want them,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said earlier this month. “So, I’m not sure there’s going back. But we certainly don’t want to do anything like cut the legs off a theatrical exhibition run.”

Disney declined to comment for this story on its future windowing plans.

Sony is the other major studio that has not announced any new windowing deals. It doesn’t have a streaming component like the other major studios, but has embraced streaming in some cases (it sold the Tom Hanks movie “Greyhound” to Apple last year).

But the studio doesn’t see the traditional window as outdated, according to a person familiar with Sony’s thinking. The studio isn’t having wide-ranging conversations with theaters at this time, the person said, and plans to evaluate movies on a case-by-case basis.

In other words, if a Sony tentpole like “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is a box-office smash, it may not leave theaters early.

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