Releasing the Monster Hunter Movie in December is Dumb

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If you are not first, then you are last. While crossing the finish line before the competition is essential in most industries, the global pandemic continues to overturn the paradigm. The entertainment sector is no different, and the uncertain landscape has forced most studios to delay projects. But a highly anticipated film is challenging the status quo by moving its release date forward: the Monster Hunter movie. Is this a smart decision? Let’s dive in.

A “Not-So-Golden” Opportunity

As the global economy struggles to recover from the pandemic, the entertainment industry remains one of the most severely affected segments. Live events are still foundational for concerts, sporting events, and movies; therefore, ticket sales and box office numbers are paramount to success. To maximize profitability, the entertainment industry needs large crowds, which governments are currently restricting. The collective response from studios has been to delay projects until 2021, but Sony Pictures has decided to gamble with a movie adaptation of the popular Monster Hunter series.

Originally scheduled to release on September 4th, the Monster Hunter movie features star actress Milla Jovovich and iconic director Paul W.S. Anderson. Fans remember the pair from the Resident Evil franchise, and Sony is confident that the duo can bring the same genius to the Monster Hunter series. Then the pandemic struck. After movie theaters across the globe closed indefinitely, Sony decided to delay the project until 2021. But as restrictions slowly lifted, the Capcom and Sony partnership saw a presumably “golden” opportunity.

Pioneering Costs

As the world slowly relaxed social distancing standards, Sony and Capcom became trailblazers in the post-COVID environment. Released on Saturday, the studio’s new 16-second trailer replicated prior footage; however, the grand revelation was the updated release date. Now scheduled for December 2020, the Monster Hunter movie stands alone as one of the few new releases for the remainder of the year. While being the only “show in town” might seem profitable, Sony’s strategy could backfire. Here’s why.

  • The budget for Monster Hunter is approximately $60 million, which is more than every other Resident Evil movie with the exception of Retribution. To break even, Monster Hunter likely needs to earn at least $30 million at the domestic box office.
  • Regal announced the closing of all 536 theaters across the United States on Monday. While Cinemark and AMC remain confident in the future of movie theater, Cineworld’s decision has decreased the overall domestic and global capacity by approximately 10 percent.
  • Under Phase 3 of the United States pandemic response, most states are allowing only 30 percent capacity at movie theaters. This severely limits opportunities for profitability at the box office.
  • Finally, success ultimately depends upon the consumer response to relaxed social distancing standards. Although large segments of society will quickly embraced fewer restrictions, others might hesitate to return to normal life. The indecision of these groups could result in underutilization of theaters.

Releasing a movie adaptation of a popular video game series is difficult under normal circumstances, but Sony’s decision to release the movie in the middle of a global pandemic is reckless. The future holds the final verdict, but we remain skeptical concerning the success of the Monster Hunter film.


But we want to know what you think. Do you believe Sony Pictures should delay the Monster Hunter movie until 2021? Will you go to the theaters to watch the film this December? Let us know in the comments below or the social media links on the right. Also, be sure to check out our other news items on MarioZelda, Monster HunterBlizzard and more.

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