Why Cinemark isn’t showing ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’
People aren’t really going to movie theatres anymore. This is, of course, due to the COVID pandemic. Until a lot of people are vaccinated against the disease, then we probably won’t get back to regular movie viewing until . . . fall maybe? Definitely not until 2022. This means that theatres need to be more discerning about what they do until things are on the upswing.
But why say “no” to a Disney movie? That’s, apparently, what Cinemark theatres are doing to the upcoming Raya and the Last Dragon. Disney plans on making the film available for $30 USD on Disney+, but will also release the film to 2,000+ movie theatres across the country. Cinemark, however, is refusing to show the picture. Here’s why.
Why is Cinemark saying no to Raya and the Last Dragon?
In two words? Contract dispute. According to Deadline, who first reported the news, Cinemark, the No. 3 movie theatre chain in the country, is refusing to bow to the exhibition terms Disney has set. As the article said, “I hear from sources that Disney remained quite tough on their terms for Raya. If exhibition didn’t like the terms, well, then they don’t have to play the movie.”
Harkins & Cineplex theatres in Canada will not be carrying Raya and the Last Dragon for the same reason. Of course, things could change before the March 5 release date for the film. Now? It’s not really looking great. According to Cinemark, due to the pandemic, they need to have better terms for the contracts. As a representative for the theatre chain told Deadline:
“In the current operating environment, we are making near-term booking decisions on a discrete, film-by-film basis, focusing on the long-term benefit of exhibitors, studios and moviegoers. While we are having conversations with The Walt Disney Company, we have not yet reached agreeable licensing terms for Raya and the Last Dragon.
“As we continue to work with our studio partners, we remain optimistic that we will reach mutually beneficial terms that will provide moviegoers the opportunity to see the exciting film lineup in our theatres.”
So what can happen to show Raya and the Last Dragon?
In order to have same-day viewing that Warner Bros has with its own streaming service, HBO Max, the studio had to make concessions with theatre exhibitors. According to Deadline, “I hear that Warners on their recent HBO Max titles, i.e. Wonder Woman 1984, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Little Things and Tom & Jerry lowered their rental terms, and hence that’s the reason why more exhibitors took to the titles.”
So, it sounds like that with Disney+ involved in the situation, Disney needs to come with some sort of break in exhibitor contracts in order to get films such as Raya and the Last Dragon screened in theatres. Everyone’s hurting right now due to the pandemic, but movie theatres are feeling the burn especially hard. So, they’re going to look for contracts that give them any edge to stay afloat, you know?
Is Raya and the Last Dragon worth the watch?
On a positive note, if you can see Raya and the Last Dragon, then go see it. According to critics, it’s a really good film that currently holds a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 101 critics. That’s a pretty good ratio in the film’s favor over all. It definitely looks cool in what we’ve seen so far. Those fight scenes? Bruh. Gotta see Raya and the Last Dragon for those fight scenes.
Disney offering bad terms on contracts aside, we recommend seeing the film if you can. It honestly is a breath of a fresh air in a world that seems on the verge of constantly imploding.