Your 2021 Predictions, Part Three: Rose the Prude.

§ January 14th, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 2 Comments

Gonna be a little shorter entry this time, folks…sorry, long day at the office combined with being flat out exhausted = low content mode here. But, I’ll try to cover at least a few of your predictions here today. (And here are Parts the First and Second.)

William Gatevackes opens up with the following

“Warner Brothers’ gambit of moving all their films day and date streaming will backfire financially. They will be scrambling to cut costs and DC Comics will be a main target of these cuts. It could mean massive layoffs or a massive reduction in their publishing.”

In regards to day-and-date streaming…well, I don’t know. One article has Warner executives seemingly happy with it, and another article released just two days later is like “nope, ain’t working.” I don’t much get the economics of streaming anyway, but I’m sure a big budget movie like Wonder Woman 1984 that was planned for theatrical release didn’t get the take anyone was hoping for, what with the streaming option and the theater debut at a time when people really don’t want to be sitting in a theater.

A look at Boxofficemojo.com shows a worldwide gross of $166 million. That sounds like a lot of money to you and me, but that’s likely “flop” territory for Wonder Woman. Granted, it wasn’t a surprise and it didn’t hurt plans for another sequel and another movie focusing on the Amazons. Plus, Googling the keywords “wonder woman 1984 hbo max new subscribers” brings up this quote:

“‘The release of Wonder Woman 1984 helped drive our domestic HBO Max and HBO subscribers to more than 41 million, a full two years faster than our initial forecast,’ said AT&T CEO John Stankey in a statement.”

…and 41 million subscribers at between $9.99 and $14.99 monthly apiece works out to…a hell of a lot of money. So I guess these movies are just loss-leaders writ large.

I’m sure someone will pop into the comments to give more accurate statements on the financial implications of all this. Just from this layman’s perspective, I don’t think Warners has anything to worry about in regards to limited box office at the moment.

“2. There will be a new Image title from a heretofore unknown creator that will become the next ‘Walking Dead.’ Meaning crossing over into other media and becoming a cultural phenomenon.”

The only Image book that was really a “phenomenon” this year was Invincible, which had me move a whole lot of copies of the trade paperbacks, and even those giant Omnibus volumes. But those are written by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, so that’s hardly an unknown creator, and plus Invincible was on TV, which is why people were seeking these volumes out in the first place.

Maybe on a lesser level was What’s the Furthest Place from Here?, which again isn’t really by unknowns, and didn’t become a huge cultural phenomenon…but it had a strong following and crossed over into other media in that they had tie-in 7-inch records. So I’m saying that counts!

Plus it gives me an excuse to run this video advertising the comic that was personalized for my shop:

“3. Marvel will at some point either announce or publish a “Predator Kills the Marvel Universe” book.”

More like “lawsuits killed the Predator,” amirite. But apparently everything’s settled all friendly-like now, which hopefully means the original screenwriters are sittin’ pretty. Thus, maybe this will be the year Predator kills everyone in the ol’ Marvel U.

• • •

MrJM jams in the following

“1) Some things will get worse”

Well, publishing scheduling and distributor shipping seemed to be a little more squirrley than in the past. Three different major comic distributors mean three different opportunities for books to be late.

“2) Some things will get better”

Despite everything, business is way up at my shop!

“3) People will disagree about which things got worse and which things got better”

No, I’m reasonably sure the two things I noted above are irrefutable fact. And if we’ve learned anything from the last few years, nobody will argue with actual facts!

• • •

Old customer Kurt Onstad bounces his way into the following

“1) The New Warriors mini-series that was solicited will have at least one issue released this year, for trademark purposes, if nothing else.”

I don’t recall any, and the retailer database shows the last series was 2014 or thereabouts. But don’t worry, the New Warriors haven’t been off the stands long enough for, like, Dark Horse Comics to snatch up the copyright. At least, I don’t think.

“2) Some DC creators will try to push towards ‘Future State’ being the actual future, while others rebel against it, creating a confusing mess that will require a reboot in 2022.”

It seems as if they’re still incorporating elements of that future, such as the “Superman going away” thing in the Super-books. And there are books that are just straight-up set in the “Future State” era, like I Am Batmanand Future State: Gotham. I don’t think it was in any danger of taking over current DC continuity aside from a mini or two and some storylines. Here’s hoping a reboot will never be cessary!

“3) My podcast (welcome2geektown.com) will hit Episode 100.”

Odd, it’s almost as if you knew that would be the case ahead of time…! I’M KEEPING MY EYE ON YOU, MISTER

But y’all can listen to that very episode right here.

Okay, that’s enough shenanigans for today. I’ll be back Monday with yet more of your predictions! And don’t forget to leave me your new predictions for the next 11 1/2 months of 2022!

2 Responses to “Your 2021 Predictions, Part Three: Rose the Prude.”

  • Daniel says:

    “I don’t much get the economics of streaming anyway”

    As I understand it, streaming is basically for the movie studios what the Direct Market was for comics publishers in the 1980s: A guaranteed, regular inflow of money in what was an otherwise unpredictable business model.

    In the pre-DM day (which you can obviously speak to better than I can), publishers releasing to the newsstand would print three or four unsold copy of every title for every one copy that was sold, which was an incredibly inefficient and wasteful way to conduct business. But with the DM, all orders were guaranteed sales, so the publishers printed only what was ordered, leading to a more predictable cash flow and fatter, more predictable profit margins.

    Same with streaming. In the theatrical model, a studio can spend $300 million on a movie and see it tank at the box office, or it could rake in $1 billion. It was a crap shoot every time. With streaming, the studios know that they have X number of subscribers paying Y dollars every month, so monthly revenue is regular and predictable. No more crap shoots. And with the metrics they receive, they know which content that subscribers are responding to, and which content they are not. So they dial up the orders and the budget for more of the stuff that is doing well, and stop producing the stuff that viewers are ignoring.*

    This is why all of the studios (except for Sony/Columbia) have rushed to build their own platforms. Shareholders love this predictable revenue flow.

    —–

    *This is also why talent hates streaming: Because subscriptions can’t be tied to specific content (did I sign up for HBO Max for Justice League? Or did I sign up for it for Kong vs Godzilla?), it’s going to eliminate a lot of those fat backend revenue sharing deals that top line talent was used to getting. Hence Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney last year for how they handled the release of Black Widow.

  • Patrick Gaffney says:

    There was a reprint of The New Warriors Omnibus in 2021, with a new Vol 2 coming in 2022. Maybe that hit the copyright needs of the above poster?

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