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Film Industry Braces for Tough Stretch in the Aftermath of Writers’ and Actors’ Strikes

Between May 2 and Nov. 9 of 2023, writers and actors went on a record-breaking 191 day long strike, demanding better pay and working conditions. Despite the eventual success of the strike, its length led to the cancellation and delay of many films originally slated for 2024 releases, which will inevitably result in a rough year for the industry.  

Before the strike, the film industry was already in an unstable state, still trying to recover to levels of production attained  before the pandemic. Now, many movies have been delayed to 2025 and beyond, with some even needing to be restarted from scratch as a result of the strike. 

The simultaneous release of Barbie and Oppenheimer thus became a worldwide cultural event, audiences knowing that it would be cinema’s last hurrah for some time.

At the start of the strikes, studios tactically delayed the releases of certain movies that were already complete or nearing completion in order to cushion the blow. Gran Turismo, initially scheduled for a July premiere, was released on Aug. 25, while Captain America: Brave New World and rom-com Challengers were both pushed to mid-2024.

Despite their deficit in quality movies, studios and theaters have also begun getting creative in order to attract audiences. Paramount Pictures attempted to engineer a recreation of the summer’s “Barbenheimer” trend in “Saw Patrol,” using the coinciding release dates of Saw X and Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie to convince moviegoers to voice their preferences, generating hype for the films on social media. 2024’s Mean Girls, a cinematic remake of the Broadway version of the 2004 original, was sent to theaters on Jan. 12 despite originally being intended for a streaming-only release, and AMC theaters introduced “Screen Unseen,” where audiences purchase tickets for a movie at a reduced price but aren’t told what movie they are watching until it begins. 

Despite the countermeasures being employed by the film industry, 2024’s disappointing movie landscape will stand as a testament to the greed of film production companies and the power of workers’ unions. Viewers will have to wait until 2025 for many anticipated sequels and original projects.


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