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(Credit: Gage Skidmore)

James Gunn believes movies will only last on television

Fan favourite blockbuster director James Gunn has weighed in on the simultaneous release strategy of contemporary cinema, which sees new films released both on the big screen and on-demand streaming services.

After a disappointing opening weekend for Gunn’s latest film The Suicide Squad, grossing $26.5million of its $30million projection in the US, it conversely enjoyed a fruitful time streaming on HBO Max where it became the “second most-viewed film over an opening weekend,” according to The Hollywood Reporter

Apparently apathetic about the whole situation, it appears James Gunn has accepted the inevitable fate of cinema, at least this was the case in discussion with Variety before the release of The Suicide Squad. “The Suicide Squad is made to be seen first and foremost on a big screen. I think it’s gonna work just fine on television. Listen, movies don’t last because they’re seen on the big screen. Movies last because they’re seen on television,” the director fascinatingly admits. 

Jaws isn’t still a classic because people are watching it in theatres. I’ve never seen Jaws in a movie theatre. It’s one of my favourite movies,” Gunn continues. His upcoming project look to be taking his interests to the small screen too, with an HBO Max spin-off series based on John Cena’s ‘Peacemaker’ in The Suicide Squad scheduled before he caps off the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy.

James Gunn adds, “In fact, in some ways, I’m more comfortable in television because I get more time to focus on the characters and I don’t feel so pressured to move to the next scene and the next scene and the next scene”.

Looking to the promise of the future, Gunn concluded by stating, “I also don’t want the theatrical experience to die. I don’t know if that is possible, but we also don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ve still got Covid, because people won’t get vaccinated, which, you know, they should. Hopefully – hopefully – that will not be a big deal to us in a year”.

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