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Tags Coronavirus , prediction thread , predictions

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Old 3rd April 2020, 12:34 AM   #161
Squeegee Beckenheim
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Well, they certainly wouldn't have to invest in millions to make it work. Why would they? Maybe the banks would, but over here at least it all runs on the same system as the credit card machines.
UK retailers have no capacity to display a QR code as the amount you owe, nor do they have the software/firmware to scan a QR/bar code on your phone as a way of taking payment. Even if they don't need to invest in extra equipment, adapting existing equipment would be expensive. Even just printing up cardboard QR codes to sit alongside products would be an investment.

That's not to say that they won't make the investment if they feel it'll ultimately be more profitable for them, but I imagine they'd prefer the systems that don't require any investment at all, which would be Apple Pay, etc.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 12:40 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
UK retailers have no capacity to display a QR code as the amount you owe, nor do they have the software/firmware to scan a QR/bar code on your phone as a way of taking payment. Even if they don't need to invest in extra equipment, adapting existing equipment would be expensive. Even just printing up cardboard QR codes to sit alongside products would be an investment.


Mrs Don does this every time she goes to Tesco.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 12:41 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
It's been like that for years in the UK. Every checkout has a card reader set up for the customer to use and in smaller shops or if the purchase costs too much you insert your card and input your PIN. More common, though, and for smaller purchases (just gone up to a limit of £45 to encourage people to do this during the outbreak) you literally just touch your card to the reader and the payment is made automatically. The advantage at the moment is that you don't even have to touch a keypad.

This is what Apple Pay, etc. does, allow you to do the same thing with your phone or watch - just do a security check (Face ID on the phone, PIN on the watch), and place your device near the card reader and it'll make the payment.
This is what it has been for years here too...but only INSIDE (no PIN , no signing).
The Drive-thru had a person that took your card or cash and processed it on their own . Now there is a reader (on a wire) that is offered to you to insert the card. Never had to do that before.
Only the Drive-thru is open now so the inside method has become the outside as well.

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Old 3rd April 2020, 12:46 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
UK retailers have no capacity to display a QR code as the amount you owe, nor do they have the software/firmware to scan a QR/bar code on your phone as a way of taking payment. Even if they don't need to invest in extra equipment, adapting existing equipment would be expensive. Even just printing up cardboard QR codes to sit alongside products would be an investment.

That's not to say that they won't make the investment if they feel it'll ultimately be more profitable for them, but I imagine they'd prefer the systems that don't require any investment at all, which would be Apple Pay, etc.
Well, I don't know how it works elsewhere, but my credit card reader was supplied by the bank. When we wanted to start accepting WeChat pay, they supplied that too*.

And I don't think that printing up a QR code is the sort of investment that's going stop businesses from using new technology.

ETA: The new machine can handle credit cards, WeChat, and Alipay.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 12:49 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post


Mrs Don does this every time she goes to Tesco.
She pays by scanning QR codes into her phone, or scanning a QR code that's displayed on her phone?
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Old 3rd April 2020, 12:54 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Well, I don't know how it works elsewhere, but my credit card reader was supplied by the bank. When we wanted to start accepting WeChat pay, they supplied that too*.
I don't know how it is with supermarkets, but I do know that smaller businesses buy their own card readers. I'd imagine that ones that are supplied by the bank would also require an investment. At the very least I can say that Tesco avoided removing the usual contactless limit for Apple Pay for a few years because it would have required updating their payment software and they didn't 'know whether it was worth the investment.

Quote:
And I don't think that printing up a QR code is the sort of investment that's going stop businesses from using new technology.
Sure. As I say, if they determine it to be more profitable in the long run, then that's what they'll do. I'm just saying that they would no doubt prefer to use a system for which they already have the infrastructure in place. And since Apple, Samsung, and google would no doubt also prefer that their systems are used rather than an equivalent of WeChat, I expect that if they're sensible they'll come to an arrangement that will allow them to dominate the market. Because the alternative is obsolescence.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 12:59 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post

ETA: The new machine can handle credit cards, WeChat, and Alipay.
Not my Visa card in most cases (and dont even think about AMEX!). I ended up just using cash everywhere around Shanghai and Anji, except for my hotel.

Bank of China did offer ATM...most places
I only figured it out after doing 'in person' currency exchange with triplicate forms plus passport ID at my hotel. The ATM was about 20 feet from the currency desk (in a hallway to the restroom) but they didnt inform me of this service!
Anyway, the ATM was a much better rate!!

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Old 3rd April 2020, 03:35 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
Not my Visa card in most cases (and dont even think about AMEX!). I ended up just using cash everywhere around Shanghai and Anji, except for my hotel.
True! We don't take Visa, only Union Pay, which is, as you say, mostly the norm as far as I'm aware in Shanghai, and I would assume, the rest of China as well.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 04:51 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
First, Google Pay is a re-brand of Google Wallet for consistency for consumers. It predated Apple Pay by a number of years. PayPal predated both.

You can use Google Pay on an iPhone to send money to family and friends. You can use PayPal on both types of phones as well. And Venmo. There are lots of options.

I think that is part of the problem with this being adopted in the US and Canada - there are too many options. Trying to figure out which one you can use in any given situation probably leads to a lot of people just not bothering.

If one or two systems really began to dominate the market, then uptake by other users would probably increase.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 05:13 AM   #170
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Looks like a World after Corona is one in which the Trumps are penniless.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 05:41 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
She pays by scanning QR codes into her phone, or scanning a QR code that's displayed on her phone?
The latter.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 07:43 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The latter.
Huh. I take it back, then.

No new technology would be needed, at least in places with self-checkouts. Normal checkouts would still require new equipment. And they'd still need to update the software, though.

So less outlay, but still some outlay.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 08:09 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
I think that is part of the problem with this being adopted in the US and Canada - there are too many options. Trying to figure out which one you can use in any given situation probably leads to a lot of people just not bothering.

If one or two systems really began to dominate the market, then uptake by other users would probably increase.
This is exactly why I'm saying that google, Apple, and Samsung are likely going to start coordinating soon. Make it so it's less like each is a different method of payment and transferring money and more like each is a different brand of credit/debit card, or an account with a different bank. If I've got an HSBC account and you've got a Barclay's account then we can both use our debit cards to buy things in shops, we can both use any cash machine to get money out, and we can both use several methods including a phone app to transfer money from our accounts into the other person's account.

That's not currently true with these other methods of payment. They're each trying to be their own financial ecosystem, and that can't possibly be sustained.

As it is, some retailers in London are starting to accept Alipay. It seems that at the moment you need a Chinese bank account in order to use it so it's primarily for tourists, but it's one step closer to it taking over from other forms of payment. If I were Apple, google, or Samsung, I'd be keeping an eye on that and looking for a way to nip it in the bud.

In fact, not only would I be talking to the other two to try to allow transfers between the three, but I'd also be thinking about implementing QR code reading in the style of those other two apps and getting retailers on board.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 08:11 AM   #174
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Amazon already had test stores up in the real world where you just grabbed stuff and walked out, with all purchasing being done by RFID style tags.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 09:13 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Amazon already had test stores up in the real world where you just grabbed stuff and walked out, with all purchasing being done by RFID style tags.
Yeah, I've seen an article urging businesses to start using this model because it'll save them money from having to have checkouts and employ people to staff them. My question is how do you prevent theft?
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Old 3rd April 2020, 10:20 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Yeah, I've seen an article urging businesses to start using this model because it'll save them money from having to have checkouts and employ people to staff them. My question is how do you prevent theft?

You’d still have some staff (need to replenish store, help customers out etc.) so just the same way as now with any store that has security tags, the alarm goes off when someone leaves without paying.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 10:26 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Yeah, I've seen an article urging businesses to start using this model because it'll save them money from having to have checkouts and employ people to staff them. My question is how do you prevent theft?
Well, as I understand it, you can't. To enter the store you have to set up an account linked to a bank account and if you walk out with something you're charged for it. So unless you break a window there's really no way to "steal" anything. Although I'll assume there's some alert that goes off if you're over your balance.

I'm reminded of how Redbox handles people not returning DVDs/Games. You just got charged X amount for every day you have the DVD or Game and if you hold onto it for longer then a certain period you've just essentially bought it and they stop charging you.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 10:33 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
You’d still have some staff (need to replenish store, help customers out etc.) so just the same way as now with any store that has security tags, the alarm goes off when someone leaves without paying.
But what I mean is that checkouts are currently a checkpoint, if you will. It's cashiers who remove security tags. How does that work without a checkout and where it's common practice to just walk out of the shop with something under your arm?
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Old 3rd April 2020, 10:34 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well, as I understand it, you can't. To enter the store you have to set up an account linked to a bank account and if you walk out with something you're charged for it. So unless you break a window there's really no way to "steal" anything. Although I'll assume there's some alert that goes off if you're over your balance.
Oh I see, so it automatically tracks when you go in, when you go out, and what you have with you when you do? I could see that working.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 10:36 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
You’d still have some staff (need to replenish store, help customers out etc.) so just the same way as now with any store that has security tags, the alarm goes off when someone leaves without paying.

And then the laser systems and the targeting software take over and leave a pair of smoldering shoes in the car park. The automobile engine immobilizer is for just in case.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 03:46 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Oh, here's a couple of thoughts - we might see the end of cinemas, and at least some forms of printed media.

Some film studios are already starting to release their films online rather than at the cinema. If they find that that's a viable model, then they may not go back to the old model. And cinemas operate on a razor's edge of profit as it is, so this crisis may see many of them close. If that were to happen, that would exacerbate studios not returning to the cinemas, as fewer cinemas means fewer profits.
With a budget of $125m Artemis Fowl is the most expensive film yet to be released on streaming rather than in cinemas: https://www.thewrap.com/artemis-fowl...lus-streaming/

Of course the whole film and TV industry is going to be up in the air for a while, because you obviously can't make films or TV programmes if people can't come within 6ft of each other. But I wouldn't be surprised to see more of the ones in reserve being released online, even the bigger ones. This is certainly an indicator of that (and, given that it's Disney, perhaps suggests the same for Black Widow?), and even if all cinemas come out the other side of this completely fine, I'm not sure how much public appetite there will be for sitting close together in rooms once global deaths are in the millions and we've lived through repeated waves of the disease.

So studios may possibly think it less of a risk to concentrate more on streaming. Especially a company like Disney with huge spending power and its own streaming service.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 06:29 PM   #182
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Who says there's going to be an after?
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Old 3rd April 2020, 06:41 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
But I wouldn't be surprised to see more of the ones in reserve being released online, even the bigger ones. This is certainly an indicator of that (and, given that it's Disney, perhaps suggests the same for Black Widow?), and even if all cinemas come out the other side of this completely fine, I'm not sure how much public appetite there will be for sitting close together in rooms once global deaths are in the millions and we've lived through repeated waves of the disease.
//Lay person prediction//

Marvel/Disney will release Black Widow to the home/streaming market in some fashion if this goes on much longer.

Why? Because Black Widow is their first MCU film since Spiderman: Far From Home. That's been almost a year.

And the one thing Disney's production cycle needs is momentum. This is already happening at the worst possible time since the big blow your wad payoff of Endgame and then the light after dinner sorbet palette cleanser of Spiderman:FFH was supposed to last us for a while longer then the normal MCU release cycle, but a year is pushing it.

Disney either smartly or predatoryly depending on how you want to look at it made an ongoing blockbuster franchise out of selling us the idea that we had to watch all the movies in order to get the whole story while the truth was about 80% of the MCU works perfectly find as a stand alone film. But they get the formula of sprinkling just enough stuff to get us excited for the next film in all their films down to a good enough science that people who didn't give a crap about Thor or didn't even know how the Guardians of the Galaxy where went to see their movies to they would understand what Captain America was on about in the next film.

But that needs uninterrupted momentum. The longer we go without an MCU movie, the harder it will be to get us back into it to the same degree we were before. And you know Marvel is going to start dropping the X-men and Fantastic Four into the MCU about a year or two down the line, you want maximum hype for stuff like that if they want another decade of being THE box office property.

So my guess? If push comes to shove they will release Black Widow to home streaming and just eat the loss because A) well you just can't sit on a movie forever and B) it will be worth what ever loss that have to eat just to keep that "momentum" going.

So unless they figure out some way to keep that "momentum" going, like somehow doing a rushjob to get one of the Disney+ shows or something finished, I simply do not see them sitting on a finished film until November like they are saying they are going to do now.

This same thing, to varying degrees, will effect other long-going series/franchises and even genres, with studios eating losses on projects just to keep them in the public eye in many cases.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 06:42 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Oh I see, so it automatically tracks when you go in, when you go out, and what you have with you when you do? I could see that working.
https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=s9_acss..._i=17608448011
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Old 3rd April 2020, 08:19 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well, as I understand it, you can't. To enter the store you have to set up an account linked to a bank account and if you walk out with something you're charged for it. So unless you break a window there's really no way to "steal" anything. Although I'll assume there's some alert that goes off if you're over your balance.

<snip>
I wonder what happens if you (an honest, but forgetful person) buy stuff, walk out and then remembered you forgot to buy some other stuff. Can you walk back in and purchase the other stuff without having the pay for stuff you already have purchased?

Edit. Just read the above link. So cameras detect the fact that stuff is put in your cart, so entering several times is ok. You will only put the same item in the cart once.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 09:32 PM   #186
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Quote:
Oh, here's a couple of thoughts - we might see the end of cinemas, and at least some forms of printed media.

Some film studios are already starting to release their films online rather than at the cinema. If they find that that's a viable model, then they may not go back to the old model.
I think there are a couple of problems with that:

1) With the proliferation of streaming services (Disney, Warner, Netflix, Amazon), studios would risk missing a certain segment of the market just because not every viewer will want to subscribe to yet another streaming service.

2) Releasing things in the theater brings in a substantial amount of publicity (that will drive later DVD sales, merchandise tie ins, etc.) I can't seem online releases providing the same amount of publicity

Quote:
And cinemas operate on a razor's edge of profit as it is, so this crisis may see many of them close.
Actually I think most major chains are still relatively healthy.

Cineplex (the main theater chain here in Canada) regularly has profit margins above 4% (which seems to be higher than many successful companies, like Walmart.)

https://ycharts.com/companies/CGX.TO/profit_margin

Its true that theaters often don't see a lot of ticket revenue from the movies they show... but they get substantial revenue from concessions, and extras such as arcades that many theaters have.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 09:36 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
Who says there's going to be an after?


Barring some sort of sci-fi super mutation, there pretty much has to be. We'll either develop a vaccine, or we'll eventually get to a point where enough people have caught it that herd immunity starts to work.


Obviously that second option comes with a whole lot of deaths, but it would still be an "after".
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Old 3rd April 2020, 11:56 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Barring some sort of sci-fi super mutation, there pretty much has to be. We'll either develop a vaccine, or we'll eventually get to a point where enough people have caught it that herd immunity starts to work.


Obviously that second option comes with a whole lot of deaths, but it would still be an "after".
Both of these things require acquired immunity. We don't know if that happens yet. There are many reports of people 'getting better' but continuing to test positive. We also don't know if the disease has secondary or tertiary effects.

If you haven't come across this as a concept, I recommend that you look up tertiary syphilis.




My prediction is a little unkind:

Wealthier people will remember how much money they lost.
Poorer people will remember how many family members and friends they lost.
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Old 4th April 2020, 02:04 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
//Lay person prediction//

Marvel/Disney will release Black Widow to the home/streaming market in some fashion if this goes on much longer.

Why? Because Black Widow is their first MCU film since Spiderman: Far From Home. That's been almost a year.

And the one thing Disney's production cycle needs is momentum. This is already happening at the worst possible time since the big blow your wad payoff of Endgame and then the light after dinner sorbet palette cleanser of Spiderman:FFH was supposed to last us for a while longer then the normal MCU release cycle, but a year is pushing it.

Disney either smartly or predatoryly depending on how you want to look at it made an ongoing blockbuster franchise out of selling us the idea that we had to watch all the movies in order to get the whole story while the truth was about 80% of the MCU works perfectly find as a stand alone film. But they get the formula of sprinkling just enough stuff to get us excited for the next film in all their films down to a good enough science that people who didn't give a crap about Thor or didn't even know how the Guardians of the Galaxy where went to see their movies to they would understand what Captain America was on about in the next film.

But that needs uninterrupted momentum. The longer we go without an MCU movie, the harder it will be to get us back into it to the same degree we were before. And you know Marvel is going to start dropping the X-men and Fantastic Four into the MCU about a year or two down the line, you want maximum hype for stuff like that if they want another decade of being THE box office property.

So my guess? If push comes to shove they will release Black Widow to home streaming and just eat the loss because A) well you just can't sit on a movie forever and B) it will be worth what ever loss that have to eat just to keep that "momentum" going.

So unless they figure out some way to keep that "momentum" going, like somehow doing a rushjob to get one of the Disney+ shows or something finished, I simply do not see them sitting on a finished film until November like they are saying they are going to do now.

This same thing, to varying degrees, will effect other long-going series/franchises and even genres, with studios eating losses on projects just to keep them in the public eye in many cases.
I don't quite agree with this. Momentum is going to be interrupted no matter what happens. All production (and most pre-production) is shut down now, and will be for the foreseeable future. And we're likely to see waves of resurgence of the virus and rolling lockdowns from that, once it is more under control. So I think that all studios (and many other businesses) are going to have to factor instability and flexibility of working schedule into their plans, and I think the idea of momentum is one that is going to have to be abandoned. I don't think there will be any guarantees, and trying to stick too rigidly to a schedule will see a drop in quality of future films, which the studio won't want - especially after The Rise Of Skywalker.

And while I think it's likely that Black Widow will end up coming out on streaming, I see it more as a case of coming out in the autumn if it becomes clear that releasing it in cinemas is still a no-go. Or, at least, doing what they've done for some other films and releasing it simultaneously in cinemas and on Disney+.

The biggest questions are: how close to finished is the film, and how feasible is it to finish it under current conditions? It's unlikely that all the VFX are 100% completed, as these things usually come down to the wire (which is why the final fight in Black Panther looks the way it does, for example). So how can that work be completed? Wait until restrictions have been eased and get the VFX companies back working on it? Deliver powerful work computers to artists' homes, have them do their usual jobs at home and then send their work to the central company for rendering? I don't even know how feasible that is either practically or economically. And will every VFX house be able to still work on it, or will different companies have to take over (or re-do completely) the work of previous companies?

My point is that there is almost certainly work that still needs to be done on the film, and they'll likely have to find some way to adapt to the new circumstances before Disney can even think about releasing it on any platform
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Old 4th April 2020, 02:15 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
I think there are a couple of problems with that:

1) With the proliferation of streaming services (Disney, Warner, Netflix, Amazon), studios would risk missing a certain segment of the market just because not every viewer will want to subscribe to yet another streaming service.
Yes, I've been saying for a while that the streaming bubble is going to burst at some point. Most of them are running at a loss just to try to dominate the market and, as you say, there are too many of them for people to subscribe to them all.

I see it ending in one of two similar ways:

1) Smaller services collapse and end up selling their content back to one of the survivors. And, for the record, I think the likely survivors are: Netflix because they have market and cultural domination already; Disney+ because Disney has huge financial clout, and has an absolutely massive back catalogue as well as so much IP that they owned about 38% of the box office in 2019; Amazon Prime because they are already well-established and a Prime membership gets you much more than just the streaming; and Apple TV+ because the Apple ecosystem is a thing and they already have a massive captive audience.

2) A new service comes along that negotiates a deal with other streaming services and allows consumers to pick "packages" of which services they subscribe to for cheaper than subscribing to them individually, and then makes up the difference with adverts. Sort of like the way that if you want to get HBO on cable you don't buy it directly from HBO but instead from a third party who will also include other broadcasters in the package that you buy. So it becomes just one service that you subscribe to at a reasonable cost, making it both cost-efficient and simpler.

Quote:
2) Releasing things in the theater brings in a substantial amount of publicity (that will drive later DVD sales, merchandise tie ins, etc.) I can't seem online releases providing the same amount of publicity
I don't know. All the same advertising tricks can be applied to streaming, and there are plenty of streaming things which do get huge publicity.

Quote:
Actually I think most major chains are still relatively healthy.

Cineplex (the main theater chain here in Canada) regularly has profit margins above 4% (which seems to be higher than many successful companies, like Walmart.)

https://ycharts.com/companies/CGX.TO/profit_margin

Its true that theaters often don't see a lot of ticket revenue from the movies they show... but they get substantial revenue from concessions, and extras such as arcades that many theaters have.
Okay, fair enough.
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Old 4th April 2020, 02:25 AM   #191
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Your 2) is already happening to a degree with Sky, which you can now attach your Netflix to and now Disney. The major advantage for both companies is not that they get access to Sky customer base but get access to the “Sky box” platform.
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Old 4th April 2020, 02:42 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Oh I see, so it automatically tracks when you go in, when you go out, and what you have with you when you do? I could see that working.
What about kids?
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Old 4th April 2020, 02:58 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Your 2) is already happening to a degree with Sky, which you can now attach your Netflix to and now Disney. The major advantage for both companies is not that they get access to Sky customer base but get access to the “Sky box” platform.
Is that cheaper than subscribing to each individually?
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Old 4th April 2020, 03:55 AM   #194
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I think we'll have to see quick improvements in streaming video chat technology. Even the cable news anchors broadcasting from home have horrible video connections. It's awful hard to do an interview (and difficult to watch) if the picture keeps pixellating and the audio is out of sync or the signal is delayed by several seconds.
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Old 4th April 2020, 04:08 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Is that cheaper than subscribing to each individually?
Apparently yes.
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Old 4th April 2020, 05:31 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Apparently yes.
Cool.

Well, I think that in this thread I've established that I'm not terrible at predicting the present, anyway. I'm not sure that's an incredibly useful skill, but it's something.
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Old 4th April 2020, 05:32 AM   #197
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This might be a bit of a "well, duh", but I suspect that mask-wearing in public will increase over the next few months, and if there are repeated outbreaks (as seems likely) that it'll remain a common sight for quite a while to come. I am, of course, talking about Western countries. I think everybody's aware that it's been commonplace in some Eastern countries for a few years now.
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Old 4th April 2020, 08:23 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
This might be a bit of a "well, duh", but I suspect that mask-wearing in public will increase over the next few months, and if there are repeated outbreaks (as seems likely) that it'll remain a common sight for quite a while to come. I am, of course, talking about Western countries. I think everybody's aware that it's been commonplace in some Eastern countries for a few years now.
And in Middle Eastern countries for thousands of years! Well... sort of. Only the women, of course.
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Old 4th April 2020, 10:58 AM   #199
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The plastic panels to separate customers from employees at supermarkets will probably stick around for a long time. That makes me sad.
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Old 4th April 2020, 11:58 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I think we'll have to see quick improvements in streaming video chat technology. Even the cable news anchors broadcasting from home have horrible video connections. It's awful hard to do an interview (and difficult to watch) if the picture keeps pixellating and the audio is out of sync or the signal is delayed by several seconds.
I think the tech is already there. It's just that laptops suck at everything. But I've told you this before.
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