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Strike Prevents Actors From Promoting Films at Premieres or Festivals

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It’s already been a tough year for cinemas, with box office revenues in North America down about 20 percent from last year. And that was when actors could promote their movies.

With the actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA, on strike as of Friday, its 160,000 members have been forced to act in projects involving major Hollywood studios, as well as in already released films and TV shows. Participation in promotional activities for the program was also officially prohibited. It was completed.

This means no online or in-person appearances at Comic-Con International in San Diego next week, many fall film festivals, film premieres or TV promotional events. SAG-AFTRA officials held a conference call this week with top Hollywood agencies and publicists to explain the strike rules for both the production and promotion of upcoming projects. And on Thursday, after announcing the strike, the union released rules for its members.

“The only way to make up for the lack of publicity is to buy more noise, so it’s going to cost,” said Terry Press, top Hollywood marketer. “If you don’t have any means of publicity, which is somewhat free, you have to try to make up for the noise.

“It’s expensive after all,” she continued. “Especially in the summer, there are very few ads you can actually buy to attract large numbers of people.”

That would be a hassle too. This was clear even before the Actors Guild announced Thursday that it had approved the strike. A few hours earlier, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer had premiered in London.

Oppenheimer is one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, and along with Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and the latest chapter of Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible, movie theater owners are lining up for this. It is a movie that points out that it has the potential to breathe life into summer. struggling business.

But at the premiere at the Odeon Theater in Leicester Square, it was clear that the strike would have an impact. First, the event was moved up an hour, allowing the cast with bold names like Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh and Cillian Murphy to walk the red carpet. And in solidarity with the union, everyone left before the screening started.

“They’re going to write picket signs,” Nolan quipped to a crowd of 800.

Universal Pictures will hold the New York premiere of Oppenheimer on Monday, but has announced that none of the actors will be attending.

The absence of the bustle of premieres and the usual publicity for movies is a troubling blow to the movie theater industry, which had hoped for a boost in the second half of the year.

The strike is also concerning for the fall film festival circuit, which expects actors to appear in person to promote prestigious films heading into awards season. “For the festival as a whole, these films are nothing more than promotional,” Press said.

Usually, the Oscar-winners make the pilgrimage to Italy at the end of August for the Venice Film Festival, then Colorado for the Telluride Film Festival, and Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival. campaign trajectory.

“We need a festival circuit to release these films,” Press said. “I think that’s when we start to see some serious repercussions.”

Television is also affected. Despite Emmy nominations announced Wednesday, none of the nominated actors can promote their work. Duncan Crabtree, the union’s chief negotiator, was asked how the strike would affect the awards ceremony, which is scheduled for September but is likely to be postponed if the strike lasts too long. Mr Ireland said: A form of promotion for television series or streaming series produced under these agreements. My hope is that this will end the actor’s participation in the Emmy Awards campaign. “

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