George Clooney Reveals That Theaters Don’t Want To Play His Movies Anymore

By James Brizuela | 4 months ago

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As big of an actor as George Clooney is, he claims that it has been increasingly difficult to get some of his more unknown dramas shown in theaters. Big blockbuster films have still managed to release in theaters such as Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix: Resurrections, but smaller-scale films have seen fit to release on streaming platforms exclusively. That is certainly the case for Clooney’s more recent film in which he has directed, The Tender Bar, which was released on Amazon Prime Video after a short stint in theaters.

The issue is that indie films always have struggled to be released in theaters, for the simple fact that they do not have the box office draw that an MCU film usually has. Theaters had strong issues when the pandemic started, and as such, they are likely less confident in the films that wouldn’t be the draw that would keep them afloat. Things have obviously turned around since the pandemic started in 2020, but that doesn’t mean that theater companies are willing to house the many indie films that are released yearly. The hope would be that the draw for a film would be great enough on a streaming platform, for it to be released in theaters at some point. That might sound a bit silly, but that would be the best bet for now. The Tender Bar was still released on Amazon Prime Video, so George Clooney could bank on the exposure from the streaming platform.

According to George Clooney, “There’s nothing more exciting than watching a comedy in a room full of people, or a scary movie.” That is definitely true, but things have become that much more difficult for filmmakers during this unprecedented time of covid going rampant. He claims that it’s always been difficult for “those kinds of films” to get more exposure. Those kinds of films are referring to smaller-scale dramas. Clooney also said, “The secret is you have to work to guarantee that there’s also a theatrical release.” There is certainly a ton of behind-the-scenes aspects of filmmaking that audiences never get to see and it sounds as if getting a film in a theater is a big roadblock, even for someone as high-profile as Clooney.

ben affleck tender bar
Ben Affleck and Tye Sheridan in The Tender Bar

The thing with most indie films or smaller-scale dramas is that they’re often put in the film festival circuit before being awarded a theatrical release as well. Now getting into something like Cannes might also be increasingly difficult too. No matter what happens, George Clooney is just speaking about how it’s harder for dramas to get their time to shine. That might also be due to the fact that MCU films have just been dominating the box office for years.

Although traditional dramas and rom-coms are usually not the most lucrative in terms of box office numbers, some become highly successful. The Tender Bar was released in theaters shortly back in December and is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, so maybe the draw for the film wasn’t what George Clooney expected and he might possibly just be upset about that fact.