Studios Keep Cranking Out Movie Merch Even as Film Release Dates Get Delayed
Like many people, we have indulged in creating either mental or physical lists of what we wish to do when we're able to get back to "normal" life. While stay-at-home orders have allowed for home-based film viewings, nothing beats heading to a theater to catch a new flick. Despite not being able to do so, we and our fellow cinephiles can still purchase movie merch tied to some of the biggest releases of 2020—even as those films see their release dates moved to later this year and beyond.
— Jonathan Landrum Jr. (@MrLandrum31) May 12, 2020
The world of movie merch has provided us with an abundance of content over the years, because studios will forever love to connect productions to products that further the works’ scope. It should come as no surprise, then, that both to please fans and to try to fend off financial losses companies are going ahead with plans to market promotional merchandise. Thanks to retail stores and e-commerce opportunities, fans can buy novelties such as toys and books, and their ability to do so makes for a great look at the psychology behind consumerism.
The Associated Press engaged in such an examination by looking at the movie merch linked to films like “Black Widow,” “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” “Onward” and “Top Gun: Maverick.” Like with our mention of studios’ desires to limit economic hurt stemming from the pandemic, the AP exploration touches on those hopes by noting that some products might be available on clearance, providing the obvious conclusion that is better to make a few dollars than none.
While we cannot downplay the need to generate revenue, we find it more interesting to address the emotional bonds that movie merch can engender or strengthen among film buffs. We have chronicled the enthusiasm that people felt over having “Baby Yoda” products and the subsequent frustration that ensued when they had to endure a wait for said merch. Though not a movie, “The Mandalorian” series in which that character appeared serves as a great lesson for studios and their television/film peers that they, if possible, should have goods ready before or during their handiwork’s run. And, in the case of these films, that's likely what happened, as advance production schedules likely mean the merch for these movies has been in the works for some time now.
With respect to movie merch that is appearing now, while consumers pine for new titles to drop, we'd argue that there will likely be little sullying of their admiration for content if the products come out long before the films. We feel bold enough to contend that because audiences are so starved for products that mesh with the in-waiting theater offerings that they will scoop up the movie merch as it appears and not lose a bit of their affinity for it as they cross off calendar days. Absence customarily makes the heart grow fonder, and while the hope for movies to return will give credence to that saying, the availability of movie merch should make the power of that absence feel a little less overwhelming.