If SAG-AFTRA members go on strike from July 1, it could impact the lineup of summer and fall films, as well as film and TV production starts and Emmy campaigns. During a strike, there can be no promotion of struck work, which includes promotional activities related to a signatory production. The Writers Guild has already convinced other guild members not to cross picket lines during the ongoing writers’ strike, which has caused films such as Unstoppable and Good Fortune to come to a halt. The domestic box office has been performing well since the Covid shutdown, but a strike could bring the industry back to a standstill.
As per the analysis by Deadline, the possibility of an actors’ strike could have a devastating impact on the movie industry. With the writers’ strike nearing its 40th day, the Writers Guild has urged other guild members not to cross picket lines. This has already resulted in the halt of several productions, including the Jennifer Lopez-starrer Unstoppable and the Robert De Niro series Zero Day. If SAG-AFTRA members trade lines of dialogue for picket lines beginning July 1, the business might well look like pandemic redux.
The domestic box office is just getting back on its feet, nearing $4 billion for the year and coursing 30% ahead of the same January-to-early June period a year ago. Theatrical release dates have again become prized commodities worth millions of dollars in revenue and the grease for triggering movies’ downstream revenues. And theatrical has regained a spotlight stolen by streamers during the Covid shutdown.
But what happens to the lineup of summer and fall films and their release slots, film and TV production starts, and carefully calibrated Emmy campaigns if there are no actors to promote their films and make new ones? In a statement to Deadline, SAG-AFTRA tells us, “There’s no promotion of struck work during a strike. Promotional activities in relation to a signatory production is covered work under the Basic Agreement, and thus, is struck work during a strike.”
The town is taking all this deathly seriously. Releases coming over the next two months won’t necessarily be impacted, like Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 (July 12), Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, and the Margot Robbie-Ryan Gosling film Barbie (both on July 21). Millions have already been spent in many tentpoles’ long-lead.
However, if the strike continues, it could impact the release dates of highly anticipated movies. It could also affect Comic-Con, which is set to take place in San Diego from July 21-24. The event is a major platform for studios to promote their upcoming movies and TV shows, but without actors to attend panels and meet fans, it could be a lackluster event.
The impact of an actors’ strike could also be felt on the small screen. TV shows that are currently in production could be delayed or shut down, which could result in gaps in programming for networks and streaming services.
The possibility of an actors’ strike is a reminder of the fragile nature of the entertainment industry. With so many moving parts and so many people involved, a disruption in one area can have a ripple effect throughout the entire industry. It remains to be seen whether an agreement can be reached before the July 1 deadline, but one thing is certain: the industry is holding its breath and hoping for a resolution.