Palace thrilled by return of actors to work
The country’s lone cinema operator Palace Amusement Limited has said it is pleased with the return to work of Hollywood actors, who after weeks of staying off the job have cast a shadow on the moviegoing scene.
“We are thrilled…this means that all the big pictures that were in production can now be finished and new ones started. Things have really started to look up and we are very happy about that,” director at Palace and Marketing Manager Melanie Graham told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Following months of strife, news came on Wednesday that the actors have, who have been engaged in prolonged labour strikes, through their union, reached a tentative deal with major studios to end the strike by 12:01 am on Thursday.
At near four months, it is believed to be one of longest strikes for film and television actors which, as reported by the Associated Press, resulting in, “more than 60,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Performers striking on July 14 — joining with screenwriters who had walked off the job more than two months earlier and witnessing for the first time since 1960, the two unions on strike together.”
The end of the strike announcement, which came hours after Disney’s CEO Robert Iger and Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav reported mixed earning statements, saw both hoping for the actions to end soon. While Disney’s shares and income, based on its report, rose in the quarter ended September, Warner Bro’s reported losses and saw its share price fall by approximately 19 per cent on Wednesday.
The effects of the strike, though not felt directly locally, saw its ripple effects feed into the delay of much-anticipated releases. The actors now back on the job, the report said, have also returned to movie sets to complete a number of productions which were paused including Deadpool 3, Gladiator 2 and Wicked.
“Other movies and shows will also restart shooting once returning writers finish scripts,” the report further stated.
Graham, who had recently expressed concerns for the impacts on the local industry, said the new development will further help to push its business, now some 90 per cent back to pre-COVID levels following a battering from the pandemic’s effects, to better results.
“With this latest development Palace in its own local business will be looking to go from strength to strength as we also seek to pay off our debt. Going into the busy Christmas season, we will have Aquaman and some pictures for Wonka fit for the entire family and of course, in early next year, we are also looking forward to having Colour Purple in January and Bob Marley: One Love in February,” she shared with the Caribbean Business Report.
“This business is not on an even keel so it’s not unusual for us to have quarters that are down, others that are up and those that may come in unexpectedly higher. The current quarter is one of those promising ones, so we are looking to have good out-turns at the end of the December,” Graham added.
Palace’s bumper year-end results reflecting its full return to profitability since the COVID-19 pandemic saw total revenues amounting to $1.5 billion — 132 per cent or $870 million more than it recorded in 2022 while its net profit rebounded to total $228 million following losses of $260.7 million.