With many in Hollywood desperate to resolve the prolonged actors’ strike, A-Listers stepped in with an offer to help make up the difference between the studios and actors. George Clooney, Emma Stone, Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry, and Scarlett Johansson advanced an innovative proposal to remove the $1,000,000 cap on membership dues to the SAG-AFTRA union.
The actors suggest that this one step would generate an additional $50 million annually for the union and help make up the $150 million shortfall that the studios are not (yet) willing to cover in health care and other costs. The stars also commented that any structure for paying actors on residuals should start from “the bottom up” on the call sheet, meaning that the leading stars on any feature would be the last ones to earn bonuses.
With talks at a standstill between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP negotiators, this offer shows the desperation in Hollywood to find some way to end the strike. Many have begun to fear an impact on next year’s box office, after an announcement this week that DEADPOOL 3 is being pushed back from its May 3, 2024 release date.
Some speculate that it will swap places with CAPTAIN AMERICA: BRAVE NEW WORLD, which is currently scheduled for a July 26, 2024 opening, because CAPTAIN AMERICA is further along in its production. This would be a best-case scenario since both films would fill an essential date on the 2024 release calendar.
However, if the strike drags on much longer, these two releases and others may very well move into later in the 2024 release schedule. It feels as if we are seeing shades of the topsy-turvy pandemic release schedule all over again.