Malaysian cinema chain TGV Cinemas has announced the delay of the film Thor: Love and Thunder through a written note on its social media pages. According to a Twitter statement, the cinema chain said Disney Studios Malaysia has confirmed that the film release would be postponed indefinitely. A quick search done by A+M uncovered that TGV had also removed the film's details on its website.
Through the written note, TGV Cinemas' social media persona, Min Min, expressed its disappointment and apologised to Thor fans over the delay with drawn-out heart and lightning signs. However, the apology was greeted with a stream of negative comments from netizens. A handful of netizens have said that they would rather watch the movie online, while some started speculating as to why the movie release was delayed.
Mohit Bhargava, CMO of TGV Cinemas, told A+M that TGV Cinemas has always aimed to deliver personalised messages for its community, and this was a way that it used to deliver news on the film's delay in a personalised way to Thor fans. It was a way for fans to understand the news, not a reactionary response to the delay.
Bhargava explained that with the negative responses of some fans, and with the possibility of them watching the film through other channels and even travelling abroad to other countries such as Singapore to watch it, TGV's sales will definitely be impacted. "It is an unhealthy outcome for Malaysia, the dip in sales will be inevitable," he said.
When asked how the movie will be marketed once it is released, Bhargava explained that marketing campaigns are already live, as the film was expected to run earlier. He added: "TGV has already invested in the campaigns and has marketed the film aggressively, it is only a matter of releasing the film."
Meanwhile, Golden Screen Cinemas' CEO Koh Mei Lee also said that when major releases are postponed or cancelled without notice, this poses "a huge setback for the cinema industry", The Star reported. She cited the cancellation of Pixar's Lightyear last month followed by Thor: Love And Thunder as examples.
Koh, who is also chairman of the Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors, explained that GSCinemas has only begun recovering in May and June and that consumers are heading back to the big screen to watch their favourite blockbuster movies, The Star reported. In addition to offering refunds to fans who bought tickets in advance for the movie, Koh said the revenue loss from the cancellation of Thor would be "devastating to the cinema industry" in general.
Thor: Love And Thunder was initially scheduled to release in Malaysia on 7 July. In June, GSC even gave its Mid Valley KL outlet a makeover in the lead up to the movie's release, featuring a Bifröst photo booth, Love and Thunder lounge, and an 18-feet Thor standee. However, it was announced on 1 July that the movie was postponed to 21 July. GSC later said on 13 July that the movie has been postponed indefinitely. A+M has reached out to Disney for comment.
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