Toho releases on ice, but there are signs of better times ahead
The global pandemic has hit certain sectors harder than others. The effects on, for example, cafes and airlines are obvious. But another industry that has been brought to its knees is the movie business.
Cinemas and movie theaters have been closed in major cities since lockdown conditions were enforced, leading to delays in movie releases. Meanwhile, social distancing requirements have also led to filming delays in movies that are in still in the production stages.
Toho projects on ice
The studio known as the House of Godzilla was scheduled to release Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet to Japanese cinemas on April 17. Like so many other movies this year, the release has been postponed, and a revised date has yet to be confirmed. In an obvious nod to the forthcoming Olympics, the story involves the “World Sports Games” in Tokyo. The story also takes in a new super-fast train and the inevitable kidnapping. The Olympics have been pushed back 12 months, but it seems likely that Toho will not wish to delay the release of The Scarlet Bullet any longer than necessary. A September or October release looks more probable.
The Godzilla vs Kong release, for which Toho is also responsible in the Japan market, has also been postponed till November. This is having a knock-on effect on Toho’s plans for revitalizing the Godzilla universe, and potentially reintroducing the Mechagodzilla or Jaeger.
Kaiju fans turn to gaming
The lull on the movie front has led many Kaiju fans to explore the world of gaming, and here, at least, there is better news. Games have no need for fanfare or theatrical release, and with more people having time to spare, the industry is buzzing like never before. We will probably have to wait for the movie before we can play the highly anticipated Godzilla vs Kong game, but there have been several other recent releases that are available to play online right now.
These include indie developer Pause Process’s intriguing offering Yet Another Godzilla Game, which has attracted rave reviews and shows that sometimes, there’s no substitute for simplicity in gaming. Meanwhile, Elk Studio has also come up with this intriguing offering, which brings Kaiju to the slots genre. This is a smaller development house that focuses on quality over quantity in its slot games. That ethos shows through in the stunning, atmospheric graphics and a storyline that drags you in from the word go. High volatility means this is a game that will appeal to serious gamblers as well as Kaiju fans.
The games will present a welcome distraction while restrictions remain in place, but all of us will have half an eye on the third and fourth quarters of 2020 when Toho can get the pipeline back in motion. The good news is that it could be a case of feast following famine.
Despite the current difficulties, investors have been watching Toho with interest given its intention to “double down” as soon as the world starts to return to normal. Securities investor Taro Ishihara told the Nikkei Asian Review he feels that Toho’s stock is significantly undervalued. This spells good news, as it suggests those in the investment community will be more inclined to focus on the studio’s long term prospects than its short term difficulties.
2020 is turning into a quiet year for Kaiju movies – but 2021 could be a blockbuster.
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This article was written By Chris and published on 2020-04-23 08:29:23
More about upcoming Godzilla movies
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) is the sequel to Michael Dougherty's Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters and will be the fourth and final installment in the Monsterverse movie quadrilogy. It will also bridge both the Godzilla movies and Kong: Skull Island by bringing Godzilla and Kong face-to-face for an epic match-up. To learn more about Godzilla vs. Kong, check out the Godzilla vs. Kong about page here!
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