Have you re-watched Ocean’s 11 recently? It TOTALLY holds up. Ocean’s 12 holds up, too. As far as I am concerned, there are only three Ocean’s movies, 8, 11, and 12, and I have re-watched them all (they were on Netflix, now they’re on HBO Max) during this pandemic year. The chemistry of George Clooney and Julia Roberts is such that OF COURSE it is believable that Danny Ocean would stage an elaborate heist just to undercut the new guy dating his ex-wife. I wouldn’t get over Julia Roberts, either, and neither would you, don’t lie. Well, Clooney and Roberts are bringing their combined A-list magnetism to a new romantic comedy called Ticket To Paradise, in which they will play exes trying to stop their daughter from “making the same mistake they think they made 25 years ago”. I honestly don’t care what the plot is, you had me at “Clooney-Roberts rom-com”.
It is worth noting, though, that Ticket To Paradise is being made by Universal for theatrical exhibition. In this new world we’re living in, with collapsing exhibition windows and day-and-date digital release, we will be notified from here on out when a movie is intended for the theatrical market, or if it will be available for early streaming. Probably there will be some prestige attached to theater-only movies, in the way that TV was once considered inferior to film. I don’t think that will last long—younger actors, part of a digitally native generation, won’t care, and ultimately, film stars will go where the audience is, which is increasingly at home—but for a little while I do think we’ll see some status attached to theatrically exclusive movie deals, especially from old-guard A-listers. They’ll want to “save” theaters, at least until everyone works out how A-listers will get paid in digital deals that don’t have back-end profit-sharing. It will be very interesting, in a post-pandemic world when movie theaters are fully open once again, to see which stars can really bring audiences back to the theater. Universal is banking that George Clooney and Julia Roberts, together, will have that kind of pull. Historically, they would, but the pandemic is killing celebrity (see also: the Golden Globes), so what happens if not even Tess and Danny Ocean can get audiences back into theaters?