It’s HERE! It’s REAL! After DECADES of teasing and “maybes”, Bill & Ted Face the Music is a REAL MOVIE that ACTUALLY EXISTS. Now if only it wasn’t being released in the middle of a GODDAMN PANDEMIC. Today is 6/9, aka Bill & Ted Day (because 69 is the magic number), a day to party on, and be excellent to each other. Naturally, it being Bill & Ted Day, today is the day the teaser for Bill & Ted Face the Music is released. It’s ninety-three seconds and it made me laugh with sheer, unadulterated joy. Bill and Ted! Death! Their daughters looking mortified at their lame dads! That flawless Bill and Ted logic! “It’s not stealing…if we steal from ourselves!” PRISON Bill & Ted!
I just wish the timing was better. Like, I’m not convinced we’ll actually see this movie in August. The industry is very dogged about reopening “soon”, and indeed, theaters in California may reopen as early as this weekend (COVID cases in LA County are spiking, though, so we’ll see). There are a handful of movies, including Tenet and Bill & Ted 3, which have remained in their summer release spots, banking on that determination to get back to “business as usual”, even as nothing around us is usual. I hope theaters can reopen soon, even if at reduced capacity, because I will actually risk a theater for Bill and Ted. I have WAITED for this movie most of my life, and now that it is here, I can wait no longer.
The practicality of theaters reopening, though, is a huge question mark. Reduced capacities will definitely be part of the plan, but no one has meaningfully addressed plans should COVID cases spike. Will theaters respond to the situation within their locality, with some closing while others in less affected areas remain open? Will whole chains open and close together? It seems unlikely theaters will remain closed indefinitely, until there is a vaccine and the general public is inoculated against coronavirus. That could be, at least, a year away. It is much more likely that theaters will reopen, probably soon, in some way or another. But what happens if theaters reopen and even at reduced capacity, can’t fill seats? Some people will definitely rush to the movies (the “mah freedoms!” crowd), but most people seem wary of being trapped in enclosed spaces with crowds right now.
The theory is that once theaters reopen, with a lighter release schedule for the rest of 2020, movies will be able to play longer and make money over time, but if you can’t convince people to show up, I don’t know if that really helps anyone. I have no solution, it’s an impossible situation. Business can’t remain suspended forever, at some point, there must be an attempt at a comeback. But I’m not convinced that movies that cost nine figures to produce (like Tenet, Mulan, Black Widow, and Wonder Woman 1984) can actually turn a profit, even with extended runs. What I’m saying is, Bill & Ted 3 cost around $25 million to make, so it could DEFINITELY turn a profit on premium on demand, if it comes to that. I just can’t wait for this movie any longer. Now more than ever, we need Bill and Ted’s radical manifesto of kindness and partying on.