In the past, I have written about my deep love of movie theaters. As I have said personally, other than a church, a movie theater is basically my spiritual home. A recent Popsugar article further illustrated that I am far from alone in my unwavering love of cinema.
After the devastation of 2020 for the theater industry, 2021 has been a mixture of anxiety-provoking emotions. Reports over the past few weeks have varied so much about the future of theaters that it could give a boost. Some viewers might appreciate more simplified explanations of what is going on.
What worries theater chains and their followers
The catalyst for much of the recent whirlwind of emotions is the Marvel blockbuster âBlack Widowâ. After being delayed for over a year, the film was finally released in July.
At first, it almost seemed like it was a time of a pre-COVID pandemic again. Audiences flocked to the theater to see Scarlett Johansson lead solo in a Marvel epic. There was optimism about the status of cinemas. And then, suddenly, it wasn’t so much anymore. After a massive opening, things kinda took a turn for the worse for âBlack Widowâ.
It can happen with theatrical releases. Sometimes, but not always, this can indicate that the audience received the film poorly.
And that he has a bad reputation because of it. But that was very apparently not the case with “Black Widow”. Reviews from the public and critics were generally very positive. I found it on the whole to be fantastic. The conclusions many came to for the Sudden Downfall centered on one thing – Disney +.
At the same time, Marvel and Disney released âBlack Widowâ in theaters, and it also became available at home through Disney +.
For a somewhat mind-blowing price tag of around $ 30, on top of the existing streaming fees.
In short, a number of people have taken it as a signal of disaster for theaters. And that’s true ; there were a ton of people who decided to air the movie at home. And that streaming is the inevitable future of movies.
These concerns are not entirely new either.
Especially since so many movie and TV fans have become even more familiar with streaming since the COVID-19 hit. And that movie theater revenues have often fluctuated over the years.
There is also the fact that theaters still had not realized the profits they would normally expect. Because, hey, there’s always a pandemic going on, leaving people naturally wary of groups. Yes, times have been tough for the movie industry.
Why moviegoers still have to hope
We cannot know what the future holds for this industry or any other. However, people who look at the “Black Widow” situation tend to oversimplify things. It’s not as basic as people prefer to just stream rather than go to the theater.
There are several reasons to still believe in the cinematic model, including those listed below.
On the one hand, as people might like to forget, there is still a global health crisis. If that wasn’t the case, in all likelihood the movie would have benefited more like the books of books that had been anticipated. And, really, always does. By almost any normal standard, the box office counts for âBlack Widowâ have been huge. Just, maybe, not at the level we’re used to from a Marvel movie. And outside of the United States, where Disney + is often less available or not, things were closer to normal. There remains an inherent desire among movie consumers for a theatrical experience. Even drive-ins have seen a resurgence amid COVID-19.
The box office figures were still significantly higher than those for streaming. And the gap ended up being even bigger than originally thought. People tended to ignore certain things. Like this, streaming services usually don’t keep all the fees they charge people. Much of what Disney instructed people to watch âBlack Widowâ would go elsewhere. Like Amazon, Apple or wherever people got their streaming devices.
Another problem stemming from the novel coronavirus is capacity limitations. Many, if not all theaters still don’t allow the size of crowds that they normally would. Automatic cap on ticket sales down from the start.
But even still, many of the headlines surrounding great movie releases have been about how they exceeded expectations. Warner Bros. has really embraced the trend of simultaneous releases. In their case, using HBO Max. But they also seemed to have cooled off on the prospect. As Yahoo noted, they look set to revert to more traditional theatrical releases from 2022. And there’s also Netflix, the original king of streaming. Like so many other streaming services, they’ve started producing their own content. They would be looking to become a bigger player on the theatrical side, rather than relying almost exclusively on streaming. The Warner Bros. and Netflix wouldn’t exist if they didn’t believe theaters had a bright future.
Two of the biggest of 2021 Movies were “A Quiet Place Part II” and “F9”. Both debuted exclusively in theaters, and both have performed extremely well. Paramount and Universal have seen it big by using the traditional method with a streamer preview.
Disney and Marvel are probably partly responsible for what happened with ‘Black Widow’
Really, some of Disney’s streaming strategies may well have backfired. And in some cases, it was extremely predictable. Some Disney + subscribers have reportedly organized viewing parties for the film. (By the way, cramming into possibly smaller spaces is probably not much safer than going to the theater during COVID times.) People who once would have had to buy their own tickets end up seeing the movie for free.
Other issues like hacking have also become a bigger issue with the streaming method.
Disney reportedly hoped the strategy would also bring a wave of new subscribers. This is not the case. A large portion of the streamers who paid to see the simultaneous release were already subscribers. Maybe people didn’t want to pay around $ 40 to watch home TV wholesale.
And the fallout could be a bigger puzzle for Disney than they anticipated. The dissatisfaction of theater chains and loyal spectators was probably, at least to some extent, expected. But ire that it’s taken from two of the biggest movie stars in the world, maybe not so much. After a long working relationship together, Disney has decidedly taken the bad side of Scarlett Johansson.
Marvel executive Kevin Feige had hoped to continue working with her in the future. Perhaps, ironically, as part of a Disney + Marvel content list. This could unfortunately be questioned at the present time. But it’s not even just Johansson; Disney also apparently drew the wrath of Emma Stone. Whose movie, “Cruella”, Disney was also released simultaneously shortly before.
Marvel is also making the creative decisions with Johansson’s character before âBlack Widowâ. Many fans were bowled over by what they ultimately chose to do to his character in âEndgameâ. Knowing what happened to him in these events has left some openly less excited about finally seeing his own film. And casual fans might understandably be confused as to where âBlack Widowâ fits in the timeline.
Some might not care about the kind-of-but-type-of-not-prequel.
People who love theaters should always take things seriously, and there are things they can do to help.
While there is a litany of reasons to always be optimistic, theatergoers shouldn’t take things for granted. People have indeed already written off theaters. With the launches of home television and video and beyond, the industry has persevered. But these are unprecedented times, and the future is uncertain.
If you go to the movies, follow the safety instructions. I do and even take a few extra. It can also help the theaters themselves to wait a bit longer to see the movie of your choice. Ticket sales percentages often heavily favor studios when they first open.
Usually, about three weeks after release, it leans in favor of theaters. That might, however, be a fine line to walk these days. Theaters need the biggest profits to stay open. But early ticket sales could persuade studios not to abandon these theaters.
If you see a movie at the top of its window, dealerships are often the name of the game. They have long been where theaters make most of their profits. Yes, they can be quite expensive. But even a small purchase can help. It also comes down to safety instructions in the midst of a pandemic. Hand sanitizer is often your friend.
People are understandable and justified in their reluctance to return to the cinema. If you’re still not comfortable with this, there may be other creative ways to help your local cinema as well.
Buy gift cards that can be used later. I even heard that some people buy popcorn and leave without seeing a movie.
To put it in perspective, much of the spread of COVID-19 has been linked to restaurants. Maybe more than anything else. Yet a lot of people (not me) have returned to eat inside regularly.
Restaurants have often been found to be the cause of the spread of COVID-19. Maybe more than anything else. Still, a lot of people (not me) have gone back to eat inside when the theater is probably safer.