Counting years now, the film business was accustomed to its daily practice and wasn’t hit by any industry changes. The theatre owners have been super strong in upholding the traditional theatre releases. Any new blockbuster was supposed to pay for 90 days before it was released on television.
A film exhibitor said that people intended to watch a Marvel movie for free at home rather than playing in the theatres. This led to financial issues for the studio makers who intend to shorten the time as per their convenience. So, the marketing cost is reduced.
Another threat to the theatres is the rise of streaming services that allow the audience to watch numerous movies with just one click. Yet, the theatre owners wished to prolong the time, but now, they are forced to succumb to market forces’ needs for better yields as time passes.
And now the pandemic has shattered all the boundaries for theatre owners as the theatres were forced shut. Studios had to reschedule and pushed the release of new movies to other dates and streamed old movies. The development of market cinema took a new level, and theatre owners realized that their business is in danger as various new titles will be made available sooner online.
And as for studios, a series of changes were seen, which led to chaos. There was the breaking of old alliances, and new alliances were made. A game of 3D chess became the source of a rival inspired by the game of thrones. Universal seemed to change its course from being the enemy of cinemas to the savior of the theatre. Also, Warner Bros led to being villains against any rivals that would pose to debut the entire 2021 on HBO Max theatres. This situation occurred after Tenet of Christopher Nolan was played in the theatres on the big screen during the summer season. As the events occurred, Tyrion Lannister couldn’t make sense of strategic retreats, power plays, and maneuvers as well.
According to industry experts, it is believed that these changes that have overcome the theatre industry will stay even after the pandemic.
We saw how the new change is settled down, and the distribution is fixed. The 90-day window show has not been made available anymore. Rather, a different approach has been acknowledged, like depending on the movie’s cost on the studio or film. This means there is a possibility that Fast and furious might be played in theatre for a longer duration than the Bios movie even though both are the production of universal studio.
Universal on its own has led to various tests to accommodate its new movies in studios on high demand almost within weeks of the movie’s theatrical debut. This decision came after taking into consideration its history with AMC, Cinemark, and Cineplex. Also, Universal expects to make such type of deal with Regal, which is the second-largest US circuit. The deal also avails a cut for exhibitors. Universal claims that this deal is more financially stable and viable. It occurs on a more individual level than the subscription that offered numerous programs for one prize per month.
All the companies are on edge right now. AMC is basically on the verge of bankruptcy. They tried to renegotiate their stocks and become stable, but the debt is pretty deep. Like Cinemark and Cineworld, the other companies owned by Regal are also on the same dice as they are highly leveraged. And these are the ones that have a strong relationship with the bank. On the other hand, many independent theatres will be at higher risks as they do not have individual lenders that they can rely on.
Also, major media companies have made it crystal clear that they consider challenging Netflix their greatest essence. Disney planned a four-hour session to arm Disney plus, Hulu, and its other subscriptions and recognized its executive pecking order to focus on streaming. On the other hand, WarnerMedia and Comcast tend to lay out hundreds of millions of dollars to add programming for HBO Max and Peacock. Also, Viacom is making Paramount Plus ready. It is the rebranded CBC All Access streaming service that is made ready for its close-up. The streaming competition tends to get more rigorous as days pass ahead.
If we consider filmmakers, they are quite okay with the new changes and are ready to accept them. Netflix came up with new movies like Mank, Da Five Bloods, George Clooney, and The trial of Chicago 7 of David Fincher, Spike Lee, George Clooney, and Aaron Sorkin, respectively, in 2020. It also has a good chance of converting one of the projects mentioned above into an Oscar winner. Alongside these, Apple, Amazon, Hulu came up with new movies from auteurs and A-listers like Sofia Coppola (“On the Rocks”), Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), and Lee Daniels (the upcoming “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”). Many of these movies were set up for traditional studios for a theatrical release before the Covid 19 pandemic.
After considering all the measures, Hollywood studios are not designed for the collapse of the theatrical business. Everyone in the film industry, including the filmmakers, are willing to go back to the original normal rather than adjusting to the new normal, despite all the balances and accommodations provided.
Every such kind of normalcy highly depends on the Covid vaccine. Many public health experts believe that milestone will not be achieved until late spring or early summer. The owner of St. Louis cinema, Harman Moseley, has a small business chain in the Midwest. He had been burned down as he lifted the lights before the pandemic has been lifted.
Theatres will need to be refurbished to get people back in the place. Most people, not most, all of them have spent the pandemic, the past year watching movies on their couches and at the same price for all movies at a single stub. When we compare, the HBO Max subscription costs $15 per month whereas a movie ticket in New York City and Los Angeles costs $20 at max.
As the time has shifted, from life being a rollercoaster, running from one place to another to being a standstill in just a few months, wearing masks and protecting yourself from every plausible diminishing health causative factor. The theatres, studios, and the various film make faced their problems. People have been quarantined during this pandemic, and there was no way that the film industry business would have flourished by earning through cinema as there has been no business. People have sat on their couches and watched movies through online streaming subscriptions. The film industry needs to backup on this huge loss and changes its normal process of the film business and financial regularities. Studios are offered to take charges for one film instead of the whole package before 90. This change might not come very easily but accepting it right now is the only way as the pandemic situation still exists, and no solution occurs till the vaccine has been formed and dispatched.