Will COVID-19 Spell the End of Seeing Movies in Theaters?
There seems to be more content than ever before vying for viewers on cable TV, movie theaters, and online streaming services. Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ are the most well-known streaming services transforming the way we view content. And they are wildly successful. The tide is turning to favor the home as the place the world views this content. And some die-hard traditionalists in the film industry are tearing their hair out at what they see as the death of the theatrical experience.
Warner Bros. recently made the bold decision to release their movies both in theaters and online at the same time. The fact that they’ve accomplished this successfully has left movie execs at other studios wringing their hands and wondering whether or not they should follow suit. They may have to decide quickly, as the COVID pandemic may be a factor in the survival of movie theaters.
COVID May Force the Movie Industry’s Hand
Once upon a time, traveling to a movie theater was the only way to see recently launched films. It still is with many studio-released blockbusters. But this may be changing as the world adjusts to the reality of COVID as an ongoing factor in their lives.
Traveling across town to sit in a crowded theater and eat over-priced snacks doesn’t sound so exciting when it includes possibly being infected with the coronavirus. This is especially true when theater-goers have the means to watch these movies in the comfort and safety of their own homes. And at least one studio wants to give them the opportunity to do so, as evidenced by the Warner Bros. decision.
With the price of the latest wide-screen TVs getting less expensive and internet access becoming a common feature of every household, it may relegate visiting a movie theater into a unique and nostalgic experience in the not-so-distant future.