Our film critics discuss the future of cinema
DARGIS That we are social animals is what made me think we would go back to the movies, and that there is too much money at stake. Cinema has always had its ups and downs. But for decades, the big studios have eroded exposure – the movie habit itself – with a business model that relies on a handful of tents to bait youngsters and a few monster weekends. Their audiences flock to the theaters a bit, and everyone is waiting (or not) for a personal video. I looked at the numbers for the latest “Avengers” movie: it opened in US theaters in April 2019 and played until September, but it absorbed over 90% of its domestic transport in 30 days.
I imagine a lot of people were waiting to see it, just like previous generations waited for things to happen on TV, cable, video – all of this was once seen as a threat to cinema. For a while, these different tracks seemed quite complementary. But the habit of watching on demand, anytime, anywhere has been overwhelming, which is bad for exposure but good for the multinational companies that own the studios as they also own the companies that. move things around homes. So maybe these multinationals will switch exclusively to streaming. Maybe they’ll re-embrace theaters or buy them all. In the end, I am much more worried about non-industrial cinema and whether its audiences will return to the cinema.
Of course, there’s the occasional blockbuster that they may want to see as an Imax experience and want to have that shared community experience, but like everything in the world, with the multitude of choices available and given the time, effort, and effort. spending to go to the movies, most choose to watch movies from the comfort of their own homes.
– Marcus Hu, co-founder of distributor Strand Releasing
SCOTT The small screen is definitely getting bigger, like it or not. Subscription revenue is unlikely to match the blockbuster box office numbers, but for many independent filmmakers, streaming offers money for projects that the big studios are no longer making. For a long time, major studios focused their resources on franchise, IP-based entertainment at the expense of stand-alone features aimed at an adult audience. Streaming took some of that slack.
The result is that what you and I and others in our aging population understood as “going to the movies” may have been replaced by a different menu of choices and practices. What I mean is the idea of cinema as a destination, independent of any particular film that could be screened. Most of the time you would just go and see what there was, and there was always something – art, trash, or in between – worth the price of the ticket, which wasn’t that much. that. A movie habit was pretty easy to acquire, and a lot of us did.