Companies Are Now Moving Their Movies to Digital

Could This Foreshadow the Future of Cinemas in Our Modern Era?

By: Amir Garcia

Viewing movies digitally is becoming more common due to the coronavirus. Credit:

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, there’s currently a global pandemic sweeping the globe. As a result, this has caused many things to become delayed, including events, video games, and of course, movies, due movie theaters currently being closed and all.

Movies like “A Quiet Place Part 2,” “The New Mutants,” the live-action “Mulan” and “Black Widow” have all been pushed further than they’ve been originally planned to be released by.

Of course, this does not mean that it’s the end for movies in general. After all, companies still want their money, and we live in an age where streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have basically thrived.

Not only has Disney released the recent Pixar film “Onward” on their own streaming service, Disney+, but Universal has released their movies on demand as well. This includes not only recent movies such as “The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt” and “Emma,” but the new and upcoming film, “Trolls World Tour.”

While movies being released digitally or on demand aren’t exactly a new thing, it’s usually not until after the movie’s already been in theaters. But it’s not like that’s exactly an option nowadays.

Due to these decisions, it leaves a lingering question: does this mean the end of movies being released in theaters, or will the companies do so less frequently?

After all, it does seem a lot easier for them to simply put their movies up on streaming platforms, as it would cut back on the licensing and distribution necessary for theaters.

The success of Disney+ has also shown that companies can simply put both their old and new movies online and still make money from it, which would possibly inspire other companies to follow suit as well.

However, it’s safe to say that this most likely won’t happen anytime soon for two main reasons.

The first is that even with the rise of streaming platforms in recent years, movie theaters have still been going strong, with the recent “The Lion King” remake grossing over a billion dollars worldwide.

Keep in mind: this isn’t some new, original movie that no one’s ever seen before, but a remake of a 16-year old animated film that you can still see rather easily. And yet it still made bucket loads of money for Disney!

As a result, it’s safe to assume that certain movies such as “Black Widow” or “Mulan,” another live-action Disney remake, most likely won’t go to streaming anytime soon. Otherwise Disney wouldn’t make anywhere near as much money on these Hollywood blockbusters as they usually would.

And the second reason is that most people are still a lot more likely to see new movies in theaters rather than inside their home. We’ve been going to the cinema for so long that it basically feels like a tradition at this point.

After all, what sounds more exciting: seeing the brand new Star Wars movie with your friends on a giant screen with a large audience, or simply at home on your couch? Even some movies such as “Gravity” or “Interstellar” feel a lot less magical outside of the big screen.

But this is only the opinion of one college student. John Fithian, the president of the National Association of Theater Owners, had this to say if asked whether movies would go digital:

“All the rest of the movies will come back up this fall and into next year with the same kind of business model we had before the crisis.”

Fithian also added that “The movie cinema business in this country and around the world is very, very strong despite what some pundits might try to say. We went from $15 billion a year to zero last week. This past weekend was the first weekend in the hundred-year history of the cinema business when we collected zero dollars from ticket sales.”

Due to this, Fithian expects that once the pandemic is done with, audiences will flock back to theaters and everything will resume as it normally would.

In fact, it’s safe to assume that this pandemic will have the opposite effect and increase box office revenue. Being that moviegoers will be away from theaters for so long, they will have the added incentive to see movies at them again. 

But these are simply predictions, so only time will tell what the future of the film industry will be like, especially in this uncertain, unpredictable future.

At the very least, it seems like we won’t have to give up our age-old tradition of going out to see a new movie when theaters end up opening again.


Categories: Arts

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