Diverting away from the regular content published on Jack Reviews Films, this was just too insane to not discuss. I’m writing this as an avid moviegoer and cinema lover, it’s basically my second home when the money is in, but are we going to have cinema for much longer?
Following the global outbreak of COVID-19, every industry has been hit in one way or another. The one that affects us the most on this website is, of course, the movie industry. More and more news is coming out every day about how the pandemic is affecting the things we love, and today’s news is perhaps one of the most shocking headlines yet.
Let me explain.
Universal was one of the first major film production studios that decided to postpone films being released and produced since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Notable titles are the latest instalment of James Bond with ‘No Time To Die’, ‘Trolls World Tour’ amongst others. When this news broke out, the whole world of film lovers was shocked. What are we going to do without 007?
Well, Universal took the approach to launch Trolls World Tour as a VOD rental for people to watch at home, instead of risking going to the cinema to see the sequel to 2016’s ‘Trolls’. After three weeks since the rental was released on popular services such as Google Play Movies, Apple iTunes and Amazon Prime Video, Universal report they made over $100 million from this. Scary, right? Scary indeed, especially for the cinema companies. AMC is huge, known worldwide and over here in the UK, they own ODEON, perhaps the most famous branch of cinema. AMC/ ODEON have made the drastic call to not be showing any Universal movies once they reopen their theatres for the public.
What does this mean?
It means we may not get to see Daniel Craig’s last outing as Bond on the big screen, even after it has been postponed till November. That is a reason for the public to be scared. If the cinemas have the power to retract movies from their roster, what’s going to happen to cinema. The crisis is causing major losses to theatre companies everywhere in the world, and this is dangerous news for all. Refusing to show movies is one thing, but this could be detrimental to their entire existence. Many film companies have decided to make the switch to home premieres at this time and could very well stick to it as well as launching them in the cinema, too. The danger of this is that people may decide to just watch the film at home, instead. This means, not only losses on tickets but food and drinks, merchandise, memberships and even running costs. This could well and truly be the start of the end for many cinemas. I certainly hope not, but who is really winning here?
The whole idea of going to the cinema is to see a film in the escapist atmosphere, get lost in the world of the film you are watching and to get out of the house for a while. It can be a family day out, a group of friends going, a date or just because you want to watch a film really badly. These are all excuses to go that may be used less and less.
Cineworld is following suit and is not going to be showing any films produced by Universal once they reopen. Not only is this major news, but it is clearly going to spark a trend and will change how cinema works forever.