A trip to the movies has always been a great way to get out, relax, and experience something they may be passionate about for many, but the past year has certainly put a damper on things as this choice has largely been taken out of the hands of many of us. Heading through 2021, however, it seems there may be a more permanent shift coming to the movie industry, and the option to get back into theatres may be taken out of our hands, as an almost inevitable shift towards digital may be on the way.
It won’t be the first big shift in entertainment to become primarily online as many have come before, the most popular in recent years has certainly been within online gaming and the surge in new services that have come through the development of the mobile platform which is by far the biggest gaming market – certain sectors such as online casinos have been able to thrive over the past few years and with land-based options remaining closed for now have continued to grow too, and with a good resource here to find the best not subscribed to initiatives such as gamstop, they’ll continue to grow – and it looks like the movie industry is looking to follow a similar path.
It was recently announced that Warner Bros, the studio behind big releases coming this year like The Matrix 4, Dune, and Mortal Kombat, would be shifting their releases throughout the year on to both the HBO Max streaming platform alongside a wider cinema release – the first big studio to make this change. Disney had also announced that they would be reorganising their own internal structure to focus more on their own streaming platform of Disney+, so it is expected they will follow too.
Whilst this will largely be a dry run, success could mean that others will jump on board quickly – the success of platforms like Netflix and Prime have already shown a big shift and just how successful an online change can be, but producing original content is quite different to sending out big box office releases. There have been some releases throughout the year that have shown it is possible, but it’s difficult to determine whether or not that success may be largely down to the pandemic or because of a change in preference, but the next few months will certainly be telling of what the future holds in store for the box office – as cinemas are also set to reopen for many soon too, it’ll be a question of how quickly either can hit the ground running again.
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