Will cinema emerge from a Pandemic?
Anti Trust Laws were repealed and the implications of this decision have forced production companies to vertically integrate their distribution on their own streaming platform bypassing theaters. Disney+ announced releasing all titles on their streaming platform days after Warner Brothers announced streaming on HBO+. Hulu is thriving off of streaming broadcasted content and original content. Netflix is left in the dust to create original media and solid titles as their licensed film selections are diminishing. Youtube is emerging as a legitimate source of viewership from broadcasters, streaming services, as well as for the public to have a voice.
The pandemic has changed the world by causing everyone to reexamine the way things are done. It is forcing change among our culture and many industries are dying as a result. Consequently theaters are now being threatened with possibility of bankruptcy because of the necessary stay at home orders.
Theaters will close, but what will be done with the buildings? Will the city purchase these buildings and use the spaces as a cinematic library or will they just turn into pornographic theaters much like what happened when these Anti-Trust Laws were first put in place back in 1948? Will production companies purchase these dying franchises as a way to return to the original business model? Are they going to reinstate practices of block booking?
Theaters like the The Alamo Drafthouse Santikos, Cinemark, and Regal may need to vertically integrate in order to survive. It will be imperative to scout talent to produce their own content for streaming and exclusive theater exhibition in order to stay relevant in this industry. If these businesses continue to assume things will go back to the way things were before the Global Pandemic, they are eluded by the implications of the decision involving their industry directly.
The next decade will definitely be interesting to review because of the potential of expansion because forcing the distribution centers of a commodity to become producers of the same commodity will cause a shift as new competition is in the market.