A few months ago, I saw my first movie in the theater since Covid. F9 was the movie that brought me back into the seats. And though it was not a critical success, I felt it was a good movie to ease people back into the movie going season. And I just knew things would go up from there with movies like Black Widow on the horizon. But as the movies came people still stayed home.
It’s no doubt one of the things still holding people back is the Delta variant. But I really thought people would be itching to go back to the theaters. With movies like Avengers Endgame proving to be a movie more enjoyable with crowd reactions, I really thought something like Black Widow would bring people back to enjoy the theater atmosphere. But it is proving that when given the choice people would rather stay home and watch it on their big screen than “the BIG SCREEN”.
This brings the question if we will ever see the return of theater crowds if (same day) streaming is still around?
With theaters crying foul over same day streaming, it is obvious that for a number of people there is no rush to go back to the theaters. But we saw this before back when Blu-ray came on the scene. As Blu-ray players and large screen televisions became more affordable, people spent less of their time and money going to the theaters.
This forced theaters to adapt and provide a better experience. When given the options people are going to choose their own comfy couch with their $1 microwave popcorn, drink of choice, the ability to pause for bathroom breaks, and not having to deal with someone talking through the theater, people playing on their phone on full white bright, children crying, and traffic.
There is going to have to be another theater awakening in the likes of when Avatar brought IMAX to the forefront. People need a reason to go to the theater and it needs to be to experience something they can not experience at home. Keywords are “experience they can’t experience at home”.
Right now people are getting almost all the things they can experience at home plus the extra activities that are driving them from the theaters. So it’s going to be on the theaters to find a way to provide an atmosphere worth getting excited about again. Because right now streaming is providing that. With shows like Wandavison, people have a show that the second it goes off they are running to social media to talk about it. I’m personally looking forward to the next Disney Plus show for the commentary and speculations, as much as I’m looking forward to the shows themselves. And though I am still looking forward to checking out some of the upcoming Marvel movies in theaters, I’m not expecting that same sentiment from others anymore. And frankly, I understand.