Photo courtesy of imdb.com
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone, and has halted many aspects of everyday life. When it comes to entertainment, the most noticeable difference during quarantine is our inability to enter movie theaters and the lack of new releases.
Instead of delaying the release of new blockbusters, like most bigwig studios, Universal Studios released “Trolls World Tour” at home.
Although the digital premiere may have entertained children across the world and taken the stress off of parents’ backs, things didn’t turn out so well when AMC Theatres caught whiff of the straight-to-home film release.
“Effectively immediately,” AMC Theatres chairman and CEO Adam Aron wrote, “AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theaters in the United States, Europe or the Middle East.”
To put this in perspective, “Trolls World Tour” was the only movie that skipped it’s planned theatrical release. “The Invisible Man” and “Onward” had brief stints in the box office before releasing early to rent at home for heightened prices.
This decision is a double-edged sword, and has huge ramifications for the film industry. AMC Theatres is the largest circuit in the world, and their stance could protect smaller, local theaters from being harmed while also building a stronger relationship with other major film studios such as Walt Disney and Warner Bros.
However, AMC Theatres is cutting themselves off from the huge money-making franchises Universal owns, such as the “Fast and Furious” and “Jurassic World” series.
When it comes to Walt Disney Studios, there’s likely going to be more, lesser-anticipated films released directly to their new streaming service, Disney+. “Artemis Fowl” was supposed to be in theaters on May 29, but can be expected on Disney+ on June 12.
Disney’s more recognizable properties will continue to be served in theaters, as they push back release dates for the live-action “Mulan,” the long-awaited “Black Widow” solo film, and subsequently the releases for the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This method will probably be applied to all films in general, with small indie films premiering on Netflix or VOD for the film buffs with great at-home setups, while the big blockbusters stay in theaters for the movie-going experience.
What this mainly comes down to is you, the average moviegoer. Did people only rent the “Trolls” sequel because they were stuck at home with nothing to do? Will people even want to go back into crowded theaters once stay-at-home orders are lifted?
These questions are still unanswered.