Movies are one of the few remaining proven strategies to attract new audiences and keep existing ones in a world of endless entertainment options. However, the overwhelming narrative appears to be that, in the age of the internet, the traditional system of theatrical release can no longer cater to viewers all over the world – or so we are told.
Digital technologies, particularly streaming, are predicted to supplant the tradition of theatrical releases, bringing movies into the increasing Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) list of sectors rather than third-party distribution via the theatrical release.
This notion of the new supplanting the old, fuelled by the epidemic, is frequently depicted as “when,” not “if.” Under this narrative, AT&T, the US telecoms behemoth that owns Warner Brothers, announced its decision to broadcast all Warner Brothers films in theatres and on HBO Max, its streaming service, simultaneously in 2021.
According to industry experts and pundits, the action demonstrates that the studio “has finally embraced the unavoidable future, even if they’re not stating it officially.”
A titanic battle of civilizations
This audacious approach has achieved the unusual achievement of uniting the entire film industry in absolute contempt. Filmmakers feel misled since they designed good-faith films for the big screen to be seen in a theatre setting. Cinemas, both tiny and huge chains, feel abandoned when they need help the most.
- Meanwhile, talent agencies are enraged that their clients may be shut out of lucrative back-end film earnings, known as “residuals” in the industry. As the number of platforms delivering movies grows, so do monthly membership rates and congested program listings to navigate, and fans are becoming increasingly confused.
- As if that were not enough, studio partners feel duped because their initial investment (often covering 50% or more of the overall cost of a film) was made with the expectation that it would be used to fund a theatrical release and associated profits, not to boost subscription numbers for a streaming platform.
There is no such arrangement because the same people now own movies and streaming sites. In the past, some money crossed hands due to licensing fees paid by streaming services like Netflix to studios to screen their films. Thanks to dual ownership of streamers and films is no longer an option. Some, such as Ann Sarnoff, CEO of WarnerMedia Studios, have raced to point out that it is only a temporary response to the crisis. It would likely fade away once people return to theatres in roughly a year.
Is cinema on its way out?
Regardless, the question is not whether any of the recent pronouncements about moving to stream are financially viable “right now.” It does: HBO Max is currently in fourth place in a three-horse streaming competition, trailing Netflix, Amazon, and Disney, and needed to take action.
It is a deliberate endeavor to expand its portfolio by hosting all Warner Brothers films. The problem is that the Warner/AT&T move feeds a widespread misconception in the film industry: those companies are just responding to consumer demand. When AT&T CEO John Stankey says, “Customers are going to drive what happens in the market ultimately,” he exemplifies this wonderfully.
The “death of cinema” narrative also succumbs to the worship of innovation. Where “innovation is now so avidly favored that it almost cannot be questioned.” The real concerns about the future of film raised by those who make movies, those who show them, and their audiences are overlooked in the understandable excitement about streaming as a new source of cash and audience participation.
Framing these judgments exclusively based on customer happiness ignores history and overlooks the reality. In contrast, the cinema (and television) models have weathered numerous crises; streaming has yet to have its first. And you can also read about my assignment help.
We still do not know how or when a streaming catastrophe may occur. Will it be a lack of returns on large early investments or consumer fatigue? Will investors abandon the project? Perhaps the number of prospective subscribers for streaming platforms eventually hit a natural limit? However, it will come — and industry observers believe “this could be the calm before the streaming storm.”
Because of the internal, inescapable battle of cultures, the AT&T/Warner statement and attendant discussion accomplish all of the above.
AT&T is a technological firm specializing in 5G, mobile telephony, and internet infrastructure. Content is purchased to feed those pipelines and justify their existence and cost. Warner Brothers’ principal role is to make films. With the secondary function of ensuring that they reach the biggest possible audience through the most efficient means of distribution.
What appears to be a beautiful partnership of similar interests is a marriage made in hell. As the two partners’ priorities tug them in opposite ways.
The film is not dead, not even dying. This crisis narrative. In which theatrical release is the underlying issue and streaming is the cure.Clearly needs some story editing. It is rapidly expanding in most parts of the world but remains stubbornly constant in the United States. It is fair to be concerned about the present. But it is short-sighted to dismiss the data because it contradicts the narrative.
If the supply of movies feeding the theatrical ecosystem is depleted. Firms will quickly resemble any other streaming service contending for online attention.
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They will become less stable and more vulnerable to market turmoil due to this, not less.
The film and television industry, particularly Hollywood, is built on relationships: with filmmakers, exhibitors, financiers, audiences, and others.
They represent the necessary connective tissue for this industry to function. Ignoring the creative and financial objectives of any of these organizations undermines the basic underpinnings of our business, which is built on people, not platforms. and you can also read about the dissertation help service.
Streaming is yet to be put to the test by a catastrophe. It has not happened before. There is no manual on dealing with an unexpected turn of events. Film and television have a lengthy history of surviving despite being pronounced dead numerous times. It is something to think about as we prepare for future disasters.