Entertainment as a whole has been moving online for the better part of a decade, with even the most established options not being immune from the change. Perhaps the biggest and fastest moving can certainly be found within gaming, particularly in the likes of betting and gambling as this past year has seen many betting and casino locations forced to close. This comes as online alternatives have provided all of the options needed by players and many more throughout the pandemic. An example can be found at nj-licensed-casinos.com, where they list a number of the leading sites on the market and ones that have been proving very popular throughout the last 12 months. Also, with sports moving progressively online through the likes of esports for example, it’s no surprise that there has been a huge surge and uptick in the number of players utilizing online betting sites. The same can be said for online streaming too, as platforms like Netflix have changed the way we consume media, but the big hold out in cinema may be seeing change coming its way.
Cinemas as a whole have been struggling in recent years – ticket sales don’t cover operational costs and instead locations must rely on the sale of concessions through snacks and drinks, but as prices have gone up and alternatives become more cheaply available, it has become more difficult to attract viewers to cinema with the only redeeming fact coming from the exclusivity of new releases – but that could all be changing.
Hollywood studio Warner Bros recently announced that their entire 2021 line-up of new releases would be released on streaming platform HBO Max alongside the regular cinema release – with huge upcoming titles like Dune and The Matrix 4 on the cards, and the ongoing pandemic perhaps causing more number than usual to forgo the cinema entirely, it signals the first big change where blockbuster titles won’t only premier at the cinema and viewers will have a video-on-demand option available to them – similarly, Disney also announced re-organization at the end of 2020 to have a larger focus around their own streaming platform which could indicate that their own library of new releases could move directly to streaming too, with limited options for cinema – and with the likes of the Star Wars and Marvel cinematic universe under their belt, that’s a huge chunk of box office revenue.
Whilst this may just be a trial period for this year whilst things slowly get back to normal, any widespread success could certainly lead to a more permanent change where other studios get on board with video-on-demand release alongside cinema release, with others even going a more exclusive route. Aside from the experience of being at the cinema, there is seemingly little that can stop the change that is being seen, and it could very well be true that the near future for box office hits and new cinema releases is rooted firmly in the online space, as brick-and-mortar locations remain unable to compete with the changing approach to media consumption and more studios find the growing benefits in direct online launches rather than all of the work that comes with a wider theatrical release – this is all dependant on success this year though, and failure could spell something entirely different.