Has COVID-19 Killed Movie Theaters and the Cinema Experience?

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Since the pandemic, streaming media has caused severe damage to movie theaters, but have they disappeared forever?

Can the experience of watching movies survive the coronavirus pandemic?

According to experts, it is almost certain. The movie experience is nostalgic for many people. Movie fans are eager to watch the movie as soon as possible under safe conditions. Their emotions and emotional attachment drive their desire.

But as long as

To prevent large gatherings indoors, the uncertainty surrounding the cinema industry means that the period of turbulence is prolonged. Have

Lack of face-to-face entertainment.

Eric Schiffer, CEO and Chairman of the Patriarchal Organization and Reputation Management Consulting Company, said: "The cinema is facing a "crazy max"-style all-out war, which has caused them a dangerous high. Level of financial pain.

Again, this pain is reflected in the move to distribute movies to streaming platforms and theaters. In early December, news broke that AT&T Inc.’s Warner Bros. Company will release 17 movies, including "Dune", "The Matrix 4" and "Suicide Squad."

Break the film distribution norms.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PricewaterhouseCoopers), movie theater revenues will experience the biggest decline in at least 21 years.

CJ Bangah, head of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), told MarketWatch, “The cinema has suffered a major blow this year, and we don’t expect revenue to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.” “The experience of the Grand Theater, Early-watching blockbusters and nostalgia have played a role in getting us seated. But this does not mean that cinemas will not face new competition from home entertainment options. Innovative technologies such as AR and VR, as well as some movies directly released to consumers, are strong Performance has challenged people’s common perceptions of how and when to interact with movie content."

There are many dangers. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimates that the global entertainment and media business is a $2.1 trillion industry, and it will shrink by 5.6% in 2020 alone, or $117.6 billion. The revenue decline is expected to continue into 2021.

In addition, companies that had to endure closing theaters for months are also feeling the pressure. AMC Entertainment Inc., the world’s largest cinema operator, reported in a recent government document

Or in early 2021. The AMC is too large to qualify for the relief loan under the Paycheck protection plan, but it has

Restructure debt and engage with investor groups to increase cash and maintain a living.

Then there is Cineworld, which is the owner of the Regal chain and the second largest film company in the world, which went public in early October

Put 45,000 jobs at risk.

The cinema chain competing with streaming services and video games for consumer attention has changed in the industry, and in many ways, the pandemic is only accelerating these changes.

Netflix is ​​becoming more and more popular, and the boycott of screenings during the seasonal "drama window" (usually only shown exclusively in theaters) has put pressure on Hollywood executives. In addition, studios are more risky for the types of movies they produce, mainly relying on blockbusters and franchise rights, and then mainly young audiences, who go to the cinema in droves.

"Even before the release of COVID, theaters posed a lot of challenges to their business model, and the industry felt that they had to give in in some important way," said former film producer Marc Simon, who is now Partner of Fox Rothschild, the company's entertainment law department. "Movie theaters can introduce experience components that are not available in streaming media, but especially in metropolitan areas, these contents are not enough to keep them going."

Cinema revenue declined slightly in 2019, and overall box office revenue fell 4.1% from 2018, which was slightly less than US$10.4 billion. Attendance also dropped by approximately 4.6%, although the increase in fares offset this decline. PricewaterhouseCoopers said: “In general, the downward trend in attendance must attract the attention of movie theater owners.” After rising in January and February, box office revenue in March was cut. Before the lock in March, only three major movies were released in 2020.

As a result, the market has become more and more concentrated. Even before the pandemic, more and more independent films are raising funds and showing on streaming services, and this trend is expected to continue.

"Do we need to see a 100-foot-tall Jennifer Aniston chasing a 100-foot-tall Gerard Butler?" Anthony Palomba, assistant professor of business management at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia Asked. "What is the relationship between genre and platform? We have seen more horror movies debut on streaming services. Maybe in the future they don’t need to be on the big screen. They are cheaper to manufacture. But if you make one A superhero movie requires everyone to come. Marketing is the biggest cost a movie faces."

What does it mean

Go to the cinema experience? Palumba said that the cinema can improve the range of choices to attract more audiences, upgrade the menu and beverage products, and make seating more comfortable.

"Bingo watching TV is like watching a long movie violently-why not provide the opportunity to see the breaks and breaks of TV shows on the big screen?" he asked. "Imagine spending 20 dollars to have the opportunity to watch your favorite TV show on a plush seat, as well as rest food."

Another idea proposed by Palomba is to rent out locations for people to gather and watch major sports events. In addition, he said that they can provide more interactive experiences, so that cult movies such as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" are successful, and have become mid-stream for years in the middle of the night, choosing live operas or musicals.

The PwC report stated: “More and more companies will have to focus on mastering the complex consumer experience.” “Providers must constantly look for ways to satisfy consumers so that they are willing to deliver content and services. Pay, and if they want to increase subscription fees over time, they must create a differentiated experience. In many ways, the world after COVID-19 has emerged in [entertainment and media industry]. The future has moved forward. Now It’s time to embrace it."

Even so, not everyone expects the world to be so different after the pandemic.

Simon of Fox Rothschild hopes that basic business will remain the same after the pandemic. These studios will continue to produce large-scale "event" movies, while the remaining mid-budget movies, romantic comedies, dramas and family fares will naturally be attracted by streamers.

If the world returns to normal, the cinema industry will continue to develop, but the problems that existed before the pandemic will be magnified-things like the position of streamers in the ecosystem and changing viewing habits, many people are now used to at home.

Does this mean that the cinema experience will become an expensive luxury?

"It might. But people have been ringing the death knell of movie theaters for a long time, and movie theaters have survived." "The shared experience of going to a dark room with a big screen and popcorn flavor with friends and relatives is so powerful that Can't die."

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