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mazingerz88's avatar

Would the US movie theater industry survive the pandemic?

Asked by mazingerz88 (28000points) December 5th, 2020
18 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

Would it only need time to heal until business returns to normal or has it already suffered a death blow? Thanks.

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jca2's avatar

I heard last night on NPR that AMC is upset because HBO Max just did a new deal with movies to have the movies come out on HBO for 31 days. AMC was hoping to use movies as an enticement to get people into theaters but the HBO deal screwed it up.

I know people who go to movie theaters now and they say there may be one other couple in the whole theater, which sounds safe to me. Still, I’m not eager to go to a theater. I’ll do streaming at home until the virus is pretty much eradicated. Movies are so expensive anyway, around $12 here, plus sitting there wearing a mask for two hours is not enjoyable to me.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^Terrible blow to AMC. It seems those movie producers have calculated streaming those highly expensive movies instead would return their investments plus profits. I think though that the producers were forced by circumstance into doing this and would rather show those films on the big screen where they belong, not in small screens.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I think that sady it will be the end. Maybe movie theaters will become a rarity like live theater.

jca2's avatar

We had a small, indie theater near me close. It was really a gem in the community. They had about five screens. Not only did they have homemade things at the snack counter, but the price of seats was cheaper than at the big theater (16 screens at the big one). Also the small one did theater rentals for parties too. The movies that they showed were about half big hits and half small indie movies. The guests at this theater tended to be more mature. It will be missed by many.

si3tech's avatar

Good question. In the sense of theaters indoors it’s questionable. And then don’t the actors have to protect themselves while making the movie?

SEKA's avatar

I read not too long ago that 2 of the largest were filing bankruptcy because they said it would be impossible to recover. I prefer streaming at home, so I don’t remember which 2 it was that was tossing in the towel

janbb's avatar

I had a small art house theater in the city near me that I went to almost weekly. I was friendly with the people who ran it and it was a real big part of my life. It closed at the start of the pandemic and is now up for sale. I’m sure no one will run it as a movie theater and it is one of the biggest losses, other than people, to me from the pandemic.

I did go to see David Copperfield at the multiplex when they reopened and think I was the only person in the whole complex. I wouldn’t go now with the upsurge. I prefer to see movies on the big screen and I am saddened by this development.

SEKA's avatar

I prefer to stream at home and it has nothing to do with the pandemic. I like enjoying what I’m watching in my own way without some jackass sitting nearby ruining it for me. I also like having the option to jump back and re-watch an important line that I didn’t understand the first time

seawulf575's avatar

It is an interesting question. You get a GQ! Normally, I would have said Hollywood would do whatever it had to, to get a place for their movies to get out to. But things might be changing. There seems to be a drive to keep John Q. Public in their homes and isolated from all others. So the HBO deal would match with that drive and Hollywood will continue to make money. So it might be that movie theaters are going the way of the dodo. Unless people just absolutely revolt against having their outside entertainments taken away.

mazingerz88's avatar

My best guess is the movie theater industry survives but in a diminished form. There is this still older generation of movie fans where I belong who prefers watching movies on the big screen. I can’t predict how many of the younger movie addicts would choose and prioritize big screen viewing over cellphone and TV screen viewings.

jca2's avatar

One advantage over watching in a theater, as opposed to watching at home, is when watching at home with others, there’s talking, people getting up, distractions. In the theater, there are less distractions. That’s not to say there aren’t some annoying few who talk or look at phones. I guess it’s 6 of 1, half dozen of another.

mazingerz88's avatar

@jca2 Some movies are truly remarkable pieces of art imo. Watching them in cellphones and TV screens is like never seeing a great painting in person.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

There is this still older generation of movie fans where I belong who prefers watching movies on the big screen

When I’m in multiplexes, I think the majority of the crowd has been teens & 20-somethings. It’s like the mall, somewhere they can congregate away from home. Maybe they can save the industry.

Update: Googling says 25–39 is the largest demographic. Every other age group is tied for second place.

“Age-wise, 25–39-year-olds are the largest movie-going demographic. They made up nearly a quarter (23 percent) of 2018 movie audiences.”

Women & Hollywood dot com

Marketing Charts dot com Demographics of frequent moviegoers, in 2019

janbb's avatar

@mazingerz88 Yes. I’m watching the new movie “Mank” on my TV. The cinematography is wonderful and I know it would be much better on a big screen. It has been playing at a local movie theater but I am reluctant to go inside one now.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I want to donate blood (against doctor’s advice) and go to the movies. The good news on vaccines makes it less likely. Who wants to be the last one to die before things got safe again? It’s like stories of people killed on the last day of a war.

mazingerz88's avatar

@janbb I would rather watch Mank on the big screen. I just might if I like it enough after seeing it on the small screen. If only I’m not exposed almost daily to one highly vulnerable person to Covid I would go see it on the big screen very soon assuming it is playing nearby.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Thanks. Great answer.

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