Economy & Politics

Streaming: Is Corona Changing Cinema Forever?

The movie theaters are currently emptyTyler Callahan from Unsplash

Cinema operators breathe a sigh of relief. After the Corona forced break, the cinemas gradually open their doors. Film distributors will soon show media representatives their new productions on screens as usual, instead of just emailing links to streams. In view of the distance rules and postponed film releases, everyone involved is clear: First of all, nothing will be the same as before the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic. The corona crisis could change business forever. This is when new films continue to be released immediately on streaming platforms.

Even before the pandemic, the cinemas suffered from falling visitor numbers. Her biggest asset so far has been the sole claim to new starts. So far, film distributors have only made their productions accessible on DVD, via stream or on television months later. In the event of violations of common deadlines, large cinema chains have threatened boycott in this country, as happened in 2006 when Sönke Wortmann’s “Germany. A summer fairy tale ”and shortly afterwards again at the DVD launch of“ Eragon – The Legacy of the Dragon Riders ”.

New films immediately via stream

However, these traditional recycling patterns are increasingly under pressure. In-house productions by Netflix and Amazon have long been competing with the major Hollywood studios at the Oscars, although these films are only shown pro forma in some cinemas. The closure of the cinemas inevitably led to the dam breaking. The start of blockbusters like Daniel Craig’s farewell as James Bond or the ninth part of the “Fast & Furious” series have been postponed. Other films, however, were simply released as a stream.

The prices were initially high. For example, around 20 euros were charged on Amazon. After a few weeks, however, the price slide started. “The Hunt” with Hilary Swank (film start: May 14th) was only 15 euros at Prime Video in mid-June. The literary adaptation “Emma” was borrowed for half three months after publication.

Streaming and cinema release at the same time?

Cinema operators must now fear that the corona exception rule will at least partially become a new reality. Because the streaming business with restarts has proven to be lucrative for the studios. Universal reported similar “box office results” for the family film “Trolls World Tour” as for the predecessor. That exceeded expectations, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell told the Wall Street Journal. According to the report, he announced that productions should be released simultaneously in the cinema and via stream.

The cinema chain AMC Theaters then threatened to boycott universal films. But in contrast to the past, such a step has apparently lost its horror. Studios and distributors now have proven alternatives. Universal tried to smooth the waves in a statement. However, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the studio maintained that new films would also be released as video-on-demand “if this distribution method makes sense”.

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