I think it’s clear that the event that has defined cinema in the year 2020 is Covid-19. While we were hoping to see many a blockbuster coming our way over the past few months, we have instead seen movie theatres shut down, film releases delayed and the rest of us stuck at home watching Netflix instead.
The big question though is what will happen once we are finally through the COVID-19 pandemic. Will Hollywood be able to bounce back or will this drastic change in our lifestyles alter the way we consume movies for the future? While the US government believes that people will still be drawn towards theatres as they provided funds to keep them all in business during this period, a new survey by Performance Research (and reported on by Variety) reveals that film attendance figures are definitely likely to change in the future, especially in the short term.
The survey was conducted with 1,000 US consumers asked about their willingness to return to public events once the pandemic ends, and 49% reported it would take “a few months” to “possibly never” for them to return to movie theatres. Of that group, 28% said they plan to attend movie theatres less often. In contrast, 15% of respondents said they would go to theatres more often than they did before, and 58% said their attendance wouldn’t change. While this is admittedly a small sample set, it does reflect that people’s behaviours are likely to change and that this will adversely impact on theatres which will then reflect on box office performances and ultimately change studio behaviour.
This is something we have remarked on before and while I still see room for big blockbuster type movies to be viewed on the big screen where they can be best experienced, I do think a lot of the smaller films will be released directly to streaming networks where they will likely find a bigger audience
Last Updated: April 1, 2020