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A Changing Landscape for Film & Theatre

A recurring theme throughout the past year has been that many popular forms of entertainment that had been enjoyed in an offline environment had found renewed interest in the online space as the pandemic continued and lockdown effects remained in place – the return of sporting events brought around the increasing interest in online betting services once against as bookmakers were able to offer many betting promotions in UK. Online gaming has seen huge growth as many platforms recorded the highest numbers seen, and online streaming for video and music has managed to break previous subscription records and grow. Where some offline alternatives may be able to find a quick recovery, the big one in film & theatre may be changed forever because of the pandemic.

Whilst cinema has been struggling for quite some time as ticket prices often don’t make up any margin and many instead rely on the sales of concessions, online platforms like Netflix and Amazon have been filling the space and populating it with original content – the same has been true throughout the past year and moving forward as Netflix is set to release seventy original releases this year with a star studded cast to make up many of the movies including names like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds. Other studios such as Warner Bros had stated that they plan to release their roster of new titles both simultaneously on video on demand services and to cinemas too, segmenting yet more of the audience.

Many cinemas and theatres are still set to remain closed for quite some time, but the real struggle will be getting people to come back – whilst there likely will be a resurgence for some as they look to get out of the house and experience something more familiar again, many will also fear being in an enclosed space with a grouping of people where not entirely needed. There will also likely be restrictions on the number of people allowed to enter a facility too, which will make the reopening of these locations much tighter.

Success in the change to primarily show new releases online could lead many other studios to make the change too, Disney have already stated that they plan to focus more on their own online streaming platform too which takes a big chunk of the largest releases perhaps directly to video-on-demand with the Marvel and Star Wars universe, if this is the approach they decide to take. These considerations mean that there could be a permanent change for brick and mortar locations, and the success of online platforms to continue growing much in the way it has been over the past number of years.