Ah, the wonderful aura of movie night. People everywhere trying to get tickets, long lines for overpriced popcorn, and the serene hour and a half movie in a reclined seat. Except… movie nights look a bit different now. Microwave popcorn, a living room couch, and a newly released movie from HBO Max playing on the TV have become the new normal.
Movie theaters across the country are closed down due to the pandemic, causing all movies and television shows that were set to release or start production to be delayed significantly. Movies such as “A Quiet Place 2” and “Jurassic World: Dominion” were some of the most highly anticipated movies of 2020. John Krasinski who is the director of “A Quiet Place 2” wanted big box office numbers for the release, and the pandemic put a hold on it.
Specifically, Warner Bros. Pictures has decided to only release movies through streaming service, HBO Max. Once the pandemic restrictions lighten up, Warner Bros. is going to re-release all of their movies in theatres as well as leaving them on HBO Max. Disney has also decided on releasing their movies exclusively through Disney Plus. For example, the live action portrayal of “Mulan” was $30 on top of the subscription fee when it was released on the platform in September.
“Trolls World Tour” was one of the first movies to hit the market during the lockdown. It premiered April 10, 2020 and was available on Apple TV for $20. Despite the circumstances, “Trolls World Tour” generated around 50 million dollars in its first weekend.
In light of films being released on streaming services and still making significant profits, audiences still find the quality of programs to be exceptional. Viewing is still steady because many movies were highly anticipated, and now there’s no need to go out when the movies are accessible from home.
Additionally, many television shows were delayed or even cancelled all together. Netflix shows like “The Society” and “I Am Not Okay With This”, both originally renewed for second seasons, were cancelled. Fans worldwide hope that the once cancelled shows will be able to make an appearance after the pandemic is over.
“We’re disappointed to have to make these decisions due to circumstances created by COVID-19,” creator of “The Society” Christopher Keyser said.
Still, many shows were able to continue on with production and are taking serious safety measures. “Riverdale” is one of them. The CW is releasing new episodes weekly and even renewed “Riverdale” for a sixth season amidst the pandemic. However, the show’s fourth season ended abruptly with an episode not intended to be the finale. After quarantining for 14 days the cast was able to begin shooting on Sept. 14, 2020 in Vancouver, Canada.
NBC also has several different late night talk shows with hosts such as Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. With a pandemic, all in-person interviews and live performances were unable to happen, but that didn’t stop “The Tonight Show” host from continuing production . From home, Fallon was able to conduct interviews via Zoom and still integrated his usual segments such as Thank You Letters and was able to include his two daughters which he wasn’t able to do from the studio.
“I have to do something. I just can’t go off the air and disappear. People need something just to balance with all this craziness that’s happening right now,” Fallon said.
It is out with the old and in with the new, streaming services are on the path of shutting down movie theatres completely. Some companies may never recover from the toll of the pandemic. If there is a cheaper alternative for movie goers to be able to sit at home and rent a movie with their own snacks, why wouldn’t they?