Movies & Cinema during the Pandemic? Catch-all Discussion

jcroy

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It's an obvious exaggeration for effect. Didn't think anyone would take the comment literally. <_<
That's what smileys/emojiis are for.

Unfortunately not everyone is tuned in to nuances of sarcasm / satire, and will take what one says literally.
 
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Bryan^H

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Going to the movies is a terrible and unnecessary idea.
Movie theaters are dead. By the time big blockbusters return next year, people will still be hesitant to return. Mayyybe 50% capacity by then, if the theaters are lucky enough...to limp along on life support for a good year or two until they die permanent.

Welcome to video on demand forever. Hope you have a big screen in your house.
 
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Wayne_j

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It depends on the positivity % of your community and if you have pre-existing conditions / advanced age.
 

Tino

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It depends on the positivity % of your community and if you have pre-existing conditions / advanced age.
I disagree Wayne. I believe the movie theater industry is permanently damaged. Attendance will never go back to Pre-Covid levels.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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That may be true, but I think if it shakes out that way, covid will have only been the last straw and not the entirety of the problem. If people don’t miss theaters after a year or two without them, what does that say about the job theaters were doing before the pandemic?
 

jcroy

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Welcome to video on demand forever. Hope you have a big screen in your house.
I highly disagree with this assertion, though not for the obvious reasons.

It will generally not be on a big screen. The main paying consumers will be watching on a cell phone or tablet screen.
 
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jcroy

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(From a more general historical perspective).

I generally don't expect C-level suite executives to be forward thinking visionary types. Especially in mature sectors.


They're more likely to be boring stolid "manager" types who think more like lawyers and/or cost accountants.

 

Worth

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Movie theaters are dead. By the time big blockbusters return next year, people will still be hesitant to return. Mayyybe 50% capacity by then, if the theaters are lucky enough...to limp along on life support for a good year or two until they die permanent.

Welcome to video on demand forever. Hope you have a big screen in your house.
Nothing ever completely disappears. Recordings didn't kill live music, movies didn't kill theatre, television didn't kill radio or the movies. There will be an appetite for the cinema when the world returns to normal. It may be transformed, it may be smaller than in the past, but it will continue to exist in some form.
 

Bryan^H

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Whatever the case may be, I have already witnessed two theaters close for good because of the pandemic. They did fine before all of this went down.
These giant theaters with 20, or more screens have a lot to account for financially that on average for such a large property runs at $40K a month. and how much are they getting to cover that cost? $0. How long can they sustain their business with $0, or at best a fraction of what they once pulled in (Michigan theaters don't re-open for another two weeks).


You can say all you want, and be optimistic/glass half full if you'd like. But that isn't going to bring these businesses back from the dead.
 

jcroy

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From a cynical perspective, I wouldn't be surprised if the only viable theater films left after the pandemic, is stuff like superhero films and other tentpoles (ie. star wars, james bond, etc ...).

The stuff which was featured in average films more than a decade or two ago, seem to have shifted over to miniseries on HBO and other basic/premium cable tv fare or netflix/amazon.
 

TravisR

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That’s the point. The old normal is gone forever. The new normal, whatever that may eventually be, will be very different imo.
Once people have a real vaccine, what would stop them from going to bars or movies or theater or concerts again? Sure, in flu season (especially if there's a report of a deadly flu spreading), people will be very wary based on this nightmare but until then, I can't see life not returning to the way it was. Millions are already living like it's over in the midst of a pandemic and millions more want a return to normalcy so once people get vaccinated, I can't see anything stopping a return to normalcy.
 
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jcroy

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Once people have a real vaccine, what would stop them from going to bars or movies or theater or concerts again?
(Without getting into politics).

Fear of the vaccine not being effective, and/or deaths being attributed to a vaccine.
 

Josh Steinberg

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That’s the point. The old normal is gone forever. The new normal, whatever that may eventually be, will be very different imo.
I agree with that, but I think it’s a mistake to blame that solely on the pandemic (and I’d imagine you’d agree at least in part).

Like I’ve said before, we’ve had tremendous innovation coinciding with a widespread lowering of costs in home entertainment in the past two decades. In the same time period, there’s been minimal innovation in the theatrical market and that lack of innovation has corresponded with rising prices.

How could that not have an effect on consumer choices?

It’s been naive and frankly poor business strategy for theaters to maintain their status quo in that period. As audiences demonstrated strong preferences for subscription pricing over a la carte in every other entertainment category, theaters held tight to pricing where one night at the movies for a family is more than the monthly cable bill - they only dipped their toe into subscription waters after MoviePass forced their hands.

Most detrimental, as attendance started to decline, theaters doubled down on finding new ways to extract ever increasing sums of money from their remaining customers, rather than trying to create an experience that would retain a wide appeal. So instead of upgrading every auditorium with state of the art equipment and recognizing that as the cost of business, they’d upgrade one auditorium and charge more for it. 3D briefly kickstarted a boom, but rather than including it as a way to give the audience something they weren’t getting at home, they charged more for it. Uncomfortable seats are being replaced with new recliners and other more comfortable options, and they’re charging customers for that too. There are more food and beverage options available, and those prices have risen too, with AMC even eliminating the smaller sizes to force consumers into paying more. Don’t want to wait in line at the theater? There’s another fee you can pay to get out of that too. Want to see the first showing of a Disney movie on opening night? There’s an extra fee for that too.

This is a business model that for years has taken the customer for granted and assumed that the customers will show up because they have no other choice. The pandemic is in some ways simply making it clear that audiences do have other choices.

This reckoning has been a long time in the making.

But it doesn’t have to be all bad. I do think that theaters will need to regroup and take a good, hard, honest look of the lay of the land to go forward. It may be that studios need to have some skin in the game and invest in those exhibition spaces. It may be that they need to change the expectation for what a theater is for. It may be the landlords and creditors need to accept that it’s not sustainable as a “Sky is the limit” venture and work on more sustainable formulas to determine rent (this is probably also true of restaurants).

But it also may be true that it’s no longer an automatic sale that people will pay large sums of money to inconveniently view mediocre quality presentations of content that will be readily available in their homes for free two or three months later. And that reckoning was always on the horizon for theaters.
 
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Tino

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Fear of the vaccine not being effective, and/or deaths being attributed to a vaccine.
None of which should occur if it’s a real vaccine. Thoroughly tested and proven to work. And approved by the scientific community. And even then there will be a large portion that probably won’t feel safe again ever. Like me.
 
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