The new theatrical release guidelines greatly reduce the amount of time movies will have to stay in theaters and Netflix couldn’t be happier.
Subscription streaming giant, Netflix, seems to be more than a little satisfied with the new theatrical release guidelines. The theatrical experience has been constantly under threat for years, but last year it proved especially challenging, thanks in large part to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It is difficult to assess the number of theaters around the world that have permanently closed since the first pandemic. Independent theaters have been particularly hard hit, and while multiplexer chains have managed to stay alive, the possibility of bankruptcy remains very real for many. Throughout this challenging time, Hollywood studios, as well as the National Association of Theater Owners, have constantly debated the options available, and the path to salvation from the traditional theatrical release model has been fraught with difficulties. Now that a vaccine for Covid is available and inoculations have slowly but surely begun, many feel the prospects for theaters are increasingly encouraging. However, this may be true – even if cinemas do manage to fully survive the pandemic, it appears that the way they operate now will face some considerable changes.
The coat now reports that the reduction in theatrical release windows could be permanent, and that is a perfect fit for Netflix. Traditionally, 90 days has been the standard for a movie to stay in theaters prior to its broadcast release, but ongoing changes have seen big studios like Paramount, Warner Bros., and Universal significantly alter that time frame. Most recently, Paramount shortened its theatrical window to 45 days, a move Netflix’s chief product officer Greg Peters enthusiastically welcomes without restriction:
We are excited to see some kind of change, and perhaps allow more and more of that both for ourselves and for other entertainment options out there. I’m optimistic. And I am mostly optimistic, because it is what consumers want … It is difficult to oppose that trend for too long. And I think that is finally where things go.
Aside from the obvious impact of Covid, it’s difficult to pin down all the reasons why consumers seem more interested in streaming titles from home rather than going to the movies. Certainly the cost of watching a movie at the theater is too expensive for some, and the convenience of staying indoors and watching a new premiere from home is hard to beat. But at the same time, the experience of watching a movie in a theater is an important part of cinema, and it has been since the medium became common. Netflix and other major streaming services may welcome this change as it benefits their own model immensely, but there will be no shortage of those (filmmakers and members of the public alike) who feel it is a slippery slope.
Since From Netflix From a point of view, shortening the theatrical release window even more than it had been previously is a simple case of supply and demand. Customers may increasingly prefer to stream new releases than see them in theaters, and in that sense Netflix and others like it are simply doing what audiences want. But cinemas are still a valid method of watching movies, and more must be done to keep that option alive.
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Source: The coat
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