Of F9 at Black Widow, moviegoers are gearing up for a major summer of blockbuster releases, both on the big screen and on streaming services.
Between May 2019 and May 2020, box office revenues in the United States and Canada for monthly releases fell by a huge 99.8%, according to Box Office Mojo, a U.S.-based tracking organization.
In May 2021, box office revenue grew exponentially from last year, signaling that moviegoers are eager to return to the big screen.
But a full recovery will be a gradual process, said Karie Bible, media and box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, an entertainment research firm in Los Angeles.
“I don’t think we’re going to make this huge comeback overnight,” Bible told CBC News. “I wish we could, but I don’t think it’s that easy.”
With a return to pre-pandemic box office revenue still far away and streaming subscriptions on the rise, future movie releases could offer a combination of home and theater experiences.
“Streaming has definitely become an increasingly powerful force in the way we consume media and the pandemic has just crushed the gas pedal,” she said.
Big blockbusters during the pandemic
A number of high profile blockbusters are slated for release this summer and one of the successes to date is A Quiet Place, Part II, which gained weight $ 129 million in Canada and the United States since the start of a theatrical release in May.
Compare that to last September Principle directed by Christopher Nolan. It was a high-profile release by a major director that grossed US $ 58.4 million – but only after 42 weeks in theaters.
Disney, on the other hand, has chosen to release its films using a hybrid approach. Luca was released on the Disney + company’s streaming platform and in select theaters simultaneously on June 18, and the same is true for Black Widow, which hits theaters on July 9.
In each case, subscribers must pay an additional fee of $ 30 on top of their regular subscription to stream the movie at home.
But not all of the big summer releases have had box office success. In the heights has made US $ 16.8 million since it opened on June 10 and The bodyguard of the hitman’s wife has made $ 20.2 million since its release on June 16.
This is the first big budget action movie, Reuters says to go out exclusively in theaters this year – and movie theater owners are hoping it gives a much-needed box office shake.
Ontario and Manitoba left out when theaters reopen
Even with a summer of blockbusters in the works and some theaters open with limited capacity, not all Canadians can return to the movies.
Ellis Jacob, CEO of Cineplex, told CBC News that Ontario three-step reopening plan was a positive development, but he wanted an opening sooner.
“It would have been nice to be in the second step and open in a limited capacity so our guests could go out and enjoy [the ninth Fast and Furious] movie, ”Jacob said.
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The second stage of Ontario’s plan allows outdoor theaters to reopen to limited capacity on June 30, but indoor theaters cannot open until the third stage.
Manitoba is also in movie limbo; its restrictions will continue after June 26.
Other provinces have reopened their theaters to varying degrees. In Quebec, cinemas have been open since February 26, but not all cinema owners were happy with the initial operating limits imposed by the provincial government, which included a ban on the sale of food and beverages.
Saskatchewan open May 30, Alberta welcomed moviegoers on June 10 and British Columbia followed suit on June 15.
Excitement for the “collective experience” of cinema
Shawn Levy, the Montreal director of free guy starring Ryan Reynolds, which is currently in theaters, said the purpose of his film was “public enjoyment.” The film will have an exclusive 45-day theatrical race before it was available to stream on Disney +.
“[The] the cinematographic experience is always valued. He’s not only coming back with a healthy number, but almost with a fierce desire for collective experience again, “said Levy, who is also a Netflix director and producer. Strange things and the Night at the museum movies.
Ethan Tobman, the free guy decorator, echoes his fellow Montrealer. “I think we deserve nothing more than to see something big and personal, community based, with people we don’t know, where we come together for a shared emotional experience.”
“I was never afraid that we wouldn’t come back to this because it’s a phenomenal human instinct to appreciate art together. It always has been.”
Anne Cohen, New York-based entertainment editor for the pop culture website Refinery29 and a movie critic, said watching a movie from home is convenient, but people who love movies will still want to see them on the big screen.
“I think both can be there. And I think at the end of the day… It means more people are enjoying movies than ever before,” she told CBC News.
Streaming services get a boost during pandemic
Streaming subscriptions have seen an increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, although some of that growth has slowed now that theaters are reopening.
Launched in 2019, Disney + ad in January, it had 94.9 million paying subscribers.
The streaming giant has had a number of high-profile releases since March 2020, with a filmed version of the musical performing on stage. Hamilton, a live action Mulan, the Pixar animated film Soul (the company is the first to be labeled as a Disney + original), and more recently, Luca.
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In contrast, Netflix’s growth slowed in the first few months of this year, The Washington Post reported in April. It only registered 4 million new subscribers between January and March. In a letter to investors, the company attributed the drop in customer numbers to fewer emissions produced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Netflix had already gained a staggering 15.8 million paying subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, when most countries around the world were stranded.
Last summer he released Spike Lee’s Da 5 bloods, a film that attracted 27 million homes within a month and a half of its release on June 12, 2020. Earlier this year, Netflix The Chicago 7 trial racked up six Oscar nominations.
In April, it was announced that Amazon Prime had overwhelmed 200 million paid subscribers, but it’s worth mentioning that the Prime service isn’t just limited to video streaming. Its original slate this year included Borat Post Moviefilm, a successful sequel to the controversial 2006 film.
Bible, the box office analyst, said streaming is a “permanent part of the landscape.” But that doesn’t mean the cinema is dead.
“I think that’s the new normal whether we like it or not. And I think cinema is going to coexist with that. It’s just a matter of what it’s going to look like.”