It feels like a vindictive pleasure to say that the movie industry needed a bit of humbling to remind those that work within it that they’re not above anything or anyone when it comes to a public health crisis, but this is tempered by the fact that it also means that a lot of people are losing their livelihood considering that studios are hampered by safety concerns when it comes to filming, and theaters are slowly going out of business. At the beginning of the year, people were still about to crowd themselves into theaters for a new release and enjoy a night or afternoon out at the movies. Now, thanks to social distancing and plenty of safety protocols that prevent massive numbers of people from congregating anywhere, the movie industry is finding that it can’t raise the same box office numbers that it enjoyed only a short time ago. Stephen King made it known that he and nephew and a couple of other people were the only ones in the theater. While he’s already expressed his regret for the movie industry it’s likely that a lot of people feel the same way, but again, it’s a perverse sort of pleasure to remind those that are still living out lifestyles that have been created by being paid thousands to millions of dollars per appearance that they aren’t above this in any way. A lot of those that make the movies and that star in them likely won’t feel the pinch anytime soon, but those that don’t make the kind of money that can keep them financially secure are suffering along with many others, and it’s become noticeable in the last several months since as much as they’ve tried, theaters still aren’t able to open up or admit as many people as they want.
It might be necessary for the movie industry to change in a big way, since the truth is that drive-in theaters, despite being a smaller business, have been doing okay considering that people still want to go to the movies, even if they’re bound to see something older. It sounds as though it might be time to change it up, especially since thanks to the pandemic, and the fact that it’s not going away that quickly, that the business model will have to change in a hurry if theaters are hoping to survive the next year. If that’s not in the cards then major studios are going to have to start considering the reality that they’ll need to send their movies straight to streaming and possibly raise subscription prices or charge a premium as Disney+ did with Mulan. Otherwise, there’s not a lot of long-term plans that look too hopeful at the moment, at least not unless there’s a vaccine that can be found for COVID-19. Even then people are likely to argue about taking it since there have been plenty of disagreements over wearing a mask, whether the coronavirus is real, and so on and so forth. It’s not hard to see that 2020 has been hard on everyone, but especially on those that make a living entertaining others. Those at the top, making hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, are obviously safe and don’t need to worry about much, unless the bottom falls out of the movie industry entirely, which isn’t likely to happen. It’s not hard to think that people are scrambling at this time to find something that will work, some method of movie delivery, a chance to keep people coming to the theaters, and possibly a chance to even push movies to theaters that will work.
Right now a lot of people are holding out hope that theaters will begin to reopen since otherwise many of them won’t be able to afford to stay in business, and will have to close their doors. The attempt to stay open and usher in as many moviegoers as possible hasn’t gone well so far since the box office numbers for those few movies that have been released haven’t been great. It’s hard to get people excited to sit in a crowded theater again when the ‘crowd’ will be roughly half the number of people, if that, and will be carefully maintained since people will have their temperature taken before entering, they’ll be forced to sit at least six feet away from others, and once the limit is reached, that’s it. Some theaters are doing everything they can to get people in, while others are simply closing their doors for now and hoping to wait it out. Whatever happens in the days to come it’s likely that we’ll see more theaters close and others try to hang on as long as they can. What will eventually happen is hard to say, since right now the future is kind of bleak.