Movie theater attendance has been on a downward trend for some time. Between increasingly bad movies, too damn many ‘woke’ “message movies”, too many poor remakes of classics, and too few movies with an original story, it’s no wonder fewer people have been going to the movies. Add on the shutdown due to Covid-19 and that downward trend turned into a fall off the edge of a cliff. This may have been the death knell for Hollywood.
Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins expressed concern about the future of cinema in the aftermath of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.The last time I went to the movies was last year to see the Downton Abbey movie with Deb, the both of us being fans of the TV series. Since then there’s been little that has created even a smidge of desire to make the 2-1/2 mile trip to our local movie theater. Hollywood has not created anything I’ve wanted to see in some time. I’ve seen plenty of TV and movie offerings from independent and foreign producers that were better than anything coming out of Hollywood. (Thanks Amazon Prime, Netflix, and BritBox!)
In an interview with Reuters, Jenkins stated that the shuttering of theaters "will not be a reversible process." She continued, "We could lose movie theater-going forever." She then expressed that she was wary of streaming as an option for big-budget action films, "It could be the kind of thing that happened to the music industry, where you could crumble the entire industry by making it something that can't be profitable." Jenkins added, "I don't think any of us want to live in a world where the only option is to take your kids to watch a movie in your own living room, and not have a place to go for a date."
Studios are holding back other tentpole films for several months, with cascading consequences for theaters. The next James Bond film, No Time to Die, moved its release date from Thanksgiving weekend to April 2021, prompting Cineworld, parent company of Regal Cinemas, to announce this week it will temporarily shutter all of its locations in the United States and in the United Kingdom on Oct. 8, citing continued closings of theaters in New York and other large markets, and little guidance from the states on when they may resume.
I have seen great short films on YouTube that, if made into a full-length feature, would rival the offerings from Hollywood.
It’s possible that Hollywood as it exists now will go the way of Vaudeville. Maybe that’s reason enough for it to go away so it can be replaced with something that works better and produces a better product.