When was the last time you visited a movie theater?
Was it before, or after the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread?
I, for one, have not been to the movies for a while. I am not even sure if I visited a movie theater in 2020 at all. The last time I went might have been in 2019. No, I do not go to the movies all that often. Sometimes I go twice a year, sometimes there are years in between my visits. Unfortunately, due to non-existent revenue due to the pandemic, the movie theater I would frequent is now permanently closed.
But, we should all stay vigilant and avoid places like the cinema so as not to spread/ contract the virus. Right?We all know that things that we cannot have call out to us that much stronger. A couple of months ago, I even thought of renting a movie theater for myself and a couple of other people… Because, why not? AMC starts its rentals at $99. (Now that I opened the link, it is beckoning me again…)
How many of you pay for streaming services (and/or cable)? How many subscriptions have you bought since March of this year? Did the government imposed lock-down influence your decision? As you might have predicted, knowing how big of a rebel I can be, I have NOT given in. Even though everyone around me seems to subscribe to every streaming platform available, and tells me that I need that to live, I remain skeptical. As if I did not have enough things taking up my time already… Yes, it is easy. Yes, it is convenient. But do you really NEED it? Please do not boast about all of your subscription if you are going to complain about your financial situation in the same conversation. I am allergic to lack of reason.
My next question was going to be whether the pandemic has affected you or not, but I realized that it has touched all of us in one way or another. Some of us might have felt its effects more so than others. While some see it as something 100% negative, there are those that see the silver lining in the social distancing and the increased awareness of personal hygiene.
Whenever a politician tells me to do something (or not to do something), I cringe. When I hear “words of advice” from celebrities, my skin crawls. Why? Because, as much as we are all equal, they are… more equal than I am. Sad, I know. One would think that with this great blog of mine, I would be among those VIPs… Anyway, as I was saying, I do not pay a lot of attention to these people because I know that their lives are different than mine. Yes, we are all humans, but we all have different circumstances. When a movie star that rakes in millions of dollars for a single movie tells you to stay home while you do not have the ability to work from home, yet need to earn some money so you can put food on the table, it makes me angry. They have enough money to survive longer than the average Joe.
Once the pandemic continued for longer than a couple of weeks and I heard about filming being postponed, I prepared myself for the whining of the Hollywood elite. It did not happen right away. I almost felt proud of them. Matthew McConaughey took some time off and wrote an autobiography of sorts. Good for him. However, the pandemic has finally impacted some of the richest people and they are NOT happy.
Warner Bros announced that every movie they release in 2021 will be available on HBO Max the same day as in the theaters. Years and years ago, you would go to the cinema to watch a new release. After a long time, you would get a VHS cassette, if it was a movie you enjoyed. Then, we started getting those movies on TV sooner than on VHS before. We also had Blockbuster, where we could rent DVDs if we could not wait for the TV airing. In the age of computers, some movies are available on the Internet pretty soon after the theater premiere. But this is unprecedented.
What is the point of going to the movies? To me, it is mainly about the experience. Yes, that includes the overpriced, over-salted popcorn and a Coke. It makes me think of the good ‘ol days when going to the cinema was something “special.” I realize that the same might be true for many. However, I do not think that applies to everyone. Some people go to the theaters because that is the only way to watch a movie they want as soon as it comes out. Now, with it being available on their electronic devices, they do not have much of an incentive to leave their house.
As of today, HBO Max’s monthly subscription is $14.99. That is around the price of a single movie ticket, if I remember correctly from the last time I went. There is no denying that buying the channel seems more economical than a trip to an old-school movie theater (let alone an AMC rental). The pandemic has been great for all these streaming services with all of this year’s subscriptions. People need binging more than ever.
How do actors come into play? Some of them, aside from their regular pay, also get a promise of a percentage of the proceeds that come from movie theaters. Basically, the more people see the movie in the cinema, the more money those actors get. Now, with the movies streaming on HBO Max the very same day they come out in the theaters, actors are worried that not many will leave their houses to go and watch the movies. They might not be able to afford their fifth island. I almost feel sorry for them.
Hollywood is complaining about missing out on their money. What they forget to think about is… people are still not back to normal. Movie screenings are not being viewed by as many as pre-pandemic. Additionally, HBO Max is to pay a licensing fee, which is meant to substitute those box office pays for some of the actors.
Ultimately, movie theaters are not like they used to be a decade ago. Times are changing.
- How do you feel about Warner Bros’ decision?
- Do you go to the cinema a lot?
- Do you have a subscription to HBO Max?
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