As movie theaters fail, streaming services take over

The movie theater industry took a devastating blow due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing theaters to shut their doors. The repercussions resulted in major movie releases being postponed or even changed to a digital release, which resulted from studios and theaters losing a substantial amount of revenue. 

Movie theaters aren’t able to sustain themselves due to the increased streaming from home. Major cinema chains quarterly results revealed a loss of nearly 100% of revenue as theaters sat vacant for months. With cases still on the rise, it’s unlikely they will be able to open up soon which will cause more losses and a continuing collection of debt.

AMC theatres, for example, lost 98% of their revenue during the lockdown and have just recently opened their doors. But with maximum capacity at 40% in the auditoriums and limits on food and beverages, many people have decided that they would rather watch movies online or through one of the many streaming services available. 

Companies could show movies that were released on streaming services, but the chances of a person already paying for it online have increased because of the popularity of streaming platforms. The industry needs to be able to draw in large crowds in order to get business booming again. Without revenue from customers, the industry will go under and streaming platforms will claim their title.

“[There is] no material change,” Matt Struss, chairman of Peacock, a streaming service made for NBC and Comcast shows, said of how the coronavirus pandemic had changed how Peacock would launch. Peacock launched during the lockdown in April and has over 15 million subscribers in about eight weeks.

Streaming services During pandemic have gained more popularity with millions of people stuck indoors and not much to do. Netflix, in a recent letter to its shareholders, has had 26 million new subscribers in the first two quarters, nearly the same amount gained in 2019 over the whole year. 

“Yes I have watched significantly more[shows] on Netflix and Amazon[prime video]” junior Allison Miller said.

Miller is one of the many students who has increased their watch time on streaming services.

In addition to the number of people signing up for these platforms many studios have released movies online like “Trolls World Tour” and “King of Staten Island”. Because of this, even if people do feel theaters are safe, they may still choose to not go to theaters.

While some have chosen to go back to the movies, many more have decided that streaming services are a cheaper, safer, and better way to watch movies. 

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Sam Baker & Giselle Mahoney

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