The future of the cinema industry

Jeudi 27 mai 2021

The pandemic year was a tough one for us all, not to forget that the movie and cinema industry has also been affected. Many of our favorite movies and series were postponed because of Covid and the lack of a perfect plan for safety measures. Cinemas have closed for more than a year and went from a multi-billion dollar business to making zero money overnight. On a bigger landscape, what will the industry look like post pandemic?

In fact, before Covid-19, the film industry was experiencing significant change, and this new virus accelerated this change drastically. The major cause was the decline in film attendance in North America and the UK: the number of tickets sold has barely changed since 1995, while population increases yearly in the UK.

A second cause is the dominance of Netflix and HBO in the industry, limiting the works of the Big Six (Warner Bros, Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Sony and Universal) and forcing them to shift to other projects. For example, the famous Walt Disney Company used to release 12 movies on average each year; the pandemic limited their works and, on the other hand, forced them to close their famous Disneyland parks. This led to the loss of nearly 5 billion dollars in gross revenues. Can you imagine the characters that defined your childhood (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Buzz Lightyear…) suddenly disappearing and not surviving the next generations?

For the next 10 years, the movie industry will be facing tough obstacles, but one should be optimistic. The technology industry continues to grow exponentially, and we moved past a point where green screens and CGI replaced hard-working months of simple set design. We also cannot deny the revolution that the 3D glasses made and how it helped to shape the XR experience (extended reality).  Some years ago, a cinema in the Netherlands worked on implementing virtual reality: it featured 360' chairs in which the consumer can spin in any direction and experience the movie’s action. A Virtual Reality headset from Samsung and a pair of Sennheiser HD 201 headphones were also given to people inside the cinema. All this experience cost US$14 for a 30-minute movie! 

Again, the 2020-2021 years were tough on everyone and every sector. No one can also imagine the big studios closing down and seeing their favorite movies and characters going extinct. The movie industry put a lot of effort to make everybody laugh, cry and keep them entertained, and it should persist forever! Finally, what is a better feeling, recreating your favorite movie with your favorite actors while sitting in cinemas or at home wearing simple technology!