The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, September 17, 2021

Could Cinema and Theatre Be At Risk?

A lot of businesses have fallen on tough times due to the coronavirus outbreak that has caused many to close for the time being, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that many of these businesses may not be able to re-open their doors once all this has passed - but it’s also bringing to light another issue that may face many businesses who have the capacity to re-open as digital platforms take hold of a audiences and continue to show their strengths as lockdown measures continue.

This has been seen within cinema and theatre recently - one instance can be found in Hamilton which was set to have a full theatre run, however likely due to the spread of the coronavirus had instead been moved forward by an entire year to be released digitally on the Disney+ platform - whilst the speculation that this title could’ve possibly made hundreds of millions of dollars for the full theatre run, Disney had made clear that it was putting the streaming platform as its main focus - a trend which others are also following as Netflix has been doing so with its releases from the beginning. Another example can be found in the Universal title ‘Trolls’ - the latest released was found to find bigger revenue in just three weeks streaming on demand over a digital platform than the cinema release did in its full box office time over months - these figures may be troubling for both cinema and theatre as a lot of the profits are not made up through ticket sales, but rather through commodities in food, drink, or merchandise and as the cost of those go up it is unlikely that large numbers continue to attend - especially following the coronavirus and social distancing becoming a normal practice.

The same is also appearing to be true in other industries - for example within mobile gaming betting and casino have found a huge surge in traffic due to the coronavirus lockdown and it’s expected this growth will continue to grow once there is a return to normalcy, outside of the UK is one of the many casinos not blocked by gamstop, but it is a growing trend of businesses that are finding increasing success through a digital alternative rather than relying on the traditional brick and mortar location to be successful.

These concerns have been raised however and a call to action has been asked for to save these locations but it may be a little too late - social distancing is expected to stay for the foreseeable future with some even suggesting that there will be no big change until a vaccine is found - in an already struggling industry this could be the final nail in the coffin for an industry that is somewhat falling out of time - as with the theatrical release of Hamilton, bigger companies such as Disney could move to a full scale digital change over as their own streaming platform begins to gain traction, only time will really tell the full scale of the change, but the outlook initially isn’t looking great.

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