Right in the middle of today's White House Coronavirus briefing I saw this news bulletin that Universal, the studio not the theme park, was announcing that their new release films starting this Friday, will go directly to stream as well as theater. Well, since no more than 10 people can gather together in any venue and orders are out to specifically/temporarily close down movie theaters, the 10-person order is moot. Movie theaters are closed all over the U.S. So you couldn't see new films there if you wanted to. You will now buy the movie stream for all new films through various streaming services only.
Okay, what does this mean? It means what has been looming on the horizon for awhile, the projection of movies in movie theaters is doomed, dying, and soon will be over.
The other day, before the madness began, my wife and I saw in Walmart an eighty-two inch 4K monitor for under $700. Get a $150 Sound Bar and you have a great system.
The other studios will follow this first-day direct-to-stream film release business model. The current pandemic has just sped up the movie theater demise. Oh, there probably will be a few movie theaters around so people can watch a "film" on a 50-foot screen, but the movie exhibition business will pass into history like the horse-and-buggy, daily dawn milk delivery, and newsprint daily newspapers.
It may take a few years but the Universal Studios announcement today just sealed the fate of giant movie theater chains. The digital revolution has just and forever changed the way we view scripted movie content moving the experience from your local movie theater to your giant home monitor, iPad, or smartphone. Our children and our children's children for sure will see the movie theater as an anachronism. The era of Nickelodeons, big house movie palaces, and analog television is over...over...over.
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