Did Warner Bros spell the end of Movie Theatres?

Sh-Ron Almeida Anchor staff

Photo via Sada El balad

A puzzling decision was made recently and has split the masses. Film powerhouse, Warner Bros. announced on Thursday, Dec. 3 that 17 movies slated to be released in 2021 would each debut simultaneously in theaters and on streaming service HBO Max.

The big decision will undoubtedly bring new members to the streaming service as it will have the exclusive rights to projected box office hits Godzilla vs Kong, Dune and the next Conjuring horror film.

With the pandemic overstaying its welcome until at least next fall, this move is a temporary solution for those who would rather view cinema in the safety of their home. Of course, there is a catch; all 17 movies will appear on HBO Max for only one month. After this duration, they will depart from the service and will be sent to DVD, iTunes and other outlets. Personally, I am not happy with this choice in the slightest. What made going to the movies fun and exciting was the sense of immersion in sitting at a darkened theater in front of the big screen. The spectators indulge in popcorn, wearing their 3D glasses and react with awe, fright and sorrow at the most poignant moments in the film. Due to COVID-19, which is still spreading worldwide, the excitement of movie-going is in peril. With the Warner Bros decision, it’s clear that theaters and movie studios are sparing those of any potential danger of the virus.

Regardless, the special cinema experience will be robbed of enjoyment. My friend and I would frequently visit Providence Place Mall Cinema to watch the limited time anime films. Now, my enjoyment of theaters is cheapened and stolen, riddled with uncertainty on how anime films will fare in this circumstance.

This hasn’t been the first time Hollywood was in a tough bind. In the 1960s, people were more drawn to staying at home to watch television and listening to the radio because of the shocking world events taking place. The box office wasn’t seeing a large amount of money rolling in and for a time the theaters considered shutting down.

The fluctuation of the business is inevitable but there might be a glimmer of hope. Perhaps it is way too early to predict how this will pan out. Will there be a boon in the future? Is there a chance of a miracle for movie theaters to thrive again? Sadly, only time will tell.


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