Yesterday, Warner Brothers announced all their 2021 films will stream on HBO Max alongside their theatrical releases. Although the films will only stream for a month, this has the potential to dramatically reduce film revenue from box office profits.
This has serious potential long-term implications for movie theaters, the film industry, and, ultimately, consumers. I am not an expert on the film industry, but even I can can recognize that if streaming services continuously run at a loss, with billions in debt, they can’t be sustained. The risk to consumers is that streaming services go bankrupt in a few years. The problem is, movie theaters on teetering on the edge of closure now, and without movie theaters and streaming services, the TV and film industries will be in ruins.
On that note, I’m going to direct you to people who are far more knowledgeable than I am, who have industry insight into what this could mean long-term. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t go to a movie theater right now because I live in an area where COVID cases are rising sharply, and a lot of people aren’t wearing masks or following CDC guidelines. It’s too risky. But I do want movie theaters to be there when this pandemic is behind us.
Competition is always good for consumers. Consolidation means fewer choices. While those of us in the book industry fear what Penguin Random House’s purchase of Simon and Schuster means for many imprints, editors, authors, and readers, people in the film industry and fans of movies should be deeply concerned by this news and how it could affect our entertainment industry for decades to come. For more insight, head to YouTube to watch Nerdy Nightly’s Nightly Morning Show for Friday December 4, 2020.