Coming Attractions

The movie industry is in a tailspin. It was losing billions before the pandemic, and the lockdown just greased the skids. To make matters worse, the final curtain came down on national theater chains including Regal and ArcLight Cinema.

But wait! Movie companies are planning a comeback.

Say goodbye to the multiplex, the shoebox-sized theaters and a full slate of movies. Get ready for bigger spectacles, fewer seats and expensive tickets.

Emmy-winning producer, Mike Flicker, predicts “surviving theaters will become more event oriented. They’ll create an immersive experience with laser light projection and Atmos 3-D sound. You’ll sink into comfy seats, with a burger in one hand and booze in the other.”

That’s the plan for blockbuster films. Meanwhile, everything else will be released straight to the streaming networks. Showtime in no time, as they say.

Here’s My Take. Can theaters survive on spectacles alone?

Yes, if they’re owned by Disney, who produced 7 of the top 10 highest-grossing movies of 2019. Who better than Disney to reimagine the movie-going experience? And what a launchpad for their biggest franchises; Marvel, Lucasfilms, Pixar, Fox…and oh yeah, decades of Disney animation.

Disney-branded movie theaters suits their multi-platform strategy. Launch the theatrical releases, stream them on Disney+, plug them on ABC and ESPN. Then, roll out the video game, stage production, Disneyworld attraction and sell merch.  

If they can navigate anti-trust regulations, Disney could buy those abandoned theaters for pennies on the dollar – and put the film industry in a chokehold. They’d dominate both content and distribution.

If anyone can drag people off their couch, it’s Disney. Unless…people stick with their 70” Samsung home theater, kick back in their recliner and drink their own beer.

Stay tuned.

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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