The big news to hit at the end of the last year for the movie industry came as Warner Bros announced that they would be releasing all of their box office titles to both cinema and online streaming through HBO Max at the same time, signalling the first big studio to move away from a sole reliance on the box office and instead letting online streaming become a main hub for new releases.
It’s easy to see why the decision to change was made – with the cinema industry struggling over the past year during the pandemic and uncertainty around when things will get back to normal along with the huge successes found across many different streaming platforms over the same period of time with Disney most recently announcing that they’ve surpassed 100 million subscribers in just 16-months, beating out their initial target of hitting that number by 2024, shows just how big these services have become. Some have even suggested that the huge release schedule for the platforms this year could have been another trigger with Netflix releasing one new movie per week for a total of 71 throughout the year, something the box office would surely like to keep up with. It isn’t just the movie industry that has been finding success online as many services have been thriving, particularly with those seeing recent change in regulation in the online space as some options like these PA Lottery Bonus Code have been much more available and popular during this same period of time.
(Image from movieweb.com)
This next year will certainly be important for the any plan to switch to online streaming for the box office – if Warner Bros are able to find a strong market then it’s almost certain that many other studios will follow in the same path, but it’s likely there will also be arguments that a longer period of time is needed to determine whether the change is successful or not as things start to get back to normal, and that the transition period may provide skewed results. And that isn’t to say there aren’t challenges to overcome – if other studios do pursue the option to move into the streaming space then it’s likely they’ll opt to use different platforms which will require users to be subscribed to multiple services if they’d like to catch all of the newer releases, and if that’s combined with efforts from the likes of Disney to lock new releases behind a separate paywall too, then it may lead many to be unwilling to make the change.
Whilst it’s an exciting opportunity, it may be quite some time before any clear answer is given on what can be expected from the box office streaming space, and whether or not cinemas can hold onto the box office space or whether there will be a bit of a changing of the guard.