As the pandemic hit the world and came under pressure, every industry faced an economic slowdown in one way or another. The film industry has also gone through many changes to deal with the effects of the lockdown. Let's take a look at four new changes in the film industry that the lockdown brought about:
The year of digital entertainment
With the doors to theaters locked all over the world, the only type of entertainment that was open to people was OTTs and digital platforms. Even before the giant theater chains closed their venues due to blocking regulations, the OTT platforms saw a sharp increase in their subscribers.
Streaming giant Netflix has managed to surpass 200 million paid subscribers as the number grew exponentially during the pandemic. Disney +, the young streaming service from entertainment titan Disney, also saw a huge increase in engagement, reaching 86.8 million subscribers in early December 2020.
It is evident that the lockdown has had a profound impact on people's choices for movies and entertainment. Even when the theaters reopened, they failed to attract audiences to films like Christopher Nolan's Tenet.
Regular testing and enforcement of quarantine have become the new normal for movie and television sets as part of new health and safety protocols to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Film production is delayed for a few weeks or more due to these health protocols, especially if any of the members of the production test positive. These delays have affected the production of a variety of projects, from blockbuster films to long running soap operas. The production costs have also increased due to the additional requirements.
The most recent example of this is Jurassic World: Dominion. Production had to stop as some members of the film team tested positive. Production was delayed by two weeks due to the film's strict health and safety protocols. The delays due to strict health and safety protocols came at a hefty cost of around $ 3 million. To cover up this loss of revenue, there are many pragmatic and innovative ways to avoid such loss of revenue. A classic example from the IT industry in which AI-based methods are used Sales order applications unlocked significant earnings that were not released earlier.
Below average premieres
Christopher Nolan's tenet was a highly anticipated "potential blockbuster" that underperformed even after its release at a time when bans had been lifted from most countries. This was done because people still don't feel safe enough to go to the movies to watch movies. Not to mention that they're struggling with streaming now.
This underperformance has caused many highly anticipated tentpole films such as Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow, Minecraft, and others to delay their release. This effect can be catastrophic for the entire industry as blockbusters lead to people going to theaters.
The movie industries around the world have released movies via streaming and pay video on demand (VOD) to generate revenue during the lockdown. The first film to pursue this strategy in Hollywood was Universal Studio's Trolls World Tour, which earned $ 100 million in digital loans over a period of three weeks. Disney turned to a similar strategy to release its film Mulan.
Although the film was released in theaters in countries that had managed to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Disney released the film as a rental on its streaming service in September. Mulan didn't do well in international markets, but the hybrid strategy helped Disney recoup some of the production costs. Many production houses are considering and adopting the hybrid strategy for their films and have made arrangements to shorten the time window for release on VOD after they are released in theaters.
In conclusion, the lockdown has had a huge impact on the film industry. 2020 could be described as the year of digital entertainment. Production delays, hybrid releases, and sub-par blockbusters were some of the other effects the lockdown had on the film industry.
About Nitin Gupta
Nitin Gupta is a voracious reader and even a passionate writer. After working with numerous billing software and MNCs for field workers around the world, he really has very accurate and exciting insights into the industry and the people who work in them.
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