Misperceptions by Wall Street of how badly COVID would affect moviegoing helped shape streaming’s emphasis on playing movies day & date.
When the pandemic shut down cinemas, analysts saw no future for moviegoing. After a fast numbers crunch, they concluded theatre circuits couldn’t survive. They claimed people wouldn’t return to theatres for fear of catching COVID — although no such event had ever been reported and exhibitors had installed costly air purification & circulation systems to protect audiences.
Wall Street loved streaming, which created a new Hollywood landscape where investment analysis was suddenly necessary. Studios saw streaming as the way to keep moviegoers who were now supposedly terrified to return to theatres.
What people really were waiting for was for theatres to start playing films they wanted to see. By holding back on big films, studios prolonged the crisis. Now with moviegoing’s solid summer recovery well underway, studios should recognize that it’s original content — like Netflix’s THE CROWN or Disney+’s LOKI (pictured) — that drives streaming, not seeing movies on the couch instead of on the big screen.