Accelerate the pandemic disturbance. Traditional studios such as Paramount, Universal, Sony, Warner Bros. And Disney re-routed many theater movies to streaming services or to theater and online releases at the same time. For the second year in a row, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences cited Coronavirus’ threat, allowing the movie to be fully screened for theater releases and still eligible for an Oscar. The Academy previously required at least one extraordinary theater release in Los Angeles at least once a week.
This is more than Hollywood’s ego. The problem is, as streaming services continue to grow – more than 300 are now operating in the United States, according to consulting firm Park Associates – that theaters can become a land of superheroes, sequels, and remixes in particular. The venerable Warner Brothers has reduced production of the annual theater by half and produced a straight film assembly line. Last week, Amazon acquired Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and expanded its prime video service, behind the old-line studio “Licorice Pizza,” which has been nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
In a year when Hollywood failed to make large-scale theater films, streaming services tightened their grip on the audience. Global ticket sales are down 21.3% to 2021 billion dollars, down 42.3% to 2019 billion dollars, according to the Motion Picture Association. (Theaters closed for most of 2020.) Some theater companies have shut down businesses, others merged; The world’s largest theater chain, AMC Entertainment, has lost $ 6 billion in the last two years and its stock has dropped 66 percent since June. At the same time, the number of online video service subscriptions increased worldwide by 1.3 billion, up from 864 in 2019 million, the group said.
One of the films that struggled at the box office was Mr. Spielberg’s “West Side Story”, which was released in theaters (he wished) in about three months. It collected about $ 75 million worldwide (compared to a $ 100 million product budget and global marketing expenditures of approximately $ 50 million). “West Side Story” is now available on one but two streaming services, Disney + and HBO Max, where it is arguably more widely available than theater. But the movie was never able to recover – among Oscar voters – from a box office firing. He received seven nominations, and is poised to win in the category, as the Best Supporting Actress for Ariana de Bose.
Mr Spielberg’s current presence in the current Oscar race makes the rise of streaming contestants even more striking: one of the poems being pushed aside in the fight to keep the Academy Awards focused on theater films.
Although not possible, it is possible that the “West Side Store” could fall behind and win the best picture trophy. So can Ken Brang’s “Belfast” for that matter. The result would be a bit like 2019, when Academy voters closed an over-the-top campaign by Netflix to pull “Roma” in honor of the best picture, instead rewarding a traditional “Green Book” movie. Universal Pictures.