Entertainment industry catches COVID

Movie theaters are losing business due to changes in film premieres


Photo by Kaden Roth

Due to covid-19 movie theaters are facing unprecedented amounts of change. Streaming services continue to grow and disrupt the traditional film industry.

Kaden Roth, Staff Reporter

The entertainment industry is always evolving and changing with the times yet, due to the ongoing global pandemic the industry has undergone major changes.

According to a 2018 article published by Investmentbank.com, author Nate Nead, a licensed investment banker, wrote that  the media and entertainment industry is a $703 billion market. The industry however can be split into five different segments including film, television, video games, music and publishing. Out of those categories, the motion picture industry makes up about 40% of  that billion dollar market.

By 2021, the media and entertainment industry is expected to increase by 14% according to a 2018 statistic. However, due to the unique circumstances surrounding COVID-19, that could change. 

A unique aspect of this industry is that consumers can easily shift their attention to different outlets that are still within the industry. For example, when theaters get shut down due to a virus their customers can just go on a streaming service and rent a movie. This allows the industry to continue growing because they are never really facing any sort of decline in viewership. 

Even so, movie theater chains are still losing an unprecedented amount of money. According to the article Box Office: AMC Theaters To Post Unprecedented $2.4 Billion Loss by Travis Bean, published by Forbes, AMC claims that it has been operating for months with no revenue.

Not only are these theaters losing money from a decline in ticket and concession sales, but they are also having to let go of their employees. According to a statistic from IBIS World, roughly 170,000 people are employed in the movie theater industry. Not only is becoming unemployed incredibly difficult for the employees but it also puts a strain on the economy.

Moving forward the film industry is very much in the dark because so much has changed since the beginning of the quarantine. Streaming platforms have been growing over the past few years and are now being released by almost every major television network. This idea of online streaming services rose to popularity after the major success Netflix had when it was introduced in 2007.

As Netflix continued to grow in popularity they started to develop original content. House of Cards was Netflix’s first original content released in 2013 and had garnered 26 awards over their six season run. Something similar took place at the 2020 Oscar Awards where Netflix had a total of 24 nominations, more than any other company this year.

Over the pandemic studios have decided to premier their movies on streaming platforms that allow you to rent/pay to watch the movie. Movie theater companies were enraged by this because film premiers had been such a large part of the movie theater industry and it was also a major source of income.

There are still some upcoming films that have stated that they intend to be released in theaters. But that could change depending on if theaters can be open by the time the film is released. If covid-19 cases are still being reported and there isn’t a decline in reports then these films may have no choice but to look towards streaming platforms. 

During these challenging times many things are uncertain and that includes the future of the film industry. However, it is safe to say that streaming services are in no way going to be hurt by this pandemic.