Is the future of cinema more of the same?
In the following months, the local box office will have a total of 15 sequels, prequels or remakes versus a mere 6 original content movies. Is this a hint to the future of the cinema industry?
Working in a cinema I am fully aware of this problem and am constantly seeking answers to whether or not the industry will become irrelevant in the future. We have already seen businesses like the video renting service, Blockbuster, go bankrupt, could the cinema industry be next? With Netflix, Stan and other movie streaming services only improving the game and refining original work, the cinema industry is left stranded with minimal new content.
This is not to say that the sequels, prequels and remakes at the cinemas are not bringing in the big bucks - in fact it is the opposite. The recent success of Black Panther encapsulates this, with the movie breaking into the top 10 highest grossing films in the worldwide box office of all time. But again, this list has only two movies that are not under the sequels, prequels or remakes category, this being Titanic and Avatar, and with the latter soon getting a new trilogy, it proves once again the lack of original content.
The international success of Black Panther, and the exciting movies to come later this season such as Avengers Infinity War, Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom will likely improve the global box office as compared to recent years. This is a much-needed boost from last year’s result of a drop of 2.7% compared to 2016. This may not sound like a lot, but in a game of millions it is huge.
This drop is likely due to the Netflix and online streaming service trend which has no sign of stopping. It can be predicted that soon some local cinemas are not going to be able to keep up with Netflix and the fluctuations of the industry. Simply waiting for the next Marvel movie or new remake that hasn’t been bought by Netflix isn’t a sustainable business approach for cinemas.
However, I believe that cinemas will not become irrelevant, even with the new online streaming trend, and big movie production companies will follow the formula that Marvel and DC are using. Coming into the cinema is an experience and something that Netflix is yet to replicate. However, just like any business, the cinemas within the industry will need to adapt, learn and improve on themselves to survive. And as always there will be some winners and losers - that’s just business.
- Logan Ayers