The ongoing pandemic has already brought with it an onslaught of films that were hanging in the air to audiences via streaming platforms. This shift from theatres to OTT releases has been slow but steady but the pandemic was just the catalyst Netflix, Amazon Prime and the likes needed to push their original and licensed film on a global range.
With streaming platforms taking all of theatres’ pie has the time come for retribution from theatres as well?
Recently, a US law barring streaming services from owning movie theatres got overturned. The platforms can clearly afford to, so why shouldn’t they? It could certainly save the theatres from shutting down in the wake of this uncertainty and help streaming platforms showcase their original films to audiences and possibly compete in various big-ticket award functions.
It’s a win-win.
In 2019, Netflix had leased a Paris Theatre to screen its films on an ongoing basis. It was to premiere special screenings of films as well as be used for special events. More recently, films like ‘The Irishman’ and ‘Roma’ also got theater releases in the bid to run for the Oscars. An interesting arrangement that brings together two warring institutions together.
So what if streaming platforms used these theatres to release TV shows?
The TV shows on streaming platforms are very binge-able and consuming. On an average people spend up to 4 hours every day watching TV shows. These fast-paced, addictive and intricate narratives compel you to finish them in a matter of hours but what if we could do that with the luxury of theatres?
Watching a film in theatres is a cinematic experience that is unparalleled, if streaming services develop TV series that are relatively short and tailor made for a theatre-viewing, say 4-5 hours of content, it would definitely get some traction from hard-core binge-watchers.
The shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime that are in the limited series category or have a definite ending at the end of each season can start screening full day viewings in theatre chains. This could include certain amounts of intervals in between for optimal user experience and premieres of highly-anticipated shows such as ‘Money Heist’, ‘Stranger Things’ among others.
We have seen throngs of fans rushing for the first day-first show screening for popular films like ‘Avengers: Endgame’; with this novel approach we could see the same for the growing popularity of web series.
The social bonding and communal setting that theatres offer is a definite upgrade from the ‘Netflix Watch Party’ feature currently being used.
On the flip side, this scenario could only work for seasons with relatively shorter episodes or ones that don’t require a continual plotline from previous seasons so as to be viewed as stand-alone content. Then there’s the problem of sitting in a space for hours at a stretch, even with intervals, it could get taxing for viewers to enjoy the series at the same pace as the rest. The unique prospect of shows is that they allow you to watch them at your time and convenience so theatre screenings could restrict that but over-all if strategized well, for certain popular shows it’s an idea that could gain momentum.
All in all, until this dream becomes a reality you’ll catch us with our microwave popcorn and blanket waiting to catch the next film premiere on our beds!
Tell us in the comments below whether you’d like to see TV show screenings in theatres as well!
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