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The coronavirus is taking a toll on many local businesses, though there's one that I'm curious about here. Movie theaters. The theater industry hasn't exactly been booming for quite some time due to the growing popularity of streaming services such as Disney+, Netflix, Hulu and many more. Now days if you're watching TV and see a movie trailer you like, there's a chance it will be released directly to Netflix. A few years back that would have been unheard of.
The first movie I can recall that did a release directly to a streaming platform (that did exceptionally well) was 'The Interview' released on YouTube. The circumstances of that release was surrounded by a bit of controversy regarding North Korea and it's "threats" upon releasing it, though I'm not certain if those threats were just promotional tools circulated by the movie staff or real issues. Either way, that route proved a success. I thought that would change the way movies were released, and it did, but only in a hypothetical way. Movie production companies just didn't take to it the way anyone thought they would.
Fast forward a few more years to today and we have streaming services actually producing huge budget films and releasing them on their own platforms, and people are loving it. This has put a huge damper on movie theater sales. As I said above, movie theater sales have been in a slump for a few years now due to their high ticket prices and ridiculously over-inflated concessions, though they've just been handed something they couldn't have been prepared for, coronavirus.
No matter how much I enjoy a good movie at a theater, a trip to the movies is one of the most unnecessary things I can think of in a pandemic such as this. As of a few days ago, the theater industry (atleast in the U.S.) is almost completely halted. NBCUniversal has already stated they are changing their focus to an on-demand platform. Many, many more will follow suit.