How Will Cinema Change Going Forward?

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince in Wonder Woman 1984

A lot of people have been talking recently about what movie-going is going to look like as we open back up as it’s something I did frequently it’s a subject that really interests me. What will it look like going forward?

And will people even go to a crowded theater until a vaccine is available?

I honestly don’t know if I will.

And I’m not even going to discuss the on-going economic impact- that I don’t know if I’ll be able to but as much as I love movies will I really, really go sit in a theater for hours in an uncomfortable mask not wanting to take a chance on the restrooms or the concession stands (if food is even available or affordable.)


A lot of theaters even in states reopening are not doing so right now. AMC has said they don’t plan too open until July closer to the time Tenet and Mulan are getting ready to come out.

Two plus months is a long time and a lot might change. Both those movies were in my top five 2020 films. Hell Mulan was probably #1 for a while but thinking about it and I’m like eh, maybe I will but I just don’t know…

There’s been talk about reduced capacity seating. I’ve heard people mention a checkerboard seating plan which automatically made me think if I’m on an aisle (my preferred seat) and someone needs to get up and use the restroom aren’t they still literally standing over me?

Zatanna Gets the Sneezes

And I know plenty of people will say oh, gee you’re overreacting it will be fine if someone passes you to go to the bathroom- they won’t sneeze.

But then that begs the point of what is overreacting or under reacting in any of this mess?

And why are so many people on the Internet so god-damned judgmental about everything?

I think Wonder Woman 1984 in August will be the big draw for a lot of people no matter what the theater situation looks like. We’ll be in the dog days of what will likely be a rough summer and in my part of the world achingly hot after months of heat. It might look good regardless of the chances.

Plus there’s been a lot of talk about shortening the theater runs at least while the virus is on-going so if it comes to that and those movies release but if it’s a Tenet and Mulan will be in theaters sure but on VOD demand by Labor Day type of scenario… I’d wait for streaming.

Shaggy and Scooby in Scoob!

And speaking of the VOD thing AMC is currently fighting with Universal banning all their pictures over the direct to streaming release of Trolls World Tour. Which I’m betting will last all of a hot second.

Why aren’t they fighting with other studios yet (Scoob! is also going to stream) well probably because Universal’s statements have implied this will be something they will consider more and more of in the future.

But it does make me wonder about something I was thinking more and more before this started… does every movie need a big screen release? Even as someone who loves films and watches a lot of them in theaters. I would honestly say probably 85% of the movies I saw last year in theaters I would have been perfectly fine seeing them at home and lost nothing in the experience.

We can speculate a ton about what movie-going might look like but July feels, and is, still pretty far away and things are changing pretty rapidly. It will be interesting to see what the theaters come up with in terms of social distancing, if people go back, and how this further changes the usual Hollywood business model.

21 thoughts on “How Will Cinema Change Going Forward?

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  1. Things change and that’s okay. How people feel now I feel all the time because I’m immuno-compromised and I definitely wouldn’t mind having more options.

    1. Yes more options! I think perhaps I’m more for the VOD option because I have only one reasonable theater near me and that’s iffy. If we had an Alamo or something I think I’d be more oh, yeah theaters are best. Hope you’re staying safe!

  2. Here in Spain they’re talking about reopening first at 30% capacity, then at 50% capacity, then without restrictions. The problem is that they are planning this de-escalation phase very quickly, so in 8 weeks everything should go back to normality. Let’s see if it works…

      1. After 45 days I can’t wait to get back to normality… At the same time, I’m a bit worried that rushing things may get us back into lockdown a few months from now! :–/

  3. My problem with the VOD system is that if I am going to pay $20 to watch it I might as well go get the theater experience! I don’t want to spend $20 to rent it at home and then spend another $20 to buy it when it is actually released. I’m with you on waiting for the vaccine tho! I won’t be going to the theater any time soon, but I want to see Mulan and WW in theaters!!

    1. Agreed. I had that same thing with the new Emma. rented it for $20 and absolutely loved it wished I could have just bought it. I think they should try the Scoob! model where you can buy for $5 bucks more.

  4. I love seeing some movies in theaters–especially musicals and big budget action fantasy stuff haha, but honestly probably won’t be seeing movies in theaters for a long time. I was super excited for Mulan, but if it still comes out in July, which I honestly doubt, I don’t think I’ll go–it just doesn’t feel safe. I was so excited to see Onward in theaters and I was gonna go the week after everything went down and closed… rip. Super glad they put it on disney+, best of a bad circumstance

    1. Yeah Disney has been pretty good about getting things on the service early right now.

      I’m still surprised they put Mulan relatively early but I do think unless there’s a vaccine all of these movies are going to be pretty fast onto streaming. Much faster than usual!

  5. We went to the first casino to open back up in Washington state on opening day minutes after they opened and I’m guessing we’ll do the same with the movie theater. Will we be wearing masks? Maybe. Not thumbing our nose at risks, or trying to sound reckless, but we have to live our lives.

    We’re all dying, after all, and letting a virus or, frankly, anything control our happiness in life is part of giving into death sooner. No thank you.

    1. I’m probably the same! I can just be super, super anal about having a “relaxing” cinema experience so I feel like I just need to pull the band-aid off go back, see what everything is going to look like and be now and than I’ll be good with it! I mean I still have a month plus to hopefully find a comfortable mask 🙂

      1. Yeah, it’s a bit maddening that the theaters aren’t opening sooner, showing older movies and working on doing at least a few week dry run if you will of how they will protected and aid in moviegoers feeling / being safer.

        Instead they are saying with no new movies, they can’t afford to open. What a catch-20 situation.

  6. I have no idea how things will be like moving forward (don’t think we’re nowhere near ready yet as it is), but, like you said, I’d be really cautious about buying snacks. Then, what about cleaning seats and hand rests. How do we know strict cleaning standards will be enforced? The idea of a social distanced viewing sounds amazing. 😌😌😌 like yes, don’t sit next to me. Or in front of me. Especially if you’re tall!

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