A Reason To Go Back to Theaters
If you’re like me, then you miss going to movie theaters. You miss the experience of being in a giant room, looking at an enormous screen with surround sound and no distractions around you. And let’s be clear, the past year and a half where everything was streaming was pretty nice. It’s a beautiful thing, having content come straight to your living room. And it definitely makes one question whether or not we really need movie theaters. But just one foot back inside of a real, actual house of cinema, clearly answers that question with a resounding YES!
Does every movie need to be seen on the big screen? No. Definitely not. But as far as action and excitement go, this is the place to be. Even a mediocre movie, like A Quiet Place Part 2, can be elevated by the tension in the room that one just doesn’t get from watching in the security of his or her own living room. Now a movie that’s an absolute stinker (like F9: The Fast Saga,) is a stinker no matter where you see it. Some monies there’s just no saving no matter what. But a good movie or even a decent movie is elevated tremendously by the theater experience. It’s just a whole different ball game than seeing it in your own home, with your cell phone beside you and the pause button at your fingertips.
If there was a time to go back, it’s now. This is the summer. It’s the blockbuster season. We already had a summer at home, with theaters closed. In fact, we had a whole year of that. More than a year. A year and a half. And by now, missing movies and missing the experience of seeing them in the theaters has become a real thing.
There were of course cases where some people jumped the gun and tried to get us neck too early. Director Christopher Nolan famously put out Tenet in theaters during the heart of the pandemic, against all advice and public opinion. The movie did not do well. And it was also an all around lousy movie, being incredibly frustrating and confusing. If you’re asking audiences to go back to theaters, before anyone else is, at least make your movie somewhat easy to follow. Make it about escapism, not having to do work. Give audiences something they can unwind to, not something to make them even more angry and miserable.
But now, we are in July and there are actually guilty pleasure movies that audiences can enjoy on their own terms. A Quiet Place 2 is definitely one of them. Black Widow and Escape Room: Tournament of Champions look to be others. This is where it starts. This is where we start getting back and the movies worth seeing in theaters start to increase.
There are also movies like Space Jam and The Suicide Squad headed to theaters this summer, but it’s going to be pretty hard to tell anyone with HBO Max to go see the movie in a theater when it’s right there streaming for free on ones home TV set. HBO has been doing this all year, and it’s been nice. From Godzilla vs Kong to Mortal Kombat, these movies might have been fun in theaters, but they are far from great films, and it doesn’t seem like the theater experience was completely necessary for them.
So it’s okay that HBO Max still has their Day and Date deal running, all the way until the end of 2021. There are plenty of other movies to see in theaters from the scary (M Night Shamalyan’s Old,) to the funny (Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy.) Audiences want to go back to theaters, and are good and ready. Now is the time to get back into it.