My earliest memories associated with watching a theatrical movie are… complicated. I always looked forward to going to the theater. When me and my family arrived at our local Cinemark, we were ready to go. With the scent of popcorn wafting through my adolescent nostrils, we were turned off as we entered the auditorium where the movie was being shown and the preview started at much louder volume than the commercials. Being hypersensitive to loud noises due to my autism, I had to stand at the side entrance of the theater with one of my parents, overwhelmed by loud noises. I couldn’t see the screen, but I could hear the sound (to my child’s brain, the sound seemed far down the hallway). I was able to get used to all the noise.
I begged my parents to take me to the theater, no matter how terrifying the sudden loud jolt was each time. In the back of my head, I always had to hide in the hallway, but once I got used to hearing it at that loud theater volume, I always got a little closer to my seat. Just before the preview ended, I inevitably sat down and moved on from there. Loud noise went from overwhelming to immersive. I knew I could overcome my fear. In the darkness, something brilliant was waiting for us on a big screen beyond our imagination. Dear readers, I am biased. I’ve been obsessed with the theater experience my whole life. But there’s more than just nostalgia to inform my passion for why we need theater windows, especially after the events of 2022.
What is a theater window?
A theater window is the time between when a movie arrives at the cinema and when it can be moved to streaming or other home video media. This has long been a point of contention between film studios and cinemas. The former group wants to shrink that window because it gives them more opportunities to make money faster, while the latter group is concerned about the revenue impact of faster streaming releases.
As of 2010, the theatrical run was fixed at 16 weeks, alice in wonderland Disney hit it hard with plans to release it on physical home video just 12 weeks after its March 2010 debut. Little has changed, but there has always been strife over how long features will last on the big screen. In 2016, the Los Angeles Times reported that things were a little stagnant between studios and theaters, especially since Universal and Paramount’s hasty attempts to track his debut for theatrical title video-on-demand have either failed or succeeded in materializing. I pointed out that Minimal financial impact. Netflix, on the other hand, refused to allow the original film a slightly longer run, allowing it to run in major theater chains. Irishman.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all rules regarding theater windows have been lifted. With Warner Bros. delivering his 2021 theatrical release all at the same time on the big screen and his HBO Max, there’s been no turning back. After years of turmoil, in 2022, the cinematic landscape is adapting to whatever the new normal is. This includes understanding what a theater window is or what it looks like, but in order for the film to retain as much impact as possible, even in the chaos, something resembling a theater window is clearly necessary.
Theatrical release has advantages
For both the film industry and the general public, it’s becoming clear that streaming-only movies tend to die out faster than movies that debut in theaters. have indeed seen this in practice. Netflix spent a lot of money on star-studded movies man in grayit ended up having a slight impact on the pop culture sector in 2022. Do you remember? spider head, bubble, me time, day shift, and countless others that have been released exclusively to Netflix? You can hit the index. Their films are going nowhere and moving the pop culture needle without a theatrical window to make them stand out in the minds of viewers.
An exclusive theatrical release doesn’t just start out good. A theatrical release means a marketing campaign (something Netflix and other streamers don’t do for new movies) that uses trailers and posters to keep the movie in the public eye for months. It’s not that the possibilities are endless, but that there’s something special about being able to see it in theaters for a limited time.Even better, the way you like the title All at once, anywhere, smileWhen Mrs Harris goes to Paris In 2022, it’s likely to stick with the box office, and the film will remain in the conversation for weeks. thirteen lives At Amazon, it never got the public’s attention to begin with.
The big screen isn’t the only advantage of the theater-only model. It also offers more opportunities in the future for where and how you can watch movies. For decades, theatrical releases of movies have been followed by physical home media releases. Even TV movies on channels like HBO will eventually end up on DVD and Blu-Ray shelves. Streamers who want their “content” to be as exclusive as possible have overturned this norm. A handful of streaming-only titles from Netflix and Hulu eventually get physical releases in the Criterion Collection, while original titles from HBO Max are scattered ( fall out) or paramount + ( like secret headquarters) has scored its home video debut.
However, the default criterion for streaming titles is the absence of physical media afterlife.A movie with a director as big as Spike Leefavorite Da 5 Bloods, still only available from Netflix’s servers. Imminent danger has arisen. Previously readily available movies and shows without physical media releases suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth. Streaming doesn’t necessarily improve accessibility, it just brings new questions about when and how we can access pop culture. This issue only emphasized the need for a physical media release, a guaranteed entity in the era of theater windows.
This increasingly ominous issue highlights just how far-reaching the positive consequences of theater windows are. Maintaining a theater window isn’t just about maintaining the nebulous notion of a “proper film”, it’s ultimately about creating an accessible way (like a library) for people to experience your art. It is also to ensure These greater positive impacts extend to thousands of jobs sustained through the continued presence of exhibitions in theaters and the provision of great collaborative experiences that bring people together.
screenings I attended after sun Just two months ago me and this random lady had a quick follow up and bonded over the quality of the great features we saw. , Wild Night with Emily When I was in the double feature rest area. Had these movies avoided the theater window entirely, the wonderful moments of human bonding would have been impossible.
Theater experience needs improvement
But just as we need theater windows, we also need to recognize how cinemas need to improve to live up to their incredible potential. The whole point of the theatrical release window is to make movies more accessible to the general public. You don’t need a subscription to the service to watch movies in theaters, but more ways will be available in the future. On one streamer’s server. Theater windows allow people to connect with art, but unfortunately the theater venue itself can undermine this core benefit.
For one thing, like a writer Kristen Lopez I’ve written an excellent job on the pressing issue of how many movie theaters have minimal or no space for disabled people. The inaccessibility of these locations to viewers with disabilities can be very annoying, and initially keeping films exclusive to theaters can be restrictive rather than exciting or liberating for some people. Making these places more accessible to people with disabilities is a great way to ensure that theaters are spaces for all voices to experience art together. Similarly, make events such as sensory screenings with brighter lights and muted movies for people with sensory issues more common than a once-a-week stereotype. , you can also get your movie out there to a wider audience of moviegoers in theater windows. .
Then there’s the matter of money. Specifically, people’s access to movies at the theater window is also hampered by the cost of movie tickets. Complaints about ticket prices have been going on for decades, but now that the federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised since his 2009, those complaints are more important than ever. This issue of federal wages is much bigger than just the theater industry. (And unlike access to disabled communities within theaters, it’s not something the cinema industry can personally change), but this is one of the many challenges plaguing theater windows right now. The concept is very positive for cinema as an artform and also a way to make it accessible to people in the long run. However, there is currently an undeniable problem that is making the theater windows as inaccessible as possible.
need theater windows
We need theater windows. But there are nuances to that feeling. Streaming is not evil in the media world. Not bad for someone who prefers watching movies at home rather than watching things in theaters. But theoretically, a theater window should offer multiple ways for people to watch movies. First, you can experience things in theaters before consuming them on other platforms. While Theater Window accommodates multiple formats of viewing, the same cannot be said for putting movies directly into streaming.
This is no excuse for problems that detract from the ideal accessibility of the theater experience. These issues should be recognized and fixed immediately. In addressing these deficiencies, we can recognize how important it is for theater windows to offer options and accessibility to moviegoers from a wide range of backgrounds. In other words, the potential for this form of cinematic experience is so great, so tremendous, that we need to improve our theatrical release. Beyond my personal feeling of whether or not I’m not, the ubiquity of big sleeper hits at the box office this year reminds me of one of the kinds of longevity that can get pop culture notoriety out of a theater window. Let Something you won’t get with a streaming-only release.
There are many things waiting for us in the dark. tigger movie Also Tarzan When I was a kid, it fascinated me to return to my seat. Theater windows were designed to give people the opportunity to explore images that flicker in the dark, stories that are enhanced by viewing with a stranger, and the joys of big-screen entertainment that has captivated moviegoers for more than a century. is required.