Are film studios "trolling" theatres?

George Bell asks if the actions of certain film studios are out of order

George Bell
6th May 2020

Cinema is one of the biggest industries out there. Going to watch a film with friends or on a date is a staple of our culture. And as with many things at the moment, that way of life has been disrupted which as a result has meant cinemas have taken a big hit, including the beloved Tyneside Cinema. The future of cinema is currently up in the air and anything could happen. Turns out that the future depends on Trolls World Tour of all things. Who would have thought it?

Due to the global wide coronavirus pandemic, self-isolating and lockdown have become the norm. As a result, cinemas have been closed for several months and all the latest releases like A Quiet Place II, No Time to Die, and Black Widow have been delayed significantly. However, not all studios have opted for the approach of delaying their films and instead are going for a full digital release. But it is safe to say cinemas are not happy with this decision in the slightest.


One such studio is Universal who after the digital release of their film Trolls World Tour is considering both digital and in theatre releases in the future, even after coronavirus is said and done. The Trolls movie released digitally on April tenth and available for $20 to rent (which is a ridiculous price if you ask me) and apparently it worked wonders for Universal who earned an impressive $94 million in its first three weeks, hence why they are exploring releases both digitally and theatrically in the future. But theatre companies like AMC don’t like the current direction they are going in, especially as most theatres are in financial distress. As a result, AMC has stated that they will be boycotting Universal and all of their film. This is certainly a huge development and it will be interesting to see if any other theatres follow suit.

Concerns for theatres aren’t new as they are already at risk due to the massive popularity of streaming services like Netflix who is now frequently bringing out high-quality movies that are able to stream from the comfort of your own home. But with feature-length films, meat for theatres now being diverted to digital release is definitely a troublesome thought and could spell the end for cinema as we know and love it.

I for one am certainly worried about what will happen to cinemas in the future and hope that this is only the selfish actions of one company trying to get as much money as possible during a pandemic rather than the start of something new.

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AUTHOR: George Bell
One half film addict, one part computer nerd. All parts Croc lover

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