20 May 2020 2:52 PM

It is now 8 weeks since the UK went into Lockdown. Conversations have changed incredibly during this time-from `Why are there no trains at Waterloo this evening?’ to ‘Where can I get hold of some flour?`

For many office-based workers conversations speculate whether the five day commute will become a distant memory. It is fair to say that technology came just in time!

Another game-changer is the future of cinemas. We are already seeing major strategic changes.

‘Trolls World Tour’ was released online in April by Universal Pictures. It has created a promising future from the cinema chains, AMC and Cineworld, but I can see that these and other chains are going to be forced to adapt and/or compromise. More frighteningly some may not survive. This is the fallout whenever an industry is disrupted. The revenue generated ‘Trolls World Tour’ was $95m in its first three weeks, down from the $125m earned from the previous Trolls movie.  But.. and it’s a big but……Universal do not have to share its earnings with the theatres.

Even as the USA comes out of lockdown cinema attendance will be low with social distancing rules. Meanwhile, streaming companies are hungry for content to keep subscriber numbers on an upward trend. This year the Oscars will admit films that have gone straight to streaming (without the prerequisite of a theatrical release). The Academy says this is a one-off, but I wonder!

All is not lost for the cinema. This is the natural habitat for the big tent pole movies, the likes of ‘Fast and Furious’ and ‘The Avengers’. Interestingly the top 10 Movies last year at the box office were remakes or part of a franchise. How different is that to when I started to go to the Cinema? Let’s not go there!

However, cinema needs new ideas and actors need dynamics which will not necessarily be catered by the Hollywood blockbusters, I see these projects particularly being made for streaming

Whatever happens over the next few months, I can’t see how there won’t be a seismic sea change in the industry.