With movies theoretically available everywhere, now is a movie watcher’s golden age. Yet the film industry is suffering. Studios are much less often turning on the green light for projects that are not probable box office successes. Yes, quality films are getting wide releases. The ones at every multiplex are made by established directors like a Steven Spielberg and/or are easily marketable. But for every one of these quality films in wide release there are fifty with limited release at best. And the fact is that it costs the studio a lot to put a movie in a theater, especially when no one goes.
So how do quality yet hard-to-market films get the rightful exposure while keeping financiers and filmmakers happy? With on-demand home-viewing services films get the rightful attention at half the theater price for viewers and at a significantly lower distribution cost for studios. While the argument can be made for streaming services being more popular, many users are deterred by the long wait time for certain movies. If more studios send their quality movies straight to on-demand, they can both draw away the streaming devotees and prove that bypassing the theater can be advantageous. In a time when filmgoers are more often filmstayathomers, the move is to spend less to get more. Sending films straight home may deprive filmgoers of their hobby and of course the big screen offers a lot of advantages, but the important thing is that the films exist.
But it remains to be seen what is possible for the small, the weird and possibly well-made (relatively expensive) films. There will always be an audience for this type of film but unless that audience has easy, quick, yet fee-oriented access through on-demand services, there may not always be this type of film.