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Movie Box Office Projected to be Down 50% This Year – And That’s Only If They Reopen on Schedule

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Things are not looking great for the movie business right now. The inadequate response to the coronavirus means that most people don’t want to go out in public if they can avoid it even as places start to open back, and movie theaters by and large haven’t been given the green light to resume operations anyway, due to their nature of being basically the best place to spread a virus like COVID-19.

Variety reports that the box office for the year is projected to be half of what it was last year and that even that is based on theaters reopening next month, an assumption that is seeming more and more unlikely as the date approaches.

The trade says that Wall Street analyst MoffettNathanson predicts a haul of $5.5 billion for studios this year and $9.7 billion next year, both under last year’s $11.4 billion. But those numbers assume all the summer blockbusters come out this year and moviegoers return to theaters in roughly normal numbers despite the looming threat of the virus and doesn’t take into account additional waves of virus outbreaks that could cause further closures of theaters and delays of releases.

Personally, I think that the theater industry is on the brink of obsolescence. When we designed theaters, people didn’t have access to televisions or air conditioning in their homes; now you’ve got both and they’re probably pretty great. Is watching a movie in a theater really a better experience than watching it in your living room?

And unlike, say, dining out or seeing a play or band, it’s not a communal or live experience. The respectful way to watch a movie in a theater is with your phone turned off while shutting the f**k up so you don’t bother the people around you; in your living room you and your friends can talk and text or whatever and not bother anyone. And it’s not like Robert Downey, Jr is playing Iron Man live in the theater, inks the same movie on your TV.

The only thing you can’t really re-create at home is the 3D but does anyone still even care about that? The novelty of 3D wore off long before the novelty of Marvel Comics movies wore off for me, it just wasn’t even worth the extra $2, long before the glasses came with a big side of slow, painful death.

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