COVID-19 Can’t Kill Cinema


Lukas Werner

Movie theaters have survived the pandemic; the 2022 box office is expected to surpass 2021’s overall box office.

Addie Moreland, Staff Reporter

You’re sitting on a comfortable cushion, reaching down into a popcorn bag and grabbing a handful of popcorn, everyone in the theater goes quiet and the lights dim, and you get comfortable as the movie starts.

People love movies, and now more than ever, movies offer an escape from reality.

In 2020, theaters had to close down along with the rest of the world due to COVID-19. Suddenly, a fun night at the cinema with your friends was no longer possible.

During this time, most of us didn’t catch a movie in theaters for over a year. Streaming became the only way for movie companies to release their latest film, and some were put on hold entirely.

But this isn’t the only big change, as movie theaters have shortened the time they actually show movies. 

A theatrical window is the period of time when a new movie is exclusively available to watch in theaters. Pre-COVID, the theatrical window was about two to three months. In the summer of 2020, Universal revealed that they had signed a deal with AMC Theaters, the world’s largest theater chain, to agree upon a new 17-day theatrical window. This changed the theater business permanently.

Since then, movie studios have been releasing movies simultaneously both in theaters and on streaming platforms. This eliminated the feeling of exclusivity for new movies, and theater ticket sales dropped. 

But I believe that there is a reason that movie theaters have not become a thing of the past. Most of the fun about seeing a movie is the anticipation.

In the recent weeks beforeSpider-Man: No Way Home” was released into theaters, the internet was flooding with theories and predictions about the new Marvel film. If you were on social media at all within the last two months, you know how fast tickets sold all around the country.

“Spider-Man” ended up with a box office of $1 billion globally and entered the top 10 highest-grossing films in the US at a current number eight. 

It was also the first movie to make $1 billion at the box office since 2019. Part of the reason for the fast sales was because this was the first blockbuster action movie to come out since theaters have reopened, and you could only watch it in one place.

For years, people have been going to the theater. Now that they are reopening, we can all be reminded of the unparalleled theater experience.

Seeing a highly anticipated movie during the opening weekend is unlike any other method of consuming media. Being in a packed theater while watching a new movie creates a cinematic experience that cannot be replicated because you’re all there for the same reason, you are excited, and the energy in the theater reflects that.

Movies are embedded into our culture, and it’s an important thing to be experiencing true excitement and keep some part of life before the pandemic alive.