Thursday, May 23, 2024

Oscar Buzzed Films with Low Grosses, Now in Theaters, Go to Streaming Soon Including “Fabelmans,” “Banshees,” “Tar,” Etc


The movie studios are in panic mode.

They’re about to release a few more Oscar buzzed movies to home viewing– Amazon Prime etc — while the films are in theaters and not really making any money.

Coming soon will be “The Fabelmans” and “The Banshees of Inisherin.” They are each going to be nominated for Best Picture, but that won’t be until January 24th or so. In the meantime, people are not going to theaters to see them and the studios can’t wait.

Already on VOD are “Till,” and “Armageddon Time.” Heading there shortly is “Bones and All,” the Timothee Chalamet chompfest of a cannibal movie.

The studios have been pushed into this position largely by Netflix, which is doing short qualifying runs in theaters for movies like “Glass Onion,” “White Noise,” “Bardo,” “Pinocchio” and so on. Moviegoers have now been trained to wait for these films to hit the Netflix platform, so why spend all that money going to a theater? Soon enough all these films will be available in your living room.

This means only blockbusters like “Wakanda Forever” and “Top Gun Maverick” — event films — will be useful in theaters. And that will cause the domino effect of many theater closures soon. This is what digital delivery has done to the arts: we barely have book or record stores, soon movie theaters will join them in the abyss. Restaurants, from which now anything can be delivered, are next. Soon the streets will be empty — well, they actually are, for example, on the Upper West Side. What a bizarre change: everything will be contactless. It’s a frightening thought, but it’s happening right now.

With movies, it’s a terrible loss. Not only are films meant to be on big screens, but they’re also a communal event. They’re not books which are read individually. And yet, with younger people watching big movies on telephones or iPads, the future belongs to the single -serve movie. Very sad.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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