Recognized filmmaker Steven Soderbergh shared his thoughts on the future of cinema and how cinema habits could live on in the age of streaming as they get older.
During an interview with IGN’s Jim Vejvoda, Soderbergh, best known for his Ocean’s Eleven series among many other Hollywood hits, pondered how movie theaters and streaming services could continue to coexist. He identified programming and engagement as two key areas that need to be carefully examined in order to keep the cinematic experience alive.
“I think people still want to go out,” Soderbergh said, admitting the reasons for a box office trip. “There is still an appeal to see a movie in a cinema. It’s still a great destination. And I think it really depends on our ability to attract the older audience to keep coming out. ” […] It has nothing to do with windows [the term for the amount of time left between theater and home releases]. “
Soderbergh went on to refer to the “huge” numbers Spider-Man: No Way Home won at the box office after just surpassing the fourth straight domestic weekend box office with $ 33 million ticket sales. He recognized the continued popularity of certain cinema experiences at the time, but shifted his focus to how they should be cared for in the future.
“It has to do with programming and finding a way to think about creative ways, or at least ideas, to try and cultivate that audience again,” he explained. “The question is, can you grow younger audiences, mature, and keep making movies? You know what I mean? If they go to the cinema now, that’s great. But what can you do to ensure that 10 years from now they will go to the movies as often as they do today? “
Soderbergh’s comments join a chorus of conversations that several other filmmakers have had on the subject. Notably, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, director Christopher Nolan penned a commentary on the importance of saving cinemas, in which the government, studio and society called for cinema’s support at a time of “unprecedented challenges” and uncertainty. “
Nolan isn’t the only passionate advocate of the cinematic experience, Dune director Denis Villeneuve had previously spoken out against Warner Bros.’s decision to release his entire 2021 film board on HBO Max and in theaters on the same day. He recognized that “streaming services are a positive and powerful addition to the film and television ecosystem,” but argued that streaming alone could not sustain “the film industry as we knew it before COVID”.
Villeneuve further doubled his comments last year when he acknowledged the “tremendous pressure” the film industry was under due to the coronavirus crisis, but stated that he is still not happy that his next release is in theaters and at the same time Max appears on HBO because, in his personal opinion, Dune would be televised as “riding a speedboat in the bathtub”.
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Lately, movies have been released successfully to both theaters and streaming services – and with the new year coming, a slew of new shows and movies to immerse ourselves in by and large and small screen.
Soderbergh’s next film, a wacky thriller called Kimi, is slated to be released exclusively on HBO Max on February 10th, as well as a new look at the 2022 movie board.
Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.