Cinema’s COVID-19 Silver Lining

This year, in a word, sucks. Namely for the movie industry, but there is a COVID-19 cinema silver lining I don’t believe many have considered.

Movie theaters have experienced billion-dollar losses, employee lay offs, theaters closings, and any type of filming came to a screeching halt. (We have gotten some nice marquees out of all this however.) Films that should’ve been in theaters already have been pushed back, and who knows if the new release dates will actually stick.

We have all been upset about the delays, so since we’re in quarantine, you’d think movie studios would want to capitalize on everyone being stuck at home and go direct to streaming. We saw the success with Trolls World Tour, so why not follow suit? We’ve been clamoring for movies like Black Widow, Tenet, and Wonder Woman 1984, but nothing.

Luckily, amid all the Coronavirus chaos, that COVID-19 cinema silver lining involves the push back of these release dates directly. How? Glad you asked…


quality vs. quantity

Why Food Quantity Matters More than Quality - Avatar Nutrition ...
Credit: Mrchan / Dreamstime.com

First off, I’m not the only person who sees the cinema COVID-19 silver lining here. James Gunn, most notably known for Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2 addressed a problem he has with the movie industry as a whole on one of his famous Instagram Q&A’s.

Well, he has many problems with the industry as a whole, but within this subject these are a few things he had to say:

The biggest one is I wish studios wouldn’t greenlight films until they had a script that they were happy with. The quality of films would instantly rise 60%. But studios green light movies off concepts, IP, and available release dates. When you edit a movie every day (every hour even) is a new cut because you’re constantly working on it and changing things, often for over a year.

-JAmes Gunn / Instagram q&a

You might be thinking: Why does that matter? What does greenlighting a film have to do with COVID-19, much less a cinema COVID-19 silver lining?

Everything is being pushed back. Yet, the movies are still constantly being worked on. Effects are being perfected, the script can be reworked if needed, reshoots can be done (once filming resumes, which has in certain places), and everything as a whole can be looked over again.

It’s like having a school project that you finished, brought in to present, and the teacher told gave you another couple weeks to make it better. Studios will never do that.

Movie production studios are literally working on everything around the clock to provide the fans with the best cut possible on opening night. Production takes a long time. This quick video might help you understand some of what goes on in production.

Only Time Will Tell

Credit: Kelly Stillwell/Marvel Studios

Like Gunn said, “Studios greenlight films that aren’t ready, and have to be rushed to hit a certain release date.” How can you expect movies to hit our gigantic expectations (and you know we do because we’re crazy), when they’re under so much pressure to develop and release movies in such a short time?

You can’t, but we do. As much as studios want to push these movies out, directors know it’s a blessing to gett this extra time and put a bow on the finished product. Director Scott Derrickson most famous for his films The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister and Doctor Strange feels like how I feel about release dates generally being pushed back: “The pushing of all these big tentpole release dates will increase their overall quality — more time for script & production design development.”

“Additionally, we pushed the release date for Doctor Strange five months in order to get Benedict Cumberbatch. Had we not done that, we would not have had time to get the script right or figure out how to achieve a lot of the visuals.”

It’s simple. We should appreciate the extra time some of these movies have been given. The people involved with making the movies certainly do. Not getting to see the what we want to see on time is a small price to pay for the better quality films that we’re going to get.

They’ll deliver, but if they don’t, then there’s no excuse.

You know the critics won’t hold back either, especially Rotten Tomatoes. They play no games and in this case rightfully so. The floodgates will open up if they flop and they’ll absolutely deserve it. I personally think these upcoming films will be the best versions of themselves, but if they’re not, I’ll be on the front line smack talking them too. It’s make or break time.

So, next time you see a delay, look up at that shiny sliver of hope. No, not the marquee. That is the COVID-19 cinema silver lining. And the future may really be that bright.

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