Do you believe that Netflix is 'killing' the cinema industry?

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But even for superhero movies, a lot of them haven't been that good in the last few years that I've seen. Is there research that says they want generic mediocre worn out ones, and not really good ones?
Read my last post, it explains.



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I grew up on Predator, The Running Man, I Come In Peace, Total Recall, Commando, Lethal Weapon, etc., etc. I'm not sure how current super heroes are any different than the action heroes of 3 decades back. Expect for the visual effects.


I mean to say it's nothing new that started a few years ago. Besides. They make money. While that style for a period of time may (arguably) weaken variety during that time, it's has absolutely made money for the industry.



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I'm not sure how current super heroes are any different than the action heroes of 30 decades back.
Like whom? George Washington?
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Is this why 1917 was such a hit because people with low attention spans nowadays are drawn to a movie that looks like it was shot in one take, with lots of actions and battle going on, compared to a movie a that makes you think more? Not that 1917 was bad, but I wonder if the one take and lots of action made it such a hit with today's audience?



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Is this why 1917 was such a hit because people with low attention spans nowadays are drawn to a movie that looks like it was shot in one take, with lots of actions and battle going on, compared to a movie a that makes you think more? Not that 1917 was bad, but I wonder if the one take and lots of action made it such a hit with today's audience?
The in-one-take thing (whether or not it really was shot in one take) to me has always smacked of a parlour trick. I actually become distracted by it, looking for the cut seams.

And I've heard the "shooting in real time" means "experiencing in real time" thing, but I always found that a bit of a concocted excuse. Directors shoot with collections of overly long shots because they're hard to do, and they like the notoriety of it.

Not because people actually like it. Again, IMO.



I believe the cinema industry is killing the cinema industry.

Prices are sky high and unless you're into remakes, sequels, and superheroes, pickings are kind of slim. I rarely go to the theater because there just isn't much that catches my interest enough to go see it. I used to go to the theater once every 1-2 weeks. In all of 2019, I went 7 times and 3 of those times were to see the same movie.

I use Netflix only slightly more than that because their selection also sucks.
If you're a business struggling against competitors, you're going to put tried and tested films because you have a guaranteed audience. You might have a Marvel sequel that all the critics say is dreadful and people will still go and see it because it's Marvel. It's those kind of films that make cinemas money- basically designed for cinemas to cash in. Films totalling almost three hours so people will want to buy drinks and food, which is how the cinemas make money. Lots of crash-bang-wallop battle scenes that look good on the big screen. A film which is part of a convoluted series that people are invested in, so that missing a film is basically the equivalent of missing a TV episode. The blurring between TV and cinema is getting stronger.

Unless a film is very visually impressive and benefits from being on a massive screen, people will stay at home and watch it on Netflix. For the price of a cinema ticket, you can get a whole month's subscription to Netflix. Even if there were only two films a month you wanted to watch, it covers its costs (and of course going to the cinema has its own costs in buying refreshments, cost of travel, etc.).



I think Netflix is ​​just different, I see nothing wrong with it.



The thing about Netflix is, I'm surprised it's the most popular streaming service, because every time I want to watch a certain movie, I'd say 98% of the time, Netflix will not have it, and that's not an exaggeration. So I am curious as to why it's the most popular streaming service therefore.



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Emily, is your topic asking if Netflix is killing movie house attendance; or do you mean the making of movies in general (who makes them, where they're made, subject matter, etc.)?

Wish you luck on your dissertation!
Is Netflix killing the movie house attendance I also want to get people's views on Netflix originals such as 'are they more appealing than movies on at the cinema?'. I had been reading up on a lot of posts relating to sequels and how a lot of movies in the cinema are sequels or remakes



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Thankyou everyone who has been commenting! It's been really helpful. With the coronavirus situation I've not been able to conduct interviews so this has been a different way for me to do it but the answers on here have been a lot more interesting and beneficial than interviews usually are so big thankyou again



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I don't think online streaming is killing the cinema, purely because movies still make a substantial amount of money. That being said, the future market seems to be moving to online streaming.

I have noticed that most movies/series made by Netflix/Amazon etc are mostly independent projects while the cinema still shows all the big budgeted projects. But as long as the big names still star in the independent circuit (where all the creativity is) online services will continue to grow.

My opinion is short term no
long term maybe.



No, I don't believe it is despite the comments of people like Spielberg. Netflix is such an interesting case study to use when exploring the state of the modern film industry and the changes that have taken place in the last 15 years. To understand this properly you should read David Gauntlet 'Pick and Mix' article as well as Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture.

Without going in to it in insane detail, these are my thoughts:

The internet changed everything in the world and one of the biggest changes has been how we consume media. Historically, academics have lumped individual spectators in to large groups (The Four 'C's' / Income/status Model etc) and argued that media texts are/should be designed with specific groups in mind if they are to be a financial success. This worked well until the turn of the century when the internet effectively turned us all in to unique audience categories of our own - for the first time EVER billions of people have ubiquitous access to an unlimited amount of content, as a result it is becoming increasingly difficult to target audiences with anything other than highly personalised content (studios cannot do this full time as they rely on a mass market and it is not financially viable for the studios anymore) or mass-entertainment cinema (which now must appeal to Chinese markets and more worryingly, Chinese censors). The majors have moved towards 'universes' that are build around a single meta-narrative (think MCU) that can be exploited to death in order to attract a large an audience as possible. This means genre films, and the more basic they are narratively speaking, the better. Individual MCU films draw in targeted groups - THor = fantasy, GOTG = space adventure, Captain America = war/action, Black Panther = African American audiences, Captain Marvel = female audience, etc. WHilst comics, video games, TV shows, books ad infinitum draws in other groups who may not engage with the films. Casual fans can drop in and out at any point and hardcore fans can enjoy a much richer experience that extends beyond the cinema.

Netflix fills the vacuum left by Hollywood by producing mid-budget genre films and offering more experimental films to be made. Unlike the studios, Netflix will never be able to sustainably produce blockbusters as their audience numbers are ring fenced and present too broad a range to target in one go. ('Bright' on Netflix is a good case study). This is due to what Jenkins calls convergence culture - we now have access to anything at anytime across many devices. We no longer 'bulk' buy in the sense of an entire album, a TV DVD series - we personalise our media landscapes with individual songs on spotify, clipped up shows on youtube - and this is what Gauntlet calls 'Pick and Mix' media - our own media consumption is now so individualised that we require a broader range of content than ever and are harder to target as a result.

Today, I have watched for example:

TV: Community, BBC news
Online: Youtube vids on football, classic cinema, arnie one-liners, music, a guy who makes replica swords,
Reddit - film, politics, art, music, memes, ancient history, conspiracy theories

The point being - how do you categorise a person who consumes this variety like we all do?


Netflix cannot and do not target all of their members with single texts, they instead create an overwhelming amount of content in the hope of appealing to all 120+ million subs at the same time. This has several effects:

-Quality is hit and miss
+Now more than ever the voices of historically marginalised groups are being heard - all groups are being given opportunities to make films/TV and tell their experiences in order to feed the demand of the 120m+ unique members.

Want a documentary about African American filmmakers in the silent era? Netflix has it!

At the moment is looks like the studios and the streaming services are working symbiotically; each doing what the other cannot or will not. It is a shame that some of the most interesting cinema is being made available on TV not the cinema, but there are also many brilliant indie studios out there and people are still going to the cinema. I agree with Scorsese, the drive for profits has led to generic, blockbuster **** that is entertaining but completely vacuous, which in turn marginalises 'real cinema'. But it is still available - hopefully, once the MCU stuff dies down and people move away from 'Universes' (this will happen!) we will see the studios start to back more interesting and varied filmmakers.

edit: I should have also added:

Netflix is in so much debt and continues to borrow that it is hard to see it surviving long-long term. What will this mean for the streaming rights of not only their originals but the packages they have licences for? Will they be lost and inaccessible now that we don't buy physical media?

It feels to me that we are headed for some sort of 'collapse' of the industry like those that happened in the 60s.

With Endgame and Rise of Skywalker coming out in the past few years, this could be a watershed moment when audiences begin to move away from MCU type approaches and look for something a bit more interesting. That's certainly how I feel. I LOVE Star Wars but when watching ROS, I kept thinking "Thank ****ing God this is over!"



Is Netflix killing the movie house attendance I also want to get people's views on Netflix originals such as 'are they more appealing than movies on at the cinema?'. I had been reading up on a lot of posts relating to sequels and how a lot of movies in the cinema are sequels or remakes
Movie theater attendance originally declined during the explosion of television set purchases and TV programming in the early '50s. People were fascinated, and stayed home in the evenings to watch Milton Berle, Sid Ceasar, Jackie Gleason, and the like. Prior to the advent of TV, people went to the pictures frequently. Yet I think that tendency to stay home and watch has remained. Modern streaming availability simply embellished the practice.

When I was a kid my mother took me to the movies every time the feature changed, which was at least once a week. I usually also often went on Saturdays to see "17 Cartoons" along with several hours of kids' movies, like old Laurel and Hardy, or even Flash Gordon. But yet we watched TV most every night too.

Television drama was limited to programs that were more like sitcoms, or variety shows, and the advent of soap operas kept housewives from their work. There were also live network staged dramas like Studio One, or the U.S. Steel Hour. That's one feature that we haven't been treated to since.

Theater viewing always remained the place to see big screen, big sound productions which reached their zenith with Cinerama, CinemaScope, Dolby sound, and the like. But now people can acquire large screens and good sound systems for home viewing. So I do think the streaming services, Netflix among them, have definitely hurt movie theater attendance. Others have made the point that the big blockbusters are the ones that still draw folks --mostly younger-- to the theaters. As it is now, it seems like the only smaller films that get to the theaters are ones that are fashionably PC or SJ themed.

I recall Steven Spielberg stating a few years ago that he believed theaters would eventually show only big productions, charge a higher ticket price, and play at each theater for much longer
runs. He might have something there.



What I said before about 98% of the movies I want to watch are not on Netflix; I don't have Netflix because of this. However, my friends do, and they said that Netflix has a lot more selection of the past few weeks, and they have really upped their game lately. Is this because of the COVID situation, that they have done this perhaps?



No, these things are decided long in advance. Also, I'm not sure they have upped it, that kind of thing would be wildly subject to confirmation bias based on which kinds of things each person is liable to notice or like.
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What I said before about 98% of the movies I want to watch are not on Netflix; I don't have Netflix because of this. However, my friends do, and they said that Netflix has a lot more selection of the past few weeks, and they have really upped their game lately. Is this because of the COVID situation, that they have done this perhaps?
Nope, it's still very poor, unless you're an undiscerning teenager. Film-wise, Netflix is for people who just want to put on any old film- apart from a few 'prestige' films like Roma, the Netflix originals are mainly mindless entertainment. To be honest, even when I'm looking for a light rom-com, it will never have the one you actually want to watch and instead suggests a bunch of rubbish that's supposedly like what you searched for.

Also, Netflix try to trick their audience by using different thumbnails for each film, so a film initially looks like a new addition but actually it's just a new thumbnail.



Is Netflix killing the movie house attendance I also want to get people's views on Netflix originals such as 'are they more appealing than movies on at the cinema?'. I had been reading up on a lot of posts relating to sequels and how a lot of movies in the cinema are sequels or remakes
I don't think Netflix original films are more appealing than films released in the cinema. The cinema has more of a financial commitment and time commitment; it becomes an outing. People might go with friends, have a meal before or after, so they want something that's 'guaranteed' to be good or is a 'must watch'. Most times that will either be a film with a big buzz (maybe Oscar buzz) or a sequel/remake. Because sequels are sold more as being part of a series, rather than just another money-spinner (even though that's what they are), they have slightly more respectability than they might have done ten years ago. Unless a film turns out to be a flop, we almost expect there to be at least one sequel.

I think it's how Netflix have revolutionised TV that has had a big effect on cinema offerings, rather than what they've done with films. With the advent of binge watching, watching TV is almost like watching a very long film (most of the blockbusters now tend to be at least two hours, often two and a half), with the benefit that you have more space to explore characters and plot. So people would rather watch one of these 'long films' than a film at the cinema.



The thing about a lot of TV shows, though, is that they have subplots that are forgotten about over the course of the show, and a lot of times, the ending of the show, doesn't really end that well, or was not that well thought out. I look at it and think, that's it? Where as a movie, the ending is thought of much longer in advance, and there usually not near as many unnecessary subplots, compared to a TV show. So I thought that movies should be more popular therefore.