Very recently, I put together my list of the Top Ten films for 2017. Two of the films that made my list were Crown Heights and Mudbound, both were streaming-first films. I was sitting there after putting my list together around the time of the Academy Awards and I wondered "Why did these two films not get more widespread recognition?". I don't think that either film was deserving of Best Picture for many awards this year but they were definitely deserving for more than they were given. Even a film such as The Big Sick I believed got royally screwed this year. While The Big Sick was primarily released in theaters, the film was funded by Amazon and has primarily stayed on Amazon Prime since leaving theaters. I thought to myself if maybe the major players in Hollywood were beginning to draw a line between them and streaming content. With Hollywood continuing to struggle at the box office and theater chains losing money left and right, maybe they see streaming services as a threat to their existence. Maybe it's just a conspiracy that I'm conjuring in my head to make sense for why films I enjoyed did not get recognized.
Then the news came out that Cannes will ban Netflix films from competition and then my theory started getting some validity. Shortly after that rule chance, one of the biggest directors in Hollywood, Steven Spielberg, is now coming out and saying that Netflix films should not qualify for Oscars. Two major players in the filmmaking industry have now came out and declared war on streaming films. Spielberg goes on to say that he believes Netflix films are "TV movies" and that them gaining award accolades could be considered "cheating". I understand that Hollywood has failed to end their downward spiral in theatrical attendance but do you seriously believe that going to war with streaming service is going to bring people back?
Do you want to know why people do not go to the theaters that much anymore? Maybe it's because tickets for a standard screening of a Hollywood film is $15-18 per person. If you decide you want to treat yourself to 3D or IMAX, tickets can get neat $24-$26. That is absolutely insane, especially when you consider a date night can run you around $40-50 and a family night can get you near $100. When did the movies turn into costing nearly as much as a theme park? The movies just cost too much and if you're not someone who enjoy the experience, You'll skip out on the experience and wait to pay nearly the same price of admission to own the film on home release. MoviePass is one of the best things to come to the movie business and yet theaters are still trying to ban the subscription service. Yes, I understand that the $10 monthly fee for that company is not "sustainable" but you have to know that this $10 fee is definitely an introductory fee to get people interested in the service. It is because of subscriptions like MoviePass that have made me go to the movies more and invest more in theaters especially having the extra money to pay for concessions, the one thing that theaters make nearly all of their money off of.
Don't even get me started on the actual films in theaters. Half of the films in theaters are complete shit. A lack of originality in the theater along with studios lack of care for the quality it puts out has made moviegoers more cautious than ever. Now with rating sites such as Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, studios are having an extremely hard time hiding terrible movies from audiences anymore. Instead of funding big-budget shit shows, how about you cut back on spectacle and focus more on acting talent and their material. Get Out, Ex Machina, and The Big Sick are all low-budget films that were highly successful in theaters. Get with the times.
Hollywood big wigs and their failure to adjust to the times is going to be the death of them. Streaming and on-demand content is the way of the future and trying to fight change is only going to leave you behind. You know, it wasn't that long ago that I wrote an article about Martin Scorsese and modern film. I find it very ironic that nearly a year later, he's producing a feature-length film for Netflix, the studio that Hollywood is now trying to fight. I highly doubt that Martin Scorsese thinks The Irishman is a "TV movie". Stop complaint about the competition and give audience members a better option. They're staying at home because your films cost too much and streaming content has a higher entertainment value than half the shit you have filling the screens in your cinemas. Stop whining, start adapting, and make better decisions.