While audiences and filmmakers alike are voicing their concerns about the future of theaters due to the changes being made within the industry, Tom Hanks has faith that the theatrical experience will survive. “Will movie theaters still exist? Absolutely, they will,” said Hanks in an interview with Collider for his new film News of the World. “In some ways, I think the exhibitors — once they’re up and open — are going to have the freedom of choice of what movies they’re going to play,”
The film industry was hit hard by Warner Bros.’ choice to release its 2021 slate, which includes Dune and The Matrix 4, on HBO Max the same day as they open in theaters. This decision signifies a potentially industry-altering shift towards streaming services and away from theaters.
“A sea change was due, anyway. It was coming,” said Hanks. He believes that large franchise films will still aim for theatrical releases, while smaller, more adult films will likely adjust for streaming platform releases.
“Big event motion pictures are going to rule the day at the cinemas,” Hanks said. “News of the World might be the last adult movie about people saying interesting things that’s going to play on a big screen somewhere, because after this, in order to guarantee that people show up again, we’re going to have the Marvel Universe and all sorts of franchises.”
News of the World opened on Christmas day in theaters and earned just over $1.1 million at the box office, a decent total for a film opening during the pandemic.