With the rise of streaming and other developments in recent years, the film industry has gotten even murkier. Studios and other business entities are scrambling to stay ahead the curve, all the while new, botique studios are releasing wild films that don’t necessarily have a built-in audience. But what exactly does the future of film have in store for us? Beats me, but it’s still fun to speculate.
5 Years from Now
It’s clear that the future of film is switching towards streaming instead of the standard theatrical release. However, we’ve become inundated with different services, making it confusing to figure out which services are are perfect for an individual’s content needs. Soon, the consolidation of streaming services will occur, leaving only a few major services available.
Netflix looks primed to continue into the future. With plans in place to produce 80 original films in 2018 alone, there will be plenty of content for consumers to enjoy. Disney is launching their own streaming service in 2019 and, considering the massive library of films that the company owns, that service will do just fine as well. With the absurd amount of resources available at Amazon, Prime and Amazon Studios should continue to thrive.
But what about the other services? Options such as Hulu, YouTube, CBS All-Access, and many other tiny outlets will probably get purchased by the three titans mentioned above. Disney might want to purchase most of these outlets in its attempt to bury Netflix.
From a studio standpoint, you might be able to see the next blockbuster from the comfort of your home. Companies like Apple and Comcast have already discussed shortening the length of time that a movie is in theaters before releasing it On-Demand and VOD. Under this scenario, movies would leave theaters after a few weeks and become available at home for a price of around $50. In fact, these companies are looking towards making big films available at home right away.
Theaters will begin to shut down, starting with the Mom and Pop theaters that will be unable to thrive in the evolving market.
10 Years from Now
As streaming and at home entertainment becomes more streamlined, theaters will die out even further. Theaters are already hurting for business presently, and the above conditions may hurt them for good. At this point, a select few theaters may still be around for “event films.” Theater chains like Movie Tavern and others that provide unique experiences will be the only places that can thrive in this environment. So-called 4D theaters will grow as well. Consumers will only leave their homes for amazing experiences that can’t be replicated at home.
As a result, smaller production companies will begin to close down and get bought out. Companies like A24, Annapurna, and IFC will most likely be sold to Netflix or other streaming services that will allow their content to be seen. It may be sad, but there will be only a few, massive companies that can handle ever-rising distribution costs.
20 Years from Now
This is where the future of film gets interesting.
Some of our greater minds have already dabbled in VR technology, and that might become a reality by the year 2027. People like James Cameron are already working on crazy, new technology. At this point, VR wouldn’t be very far-fetched. The technology has already bled into other mediums like video games. It seems only fair that the same tech will be used in film.
50 Years from Now
During this timeframe, the future of film turns into complete speculation. I’m thinking augmented reality!
Some apps are already making this reality occur in the most rudimentary of ways. Pokemon Go and others like it accomplish augmented reality in the tiniest sense, even if there are some bugs that still have to be fixed.
Now, you’ll be able to see a scene from a film or an entire film take place right in front of your eyes. You’ll be a fly on the wall of real actions taking place. A flip of a switch will allow a Star Wars film to occur from your living room.
100 Years from Now
This timeframe infers that our alien overlords haven’t taken over yet. But, if we still have the ability to create rational thought, you can expect to enjoy Avengers 50 on the inside of your eyelids. Yay technology!
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