Tom Hanks has discussed the affect the coronavirus pandemic has had on release models for blockbuster films.
In a new interview, Hanks says that “a sea change was due” regarding a shift from traditional cinema releases to some streaming-first options, which have become more prominent due to cinema closures across 2020.
Speaking to Collider, Hanks said that the change “was coming” regardless, though stated his belief that cinemas will “absolutely” survive beyond the pandemic.
“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,” he added, while promoting new film News Of The World.
“Big event motion pictures are going to rule the day at the cinemas. 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.”
Hanks added: “The sea change that has been brought by COVID-19 has been a slow train coming. I think there will be an awful lot of movies that will only be streamed, and I think it will be fine to see them that way because they will actually be built and made and constructed for somebody’s pretty good widescreen TV at their home.”
There has been significant tension between streaming services, production companies and theatres this year, brought on by the pandemic.
Wonder Woman 1984, one of the biggest films of the year, came to theatres and the HBO Max streaming service on the same day (December 25), while the producers of Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 remake of Dune have threatened legal action against Warner Bros if the film goes through with its plan to go straight to streaming.