As most theaters remain shuttered or severely hampered due to an ongoing global pandemic, most studios have shifted focus toward streaming video. With consumer confidence the lowest it's been since August, a wide reopening of theaters has yet to come across the horizon. Suffice to say, more filmmakers have opened up to the idea of producing content for streaming platforms — at least the ones hadn't already started skirting that way prior to the pandemic.
We recently had the chance to catch up with Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo, who says the world of streaming has plenty of benefits, even outside the ability to release and distribute content when theaters are unable to.
"I mean the world is disrupting and it's changing at lightning speed and the pandemic has certainly accelerated that change," Russo says. "And I think that there are certain stories that are better suited for digital distribution in the off of theatrical distribution and I think, you know it's becoming more evident what those stories are. I also think that there's a real specificity to, you know, reaching regions, international regions that digital has as an advantage. Also, there's a cost advantage. People can share accounts, you know, where they can get, you know, 10 movies in a month for the cost of one film. You know not everyone can afford the luxury of going to the theater."
The filmmaker points out the massive audience that comes with some of the most popular streaming platforms, like Netflix's record year with new subscribers.
"So there's just a wider audience that you can reach and there's no metrics of you know, opening weekend box office by which films get defined inappropriately because not every movie is designed to crush it at the box office opening weekend," adds Russo. "And if that's gonna hurt the story or the, you know, the way that the press or the public perceives a movie, then maybe that's not the best way to release that film."
He cites HBO Max's decision to release Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max at the same time as a limited theatrical release as a major shift in the game, one that can alter the future as movie-goers attempt to navigate a post-COVID world.
"I think that [Wonder Woman 1984] that's just a sampling of what the future will look like," the director concludes. "But I think they can supercharge each other and those that want the theatrical experience can get it and those that, you know for other reasons, economic or health or whatever those may be, have the opportunity to see it in their own home."
Avengers: Endgame is now streaming on Disney+. ComicBook.com spoke with the Russo Brothers in support of Mosul, due out Thursday on Netflix.
Cover photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images