The 93rd Academy Awards are taking place on Saturday night, and they're expected to bring a powerful and significant celebration of the world of film. Given the circumstances of the past year — as the COVID-19 pandemic has done away with much of the traditional movie theater experience — this has been expected to be an Oscar event unlike any other. An element of that has been to encourage moviegoers to go back to theaters, as vaccination efforts continue and major blockbusters roll back into theaters. As part of the Oscars' pre-show, the ceremony unveiled a brief promo video celebrating the idea of returning back to movies. The video included an introduction from actor Matthew McConaughey, as well as clips from blockbusters like Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Black Widow, DC's The Suicide Squad and The Batman, and other blockbusters like F9: The Fast Saga and Jungle Cruise.
The topic of the theatrical movie experience has permeated much of the industry this past year, with studios deciding to delay massive blockbusters for when theaters are able to reopen safely. Along the way, there have been some unconventional avenues of distribution, whether through releasing major titles entirely on streaming, or doing a hybrid release both on streaming and in theaters.
"We believe in the theatrical experience, particularly to launch big blockbuster franchise films," Disney CEO Bob Chapek said on CNBC's Squawk Alley last year. "It fuels the entire Disney company, from consumer products to theme parks all the way to Disney+. And so we really think that's the smart way to launch our big, tentpole films."
"With the luxury of having Disney+ and the humongous success that it has had with 54 and a half million households across the world, we believe that that's also for certain films a very viable and important way to premiere films as well," Chapek said. "And it will be on a very deliberate basis — a film by film by film basis — that we make that decision. There's not going to be any hard and fast rules. I think what the situation with COVID has taught us is that you need to remain flexible, you need to remain nimble, and we will remain nimble. But we do believe in that theatrical window."
What do you think of this promo video proclaiming that "the big screen is back"? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!