Streaming platforms, the saviours of movie studios

Artemis Fowl, directed by Kenneth Branagh, released on Disney+ on June 12. © Courtesy of Disney+

LOS ANGELES: How can a film have any success when movie theatres the world over have been closed for months due to the global pandemic?

The release of large production features like Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” and the follow-up to “Wonder Woman” may have been postponed, but others have found a place on online streaming platforms, which have become a real alternative after years of conflicts and competition between cinema professionals.

Lockdown measures and shelter-in-place directives have helped streaming platforms expand their viewer bases exponentially.

Without cinema and theatre, culturephiles have had to fall back upon their television and computer screens. In an already highly competitive sector (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple+), numerous new players have entered the fray.

Disney set out to conquer new countries such as France this April, while WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock have debuted in the US.

Artemis Fowl, The Lovebirds, Radioactive

Bringing films directly to subscription video on demand (SVOD) has long been viewed with derision by many in the film industry. But the Covid-19 crisis, ensuing cinema closures and postponed filming schedules have changed the game entirely.

The increased popularity of these streaming platforms has encouraged studios to premiere their movies on these streaming platforms in order to reduce losses.

Disney chose to release one of this year’s most hotly anticipated films, Kenneth Branagh’s Artemis Fowl, on its streaming platform on June 12.

As is often the case, Netflix was ahead of the crowd in adapting to the situation, having premiered Paramount’s “The Lovebirds” on May 22.

Thanks to the streaming networks, the American public, whose movie theatres are still closed due to the unrelenting coronavirus infections in the US, have been able to enjoy some new releases in spite of everything.

Subscribers to Amazon Prime Video have had access to Radioactive, the Marie Curie biopic directed by Marjane Satrapi, since July 24.

Not to be outdone, Hulu is offering Palm Springs, a romantic comedy starring Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti and JK Simmons, which it picked up at the Sundance Film Festival.