Whatever George Lucas and Steven Spielberg had said in 2013 turned out to be true.
The two veteran directors had discussed the future of the American film industry. They had predicted with a staggering accuracy that the fledgling OTT platform would take over the theater industry one day.
You must be familiar with the news that the upcoming DCEU film “Wonder Woman 1984” will be simultaneously released on HBO Max and in theaters.
You would be surprised to know that both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg had a “mark my word” moment in 2013 and had said that the major cinema players like Warner Bros. would one day have the theatrical releases of its films on streaming services.
Now, in December of 2020, they must have had an “I told you so” moment.
The director duo had participated as panel guests at the University of Southern California. They had alluded towards the new culture in the film and tv industry, which they had regarded as “unsustainable.” They had opinionated towards a scenario where the industry would need to evolve to survive. They had accurately predicted that the theater industry would struggle to survive if the streaming services like Netflix exploded into something big.
Netflix, which was coming out of its shell in 2013 (originally started in 2007), soon became one of the largest streaming services in the entire world, if not the largest streaming service in the entire world. Over the years, it has seen many of its competitors flutter their wings since the last decade. Today its biggest financial and creative competitors are HBO Max, Apple TV+, Hulu, Disney+, CBS All Access, Amazon Prime, and Peacock.
Nowadays, viewers are bombarded with so many movies and TV series that they find it difficult to manage their free time. With just one click, they can watch so much high-quality content that, at one point, they would be compelled to wonder if it is worth going to cinemas in today’s world?
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg had said way back in 2013 that the demand in the market would automatically induce supply. It would automatically lead to the inception of small scale studios and low budget (yet high quality) content.
Spielberg had expounded the idea by remarking that in the old days, people used to think that the higher the budget, the better will be the movie. However, as he accurately said, there would come a time when half a dozen of such movies each year would collapse at an alarming rate. Spielberg had noted that with the advent of OTT platforms, there would come a time when there would be a paradigm shift in the audience’s thinking.
George Lucas had explained this in simple terms. He had said in 2013 that in the coming years, people have to make a choice to watch the latest Iron Man film for $20 or watch a low budget high-quality film.
George Lucas had accurately predicted that going to cinemas would become sporadic and sort of a “luxury” activity.