If cinemas are forced to close, we will lose one of life’s greatest joys

Warner Brothers has announced that its entire roster for 2021 will be placed online but nothing can replicate the cinema experience, writes Janet Street-Porter

Friday 04 December 2020 18:47
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<p>Opening weekends used to be exciting events we made a date for – not any more</p>

Opening weekends used to be exciting events we made a date for – not any more

Is Covid killing one of life’s great pleasures – a night at the movies? Warner Brothers studios has just announced that its entire roster for 2021 will be placed online a day after theatrical release, effectively hastening the demise of movie-going.  

On 10 December, Disney is expected to follow suit, having already declared that three new releases – Cruella, Pinocchio and Peter Pan and Wendy – will be aired first on its streaming service, Disney+.

The world’s largest cinema chain, AMC, is outraged, but what can it do? Cinema already agreed that Wonder Woman 1984, could be released on Warners subscription service HBO Max – as a “one off” because of Covid, but that exception seems likely to be the pattern for the future. Warner blockbusters available for home viewing next year include Mortal Kombat, Godzilla v Kong, The Suicide Squad and The Matrix 4 –  none of which would have been top of my list.  

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