2020 was a whirlwind for film and cinema. Lockdown allowed us to catch up on many amazing films, and just like everyone, binge watch our favourite shows and film franchises over and over again. However, looking to the other side of the industry, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that countless films postponed release on more than one occasion. Cinemas slowly began to close, many lost their jobs and we have all been left wondering about the future of the industry.

Cinema gives us topics of discussion, immersive experiences and transports us to other worlds, so what lies ahead for the future of this much loved and missed experience?

Box Office Statistics

The UK Box office fell 76% compared with 2019, an expected loss due to the pandemic, but one that greatly affected cinema chains and independents across the UK.

“The irony is that the early weeks and months of the year [2020] saw the sector outperform both 2018 and 2019, which were themselves the two most successful years for UK cinema-going since 1970. And when cinemas were able to open over the late Summer months and into the Autumn, the feedback from returning audiences both on the safety but also the enjoyment of the experience was hugely positive.”

UK Cinema Association Chief Executive Phil Clapp

While cinemas know it is not currently safe to embark on reopening their venues, there is great hope that 2021 will be a positively booming success as the months unfold and we see a return to normality.

Streaming is on the Up

Streaming services have been a vital resource for many of us this past year, providing audiences with a sometimes-necessary escape like never before. In August 2020, OfCom reported the average British adult spent around 40% of their day in front of a screen during the height of lockdown. These figures reflect the first half of 2020 which contributing to increased interest in streaming services and its content.

In a time where technology has afforded us the lower cost luxury of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video, the need for new content increases and the desire to return to our beloved screening rooms continues. We saw several anticipated blockbusters head straight for the streaming giants such as The Witches which premiered on HBO Max and Sky Cinema. But while home television technology is improving year on year, nothing compares to the full cinematic experience.

The Cinematic Experience

You can’t deny the many benefits of visiting the cinema to experience a new release. The smell of popcorn, choosing the best seat, the excitement of the trailers, combined with low lighting, surround sound and silent in a room full of strangers – it all adds up to the excitement of every cinema visit. There is nothing better than sitting in the centre of a packed theatre feeling every jump, scream, laugh or cry in unison, creating an immersive experience like no other.

While cinemas have faced a huge financial crisis this past year, one comfort remains – audiences will always want to get lost in another world, seek entertainment in film and become fully immersed in new feature films. We have had first-hand experience of seeing films continue to be produced around the world in recent months, and soon we expect the luxury of cinema-going to return.

Coming soon

With several big feature films expecting to boost cinema revenue dramatically in the coming months, the noticeable severity of the pandemic means those features have been put on hold for now. Mad Dog 2020 Casting recently provided Supporting Artists for Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming Death on the Nile reboot, now set to be released almost a year after its original slated date. With fanbases eagerly awaiting the premiere of other big features such as No Time to Die and A Quiet Place Part 2, the necessary rescheduling of these blockbusters has audiences waiting patiently. We’ll be ready to support our local cinemas when the time comes and enjoy the full experience safely, the way these films were made to be enjoyed, in the cinema. 

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