I was born in 1992, a wonderful year that saw the last episode of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, the election of President Bill Clinton, and the beginning of Cartoon Network. 1992 was also a time when the Internet didn't completely control our lives. Since then, we've seen some amazing things: the iPhone, the fall of the Blockbuster, and Lebron James to name a few. But today we're going to be focusing on something else that was birthed in the '90s: NETFLIX. I'm going to give you three quick reasons as to why Netflix could and may already be ending, or at least contributing to the end the era of the movie theater. And let me preface this by saying that I am an avid moviegoer and will continue to support theaters to the end (if there ever is one).
1. "Netflix and Chill?"
Yeah, laugh all you want, but this is really a thing now. You can thank the millennials for that. Think about it. Kids these days are not growing up in a world where things are cheap, but ironically they are still the most pampered generation ever with what is available at their fingertips. Going to the movies used to be a staple in terms of things to do for a date. But things have changed. Let's be real here, this is the laziest generation that has ever walked the Earth. And what better to contribute to that than an outlet that offers almost anything you could ask to watch or binge watch for $12 a month.
2. Cheaper than going to the Movies
Tickets are more expensive then they've ever been. Since 1995, the average price of a movie ticket has almost doubled. That doesn't even take into account that popcorn and a drink is almost another $10-$15, which makes a night at the movies close to $30 per person! Now take into account the gas that it takes to get to a movie theater. I'm on a tangent, but the point here is that it is not cheap anymore.
Now with the age of the smartphone upon us as well as tablets, laptops, most gaming consoles, and smart TV's, you can literally stream something anywhere now. With services like Netflix, you pay about $12 a month and have access to a ridiculously vast selection of movies and TV shows that change every month. Mind you it doesn't offer new releases of movies, but many studios have actually gone that route allowing their movies to be streamed on the day of its release. Especially with young people on a budget, the choice here is easy. Save money, watch some Netflix and then see the new movies when they're out on Redbox or even Netflix.
3. Netflix Originals
This right here is the real game-changer. Netflix has been putting out quality, TV-style series' for a while, but now they are getting serious about film. Look no further than 2015's Beasts of No Nation. This movie earned Idris Elba a Golden Globe nomination and I truly believe he was snubbed of an Oscar nomination. But that's a conversation for another day. Beasts of no Nation was one of the best films I saw during 2015, which is saying a lot because there were many great films last year. Netflix got Cary Fukunaga, of True Detective Season 1 fame, to direct this picture and boy did he not disappoint.
One of the standout scenes in Season 1 of True Detective was a one-shot, long take involving Matthew McConaughey's character sneaking through a neighborhood under heavy gunfire. Fukunaga created a similarly styled scene in Beasts of no Nation and it was done to perfection and is something to appreciate for anyone who loves film and appreciates good filmmaking. The fact that Netflix is able to make a serious an impact by releasing a film worthy of Oscar buzz creates anticipation for what they'll do next. They already have a multi-picture deal with Adam Sandler who is a proven box office draw (less now than he used to be though), and there are still a few films he has left to do with them.
If Netflix continues to push out films of high quality, more studios are going to make their way to the streaming landscape where they can deliver film quality series with a lower budget. Now I'm not saying that movie theaters will be gone in five years, but what I am saying is that we could be seeing firsthand a chain of events that could create a domino effect that could lead to the theater's demise, and if not that, the theater might just become the place to see the "event" movies like Batman v Superman, Star Wars, or the Avengers films. Time will tell.