Moviegoers, rejoice! Hollywood had its biggest night of the year with the 93rd Oscars. And the industry had its biggest box office weekend of the last year and then some. That amounted to $52.9 million, thanks to the 1-2 punch of "Mortal Kombat" and the surprise hit "Demon Slayer." So, indeed, it does look like "The Big Screen Is Back."
That was the message of the Oscar pre-show psa campaign produced by the National Association of Theater Owners, the Motion Picture Association of America, and a team of entertainment executives – all designed to let movie fans know that, yes, theaters (and countless theater employees) are ready to entertain once more.
Check out the video spot, hosted by Matthew McConaughey here.
As a Deadline Hollywood article notes, it is interesting that Disney-owned ABC promoted the clip given the studio has been experimenting with their release strategies. Some major releases, like the Oscar-winning "Soul," debuted exclusively on Disney+. Meanwhile, others premiered in theaters and on premium Disney+ ("Mulan" and "Raya and the Last Dragon") at the same time. Of course, this is all during COVID era.
It's a good sign that the Academy and the studios still know theatrical is the golden standard. Movie fans cooped up this past year want to get out and about with others, and their passion. There's no way a tv and sound system matches a massive movie screen and in-theater Dolby Digital for sheer spectacle. Plus, c'mon...we all know theater popcorn is way better than what's cooking on the stovetop.
What's also interesting is how theaters have found new wrinkles in the COVID era – like private screenings for friends/family/influencers/etc. Most major chains now allow $100 screenings for up to 20 people for movie classics, and slightly more for new releases.
Give it a try if you're a cinephile and looking for a fun night out with those you love. Throw in a park lunch before or an outdoor happy hour after, and voila – you've got a socially distanced event with two unbeatable things – big screen movies, and community.
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.