Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic essentially confined millions of people around the world to their homes and had a seismic effect on everyday life, the movie industry has had to get more creative than usual when it comes to keeping fans entertained.
It started with recent big screen releases like Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot and Pixar’s Onward becoming available for digital downloads just weeks after they’d made their theatrical debuts, before eventually the entire business model shifted as more and more titles were pulled from the schedule entirely and sent straight to home video as businesses remained closed.
One of the most popular recent trends, along with the idea of staging virtual reunions for as many movies and TV shows as possible that retained any sort of cultural cache, has been the watch party. The idea is brilliant in its simplicity, and is basically an extension of watching a movie with the commentary track running in the background, except this time the experience is shared with countless others and the writers, directors and actors involved directly field questions from the audience as things unfold on the screen.
After two and a half years of speculation about whether or not the Snyder Cut of Justice League would ever become a reality, the mythical project was confirmed by Zack Snyder at the end of a Man of Steel watch party, and while it would be foolish to expect those kinds of internet-breaking announcements on a regular basis, Amazon Prime have now launched their own Watch Party feature in the United States that will allow up to 100 people to participate at any one time.
The playback is controlled and synchronized by the host, with a chat sidebar available to talk about what’s happening. While it could be argued that the feature is arriving a little too late given that restrictions are slowly but surely being eased around the world, Amazon‘s Watch Party is still a great idea for those that want to connect over a distance with friends, family or even strangers over a movie or TV show that they hold dear.