During the pandemic, much has been made about the potential short and long-term issues facing the theatrical industry, making it a thorny issue that nobody can quite seem to agree on.
Looking at the cold hard facts, though, it’s clear that one method of filmmaking has thrived above all else, and we are of course talking about big budget franchise fare. It’s not a coincidence that the only box office hits to have arrived since the beginning of 2020 are either the latest chapters in an existing property, or the first attempt at launching a new one, something that Ben Affleck has certainly noticed.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the two-time Academy Award winner mused that franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be the only type of projects to score a wide big screen release as the film business continues the next step in its constant evolution.
“If I had to bet, a drama like Argo would not be made theatrically now. That wasn’t that long ago. It would be a limited series. I think movies in theaters are going to become more expensive, event-ized. They’re mostly going to be for younger people, and mostly about ‘Hey, I’m so into the Marvel Universe, I can’t wait to see what happens next.’ And there’ll be 40 movies a year theatrically, probably, all IP, sequel, animated.”
Affleck has made a personal vow to step away from IP-backed properties in favor of stretching himself as an actor, so he’s evidently resigned himself to the fact that fewer and fewer audiences will be seeing his work at their local multiplex. Cinema isn’t dead, not by a long shot, but there’s genuine concern about what comes next for titles that don’t cost upwards of $100 million.