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THE MOVIES: An evolution in filmmaking – from box office to streaming, and how Hollywood is adapting to the changes

It’s all about the adaptation.

Lately, Hollywood and the film industry have been offering a number of plot twists while determining the new norm when it comes to transformations in distribution, profit, filmmaking and even the future of awards shows.

Indeed, how will the industry adapt to the global changes?

For years the film industry was all about the traditional theatrical release with well-defined profit models. As we see the distribution methods shift from the previous methods to where we are now, profits are being reimagined, and it is now up to the filmmaker and those associated with the industry to find new ways to create a what works both domestically and international from a different lens.

At one time the mystique of the silver screen was the only way to see a film.

It was through a major film release that assured box office earnings that gave the primary metric of how successful a film would be.

However, streaming services and everchanging distribution strategies have changed everything.

From domestic viewpoint, theaters are up against streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ to name a few.

Theatrical and digital releases are simultaneous these days, which means viewers do not have to go to the theater anymore.

From an international standpoint it is much easier these days to attract a global audience. Foreign films are more available, and that means growth in distribution on a global scale.

So how is success at the box office measured these days? 

Not just on ticket sales, but now on subscriber growth to steaming. Domestically that means indie filmmakers have new platforms and big-budget films must create exclusivity with their product. Internationally the playing field has also changed since foreign films now have a big piece of the playing field with more distribution deals available.

Awards shows have changed too, domestically adapting eligibility criteria to include streaming releases. This shift also acknowledges the significance of digital platforms in the modern film landscape both domestically and internationally.

Finally, the distribution of films will certainly benefit from the open borders in the world of filmmaking with co-productions on the rise bringing talent with a universal appeal together. As well, this lends to the ability to foster a unique global cinematic community.

Indeed, in an ever-changing landscape, cinema is still strong, but distribution is certainly key these days playing across cultures and telling stories that resonate across the globe.


Miljenko Matijevic, Entertainment Editor for The Insider Mag, is a special contributor to The Ellis County Press.

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