Streaming services live large


Photo Courtesy: GeekMom

The world of movies was shaken up pretty badly due to COVID-19. Theaters shut down, ongoing productions were halted, and upcoming project ideas became just that, ideas. Unfortunately, thousands of creative jobs were lost along the way as well, and many thought it would be the end of the titanic motion picture entertainment industry. However, a silver lining has recently emerged that seems to have put that notion to rest.


Late last year in December, movie studio giants Warner Brothers announced that its entire 2021 line-up would be released on its HBO Max streaming service. This came as a major shock to Hollywood and the film world. It was the first instance where a film studio had utilized a streaming platform for its film slate.  Other streamers followed suit, making extravagant deals with filmmakers and production houses to release their films for larger audiences while still making a profit. Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, Apple TV +, CBS All Access, HBO Max, Peacock, Starz, SHOWTIME, and Epix Now lead the way in a massive influx in streaming services that has provided steady competition in the film world and, overall, proven be largely successful.

After the virtual Golden Globes were conducted on February 28, the month of March is looking ready for a gigantic movie extravaganza. Disney +’s Raya and the Last Dragon, released on March 5, has received exceptional reviews. Its portrayal of Southeast Asian culture, along with commendable voice acting from big-name stars like Awkwafina, Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh, Kelly Marie Tran, Gemma Chan, and Benedict Wong, is sure to revive the box office. New February releases like Tom and Jerry and Judas and the Black Messiah have brought HBO Max to the forefront with their versatile approach to distribution. Netflix’s I Care a Lot, Malcolm & Marie, and The Dig released with very large viewership numbers. Multiple Golden-Globe winning Nomadland has Hulu creeping up the top of the ranks.

In addition, there are many anticipatory releases that have stirred up a buzz as well.  For example, Zack Snyder’s Justice League often referred to as the “Snyder Cut”,  is slated for a major March 18th release on HBO Max. For DC lovers, the film picks up right where Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) kicked off. With new recruits to the Justice League coming in, the film is poised to gain millions of viewers. Warner Bros’ 36th installment in the Godzilla franchise, Godzilla vs. Kong, releases in theaters and HBO Max on March 31 hoping to revive a large population of moviegoers.  The highly anticipated Mortal Kombat film (based on the video game franchise) is set for an April 16th release. Many fans of the game will surely be tuning in. TV shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney + (an episode a week starting March 19) and Shadow and Bone on Netflix (premieres on April 23) have also excited Marvel and fantasy fans all over the world. Undoubtedly, streaming has revolutionized the film industry and its upcoming slates are no less compelling.

Many eyebrows were raised when the virus hit Hollywood. How are we going to make movies? How are we going to see movies? More importantly, how are we going to make money selling movies? These questions were left burning in the back of the anxious minds of studio heads as streaming services slyly entered into the fray. Further eyebrows were raised regarding how these big buck platforms could make a profit and accurately handle the film business.

Well, we can now safely say that streaming has emphatically reversed these expectations.  Netflix to the rescue.