Movies faced dramatic changes in the last 10 years, ranging from franchise domination to renewed conversations about diversity. However, no industry anxiety percolated more than questions about the future of the theatrical experience. While Disney mastered the blockbuster tentpole, and foreign-language breakout “Parasite
” proved that theatrical success can happen for a range of cinematic achievements, the first decade following the launch of the smartphone and global streaming services made it clear: The existential threat to theatrical is very real.
We begin 2020 knowing that theatrical is not a given when it comes to movies; it’s simply one platform that must compete with all the others. Maintaining its relevance requires conscious choice as well as hard evidence to support its ongoing appeal.
Praise for the theatrical experience tends to stem from nostalgic fixations, but it’s one borne out of real-world experience. In June, I watched Noah Baumbach
’s gripping and heartfelt divorce drama,