Movies Coming Soon, Most Anticipated This Winter and How Movie Theaters Are Recovering From the Pandemic

Movies Coming Soon, Most Anticipated This Winter and How Movie Theaters Are Recovering From the Pandemic

Andie Alford, Features Reporter

Movie Theaters Experience Covid-19

It’s a cool winter day on a weekend, post pandemic. The smell of heavily buttered popcorn and jalapeno nachos waft toward you. Excitement shivers through the crowd as you enter the theater, the movie is about to start. 

Recently, new movies have been released straight to streaming services. This is because moviegoers were inactive. In other words, most movie theaters were often empty. People had to stay home because of the worldwide pandemic which was spreading rapidly. 

Since movie theaters weren’t attracting as many people, movies would make more money if they were viewed from home. This is the reason as to why they released it to streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, and Amazon immediately. This can be perceived as good to those of us who like to stay at home, but think of how the theaters are doing. 

Many blockbusters got delayed again and again, and the movie business panicked. Almost a quarter of theaters in the U.S. closed down during the pandemic. Studios were reluctant to continue with big movie releases, so closing down was the best option. They also did this to make an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. 

When the theaters closed down it left many workers unemployed. Just like other businesses, there were so many job losses. Some theaters were able to get their hands on the Paycheck Protection Program, which helped some unemployed get by. This program allowed them to pay employees even when they shut down, it was later paid off by the government. At this point, theaters wondered if they could survive the coronavirus collapse in film-making and movie-going. 

The theaters started to reopen during March and April of 2021 after the pandemic. They lured us back into seeing movies at the theaters with really good movies. These were films that are irresistible to the starved audience. They have high expectations for the new movies they hear about. 

Some of the popular big releases according to Rotten Tomatoes are, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder. You can see that Marvel is really popular in the theaters. 

Movies also boosted theaters’ comeback during the summer with Minions: Rise of Gru, Top Gun: Maverick, and Jurassic World Dominion. Movie theaters got us redrawn to seeing their movies, by showing us more movies.

Farrah Ahmad, a senior at Vanden high school, works at a local movie theater. “It is very, very slow at work right now,” she said. Most of their customers are teens, and since school has started again, there isn’t as much clientele. The theaters are very busy during the summer. She is currently working on the weekends only instead of five days a week, “because during the week is very slow.” 

She agrees with me on action being a pretty popular genre. “Many people come to see horror and action over any other movie we are playing,” she said. And our local theaters have newer concessions available since covid. These include chocolate chip cookies, almond chocolate coffee cake, tacos, and pretzel knots.

Working at movie theaters is really fun. Farrah has made many friends around the same age, and even made some regulars. “It’s a very hands on job,” she thinks. As of right now, she makes the minimum wage of $15 an hour. It seems like a really good job for a teen! 

Movie theaters were able to bounce back after the pandemic, but they integrated with streaming platforms and it changed the industry. While it may not be the most ideal situation for theaters, it had to change the viewing window for movies. The viewing window is a section of time where the movie is only available in theaters. 

In the past, studios were required to keep their films on the big screen for at least 90 days before it was scattered on streaming services. The waiting window is now reduced to 45 days depending on the movie. This resulted in increased competition between the theaters and the streaming platforms for new releases.

New Releases This Winter

Speaking of new releases, there are some more coming… These are a few of the most anticipated releases coming out soon. Or, the movies people are most excited for. They have been discussed online and brought up in person many times recently.

Avatar: The Way of Water

Tells the story of the Sully family, the trouble trailing behind them, and how far they go to keep each other safe. Battles they fight to survive and tragedies endured. If you haven’t watched the past movies from these, it is recommended. Avatar will continue to have more movies added to the film series over the next decade or so.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Aquaman makes an uneasy alliance with an unlikely ally trying to save Atlantis and the whole world. This is a sequel to the first movie, Aquaman. Amber Heard was very close to being cut from acting in this movie. This decision was considered after the verdict from the trial last year.

The Little Mermaid

This is the live action version of the original movie. Most of us know that Ariel makes a deal with a witch, trying to dwell on the dry land. Her deal backfires when she fails to carry out her part of it. The actor starring as Ariel is African American. This aroused a lot of conflict, But many people, including me, think this is very cool.

Some recent releases worth seeing include, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Dune: Part Two. The first movies were really good, these ones are supposed to be the same. Theaters continue to keep us interested with more and more releases.