It has been a good year for films. Not a good year for the cinema theaters, although.
In 2019, the last year that box office returns were unaffected by the pandemic, U.S. theaters collected $ 11.4 billion in ticket sales. Last year that hefty amount fell to $ 2.2 billion (for context, Avengers: Endgame alone, made over $ 850 million domestically in 2018). While things look a lot better in 2021—Ticket revenue expected to approach $ 4.7 billion– it is obviously still not Great for people-based businesses shell out $ 10 every weekend to grab a new version (and hopefully buy some overpriced popcorn while they’re at it).
There is a lot to unbox here: what would that mean if a big chain like AMC goes bankrupt? How are independent cinemas impacted? With even “event” films and comic book sequels sometimes unable to motivate people take the risk of sitting in a dark room with strangers for a few hours, will the little stories just fall by the wayside? And what will that mean for you, the movie buff?
Well, at least for now, that means the movies are streaming much faster, and if you don’t mind sacrificing the theatrical experience, it could be a good thing. No need to wait six (or even three) months to see the latest blockbuster; you no longer have to live near a big city to see the film festival sensation all the critics are buzzing about. These days pretty much everything is available in the home even before most people have had a. luck to check their local listings.
Consider the following 30 films, all critically acclaimed and (mostly) loved by audiences, and all available to watch at home now, whether on streaming service or via digital rental. No, not all of the potential winners are out yet – some still stick exclusively to theaters (sorry, Wes Anderson fans and Lady Gaga stans); others (like that of Amazon Studios Being the Ricardos and that of Steven Spielberg West Side Story remake) just haven’t debuted yet. But there’s plenty to keep you busy until those, too, are just a few clicks away.