Disney Struck. Cinemas, Landlords Live Nightmare in Brick-and-Mortar-Meltdown Series as Movie Debuts Shift to Streaming, by Wolf Richter

Movie theaters may be a thing of the past. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

Efforts to redevelop dying Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco turn into mess. The beating of landlords will continue until mood improves.

It was another stab in the back of the already bleeding brick-and-mortar movie theater business and its landlords and their lenders. But for Disney, it was the next big step in selling direct to consumers, rather than through movie theaters, cutting out the middleman. Ecommerce is doing the same to brick-and-mortar retail. And the Pandemic has compressed what would have taken years into a few months.

Disney has a slew of problems on its hands. It had to close some of its theme parks. When it reopened parks, it was with diminished capacity. It announced last week that it would lay off 28,000 workers, as its Disneyland parks in California would not reopen soon. It had to suspend operations at its Disney Cruise Line. It halted some movie productions. For a while, it ran out of live sports events to stream. It halted and delayed distribution of movies to cinemas because cinemas were closed, and when they reopened, people didn’t come.

But Disney+, a subscription video on-demand streaming service launched in November 2019, is one of the stars of the Pandemic, like most everything related to doing or watching at home, as consumption has massively shifted in all kinds of ways, powered by spending more time at home, working at home, learning at home, riding bicycles at home, or even cutting hair at home. Oh, and buying entertainment at home.

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