I still try to keep up with what’s going on in the film industry. It’s a weird microcosm that took me several years to understand—I still have no idea what a “Best Boy” is—and so there are a few Hollywood writers and reporters who I keep up with.
Producer Richard Janes did an amazing deep dive on Medium about what Hollywood may look like after the Pandemic.
One of his predictions is that Amazon will buy up one of the movie theater chains. They would test market a movie on Prime and, based on data from viewers in your local area, they would then decide which of their theaters to show the film in.
As Janes points out, the logic behind the Paramount Decree no longer applies.
The 1948 Paramount Decree stopped the practice of Hollywood studios owning theaters and controlling which films were shown to audiences. It opened the doors to indie filmmakers and broadened the landscape of quality films.
So what does removing the decree have to do with eSports? I’m getting there momentarily.
With a multitude of streaming services to show films, the need to separate ownership of studios and theaters has become irrelevant. The Justice Department is currently asking for the Decree to be ended.
Getting audiences back in theaters is going to be a challenge even after a vaccine is discovered and herd immunity is created. Part fear and part inertia from changing stay-at-home habits, there will be a need for something new to draw people in.
Live events on a massive screen is one approach.
Esports has the advantage of protection on the player side, meaning no physical content with other players and therefore a quicker rollout of new seasons compared to traditional sports.
On the audience side, I suspect we will start to see the equivalent of weather maps as herd immunity is developed: if your small community is in the green zone for infections, you’ll be more willing to “attend” a live event in your local theater than to drive to the city’s arena to attend with 5,000 other fans who came from a 100 mile radius of varying shades of greens, yellows and reds of infection.