Ben Affleck predicts the future of cinemas: “40 movies a year, all sequels and franchises”

The actor-director believes that big-screen releases will be relegated to big-budget films and will be almost like special events.

“40 movies a year in theaters, probably all sequels, animated and franchises”. This is how Ben Affleck sees the future of exhibitors, as he commented in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. The actor just released The Tender Bar -in Spain, The bar of high hopes– through Amazon Prime Video, after his previous movie, the last duel, turned out to be a hit at the box office that has found its place in the world of streaming.

He knows that there is an audience for every movie that is made and that it is not always in a movie theater. Affleck reflects on it without resentment or regret, but in a practical way.

If I had to bet, I’d say a drama like ‘Argo’ [del que es director] would not be released in theaters now. And it wasn’t that long ago. It would be a miniseries. I think movies in theaters will be more expensive, like events. Aimed at young people and especially in the style: ‘Hey, I love the Marvel universe. I can’t wait to see what happens next’

The actor’s career has not always been a succession of critical successes. He knows that he has made films that are not good and, while he does not blame people for not having seen them in theaters, he declares himself surprised that his recent film with Ridley Scott, the last duel, was not well received in theaters. “I’ve had bad movies that didn’t work and I didn’t blink an eye. I know why people didn’t go, because they weren’t good. But [en esta] I liked what we did. I’m very proud, so I was really confused. Seeing how well it did on streaming, I thought, ‘Well, there you have it. That’s where the audience is“.

Affleck does not solely blame the pandemic for this situation. It is something that comes from behind. Premiere The Way Back a week before everything closed due to the health situation and even then I knew that this film was not going to move people to theaters, especially if they have such brilliant products at home as Roma, Mare of Easttown The Succession -examples that he himself gives-. “Wonderful things are being done in streaming. It’s not a TV procedural that follows the formula, like when we were kids,” he says.

The current situation of the industry provokes a necessary debate and, sometimes, the taking of drastic decisions. Christopher Nolan, for example, broke off his relationship with Warner Bros., the studio with which he had developed his latest films, after the latter opted for a simultaneous release in theaters and HBO Max, thus detracting from the work of exhibitors.

If we analyze the list of highest grossing movies of 2021 we find that Affleck’s prediction is already being fulfilled. If we eliminate the big blockbusters in China -which only with the data from their country of origin reach 800 and 900 million dollars in revenue-, we find that the three most watched films are Spider-Man: No Way Home, no time to die Y Fast and Furious 9. All of them deliveries of infinite sagas.

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