Will this be the summer we see the Big Screen come back with a vengeance? If key figures in the movie industry have any say over it, it definitely will be. “The Big Screen is Back” is a major conference happening this Wednesday in Century City, hoping to coordinate the rallying around the exhibition industry into a force to be reckoned with. BLAKE & WANG P.A entertainment lawyer Los Angeles takes a closer look.

Widely supported movement underway

The reopening from the pandemic has certainly not been a smooth one, although overall stats suggest the general public is keen to get back into movie theaters. It’s heartening indeed to see industry giants like Paramount, Disney, Sony, Warner Bros, Universal, United Artists, NEON, Sony Pictures Classics, Focus, A24, IFC, and Lionsgate all come together to try and bolster the industry. This comes especially after fears from the end of last year that studios would send all works directly to premium stream-on-demand services and skip theatrical windows altogether as a new norm.

The conference is set to take part on Wednesday morning, bringing execs and studio heads together as well as displaying upcoming film clips from projects in the works. It’s a continuation of ‘The Big Screen is Back’ support initiative we saw drop an artful PSA into the April 25th telecast of the Oscars.

Building on momentum

It’s been a rough 18 months for the exhibition industry. On top of the theater closures early in the pandemic panic, we’ve seen a host of complicated restrictions, ever-changing goalposts, and general customer confusion hurt the industry further. All the same, theaters are greenlit to open throughout the U.S in one form or another, and it’s hopeful that as vaccination numbers continue to grow we’ll see the last of the social distancing restrictions fall away soon.

There’s possibly no better season for it than summer, when Americans are looking for easy entertainment options and ways to add to the summer ‘vibe’. With the right push behind it- and the conference has certainly assembled an impressive slate of contributors- an industry-wide recovery shouldn’t be too hard to manufacture.

It will rely heavily on consistent, appealing content, however, and that’s possibly the most important thing participating studios will bring to the table. While much of the self-curated presentations will be intended to offer an underlying message of support for the ‘Big Screen’ experience, and movie going as an entertainment in itself, it’s hopeful that there will also be some concrete confirmations of what releases theaters can expect to receive from studios, too. If we’re able to see some concrete recovery in blockbuster production, as well as a compelling slate of other releases, it will work wonders towards encouraging the American public back into cinema seats.

So far, things are looking up for the industry. It’s expected that 4,700 of the 5,880 cinemas in the U.S and Canada will be reopened by August. This will be a big move for Canada, especially, where key provinces like Manitoba and Ontario remain closed with little hope of a reopening before mid-June. As always, BLAKE & WANG P.A will strive to keep you updated on developments for the exhibition industry.

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