From my days of watching the Avatar 2 box office sales and meeting people who shared the same feelings about the movie with me, it's clear that the way we do cinemas has to change.
Before streaming, cinemas were the way to see any movie that we were excited to see during its new release. With streaming, people questioned the need to go to a theater because they got the same experience either way. Also, streaming made seeing your favorite movies convenient and less costly.
James Cameron has shown us with his Avatar franchise that the cinematic experience needs to be emphasized when making a film for the box office. You want viewers to feel like they're in a new world. You want the experience to be so unique that it would be impossible to replicate it on streaming. With the creation of new experiences, theater tech companies like IMAX and Dolby Laboratories will see a higher share of box office sales as they're the main providers of the technology needed to host a fantastic cinematic experience.
Movie theaters won't go away. I think we can all agree to it, especially as the Avatar 2 IMAX 3D experience was arguably the best cinematic experience that anyone has ever had. Those that didn't see it in IMAX 3D and who only saw it in standard, standard 3D, or even Dolby 3D, weren't able to get the full experience that IMAX provided. The higher-than-usual foot traffic that theaters have been experiencing weekly since the release of Avatar 2 is giving cinemas and movie producers a big message that for theatrical releases, there needs to be a massive emphasis on the cinematic experience.
Fantastic storylines help entertain people, but it doesn't give people a reason to see a movie with a fantastic storyline in theaters when they can wait for streaming and have the same experience. You never see Hallmark movies and you rarely see a Netflix movie at the box office because those companies know that there's no point in having those movies in theaters when their consumers will get the same experience watching that same movie from anywhere.
With the removal of the Paramount Decree from 2019, I can see cinemas starting to invest in movies that are geared toward providing great cinematic experiences as a way to get a higher portion of the profits that theatrical releases make. The strong lasting power of the Avatar movies at the box office has made James Cameron and his team richer while causing cinemas to lose out on those additional profits, one of the big reasons I see why theaters might consider investing in various film projects.
This is what I expect the future of movie experiences to be, and for good reason. I do like this trend too.