Tom Hanks Believes Franchises Will Save Movie Theaters

Tom Hanks in News of the World.
Tom Hanks in News of the World.
Photo: Universal

Tom Hanks has been one of the biggest movie stars on the planet for as long as most of us have been alive. He’s won Oscars, grossed billions at the box office, and worked with all the best directors (he’s even directed himself). Basically, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to movies, and in a new interview, Hanks said he believes movie theaters will survive after covid-19, and it’ll be Marvel that saves them. Marvel and other big tentpole franchises, to be exact.

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Big event motion pictures are going to rule the day at the cinemas,” Hanks said speaking to Collider about his latest film. “News of the World [Hanks’ new movie] might be the last adult movie about people saying interesting things that’s going to play on a big screen somewhere because after this, in order to guarantee that people show up again, we’re going to have the Marvel Universe and all sorts of franchises. Some of those movies are great and you want to see them writ large because watching it at home on your couch might diminish them somewhere, somehow, in their visual punch. But the sea change that was rought by Covid-19 has been a slow train coming.”

Hanks believes movie theaters basically began to inch toward seismic change as far back as the popularity of VHS. PVOD was another step and now he thinks theaters being closed most of the year for a pandemic is just the latest step in a change that’s been inevitable.

“[After Covid-19] I think there will be an awful lot of movies that will only be streamed and it will be fine to see them that way because they’ll be built and made and constructed for someones’ pretty good widescreen tv at home,” Hanks added. “And there will be other movies that are going to be playing in that window and people will, in fact, flock to them in order to see them on the big screen while they have the chance. But without a doubt we are into the big curve of change.”

Unfortunately, the question if Hanks would appear in one of those movies he thinks will save theaters didn’t come up. But I, for one, would love to see him as the big bad guy in a Marvel comic book movie. Not just Geppetto for Disney+.

Hanks’ News of the World, a Western drama, is in select theaters now and on-demand next month.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

DISCUSSION

I’d love it if studios and theater owners realized that they could get people back into movie theaters (when it’s safe to do so) with far less financial risk by re-releasing films from their catalogs that really do deserve to be seen on the big screen.
There are countless films released every year that play just as well at home as they do in a theater, and would gain a larger audience if they were more easily available, while other films do benefit from the big screen and can justify the effort/expense of going to a theater.
Imagine if your local theater was offering (just based on films from 2020) throughout the year:
Bad Boys for Life
Birds of Prey
Bloodshot
Wonder Woman 1984
Mulan
Tenet
Monster Hunter
but was also offering:
Lady and the Tramp
2001
The Bridge on the Rive Kwai
Die Hard (at Christmas)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Vertigo
Life of Brian
etc...

digital distribution/projection makes re-releasing films almost free compared to film, and it’s almost a certainty that many if not all of these kinds of classic/favorite films would attract a large enough audience to justify booking them for a week or two.

Half and Half should be the way to go in the future for theaters - new releases and classics that really take advantage of the screen and sound only found in a theater, everything else on demand/streaming.