The State of Hollywood in 2021

Arya Bhattacharjee, Staff Writer

2020 was considered to be one of the worst years for the film industry, as the pandemic led to the shutdown of theaters around the world and the suspension of many ongoing film shootings. While 2021 is expected to hold a redemption arc for Hollywood, with many blockbuster films  releasing soon, the pandemic may not be over fast enough for this to come to fruition. 

In an effort to roar back from the 2020 slump, studios are releasing what they expect

to be hits at the box office: Warner Animation Group’s “Tom and Jerry,” as well as Nickelodeon’s “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run” set the stage for classic nostalgic remakes, while highly anticipated films  such as Marvel’s “Black Widow” and Universal’s “Fast and Furious 9” are also expected to draw large crowds. . Some highly anticipated movies that were delayed in 2020 are set to be released this year as well, such as 20th Century Fox’s “Free Guy.”

With movie theatres having been closed for the better part of a year, these movies each bring high expectations from audiences. The delays brought about by the pandemic have turned 

shooting films into an even more expensive and time-consuming process. And while we seem to be finally coming out of this yearlong fever-dream, vaccinations for actors and crew required to bring moviemaking back to its pre-pandemic levels will make an impact in upcoming years’ distributions, not this year. The average film to premiere timeline is just over 871 days, or roughly two years.   

The pandemic has also changed how we watch movies. The old school idea of a multiplex with big screens and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound seem an idea as quaint as the first talkies. Why shell out that money and time when you can watch from the comfort of your own home? Films this year including “Mulan”, “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” were offered to streaming subscribers on Disney+ and HBO Max for either the price of subscription or for a nominal extra fee, spelling a possible end to movie going as we know it. 

What the new cinema business model will look like in post-pandemic days remains to be seen, and it’s unclear if we will ever return to the cinema as we knew it before COVID-19. Unless things improve tout de suite, the state of Hollywood in 2021 is shaping up to be more of the same as 2020, with highly anticipated films being pushed back further.