If you’ve caught the special teaser for Dunkirk at your local IMAX theater, you are aware the type of spectacle Christopher Nolan is looking to bring to theaters this summer. The director has long supported the use of film over digital and pushes the theatrical format over the new trends in mobile and home viewing. That battle continued during his appearance at CinemaCon where he showcased Dunkirk and explained why the film was a wholly theatrical experience according to Deadline:
“Most important to say here is this is a story that needs to carry you through the suspenseful situation and I make you feel like you are there, and the only way to do that is through theatrical distribution,”
The interesting part here is how it stands in stark contrast to Warner Bros. goals for VOD releases of their theatrical films, mentioned by distribution and marketing chief Sue Kroll earlier in the very same presentation:
“Consumer tastes are changing … They want more choices and want the option in engaging in the process in a different way,” Kroll told exhibitors…
“Wherever the demand is, someone else will step in and address the void,” warned Kroll. “We need to address the challenges of the marketplace.”
I think being able to watch a film on demand is a fine idea, but certain films still demand a theatrical presence and the audience that goes with it. There’s something about certain films in the theater that just doesn’t translate home. And even when they are fine at home, it’s still odd that people are watching movies on their phones.