Sydney Opera House at sunset. Photo by Liam Pozz on Unsplash

Coronavirus Australia: operators lobby for government support, warning ‘there will be no more cinemas’

When movie studio Warner Bros last month announced it would be releasing all of its major 2021 movies in the US direct to its streaming service HBO Max on the same day as in theatres, cinema operators around the world shuddered. For an industry already ravaged by the theatre closures and social distancing necessitated by the ongoing pandemic, as well as limited content due to Hollywood’s COVID-delayed release slate, the studio’s spurning of the industry’s traditional theatrical release window was another alarming development. Roy Mustaca, owner of independent cinema chain…

Read More
empty cinema photo by Felix Mooneeram on Unsplash

Mulan release on Disney+ marks the end of business as usual for movies

It used to be the kiss of death for any movie – the dreaded “straight to video” (and, later, DVD or digital) tag. But the release on Friday of Mulan on Disney+ may mark the moment the straight-to-digital strategy went from $2 shop to upmarket boutique, and not just because it will cost you $34.99 (on top of your $8.99 monthly subscription) to watch at home. The straight-to release has had a reputational makeover in the past few years, thanks to big-name directors making movies for Netflix et al. But what began…

Read More
Dead-End Drive-in: a 1986 Australian film directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith and starring Ned Manning and Natalie McCurry. CREDIT:GREATER UNION

Are Australian drive-ins making a comeback?

Drive-ins are getting a lot of attention. Yep, with cinemas closed since March because of the pandemic, drive-ins that stayed open around the world have done well. And it makes sense: you’re out watching a movie but you’re also social distancing in your car. And here? The Yatala Drive-In in south-east Queensland was the first cinema to re-open in Australia and was an immediate success. Then, as restrictions began easing, the Skyline Drive-in at Blacktown surprisingly opened for restricted numbers with social distancing measures last month. So they’ve led the way for…

Read More