VOD Killed the Movie Star

CinDoc Cinematic Doctrine Christian Podcast talks VOD Video on Demand popularity

MMN: VOD, Masks in Theaters, Gone with the Wind

Multiple big-budget films have resorted to releasing directly to streaming or VOD. Notably, back in April, Trolls World Tour released to VOD and within 19 days earned an estimated 100 Million Dollars in rentals. This paved the way for multiple other films such as The High Note and Capone to go directly to VOD. Or in the case of Artemis Fowl, get dumped on Disney Plus.

Notably, family-oriented films seem to have found a place on video on demand. While live-action blockbusters are seemingly stuck in ever-expanding delays, movies like Scoob! which are aimed at a younger audience are doing quite well. Following in their footsteps, Sponge on the Run the third live-action SpongeBob movie is going directly to video on demand as well. This is particularly notable because this movie wasn’t even scheduled to be released till 2021, meaning this isn’t necessarily a “last resort” type decision, rather this may seem like the more financially smart decision regardless.

As the VOD market develops, the CinDoc crew’s biggest questions are:

  • Is this a good market shift, and will we see more films produced and distributed based upon these changes?
  • Will the theater experience shift toward a place for “adult” oriented films and blockbusters while kid’s films and cheap genre flicks go straight to streaming and VOD?
  • Is this all hype? Do the big sales numbers for a handful of films blind us to the truth that, once theaters open up, people will comfortably head back. Or, general audiences will wait for that next popular film to land on Netflix or Prime Video?
Christian Podcast Cinematic Doctrine talks Spongebob Squarepants release to Video on Demand with Keanu Reeves
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run / Paramount Pictures

“I’d say it’s a natural shift,” says Melvin, “I think it makes total and complete sense. Netflix is dropping movies like flies and people are watching them all the time. There is so much power in sending your content directly to the customer as opposed to using a third party service or putting a movie in a theater.”

At the very least, family-oriented films are making a killing on VOD services, but the two of us are also willing to bet that this current market shift may be biting off more than it can chew. These are unprecedented times after all.

To hear further thoughts on the power of VOD hosted above is our latest episode of Monthly Movie News! Listen to Melvin and me banter about the changing marketplace and several other newsworthy topics!


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Daniel Braindead is a Producer and Cohost of Cinematic Doctrine. Combining his BA of Biblical Studies, brief study in Journalism, and an overdose of film trivia and film history, Daniel brings clarity and comedy to Trailer Talk and Monthly Movie News. His prowess for cultural understanding and biblical application always brings something new to the table.

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