During his annual speech at CinemaCon, John Fithian celebrated a record, year in 2018, the importance of moviegoing, and directly addressed the dynamic between theatrical and streaming.
“We understand that some movies will continue to go straight to the home and skip theatrical. There is nothing revolutionary about that idea. All we ask is that powerful movies in all genres, made by content creators who want their work on the big screen, be given the time to reach their full potential in theaters before heading to the home. Theatrical exhibition is the keystone of this industry, and there is no replacement—both artistically and commercially—for the impact of a break-out hit.
Theatrical and streaming are two completely different experiences that have their time and place. A recent study by Barclays looked at the value of opening streaming titles theatrically before releasing them to the home, and plenty of other financial analysts and content creators stress that the two should exist peacefully.