What Exactly is the Future of Film?

With the rise of streaming and other developments in recent years, the film industry has gotten even murkier.  Studios and other business entities are scrambling to stay ahead the curve, all the while new, botique studios are releasing wild films that don’t necessarily have a built-in audience.  But what exactly does the future of film have in store for us?  Beats me, but it’s still fun to speculate.

5 Years from Now

It’s clear that the future of film is switching towards streaming instead of the standard theatrical release.  However, we’ve become inundated with different services, making it confusing to figure out which services are are perfect for an individual’s content needs.  Soon, the consolidation of streaming services will occur, leaving only a few major services available.

Netflix looks primed to continue into the future.  With plans in place to produce 80 original films in 2018 alone, there will be plenty of content for consumers to enjoy.  Disney is launching their own streaming service in 2019 and, considering the massive library of films that the company owns, that service will do just fine as well.  With the absurd amount of resources available at Amazon, Prime and Amazon Studios should continue to thrive.

But what about the other services?  Options such as Hulu, YouTube, CBS All-Access, and many other tiny outlets will probably get purchased by the three titans mentioned above.  Disney might want to purchase most of these outlets in its attempt to bury Netflix.

From a studio standpoint, you might be able to see the next blockbuster from the comfort of your home.  Companies like Apple and Comcast have already discussed shortening the length of time that a movie is in theaters before releasing it On-Demand and VOD.  Under this scenario, movies would leave theaters after a few weeks and become available at home for a price of around $50.  In fact, these companies are looking towards making big films available at home right away.

Theaters will begin to shut down, starting with the Mom and Pop theaters that will be unable to thrive in the evolving market.

10 Years from Now

As streaming and at home entertainment becomes more streamlined, theaters will die out even further.  Theaters are already hurting for business presently, and the above conditions may hurt them for good.  At this point, a select few theaters may still be around for “event films.”  Theater chains like Movie Tavern and others that provide unique experiences will be the only places that can thrive in this environment.  So-called 4D theaters will grow as well.  Consumers will only leave their homes for amazing experiences that can’t be replicated at home.

As a result, smaller production companies will begin to close down and get bought out.  Companies like A24, Annapurna, and IFC will most likely be sold to Netflix or other streaming services that will allow their content to be seen.  It may be sad, but there will be only a few, massive companies that can handle ever-rising distribution costs.


20 Years from Now

This is where the future of film gets interesting.

Some of our greater minds have already dabbled in VR technology, and that might become a reality by the year 2027.  People like James Cameron are already working on crazy, new technology.  At this point, VR wouldn’t be very far-fetched.  The technology has already bled into other mediums like video games.  It seems only fair that the same tech will be used in film.

Naturally, this tech will have to be available both at home and in the few theaters that are left.  Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to act as Aquaman in the 7th Justice League film.

50 Years from Now

During this timeframe, the future of film turns into complete speculation.  I’m thinking augmented reality!

Some apps are already making this reality occur in the most rudimentary of ways.  Pokemon Go and others like it accomplish augmented reality in the tiniest sense, even if there are some bugs that still have to be fixed.

Now, you’ll be able to see a scene from a film or an entire film take place right in front of your eyes.  You’ll be a fly on the wall of real actions taking place.  A flip of a switch will allow a Star Wars film to occur from your living room.

100 Years from Now

This timeframe infers that our alien overlords haven’t taken over yet.  But, if we still have the ability to create rational thought, you can expect to enjoy Avengers 50 on the inside of your eyelids.  Yay technology!


Thanks for reading!  What are your thoughts on the future of film?  Comment down below!

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Nick Kush

A current young professional in the greater D.C. area, Nick founded MovieBabble in October of 2016 and hasn't look back since! Nick is also a member of the Internet Film Critics Society and the Washington DC Film Critics Association. You can follow Nick on Twitter @nkush42

30 Responses

  1. says:

    I think Holograms and even Drones will feature somewhere in the future of Film and perhaps the not so distant future of films. VR and AR as you mentioned have already made some minor impact in areas other than film but I agree with you that will it have more of an impact in the future. Just hope I am still around to realize it!

    • Nick Kush says:

      I hope I’m still around too!

      What did you mean about drones featuring into film? Films already utilize drones to capture different angles of the film, did you mean it in some other capacity like a first person view of the action?

      • says:

        I was thinking of drones capturing or utilizing different angles of film as you mentioned and that drones can be used to capture shots that are either too expensive or too dangerous for human camera operators. Also maybe even used to project films in open air. Thinking about the future just gives you free license in terms of imagination!

      • Nick Kush says:

        That would be super cool!

  2. henrywm says:

    I have not been to a theater for years. With current prices, a movie must be truly special for me to pay theater rates, and no movie has impressed me for several years. If I want to see something, I wait for it to be released on Netflix or Redbox. I remember when video stores were huge. I even remember when we could rent movies in either VHS or Beta. Mail order Netflix killed that industry. Now online streaming could kill theaters. This does raise one interesting point, however. In the past, if a movie went straight to video, bypassing the theaters, then one could assume it stunk. If your predictions are true, then the online equivalent of “straight to video” (streaming) could become the standard, even for good movies.

    • Nick Kush says:

      I️ don’t blame you! It’s expensive! I️ would say look into MoviePass, however. It’s $10 a month and you can see a movie a day!

  3. rakioddbooks says:

    Lol I would be too afraid to watch movies on VR. What if I miss something if while I’m looking at something else?
    I think another reason cinemas continue to lose popularity is that movies are too long. Going to the movies to watch a 2:50 long film requires planning, but we live in a world where we either hardly have time for anything or doing one thing at a time feels like a waste of time. Suddenly going to the movies gets put on the bottom of the list, then it gets spoiled almost immediately, and then we figure we might as well wait until it’s released on DVD or Netflix so we can watch it while we clean or eat dinner.

    • Nick Kush says:

      I certainly understand the sentiment there but I think that’s more of a personal preference thing! Some of the best movies ever are almost three hours long. If its a great story, people will see it. I think the problem is that there are movies are that long and have no business actually being that long.

  4. Great thought experiment! I would go to the movie theater all the time if it wasn’t so ridiculously expensive and if the movies were worth going to see. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought, wow, wish I hadn’t spent $10 on that. An you can buy a steak dinner for how much popcorn and soda costs. If they fixed those problems, I think future audiences would still flock to the theater.

    • Nick Kush says:

      Absolutely! Although I️ might have a solution for you: MoviePass! For $10 a month you can see a movie a day for zero cost. I️ use it to keep all my costs down for reviews and it’s pretty awesome

  5. ghostof82 says:

    The performance of 2049 at the box office is indicative of the future. As an art form, adult intelligent blockbusters are pretty much dead and buried, replaced by the Star Wars/Marvel etc juggernauts. Bubblegum is on the menu in future. They are fine for what they are I guess but mass audiences are just not prepared to be challenged or forced to work at entertainment. Or depressed. They want it big and loud and simple. And easily translated worldwide.

    The high price of cinema admission must surely be a factor too. Why charge the same ticket price for all films? Why not reduce the price to encourage people to try films they might otherwise ignore? Or reduce the price for films four weeks into release to try extend their time out there (or even bring forward VOD to when they are pulled from cinema distribution)?

    • Nick Kush says:

      Those are definitely some great ideas. I️ wonder how studios would handle that since they’d be effected most by the lowering of ticket prices. It would definitely help theaters tho considering they make most of their money on concessions

  6. I would like to think that the move from theaters to streaming services will lead to more character-driven films.

  7. Aimer Boyz says:

    You’re probably right about movie theatres disappearing, but I will be sad to see them go 🙁

  8. anne leueen says:

    I don’t need to go out too far into the future as I’m already 68. But for me watching a movie at home , no matter how big my home tv screen is, will not be the same as going out to the cinema and seeing it on the BIG screen. Some films would be ok but something like Blade Runner 2049 ? Well I’d need a pretty fantastic home theater to do a film like that justice. However it will be interesting to see how things progress! Interesting post. Thanks.

  9. This was very entertaining to read!
    I agree with your opinion that the future of movie watching will be in augmented reality. I can imagine movies where you only see the field of view of the main character (similiar to hardcore Henry but better… it’s the future), others where you are anyone (omnipresent) and crazy movies where you can be like a lamp in a room and we only hear who is close to it.

    It wii be awesome but I think 50 years is a stretch. I imagine it will happen sooner…

    • Nick Kush says:

      Maybe! But I️ think it’ll take a long time for it’s mainstream and accessible in a great, bug-free form. A lot of programming goes into this stuff!

    • Steve says:

      I hate first person videogame style film except as concept art. The idea of a lamp in a room sounds like a gimmick but I could see it making for an interesting whodunnit to have such a limited insight into the story.

  10. I wonder if we’ll stop having film like 100 years into the future?

    • Nick Kush says:

      That’s definitely a possibility. There might be some sort of entertainment that we can’t fathom in existence by then!

      • Steve says:

        Or if the communists succeed we could be too preoccupied trying to find food and shelter to be bothered with film. The future is always unpredictable. Let’s hope we still have film a hundred years from now!

      • Nick Kush says:


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