Streaming Services Projected To Top Box Office In U.K. By 2020

Stranger Things

The future looks bright for online streaming services according to Oscar-gaffe culprits PricewaterhouseCoopers. The continued rise of services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime has been nothing short of startling and after first offering fans the chance to re-watch beloved movies and TV shows from the past, companies are now rapidly producing their own series to huge critical and commercial success. Netflix, for example, has a lucrative movie deal with critics' favorite Adam Sandler and created a television phenomenon with Stranger Things. Amazon Prime, meanwhile, have The Man In The High Castle and tempted the much-loved Top Gear trio over to make The Grand Tour.

While streaming has seen an extraordinary rise, cinema box office hasn't exactly been struggling either and new movie releases continue to generate considerable revenue, with franchises such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars continuing to break records and flourish on the big screen.

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers (via The Guardian) however, online streaming services are projected to overtake cinematic box office in the United Kingdom for the first time by the year 2020. The report claims that in three years, streaming revenue will rise to $1.81 billion dollars and while box office income is also predicted to rise, PwC estimate it will only reach $1.80 billion.

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in The Grand Tour Amazon Prime

Although the news may, on the face of things, sounds ominous for the world of cinema, PwC's U.K. head of entertainment and media, Phil Stokes, claims:

“The figures do not signal the death of film. Look at the box office performance of films such as Star Wars: Rogue One or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to see the significant amount of enthusiasm for blockbuster movies out there.”

Things do, however, look somewhat grimmer for physical home entertainment releases such as DVD and Blu-ray. The consultancy firm predict that by 2021, revenue from that source will fall from $1.55 billion to $679 million.

In many ways, these forecasts can certainly be considered encouraging. Streaming services currently offer a variety of excellent original content and increased revenue will only mean more of this will be hitting customers' devices over the next few years. Furthermore, in an industry currently suffering greatly from internet piracy, streaming services are offering to not only make up for some of the financial losses, but also give movie fans a legitimate and affordable alternative.

With that said, it is somewhat sad to see the decline of physical home entertainment. While the ease of purchasing and storing digital media cannot be denied, there's something to be said for owning a physical copy of a much loved movie, along with all the extras that come with such releases. If PwC are right (and La La Land will be keen to point out this isn't always the case) then DVD may be heading the way of VHS very soon.

Source: The Guardian

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