The Return of Cinema


It’s safe to say that during the COVID-19 pandemic, going to the movies was non-existent. What was a fun activity or popular date night quickly became something everyone missed while on lockdown. However, during this time streaming services such as HBO max, Disney +, or Peacock began to release new movies so people could still enjoy them without going to the theater. Movies began to be released this way, coming to streaming services the same day they would have been released in theaters. Once the lockdown was lifted, this trend never really went away, and it began to look as if going to the theater to see a movie would become obsolete. However, recently it seems as if the opposite is happening, and movies are beginning to release exclusively in theaters again. The main question is, what movies caused this to happen, and do they have any value outside of being in theaters?

Spider-Man No Way Home

It is impossible to talk about going to the movies again without mentioning probably the reason it’s all happening, Spider-Man No Way Home. When this was released, it basically took over the internet for a while. No matter what you wanted to see you were almost guaranteed to see ads or people talking about the movie, and quite honestly I’m thankful for it. Because of this film, it feels normal to go and see a movie with friends and family again. It also helps that the movie is pretty good, with fun action and lots of fan service for those who have enjoyed any of the other Spider-Man movies. While there are a ton of plot holes that become more apparent under the slightest bit of scrutiny, these problems don’t really matter in the grand scheme of what this film did for going back to the theater.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Because No Way Home was such a success, people started to see movies again in theaters. With how much fun seeing No Way Home is, especially in theaters, people realized that seeing movies was normal again and started to see films that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise. This can be seen with the American public going to see a Korean film in mass, something that had never really happened prior, comparing Parasite (2019) getting $53.4 million at the American box office and Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022) getting $68.9 million, and for a very good reason. While it is one of the weirdest movies someone could watch, Everything Everywhere All At Once is incredible, with amazing cinematography, fantastic action, and pacing, and an emotional core that not only carries the film but also becomes an incredibly deep, and for many people relatable, story about a mother and daughter relationship. It’s honestly amazing that this film was able to be successful, it deserves all the praise it gets. And because of the public being able to go and see films again, movies like this that would have never gotten this much attention are able to become incredibly popular.

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Ok, yes, this film is mainly seen as a joke. The movie itself, while not at all bad, is just a normal family movie that was made to appeal to the biggest possible audience. So, instead of talking about the film itself, instead, let’s focus on why the film became so popular; social media. When this film was released it became a huge trend across social media, mainly TikTok, to dress up in tuxedos and fancy dresses and go see this… cinematic experience. While it is mainly a joke, and lots of people saw this movie, well, “normally,” the fact that this trend was able to even happen shows how far we have come in terms of cinema being brought back. Something similar even happened with Morbius, however, this movie was just awful, so while people joked about seeing it and it making one “Morbillion” dollars, it failed pretty spectacularly. However, when this trend came back for Minions, the film didn’t fail at all, already making over $1 billion dollars.

I feel as if these 3 films show a decent range of how far cinema has come this past year. Sure, they all are action/adventure films, which does not exactly show the full range of films that have been released, but I see them as equally important films that have brought back films and the movie-watching experience for many people. There are countless other movies that have come out this year that also bring back that feeling of excitement over films, such as Dune bringing back an epic space adventure after the recent trilogy of Star Wars films ended. Jordan Peele’s Nope has also been a hit, bringing horror films back into the mainstream with an interesting, scary, and even somewhat epic feel to it. With how many amazing films have come out recently, and September 3rd being national cinema day with $3 movie tickets at theaters across the country, there has never been a better time to go out to the movies.