It almost seems conspiratorial. A judge negated all the anti-trust laws that had been in place since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, laws that kept the big studios from buying their own theaters, and it happened at exactly the time when movie theater chains are the most vulnerable due to the coronavirus shutdown. You’d almost be tempted to think Disney has been greasin’ some palms. (No, I’m not accusing them, or anybody, of doing it. I’m just saying the timing is sure fortuitous.) This is naturally a concern because, let’s say Disney bought out AMC, hypothetically. That would mean all the theaters in the country’s largest theater chain would now show *only* Disney movies. All other films would be shut out.
Is there any way of looking at this, though, that could be beneficial to us, the moviegoers of the world? Well, possibly. Let’s say Netflix bought up a chain of theaters. Those theaters would show exclusively Netflix movies. Suddenly all those spiffy movies that before could only be seen via livestreaming on Netflix—a thing some of us still are not able to do, due to where we live—will now get theatrical runs. I would love to go see THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME in the theater. I would have gone to see BIRD BOX. For that matter, they could release an entire season of STRANGER THINGS as three movie compilations, all viewable up on the big screen. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing.