Amid an unprecedented shutdown of movie theaters and entertainment production, major players are experimenting with new business models as digital platforms ascend and artists take up a DIY ethos: “You have to adapt.”
Huw Samuel had planned to take his girlfriend to see Universal’s The Invisible Man in a theater near his home south of London. Then the coronavirus crisis changed his plans, as it has for people around the globe in ways both dramatic and mundane.
Like those in America, U.K. cinema chains were forced to close in mid-March, so Samuel, 29, did the next best thing for a date night — he brewed a pot of tea, turned off the lights in his apartment and rented Invisible Man on Amazon Prime for £16, or about $18.
“I thought it was a pretty reasonable price — about what we would have paid for tickets,” says Samuel, an actor and director whose work on a commercial and a feature have been delayed by the pandemic. “It was only corona that put me off going to the cinema … but this has opened my eyes to more streaming possibilities.”