According to reports, Spielberg while speaking to a media outlet stated that moving theatrical releases to streamers during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 might have brought an irreversible change in the film industry.
Spielberg said, "The pandemic created an opportunity for streaming platforms to raise their subscriptions to record-breaking levels and also throw some of my best filmmaker friends under the bus as their movies were unceremoniously not given theatrical releases."
"They were paid off and the films were suddenly relegated to, in this case, HBO Max. The case I'm talking about. And then everything started to change," he continued. The filmmaker lamented the loss of a special experience if theatres are permanently shuttered.
"I think older audiences were relieved that they didn't have to step on sticky popcorn. But I really believe those same older audiences, once they got into the theatre, the magic of being in a social situation with a bunch of strangers is a tonic...it's up to the movies to be good enough to get all the audiences to say that to each other when the lights come back up," said Spielberg.