Bob Iger does not believe that after the pandemic, the audience will return to the cinema in the same number

Will audiences return to movie theaters in the same numbers that they did pre-Covid-

No one can say for sure, but if you ask the Walt Disney Company's recently-retired executive chairman Bob Iger, the future for theaters is bleak.

Iger isn't a bad choice to hear on this matter considering that he was the CEO of Disney prior to Covid, and throughout the 2010s, nearly 75% of the top 20 highest-grossing movies at the U.S. box office were made under his leadership of the Walt Disney Company.

In his first interview since stepping down as executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company, Iger offered a somber view about the future of theaters. He doesn't blame the pandemic entirely for the decline of the cinematic experience, but believes that Covid “accelerated a change in consumer behavior” that was already happening due to the growth of streaming services.

Speaking with the New York Times, Iger said:

Despite the bleak prognosis, he doesn't believe audiences will entirely abandon theaters either. “I don't think it's the death,” he told the NYT. “I think it's a severe injury that maybe doesn't heal.”

He added that studios will become pickier about what they release theatrically: “I think what you're going to see is far fewer films released for the big screen.” Similarly, he feels that moviegoers will become more particular about what they're willing to watch on the bigscreen:

While Iger no longer runs Disney, it's clear that others within the company feel the same way about the future of film viewing, as evidenced by the company's recent decision to send yet another Pixar feature straight to streaming. It certainly won't be the last Disney-produced animated film to debut on streaming.