Joe Russo Predicts The Future Of The Movie Theater Industry

If you had to single out one thing that Joe Russo believes will happen to the movie industry, it would be a total transfer of indie content from theaters to the digital space. “I don’t see a resurgence of independent movies at theaters, I just don’t,” Russo told Skybound Entertainment’s Sean Mackiewicz during the Rome Film Festival MIA Market. “You get more money to make them digitally,” he added. “It’s the easiest thing for Netflix to greenlight and nobody really bothers you [creatively].” 

In Russo’s eyes, the theater scene will be completely different in the coming decades. No longer will there be indie flicks like “Blair Witch Project” or “Slumdog Millionaire” to take over box offices. Instead, that content will be primarily accessed on streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon and Apple TV+. “Movies are going to evolve,” Russo said. “I’m not sure what theaters will look like but I know it’s going to be more premium.”

According to Russo, the exclusivity of being in a deal with a major studio is “inefficient” and out of date. “It damages your leverage,” he explained. “Forces you to make choices you don’t want to make.” Russo predicted a future with artists “coming at it from a perspective that isn’t impacted by the machine.” This includes content from international markets. “What’s compelling to me is that we start hearing from different voices other than Hollywood,” Russo said. “On a personal level I’m more interested in diversity of storytelling — the world is a better place when more diverse voices are heard.”

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