By, Orlane Dubreus
If you’ve been paying attention to the cinema world, you have heard “‘Shang-Chi’ saved the movies!”quite a few times. If you haven’t, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, or what “Shang-Chi '' even is. But if you’re like me, and you’ve seen the movie three times already...humor me. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is the highly anticipated and newest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The excitement comes mostly from Marvel fanatics excited to see the direction Phase Four of the MCU was going to take, due to the lead hero being Asian. But, excitement also comes from those itching to see what the future of movies will look like in the midst of a new wave of COVID cases––especially with the Delta variant––and with it a new era of streaming. With theaters just reopening, critics weren’t confident in the film doing well at the box office. So, moviegoers everywhere rejoiced when the film smashed Labor Day box office records opening weekend.
There are a number of streaming platforms available now so, what's the big deal if movies aren’t in theaters for a while? You may be asking, “Why do movie theatres still matter?”
For me and many others, movie theaters have always been a place of comfort. You may be in a room full of strangers with no idea what they look like or who they are during the other 364 days of the year. But when you take your seats and the lights go down––just for those two hours––you have one thing in common. You experience a film together and, regardless of what happens once you leave that theater, you will always have that in common. That small dark room is filled with laughs, cries, gasps of horror, shocked noises, and chatter afterwards that buzzes with energy. I have had post-movie conversations in the bathroom that I could never have with people in my life.
Those shared looks, inside jokes, the understanding––it’s a unique experience you can’t find anywhere else.