In a November 2022 interview with The New York Times, Steven Spielberg discussed the making and release of “The Fabelmans,” and how it fits into the streaming and theaters debate. Spielberg, for his part, made it clear that he is pro-theater.
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.” (via The Hollywood Reporter).
“The Fabelmans” director went on to say that some demographic groups, such as older moviegoers, may like the idea of staying home to watch a new release — but that they’d likely be grateful for the experience of seeing it in a packed theater once they were there. And as for the filmmaking side of things, he can understand how a first-time filmmaker will want to take any opportunity given, even if it’s a streaming service. However, he pointed out that the streaming service will be calling the shots — and the film may not go to theaters at all. Spielberg continued, “But I don’t know anybody that wouldn’t like their movies to be shown on a big screen.”