02C56: Domestic Movie Habits

Thursday Dinner

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 1090

I remember missing the magic of the movie theater throughout the lockdowns. When cinemas started to re-open, Tobie and I were cautiously excited to go back, but of course, were still worried about the safety of the experience. Since then, I think I've watched more movies in Singapore than here in Manila for one reason or another. And it's not quite some big judgment about the differences between the countries. I guess it's more a matter of circumstance or something.

We used to mainly watch movies at SM Aura, but for some reason, it only opened up more recently versus the others. The High Street cinemas have been running and we have watched a few movies there, but it's not quite an automatic decision.

Before we'd make snap decisions to watch a premiere after work and we'd walk or drive over to whichever theater had the more favorable showtime - especially for big premieres. But for one reason or another, we haven't been doing this lately.

For one, we can blame pandemic-induced cautionary behavior. Everything since the lockdown typically has to be a planned activity. Even our O Bar nights are scheduled in advance in order to ensure we can get a table reservation and everyone else can coordinate their schedules. So impromptu movie nights don't follow that new pattern of behavior. And this caution also has us carefully evaluating every movie release so we can determine if it's really "worth" going out for or if we'll just watch it at home. 

The pandemic sort of conditioned us to watch more stuff at home. It's not like we weren't already doing this before, but I guess it just further codified things to be the norm. And then we have developments like Disney+ finally coming to the Philippines, which means we now have the option to wait a bit for the big Disney-owned movies to reach the platform. This was the case for us for movies like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which we still haven't made time to watch just yet. If we wait long enough (which is about 3 months), then we can watch it via the Disney+ subscription we've already paid for.

The movie theater experience isn't quite dead. But it's definitely not as exciting as it used to be either.