Patty Jenkins’ Comments About Streaming Movies Show a Lack of Understanding of the Film Industry, Say Some

Patty Jenkins, director of movies such as Wonder Woman 1984 and Monster, has some strong opinions about streaming services. Thanks to the pandemic, the box office has taken a massive hit and film studios have needed to alter the way they release movies as a result.

Patty Jenkins laughing in front of a blue background
Patty Jenkins | Rich Polk/Getty Images

Everyone, especially moviegoers, has been incredibly disappointed that they are unable to see their favorite shows on the big screen due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Let’s take a look at what Jenkins has to say about streaming movies.

Day to date releases explained

The pandemic popularized terminology in the film industry. “Day-and-date” release is when a movie is released in theaters as well as streaming services on the same day. There are a few ways to look at this strategy.

Some moviegoers relish the idea of not having to go to the theaters and pay $20 to see a movie that they can see for way less in the comfort of their own homes. Others, like Jenkins, see it as a death sentence to blockbuster movies. According to LA Times Jenkins said:

“I think this is such an interesting period of time because this pandemic struck right when we were at a moment when we were debating this issue anyway. It has been very easy for a lot of people to use the pandemic as an argument pro-something that some of the industry was already trying to do, which is day-and-date.”

She also stated that the movies don’t play the same on streaming services. 

Jenkins calls streaming movies ‘fake movies’ 

Fans on Twitter have called out Jenkins’s opinions about streaming movies. She states, “all of the films that streaming services are putting out, I’m sorry, they look like fake movies to me.” However, there have been some award-winning films that have been released exclusively on streaming services.

For example, Da 5 Bloods by director Spike Lee was released on Netflix in 2020. The film won AFI Award’s Movie of the Year as well as numerous nominations, including the Academy Awards and BAFTA. 

Entertainment journalist Mark Harris pointed out on Twitter that streaming platforms pushing out mostly “forgettable” movies each year, with a handful of good and/or great films, is closer to how the film industry once worked, instead of big studios only producing a handful of movies a year that they are banking on being blockbusters.

Harris’ comments illustrate how Jenkins’ view on streaming platforms releasing movies shows a lack of understanding of the film industry, as it ignores that streaming platforms are just doing what has always been done in showbiz.

Not everyone agrees

Twitter users have taken Jenkins’s words as an insult. Some tweeted that Jenkins has forgotten that some Black filmmakers have gone to streaming because major studios won’t make their movies.

To say that every Netflix film that has been released exclusively for streaming looks “fake” is a slap in the face to the talented and hard-working filmmakers who have lent their talents to streaming services.

Jenkins is an incredible director. Her directorial debut with Monster solidified her standing as a phenomenal director. It’s understandable that Jenkins would want her movies to be viewed on the big screen because of the fantastic work she does.

Without question, her movies play much better on the big screen and are worthy of theatrical release. However, a change of mindset might be in order here. In the past, direct-to-video movies were considered flops and low quality, but times have changed.

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