How many movies did you see at the theater last year? I think I saw three. Which is kind of high for me as I’m not one to go to the theatre a lot. And that is what theaters have come to realize. 2017 box office numbers are proof that Hollywood is losing the battle when it comes to the amazingly affordable and high-quality television streaming services available. Part of that losing battle is the fact that the cost of a movie ticket is insanely high. Bloomberg is reporting that 2017 was the worst year for ticket sales since 1992. The silver lining for Hollywood is that revenue held mostly steady at $11.1 billion in 2017 (down from $11.4 billion last year), but that’s taking into account the fact that the average ticket price has rocketed up almost $0.30.
So why is this happening? Bloomberg gives three possibilities. Sequel fatigue is the first, followed by a weak lineup of films and even diversions like Netflix. They also note that the price of concessions like popcorn and soda. Both are extremely expensive. So of course, if there’s nothing good playing at the theater, why would you waste money and go? Not to mention, you can get relatively new movies on several streaming platforms.
A Bloomberg Analyst suggests that the industry should be concerned if these numbers continue to fall again in 2018. It looks like “better” movies will be out next year, but people might still stay home if they don’t think the movie is worth the price. Besides falling attendance, theater chains and major studios are consolidating. In the past month, Cineworld Group Plc agreed to buy Regal Entertainment Group, the No. 2 U.S. chain, for $3.6 billion, and Walt Disney Co. reached a deal to buy the entertainment operations of 21st Century Fox Inc., including the company’s movie studio, for $52.4 billion.
As far as sequels go, I mean, it makes sense that people are staying home. Jumanji? Really? Don’t get me wrong, I’m on board with a Kevin Hart/Dwayne Johnson collaboration any day, but this one seems like its grasping at straws a bit. Further to that, there is a ton of great content on TV right now. Between Netflix and Amazon your choices are endless. Not to mention, the cost of these services for a month is lower than the cost of one theater ticket. If you’ve got a family of four, that’s a lot of movies and TVs that you can watch in one month. Unlimited, really.
It’s my prediction that Apple is banking on this type of change in the industry as they build their new streaming system. Why do I say that? Well, it benefits them (as well as Netflix and Amazon) for consumers to make this change and exclusively watch TV and movies online and in your homes. I do enjoy watching movies. On occasion, I enjoy going to the theater, but sometimes it’s nice to just curl up on my couch and watch a movie, alone (or with my boyfriend) in my pajamas.