Despite the widespread popularization of the blockbuster film in recent years, it’s been a well-known fact that theater numbers aren’t what they used to be. More than ever before, theatrical releases are facing in-home competition. In addition to video games, they face off against high quality streaming film and TV from services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. Why bother going to films when you have film-quality entertainment with these guys? And even if you wanted to see the latest, you only need to wait a few months before they end up in home media.
Home entertainment is seeing unprecedented growth, and it grew 11 percent to $47.8 billion, and the aforementioned video streaming services are largely responsible for this growth. U.S. digital spending climbed 20 percent, and international digital spending increased a whopping 41 percent. Plus, the number of online video service subscriptions grew 33 percent to 446.8 million.
So what’s been the net result of all this competition? Well, ironically enough, things aren’t going too horribly. According to Variety, the global box office has still hit a record high of $40.6 billion. This is in spite of the fact that North American ticket sales fell two percent from $11.6 billion in 2016 to $11.1 billion in 2017. You can thank the growing Chinese box office for that, which has helped to offset the domestic decline.
Though while net grosses are up, overall theatrical attendance is at its lowest since 1995. The reason why the box office numbers are as high as they are has to do with the spike in ticket prices (I’m sure IMAX and 3D ticket sales help quite a bit on that front as well).
However, with services like MoviePass coming to the forefront, I wonder if the next couple years will see an overall growth — assuming MoviePass is able to actually be profitable.
What do you think of these numbers? Let us know down below!
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