Summer Movie Business: More Money, Fewer Customers

While they have ups and downs, movie studios earned big U.S. box office revenues this summer -- up 14% to $4.4 billion, according to reports.

Sounds good? Yes. But this won’t:

It’s also estimated an estimated 468 million will have gone to the movies this summer period (the second quarter) to possibly 473 million. While somewhat better than a year ago, these numbers are the second-worst showing since 1992.

Movie studios are doing all they can to determine two big concerns. First, getting more people into the theaters, and second, getting theater owners to show more theatrical premiere films concurrently, via in-home live digital OTT systems.



For many, this might sound similar, especially when it comes to TV networks. There are a smaller number of TV viewers, but TV networks receive more revenues -- advertising, retransmission-carriage fees, etc.

For this upfront TV selling period, many TV network groups scored low single-digit percentage-volume dollar advertising revenue gains when looking at all their businesses: broadcast prime, other dayparts, cable networks, digital video, and special advanced advertising efforts.

A new entertainment formula is at work: Traditional TV platforms are getting more and delivering less. And for consumers, it's probably the same math.

On the flip side, TV sellers would say the formula shows consumers getting big entertainment value, with advertisers buying into high media engagement at a relative cheap price. And for advertisers -- as opposed to digital media -- TV networks say you need to add in virtually nonexistent levels of fraud, and full transparency.

Movie studios and movie theater owners might tell you the same -- that consumer pricing in the U.S. is around $9.25 to $9.50 a ticket. It's still a great deal. Growing in-theater advertising systems will tout a fully engaged audience unable to skip marketing messages.

So less for more, or more for less? Probably it’s less -- and more.

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