In this year of 2017, it seems easy for us humans to ignore our problems when there is so much happening in the world. But when it comes to large companies, being in denial can cause more harm than good. With the movie business, they seem to refuse to believe they could be in danger of becoming extinct.
Ticket sales have reached an all time low, with rising ticket sales preventing prime age groups (18-35 aka the Millennial market) from going to see movies in theaters since the Millennial market does not have much extra cash to spend. CEO’s of major movie theaters love to blame the Millennial market for everything, but the reality is no amount of making theaters phone friendly will get people in the seats. The movie business needs to face the music and realize falling attendance is their own fault.
One solution the movie business has decided to conjure up is “Instead of surrendering to existential dread, studio chiefs and exhibitors are showing a greater willingness to experiment, particularly when it comes to releasing movies in the home within weeks of their theatrical debut for between $30 and $50 per rental. If that comes to pass, it would represent the biggest distribution and exhibition shakeup since the introduction of the DVD created a home-entertainment windfall in the late 1990s.” With this possible deal, the big movie studios will be competing with Netflix with quick online contenting. The problem with this is that the young people they are trying to appeal to do not want to spend 30 dollars each month for multiple different studio streaming platforms for movies they may not even enjoy. Besides the price, another problem is that “Theater owners are engaged in the talks, and they’ve spent million of dollars researching consumer behavior. They’re particularly concerned that if movies are offered to consumers too early and at too low a price they will stop showing up at the cinema.” The movie business wants to please everyone but that is not possible. Everyone wants to make money, but unless they please the people spending the money, nothing will matter.
One solution the industry has also tossed around is Virtual Reality in theaters. Like IMAX and 3D, the VR experience will obviously cost more than the average movie ticket, but it will allow theaters to stay open if distribution deals discussed above come to fruition. While VR is something interesting in terms of the movie industry, discussed in a past post, making it another option at the movie theater seems strange, in that IMAX and 3D options have both been seen as unpopular once the excitement wears off, so where would this leave VR?
The industry seems to have a lot of options lined up to save itself, but I do not have much place in any one of them permanently sticking. If anyone in the industry stumbles upon this, I would link to direct you to my list of solutions, one written and approved by the consumer.