Movie Theaters

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 1,800 movie theater firms in the US provide entertainment venues that exhibit motion pictures or videos. They operate about 41,000 movie screens at over 5,800 cinema sites. Major sources of revenue include ticket sales, concessions, and merchandise resale. Some theaters specialize in a particular genre, such as foreign, art house, and documentary films.

Conversion to Digital

The film industry’s conversion from celluloid to digital projection technology involved considerable costs, and created significant financial obstacles for small, independent theaters.

Dependence on Movie Production Industry

Movie theaters depend on the production houses and distributors to develop appealing motion pictures and support releases with marketing and advertising.

Industry size & Structure

The movie theater industry consists of about 1,800 companies that employ 48,000 workers and generate about $17 billion annually.

    • There are about 41,000 movie screens in the US - about 1.3% of these are outdoor screens.
    • There are over 5,800 cinema sites in the US.
    • The industry is concentrated; the top 50 firms account for about 80% of industry sales.
    • Large companies include Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, and Cinemark Holdings.
                          Industry Forecast
                          Movie Theaters Industry Growth
                          Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                          Recent Developments

                          Mar 6, 2023 - Theater Chain Is Selling Popcorn At Walmart Stores
                          • Theater chain AMC Entertainment is selling AMC popcorn at Walmart stores and via the retailer’s website. “We continue to Make Movies Better,” says CEO Adam Aron, “this time in the comfort of your own home. And with popcorn now hitting shelves, we remain focused on future innovations that will continue to surprise and delight movie lovers and our shareholders.” The popcorn plan was under development since 2021, when the movie theater brand made a promise to its investors to bring the taste of movie theater snacks into people’s homes.
                          • Older Americans have not returned to theaters at the same rate as younger ones, according to industry intelligence firm Morning Consult. The issue is likely to be a major concern for movie theaters, given that over 40% of movie tickets sold domestically in 2019 went to consumers 40 and older, according to the Motion Picture Association. Morning Consult data from December 2022 shows that 72% of Gen Xers and 85% of baby boomers said that they had not been to a movie theater in the past month, far higher than the equivalent figures for Gen Z adults (48%) and millennials (55%).
                          • Warner Brothers Discovery CEO David Zaslav recently cited the importance of theatrical releases as opposed to producing expensive, blockbuster-sized movies solely for streaming. Experts say that it marks a turn for a studio that, under previous management, dumped nearly its entire 2021 movie slate onto HBO Max on the same day as its theatrical releases. The domestic box office for 2022 ran about 35% below prepandemic levels, but the summer movie season was off by only 22%, according to Box Office Mojo. Optimism is growing for 2023, with three releases each coming from the Marvel and DC comics franchises, plus a new “Mission Impossible” and the first “Indiana Jones” movie in 15 years, according to Wedbush. Cinemark CEO Sean Gamble told analysts that the theater chain expects the number of releases next year to be about 75% to 80% of prepandemic levels compared with about 60% for 2022.
                          • The same-day release model for theaters and streaming may be losing momentum as people return to movie theaters in increasing numbers, according to John Fithian, President and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners. Industry experts say that same-day releases were a necessary part of the box office recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, but content piracy associated with streaming cut deeply into movie studio profits. "When analyzing title after title it becomes very clear that spikes in piracy are most drastic when a movie is first available to watch in the home: It doesn't matter if its available via premium video on demand or subscription video on demand," said Fithian. "Robust theatrical windows protect against piracy."
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