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 119,000 workers and generate about $9 billion annually.

    • There are over 4,300 cinema sites in the US that employ 123,900 workers.
    • There are about 41,000 movie screens in the US - about 1.3% of these are outdoor screens.
    • 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 19, 2024 - Increasing Personal Consumption Expenditures may Boost Sales
                          • Personal consumption expenditures, an indicator of expenditures on entertainment, increased moderately during the first nine months of 2023, according to the US Bureau of Bureau of Economic Analysis. Industry employment remained significantly below pre-pandemic levels at year end, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Movie theaters sales are forecast to increase at a 10.35% compounded annual rate from 2022 to 2027, faster than the growth of the overall economy, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc.
                          • Content made for television has increasingly made its way to movie theaters in recent years, according to Slash Film. The industry news site notes the success of the faith-based TV show "The Chosen." The crowd-funded series about the life of Jesus Christ has seen its entire fourth season brought to movie theaters multiple times in several-episode chunks. The show's fourth season has earned around $27 million and counting in theaters this year as of early March.
                          • About $1 billion in projected box office revenue will shift from 2024 to 2025 due in large part to the impact of the screenwriters and SAG-AFTRA strikes in 2023, according to B. Riley Securities analyst Eric Wold. Full-year 2024 box office revenue, which Wold estimated at $8.61 billion in November 2023, could now end up as low as $8 billion to $8.4 billion before rebounding to $9.92 billion in 2025. Production schedules and talent windows continue to be in a state of flux, presenting “more downside risk than upside at this point,” Wold says.
                          • Universal Pictures says that its premium video on demand (VOD) strategy has increased the total audience for its content. The studio began letting viewers rent or buy movies earlier after their theater premier and for a higher price. This made more than $1 billion in less than three years, with nearly no decrease in box-office sales. In some cases, box-office sales even increased when films became available in homes, which Universal says is a side effect of premium VOD advertising and word of mouth. Universal made “Minions: The Rise of Gru” available for premium VOD after 33 days in theaters in 2022. The movie stayed in theaters after that, selling more tickets than “Minions,” released in 2015, did after 33 days, according to data from analytics firm Comscore. Data for Universal’s “Jurassic World” and “Fast and Furious” franchises show a similar effect.
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