Compared to 2019, domestic movie ticket sales for the first four months of 2022 show a 44% decrease, however, cinemas are seeing a significant increase in ticket purchases when compared to last year.
“Blockbuster titles like Warner Bros.′ ‘The Batman,’ Paramount’s ‘Sonic 2’ and the Marvel-Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ have led to a 338% increase in ticket sales from 2021, reaching $1.95 billion,” according to data from Comscore.
Cinema operators were excited to hear all the new titles coming out this year, and were reassured by studios that they will continue to receive a large number of theatrical exclusives going forward. Operators were also told about the plans certain studios have for the future at CinemaCon last week.
The annual convention hosted at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas was seen as a major success after multiple studios expressed their excitement for showcasing a diversity of content in the coming year.
Movie theater owners, however, have to be more individually creative in order to market their movies to citizens who are still hesitant about returning to the theater. Many theaters have offered exclusive food and drink deals, as well as flexibility regarding the content they show at the theater.
For larger chains such as AMC, Regal, and Cinemark, live events like concerts, sports and gaming are being used to draw moviegoers back to the cinema.
AMC announced that it would be investing $250 million into Cinionic’s laser projectors to be placed in 3,500 of its locations in the US by 2026. This technology offers brighter and crisper imaging, and makes it easier for the operators, as the bulbs don’t need to be replaced multiple times a year like more traditional projectors.
“We wanted to make a bold, straightforward statement to remind moviegoers of that immersive, communal, multi-sensory experience that you can only get by seeing a movie in a theater,” said Alicia Cook, director of advertising at AMC Theatres, during a CinemaCon panel.
Smaller chains with less access to large sums of money to invest in have gotten creative in creating a better theatrical experience for their audiences.
“We are more nimble than the larger organizations. I think our superpower is eventizing but also creating those experiences around going to the movies. So, we do crazy stuff,” said Rich Daughtridge, president and CEO of Warehouse Cinemas.
Daughtridge said “promotions range from offering margaritas with movie tickets to special daddy-daughter date night showings. Mid-pandemic, we capitalized on the release of Solstice Studio’s ‘Unhinged’ by hosting a car smash event during the film’s fifth week in theaters.”
“I think as marketers we tend to say ‘this movie is playing,’ ‘this movie is playing. I think from an engagement perspective, let’s talk a little bit more about why going to the movies is a good thing to do … I think the messaging that we are trying to do to create that engagement is more about why moviegoing makes sense versus just what movie is playing,” Daughtridge said.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.