Do Americans Prefer Home Entertainment Or The Movie Theater Experience?
In a recent Hidden Gem Entertainment survey many American prefer to stay home and watch a good movie instead of going out to a movie theater to see a movie. Did the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown show us new possibilities for home entertainment? Or did it spoil big money returns for big Hollywood Studios?
The younger demographic 18-29 years of age still enjoy the movie experience. This is to be expected since from that age range, especially on the younger end of it, everything is new and exciting. Plus, while many younger people have disposable income, they are less likely to have in in the amounts of older demographics who may have homes of their own to turn into “home theaters”.
This is reflected in the older demographic of 30-65 years of age where studies have shown that consumers in this age range enjoy staying in with family and friends, creating their own movie experience. There is even a group that will patiently wait for three months for their favorite film to release on a streaming platform. Robert Bell, a husband and family of four stated, “During the pandemic, we built our family a movie room with all the fixings, a one-hundred inch screen with Dolby surround sound, comfortable reclining chairs, and a snack bar with a fantastic popcorn machine. What more do we need?”
Many movies during the pandemic released on the streaming networks instead of the movie theaters. Coming to America was a huge box office success and shocked many when Execs decided to release Coming to America 2 on Amazon Prime. Da 5 Bloods released on Netflix. Other movies that were deserving of the big screen, The Tomorrow War with Chris Pratt, Without Remorse with Michael B. Jordan and Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max. Could they have made more money in theaters? Maybe. However this move of releasing films directly to streaming platforms that developed during the pandemic has definitely shaken the industry status quo.
Film Executives are finding a way around this streaming dilemma by releasing both on streaming platforms and in theaters simultaneously. Movie theaters hate it when Hollywood Execs release film in cinemas at the same time. It decreases box office sales and encourages piracy. Studios adapted by using the Video on Demand format which allows consumers to view certain new releases from the comfort of their own homes. Disney released Raya and the Last Dragon and Black Widow for a $29.99 fee. A new strategy has been the AVOD platform, watch content for free with commercials. The return on AVOD content has shown that it be can and currently is a very lucrative business for streaming companies,such as TUBI TV and HULU.
The movie making business isn’t the same for Independent filmmakers all the way to the big Hollywood studios. It’s always evolving. As technology changes, so does the entertainment industry. The next five years will be an interesting ride, and only the strong will survive.