Despite Netflix, cinemas see best summer revenue in 20 years

August 29th, 2018  |  Canadian Business

Not all is lost to Netflix and Chill.

BNN is reporting that movie theatres are having their best summer numbers in twenty years. Last summer, the industry was still trying to navigate the Netflix era, but ticket sales have rebounded, at least for now.

Sales numbers across North America will close the summer blockbuster season with more than a 14% increase, according to estimates from ComScore Inc. Some of the best performing Hollywood hits were Disney’s long-awaited “Incredibles 2” and Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War”. The summer season officially ends on Labour Day weekend.

“The notion that streaming has led to a decline in cinema attendance is really over-exaggerated,” said Phil Contrino, spokesperson for the National Association of Theatre Owners.

Cineplex Inc., Canada’s leading theatre chain, has seen a 17% increase in its share price following a six-month low.

Summer ticket revenue, and cinema revenue in general, will always depend on big-budget pictures to draw in an audience. And without these Hollywood hits, ticket revenue can be volatile.

Ticket sales last year were less than stellar, seeing a 14% fall when major releases failed to woo consumers.

“With the summer bouncing sharply higher, analysts are raising their forecasts for the full year, crediting the Disney blockbusters and surprise hits like ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘The Meg,’ an action film about a giant shark. Leo Kulp, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, predicts full-year growth of 5 per cent, reaching a new record, after projecting a flat 2018 previously.”

Sales numbers and cinema revenue are benefitting from higher ticket prices, which go on to make up for the relatively fewer cinema attendees. If Hollywood can manage to maintain its production of worthy pictures, including Oscar contenders, their good fortunes just might continue.