Movies

Are Movie Theaters Going to Die?

My favorite thing to do in the entire world is going to the movie theater. I love sitting in the plush leather recliners, popping fluffy kernels into my mouth with some yellow liquid akin to butter and sipping on a Diet Coke as I keep my eyes trained on the big screen.

Yet my favorite pastime may disappear in a few short years. The revenue and profitability of movie theaters have declined over the years, with the plunge starting with television. Now, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime continue to bite into movie theaters’ slimming profit margins, as these platforms release their own original movies.

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Despite these obstacles, movie theater revenue is up 8% from 2017, leading to the question: what is in the coming times for movie theaters?

Movie theater experts argue that the reasons for the increase may be due to MoviePass, which originally charged customers a monthly subscription of $10 to see four movies a month. (It is important to note that MoviePass was unable to maintain this model, and plans on executing a new pricing plan that increases the monthly price but lowers the number of monthly tickets.)

Another more important reason is the superhero movies. Marvel movies contributed a lot of ticket revenue for 2018, with box office smashes like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity Wars. Experts say that these movies are the most likely the reason behind the 2018 bump.

Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Despite the movie industry ending on a positive note, a huge threat to theaters still remain. Earlier this year Disney announced that it is going to pull all its films from Netflix. This includes Pixar animations, Marvel movies and Disney classics. It’s obvious how this is a blow to Netflix (their stock dipped 5% following the announcement), but Disney+ could potentially end movie theaters as we know them. If Disney decides to release its original films on its streaming platform like Netflix, it will kill the movie theater industry as we know it.

Superhero and animated films are credited with keeping movie theaters alive. Disney has its hands deep in both these genres as the owner of both Marvel Studios and Pixar Animation. If Disney decides to release these films on its own platform, movie theaters will forfeit so much of their business that they may be forced to close their doors forever.

To me, films lose a bit of their magic when they can only be experienced on small screens. Movie theaters provide an environment that truly highlight all the work and talent that goes into making a film, and seeing them disappear would cheapen filmmaking as we know it today.

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