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Streaming Impact on Theatrical Movie Releases “Greatly Exaggerated”


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Theatrical movie releases remain unaffected by the advent of streaming, according to a trade organization speaking on behalf of movie theater owners.

As streaming has risen in popularity, and proven to be a threat to traditional cable and satellite companies, many have suggested the threat extends to other areas of the industry as well, including the box office. However, the latest statement directly from those in the industry says that’s not the case.

The National Association of Theatre Owners is a trade organization and all of its members are movie theater owners. The organization recently released its “2019 Box Office Statement” and made a point to directly address the issue of streaming by saying there’s no issue at all.

2019 accounted for $11.4 billion at the box office marking the “second highest domestic box office in history,” according to the statement. Further adding to this, there was no change year over year when it came to movies grossing under $100 million. According to the association, it is this area in particular that many have suggested streaming is directly affecting.

However, the statement addresses this criticism by stating “it’s clear that the impact of streaming on our business is greatly exaggerated.” While also adding that its own studies in partnership with the Motion Picture Association of America, and marketing research firm Screen Engine/ASI, highlight the “most frequent moviegoers are also the consumers who stream the most.”

Positive streaming words from within the industry

One of the clear suggestions from the association’s language is that although there is now more of a choice than before, it is not a one or the other choice. Those interested in movies appear to be happy to both pay to see them in a theater and also at home through their favorite streaming service.

While it seems clear that an increasing number of consumers are switching to streaming, the industry itself has remained more standoffish. Many are quick to argue that streaming is a negative influence on the market by suggesting it affects overall industry revenue and increases piracy. Therefore, encouraging words from those within the industry, and especially from a section that’s often thought to be at-odds with streaming, will be a welcomed change.

Source: National Association of Theatre Owners

John Finn


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