We believe many international markets will expand as new theatre technologies are introduced, as film and other content offerings continue to broaden, as ancillary revenue opportunities grow and as local economies continue to strengthen. We also believe most of these markets are underscreened in comparison to the U.S. and European markets.
Drivers of Continued Industry Success
We believe the following market trends will drive the continued strength of our industry:
Importance of Theatrical Success in Establishing Movie Brands. Theatrical exhibition has long been the primary distribution channel for new major motion picture releases. A successful theatrical release “brands” a film and is one of the major contributors to a film’s success in “downstream” markets, such as digital downloads, video on-demand, pay-per-view television, DVDs, and network and syndicated television, as well as branded retail merchandise.
Increased Importance and Growth of International Markets for Box Office Success. International markets continue to be an increasingly important component of the overall box office revenues generated by Hollywood films, accounting for $27.2 billion, or approximately 71%, of 2016 total worldwide box office revenues according to MPAA. (As of the date of this report, 2017 industry data was not yet available.) With the continued strength of the international motion picture exhibition industry, we believe the relative contribution of markets outside North America will continue to be meaningful. Many of the top U.S. films released during 2017 also performed exceptionally well in international markets. Despicable Me 3 grossed approximately $767.8 million in international markets, or approximately 74% of its worldwide box office, Beauty and the Beast grossed approximately $759.7 million in international markets, or approximately 60% of its worldwide box office, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi grossed approximately $632.7 million in international markets, or approximately 53% of its worldwide box office.
Convenient and Affordable Form of Out-Of-Home Entertainment. Movie going continues to be one of the most convenient and affordable forms of out-of-home entertainment, with an estimated average ticket price in the U.S. of $8.65 in 2016. Average prices in 2016 for other forms of out-of-home entertainment in the U.S., including sporting events and theme parks, ranged from approximately $31.00 to $92.98 per ticket according to MPAA. (As of the date of this report, 2017 industry data was not yet available.)
Introduction of New Platforms and Product Offerings that Enhance the Movie-Going Experience. The motion picture exhibition industry continues to develop new movie theatre platforms and concepts to respond to varying and changing consumer preferences and to continue to differentiate the movie-going experience from watching a movie at home. In addition to changing the overall style of, and amenities offered in, some theatres, concession product offerings have continued to expand to more than just traditional popcorn and candy items. Many locations now offer hot foods, alcohol offerings and/or healthier snack options for guests.
Innovation Using Satellite and Other Technology. Our industry began the development of a content delivery network in domestic markets during 2013 and international markets during 2015. Satellite delivery allows exhibitors to expand their product offerings, including the presentation of live content and alternative entertainment. Alternative entertainment may include pre-recorded programs as well as live sports programs, concert events, the Metropolitan Opera, e-sports gaming events and other special presentations. Motion seats are offered in some locations, further enhancing the movie viewing experience. Virtual reality is also being developed for in-theatre enjoyment. New and enhanced programming alternatives expand the industry’s offerings to attract a broader customer base.