I lost track of how many times I’ve seen some variation on that headline, but I haven’t lost faith in movie theaters. And I’m not the only one who feels that way.
Movie theaters are open. They are going to stay open, and they’re not dying.
Here’s some qualitative and quantitative proof.
Movie theaters are open, and Black Widow’s theatrical release breaks records
Originally intended to be released in spring 2020, Black Widow finally hit U.S. movie theaters on July 9, and fans swarmed into theaters to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s new movie.
During Black Widow’s opening weekend, AMC Theatres had its most successful weekend since March 2020. Yahoo! Finance reports that AMC brought in 3.2 million moviegoers, with 2.5 million in US theaters and 650,000 internationally. This makes AMC the record holder for highest post-reopening weekend attendance globally – get more details in our recent article.
Movie theaters are open, and the data shows it only goes up from here
Sure, one weekend isn’t going to save movie theaters, but it shows promise for the future.
Fast Company shared some takeaways from a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report that projects that global box office revenues will return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023 and exceed them even more by 2024 – hitting close to $42 billion, with the U.S. alone hitting $11.3 billion in box office revenue by 2025.
“[W]e shouldn’t be too quick to write off the commercial viability of the expensive, large-scale, spectacular films that benefit most from the communal, big-screen experience,” Fast Company cites from the PwC report.
Movie theaters are open, and we’re all remembering how much we missed them.
So many of us missed the communal experience of the movie theater even if we didn’t realize it.
During the pandemic, most of us were in survival mode. We all got used to “the new normal” –– a phrase I’m incredibly sick of reading and using –– but it’s not our forever normal.
Life is coming back. We’re going out to eat, we’re booking vacations, we’re reuniting with friends and family, and the movies are coming back with it.
It wasn’t until I went back to a movie theater for the first time since January 2020 to see Godzilla vs. Kong that I realized how much I missed the movies.
Man, I missed going to the movies 📽️ pic.twitter.com/FQgK4x8Bzk
— Josh Ayen – WANE 15 (@Josh_Ayen) July 13, 2021
Went to the movies for the first time since 2019… Feeling so happy and fulfilled. I’ve missed the theater experience so damn much 😭
— Michelle Khare (@MichelleKhare) July 9, 2021
My first time back at the movies since February 2020. I’ve missed this. pic.twitter.com/95qSunqlhD
— Tanner (@twoodanner) July 11, 2021
At the movies for the first time since pre Covid. Yeah baby!!! Literally me. I’ve missed movie theater popcorn so bad pic.twitter.com/tPLD8d1J9U
— Kayla Wright (@squaller7) July 14, 2021
Just went to the movies for the first time in almost 1,5 years and OMG HOW I HAVE MISSED THEE. 🥰🥰🥰
— 🅰️🆖ℹ️📧🌟 (@AngieVonAsgard) July 8, 2021
I’ve missed coming to the movies with my wittle baby. ❤️🥺👦🏻
I’m a happy momma. 🥰 pic.twitter.com/6R0ixJcroI
— Kelly (@kelly__le) July 8, 2021
We’ll always remember our first time…at the movie theater.
Movie theaters are part of the fabric of our lives. Ask anyone to remember the first movie they saw in theaters, and they most likely will remember.
(Mine was The Lion King – ‘90s baby for life).
Often, they’re the first place you go as a tween or teen without parental supervision.
(I remember going to see Finding Nemo with a friend in 6th grade and getting ‘The Talk’ from my mom on the way to the theater…*cringes in tween*).
“It’s a place to go. It’s safe,” says Patrick Corcoran, Vice President of the National Association of Theater Owners in a conversation on a June 2021 episode of Planet Money. “You can go on sort of a date and not actually have to talk to the person. And now you’ve also got a topic that after the movie you can talk about – right? – instead of being the awkward teenager that you are.”
Regardless of your age, the allure of the movie theaters is the shared experience––with fellow moviegoers and moviemakers––and how that experience helps you feel connected to the world around you.
“Part of the enjoyment of it is, you have given yourself up to whatever the filmmaker, filmmakers, have created for you with other people,” Patrick Corcoran says to NPR. “Your responses are also going to be similar to the people near you, or they’re going to be different. And that’s going to help you place yourself in the world.”
Movie theaters are open, which means Hollywood movies aren’t dead at all.
At this point, we hope we’ve convinced you that movie theaters are here to stay. Just look at all of the new movie trailers and weekend movie releases entertaining us all summer long, plus all the other movies to look forward to this summer.
”..The question I’m most asked is, when is cinema dying? And when is it dead? But it’s not dead. It’s still here, and it’s thriving,” says David Hancock, film industry analyst at Omdia, to NPR in June 2021.
I’m with David on this one. Are you?
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