Over the last ten years or so, many have predicted that the movie theater industry is heading for a major contraction. In fact, back in 2010, we noted that the movie industry was facing significant changes that not only affected theaters, but also impacted producers looking to gain distribution deals for their films.
When it comes to the reasons for the dire predictions for this industry, prognosticators often point to the evolution of such technologies as on-demand movies, stunningly large flat screen TVs and the ability to conveniently watch movies on tablet devices as being the principal contributors to the ultimate demise of theaters. These forecasters even go so far as to suggest movie theaters will fall victim to technology in the same way Blockbuster and other movie rental retailers suffered.
While it is still possible that in the future theaters will die out, right now theater operators are not sitting back waiting for their business to fail. Instead, they are fighting back with a number of new marketing strategies they believe will excite customers. As discussed in this story from Time, marketers for movie theaters have become quite creative in an effort to attract more moviegoers. Even though overall ticket sales have indeed declined (down by 4% compared to last year), this has only led theater marketers to be more creative. They have introduced a number of new approaches that include: a pricing deal that enables customers to watch the movie Interstellar as many times as they want; a product change where the layout of theaters includes more comfortable seating; a ticketing option that combines entry to a movie with certain food options; and more theaters adopting the dine-and-watch-a-movie format that has been made famous by the Movie Tavern.
It remains to be seen how these new marketing ideas will impact attendance at movies. But it is nice to see marketers are sending a message that they will not go down without a fight.
Image by A.Currell