It seems that analysts have finally caught up with what a lot of our Outposters have been saying for the past quarter . No matter how fast lockdowns are lifted and vaccine’s rolled out, box office levels won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 at the earliest. Recovery will take time.
With cinemas closed in many places across the world and virtually all blockbuster releases postponed to H2 2021 and beyond, the coronavirus pandemic has taken it’s toll on the industry. Global grosses in 2020 were $12.4 billion, which was down 71% on 2019.
The new report by global technology research company Omdia makes for grim reading in Hollywood accounts departments. 2021 and 2022 releases will still fall way short of expectations and significantly underperform.
The report – Movie Windows: Adapting for the Future – identifies a customer group known as Cinema Power Users as being the key to recovering the lost revenue. These are people who are happy to spend increased amounts on entertainment and who attend the movie theater more than most.
They are people like you, our Outposters. Plugged in to the world of cinema, knowing what is being released and when. There is a kicker here in a pandemic world though. They are already subscribed to 50% more SVOD services than Johnny Normo. This means this segment, most of us basically, are already well comfortable sitting at home consuming.
The report states we rent twice as many movie releases and purchase three times as many – digitally and on physical media – than those poor souls who are yet to discover the ways of the Outpost.
Max Signorelli is their senior analyst for media and entertainment, and he says:
“Whilst Cinema closures have effectively halted box office revenues, they have not hampered consumer demand for new content, especially in cases of government mandated lockdowns.
We are seeing consumers look to all subsequent video options to access premium entertainment with an increasingly appetite that will remain post pandemic.”
There is a lot of talk in non-entertainment circles, financially, about the way in which some aspects of life will return to normal but some will have been forever altered by the pandemic. The restaurant and bar trade is not expected to recover to 2019 levels ever, with many consumers having become comfortable with food delivery options and entertaining at home.
The widescale shift to online shopping, including groceries, is also expected to stick. Amazon, Alibaba (Chinese Amazon) and Mercardolibra (Latin American Amazon) stocks are hotly tipped by some pundits as a result.
AMC stock leapt after news of a +$900m success at raising capital but that could just have prevented imminent bankruptcy. Please note that none of the above constitutes investment advice and, once again, if you are taking financial tips from a man who is still wearing what he wore in bed last night and is yet to have coffee this morning then the risks are yours.
The question is, has this pandemic kick-started a change that sticks for the world of entertainment? The Kings Man, A Quiet Place II and No Time To Die may well find out and the world will be watching Wonder Woman 1984 and Godzilla Vs. Kong HBO Max numbers very, very carefully.