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Movie Theaters are Making a Comeback

June 7, 2022
Two years ago, the critics screamed: Movie theaters are dead, streaming is king! 

While streaming content has certainly grabbed consumers by the wallet, movie theaters may not be dead after all. 

The content viewership lines are blurring as Netflix loses subscribers and blockbusters like Top Gun: Maverick rake in millions. 

Here’s what we’re watching: 

Movie Theater Attendance is Rising…But not Quite Back to its Prime.

 Over the last two years, consumer mentions of going to see a movie have been rising — trending +35% — while streaming tempers at -14%.
The spectacular success of Top Gun followed other recent wins for theaters. 

Movie theater owners were optimistic well before Top Gun: Maverick’s release, citing blockbuster titles like “The Batman,” “Sonic 2″, and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” as titles supporting strong growth in ticket sales this year. 

LikeFolio data shows the May 6th release of ‘Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ is a top driver of movie theater attendance, even as Top Gun continues to gain traction. 
Both companies followed a noted strategy shift from other releases a year ago. 

What’s the difference? 

Movie Giants are (Once Again) Opting to Stagger Theatrical and Streaming Content Releases.

 In 2021, Disney+ Releases Mulan and Hamilton were launched as streaming-only content, in an attempt to boost subscriber growth and generate add-on revenue.  

HBO Max adopted a hybrid model: simultaneous streaming and theatrical releases. 

And consumers loved it. 

Consumer mentions of streaming recent theatrical releases, movies, and content from home vs. the movie theater are still gaining steam, trending +59% YoY. 

In fact, this trend is still gaining traction, even as the top hits of 2022 (Dr. Strange and Top Gun: Maverick) opt for the big screen, first.

This suggests consumers aren’t quite tapped out when it comes to entertainment content – and may be willing to shell out dollars for the in-person experience AND streaming from home option, later. 

We’ll be monitoring for signs of continued attendance as additional movies hit screens.

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