2015 was an impressive year at the box office. But if you look closely at the numbers, good fortune tended to bless a particular set of large-scale releases, while there were many other smaller flops hidden in that record-setting $11 billion North American revenue.
Now you’ll see studios and movie chains tweaking a few things so they can do even better in 2016 and beyond, and it will affect how you watch movies.
Hollywood will stick with the formula that got us here: You can expect more “event” releases that seemed to take over the country last year like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Jurassic World” (which both made over $1 billion worldwide and broke box-office records domestically). Plus, movies that don’t produce the ticket sales they were projected to will get hurried out of theatres more quickly.
To help revenue for those movies that don’t capture the nation’s attention like a “Star Wars” spin-off no doubt will, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the second-largest theatre chain in the country, AMC, is planning to beef up its target marketing efforts. So if moviegoers who are part of their loyalty packages, like AMC Stubs, attended the last movie directed by David Fincher, say, they will get ticket offers to his next movie.
And studios have realised that a film’s lifespan now lives and dies on social media. So expect any movies that aren’t trending on opening weekend to be kicked to the curb by the chains rather quickly, according to the AMC executive quoted by the Wall Street Journal. Last year, the bomb “Jem and the Holograms” was taken out of wide release with unprecendeted speed.
You’ll also see blockbusters more spread out during the year, not just lumped in the summer and holiday seasons, as they have been in the past. This is an adjustment movie chains have asked studios to make for years, and studios are finally responding. In 2016, you’ll see big releases come out in February (“Deadpool”) and March (“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”), typically considered down months in the movie business.
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