Streaming is slowly overshadowing more traditional ways of watching movies.
Bloomberg has recently revealed data that shows ticket sales decreased 5.8 percent to 1.24 billion sold in 2017, becoming the year with the lowest ticket attendance since 1992. While rising ticket prices have kept revenue at a cool $11 billion, that figure is still down from 2016's cumulative grosses.
Several factors may have lead this decrease in theatre attendance: an overabundance of sequels, an abysmal roster of releases and the convenience of Netflix and other streaming services. Star Wars: The Last Jedi rounded out 2017 in huge numbers, raking in a gross of $533.1 million by the end of the year, but even that gross wasn't enough to resuscitate an a potentially-ailing industry.
According to Bloomberg's Intelligence analyst Geena Ranganathan, "the industry should be concerned if the metric falls again in 2018." Ranganathan also notes how "especially with a stronger film slate for this year, fewer moviegoers would be a warning sign that the industry may be in secular decline."
As a result of fledgling ticket sales, film companies from across the spectrum have joined forces in order to stabilize their businesses. Recently, Cineworld Group Plc acquired Regal Entertainment Group for $2.6 billion, which is the number 2 movie theatre chain in America. Similarly, Walt Disney purchased 21st Century Fox, including its movie studio, for $52.4 billion.
However, better movies should deliver a healthier box office revenue, as the industry thrives off of audience excitement. In 2017, China experienced record-breaking ticket sales, with their own cinematic productions trumping the Hollywood exports that continually play on international screens and receive the best box office returns.