December 19, 2022
Get your popcorn ready. The eight days between Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 can account for as much as 5% of the year’s total box office receipts, according to data from Comscore, and on average, the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve contributes between $400 and $600 million in ticket sales to the entertainment industry.
That’s welcome news for an industry that was battered by the pandemic, production delays and changing consumer entertainment habits. Even with all of the storm clouds, the entertainment industry has never been stronger, even as the traditional movie industry claws its way back.
The combined global theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market reached $99.7 billion in 2021, according to the Motion Picture Association’s annual THEME Report, notching growth of 24% since 2020, but more importantly, surpassing its prepandemic 2019 value. Add in pay TV and the combined global theatrical and home entertainment market grew 6% from 2020 to $328.2 billion, matching 2019’s record high.
So while movie theaters suffered greatly through the pandemic, the overall entertainment industry remains stronger than ever – though the way it is delivered to consumers has changed.
The digital content streaming marketplace in 2021 accounted for 72 percent of the combined theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market, up from 46 percent in 2019, according to the Motion Picture Association. In the U.S., the combined theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market in 2021 was $36.8 billion, a 14 percent increase compared to 2020, but notably overtaking the 2019 figure of $36.1 billion. Streaming globally also continued to boom, with subscriptions in 2020 surpassing the one billion mark, and growing 14 percent in 2021 to reach 1.3 billion.
The global box office market was $21.3 billion in 2021, up 81 percent compared to 2020, due to theater re-openings following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, but remained well below pre-pandemic levels. Similarly, the U.S./Canada box office market was $4.5 billion in 2021, up 105 percent from 2020, although still down substantially compared to 2019.
Fewer people are going to movies, in part, because there are simply fewer movies to see. Even though the mix has shifted toward streaming, the movie industry is expected to rebound as more films move into the pipeline.
The companies involved in the entertainment industry are adapting to the shift in preferences by diversifying and meeting their customers where they are. The Walt Disney Co. (Tii:DIS) added a successful streaming service, Netflix (Tii:NFLX) is adding more and more original content. Lions Gate Entertainment (Tii:LGF) not only produces successful movies, it also owns STARZ and other entertainment offerings. And theater operators like AMC Entertainment Holdings (Tii:AMC) are beginning to see more movie watchers come through the doors.
Movie fans and retail shareholders who open a free TiiCKER account and connect a brokerage with just a single share of Lions Gate Entertainment stock that they hold for at least two weeks are eligible for discounted movie tickets, discounts at the Lions Gate store and half off STARZ for a year. Individual investors with 100 that they hold for four weeks can claim a limited edition commemorative stock certificate from one of their favorite Lionsgate movies like Dirty Dancing, Reservoir Dogs or Twilight.
Video gaming is another investing option for the retail shareholder looking to add assets in the entertainment sector. Video games made up just 6.1% of global spending in the entertainment and media sector in 2017, but by 2026 they are projected to grab a 10.9% share as gaming becomes even more mainstream, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report. Companies like Take-Two Interactive (Tii:TTWO), Electronic Arts (Tii:EA), Roblox Corp. (Tii:RBLX) and Tencent Holdings (Tii:TCEHY) are all major players in the video gaming industry.
The music industry and live concerts are coming back as well and there are stocks that could benefit like Warner Music Group Corp. (Tii:WMG) and Live Nation Entertainment (Tii:LYV). After several years where concerts were difficult to hold and likely to be canceled, tours came back in full force in 2022. There was 27% more engagement on content about concerts from 2021 to 2022, and 35% more compared to pre-pandemic numbers in 2019, according to Comscore.
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