Domestic box office sales in Canada and the U.S. fell in 2017, which was contrary to what happened in the rest of the world, according to a Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) report.
The report showed that ticket sales in North America reached $11.1 billion, down 2% year over year. The decline represented a $300 million loss or the equivalent of a single blockbuster movie.
The U.S. movie theater industry is no stranger to a slowdown on ticket sales, so many companies have relied on new features to lure people back to the silver screen. Stadium seating solutions are an example through the 4DX cinema experience. Movie-goers can feel that they are part of the movie as the seats are programmed to move based on the on-screen action.
The industry plans to take it up a notch by combining 4DX with Screen X, which is a panoramic and 270-degree screen. The recent CinemaCon in Las Vegas showed that combining these two features can be a way to revive interest in watching movies at the cinema.
The popularity of home entertainment systems and online platforms for viewing content are just some of the factors for weaker ticket sales. MPAA CEO Charles Rivkin said that Americans use online platforms for almost half of the time they spend on viewing broadcast media.
Strong competition also comes from home cable. In 2017, it generated $108 billion in revenues from viewership around the world. It also didn’t help that movie tickets cost more during the previous year. The report recorded a 32 cent increase in prices, equivalent to a 4% increase.
Cinema operators need to consider technology innovation to keep up with changing times and consumer preferences. These new features would be worthwhile investments particularly during down times at theaters.