Movie Theaters Are Having Their Best Year Ever. What Does That Mean for You?

At the Oscars this past weekend, Jack Black sang about the demise of movies, how people are only watching “the screens in our jeans.” But as Drew Harwell at The Washington Post reported, that’s just not true:

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Jack Black singing about the “screens in our jeans” at the Oscars.

“Analysts expect that box-office revenue this year in the United States and Canada will soar past $11.5 billion, outpacing the record $10.9 billion set in 2013, when blockbusters such as Frozen and the second Hunger Games movie debuted.”

Turns out people are seeking in-theater experiences more and more. One theory:

“That water-cooler effect is more extreme than ever, because of social media,” said Phil Contrino, chief analyst for BoxOffice.com. “Your social media network is all talking about that movie right away on Friday, and you want to be a part of that conversation.”

Not wanting to miss out on the conversation is one motivation to get out and see a show. This is similar to Jim’s point that being a part of a shared experience can be hugely rewarding.

“We need to stay in tune with the group because if we do, good things happen. It feels good to stand up and cheer when your baseball team hits a meaningless home run in the eighth inning of a Tuesday night game. It feels good to laugh too loud in a group of people that are laughing. It probably even feels good to get goosebumps over the ‘Gilligan’s Island’ theme. Don’t feel bad about that. Go for it. It’s nature’s way of telling you that you need other people.”

So, what can live entertainment marketers learn from this? One, that people are still very willing to get off the sofa and experience something powerful. And two, a show with water-cooler-worthy content can be a big motivator.

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