A Missed Opportunity, Cinema

Prior to 2020, the global film industry had consistent box office revenue growth.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic many movie theaters have closed.

Amidst this unfortunate climate, what relevant demands have continued or spiked?

To name a few, the demand for new content and incredible in-person experiences, the latter demand evolved into a variety of different services in the past months.

These are two areas which I don’t see shrinking in the next few years.

So now the million dollar question, how can movie theaters innovate to meet demand?

If I put myself in the shoes of cinema executives, operating theaters, I’d try a lot of new things to see what sticks and is adopted by customers.

I briefly surveyed some friends and discovered the below:

I go to the movies for:
Date night (33%)
A movie they can’t wait to see (33%)
The full movie experience (33%)

With the above demands in mind, I would start by offering three different options.

  1. Theaters adopt AirBnb model.
    You can rent a small lounge space (potential during COVID) for a date night or a group of friends. Lots of opportunity to play with pricing, per individual/per room/per hour. Option to offer food + photo experience as well and provide customers autonomy of what movie to watch.
  2. Partnerships.
    Draw in a younger audience through additional partnerships. All surveyed said they would be more likely to go to the movies if there was a partnership with Doordash or some swag you could get from the movie you saw.
  3. Social.
    Pop up pop up photo experiences have become a serious trend over the years. If your movie experience also included a great photo opportunity, could be themed based on the movie or not, could be a major win for theaters with minimal costs + they might be able to garner additional revenue from studios like Walt Disney if they want to have a special pop up photo experience for a specific film.

All in all, my strategic approach would be to diversify revenue sources and test a new service to better understand and serve underlying customer demand.

Photo by Felix Mooneeram on Unsplash.

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