Features

GEM-BUZZ: Can Cinemas Survive the Rise of Streaming?
Jun. 17, 2019
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Access: GEM E-News 19- Cinemas

Entertainment- Cinemas, Exhibition, Concerts… Cinemas voted as an inexpensive form of entertainment. People who love movies, like us, will tell you that watching a movie in a cinema is preferable than at home- the audio-visual impact, as well as the societal experience of watching with your friends or complete strangers as a collective group make going to a cinema unique and magical.

The plethora of viewing options at home—from streaming video to cable TV (especially the addiction of watching series like Game of Thrones and Grey’s Anatomy in your fav pyjamas)—mean that bricks and mortar cinemas are facing a battle to attract audiences?

Fundamentally the cinema business is not about selling a ticket to a movie, it’s about selling the popcorns and experience. We see cinemas being much more attentive in changes in people’s taste, from more high-end food offerings, premium beverage offerings and luxurious seats. We all need the “excuse” of a date-night with our loved ones and friends.

This year, China wrapped up the first six days of the Chinese New Year with a record-breaking 5.8 billion ($860 million) yuan box office, according to data collected by Maoyan, Alibaba’s movie ticketing service slated for an initial public offering.

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)- the Chinese e-commerce king has taken a 7.7% ownership stake in Wanda Film Holding, the movie unit of Dalian Wanda Group. Wanda owns top U.S. movie theatre chain AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) with over 1,000 theatres and 11,000 screens across the globe.

In 2018, the total number of screens in China reached 60,079, up 18% over the previous year. This meant that more than 9,000 screens were added in 2018. So far this year, the trend has continued, with the building of 511 additional cinemas boasting over 3,200 screens.