Box office might be at record levels, but the film industry is going to sustain these levels, it has to learn to turn the booming millennial social media to its advantage. That’s what Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis conveyed this morning to CinemaCon attendees and exhibitors. Disney’s presentation isn’t until tonight, but Hollis kicked off a series of industry speeches this morning prior to STX’s session.
While Hollis praised exhibition in spiking the 18-24 audience attendance last year, a demo which many studio executives pain to get into the theaters, the middle age group of 25-39 has declined. Hollis also attributed the flat moviegoing attendance in recent years to consumers’ being diverted by in-home choices such as streaming and social media. The goal: Have as many people to spend two hours of their time in a theater.
“We all believe that films should be seen in the theater. We’ve also seen this proliferation of alternatives of choices … their (moviegoers) habits are changing,” said Hollis, who said, “This is disruption personified. The 25 hours of YouTube content is now 3M per minute uploaded and four-times the amount of music being streamed,” he said and joked that Twitter was up, “probably due to the President.
Flashing up a series of social media logos that included Reddit, Instagram, Facebook and more, Hollis said, “Do your marketing folks know these logos? The people coming to these platforms are younger consumers and using them on an everyday basis. You better know these logos. The disruption is here, we can’t avoid it being here.”
“We can see this as an opportunity and use these to get to the next level … we have to think differently about how we get people into movie theaters,” added Hollis
However, if the industry wants to continue on this box office ride to $46B worldwide in years to come (up from $38B last year,” Hollis says “We can take modern media and turn it to our advantage.”
“The work that we’ve been doing the changes that we’ve been making all the ways we have been making upgrades and changes … we are seeing a payoff. The investments we are making, they are making an impact bringing back people into the theaters. This investment and time we are spending are translating to better choices for consumers … is subsequently driving overall box office revenue.”
Last year, Disney owned industry domestic and global B.O. records respectively of $3B and $7.6B.