“I look back at history,” he said. “Even with all the technological changes, people adapt to them, they get used to them, they like them. And they still want to get out of the house.”
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York, Zoradi said new services like Disney+ and Apple TV+ are bringing overall subscription streaming to a “saturation point.” The impact of that influx, he said, is on activities in people’s homes “and clearly on traditional television.”
In part to counter the impact of streaming, Cinemark has spent more than $1 billion remodeling its theaters, 60% of which now have reclining seats, Zoradi said. Recliner-equipped auditoriums, in turn, account for 70% of total revenue.
The executive was asked about his company’s relations with Netflix, which held talks with Cinemark and other exhibitors about a shorter theatrical window for upcoming releases like The Irishman. For all the inroads Netflix has made in the movie business, it has not managed to break the traditional 74-day window between the theatrical opening and a film’s first availability in home entertainment.
“We have a good relationship with Netflix,” Zoradi said. “We have open communication and we welcome Netflix products to play in our theaters. We really only ask for one thing, and that is that they would play by the same window designation as our major content providers. … We’re not excluding them. In fact, we like them. But we can’t have a different deal for Netflix than we have for all the other major studios.”
As far as dynamic pricing, a concept being explored by other circuits and championed in some corners of Hollywood, Zoradi said widespread implementation at Cinemark is unlikely anytime soon. “We’re going to be cautious,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we won’t do it, but we’re not going to lead with our chin there. We’re going to research and test it before we go broad with it.”