Cinema Foundation Study Digs Deep Into Interesting Facts On Ticket Prices, Programming, And Prestige TV In Theaters

House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO Max)

For decades (and most of our lifetimes), we have associated the movie theater with first-run movies. If you wanted to see Creed 3, Scream VI, or any of this year’s upcoming movies, you headed to your local AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas, or your chain of choice to watch the film with a community of movie lovers. And while that is still the case, audiences these days are demonstrating the fact that they also want to head to the theater to enjoy concerts, sporting events, and – more than ever before – prestige television events. 

The Cinema Foundation recently released its inaugural State of the Cinema Industry report, and the findings were promising for exhibitors, studios and film fans alike. The study analyzes box office trends, theater counts (both domestic and overseas), the average ticket price, the ongoing struggle with piracy, and consumer sentiment toward the theatrical going experience. And as part of its findings, The Cinema Foundation revealed that moviegoers “hope to see more diverse genres at the movie theater” in the coming months – i.e., not nonstop superhero movies – and that consumers “are willing to pay a premium price for alternate content and new experiences on the big screen.”

By alternate content, this has come to mean sporting events such as the NFL, and series finales for culture-changing programs like Game of Thrones. Following the release of the Cinema Foundation study, Jackie Brenneman, president of The Cinema Foundation, joined our ReelBlend podcast to discuss the findings and the state of the moviegoing experience. And when I brought up the concept of television in movie theaters, she told ReelBlend:

It's an opportunity for our studio partners that are investing heavily in these exciting TV shows. People describe this era as peak TV. We've polled lots of people. Moviegoers and non-moviegoers. This is a study done by the Quorum, and they took all of these different people and asked them… ‘Would you pay for these various experiences?’ And especially for television shows – for some of the streaming premieres, finales, and live concert events – the answer from across all demographics was overwhelmingly yes. ‘I don't even go to the movies, and I want to go to this!’

What the theaters offer is open capacity. Part of the Cinema Foundation study reported how an influx of new theatrical titles from major movie studios will increase year-over-year for 2023, giving audience members more chances to come to the cinema and see the movies that they love. But alternate programming will continue to be a supplement to that content, and should only continue to grow in the coming years. 

Listen to our complete interview with Jackie Brenneman on this week’s ReelBlend episode:

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And in the meantime, keep tracking all of the incredible films that we will see in theaters, from Marvel and DC to sequels, prequels and the latest from Pixar Animation Studios. 

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.