Wall Street analysts are dead wrong about how streaming will cannibalize ticket sales to start a “cord-cutting cycle” like the one that sent subscribers from cable TV to SVOD.
Analysts love streaming because it’s tech and the growth of anything tech means big money for their firms while exhibition’s survival means little or nothing to Wall Street. Moviegoing’s not like pay TV. People did cord cutting to lower their monthly bills because they were fed up having to pay hundreds of dollars for tiers of channels they never watched. Moviegoing’s something people do selectively when there’s something playing they really want to see and in 2021 the average U.S. ticket cost is only $9.16.
Despite day & date streaming competition, theatres have seen encouraging pandemic era levels of ticket sales all summer. Doomsayers who were warning JUNGLE CRUISE (pictured) would sink were mistaken. It over performed in theatres this weekend while streaming on Disney+ (for a $29.99 upcharge) to people who preferred to stay home. Quite possibly, many of them would not have wanted to go out to see it in theatres if it weren’t available to watch on their couches.