Coming Attraction: Movie Theaters in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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The Movie Theaters industry is expected to continue on a slow growth path as disposable income, spending on movie production and corporate profit slowly recover from the recession. IBISWorld estimates that revenue will decline at an annualized rate of 1.2% over the five years to 2012, including a rise of 0.2% to $12.9 billion from 2011 to 2012. In the five years to 2017, the industry will benefit from increasing personal disposable income that is expected to stimulate consumer spending.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Renewed consumer spending and technology changes will drive demand and help keep profit stable during the next five years.

A gradual recovery in business and consumer spending and the lagging recovery in unemployment continue to hinder demand for the Movie Theaters industry. According to IBISWorld industry analyst and report author Agata Kaczanowska, “enhanced cinema experiences, such as 3D technology and luxury theaters, attract a steady audience, partly counterbalancing low consumer spending. However, industry revenue is expected to decline at an annualized rate of 1.2% over the five years to 2012; this growth includes an increase of 0.2% from 2011 to 2012.” IBISWorld anticipates that increasing consumer spending, driven by disposable income growth, will contribute to revenue of $12.9 billion in 2012.

The Movie Theaters industry competes with many video product viewing and access alternatives, including cable and satellite TV, iPods, cell phones and internet movie downloads to computers and game consoles. According to Kaczaowska “this competition is a major driver for investment in theaters, but it has also spurred some companies to consolidate or declare bankruptcy.” Several major players have closed locations and made significant acquisitions, such as Regal Entertainment Group's purchase of some AMC Entertainment theaters and AMC's acquisition of Kerasotes ShowPlace Theaters.

Major operators are investing in digital screens, improved Dolby sound equipment and stadium seating. The popularity of 3D movies has supported these theater investments. Operators charge premium prices for 3D movies and offer an experience that very few people can replicate at home. Industry profitability continues to improve as admission prices escalate and attendance rises. However, promotional discounting still prevails, thanks to weak low disposable incomes and consumer sentiment.

In the five years to 2017, the industry will benefit from increasing personal disposable income that is expected to stimulate consumer spending. During this time, revenue is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 1.2% to $13.8 billion in 2017. IBISWorld forecasts that companies will continue to invest in acquisitions and digital and 3D technologies, keeping profit fairly steady during the next five years.

In 2011, the industry's top four players are expected to control about 55.9% of revenue, influenced by the continuing consolidation of operators. This concentration has increased from about 45.9% in 2006, because a number of the major operators purchased many small and larger operators after their release from Chapter 11 proceedings. The major industry players are Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark Holdings.

For more information visit IBISWorld’s Movie Theaters in the US industry page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry is made up of businesses that primarily exhibit movies. It includes cinemas, drive-in and outdoor movie theaters, and film festival exhibitors.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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