[Avatar] “The Way of Water” doesn’t change the current reality any more than “Maverick” did, which is this: In the last four years, theatrical attendance has declined by about 50 percent.
Box office for 2022 ended a little under $7.4 billion domestic, with $26 billion worldwide. That fell far short of the year’s weakest projections, a consensus first stated in December 2021 by financial analyst Gower Street and repeated widely in the media: $9.2 billion domestic and $33.2 billion worldwide. Last March during a quarterly financial call, AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron said “We are quite bullish that for the full calendar year of 2022 the industry box office could be nearly double that of 2021″ — that is, about $8.8 billion domestic. On those bases, we have shortfall of somewhere between 20 and 25 percent.
As for calculating that attendance drop: The last full pre-Covid year of 2019 generated a domestic box-office total of $11.3 billion, down from $11.9 billion in 2018. Those numbers came at lower ticket prices, by approximately 20 percent or more. (Exhibitor trade association NATO still declines to announce a current average ticket price, which it has not updated since 2019.)
Based on today’s admission costs, the 2018 domestic box-office total would be over $14 billion. Back out of the totals to calculate admissions, and we reach a dire conclusion: Theatrical attendance in 2022 is about 52 percent of 2018. The massive success of “Maverick” and “The Way of Water” — not to mention no official tracking of actual admissions — tends to obscure that reality.
In other words this is not related to Covid-19. Yes, 2021 saw only $4.4 billion domestic, and 2020 should probably not count, but the decline started in 2019 and appears consistent through 2022. They underperformed by 25% projections that were still only about 65% of their 2018 peak.
In 2022, even Cinemark — the major exhibitor with the strongest financials — saw its stock drop 47 percent from the start of the year. AMC added the APE offering to its original stock and its per-share price dropped almost 80 percent in 12 months. At the height of its mid-2021 meme stock glory, it was more than $59 per share. London-based Cineworld, which owns #2 Regal, has filed for bankruptcy.
The natural inclination would be to assume that streaming services have taken up the slack. After all, if grocery stores have declining sales, we would assume that restaurants or online grocery shopping is filling the gap, not that people are starving to death. And it’s certainly possible, but Netflix also had enormous decline this year, with 200,000 subscribers leaving, making them the worst performing stock in 2022 on the S&P 500, losing 62.5% of their value.
If I could quote myself from that very article I linked.
While they’re coping that the end of Covid-19 bullshit lockdowns is the reason for them losing value, it’s not like they jumped up in value from Covid-19. Here’s their longer term share price graph.
To get to their current share price of less than $200 we would need to go all the way back to the summer of 2017.
Stock price is a crude measure of how many people are watching (((Hollywood))) filth. We can directly measure the decline of theater audiences, but with streaming services they don’t always give us the numbers.
While “Avatar: The Way of Water” is making a run at box office fortune and glory, Walt Disney’s stock price has yet to recover from a stock tumble seemingly brought about by the sequel’s slightly softer-than-expected opening weekend.
Disney has been in trouble for a while, so much so that the Jew Bob Iger had to re-assume direct control, even though he was always controlling things behind the scenes and the things which are causing them to lose money are things he approved. Case in point, arguably the biggest box office disaster of all time, Strange World, was approved when he was still the CEO. This is the corporate equivalent of pulling the starting goaltender after he lets in 7, then pulling the backup and putting him back in after he gives up another 5. It’s a cheap way of shaking up things and pretending to have some energy and ideas, when in reality it’s the fundamentals of your organization that is the problem.
“Avatar 2’s” $441 million global opening weekend, 16% below the potentially hyperbolic pre-release hopes of a $525 million worldwide launch, wasn’t big enough for Wall Street. The stock tumbled from $90.04 last Friday to $85.76 at market close on Monday, below any other point in 2022 and nearing the 52-week low of $84.69. It has since recovered slightly, closing Thursday with $86.67.
Avatar 2 also sucks, according to the one and only reviewer that I actually trust.
It’s not just him. Searching “Avatar 2” on YouTube gives you a strongly negative collection of reviews. It also gives you this silly video, reminding you how dorky the whole thing is.
It’s possible that Avatar 2 will in fact break even, or even be wildly profitable. Expectations seem overly high, but I’ve seen reports that the film has already gone over $1 billion. I also saw James Cameron himself saying that the film needed to gross over $2 billion, but I don’t know if that’s true. Part of his marketing for his movies is telling you how expensive they are, which can get people to go watch them out of a feeling of obligation. After all, it’s not just a movie, it’s the most expensive movie of all time.
A majority of moviegoers feel that films released exclusively in theaters are of a higher quality than films released on streaming platforms, a new survey conducted by Fandango reveals. A study of more than 6,000 ticket-buyers found that 68% of respondents believed theatrical titles to be higher in quality than films released directly on streaming platforms, which is no doubt good news for theater chains as the summer movie season ramps up.
That article was written in April of 2022. We now have some of those theater chains declaring bankruptcy.
I can’t tell you with any certainty what will happen in the movie industry. I can tell you that the products they’re pushing are cinematic disasters that you don’t need to be a Hitler Worshiper to dislike, as evidenced by Strange World and Buzz Lightyear bombing. I can tell you that this Globo Homo Schlomo garbage affects Netflix, Disney, Amazon Studios, and all the rest. Remember bros? Or Santa Inc?
We know that the theater audiences are declining sharply, and we know that the product is garbage, and even normies think so as well, but we don’t know for sure that streaming services haven’t taken up the slack, although they don’t appear to be making money.
It would be satisfying for the film/streaming industry to just flat out die, but I think we’ll see more like 10% decline year over year as it limps along. The problems they’re facing will not be solved with some novelty hits, like Avatar 2, where you can get people in seats by telling them how expensive it was to make. Audiences have had so many terrible moviegoing experiences that they’ve become cynical towards modern (((cinema))). Even Avatar 2 is doing long term reputational damage to Hollywood, since it’s dumb and will make people that much less likely to watch another movie. Of course all of this could be solved by simply giving people what they want to see, but that’s not on the table.