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Movie attendance continued its long-term decline in 2013

2013 North American movie box office results are in. On a per capita basis, movie attendance declined 1.3% in 2013 after an increase in per capita attendance in 2012 compared to 2011.

cinemaboxoffice2012attendance decline

There is always some year-to-year variance in movie attendance based on the movies offered each year, especially if there are any blockbusters such as Avatar in 2009 and Marvel’s The Avengers in 2012. However, as can be seen on the graph below, the 2013 attendance decline is a continuation of a long-term trend of declining per capita attendance from its peak in 2002. Per capita movie attendance has declined 21% since that peak year.

Moviegoing has the highest participation rate of any type of out-of-home location-based entertainment (more than three times greater than the next most popular, bowling). Roughly two-thirds of the U.S./Canadian population age 2+ went to a movie at the cinema at least once in the past few years. The data on participation isn’t in yet for 2013, so we can’t tell whether the decline in per capita attendance is attributable to a decline in the participation rate or a decline in the number of movies moviegoers are seeing each year, or perhaps both. In any case, our research indicates that other forms of entertainment are slowly displacing moviegoing. Moviegoing appears to be a bellwether of what is happening to all type of location-based entertainment.

Our company’s research suggests that the root cause for the decline is at-home and mobile digital entertainment, both viewing movies at home on large screen HDTVs as well as on mobile devices, and other forms of entertainment including games and social media. Digital entertainment is also taking market share away from other forms of location-based entertainment.

About Randy White

Randy White is CEO and co-founder of the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group. The 31-year-old company, with offices in Kansas City, Missouri, has worked for over 600 clients in 37 countries throughout the world. Projects the company has designed and produced have won seventeen 1st place awards. Randy is considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on feasibility, brand development, design and production of leisure experience destinations including entertainment, eatertainment, edutainment, agritainment/agritourism, play and leisure facilities.

Randy was featured on the Food Network's Unwrapped television show as an eatertainment expert, quoted as an entertainment/edutainment center expert in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Time magazine and received recognition for family-friendly designs by Pizza Today magazine. One of the company's projects was featured as an example of an edutainment project in the book The Experience Economy. Numerous national newspapers have interviewed him as an expert on shopping center and mall entertainment and retail-tainment.

Randy is a graduate of New York University. Prior to repositioning the company in 1989 to work exclusively in the leisure and learning industry, White Hutchinson was active in the retail/commercial real estate industry as a real estate consultancy specializing in workouts/turnarounds of commercial projects. In the late 1960s to early 1980s, Randy managed a diversified real estate development company that developed, owned and managed over 2.0 million square feet of shopping centers and mixed-use projects and 2,000 acres of residential subdivisions. Randy has held the designations of CSM (Certified Shopping Center Manager) and Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

He has authored over 150 articles that have been published in over 40 leading entertainment/leisure and early childhood education industry magazines and journals and has been a featured speaker and keynoter at over 40 different conventions and trade groups.

Randy is the editor of his company's Leisure eNewsletter, has a blog and posts on Twitter and Linkedin.

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