This year, there were quite a few good movies, but box office ticket sales have been dwindling. Hollywood continues to put out sequels and Michael Bay movies, and people just aren’t as interested in going to the movies as they used to be. Blame the lousy movies, blame high ticket prices, blame the fact that theaters are playing the same Hollywood junk instead of taking a risk on more unique movies, or blame piracy. Hell, you might even be able to blame Kim Jong Un and his band of hackers this year.
Meanwhile, iOS app developers have been putting out great apps, as well as some very lousy games that still make money. A growing number of people are getting smartphones, and this holiday season was an excellent one for top smartphone manufacturers, Apple and Samsung. For those that have been keeping track, App Store developer revenues have actually surpassed Hollywood box office numbers. Developers are beating movie producers.
Of course, box office profits are only a small part of a flim’s revenue stream. For example, part of the reason we’ve seen so many lousy remakes and sequels is the foreign market. Chinese movie goers can’t get enough of our sequels and remakes. Hopefully they get as bored of them as I am. There are also movie sales, DVD, Blue Ray, and digital, movie rentals, and royalties from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. So no, app developers aren’t making more money than Hollywood yet, but they are beating box office ticket sale revenues, and that’s still an incredible accomplishment.
With more consumers ditching their dumb phones and feature phones for smartphones like those running iOS, Android, Windows, or Blackberry OS, this trend is only going to continue. The App Store is the best place for developers to make money, as iOS users spend more on apps, and development costs are lower on iOS. However, plenty of money is still being made for Android, Windows, and even Blackberry apps, so developers could be making much more than Hollywood when other platforms are considered.
People are increasingly staying indoors, and want to stream their movies instead of visit a theater to watch them. As movie fans could tell you, theaters are still the best way to watch a movie, but may come with inconviences that people just aren’t willing to deal with. Movie studios will have to work harder to buck this trend and make trips to the theater more attractive, but so far, they’re more interested in churning out the kind of movies that make money overseas. You’ve got a weekend, why not go check out some new movies? It’s likely you can find a theater playing The Imitation Game, Semla, Birdman, or American Sniper, movies that are up for a ‘Best Picture’ Oscar right now.