Streaming Service Subscriptions Soar to 1 Billion as Global Box Office Falters

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Streaming Service Subscriptions Soar to 1 Billion as Global Box Office Falters

By Movieguide® Staff

Streaming service subscriptions soared last year and recently reached 1.1 billion users globally as the pandemic forced people into their homes and closed theaters. 

While the traditional box office limped through 2020, tapping out at $12 billion worldwide compared to $42.5 billion in 2019, audiences turned to a growing field of streaming services in addition to Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. 

According to the Motion Pictures Association’s annual theme report, digital home entertainment grew by 23% to $68.8 billion. 

“Despite the challenges to the global economy brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the film television, and streaming industry has once again risen to the occasion,” Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association said. “Streaming experienced another huge boom, with new entrants into the market and more than one billion subscriptions worldwide for the first time ever.”

But the report also noted that while theater attendance was substantially lower, it was not entirely neglected.  

“In the United States and Canada, 162 million people (46%) went to the cinema at least once in 2020. Last year, the typical moviegoer bought 4.6 tickets annually. Per capita attendance was the highest among people ages 12 to 17 and Hispanic audiences had the largest presence among ethnic groups,” Variety reported

“We kept audiences connected and entertained wherever they were and whenever they desired,” Rivkin added. “Theatrical and home entertainment remain two essential parts of this dynamic and iconic industry, and I am confident that movie theaters will experience a great comeback in the months ahead.”

Movieguide® previously reported that what little box office success there was in 2020 was due to family-friendly movies that extolled moral values. 

Movieguide® previously reported

Universal U.S. distribution Boss Jim Orr told Deadline: “We unleashed the best in industry marketing to drive as many people to as many opened theaters as we possibly could, and the results speak for themselves…” 

Orr continued: “When you have an incredibly charming film, people want to come out and want to be together in a theater. Those that do, did, and enjoyed the Croods: A New Age very much.”

While Movieguide®’s hypothesis was relevant when the box office was stable, COVID-19 has proven the importance of movies like THE CROODS: A NEW AGE.

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