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Today in Connected Consumer

There’s trouble in Tinseltown. Movie theater attendance hit a 16-year low in 2011, dropping 4 percent from 2010. The slowing turnstiles have led some analysts to lower their ratings for shares of publicly traded theater chains, sending the stocks down sharply. But don’t expect things to improve much soon. BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield released his predictions fro 2012 yesterday (see here for the LA Times’ right up, and here for Greenfield’s registration-required blog post) and he offered little cheer for the traditional movie business. “We believe consumers are tiring of expensive, premium-priced movie experiences, particularly when combined with an increasingly unsatisfying exhibition experience,” Greenfield wrote.”We expect movie attendance to fall yet again in 2012; more importantly we believe attendance is now in a secular decline in the U.S.” At the same time, Greenfield expects video piracy to explode over the next few years as TVs, “rapidly become IP-enabled or ‘smart’ directly or indirectly with apps that facilitate piracy.” He also thinks SOPA is a fool’s errand that will do nothing to change consumer behavior. Good times.