How Movie Theaters Will Face A Post-Pandemic World : The Indicator from Planet Money Many people will watch movies on a big screen this summer, but the pandemic fundamentally changed the industry. How can movie theaters survive and possibly thrive post-pandemic?

Is Movie Night Back?

Is Movie Night Back?

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Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images
(Photo by Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)
Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

The pandemic has decimated the movie theater industry, with ticket sales dropping by 80% in 2020. Now that reopenings are under way and blockbusters are getting back in line for release, will movie theaters be able to make a comeback?

According to Patrick Corcoran, Vice President of the National Association of Theater Owners, one challenge theaters face is something they've always faced; the ability to cater different audiences. Different age groups have different interests, spending power and time to go to the movies. To complicate things even more, the pandemic has fundamentally destroyed the industry's release schedule, with dozens of major releases postponed in 2020 and 2021.

Even amidst this crisis, there is hope. Film industry analyst David Hancock argues that the industry is adapting to current trends. And that it has some super powers to help it through difficult times. For example, the familiar and beloved characters in film franchises like Marvel can be counted on to sell tickets and so can be more cost effective and efficient to market. He also argues that the idea that streaming will kill the cinema industry isn't valid. It has withstood DVDs. It can withstand Netflix and Hulu (and Amazon Prime??) too. In today's episode we look at the challenges the industry has to deal with in normal times and how those same challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

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