Technological change and managerial challenges in the movie theater industry

Charles B. Weinberg, Cord Otten, Barak Orbach, Jordi McKenzie, Ricard Gil, Darlene C. Chisholm, Suman Basuroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The recent rise of digital technology in the delivery of entertainment casts doubt among industry stakeholders on whether movie theaters will continue to be the primary channel of the release of motion pictures. Despite the growth of competing outlets due to the spread of digitalization, we argue that the movie theater industry may benefit from digital technologies as well. Enhancing the cinemagoing experience, better matching of the cinemagoing experience to consumer preferences, and improving capacity utilization are crucial if movie theaters are to continue having a pivotal role in the distribution of filmed entertainment. In particular, our data analysis demonstrates that the use of new digital technologies and “big data” may be one way to turn the current threats into future opportunities for movie exhibitors. Therefore, managerial strategies that aim to raise the value proposition of theaters by enhancing the cinemagoing experience, and that boost adaptability to rapidly changing consumer preferences about how and when they view filmed entertainment, ought to be studied and implemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-262
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Cultural Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Big data
  • Digitalization
  • Exhibitors
  • Filmed entertainment
  • Movies
  • Product differentiation
  • Technological change
  • Theaters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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