South African cinema companies are adapting to the changing landscape of the movie industry by offering alternative content to compete with the rise of streaming services. This includes live concerts, comedy shows, and theatre performances, as well as international concerts, concert films, and live music performances.
According to Nu Metro’s head of marketing, Melanie Williams, the future of cinema primarily depends on the content produced and the overall experience offered to consumers.
“With streaming services gaining more popularity, the future of the movie theatre industry primarily boils down to two main factors: the content being produced as well as the overall experience on offer for the consumer,” Williams said.
“At Nu Metro, we pride ourselves on offering the best possible cinematic experience for our customers, from our multi-sensory 4DX cinemas, which will immerse the viewer into the movie itself, our larger-than-life Xtreme cinemas and our luxurious VIP cinemas.”
While the experience offered to customers is critical, it is also essential for cinema companies to expand their content offerings to remain competitive.
“The future of the movie theatre industry surprisingly also lies in alternative content,” said Williams.
“Live streaming events such as international concerts, live theatre performances, concert films, comedy shows and live music performances.”
“There has been a high demand recently for alternative content, and we strive to continue to incorporate that more to give our customers an unbelievable cinematic experience for years to come,” she added.
Lynne Wylie, chief marketing officer of Ster-Kinekor, also confirmed that the company had shifted its strategy to include non-traditional cinema content, such as music events, to generate additional revenue.
“There is also a focus on non-traditional cinema content, also known as ‘alternative’ content, such as music events to generate the company’s revenue,” said Wylie.
“Ster-Kinekor had an exclusive screening of the 4D reimagined Talking Heads concert film, Stop Making Sense, in IMAX for on” screening.”
She said the event was a hit and sold out, and Ster-Kinekor offered repeat screenings of the concert film at all of its IMAX cinemas” in South Africa.
Barbie and Oppenheimer gave Cinemas a massive boost in 2023
Two movie titles — Barbie and Oppenheimer — took the world by storm in 2023, providing a significant business boost for Nu Metro and Ster-Kinekor.
In September 2023, Nu Metro’s Williams highlighted that Barbie significantly boosted cinema attendance.