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Motion picture theatres, 2018

Released: 2019-09-13

Despite the rise in popularity of streaming services offering movies, the motion picture and video exhibition industry generated $1.9 billion in operating revenue in 2018, up 5.7% from 2016.

The motion picture and video exhibition industry consists of establishments that are primarily engaged in exhibiting motion pictures, including cinemas, drive-in theatres and film festivals.

E-commerce sales accounted for 19.4% of total sales, up from 14.6% in 2016.

Ontario accounted for the largest share of operating revenue at 42.7%, followed by Quebec (16.6%), British Columbia (15.2%) and Alberta (14.7%). Ontario posted the largest dollar gain compared with 2016, increasing by $62.3 million. Quebec (+$17.9 million) and British Columbia (+$17.7 million) also posted significant gains over the same period.

Operating expenses totalled $1.6 billion in 2018, up 3.9% or $59.5 million from 2016. Operating profit margins rose from 14.7% in 2016 to 16.2% in 2018.

Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits rose 8.6% from 2016 to $268.2 million in 2018. These gains occurred at the same time as several provinces legislated important increases to minimum wage. In Ontario, a 14.1% increase in salaries, wages, commissions and benefits coincided with a $2.60 per hour increase in minimum wage since 2016. Increases in Alberta (+7.3%) and British Columbia (+6.6%) also coincided with minimum wage increases of $2.80 per hour and $2.20 per hour, respectively, over the same period.

Royalties, franchise fees, and memberships (30.6%) constituted the largest proportion of total operating expenses, followed by salaries, wages, commissions and benefits (17.0%) and rental and leasing (15.0%).

The number of paid admissions decreased by 4.3 million (-4.2%), despite the fact that 2018 featured several notable blockbuster films, such as Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Despite fewer paid admissions, total admission receipts (box office sales) were up 1.0% (+$9.3 million) from 2016. An increasing number of theatres are now offering enhanced experiences, including reserved seating, reclining chairs, and 3D and IMAX screens, at a higher price.

Total sales of goods and services, which include total admission receipts, rose 2.9% from 2016 to $1.7 billion. Food and beverage sales accounted for the majority of that gain, increasing by $30.5 million. Several theatres are now offering a larger variety of available concessions, including full meals and alcoholic beverages. Changes to provincial liquor laws in Ontario and Alberta have also allowed for the introduction and/or expansion of service of alcoholic beverages to moviegoers.

  Note to readers

Data for 2014 and 2016 have been revised.

Contact information

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