The Motion Pictures Association’s (MPA) annual Theme report revealed strong growth in home entertainment revenue as theatrical revenue continued its sustained decline through the pandemic.

However, the MPA’s report said 2021 marked the onset of a rapid rebound overall. The combined global theatrical and home/mobile entertainment markets reached $99.7 billion, up 24% since 2020, and surpassing the pre-pandemic 2019 value.

Of that amount, home entertainment accounted for 79% of all global motion picture revenues.

“Add in pay TV, and the combined global theatrical and home entertainment market grew 6% from 2020 to $328.2 billion, matching 2019’s record high,” MPA Chairman and CEO Charles H. Rivkin said in the report.

Within this, the digital content streaming marketplace in 2021 accounted for 72% of combined theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market, up from 46% in 2019.

In the U.S., the combined theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market in 2021 was $36.8 billion, a 14% increase compared to 2020, and surpassing $36.1 billion in 2019.

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Streaming globally also continued climb, with subscriptions in 2020 up 14% to 1.3 billion throughout 2021.

Among the key trends of the year in the United States were the following:

• The home/mobile entertainment market (content released digitally and on disc) increased to $32.3 billion, up 7% compared to 2020. The number of online video subscriptions in the United States increased 14 percent to 353.2 million in 2021.
• In 2021, there were more than 1,800 original series released, including nearly 560 scripted original series. The number of original series increased 15% compared to 2020, when many series skipped seasons due to pandemic-related production delays. The increase in 2021 was driven by original series released on online services, which reached nearly 700 series in 2021.
• There were nearly 180 original films exclusive to online services released in 2021, comparable to 2020 and an over 90 percent increase from 2017.
• Approximately 80% of U.S. adults watch movies and shows/series via traditional television services and online subscription services, the highest proportion of the home/mobile viewing methods. The Hispanic/Latino ethnicity category is overrepresented in the population of daily viewers of several viewing methods.
• 53% of U.S. adults reported that their viewing of movies or shows/series via an online subscription service increased during the COVID-19 pandemic period, while 42% reported viewing via pay TV increased.
• More than 85% of children and more than 55 percent of adults watched movies and/or shows/series on mobile devices.
• Daily viewers of shows/series and movies via mobile devices skewed more heavily towards the 18-24 and 25-39 year age groups, and towards the Hispanic/Latino and African-American/Black ethnicity categories.

“Over the last two years, the pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of our daily lives, generating new and unexpected challenges,” said Rivkin. “The film, television, and streaming industry has not been immune, and in many ways, we are still navigating this new reality. But, as the Motion Picture Association commemorates our 100th anniversary this year, I have a renewed sense of optimism. In short, 2021 marked the onset of our industry’s rapid rebound.”

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By Greg Tarr

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