Not another comic book movie

Hollywood’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad summer offers lessons on differentiation and market segmentation.

by: Erik Payne

American movie goers have shunned the Hollywood box office this summer. According to an August 29 article in the New York Times, summer ticket sales in the United States and Canada are expected to total roughly $3.9 billion, a 15% decline year-over-year. And that’s despite the fact that eight of 2014’s top 10 highest earners in domestic dollars were released between the first weekend in May and the end of August.

This summer’s tepid box office performance offers two overarching takeaways for the major movie studies. As it turns out, there are lessons credit unions can learn as well.

Fatigue Of The Familiar

Of 2014’s top 10 highest grossing movies domestically, five are direct sequels, three are rebooted or re-imagined characters from earlier films, one was based on a children’s toy, and one — the year’s highest grossing film — was adapted from a comic book.

This lack of creativity isn’t new — in 2013, eight of the top 10 movies were sequels, reboots, or re-imaginings; in 2012, there were six; and in 2011, there were nine — but the sense of déjà vu came to a head this summer.

Quality aside, this summer’s movies made less money relative to their previous installments. Ot the 12 sequels released this summer, and all but three performed worse than their predecessors. Sequels are supposed to support a brand and engender loyalty. This summer’s selections did neither.

For credit unions, replace “box office sales” with “product and service usage.” Members will always require the basic services just as moviegoers require entertainment. But it’s how an institution delivers that basic service that incentivizes the member to adopt.

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