Coming out of the pandemic, theatrical national TV advertising continues to recover — but is still not on par with 2019. National TV ad spending is 20% lower at $593.5 million versus $745.9 million for the same pre-pandemic period in 2019 — according to iSpot.tv estimates.
In a virtual popcornucopia, the top 10 film studios this far have invested $474.9 million to promote their summer releases on national TV, a figure that will only continue to swell as the temperature rises.
More high-profile movie studios’ summer movies continue to spend big dollars headed into the Memorial Day weekend — traditionally the start of the season.
Spending has increased by 5% since 2012, to more than $3.45 billion. The reasons include major spending on TV and more films to promote. More dollars continue to flow online.
Through four months of the big summer season, movie studios have slightly amped up their national TV media buying — with Warner Bros, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney as major spenders. This year, industry national TV spending — virtually all for theatrical movies — is at $1.07 billion from May 1 to Sept. 1, according to iSpot.tv — up 3% over the $1.04 billion level of a year ago.
As blockbuster season winds down, TV networks are hoping that the handful of remaining big-budget summer movies will help lift their third-quarter sales numbers. While most of the summer’s most popular films have stopped advertising altogether, a few movies of more recent vintage continue to pour promotional dollars into TV. Chief among these is Paramount’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation which, since rolling out its first spot on March 22, has accounted for $36.3 million in TV spend.
Spending was up 7.7% in the first quarter, led by Comcast and Time Warner, as studios try to lure people back into theaters. Box office is down year to date.