How DX Unleashes The Potential of Big Data in the Cinema Industry

July 24, 2023
The DX Team
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Moviegoers, more and more, expect an unforgettable cinematic journey where every aspect of their experience is carefully crafted to captivate and delight. 

To create this kind of experience at your cinema, you first need to understand who your audience is and what they expect from you. 

That’s why harnessing big data is becoming a critical part of the cinema marketing mix and we, at DX, are on a mission to empower cinema operators with just that.

Having years of experience in the industry is just one side of the equation, but not enough.

You need to have the right data, easy to access and easy to use, to make better decisions and leverage it for your cinema business. 

In this article, we’re exploring:

  • Big data characteristics and how they work for your cinema
  • Types of data analytics and dashboards we’re prototyping at DX
  • How big data can serve the cinema value chain: exhibitors and distributors

Big Data for Your Cinema

Big data has four key characteristics, also known as the 4Vs:


Volume refers to the sheer amount of data you can generate and gather. In the cinema industry, this includes data from ticket sales, customer demographics, social media interactions, website analytics and more. The larger the volume of data available, the more insights can be derived, and the more accurately you can predict data patterns.


Velocity refers to how fast the data is generated, processed, and analysed. Cloud-based software operates in real-time or near real-time, helping you decide faster.


Variety represents the diversity of data sources and formats. Data can come from various sources in the cinema industry, such as ticketing systems, customer surveys, social media platforms, mobile apps, and more. The data can take different forms, including structured data (transaction records) and unstructured data (customer reviews or social media posts).


Veracity refers to the accuracy and reliability of data. With the massive amount of data being generated, ensuring its integrity becomes crucial, as you need to ensure the data you collect is trustworthy and free from errors or biases. For example, you can cross-reference ticket sales data with actual attendance numbers to identify discrepancies and adjust your operational strategies accordingly. 

The possibilities are endless with big data because you can use the information you acquire to address several business problems you wouldn’t have been able to tackle before.

So integrating a purpose-built cinema software that enables you to harness this data is a competitive advantage more than ever. And the reason for that is that with big data, you can build predictive analytics models and know more about potential future performance. The more data you have and the more accurate it is, the better the predictions to:

  • Identify trends and patterns that can help predict future sales and ticket flows.
  • Optimize ticket and concession prices — create promotions, understand peak times, etc.
  • Develop more effective marketing strategies
  • Optimise staffing flows
  • Improve user experience

How DX Is Building A Data Platform

Because we’re still in the discovery phase of our data platform development, we’re evaluating different vendors and solutions to find the best fit for our needs. We’re also working on data proofs-of-concept to assess how to better serve cinemas and, in the future, distributors.

Today, we are working with a cinema association partner and a distributor in Norway to explore data analytics, insights, and the best way to create a cinema business intelligence function in our DX solution

Here are the three proofs-of-concept we’re experimenting with to standardize the way you can analyze data and optimise your decision making process:

#1 Ticket Sale Dashboard

The ticket sale dashboard aims to help cinema managers identify key performance indicators (KPIs), such as knowing what data to compare to see how well your cinema is doing, far beyond attendance figures.

Some KPIs we provide regarding ticket sales include:

  • Admission
  • Number of shows
  • Average values including average admission per show, average ticket price, and average degree of coverage in an auditorium
  • Number of free tickets
  • Distribution of sales between sales channels and payment methods
  • Pre-sale days
  • Trends for all of the above, so data becomes actionable and you can compare previous periods (week over week, month over month, year over year trends)

Here’s an example of what the ticket sale dashboard looks like:

Prototype for DX — Ticket Sale Dashboard

The advantage of the ticket sale dashboard is it allows you to identify trends and patterns of the taste and behaviour of consumers. So, you won’t have to manually gather and analyse data to understand the preferences of your moviegoers because the cinema software can automatically collate that information for you.

More than that, you’ll have a better idea of which films will require more staffing, so you have the power to think ahead and optimise your overall operations.

#2 Concession Sales / Kiosk Dashboard

The Concession Sales / Cinema Kiosk type of dashboard aims to provide opportunities for cinema managers to compare the operations of every kiosk they manage on a standard data basis. With this, you’ll be able to understand what your most popular products are, how to better manage your offering and promotions, etc.

Most cinema managers cannot compare the sales of the same product merely because they don’t know what to compare. After all, dirty data (unorganised) would result in bad outputs. So, we aim to resolve that through a standardised approach — meaning product naming and other details are standardised in the inventory:

Prototype for DX — Concession Sale Dashboard

The key figures you can acquire from our dashboard prototype will include the following:

  • Number of orders
  • Admission
  • Average value of order
  • Pickup rate

Of course, there are concession types and cinema kiosk operations that are harder to standardise such as:

  • Alcohol sale
  • Café activities
  • Discounts and loyalty programs

Nonetheless, we’re exploring the best options for a Concession Sales dashboard that will provide you with accurate information so you’ll know what your audience preferences are, when to run campaigns, and how to leverage those campaigns based on sales performance, for instance.

#3 Distributors Dashboard

Historically, it’s hard for distributors to acquire ticket pre-sale figures in the needed time. But DX aims to simplify the process and help film distributors access the information faster to provide new strategies to improve movie sales.

For example, earlier this year, DX dug into the average ticket pre-sale data and found that the average movie ticket pre-sale time is 4.67 days for the opening weekend of popular titles (*data based on our Norwegian cinema clients). 

The most significant advantage of a distributor dashboard is it allows you to access big data faster, empowering you to evaluate film performance in real time and help cinemas with the film’s marketing campaign. This is beneficial, especially since accurate, agile prediction is crucial when working with limited screens.

It's also a way to course-correct and optimise a film's marketing campaign based on market reactions.

Prototype for DX — Film Presale Dashboard

Be Better With Big Data

As the curtains rise on the cinema industry’s grand comeback, the stakes have never been higher. Moviegoers are returning to theatres, seeking a movie experience they can’t have at home. To meet these evolving audience expectations and increase sales, a purpose-built cinema software solution empowered by big data, like DX, is your ticket to success.

At DX, our mission is to empower you to use big data to improve the different parts of the cinema journey in various ways—from choosing a movie to selling experiences. Moreover, DX enables you to access data in real-time, so you won’t have to worry about making decisions whenever and wherever you need it.

Learn more about how DX allows cinema managers to utilise and maximise the power of Big Data in improving cinema operations by subscribing to our newsletter and following our LinkedIn page.

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