A new year always brings new energy and we at DX can’t wait for the big year ahead of us. After an extremely successful 2022 for our company (more on that later), we have ambitious goals of entering new markets with our new cloud-based technology and showing even more people around the globe how DX powers great experiences for our cinema customers and their audiences. We onboarded our first international market, Sweden, with more markets to come. Perhaps best of all, we closed the year with movie theaters full of happy faces experiencing the magic of Avatar 2 on the big screen.
While we’re looking ahead to a bright future, we do so with a keen understanding of the ups and downs of the industry we operate in. There’s no denying that the last few years have been challenging for the cinema industry. We don't expect to see another record-breaking year where the global box office will be $42.5 billion like in 2019. But there are far more positive signs than negative ones. The 2022 global box office was 27 percent higher than the grosses of the previous year, with some markets, like Japan, nearly back to pre-pandemic grosses.
Can that comeback growth be sustained? We know that it wasn’t just the pandemic that changed audience behavior and the ways content is consumed. Before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, the boogeyman for the “death” of cinemas was the rapid rise of streaming, and challenges on that front remain unresolved. Studios and exhibitors will continue to butt heads about the theatrical release window, though some, like Netflix, are demonstrating an increased willingness to incorporate theatrical releases in distribution models. Cinemas must continue to embrace their role as an experience that streaming simply cannot replicate. Traditional cinema content will keep evolving to include more special events, more diverse content (like the increasing popularity of anime), and incorporating NFT and web3 models into ticketing and user experience by offering content beyond traditional film exhibitions.
Of course, the very structure of the major players in the industry may soon be rewritten in 2023. Will Comcast make an offer to purchase Warner Bros.? Is newly-returned Disney CEO Bob Iger back in the company to orchestrate a sale to Apple – and, if not, what are his plans for the future of the House of Mouse? What are Amazon’s plans with its recent acquisition of MGM under the new leadership of Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios? The resolution of any of these questions would have a major impact on the entertainment industry as a whole and the cinema industry in particular.
We can also put our fan caps on for a moment and revel in the excitement of major blockbusters set for 2023, like The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Fast X, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and all the stunning independent features we can't wait to see in cinemas.
That love of cinema brings us back to DX. 2022 was already a transformational year for our company. Our new cloud-based product balances the functional and the delightful yet launching our next-gen cloud-native platform is the foundational layer of what we will achieve with our product in the future. In the tech industry, we know perhaps better than anyone else that the world is moving at a rapid pace. It’s why we’re now working with a hardware-software solution – to ensure our customers have the best tools to embrace the next generation of cinema and continue to connect, share, and transact with their audiences in new ways.
Most of all, I have so much faith in the future of DX because of the team we have behind it. Those who have worked with me have heard me say that no team on the planet is as well-positioned and able to execute our vision for the cinema industry as DX is, and I mean it every time I say it. For me, the best part of 2022 in DX was the wonderful people who joined our team, and we begin 2023 with four new team members to help support our continued growth. And we will continue to operate as a remote-first organization – something that first happened because of necessity but has proven to be an incredible way to build an unstoppable team with the best talent from across the globe. In 2022, all members of the DX family spent three days together in Bodø for our summit. The camaraderie we shared during those days made me realize that the remote nature of our company strengthened our bonds as coworkers and friends.
I have learned new things in 2022. About myself, our industry, remote culture, and leading people.
I hope you have learned valuable things and experienced growth in areas important to you.
May we all enjoy that same success through the months of this new year.
CEO, Martin Berg