Tiger Group’s commercial and industrial division experienced a company record number of sales registrants and buyers at its sales for audio/visual and movie theater assets in the first half of 2022, which played a major factor in achieving 96% to 99% sell-through rates at its auctions and private treaty sales during that timeframe.

The results were driven by continued high demand for professional-grade audio/visual gear, a renewed interest in movie going by consumers and supply chain issues that continue to make buying secondary market equipment an attractive option, according to Tiger Group.

Interest in digital and film cameras, as well as lenses, fueled online auctions in April and June for surplus gear from rental houses PRG and Red Star Pictures. Specifically, Tiger Group reported a 50% jump in the number of buyers participating in those sales compared with its AV auctions in the first half of 2021. Rental companies, studios, independent filmmakers and resellers bought the bulk of the equipment offered in the PRG and Red Star sales,

“Prices remain strong, yet benefit the purchaser, as new equipment is difficult to obtain due to continued supply chain issues,” Jonathan Holiday, director of business development for Tiger C&I and leader of its audio/visual (AV) practice, said. “It all comes down to content and this industry continues to be driven to meet this high demand, so purchasing gear in secondary market auctions presents an incredible opportunity.”

Tiger Group said it experienced company record levels in several metrics for its AV auctions during the first half of 2021. A highlight came from its April auction of live event and production rental gear from PRG, where the company set new highs for registered bidders at 520, resulting in a 96% sell-through rate for the gear.

Registrants for the PRG event came from 36 states and 17 countries, another new high for Tiger’s AV practice. In the end, buyers hailed from five countries: the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia and Trinidad and Tobago.

Tiger Group’s June auction of gear from Red Star Pictures, a supplier of rental lighting, grip and production equipment, delivered a sell-through rate of 97%. The company registered 400 potential bidders. Buyers came from 20 U.S. states, as well as the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario.

“The results of this initial sale with Tiger far exceeded our expectations,” Travis Moody, president of Red Star Pictures, said. “This proved to be a very efficient way for us to clear out surplus gear to make room for new equipment without the types of issues we would have encountered doing it on our own. We look forward to working with Jonathan and his team on future sales.”

“As we move into the second half of the year, rental companies will be extremely busy and will need gear to fill the needs for the production season,” Holiday said.

Another strong point for Tiger Group’s AV practice this year has been its work on behalf of the secured lender for Pacific Theatres, which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in March 2020 due in part to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the movie industry.

Tiger Group’s February auction of assets from an initial group of closed theaters drew bids worldwide, with 99% of the lots sold. Buyers mostly included theater owners, live event production companies and rental houses.

The online auction drew thousands of pageviews and bids, with individuals from 57 countries watching the event live. The winning bidders came primarily from the United States and Canada. Demand was especially strong for late model digital and laser projectors, media servers and amplifiers, Holiday said.

Separately, Tiger sold five of the California-based chain’s theaters on a bulk basis to other operators through auctions and private treaty sales. These included theaters in El Segundo, CA; Pasadena, CA; Chicago; Winnetka, IL; and Boston.

With more movie-goers returning to the theaters, Holiday expects the cinema industry to bounce back through the rest of 2022.

“Even though there are fewer theaters than prior to the pandemic, some of the latest new films have been generating very strong box office numbers,” Holiday said, noting that Top Gun: Maverick earned $409.5 million after just 19 days at the domestic box office. “People are eager to finally get out of the house and enjoy a quality film on the big screen. We are thrilled to have helped facilitate the re-openings of the theaters we sold.”