Now I don't know about you but I've been releasing emotion in this way since childhood. I was young in the fifties so my main entertainment was film, radio & reading and not necessarily in that order. As in many other working class families money was in short supply so I spent lots of time reading. If you have seen the film Distant Voices Still Lives then you will have a fair idea of my growing up. Though in fairness my father was neither a wife or child beater.
There was an article in The Guardian recently about reading fiction promoting empathy and I entirely agreed with it because what we do when engaged in this activity and or watching film is put ourselves in someone else's shoes. I think though it also generates echoes of our own experience of love or lack of love, loss, happiness. Each of us watches a different film reads a different book brought to life by our own experience. I was profoundly moved by The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist and The Reader. I laughed out loud at Down All The Days. I can't enumerate all of the films that have made me cry like Bambi, Lassie or ET or laugh like Way Out West or I Love You Philip Morris, though there's more to that particular film than comedy. Then they're the musicals that have moved and kept me in a suspended state of happiness for days like Calamity Jane and Annie Get Your Gun.
I think it would be fair to say that for me not only does watching film or reading a book entertain it helps to release emotion & promotes emotional well being. Of course you could include any form of entertainment & music which enrich our lives & feed the soul. I've simply been considering the emotional impact film & book have had in the context of my day.