Cinema Blend recently reported that movie attendance was down in 2011, presumably causing even more waves of panic in certain circles which concern themselves about the Future Of Movies. Today Cinema Blend re-posted an article by the venerable Roger Ebert, who gave his two cents as to why he thinks people are avoiding the theaters. You can certainly guess some of the components of his reply: high prices for tickets and concessions (especially concessions), fewer/different choices in films, and of course streaming services like Netflix.
I’ll admit, I love having so many interesting films available directly to my home. And with my new laptop, it’s even easier to watch a movie whenever I want–such a luxury! But there are a good number of films that just beg to be seen in a theater, where the shared experience is part of what makes it special. A friend of mine who recently saw The Muppets in the theaters said she started singing along with “Rainbow Connection” during the movie and found herself mildly embarrassed–until she realized that most of the other people in the theater were singing along too! Try getting that same experience at home. [Spoiler alert: you just can’t.] I will say that I’ve trained myself to avoid the concessions almost every time I go, and I do limit the number of movies we see as a family, simply because the kids always want popcorn. Concessions for five cost more than the tickets! But I often make popcorn when we all watch movies at home, or sometimes I’ll even plan an entire meal around a DVD or a Netflix streaming option. You make your choices, I guess.
One thing remains certain, though: despite declining sales at the multiplex, we still love our movies. Sadly, we even love the movies that are honestly just terrible, but that’s another post.
In the meantime, you can check out the Cinema Blend article featuring Roger Ebert right here.