Wednesday, December 28, 2011

No One Is Going To The Movies Anymore


Even though ticket prices keep increasing every year and box office revenue tends to edge up every year because of the increases, 2011 saw fewer people at the movies than at any time since 1995. That is a huge drop. That is me losing 200 pounds huge. I go to less movies than I used to and I blame the fact that unless it some huge spectacular that will look its best on the big screen, I know I only have to wait about a month and it will be on DVD for a fraction of the cost and even my tiny television in the basement is advanced enough now where things almost look just as good at home. I hate paying almost $20 for a ticket to go to the movie. Yes, it is really like $16, but there is parking which in Los Angeles you usually have to pay for. There is also gas and traffic and then you are not just buying a ticket. Who goes into a movie with nothing? Even with my acknowledged smuggling skills as it relates to outside food and booze, I usually buy a large drink which is another $6. To make it worth my while, I feel like the movie needs to be action and needs to be close to two hours long. This is why I am always so shocked that kids movies do so well. They usually run about 75 minutes long. That is like 30 cents a minute for one ticket. Multiply that by a family of three or four and you are paying like a $1.00 a minute. For that kind of money, I could spend it on this gorgeous bacon sex line which charges .99 cents a minute. Oh, to hear them talk about bacon and hear the sounds of it popping in the frying pan. Much better than Cars 14.

45 comments:

Rita said...

Unfortunately, I don't go to the movies anymore except for those scenic or super action movies where you are blasted with loud noise.
Why?

Because the f-cking deafening loud noise won't let the f-cking asshole in front of me talk freely on his f-cking cell phone.

I'll wait patiently, with my homemade popcorn, and watch the movie on my beautiful HD screen. Because after buying HD, you simply can't afford movie tickets anymore:(

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Eh. I don't care. I don't like movies and certainly do not go to the theater. Who cares.

Seachica said...

I rarely go to the movies. It has gotten ridonculously expensive, compared to the cost of watching a movie on Netflix. When I go, it's either to watch something I'm extremely excited about (Muppets!), or I'm taking my niece and nephew out. It's an easy choice for what to do with kids/teenagers.

annabella said...

very funny enty. there are few movies I really have to see on the big screen. also, people talking has become a huge problem over the past several years. they act as if they are home and blab away. one time a woman started eating a tuna sandwich next to me in a very crowded theatre. it was smelly. bacon would have been much more pleasant. ;)

also, I get most of my 'watching' entertainment from hbogo.com and netflix and sometimes hulu. streaming. I basically don't watch tv anymore.

sitting watching tv. going to the movies. both are on the downswing.

pegd said...

We have a movie theater that charges $3. It's an older theater, but still nice, and it plays movies that have left the multiplexes, but are not on DVD. It has become really popular. We love it!

Chrissy Buns said...

I ADORE going to movies in the theater. That being said, I have 4 kids and I just can't AFFORD to go to the movies! If i want to take them to a kids movie, they always seem to be in 3D which is not only ridiculously overpriced, but they also make me sick to my stomach.
If I want to watch a big girl movie (aka something I wouldn't take the kids to)I can't find/afford a sitter. What do these high school girls think, I'm made of money? Sheesh! So, the moral of that story...wait for OnDemand :)

Tempestuous Grape said...

I don't go because of the bedbug risk. Nutty but true. They just opened a Laemmle7 near me and since it's new, I thought I would check it out but it's already been a few weeks and now I'm skeeved out.

Dianne P said...

I go about twice a year now. I really should exert myself and go more often to art-house and indie movies, which I enjoy more. I have no interest in the typical blockbuster movie. Every now and then one comes along and surprises me, but rarely are they worth a trip to the theater. Although since I have not seen most of them, maybe I shouldn't judge?

For me, anyway, I think the problem is that I got out of the habit of seeing grownup movies when my kids were little (too expensive to get sitter and go out) and there are just so many other ways to see movies these days. Not to mention the fact that compared to, say, 15-20 years ago, over the last decade or so IMO a lot of TV shows have really trumped what's on the big screen.

Baka Neko said...

The only good time to see movies in the theater is week days. You get mantanee prices and there's a good chance you'll be the only one in theater.

Comma Chaser said...

Kids movies will always do well because parents need a place to dump them at the mall while they go shop or get some non-kid time (pick one). Still cheaper than a babysitter.

On Xmas, my fiancee and I watched Thor in 3-D on a 55" screen with her father. Technology-wise this was impressive. The gap between the big screen and small is shrinking, and that combined with digital downloads will likely mean that films may go more and more toward pay-per-view, kinda like boxing prizefights.

I prefer the experience of the theatre. I like getting out of the house, and without sounding too weird or wavy-gravy, there's something to be said about sharing a laugh in a good comedy at a big screen with a lot of other people. That communal experience thing.

Off my soapbox.

Momster said...

Exactly what Dianne said.

In my small OK town, the movie theater is in a small mall that's 5 minutes away. It is fairly inexpensive and uncrowded, and free parking. But movies never start playing till 6 pm on weekdays or 4 pm on weekends. And I only have about 6 to choose from.

Thank God for redbox, although it's hard to find the small indie movies. My only other choice is Hastings (haven't joined netflix yet.)

stephani said...

When I grew up my parents used to take me to the movies every weekend. I don't think there was a G or PG-rated film released between 1978 -1984 that I did not see in the theatre. (They'd either take me or drop me off with my friends). Now that I have kids of my own, we can't afford to go more than few times a year. We saw the Muppet Movie last weekend and for a family of 4 it cost us $38 plus $8 popcorn. And we were lucky to score a free parking spot! Otherwise we'd be out another $2. We also smuggled in our own cans of soda. The only movies we've seen this year were Harry Potter and Super 8 (and that was kind of fluke because our car broke down and I took the kids to the theatre while our car was being repaired). We pay for Netflix and have cable. We'll watch the rest there.

shesmiles123 said...

At $10-15 dollar tickets plus concession, a family of four will spend a minimum of $65. CRAZY PEOPLE/ WEALTHY PEOPLE go to the movies!

Jamie said...

I haven't been to a movie in years. It's not just the ticket prices, the parking, and so on.

I just much prefer to watch them at home, with my feet up, on my HDTV. While wearing my skivvies. And eating dinner. And having a glass of wine. And pausing the movie when I need to.

And pausing it permanently when it sucks, without annoying people by walking out half-way through.

The studios will never pull me back to a cinema. Admittedly, I don't watch most action movies. They may play better on the big screen.

Last week, I watched The Help for $1.99. (Thanks, Amazon!) I had an infinitely more enjoyable viewing experience and saved a ton of money.

Cheryl said...

Yeah, pretty much what everyone here is saying. My complaint is that many of the movies marketed for kids aren't actually kid friendly. I'm kind of old fashioned and sometimes I don't want thinly veiled sex jokes or "smurf" substituted for curse words. I can't always rely on it going over my kid's heads.

figgy said...

While there are things I do enjoy about theaters (popcorn!) And as @comma chaser noted, the group experience, it's just too darned expensive.

So will they ever learn and just drop ticket prices?

...Flashback to watching Jurassic Park in a 100% full theater on opening day...now THAT was fun!! :-D

Rosie said...

I haven't been in a movie theater since 2004, back then it was around $10 for a movie ticket and I thought that was nuts! I am shocked to see that it is up to $16, I couldn't even afford it at $10. There are many other things that we could do with that money that would give us a greater bang for our buck, $20+ for 2 hours of entertainment seems like a waste to me. Anymore we watch movies online, and television, we don't even have cable, just internet. The only movies we felt we HAD to see when they came out were the Harry Potter movies because we were too impatient -- lucky for us our town still has a drive-in which costs $6.25 a person (sometimes you'll find a generous cashier who lets you in at $6.25 for the entire car even!) and has fresh popcorn for $1, and I don't have to move my legs to let anyone down the aisle or attempt not to hear any conversations behind me. What a great business, I hope it stays open forever! :)

iheartjacksparrow said...

I used to go to the movies a lot. Nowadays, I only go if there's something I want to see RIGHT NOW. Between people talking and babies crying, it's no longer an enjoyable experience. I have DirecTV and subscribe to every movie channel they offer, so between those movies, and my Blu-Ray movies, my 60" plasma HDTV is more fun than spending money to be annoyed. And the multi-plex that I usually go to that has 30 screens has closed off 13 of them (one side of the building) due to lack of ticket sales.

msgirl said...

I'm completely with Enty on this, the only movies I'll go to the theaters for are those that are visually so much better on the big screen. Like LOTR, and actually I also went to Thor because it was artistically beautiful (not the earth parts). I can count on one hand how many times I've been to the theater the last 5 years!

I also think this 3D stuff is BS, most of them aren't really - it's just a way to jack ip prices.

As said, I can wait for DVD and watch from the comfort of my couch, in my PJs if I desire! There's just not that many movies being made that live up to that dreamlike experience in the theaters.

Amartel said...

The primary problem is with the product. The product has been sucking up a storm for about 10 years now. It's not the cost. People will pay to see something worthwhile.
People don't go to the movies because movies got boring. There's no interesting story or characters anymore. They're recycling TV shows - and the TV shows were more entertaining than their movie equivalents! It's all retreads of retreads of the same old tropes with the same old overpaid actors. (See, e.g., Larry Crowne.) Spectacle is fine when it enhances story, but not when it becomes the story. Spectacle alone gets boring quick.

People got out of the habit of going since there are much more convenient alternatives and why go to all that effort and cost to see something that's probably not worth it when you can see it at home and reach the same conclusion?
People go to family movies because it gets the kids out of the house and gives mom (and dad) a destination outside the home that is not work.

not on my dollar said...

People think it's their privilege to talk on a cell phone at the theater during a movie.

There's really no need for me to endure the frustration when I can rent it for free through my local library immediately when it comes out on dvd.

Lauren said...

I agree with Armartel. There haven't been that many movies this year that I've just had to go see. I know there were a few that I wanted to see, but I didn't get the chance to go see them before they went to rental.

Normally my family goes to the movies on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, but this year there was just nothing I felt like shelling out $10 to go see.

crila16 said...

I never go to the movies unless it's a BIG movie, like Harry Potter or Avatar. The ticket prices are ridiculous now and I can't stand the punk @ss kids who are loud and obnoxious, making rude and loud comments through the entire movie, or talking on their cell phones. I got into a huge fight with some guy who was talking(more like yelling over the movie dialogue) to his girlfriend through the entire Harry Potter 7, part 2. Finally I had to say something. I'm so sick of it. I have a huge flat screen. I'll just wait till it comes out on video and watch it with surround sound for $4.99.

feraltart said...

I love going to the movies, but I say stuff to people who talk. One time I went to see a movie, and this bunch of kids were running up and down the aisle and talking. I finally yelled and said 'Enough! One more time and I'll have you thrown out.' No usher came in for me to complain, so after the film I went and asked for the manager, explained the situation, said it shouldn't be up to me to find an usher, they should be coming in, and let her know that my husband and I would never be attending her cinema again. She tried to give us free tickets but I said no, we aren't trying to get anything out of you, we just felt you should know why you have lost our business.

Amy said...

Until the mid-1990s, it was always dinner AND a movie. Today, movies are so damn long -- forget 90minutes, or even the long 120 minutes, most are 140 or 150 minutes. WAY TOO LONG when you add in the additional half hour of previews (not to mention getting to the theater and visiting the concession stand etc). You have to set aside a four-hour minimum block of time to do a damn movie, the price of it all is outrageous, and making people sit that long runs a real risk of diminishing returns: I've actually left MORE IRRITATED THAN ENTERTAINED as a result.

My God, what's wrong with 90 minute movies, and double features? I now do about 1 movie in a theater A YEAR and I used to go every weekend. Every. Weekend.

Amy said...

(Dinner AND a movie today not only would cost a small fortune but ... movies are so damn long there's no time to do both, you have to choose one or the other.)

Janet296 said...

I use to love going to the movies. Now, all I can think of is that for the two of us to go will cost $16 to 20. It will be more if you buy snacks. I don't have to pay to park here. No matter how big the movie, it will be on video in less than 6 months. I can wait it out and see it for $1.

Sherry said...

I'm with Amartel. IF H'wd or elsewhere makes a movie worth my money I will go. I haven't gone much and the movies I do go to don't seem to attract a crowd that wants to talk through it.

Anonymous said...

The next time I go to the movies will likely be for The Dark Knight Rises in July 2012. The last time I was at a theater was for The Dark Knight in July 2008. Between Netflix streaming and DVDs/Blu-rays being on sale fairly often, there's little need for me to go. And living in a small area with the nearest cinema being 25 miles away, it makes my choice easy.

I used to go more often (Saturday matinees) when the twin cinema about 15 miles from home was still open. But they conslidated all the screens into an eight-cinema theater. It's too much of a chore to go now.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

The only actor I will shell out for in the theater is Johnny Depp.

nancer said...

i used to go to a couple of weekday matinees a month. i love to go to the movies. but for quite some time, there are no good movies i'm willing to go see. they're turning out CRAP. animated bullshit, stupid adventure things with massive special effects, sequels, prequels and remakes. i'm not going to waste my time on that so i don't go.

Anotheramy said...

I love to go to the movies. We have what we refer to as a dollar theater but its really $2.50. The popcorn and drink cost more than the movie.
I'm willing to pay full price for a good movie, the last one I saw was the Help.
Peoples behavior in the movies have taken away from my experience enough times that I think harder about what movies to see and which theater to go to. Art house movies tend to bring the best behaved crowds. I was watching a standard HW movie when the woman behind me dumped one of those half gallon sodas on the guy next to her and told her 4 year old son this is "what happens when someone disrespects Mommy" He had gone for an usher because she had been texting through the whole movie. The kicker was, it was Juno, not exactly something a 4 year old asks to see.

MISCH said...

I always loved going to the movies and dinner ...but now its so expensive and after the bedbug scare here in New York, I simply don't go....I still manage to see most everything but in the comfort of my own home where I don't have to sneak my treats in with me...

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

I didn't realize bedbugs were a problem in movie theaters... :-O

Sasha Stone over at Awards Daily made a very good point recently when she pointed out that, for the most part, the movies that are in the running for Oscars, etc. aren't the same movies that are making big bucks in the theatre, and it's been getting especially bad in recent years. The problem is that most Hollywood movies these days are geared towards boys in the 13-30 age range, and what they want is lots of flashy special effects (and T&A, although she didn't mention that...); it's hard to get movies made featuring women that aren't rom-coms because they're not the preferred demographic (the boys mentioned above), and said demographic wouldn't go near a movie w/leading female characters...eeeew, girl cooties! (The only reason they go to rom-coms is if they're on a date and it's either the date's idea, or they think they can get "sensitivity points" and maybe guarantee getting laid...Sasha didn't say any of that, either, but we all know it's true.) Right now, you're either getting huge $100M+ blockbuster wannabes, or much smaller indie/indie-type movies, but not much in the middle, and I agree that's part of the reason people aren't going to theaters any more. Oh, yeah, and it's way too damn expensive... :-p

JasonBlueEyes said...

^ Love Sasha Stone. Her Podcasts with Jeffrey Wells over on Hollywood Elsewhere are awesome. And she really nails down awards season. Her points are right on. What mainstream paying audience is going to see "Tree Of Life", "Melancholia", "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"? I really liked those movies but they weren't smashes. "Midnight In Paris" did very well though.

The biggest box office smash that MAY have a chance of earning a best pic nom would be "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes." I'd like to see what happens with "The Dark Knight Rises" next year.

Amy in MI said...

Wow. I hate to live where u guys live with prices so high. All shows before 6 are 5 bucks and even after I pay 8 with my old college I'd. 8 bucks gets u a large pop and popcorn. Haven't been as much this year since my numb nuts of an ex would never go. But I say gwtdt last week and saw mission impossible this week. I am not treating myself to olive garden!

figgy said...

@Anotheramy, your story is hilarious!! "That's what happens to people who disrespect Mommy" omg! Haha! I suppose this thought that was a positive life lesson for her child too.

Henriette said...

I don't go to the movies because there is nothing to see. I have gotten into a $5 movie addiction from Walmart though. I only going during the weekday matinees and when the movie is almost on DVD.

Electric Warrior said...

Yup. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

Bridesmaids and No Country for Old Men were the last two movies I saw. For all of the aforementioned reasons.

Gary T. Burnaska said...

I blame this on two things Call of Duty MW3 and Skyrim.

sonicmonkey1984 said...

I always took my kids to the movies when they were little. Friday night was movie night for them, and they looked forward to it. Being a bad mother, I gave them popcorn (with real butter, 75 cents extra)and pop for dinner on those nights. They saw pretty much everything that came out. I think kids' movies make money because parents will go, even to lousy movies, and if the movie is good, kids will see it more than once.

Now that my kids are teens, I don't go to movies much with them anymore. They wanted to see Hangover II, and I had to go as it required an adult in Canada to get in. But, most of the movies that come out now are crap, so I don't go and they go without me. I do want to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and the kids don't, which is good, so I may go see that.

BTW, most kids watch illegal downloads of movies online. I stopped the fight of "age appropriate" because if they really wanted to see something, and I said no, it's not appropriate, they'd watch it online while I am at work. I think the crap in theaters, the ability to watch online, and high ticket prices, have hurt movies.

Miss X said...

I've seen 2 movies this week but only because others paid for my tickets. Prices aren't that high here -- between $5 and $10. And I don't want to spend my hard earned money on a movie unless I really want to see it. The last movie I paid for was The Muppets & it was totally worth it.

MISCH said...

There's a way to go in cheaper but well.....
Buy a senior ticket from the machine in the theatre, 1/2 price...
Now this doesn't work so well at the ticket window...but if it's a kid selling they think 35 is senior...

Lelaina Pierce said...

I LOVE going to the movies but I rarely go because the only nice theater in town is not very convenient for me to drive to. Otherwise I'd probably go several times a month. Our non-matinees are $10, which isn't too bad, for just 2 people. ITA about bad behavior being a turn off. We have a lot a couple dinner + movie type places here too. One is Cinebarre, which is a chain and it's ok, but the other one is a local only place and it was one of the WORST movie experiences. The bar/food area is inside the theater (2 screens) and when someone's order was up, they would YELL the person's name!!? WTF?? So distracting.

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