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Jay Dreyer :: Bad Year for Movies?

Bad Year for Movies?

Movie Reels Image

I came across an article today that proclaimed Plummeting 2005 box office sparks Hollywood crisis. There’s nothing too surprising in it – they’ve been saying the same thing since the summer returns started coming in. The Yahoo article mentions the usual factors – no good movies, rise of people watching DVDs and playing video games as reasons behind the decline.

There is one reason for the decline that the article did not mention that I think is primarily responsible, however. My highly scientific poll of friends and co-workers came up with the same reason – going to the movies sucks!

Going to see a movie at the theatre used to be a pretty neat event. I enjoyed it when I was little, even when I was in high school and college. Lately, though, I’d rather get my teeth cleaned at the dentist than sit in a theatre and watch a movie. Why do I hate the experience so much?

  • Expensive tickets – $8.50 and up for a ticket? I can own the DVD when it comes out for the same amount it will cost my wife and I to attend.
  • 15 minutes of commercials before the movie – OK…so I just paid $17 to watch a movie…now you’re going to make me sit through a bunch of commercials for paper towels and soft drinks? Seriously? Previews I like. Commercials I hate.
  • Moronic viewer behavior – I’ll chalk this one up to grumpy old man syndrome, but I don’t think I’m alone in this. People don’t seem to feel the need to be silent during a movie anymore. There are always conversations taking place and there is usually somebody on their cell-phone. It’s incredible. Combine that with laser pointers, and some funny-guy’s need to talk back to the screen and my couch looks better and better.
  • Rip-off concession stand prices – This one isn’t new. It’s always been bad, at least as long as I can remember. I, along with many others, fill up with goodies purchased from a store instead of from the theatres. The only thing you can’t sneak in is popcorn, the rest is easy. I’m sure (at least I’d like to think) that theatre operators have run some pretty complex supply/demand/pricing models to maximize profits and determined that, yes, $3.50 is a great price for a bag of Skittles that can be purchased outside the theatre for less than $1.
  • Poor theatre technology – This one won’t apply to everyone but it will sooner than later. My home theatre setup is just as good, if not better, than most cinema’s. As long as I can watch the DVD version and the theatre shows the film version, complete with pops, scratches and the squiggley hair thingys, I’ll take my setup over theirs.

Ahhhhhh…I feel better now. I might have missed one or two but those are my big complaints. If the big movie chains can fix these issues, or if a new player can come in and mix things up, I’ll give attending the movies another shot. Until then, I’ll just keep adding to my Blockbuster queue.

[Also, is it theater or theatre? Or either?]


| posted 12/27/2005 07:55 PM

Permanent link to this comment  John Bob  on  01/06/2006 04:30 PM  said: 

...and they don’t even give you real tickets any more! My theatre gives me my receipt as my ticket and says “suck it”!