On October 5th, 2006 John Sanchez wrote an article about Why People Aren’t Going to the Movies. John talks about how for the second year in a row movie attendance is declining. Basically John says the reason for the decline in attendance is due to the theaters themselves. First of all movies are getting more and more expensive. Why would people pay 50 dollars for their family to go to a theater when they can stay home and watch a DVD? John then goes on talk about the viewing experience. He says there are a lot of moviegoers who have cell phones. He also brings up the commercials before the movie as a reason to not go to the theater.
Well if John thinks these reasons are reasons he should not see a movie then by all means stay home. I personally don’t find these things to be a problem. Yes movie tickets cost money, but what doesn’t? Bowling costs money, eating out costs money, renting a movie or video game costs money. Lots of forms of entertainment cost money, that’s just the way it is and the way it’s always going to be. Why would someone pay 50 dollars for their family to go to a theater when they can watch a DVD at home? Well, I don’t know about you but I don’t have the television the size of a movie theater screen or that kind of sound system either. Some movies are just more fun to see in a theater.
Cell phones can be annoying but there’s an easy way around that. Don’t go when it’s crowded. Find a time when the theater that you go to isn’t that crowded or go see a movie not many people are going to want to see. I have very rarely had any problems with people talking on their cell phones in movies just by avoiding the really busy times at the movie theater. As for the commercials, are you serious? Listen I hate commercials as much as the next person but you honestly can’t sit through one commercial break before the move? It’s really not that bad, if you just absolutely can’t stand the commercials then purposely get there five or ten minutes later than usual or sit in the lobby until the commercials are over. .
But the truth is movies have been declining in attendance and many of the movies that John mentions (Superman Returns, Mission Impossible 3, Clerks 2, and Miami Vice) were disappointing this year. For me it has absolutely nothing to do with the theater, it simply comes down to the quality of the movie. Really the movie industry has been declining because most of the movies, especially the Blockbuster ones, are unoriginal. Just off the top of my head let me see how many movies that came out this year that I can think of that are remakes of movies or TV shows, video game or comic book adaptations or sequels.
There is: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, X-Men 3, Super Man Returns, Ice Age: Meltdown, Mission Impossible III, Scary Movie 4, The Pink Panther, V for Vendetta, Jackass: Number Two, Miami Vice, Fast and the Furious, Underworld: Evolution, The Shaggy Dog, Poseidon, The Departed, Final Destination 3, Silent Hill, The Hills Have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Garfield, Clerks II, The Grudge 2, Bloodrayne. That’s twenty-five movies right there, that’s a whole lot of unoriginality going on. Now off the top of my head let me name the movies I’ve seen this year that were good and don’t fit under the previous category. There is: Inside Man, Monster House, Brick. I’m no math major, but that’s not a good ratio.
The movies that aren’t sequels or remakes might as well be. Just about all horror movies are the same and just about all romantic comedies are the same. Just take out actor V and actress X and insert actor Y and actress Z instead. What ever happened to the days when people came up with original ideas? Like in the 80’s. Nobody had thought of a group of scientists that hunt ghosts before Ghostbusters, nobody had thought of a time traveler who ends up having his own mom fall for him before Back to the Future, and nobody had thought of a movie where a Goblin King steals a baby and his sister has to go through a maze to find him before the Labyrinth. If you look at all the hit movies in the 80s and you’re going to find mostly original ideas.
You look at all the hit movies since the turn of the century and it’s the same stuff over and over again. Look no further than the top grossing films of all time. Shrek 2 has climbed to number three all-time. The Phantom Menace comes in at number five, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 is sixth, Revenge of the Sith, Return of the King and Spiderman 2 are 8th, 9th, and 10th. Throw in the other Lord of the Rings movie the X-Men sequel and the Harry Potter movies and the top grossing movies of all time is now loaded with sequels.
Another reason for the decline in movie attendance is because the video game industry is booming. A lot of kids now prefer to stay home and play their video games and really can you blame them? Video games today have storylines and character development that’s better than most of this garbage we’re being shown at movies. A video game might cost you 50 bucks to buy it but if you only play it a little bit at a time then it will last several weeks and you can always replay it when you’re done. Sounds like a more enjoyable time than seeing Fast in the Furious six or Jurassic Park eight. If Hollywood wants people to start coming to movies again try making something new and good.