As you may have heard, the movie business is hurting. Last year, box office revenue fell more than 3% and attendance shrank to a 16-year low! So, why are fewer people going to the movies? Here are some theories shared by film critic Roger Ebert. See if you agree:
Let’s start with an obvious reason: Movie prices. Until recently, you could argue that a night at the movies was cheaper than going to a concert, or a sporting event. But today, it’s impossible for families to save money at the theater, because of higher prices for IMAX and 3D films, for example, as well as popcorn and soda.
Also, Ebert says the theater experience is more annoying. In fact, people using their cell phones are so common in today’s theaters that some movie chains are now creating “tweet seats.” That’s a special section where people are encouraged to tweet and text while a movie’s playing.
Another reason we’re not going out to the movies: We’re streaming them AT HOME. In fact, new statistics show that Netflix accounts for a-third of all Internet traffic at night! That means millions of people prefer watching movies on their couch instead of at a theater.
One more reason Roger Ebert thinks we’re staying home: Fewer CHOICES at the movie theater. For example, the 5th most popular movie on Netflix last year was the Swedish version of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” – which is in a different language, and has subtitles! Ebert says that’s proof that people want to see independent foreign films, but unless you live in a big city, those are impossible to find at your local megaplex showing the latest “Mission: Impossible”.
So, what do you think? Why have YOU stopped going to movie theaters? Share your thoughts at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.