Hollywood profits dropped nearly $400 million domestically in 2011 and attendance figures were at their lowest levels in over a decade, and it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why. The following chart from UsTelevision offers strong reasons why audiences are staying home more and more. You can also factor in the extra cost of 3-D movies, the obnoxious smells of different foods being brought in and small screen sizes at some theaters, plus the repeated chattering and texting that transpires. Oh yeah, and the fact that endless reboots, remakes and sequels keep getting pumped out on a regular basis. Lack of originality on screen and irritation in theaters equals less revenues. The studios are still making loads of cash, but if they’re not careful, that could change. Look at what happened to the music business.
There are rays of hope out there. International box office is at an all-time high, but we know what comes up must also come down. And some of the problems with cineplexes in America may certainly spread overseas. But what can be done here? Moviegoer-friendly theater chains like the Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse — which discourages bad behavior and reportedly bans children under the age of 6 and all children after 9 PM, thank you very much — want you to enjoy going to the movies. Many patrons give them high marks for their approach. Frankly, adults need to learn that they are not watching something in their living room; they are in a public place. Children should not attend nighttime showings anyway as some of them are inevitably disruptive, and their idiot parents will not shut them up. Plus they should be in bed.
Beware, Broadway, with your often cramped seating, increased lenience towards food concessions on the floor and equally misbehaved patrons, you may be next. Except you won’t have DVD sales to fall back on.