According to The Hollywood Reporter, Moviegoing Fell to a 16-Year Low in 2011.
Perhaps it's just me and my wife, but despite voraciously watching movies downloaded from iTunes or premium cable channels, we rarely go to theatres. The reason is that movie going for us has become a painful and miserable experience....the holiday uptick wasn't enough to close the gap in domestic box office revenues. Ticket sales came in at an estimated $10.21 billion in 2011, down 3.4 percent from 2010, or roughly $370 million.
More grim [news] was the drop in attendance, which tumbled to a 16-year low in 2011. An estimated 1.28 billion people went to the movies, down 4.21 percent from the 1.33 billion who went in 2010.
We enter the cineplex (or should I say gauntlet) and are viciously assaulted by video games, ear drum cracking music, and outrageously priced junk food. Taking our seats in a beautiful theatre with comfortable stadium seating and a wonderful sound system, we endure perhaps two dozen ads and admonishments to buy popcorn, pop, and pizzas. Finally, the movie starts, and if the theatre management is being paid beyond minimum wage, the movie may be in focus and the sound set at a reasonable, rather than painful, level. If the movie is still on 35mm film, rather than digital, there will be scratches throughout.
Unless the movie is truly an event class production (Avatar comes to mind), we wait for the iTunes download or premium cable which today can happen within a few weeks of the theatrical release and watch it on a large screen TV with surround sound, all the while enjoying a glass of wine.
I do love movies. I do deplore modern movie theatres.