I really like going to the movies. There’s something kind of awesome about finding a seat in the darkness and watching a movie with a bunch of strangers WHILE munching on popcorn and slurping down the biggest Coke ever made.
The fun part about going to the movies is the decadence, I think. Because, come on, you might occasionally gorge yourself at home, but it’s only at the movie theater that you buy that gigantic popcorn and the largest drink. Your self-motivator? The thought that you might finish your popcorn or your drink and need to get up to get more, thereby missing a portion of the movie and not being able to rewind. Why is that great? Because when you’re at home there’s no way you’d eat that much popcorn or drink that much soda. So you’ve basically talked yourself into being a pig, and there’s some secret part of you that loves that.
Sure, it would be bad if you practiced those kinds of eating habits all the time, but to do it just every once and a while gives it that much more purpose and meaning. It also makes the memories of those trips more precious to both adults and children.
And that strange mix of nostalgia and euphoria makes whatever movie you’re watching ten times better. So even if you were watching what should have been just an “okay movie,” that euphoria makes it into something so fantabulous you have to gush about it later. It just blows up and you’re totally in that moment.
Sitting in a movie theater is one of those great experiences that simply should not be missed. Yet the prices are so prohibitive that more and more people aren’t going to the movies anymore. And so people get mad at movie theater owners for being greedy and charging so much money.
But it’s not the movie theaters’ fault.
The whole reason why movies are so expensive is because movie studios are charging so much. Because when’s the time a movie mostly seen? In its first week. And that’s when the studios expect to be paid the most money. Each time the movie is shown, they get up to 90% of the ticket price, if not more, leaving the theaters to try and get the most money out of concessions. Which is why so many theaters are disappearing.
People do not want to pay so much money for snack foods. “$5 for popcorn? I wouldn’t pay that much for a gallon of gas, yet I’m expected to pay it for frakking popcorn? Are you insane?” is the first response most people have. “$10 for a matinee ticket, $5 for popcorn, $5 for a drink? I’m not going to pay that much just for me to see a movie by myself! And if I brought someone else, that would be $40 if she didn’t want anything more. We could go out to dinner and watch a movie at home for less than that. And I’d be more likely to score… hm.” And thus, another theater goer is gone.
Which is why I think the future of theaters is going to see more success in showing Independent films. Because making a movie yourself is a lot easier to do now, and with theaters being unable to stay in business on studio movies, there will be more of them willing to show independent movies “just until I stay afloat.” Especially if they’re the ones being paid to show the movie – or at least, if that’s how they perceive the situation.
Theaters could be showing different homegrown movies every week and making money while doing it. So if you’re making tons of money showing some high school kids’ sci-fi movie, but you’re losing money on studio movies, then why not just go completely independent? Only show good movies chosen from those submitted by their makers, and basically be your own small distributor.
Besides, MOVIE MAKERS, going independent could actually see you making much more money. Amazon lets you make your own DVDs and sell them at their store through their subsidy, CreateSpace. Which is cool, because nowadays, everyone knows DVDs and digital content is where all the money is.