Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Theaters That Cried Wolf

July 11th was reportedly a very special day for the movie business. The release of The Fantastic Four broke the much publicized longest box office slump in more than 2 decades.

This perceived slump met with worry all over cable, network, online and print news. Were people spending more time on their computers? Were people getting cheap illegal copies of the film on DVD? Are people just waiting to view the films on DVD in the privacy of their home with their home theater system instead? Are the DVDs coming out too soon after the film is released? Are ticket prices too high? Are the movies just not good enough to entice theater patronage?

Of course those are good questions but I actually believe the "woe is me" attitude of Hollywood prior to July 11th was actually a marketing ploy to get people to go. Sure, theaters this year might have sold less tickets each week for 19 straight weeks compared to last year. 2004 had blockbuster films like: Spiderman 2, Shrek 2, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban and The Incredibles. Yes, we will and have had our hits this year but the big anomaly to add to these hits is the staying power Passion Of The Christ had at the box office. The film was released on Feb. 18th of 2004 and would have attendance resurgence during Easter and other religious holidays. Many churches actually organized gatherings to attend the film to help keep the film on top. 2004 was a record year.

Becoming Chicken Little just because you aren't matching or surpassing a record year is like picketing government offices because your tax return this year isn't as big as the largest one you've ever received (which happened to be last year and this year your ex gets to claim baby Jesus.) How about just comparing things to 2003? If we are above that, I think we can agree we aren't heading into the dark ages of cinema quite yet.

11 comments:

Jenn said...

But do they HAVE to charge me $9.50 to get in? AND $10 bucks for a hotdog, pretzle w/cheese and a small drink? I could have had a good meal at Outback or Olive Garden and watched a movie at home for that! :p

I do wait for movies to come on DVD. But I LOVE going to the movies. Damnit all! I'm gonna start requesting for the senior citizen rate.

Lily said...

This years slump could also have something to do with the fact that basically everything is a remake.

I tend to wait for the DVD's as well, then I am not bothered by some fool having a conversation on their cell phone, or paying more in snacks and soda's than I did for the movie tix.

Jenn said...

Oh yeah, you still have me as Reverie on your links. That's no longer my blog title. Quit being a lazy bastard like Vavoom and fix it. :D

You know I got nothing but luff for you!

Fred said...

Someone will probably make a movie about it. It'll suck just like all the others that have caused this "slump."

dusty said...

in the recent past several chains have been sold and they have closed some of their theaters in cities I frequent. I wont go to a theatre because i refuse to pay those disgusting prices for a movie that i will be able to watch on dvd or cable in a matter of months. My sista and i used to go weekly..before the prices skyrocketed.

LoraLoo said...

I used to love going to the movies. Somewhere between the outrageous prices and better quality (and better priced)home theater equipment, I stopped going. I wait until they're on DVD - I can hit pause, and I don't have to deal with rude people.

Davydgrey said...

Yeah but can you say free tickets. Pretty soon it will cheaper to go see an NFL game than a movie...

Vavoom said...

I agree wholeheartedly, Martin. This year's flicks were fine by me (except for that pesky Howl's Moving Castle).

What was your favorite this year, Martin?

Moose said...

I pretty much stay with rentals. I can watch it on my own schedule and eat what I want.

An80sNut said...

Tough question, V. I'd say that right now, the best I've seen so far is Batman Begins. There's a good amount of action and psychological mayhem in it. I'm holding my judgement until the release of: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe on Dec. 9th, Serenity on Sept. 30th, A Scanner Darkly on Sept. 16th and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. I'd put the Goblet Of Fire up there but I'm sure that it will be good but I don't know how it can beat the Bat.

An80sNut said...

Ok, I have to say that I forgot one... I knew it'd happen. Batman Begins just barely edges out Sin City. Personally, I think it's a phenomenal film but drops slightly due to there being another gender out there.