A while back, whenever anybody wanted to see a movie they would have to go to a local movie theater and see whatever the theater had to offer. Obviously, it was a limited selection but it would be made up with the experience of seeing a movie on a very big screen with a big audience.
This scenario still applies today, but there have been some major developments in the home video market that have made going to the movies an obsolete endeavor for many people.
Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Red Box, The Pirate Bay, etc.
All of these companies have put a dent into going out and seeing movies in theaters. With a theater, you have a select few of movies of which you can go see. With these companies, all the movies you can think of can be found. You want to watch a movie from any time period just go to iTunes or Netflx, you want to see a movie that just came out on DVD, go to Red Box and rent it, or if you want to see a new movie out in theaters you can download it illegally through Pirate Bay.
The options for watching movies now are infinite.
So what does this mean for the movie going experience?
Hollywood studios’s have reported that they are not making as much money as they used to so it may be possible. Many people have thought that going to see a movie with a crowd is very annoying, since a lot of people don’t subject themselves to the basic manners of watching a movie. Movie theaters are cold and sometimes not comfortable to sit in and if you don’t get the right seat the entire experience could be pretty unenjoyable.
Filmmakers are starting to move away from working with Hollywood producers and just going directly into the home video market. Steven Soderbergh has said that he is retiring from making movies solely for theaters and he is beginning to work with HBO and its now growing resources.
Movies being made nowadays are under so much criticism and cynicism that I know a lot of people who don’t like going to movies any more because they feel because they saw a certain film they would get increasingly ridiculed online and in real life. Its like there is no more fun when going to the movies. The world we live in is an online based experience and these companies have taken advantage of this to have an upper hand in the consumption of movies.
Is going to a movie theater a dead experience?
Well I can’t say that I know. I know the companies mentioned before have turned off a bunch of people I know from going. I know its easier to watch a movie on Netflix than it is in a theater. Movie theater prices are getting pretty expensive so its not necessarily a cheaper experience to go watch one movie for 10 dollars when you can get thousands of movies for 10 dollars a month. Plus TV screens and sound systems are becoming movie theater quality, so I can see people thinking its better
However, and this is a more personal note, I don’t think going to the movies will necessarily die and definitely don’t think it will die in the next few years. The thing movie theaters have that other media outlets don’t have is kind of the thing people don’t like. The experience of going to watch a movie with a big group of people. Going to the movies used to bring people together, it was a communal experience. You could laugh together, could cry together, and enjoy together. It was a fun experience for everyone. If you don’t like the movie, probably someone else didn’t like it and you could talk about it. It was the kind of social interaction that is missing with the newer companies. Sure you can get a group together to watch a movie but its not the same as watching it on the biggest screen and loudest speakers.
But it cannot be ignored that people are starting to choose Netflix and company, over the theater experience.
But who is to blame? Is because there aren’t any good movies out? Too much cynicism from people in general? Is it because it is easier to watch a movie in a house in a theater?
Well that’s the question people ask and while I don’t think going to the movies will die soon, I have to say that it might because of the reasons listed above. Of course I could be talking a bunch of bullshit, but thats just what I think.
I love going to the movies and I’ll be sad if it gets taken down by torrents and Netflix.