2011 Movie Attendance the Lowest in 16 Years
Studios are saying their upcoming films will lure people back in 2012...but they said that last year, too
It’s been a depressing fall and winter for the movie business. In fact, most studio executives are very pleased to be ushering 2011 to the door. According to an article published Wednesday by the Associated Press, movie attendance reached a 16-year low in 2011. By year’s end this weekend, it’s estimated that 1.28 billion tickets will have been sold over the course of the year, down 4.4 percent from 2010 and the lowest number of moviegoers since 1995 when 1.26 billion tickets were sold.
The culprits? Some point to lousy product and an abundance of sequels and remakes that people greeted with yawns. But that’s certainly not the whole story. There were a lot of excellent films released in 2011 and frankly, with many of the films available for viewing at home or on a variety of other devices shortly after their theatrical release (if not during), the studios may need to rethink the role of traditional moviegoing. Personally, I always prefer seeing a film in a real movie theater, tub of buttered popcorn in hand, but plenty of folks are making do with their gigantic home screens or their miniscule hand-held devices.
Is the recession to blame? Hard to say, especially with the phenomenal success of certain films this year—both the expected mega-hits such as “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1” and “Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows, Part 2,” as well as several surprise hits including “The Help,” “Bridesmaids,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “The Smurfs.” Yet many films the studios were banking on performed well below expectations — “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Happy Feet Two” and “Tower Heist” to name a few.
Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst at Hollywood.com sounds a note of caution. “I’m not prepared to be Chicken Little yet,” he wrote, “but if the films coming in 2012 can’t reverse this trend, then I think we need to reevaluate our expectations. We are living in a different world today than we did in the mid-'90s in terms of the technology available to deliver media. That may finally be having an impact.”
Probably, but with such guaranteed blockbusters as “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “The Avengers,” and “The Hobbit” arriving in 2012, movie honchos are keeping their fingers crossed. Hey, even “Titanic” is coming back, retooled in 3D, of course, as well as new entries in a bunch of popular franchises, from James Bond to “Men in Black” and “Ice Age.”
What do you think? Will 2012 find big crowds returning to the local multiplex?
I'm right there with the rest of the commenters. For a matinee at my local theater, it's $13. If I want to go with IMAX, it's $19. Add $12 for stale, gross popcorn and watered down soda, and I'm at $25/$30 for 90 minutes of entertainment. It's not worth it when I can a whole month of Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime forthe price of one movie ticket.
Because of the rise of streaming music and movie services, it's pretty obvious that people are still eager to consume entertainment. However, it's also pretty obvious that, beginning with the introduction of DVDs in the late 90's, that there's a limit to what people--especially those with families--will pay.
I used to go to the movies several times a month. This year, the only movie I've seen in the theater is Mission Impossible.
I love going to the theater, is it higher costs, yes but I also "play the system", locally here, many of the theaters charge $10 all showings Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays. Thats too much to me, so I go 15 minutes away were it costs me with my mother, $14.50 total during primetime, it's even less if I go to a matinee.
Now I see people complaining about both ticket and concession prices, well do they realize that the ticket price is the moive price and that goes to the studio that made the film NOT the theater. So you pay the theater via the concessions, they are a convience. If you don't like paying $11.50 for your medium size popcorn that has maybe 50 cents of corn kernals in it, or $5 for the bottle of water, and $4.25 for your Dots then don't go for it. They are not forcing you to buy those items.
I didn't see many movies in the theater this year, why???? Because they just were not that exciting. One of the movies up for "Best Picture Golden Globe & Oscar" is a Black and White silent movie. I am not going to waste my money on a new movie like that when I can stay home and watch movies like that for free that were originally done that way because it is how it was done back then, it's not artful or fun for a movie to do that now. I saw the new Muppet Movie as a matinee, it wasn't worth it, it was an OK movie, I saw the new Sherlock Homes movie again it was just an OK movie. Harry Potter, Deathly Hollows Part II was good enough to see in the theater and is the only one that was worth the price.
I saw many previews, one in particular was M.I.-III-Ghost Protocol, I am not a Tom Cruise fan but seeing the previews this movie was bad, bad acting, bad script, stupid effects. T.C. is nearly 50 years old and is not convincing in this role, it only made $26 million at last week ends box office, that tells you the movie was not all that good.
3D, this is just a gimic for the studios to make more money, studios NOT the theater. Is it working, well for the studios maybe. For the current crop of 3D it just makes things stand out, aka "POP" thats it. The best movie I ever saw in 3D was Friday The 13th, Part III in 3D. There the things came out in your face, knives, spears, body parts, that was good 3D. My mom doesn't like to see them in 3D so I dont' bother with them.
Now a studio is trying to drum up additional business by allowing a pay per view at home for $60 per movie, well thats too high for me to watch it at home, I can pay for gas, have snacks, pay for tickets at the theater for under $30, why would I pay for over double that just to stay home. I wouldn't
Studios need to stop thinking all we want to see are these effects rich movies with bad acting. Maybe they will listen, but I doubt it.
Not surprised its that low. Studios have long determined that only the most expensive actors sell movies. Personally, I think this is why movies don't sell anymore. Ever since the strike, writing hasn't just been bad... it's been atrocious. What ever happened to Cold Mountain, Dances with Wolves, Gone with the Wind, and Godfather movies which the plot takes a while to unravel and the characters intrigue the audience. Moviemakers think we're all just one type of movie-goer: one with ADHD and posters of Zac Efron on our bedroom walls.
Just imagine if only the highest-paid players determined the number of super bowls a team could win. T.O. would have won how many? Movies are a team-effort and need to focus more on the writing.
I don't think it is any one big thing but a combination of most all things mentioned. I can buy the blu-ray when it comes out for less than actually taking my family to see the movie in theatres. We can then eat supper or have snacks at a more reasonable price or even order pizza for less than movie theatre snack prices. We were also put off from the theatres because of the rude people and crying babies. I also don't notice the peer pressure to see the latest films anymore.
The life line of a movie theatre is the concession stand. The Majority of movie goers are not aware of this. They see lines forming around the corner and think "With today's ticket prices they must be doing well!" When in fact if only 10% of those ticket buyers stop at the concession stand, the theatre is suffering. Film rental percentages for new films are no in the exhibitor's favor. Film companies take the majority of the box office sales. This is why concession prices are so "high". This is why it is best to support your local independent theatres as they offer the most competitive concession prices as well as box office prices.
I used to think that movie theatres were robbing everyone blind with their prices until I learned these little details. Support your local INDEPENDENTS for the best movie going experience! I've been to many neighborhood independent theatres in a few cities where you rarely see gangs, noisy people, high cell phone usage, etc. Those folks like to frequent the AMCs and other multiplex chains. And if you do encounter one of those folks, independent theatres are more inclined to tear them out of the theatre to maintain their reputation.
Though it is nice to sit back in your own couch in your pjs and rent a movie for only $4.99, there is no beating the experience of sitting in a theatre and enjoying it on a big screen. Sure the product has been weak, but there certainly are many films coming out with great potential.
I'm almost 50 years old I love seeing a movie on the big screen but for every one movie in release there's more than a dozen others that are complete garbage, to many sequels, enough already of the super hero movies you guys "Hollywood" have suck it dry just like the vampire and zombie movies please stop making this crap !!!!
Hollywood doesn't care about the American movie going audience any more they just figure they can make up the for their money loses here overseas, poor souls !
I love sci fi and fantasy movies but how about putting some intelligence back into the movies for us old timers there's plenty of books and stories you can make into movies there is no excuse Hollywood stop being lazy and insulting our intelligence.
Movie attendance is down because of cost. Ticket prices and babysitter fees have gone way up. Just wait to rent it and watch it in the comfort of your own home after the littles are asleep.