Movie Ticket Sales Last Year Lowest Since 1996

Although ever-growing ticket price inflation somewhat masks the slowdown, fewer people are going to movie theaters. Sales slumped to 1.35 billion in 2010, a 5.4 percent drop from 2009 and the lowest mark since 1.33 billion tickets were sold in 1996. Revenues were still high, surpassing $10 billion for the second time ever, thanks to high ticket costs and 3D surcharges.

USA Today reports the average movie ticket price was the highest ever, at $7.85. Back in 1996, tickets averaged $4.42. Rocketing prices are only part of the reason fewer people are braving movie theaters. Increased access to streaming movies and shorter windows from theatrical release to appearance on home video are other major factors.

Did you see fewer movies last year than in previous years? If so, what kept you away?

Hollywood finishes dismal box-office year [USA Today via Hollywood Elsewhere]


Edit Your Comment

  1. El Soze says:

    Not to state the obvious, but sales would be higher if they released better movies. The second remake of the sequel to a previously successful movie/franchise is a little stale. It’s a shame they haven’t noticed yet.

    • zmnatz says:

      I went to the comments to make this exact point. There were very few good movies this year. I normally go to a lot of movies and this year I did not. It was probably the worst year for movies since 1996.

      • PHRoG says:

        Last year. ;)

      • Straspey says:

        A couple of years back – not that long ago – a member of our family worked as a manager for a major multi-plex chain in the area – which provided us with the opportunity to see quite a few major, first-run movies for free on his guest passes.

        I cannot tell you how many times I would walk out of the theater after having seen one of the movies, and the first words out of my mouth would be, “Wow – I’m sure glad I didn’t have to pay to see that…”

        Most of the movies which really interest me are often low-budget independent productions – the ones with more acting and story lines and less special effects.

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

        I dunno, I thought there were some really excellent films this year:

        Black Swan
        The Social Network
        The Town
        Scott Pilgrim
        How To Train your Dragon (sue me, I like silly stuff)
        Winnebago Man
        The Fighter
        Unstoppable (silly, again)

        Not an awful year, even ignoring the fantastic Toy Story 3 due to its being a sequel.

        • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

          I also forgot to add True Grit (yes, a “remake,” but still a great film) and Tangled.

          I’ve had worse years at the flicks.

        • Sian says:

          hey, HtTYD was seriously one of the best films of the year. No shame there.

          • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

            I thought it was paced well, was exciting, had a meaningful plot, and was even funny and poignant at times.

            But hey, who needs that? Better to be grumbly and say that nothing new or interesting comes out. GRUMBLE GRUMBLE.

        • zmnatz says:

          I’ll agree with this list 100%. More specifically I’ll say the summer blockbuster movies were lacking.

          Off your list, I saw these.

          Scott Pilgrim
          How To Train your Dragon (sue me, I like silly stuff)

          I’m really planning on seeing the rest, I just haven’t had free time. And let’s go ahead and throw in Expendables while we are including Scott Pilgrim and Kick-Ass.
          I’m used to seeing a movie most weekends during the summer but that was not the case at all this year.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      That’s very subjective, though. Obviously, there were plenty of duds in 2010, but there were also really amazing, fantastic, and original movies. Remakes don’t bother me if they’re done well, but I don’t think you can dismiss an entire year.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      I think people say that every year, though.

    • Nebular says:

      I wholeheartedly agree. There was a ton of garbage in 2010 and a lot of stuff that was done in 3D that should not have been. I think the whole 3D fad and people quickly realising they didn’t like it didn’t exactly help the box office numbers either.

    • nbs2 says:

      So many people saying the same thing, I’m not sure which one to respond to with my echo. I’d certainly like to enjoy more movies at the theater, but I have no desire to pay too much for a movie experience that others will make more miserable. Show me a theater that is charging the FMV of $7.85 (heck, round it up to $8), that will use ushers to kick out troublemakers, cell users, etc, and doesn’t allow people into the theater after the movie has started (previews are fair game), and I’ll start going again.

      I was going to discount the too-many-sequel issue until I realized that the missus and I saw three movies in the theater last year – Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3, and Harry Potter 7. Only the second was a totally positive experience.

      • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

        I would go see more movies if I didn’t have to deal with children being in the theatre. I purposely go see movies after 8pm on school nights to avoid small children, and somehow, they are always there. And while the ushers seem to have no problem reprimanding rowdy teenagers, they rarely if ever say anything to the parents of obnoxious younger kids.

        If they had hours that were 16+, I would spend a lot more money at theatres.

    • cigsm says:

      You would think that El Soze, but the top 10 grossing movies of 2010 were:
      1. Toy Story 3 2 Alice in Wonderland 3. Iron Man 2 4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
      5. Inception 6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 7. Despicable Me 8. Shrek Forever After 9. How to Train Your Dragon 10. The Karate Kid

      So out of the Top 10 grossing movies of 2010, SEVEN were sequels or remakes. So you’re comment doesn’t really hold water.

      • Portlandia says:

        Actually I think you prove his point. Sequels and remakes hardly every fare as well as the originals.

        • Mom says:

          Yet, they still did better than anything else.

          • Kibit says:

            Most of those sequels are kid and teen movies.

          • drizzt380 says:

            If everything is a sequel, the sequels will be in the top ten :P.

          • AmandaLoo says:

            The data is pretty interesting. I checked out going in thinking the same exact thing you guys were. Too many damn sequels, the studios are playing it safe, etc. But I was pretty much proven wrong. If you go back to 2003, there were SIX sequels (LOTR 3, Matrix Reloaded, X2: X-men United, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Matrix Revolutions, Bad Boys II) See all of the data below.
            The bottom line is the quality of these franchises and quality of the sequels is getting old DONE. The quality of the movies that sit between 11 and 50 suck now compared to what they used to. I can tell you that NONE of those movies in the 10 tens from the last 7 years are movies that I really loved..More so, none of those movies won Oscars either. Judging by “Top 10” doesn’t work here. It’s a much more complex and much “Bigger Picture” issue.

            Sequels/Spinoffs of successful series by Year
            7 – 2010
            5 – 2009
            4 – 2008
            6 – 2007
            4 – 2006
            2 – 2005
            4 – 2004
            6 – 2003

            2009 Top 10’s
            1. Avatar
            2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
            3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
            4. The Twilight Saga: New Moon
            5. Up
            6. The Hangover
            7. Star Trek
            8. The Blind Side
            9. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
            10. Sherlock Holmes

            2008 Top 10
            1. The Dark Knight
            2. Iron Man
            3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
            4. Hancock
            5. WALL-E
            6. Kung Fu Panda
            7. Twilight
            8. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
            9. Quantum of Solace
            10. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!

            2007 Top 10
            1. Spider Man 3
            2. Shrek the Third
            3. Transformers
            4. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
            5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
            6. I Am Legend
            7. The Bourne Ultimatum
            8. National Treasure: Book of Secrets
            9. Alvin and the Chipmunks
            10. 300

            2006 Top 10
            1. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
            2. Night at the Museum
            3. Cars
            4. X-Men: The Last Stand
            5. The Da Vinci Code
            6. Superman Returns
            7. Happy Feet
            8. Ice Age: The Meltdown
            9. Casino Royale
            10. The Pursuit of Happyness

            Top 10 2005
            Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
            The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
            Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
            War of the Worlds
            King Kong
            Wedding Crashers
            Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
            Batman Begins
            Mr. & Mrs. Smith

            • noahproblem1 says:

              One thing I’ve never been able to figure out – how could there have been a sequel (let alone at least 2) to “The Neverending Story”? After all, if the story is neverending…

              • nbs2 says:

                Just because a story is never-ending doesn’t mean that a sequel is impossible. If anything, it would be primed to have more sequels than any other franchise due to the nature of its story being, well, never-ending.

                Yeah, the joke just doesn’t work.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Alice in Wonderland was not a remake, since it was was inspired by the Lewis Caroll story, but not a direct adaptation of the book, nor was it a retelling of a previous film.

      • skapig says:

        Notice how almost all of these are targeted at children? Out of those they are almost all “safe” sequels.

    • Portlandia says:

      This was my exact same thought!!!!

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      I often wonder if people who say “make better movies!” really don’t like movies much.

      This year wasn’t the best, but there were at least a half dozen great movies and at least a dozen movies that were good or great.

      • El Soze says:

        I like quite a lot of movies. In fact, most times I am way to forgiving of movies. But really though, most of the big budget movies just aren’t worth seeing in the theater.

    • Sian says:

      I see what you’re getting at.

      In a down economy, movie studios go for ‘sure things’. not blockbusters, not adventurous stuff, but sequels and familiar subjects, guaranteed to do well, but not great.

      That’s as much a reason as any for low ticket sales this year.

  2. MattO says:

    to be honest, i only go see movies in theaters that really get a better effect by being seen in theaters. Avatar was just cooler in 3d on the big screen. Transformers is the same way….but things like chick flicks my wife wants to see….dont need to spend $30 or so going to the movies to see that when I can get it at home throguh netflix. Heck, the movie theater prices are high enough with some popcorn/drinks and the ticket prices, I can just buy the bluray for cheaper.

    • George4478 says:

      That’s been my philosophy for the past few years. Unless I think the movie ‘calls’ to be seen on the big screen, then we wait and watch it at home.

      In 2009 I bought a 55″ HD TV, bluray, and surround sound system. With Netflix, we see a couple films a week. We’ve been to see one movie at the theater.

  3. gianspi says:

    This is simple economics: the price is high, and demand is falling. Even at this increased price, it is still clearing the market and revenues continue to be “high”. The firm (movie industry) will continue to raise prices until demand falls too much where profit is lost, later equalizing at the profit maximizing point.

    • 5seconds says:

      Exactly. The industry couldn’t care less how many people see their films, as long as the money is being made (and maximised). If there was one person who would pay $10 billion for a single ticket, they would be happy selling one ticket all year.

      No one counts seats-filled toward their bottom line.

      • FuzzyWillow says:

        I took my daughter to Toy Story 3 last summer. I will take my son and daughter to see CARS 2 whenever it comes out. Those are the only movies I’ve seen at a theater in 8 years.

        Going to a theater is a rarity. But hundreds of movies available on DVD are just a mouse click away on any of my three HTPC connected HDTVs via my Network attached storage.

        Maybe the rentals, streaming, DVD sales make up for lack of ticket sales?!?

        • 5seconds says:

          There is nothing to make up for. They have had either their best ever, or second-best ever year in terms of dollars.

  4. kichigai01 says:

    The major reason I did not got to the movies this past year is because of the price.

    I refuse to pay $10 or more for one ticket and then the insane cost of snacks. For my wife and I to attend a movie and have popcorn and a soda shared between us, the cost is upwards of $25 or more.

    I would rather wait a few months and buy the movie on DVD and avoid the expense snacks and rude people.

    • mandy_Reeves says:

      wow here in NJ, in Ocean County…matinee’s for the showings up to 12 noon are 5 dollars Fri-sun. After 12 til like 4 its 6.75 after that I don’t go unless it’s something incrediblely awesome…like a new Twilight film or Harry Potter or something else I follow.

      I sneak my own food in too. I live within walking distance of a Loews AMC theater, so I save on gas too and get exercise.

      I think it has to do with Piracy also. If a movie looks like someone wiped their ass and called it a movie…but stars say, zack galifanakis or steve carrell, I will stream it from home.

  5. Dave Saunders says:

    Not a big surprise. High priced tickets for low value. This year was also the year of putting everything into 3D for even less value at a higher price.

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Here’s a list of all the movies (limited and wide release) that came out in 2010.

    I only saw nine of those in theaters.

    • Kuchen says:

      I thought I had been to the theater at least once in 2010, but I guess I was wrong, since all 3 of those movies that I have seen were on DVD at home.

    • vioviovioletta says:

      I only saw ten of those, though it seems like more because I used to work at Blockbuster until October.

    • Worsel says:

      I’ve seen 45 of those in the theatre and at least ten more in early 2010 that were 2009 releases.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        But why? Do you like the theater experience that much, do you not care about the price? It seems you’re going against the trend, and are maintaining your movie theater habit when everyone else is going less.

  7. Blueskylaw says:

    Since every movie nowadays seems to have some type of explosion rather than good content, plot and acting, this doesn’t surprise me.

    • tinmanx says:

      The music industry has some kind of algorithm to determine if a song will sell, I’m beginning to think the movie industry may have something similar. The movie algorithm must favor explosions.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        With the music industry, it’s no longer about talent, it’s all about image now. Remember how in the past alot of the best music came from people who weren’t exactly the best looking? Now you’re just a computer input and output.

      • tkninetwofive says:

        You can’t seriously believe that, right? If there were a guaranteed formula for how to make a hit song, whoever had it would be the richest man in the world.

        • Blueskylaw says:

          Tinmanx is correct, though the computer “program” doesn’t say whether the song will be a hit, it does say whether the lyrics are pleasing to the average human based on tests that they did.

        • SunnyLea says:

          His name is Max Martin and he’s doing pretty well for himself, I gather.

  8. leprechaunshawn says:

    You mean to tell me that in the middle of a huge recession people are spending less to go out to the movies? Who woulda thunk it?

    • Hawkins says:

      I’m afraid I must disagree with your thesis, Mr. or Ms. Leprechaun. People tend to go to the movies more in hard times. According to this ABC news article:

      Historically, the movie business has had real success bucking bad economic trends. In five of the last seven recessions, movie ticket sales have gone up.

      I believe that the issue is that the movies cost more than ever, and deliver less of an experience.

      • Straspey says:

        “Historically, the movie business has had real success bucking bad economic trends. In five of the last seven recessions, movie ticket sales have gone up.”

        How true – and very well said.

        Movies have been a classic form of escapism for generations.

        During the depression people would go to the movies as a means to forget their troubles for a couple of hours. During WWII people went to see all those famous patriotic movies – some of which encouraged them to buy War Bonds on the trailer.

        And – I’m old enough to remember when people would spend a couple of hours in an air-conditioned movie as a CHEAP way to find relief from the oppressive heat in the summertime – in the days before in-home air conditioners.

        These days, the return in value for the outlay in dollars is very poor – at least concerning most of the stuff coming out of Hollywood these days.

        • Mom says:

          Totally agree. At other times, when I was out of work or otherwise short of money, I went to a lot of movies. I had the time, daytime movies were cheap, and the movie experience was something I couldn’t recreate at home. Now, I have my own big-ass TV that I bought when times were better. I have a ready supply of recent movies available, anytime I want to watch, for very little money. Movies in theaters are expensive, even daytime movies, and cheap second run houses don’t exist anymore. Add in the fact that the last time I went to the movies, I had to sit through 25 minutes of commercials before the movie started (not previews, commercials for other products), and my experience at home is better.

          The experience I can get in the movie theater isn’t worth the premium over what I can get at home.

          I went to exactly 2 movies last year.

      • quail says:

        The cinemas were one of the big cash cows during the depression and during down turns in the economy in years past. Short sighted people believed that this would always be the case. But the studios eroded that away with their need for bigger money through DVD sales. The window between a movie being released in the cinemas to the time it shows up on DVD became smaller and smaller. 4 to 6 months is what it’s running now. And that’s from the time of initial release, opening day. Price conscious patrons are fleeing the cinema and waiting it out to watch it on Netflix or rent it from Red Box. If you think about it, people who MUST see a movie in the cinema are paying a 1000% markup vs. waiting.

      • The Marionette says:

        Working at a theater I can agree with you. I’ve noticed a lot of sales despite hard times. Of course people do complain about concession prices, but that’s how the theater itself makes money since they make little to none off ticket sales.

    • c!tizen says:

      haven’t you heard, the recession is over.

  9. regann says:

    I’m lucky if I see 2 movies a year in the movie theater; it’s just so damn expensive and usually the movie sucks.

    These days, I stick to movies I don’t have much expectation for or ones I want to watch because I know they’re bad. This is why 50% of my film dollars in the last few years have went to Nic Cage vehicles, because he’s at his best when he’s oh-so-terrible.

    I’m sure I’ll be a lot happier when I walk about of the hot mess that Season of the Witch promises to be than I was when I finished watching the soulless Star Trek reboot.

  10. ClemsonEE says:

    The movie selection this year was bad AND the prices continuing to climb AND most theaters no longer supporting student discounts on weeekend nights made my wife and I go probably half the amount of times. Although, I’m probably looking like I’m not a student anymore to begin with and my student ID is more than 8 years old…

    But my wife (then g/f) and I would go to a movie nearly every weekend during the summer and a few more during the big releases, but this last year we probably went to 4 or 5.

  11. tasselhoff76 says:

    I have gone to fewer movies but not because of the lack of quality of the movies because I often find several movies I would like to see but because the people in the theater are always rude, loud and/or obnoxious – with the texting and emailing during the movie, so I can see your brightly glowing smart phone right in front of me, the constant talking, the breaking-up with one another in the middle of the freaking movie – I’m not kidding; they broke up with one another right there, etc. It’s freaking annoying and I do not have to pay to be annoyed.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      +1. People are fucking obnoxious OUTSIDE a theater, so concentrating them INSIDE one only leads to the trouble you describe.

      This is why I only go to IMAX or Premium Cinemas. By paying more for a ticket, people express that they really ARE interested in the MOVIE and not their cell phones or whatever.

    • Brie says:

      Yeah. Where I live the movie theater is one step below clubbing – it’s where teens and young people go to hang out and have fun. I don’t begrudge them wanting a place to giggle and gossip and make out, but I prefer quiet evenings at home. I don’t even patronize the restaurants there – too much “high-energy” and noise.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “it’s where teens and young people go to hang out and have fun. “

        That’s really not anything new. The difference now is there are no ushers who will kick them out for being obnoxious. Coupled with cell phones and the prevalence of the Eminem-thug-wannabe types, the theater-going experience has gradually degraded over the past decade.

  12. sp00nix says:

    back in my day, 10 bucks would get me in and enough snacks to substitute a dinner

  13. IphtashuFitz says:

    Hollywood is simply out of touch with the rest of the world when it comes to movies. First, they need to make better movies. And by that I mean both big budget action ones like Inception or Avatar (which will want me to actually see a movie in 3D on an Imax screen) and also decent comedies with big name actors like Red. Second, they need to realize that for a LOT of the other garbage they’re cranking out I have absolutely no problem with waiting for it to come out on Netflix, iTunes, whatever, or even broadcast TV. Oh yeah, and their whole idea to restrict DVD rentals for 28 days so struggling companies like Blockbuster have a chance at first rentals means absolutely nothing to me. I’ll happily wait an extra month since I already have Netflix.

  14. dolemite says:

    You must be drinking the movie industry’s kool aid. “Increased access to streaming and shorter windows are other major factors.” Umm…the most major factor is: I can’t see spending $25 on the crap Hollywood puts out 95% of the time.

    • quail says:

      Why pay premium bucks when you can wait it out for a major price reduction when it arrives on DVD or Netlfix? Plus who’s got time to watch a movie when I need to spend 15 hours this week trying to level up on my new computer game?

  15. Larraque eats babies says:

    I went to a whopping zero movies at the theatre last year.

    – Price of admission way too high. My wife and I will end up dropping $20 – or the price of a three disc plan per month from Netflix.

    – 3D proliferation . I’m a stingy bastard (see comment above) and if I thought $20 was too high for my wife and I to see a movie, how do you think I’m going to feel about $30?

    – My home theatre is awesome. DVDs typically come out anywhere from three to five months after a movie hits theatre. I can wait that long to rent the movie and watch it in the comfort of my own home. Movies no longer feel like a ‘going out’ experience.

    • tdogg241 says:

      Bingo. I admittedly saw more movies theatrically in 2010 than I did 2009, but that’s only 4 movies vs. 2 movies. Still a far cry from the 40-50 movies I used to see theatrically 5+ years ago. But now I have my own theater at home and I don’t have to put up with high ticket prices, overpriced concessions, cell phones, kids, etc. It costs my partner and I at least $30 to see a movie theatrically together, or for the same price we can pick up a Blu-ray and a pizza and have a bunch of friends join us. It’s almost like the decision is made for us.

      And not that I want to get all “get off my lawn” here, but I refuse to support the 3-D gimmick. Yes, I saw Avatar and it was neat, but the quality of movies coming out in 3-D leaves a lot to be desired (the quality of movies coming out in general also leaves much room for improvement, but that’s a much larger discussion). I’m not gonna drop an extra $5 on a shitty movie just so things will pop out of the screen at me. My partner even offered to buy my Tron 3-D ticket for me and I still passed. I just don’t any part of it.

  16. Rebecca K-S says:

    I see fewer movies than I did in the mid 90s, but in the mid 90s I was living at home with mom and had virtually no expenses, and the idea of spending six bucks or so on a movie didn’t bother me. But dropping twenty dollars on a movie date with my husband nowadays horrifies me most of the time, when we could just get it from netflix later (also, my husband doesn’t really like movies – wtf). I bookended 2010 – Avatar and True Grit. Two movies in one year is pretty much a record for me in the last decade.

  17. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Several reasons.

    1. Ticket prices have gone up. Even matinees are $7.50 now. The $2.50 theater doesn’t always get what I want to see.
    2. Content sucks.
    3. Too many commercials. I’m not watching TV, dammit.

    I only go if it’s something I’m DYING to see like Harry Potter, or something big-screenish like TRON: Legacy (yes, I’ll probably see it because I saw the first one back in the day). I don’t spend money on snacks usually unless I get a Hot Tamale attack (I love those).

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      “3. Too many commercials. I’m not watching TV, dammit.”

      That’s a HUGE reason I hate going to the movies. Pretty soon they’ll be inserting commercials INTO the movie, just like TV.

  18. Good Cop Baby Cop says:

    I would go to the movies every week if I lived in a larger city. Often, the movies I want to see just don’t come here.

  19. Cameraman says:



  20. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    “Attendance dropped 5.36% from 2009, the site reported, with 1.35 billion people buying movie tickets. That tickets sold number is the lowest since 1996. Inventive as always, producers and theaters made up for (or caused?) the drop by spiking ticket prices nearly 40 cents, from an average of $7.46 in 2009 to $7.85 in 2010. That brought in revenues of $10.556 billion, falling short of last year’s $10.6 billion.”

    So, in the end, total box office receipts were only off 1% or so. Not a big deal.

  21. TheBkMogul says:

    It’s also too much of an orderal to go sometimes. There’s always some combination of:

    1) People kicking your seat
    2) People laughing, texting, talking on their cell phone or carrying on long conversations with their partners.

    I may sound like an old fart (which I’m not), but when I pay $12.50 to see a film, I expect to be able to enjoy it with minimal interruptions. Thankfully, my home theater and Blu-Ray does help alleivate the wait for certain films (although I just had to see Black Swan last week).

  22. axhandler1 says:

    $7.85 is the average? Wow. At my local theater, a ticket anytime I would actually be able to go see a movie is about $11.75 right now. And I expect that to increase soon.

    • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

      $10 to $20 (IMAX or IMAX Delux) here in SF. My old university i.d. came in handy a bunch last year. Students still receive a $2 or more discount in a good number of theaters.

  23. Supes says:

    I never go to any of the major theaters around here, like AMC or Loews. The ticket price is just way too high $12+ (I’m in NYC). It’s absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention they keep on shortening when matinées are available (I think most recently it was only before noon).

    I like the movie theater experience, to be honest. I’d rather that than stay home and watch something on DVD. But I simply can’t afford it at the price they’re charging.

  24. Jhandle says:

    I agree with everyone else who posted that a major reason sales are so low is because they keep releasing remakes and redos and sequels instead of actual original content. Hollywood has become so cynical they think we’ll go watch anything with a ton of special effects and mostly nude women, which is true for some folks but eventually that’s got to wear off.

  25. kiminminn says:

    I took my 9yo grandson to an afternoon movie. It cost $30.00 for tickets, popcorn, sodas. For my pocketbook that is too much to go very often, so a movie in the theater will be a treat we have maybe 2X a year.

  26. shepd says:

    Perhaps more people are having kids again without babysitters?

    Movie theatres are extremely child unfriendly (which is fine, but means people who don’t use babysitters won’t be going at all). Due to the lack of drive-ins that simply prevents them going at all.

    I know myself, being in such a situation, I went twice to a traditional theatre last year. Once thinking I could get away with it (left almost before the pre-credits finished rolling–don’t ask how I got baby in there) and once via work friends during a work themed thing-a-ma-jig. I saw several others via the only drive-in in this whole area, which is a 1 hour drive away.

    Without that, it’d be 100% home theatre (Which saw a HUGE upgrade this year to 120″ :) Yay 1080p 16:9 projection!) or bust. Now watching movies at home really does feel better than a theatre, considering the room is only 18 feet long.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      My husband and I love going to the movies, but at $10/hour for the sitter, plus $20 for drinks and popcorn (essential part of the experience) and $20 for tickets….not so much. That’s pushing $80.

      And it’s a big deal to go as a family–it winds up being $50-$60, which is a lot of cake to drop on an afternoon’s entertainment. We could go to a number of museums or to the aquarium for a third of that.

  27. Videorr says:

    Ticket prices, my work schedule and my own home theater are the three contributing factors that cut our movie going this past year. Oh, yeah, and there was hardly anything worth seeing out this year. Exceptions (for us) included Iron Man 2, Inception, and True Grit. I think we saw maybe two other movies in theaters, instead opting till they hit Bluray.

  28. ToKeN2k6 says:

    Yup, we’re not far from having theatrical releases in our living room the day they come out. I think the $50 they want now for that is a little absurd. It obviously HAS to be cheaper than going to the theatre, I’d say $20 a pop would be worth it for something like that. Plus, I just rationalize not going to the theatre anymore b/c I know when the disc comes out I can either buy it for less than $20 or I can Redbox it for $ wonder theatrical viewing of movies isn’t doing so well..

  29. dennisjay says:

    I’d go to more movies and even pay more if (1) movie-goers were less noisey and rude, and (2) theaters did away with commercials and obnoxious (and loud) previews. Until then, I’ll stream movies.

  30. JohnnyP says:

    I actually saw more in theaters last year then the years before. I also would like to point out that I only went the the mega chain once but have been going to a local place that is far cheaper. I guess I should also point out that when I mean I went more I mean I went to 5 or 6 not 1 or 2.

  31. u1itn0w2day says:

    I thought prices were getting too high 10 years ago. The food and drink were/are reaching professional sport stadium levels. On top of the 10 to get in.

    • DerangedKitsune says:

      I agree. I’ve refused to buy concessions for ages due to to the highway robbery it’s become.

  32. majortom1981 says:

    IT also does not help good movies are in theaters for a month. I wanted to go see tangled this weekend and it was not in any of my local theaters.

  33. Erik_says_this says:

    $7.85? I pay $10.50, so yes, yes I did go to fewer movies.

  34. captadam says:

    I don’t care for the whole moviegoing experience–the people, the crunching of popcorn and slurping of soda, the inability to take a bathroom break without missing a part of the movie and then stumbling through a darkened theater. It’s not pleasant and not worth the money to me.

    • umbriago says:

      That’s it! I hadn’t really thought about it this way, but that’s why I don’t go to movies anymore. That, and the price. And the commercials. And all the idiots in theaters with the phones they can’t leave alone.

      And Hollywood has AIDS: Acute Idea Deficit Syndrome. Original stories are few and far between these days.

    • Kibit says:

      Standing in a long line to get the ticket. Standing in a long line to get snacks. (obnoxiously over priced, nasty tasting snacks) Standing in line to get in to the theater and then if I have to go to the bathroom then I have to stand in yet another long line!

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        In the last two years, I don’t think I’ve stood in line to get tickets. I just buy them online.

  35. Robofish says:

    Ticket prices need to come down. Paying 16.50 to see a movie ( albeit in 3D and at the fake IMAX ) is NOT worth it

  36. ITDEFX says:

    My solution ?
    Buy one ticket at the cheaper price, then go see two others for free!

  37. TheGreySpectre says:

    If I am going to pay $10 for a movie then I want to know that there are going to be no assholes texting and no screaming children and I want the ability to bring in food that doesn’t suck.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      Actually the abiliity to bring in or buy food that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. But other than popcorn I really don’t want to theatre to smell like onions or a taco stand.

  38. ahecht says:

    I saw 18 movies in theaters this past year, but I never paid more than $6/ticket. Between Showcase Cinemas $6 Tuesdays (every movie, including 3D and IMAX, for $6), the Chase Freedom deal (two tickets plus two popcorns for $12 on Wednesdays), the Groupon Fandango deal, and the KGBDeals AMC deal I was able to stay way under the $7.85 average.

  39. kylere1 says:

    5 Sequels, 2 remakes/retellings, 2 kids movies, and Inception that only made money because it took the average movie goer two viewings to understand.

    Hollywood is not losing money to piracy, they are losing it to the CPA’s who refuse to make anything that is not middle of the road, mass appeal crap. Alice was crap regardless of the Burton fans, so was Inception, Shrek, Iron Man 2, Clash.

    1. ‘Toy Story 3’
    2. ‘Alice in Wonderland’
    3. ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1’
    4. ‘Inception’
    5. ‘Shrek Forever After’
    6. ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’
    7. ‘Iron Man 2’
    8. ‘Despicable Me’
    9. ‘How to Train Your Dragon’
    10. ‘Clash of the Titans’

    • PunditGuy says:

      You think Inception was middle-of-the-road, mass-appeal crap? I’ve never seen a stranger big-budget-summer-action flick. It was a total gamble. What would its mass-market appeal be? DiCaprio? Nolan? Hell, most people don’t know or care who directs movies.

      Haters gonna hate, and hipsters gotta be hip. I get that. But you’ll eventually find, emo kid, that films don’t have to be badly lit and star a bunch of unknowns in order to be good.

    • NatalieErin says:

      I bet cash money that if you looked at the top 10 grossing films for most years since the inventions of movies you’d find a whole lot of garbage.

  40. megs says:

    I tend to agree with Helen Mirren – I’ll go to the movies when the industry stops worshiping at the altar of the 18 to 25-year-old male and his penis

  41. daemonaquila says:

    What do Hollywood and the theaters expect, when they put out garbage? Do we really need remakes of every movie or TV show? Land of the Lost as a movie? Really? We’ve seen the originals, and enjoyed (or hated) them – there’s little incentive to pay for a ticket to see someone else’s version.

    Also, this 3D craze has got to stop. We look for theaters that play the movies in good old 2D. 3D adds nothing to the movie, but it means you have to wear the dumb glasses that just make the image dimmer.

    I like seeing movies in the theaters, and we usually see the new releases we’re interested in within the first week. However, those are getting fewer and fewer. Instead, I’m spending that ticket money building up our own library so we can see the good stuff whenever we want.

  42. W10002 says:

    What kept me out of theaters? There weren’t that many movies I really wanted to see in theaters.

  43. quail says:

    It’s sad but the movie experience is not what it once was. The cinemas have let their theatres slide over the past several years in certain markets. What’s the point of seeing a movie if a gummy bear — the same one from 2 years ago — is up on the screen distracting you? And really, why pay the prices? I’m catching up on some great independent films that never saw the light of day in my small market on Netflix. Watching them in HD too. And I couldn’t be happier with the current situation.

  44. Exclave says:

    There have been several times that my wife and I were going to go see a new release only to find out we are forced to see the 3D version of the film and walk away. Most of the time the 3D isn’t worth the extra $2 per ticket and gives her a headache anyways. Movie theaters state that they offer a 2D version of the film, but good luck with that past the 2nd or 3rd week the movie is out.

    It’s **** like this Hollywood… it’s **** like this…

  45. cigsm says:

    I’d LOOOOOOOOOOOVE to know how the average ticket price is $7.85. I live in Delaware & the ticket prices here are $11.50 for 2D.

  46. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I really don’t think movies are better or worse than in 1996 but I’ve definitely seen less movies. I’m guessing reduced movie ticket sales are because of:

    1) The quality of “movie going” experience has fallen due to the proliferation of cell phones and because it’s socially acceptable to be obnoxious in theaters.

    2) The cost of seeing of a movie is exorbitantly expensive.

    3) Movies make it to DVD very quickly and most people have fairly decent TVs. It wasn’t long ago that it took years for a movie to make it to VHS and VCRs were relatively uncommon (when I was a kid, we used to rent a VCR along with tapes, until we were able to buy our Betamax). Renting a tape was also very expensive in relation to buying tickets at the theater.

    4) Most people have air conditioning and aren’t going to spend $10/person to see a crappy movie just to escape the heat. When I was a kid (well before 1996), we used to see tons of movies over the summer because the movie theater was really the only place with AC and matinee tickets were dirt cheap. It was fairly common for Jr High and High School kids to see virtually every released movie over the summer. I don’t think any kid today could do that with a minimum wage job.

  47. amgriffin says:

    For my family the deciding factor is price and price alone. We enjoy the experience of seeing movies in the theater. Once it stopped being an inexpensive entertainment we stopped going. It just isn’t in the budget to spend $10 per person just to get in.

  48. FerretGirl says:

    If you’d asked me how many movies I’d seen at the theater this year I would have said, “three, maybe 5 at the most.” Looking at Pecan Pi’s list I’ve seen eight, nine if you count the one I saw twice.


    Even with a student discount it’s expensive to see movies. I have one friend who is a big movie buff and I can only think of two movies in my list I saw without his saying, “let’s go see this!” My boyfriend and I are both really busy and we’d rather netflix, hulu, or download a movie and then watch it on his tv at home where we’re able to watch/listen as we work on other projects.

  49. tgrwillki says:

    What kept away?Crappy movie offerings.

  50. CalicoGal says:

    Lemme see:
    MY HOUSE– laying on my comfy couch with cats; the pause button; my refrig; QUIET.

    CINEMA– crappy dirty seat; yappy rude patrons with cell phones and no manners; overpriced shitty food and drink; screaming running children; missing something if I have to use the loo.

    And the industry is surprised that no one wants their lousy over-priced product?

  51. mike says:

    Same as everyone here: I pay for netflix. As soon as a new-release comes out in theatre, I put it on my netflix queue to be “on hold”. They stay at the top of my queue when they get released so that I’ll get it. Been using this process for a while now.

  52. ctcatfur says:

    We’ve only seen a few movies this year. Because of the high ticket prices and obscene prices for even a bottle of water, the movie just really has to be worth the hassle. Most aren’t. And yes, having Neflix and movie streaming is MUCH more pleasant. Everything goes to DVD eventually.

  53. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    I make my own movies at home.

  54. GJaunts says:

    I don’t really buy the Hollywood hate. Movies are investments. They’re risky because they are BIG investments and can bomb rather unexpectedly. Case in point, this year’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – great cast, very original movie, widely considered a good, fun movie. Box office bust.

    A sequel is simply a really, really good investment. If the first movie was successful history shows people WILL, more often than not, come out for the sequel. The risk of a total flop is essentially zero. This isn’t anything new, movie studios have operated this way for years. Go back and check any year for top grossing films and you’re bound to find a few sequels in the top 10. Admittedly it may very well be worse this year than 1980 or 1990, but if it keeps the industry afloat, I’m all for it.

    I get that sequels and remakes aren’t interesting for those with a more, erm, discerning movie-going eye, but there are PLENTY of great movies out there waiting to be seen. I only saw two of the top 10 grossing movies this year and I probably saw more than a dozen movies total. I do sympathize with you if you live in an area that doesn’t get anything besides the big-ticket features (which I did for years, until I moved to a city). In that case, your complaints are warranted.

    Also, can we stop factoring in popcorn and soda when discussing movie prices? I’ve never had a problem sneaking a soda past my geriatric ticket-ripper.

  55. stock2mal says:

    “Revenues were still high, surpassing $10 billion for the second time ever, thanks to high ticket costs and 3D surcharges.”

    Lower ticket prices, sell more tickets, sell more overpriced concessions, prices stay the same or go up.

    Hiring people with balls to ensure that people don’t ruin the movie for everyone else is the next step. Why should I pay $9 for a movie if you are going to allow people to act like douchebags in the theater?

  56. no says:

    Of course, it’s also more enjoyable to watch a movie at home. This is especially true since home HDTV.

  57. Edacious says:

    I stay away due to the prices. Where I live ticket prices for a 3D movie are around 30 a couple. For the same price I can rent 6+ movies depending on where I go. Or for 100 dollars we get as many IMAX movies as I want for a year. It is a brainless choice.

  58. doctor.mike says:

    Not counting the crap on the please, the ONE movie in Jan 2010. That was Avatar, and as a techie, I was curious to see the effects. The ONLY reason I went to see it was because I was in the Philippines at the time, and the ticket was US$ 5. Yes, the story was crap, and I certainly would not buy it on DVD, Blu-ray or go to see in a theater again.
    My repeat business is unobtainable. Sorry I can’t post in Comic Sans.

    Aside from that, every week we see new high box-office gross figures. Of course they are higher, the ticket price is always going up. Does anyone (in the general public) ever see statistics of how many tickets are sold? I would be very interested to see a comparison of ticket numbers for “Gone with the Wind” vs. “Avatar.”

  59. Mknzybsofh says:

    What kept me away the most is COST! 30$ for an afternoon showing and all I get to eat is popcorn and a soda?! Why do that when I can rent it when it comes out have friends over, buy pizza and have a grand old time for about the same amount? I personally only went to see 4 movies last year, Harry Potter, Iron Man 2 and Alice. The last was a kids movie I took my godson out to see on his birthday. He loved it that’s all that mattered. I’ve rented about 10 times that over the last year in ‘new movies’ from Redbox. There is about four I’ll watch in the theater again this year, none of which are going to be in 3D!

  60. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Well, I guess there’s only one thing they can do to fix this: make crappier movies and raise ticket prices.

  61. Tallanvor says:

    I’m seeing fewer movies, and one of the major issues is the big 3D push. –The non-3D versions are increasingly only shown on the smaller screens. I’m blind in one eye, so I can’t see the 3D versions (technically I can watch them, I suppose, but all I get out of it is a headache). Why should I pay to get a substandard experience in a theater?

  62. hairyseaword says:

    Let’s see: lackluster movies, bad theater experience, increasing ticket prices, poor economy.

    Sounds about right!

  63. montusama says:

    I actually was at the theater more often this past year than previously. That was only because my gf at the time was a real big movie person.

  64. NotEd says:

    I saw more movies in the theater in 2009 than I did the year before, when I took a 35% drop in salary after 3 months unemployed at the end of 2008.
    I saw a few that I really wanted to see that were blockbusters and would benefit from the full theater experience, but mostly I watched Netflix discs and, after the gift of a Roku, streaming.
    In 2009 I discovered 2 things that allowed me to go out to movies more:
    1. There is a dollar theater the next town over.
    2. There is a drive in that shows double features about an hour west of my house.
    Between those 2 things I could go out more and spend less money per film. The only movies I paid full cost for last year were Avatar and Tron: Legacy, both of which I saw in 3D, because I couldn’t see them cheaply elsewhere or at home.
    I always think there will be movies it will be worth seeing in the theaters, if you are interested enough. Most theaters are just pricing themselves in such a way as to eliminate me a a regular, full price customer is all.

  65. Willow16 says:

    Each year I see fewer and fewer movies in the theater. The price is the main reason. Right now an adult ticket for my local theater is $11, $10.50 for seniors and $8.50 for children. That is just too expensive for me. The only movie I saw this past year was Harry Potter.

  66. BitterBrian says:

    What keeps me away is other people. Talking on cell phones.,,,talking to each other…..bringing 2 year olds to 2 hour movies. Too many people just don’t care about anyone else in the theater.

    The only movies we go see these days are IMAX where the high price which limits the audience to people who are serious about seeing the movie and keeps most of the people who do these thing away.

  67. mbd says:

    Crappy movies. Crappy 3D computer animated movies. Crappy 35mm projection. Theaters projecting D-Television. I can watch digital television at home, 1080p Bluray projected on my 10′ screen looks as good ad 2000p projected on a theater’s 35′ screen.

    While the high prices are a factor, if I want to see the movie projected really big, I’ll pay the price. I just don’t buy any concession items.

  68. samonela says:

    Broken Record Warning:

    Box office numbers really should be reported by ticket sales and not by dollars grossed for this very reason. Or at least adjust for inflation!

    Example: You will hear “news” reports like “X Movie broke the box office gross record for this weekend which was previously held by Jurassic Park…” Well the thing is, when Jurassic Park came out (again just an example) the average ticket price was maybe 40% less than it is today. Meaning that Jurassic Park had sold WAY more tickets than X Movie. So by that measurement, X Movie didn’t really surpass JP at all…if you look at gross sales, it is not very hard at all to beat a record that was set 15 years ago when you don’t adjust for inflation.

    When not adjusted for inflation, Avatar holds the spot for most money grossed. When adjusted for inflation by looking at ticket sales, Gone with the Wind (a movie from 1939!!) holds the top spot and Avatar gets knocked way down to number 14.

    Not Adjusted:


  69. El_Fez says:

    Why do I no longer go to movies?

    1 – Tickets cost WAAAAY too much
    2 – Jackasses on C-phones during the movie
    3 – Half an hour of ads before the movie
    4 – Morons who think they’re as witty as Tom Crow and Joel and wont shut up
    5 – Movies these days are mostly shit.

    Plus some other stuff I probably forgot to mention. . . .

  70. DerangedKitsune says:

    Ah, finally the numbers that matter! I don’t care how much money hollywood made; show me how that breaks down per ticket.

    Probably the most ironic double-edged sword in all this is the short window from theatrical to video release. It was done to combat piracy, to limit the window that sleezy DVD-mills would have to crank out their product with maximum profit, but at the same time discouraged people from going to the theater because they know they can watch it in the comfort of their home in a couple months.

  71. valthun says:

    Are these ticket prices being averaged out with dollar theaters in mind? Because the average around my side of the city without dollar theaters is closer to 13.

  72. Kibit says:

    Where did they get the average price of $7.85? Is this for evening movies or earlier in the day Matinees?

    The Cinemark in my area is
    Adult Fri/Sat after 6pm (*Price also applies to Special Advance Showings)

    Adult Matinee before 6pm
    Early Bird 1st Matinee Showtime (7 days a week). Note: Check below for multiple listings of a movie (i.e. DLP, Digital, Regular, 3D, etc.) to find first showtime.
    $6.25 About 10:20 am

    The AMC in my area is
    Ticket Pricing:
    ADULT: $10.00 – After 4:00 pm
    MATINEE: $8.00 – Before 3:55 pm
    A.M.Cinema: $6.00 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays
    Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays for shows before noon (tax included)

  73. Outrun1986 says:

    I went to a 3D movie recently, it was horrible.

    I wear glasses, so the glasses they give you didn’t fit right over mine. Its not possible for me to get contact lenses according to my eye doctor so I cannot solve this problem myself.

    It only took about 5 min for me to start getting a headache and my eyes were burning, and this comes from someone who normally loves video game motion simulators and amusement rides (and doesn’t get sick on them). The rest of the theater didn’t seem to be having problems, it was only me.

    It was very expensive, its like 10.50 to go to a regular movie, and even more to go to a 3D one.

    The smell in the theater was atrocious, if anything would make me avoid the place its the smell. The smell of greasy popcorn is quite disgusting to me, not to mention the smell of the other patrons in the theater on top of that. This may be an isolated case however.

    It was also really, really cold in the theater, if I go again I am making sure I bring my winter coat, really glad I had it with me.

    I did not have the screaming children or people on their phones problem, though the kids must have been pretty bored with the movie as a few of them were running up and down the stairs more than once during the show, not distracting for me though unless I would have needed to leave the theater myself for some reason.

  74. vdragonmpc says:

    Its simple: They are pricing themselves out of reach.

    When there are cheaper alternatives we will go there. Home watching is far better now than many theaters. Matinees have disappeared in our area. I know I cant justify 12-14$ per movie ticket and then another 20-30 for popcorn and a drink. Insanity! I worked at a theater in high school and I remember that we didnt get paid squat. So the money rolled somewhere.

    Perhaps the Actors can stop getting 20-30 million EACH to be in a movie? Maybe back off to maybe a reasonable amount per hour? I mean how many beach houses and limos do they need?

    I have netflix and honestly the commercials for Blockbuster and the others bragging that they screwed me as a Netflix user by getting movies from certain companies earlier smacks of collusion and shenanigans. Turns me off to them as a company. If they cant compete on the service dont try to get over by getting special treatment. We all know Blockbuster is done its just how long until they go away. DirectTV pay per views are too sketchy. A squirrel farts and I lose signal where is my HD movie now?

    Bottom line: You want people to go to movies lower prices 7-8 was the price point when we stopped going. Its a simple thing really.

  75. Blind Cynicism says:

    Supply and demand. Ticket prices keep going up. Less people go to watch. At the end of the day, its about the revenues and earnings. Based on this article, revenues continue to be high/growing despite fewer people going to watch movies.

    And I can somewhat agree on the movie selection theory. However, horrible slasher films, cheesy rom-coms, Jason Statham action movies, etc. continue to be made because….gasp….people go and watch them. We’re a nation of idiots. Movies that actually make money are going to cater to those idiots. The 5th installment of the Fast and the Furious should be example enough.

  76. chucklebuck says:

    I pretty much only go to the theater if the movie is by a director who I want to get to keep making movies. I have no idea how effective this strategy is so I’m probably just being stupid, but it makes me feel better anyway. I just assume theater success == you get to keep putting movies into theaters.

    Darren Aronofsky, Rian Johnson, Brad Anderson, David Lynch, Gus Van Sant, Sofia Coppola – if any of those people is directing it, I’ll see it in the theater. There are probably a few others I’m missing too, but those are sure things for me.

  77. bben says:

    #1 Price – the cost of a movie is outrageous. Spouse & 3 kids (5 people) cost over $50 just tickets.

    #2 Cost of snacks – More than a meal in a restaurant! How do they justify charging $7 for a bucket of popcorn that cost them a quarter.

    #3 Quality of movies – it seems like half are remakes and the other half sequels. Hollywierd is too cheap to pay for original work.

    I have been to 1 movie in the past 2 years. (not Avatar). Tickets and snacks cost nearly $80. This was the regular price and not a special movie. I can’t afford that. For what I would pay for ONE movie at a theater I can rent a dozen or more. And my popcorn is just as good and costs about twenty five cents.

  78. summeroflove says:

    I don’t think I went to any less movies in 2010 because most of the stuff that comes out just feels like one of a small group of predictable genres. So, the idea of going bores me to tears much less makes me want to spend my non-existent kids’ inheritance on one.

  79. padarjohn says:

    I stopped going to the theatre when they started showing 20 minutes of TV commercials at the movie’s start time. I bought an HD TV instead. I got excited and started going again when they came out with 3D movies. But then they decided to gouge people wanting to see 3D by raising the already premium cost of 3D. So I bought a 3D TV this Christmas.

    I can wait to see it on Blu-ray.

  80. oldwiz65 says:

    Naturally the studios/MPAA will see this as proof that the government needs to crack down harder on illegal file sharing. They don’t see such things as crappy movies not drawing viewers or dirty smelly movie theaters not enticing people to visit.

    Going to the movies used to be fun; big screens, decent sound, clean theaters, decent patrons. Now you get tiny tiny screens, sound that will deafen you, sticky dirty floors, constant ringing of cell phones, people talking loudly, endless commercials before the movie starts, filthy bathrooms, etc.

    And they wonder why we don’t go to theaters.

  81. dush says:

    Hmm, maybe if they lowered prices people/families would see it as a more viable entertainment option and go see more movies.
    Who wants to take a chance on a $15 3D movie that you aren’t positive you’ll enjoy.

  82. davidsco says:

    Perhaps if there weren’t so many Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Anniston and Ben Stiller movies, they would’ve done better

  83. Erika'sPowerMinute says:

    I love going to the movies, but they’re so freakin’ LOUD!

    (Either that, or I’m old.)

    I had my fingers stuffed in my ears at TRON: Legacy.

    I had to ask the theater to turn down the volume at one of the movies we took the kids to a while ago because the poor kids were literally cringing and covering their ears. Not just mine, mind you.

  84. mikedt says:

    Let’s see, I can go to the theater and spend $24 so the 3 of us can see a matinee (or $45 to see a night showing) or I can wait and buy the dvd for less than $20 or rent it for $1. I’m willing to wait and go with the $1 choice.

  85. Not Given says:

    I’ll try to catch Thor, in May, I think. My favorite writing team or I’d wait for the DVD. Matinee is still $6 but we don’t have a theater here so I have to drive to another town and I don’t like to drive alone at night. DH says the seats hurt his back. I’ll usually skip the popcorn, if they went back to using natural saturated fat I might reconsider, what they use now smells rancid.

    I usually wait until the DVD price comes way down or I can buy it used. I have 3 TV seasons and one movie that I paid more than $10 for and two of those were mostly paid for with Amazon gift certificates and $10 off for being a pre-order.
    Most of the DVD movies I have were $5-$7.50. I also bought DH several of those Timelife documentary sets for $9.99.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I’m glad I am not the only one who thinks the popcorn smells disgusting. They used to have popcorn at Walmart here and it was the same smell, and you had to smell it every time you went into the store and it wasn’t just me who complained about the disgusting smell everyone around me could smell it as well. They opened a new walmart here and no more popcorn smell since they only have Subway now which doesn’t serve popcorn!

  86. axiomatic says:

    The only thing stopping me from going to the movies is the lack of a representative of the theater from policing the movies from rude people who either talk, use their cellphones, or do something else that detracts from the viewing of the movie itself.

    Fix that and I will come back.

  87. AmandaLoo says:

    umm. movies freaking sucked last year. There are so many times where we wanted to go see a movie. Would look at the listings, and ….. nothing.

  88. Chaosium says:

    Too many stoner fart movies, superhero movies, romcoms, too many action movies, not enough fun.

  89. moonunitrappa says:

    I blame the cellphone/smartphone. I refuse to pay that much for a movie in a theater when management takes a soft position on light pollution. It is not my job to get up and miss the movie to announce there is a problem because junior or miss debutant can’t manage their texting addiction for two hours. One employee per theater for the first 20 minutes of every film would be enough to send a message. If you can’t stop checking your phone for two hours in a place where darkness is required, don’t come to the theater.

  90. physics2010 says:

    Pirates. It must be the pirates fault. Number of movies worth pirating this year….ZERO!

  91. Geekmom says:

    Ticket prices, crappy movies, and some of the movies I might have gone to see were released only in 3D so they’re extra expensive. It’s not so bad for one person, but when you have to buy 3 or 4 people it gets to be a major problem. Sometimes I just wait for the movies to go to the crappy dollar theater if I really feel the need to sit in a theater to watch something.

  92. obamaramallama says:

    Theaters really should start offering netflix-style subscription plans.

  93. crazydave333 says:

    My wife had a kid last year, so that’s part of the reason why I don’t go to movies as much.

    The other reason…cost. Dropping $10 plus on a movie is too much. I only saw three movies last year, and I held out for ones that were critically acclaimed and seemed fairly popular with audiences. When a movie was seven dollars in the evening, five for a matinee, I’d take more risks. I’d go watch a shitty movie just for giggles, or try out more midgrade stuff. Now, I wait for video for almost everything.

    Three: the movie going experience is just not that much superior to watching at home, which is sad. It’s not just a matter of the technology being better (at a theater now, it’s mostly just larger). The experience of watching a movie with an involved audience can enhance things. But nowadays, it’s mostly just ghetto teenagers texting and yelling at the screen.

  94. Cyniconvention says:

    Did they stop to consider people who sneak in?

  95. kross10c says:

    The Prices suck but for me what’s worse is sitting next to you people with your cell phones,flues, Big mouths and fat asses. ohh and for the love of god take your feet off the back of my seat.

  96. zlionsfan says:

    What kept me away? Let’s see: crap movies, insane prices (tickets, refreshments … so glad I live near a city where parking is free pretty much everywhere other than downtown), uncomfortable seating, fake 3D gimmickry, more commercials than a baseball telecast, start times that rarely fit my schedule, no ability to pause the movie if I need to get up …

    Oh, and no chance I can watch with my cats.

  97. pot_roast says:

    The movie studios are already frothing at the mouth and blaming piracy for the drop in ticket sales. Nothing else (like the economy) could be the cause.. nope, it all has to be ‘illegal downloaders.’ *eyeroll*

  98. thaJack says:

    I’d say part of it is the ticket prices. They are getting so high that it isn’t even worth going.

  99. movie-goer-rights says:

    See the video, “Why Do Movie Tickets Cost So Much?”, which examines a price fixing claim by the major theatre industry insider, Dan Harkins, at or

  100. dvdchris says:

    I saw 7 movies last year in theaters. 2 were free tickets from DVDs and online offers; 1 was taking the niece to see Marmaduke at the dollar theater; and 4 were full priced (or full matinee priced) tickets to movies I fully intended to see while in theaters.