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Published:August 9th, 2005 04:35 EST
Let's (Not) Go Out To The Movies

Let's (Not) Go Out To The Movies

By Sean Stubblefield

Some friends and I were commenting the other day about how we don`t go to the movies as often as we used to. We love movies, though we increasingly find ourselves going to the theater less this year. And it appears we are not the only ones.

As you may have heard, Hollywood is experiencing what is being called a Box Office Slump. It seems that movie attendance "and, thus, ticket sales and revenue-- is gradually decreasing.

Fewer people are going to movie theaters these days, particularly this 2005 summer.

If you`ve been to a movie theater recently, you can see several reasons why that is.

Depending on which theater you go to, there is anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes of commercials before the movie begins. And concession stand prices are more expensive than they are worth.

Plus, there`s the annoyance or discomfort of sitting among or next to strangers, with the air conditioning set too high, in a chair that may not be in your ideal location in relation to the big screen, and not so accommodating to your relaxation. Too often, inconsiderate people talk or shuffle during the show, children make noise and run amuck, or cell phones ring " and are even answered! All this disrupts our/ my enjoyment of a movie because it breaks the illusion, pulling the audience`s attention out of the movie and into the theater. 

Not to mention the hassle of driving to the theater " especially considering the ridiculously high gas prices, and having to be there at a pre-appointed time determined by some faceless entity.

With cable/ satellite TV and DVDs available, allowing us to watch movies in the comfort of our own homes at our convenience, we have yet another reason to not buy movie tickets. Indeed, DVDs have become an important part of total film revenue. Even if a movie doesn`t do so well at the Box Office, studios could often anticipate recouping some expenses through the sale of DVDs. Direct to DVD productions have become a more acceptable, economically convenient and popular means of distributing movies. Now, studios are putting their theater released films onto DVD and into stores sooner than previous years, sometimes shortening their time in theaters.

Although, according to Business Week Online last month, that trend may also be slightly diminishing. Stores are sending DVDs back to the warehouse because they have too many copies in stock, but that could merely be a case of over ordering.

Some people download movies from the internets, pirate or borrow them.

There are also other forms of entertainment that people may be turning to instead of movies, such as video games and surfing the net.

I suppose it`s even possible, however unlikely it might seem, that some folks are reading more books.

Another factor could be that the novelty and excitement of the movie going experience is wearing off, or has worn off. It`s not such a special event " or big deal anymore.

Maybe we`ve generally become desensitized by and bored with the movies being produced, requiring cinematic fare (or flare) we haven`t seen before to be impressed.

Perhaps a big part of why many of us don`t spend as much of our money on movie tickets is that there just aren`t many movies good enough to warrant it. This is the main reason why I don`t go to the theater much anymore. There are so few movies I really care to see, and even fewer that I must see to the point that I`ll go on opening weekend.

Otherwise, if it interests me in any way, I`ll usually just wait to rent it from Blockbuster.

Films like The Dukes of Hazard remake certainly don`t help to encourage or entice us into the theaters in droves, either.