Answering my own questions since 2001

Cinema Jumps the Shark

Via Slashdot, here’s an article about the beating the movie industry took this summer at the box office:

With the last of the summer blockbusters fading from the multiplex, Hollywood’s box office slump has hardened into a reality that is setting the movie industry on edge. The drop in ticket sales from last summer to this summer, the most important moviegoing season, is projected to be 9 percent by Labor Day, and the drop in attendance is expected to be even deeper, 11.5 percent, according to Exhibitor Relations, which tracks the box office.

Of course, there’s plenty of amusing and insightful banter in the Slashdot thread.

I predict that our grandchildren will look at the cinema the way we look at opera and ballet. Consider the historical trends in arts consumption. People used to hear stories around a campfire or public house. Then the book was invented, and those stories could be taken home. People used to attend concerts to discover music, but audio recordings enabled them to just listen to that music at home (they still go to concerts, but the scales have shifted dramatically). The same is now happening with cinema.

On a vaguely related note, I’ve been running an informal study on the duration of ads and trailers before the movie starts. I’ve found, anecdotally, that there’s between 12 and 17 minutes, pretty evenly divided between ads and trailers. If I don’t care about the trailers, I can confidently arrive at a movie 10 minutes after its posted start time.

3 Responses to “Cinema Jumps the Shark”

  1. sam

    Movies were at one time a great way to spend a Friday night. Unfortunately, the invention of the cell phone has made netflix and flat screen tv’s seem like the new school drive in.

  2. Jeff

    [The article] “does not once try to blame piracy and file-sharing programs. It sounds like studios are beginning to understand that they have only themselves to blame.”

    Excellent point.

  3. Heather

    Here in the GTA region the average ad and trailer time is 20 minutes. It is getting completely ridiculous. I resent spending paying money to watch ads…the trailers are mostly alright though (except the trailer, or anything to do with, the movie Stealth)

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