Throughout the decades, studio films would play in your local neighborhood theater and be released on home video. Movie goers were introduced to dollar cinemas, where you have the studio films play in major movie theater chains (AMC, Regal, etc), and then head to a local own dollar cinema. At the turn of the century, things were changing, DVDs, were taking over for VHS tapes, new electronics were being invented, where now you can watch a movie on your phone. With the rise of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and YouTube, audiences can just stay home and watch their favorite show or movie. With all this technology do audiences even go to the theaters, now?
You can make the argument; “Well people will still need to go out and have a good time”. That’s true, but most people like to socialize at bars and other events. Today audiences, don’t want to go sit in a dark auditorium for 2 hours and watch a good film. With the rise of television, a lot more people are staying home and watching their favorite shows with their family. Heck, I’ve even had people text me to say, If I’ve watched this show and that it’s very good.

Studios are now producing a lot of superhero (comic book), fair. Every movie you see at the cinemas is a remake, prequel, sequel, or adapted from a source material. I’ve talked to many of my film friends in the past and they tell me that, why I think there is so many super hero films right now? I tell them, it’s what is making the money right now, so studios want to bank roll off that. But, what about the independent films? Most Indy films that a filmmaker will make will most likely go straight to television, online, or DVD. There’s nothing wrong with that, I look at it as a victory for the filmmaker because you’ve got your movie out there to an audience.
Movie theaters make their money by concessions, not by ticket sales. Half of the ticket sales profits go to the studios who produced the movies. How do movies get to theaters? A film booker or representative from the studio or production company license the film to the theater for a certain number of weeks. If a film is not making any money or living up to expectations than the booker will pull the movie from theaters.

Theaters are now, taking out seats and putting in comfortable recliners where you can pick your feet up and enjoy the show. From a marketing stand point, I see what they’re doing. They’re trying to bring the home experience to the auditorium. However, you will have to sacrifice a lot of stadium seating to do it. What was once, a 150 - 200 seat auditorium is now a 60 – 100 auditoriums. Less seats for the consumer. Although, movie theaters have now, introduced us to assign seating and you can buy your seat in advance… don’t have to worry about the lines. For any one who wants to decide to go see a movie at the last minute will sometimes be turned away because the movie is sold out or the audience member doesn’t want to sit in the front row. For every new idea you must sacrifice a plan that was probably working in the past. What’s the old saying? If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Matthew Paris

Matthew Paris is the screenwriter of Crisis, a short film with international distribution.

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