Next Please: The Roulette of the Movie Experience
I’ve written quite a bit recently on the evolution of the movie theater experience. There’s a lot that’s changed over the years. From a classic movie experience to rising costs that suck up your cash, the movie experience is constantly changing and morphing to keep up with the times and the culture, and the movie theaters have come with an interesting way to keep up with a way to keep up with fast paced society.
The movie experience is constantly changing and morphing to keep up with the times and the culture.
In today’s culture of instant gratification where new is better, a phenomenon has happened. Less than 10 percent of those who see films in the theaters see it more than once, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. The MPAA also states that an average film will make over 40 percent of its total gross in the first week of its release. What does this mean? The conclusion is simple. People get tired of films very quickly. Seeing a film once in theaters is enough for most movie-goers. Next film, please. Of course, the rising cost of movie tickets also has a role to play in why people aren’t seeing movies more than once. It wasn’t always this way, though.
The MPAA… states that an average film will make over 40 percent of its total gross in the first week of its release.
Any film and movie enthusiast worth his salt has seen the original Star Wars film, A New Hope. Upon its release in 1977, no one thought it would be a success, including director George Lucas who took a vacation to Hawaii immediately after it’s completion to avoid the shame of a box office flop. Everyone’s expectations were shattered, in a great way, however, when it grossed over $6 million in its opening week. It was a popular film to say the least. So what did the theaters do? They kept it. In total, the first Star Wars film stayed in theaters for 203 days. Even more drastic was the 1997 film Titanic, which stayed in theaters 283 days and grossed over $28 million its first week.
The point here is that, back in the day, people would go and see these cult classics over and over again. The father of a friend of mine saw Star Wars every single day until it cycled out of the theater. Today’s culture just isn’t the same. Let’s take the 203 days of Star Wars or the 283 days of Titanic and compare it to a relatively new film, Jurassic World. The hype for this film was insane. Since the first film came out in 1993, there has been a huge cult following. You would expect fans to see it over and over and over again right? Wrong. This smash hit which broke box office records stayed in theaters for a measly 50 days. The message is clear: because of the change in culture movie theaters must keep rotating their films in a fairly rapid pace to keep the populace happy.
Tim Martin is from central Kansas where he briefly attended film school before coming to CCM. He grew up watching mostly silent films, classical cinema, and researching film history, Tim has a unique perspective on film for someone only 21 years of age, one that lends itself well to his roles as a writer and producer. When he’s not working, Tim enjoys reading, taking walks in the wood, and watching horror films.