A newly released study shows that movie attendance hit a 19-year low in 2014.
According to preliminary estimates, roughly 1.26 billion consumers purchased cinema tickets between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31. That’s the lowest number since 1.21 billion in 1995 and not that far ahead of 1994 (1.24 billion). The last time admissions fell below the 1.3 billion mark was in 2011, when only 1.28 billion people when to the movies.
Lowest since 1995. You remember that year…when ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Apollo 13’ came out? Yes. 1995, the year that the O.J. Simpson criminal trial began (Jan. 24) and ended with ill-fitting gloves/good acting (Oct. 3). Yep, that one.
And the reason for the dwindling theater goers? The study says M-O-N-E-Y. More specifically, ticket prices—and people like you and me, fed up with the rising cost to watch a flick. Ticket prices? Prices? Playoffs? I call BS.
“High ticket prices are, by far, the number one reason for dissatisfaction across age demos and by movie-going frequency,”PwC concludes in its report, part of its Consumer Intelligence Series. “Despite advanced technology, better seating, improved concessions and the return of 3D movies, the negative of higher ticket prices is difficult to counter-act.” Indeed, it adds, “3D ranks last among drivers of movie attendance.”
I don’t think theater ticket prices is the reason for fewer people paying their hard-earned money to sit in theater seats. The real reason is more complicated than that. Here’s my list of reasons people would rather skip the movie theater:
1. Concession prices are cra-cra. Snacks and drinks shouldn’t cost more than the ticket itself. Just charge 7-11 prices–is that so much to ask?
Movie theater popcorn prices over the past 80 years (2009)
2. HBO/SHOWTIME and Cable TV. Great movies are now found regularly on demand and excellent series production.
3. Redbox, iTunes, Amazon and Netflix all offer movie options that include staying in homes.
4. Movies are too loud.
5. 3D is not worth it. The people have spoken on this repeatedly. Keep the glasses and just give us the quality cinematography we can get on our 80″ TVs. Now we have to confront the growing threat of 4D cinema. Ugh.
6. Annoying people in the theater. Despite numerous, constant announcements and warnings, some people can’t separate themselves from checking social media for 2+ hours. The similar PSAs before the film about no talking also go unheeded by the few, causing headaches for the many.
Those are my annoyances at the theater. Yes, ticket prices do need to stay in-check. But the reason theater attendance is trending downward is more complicated than just an $8-12 admission ticket.
© 2015, Patrick. All rights reserved.
"Patrick, you are my go-to guy when it comes to the box office". - Judy O.