Sunday, May 3, 2015

I guess people around the world are still going to the movies. The new super hero movie boasted that they made $200 Million dollars in ticket sales before the movie even opened in America and now it is making about another $100 Million dollars a weekend. The Fast and Furious series of about 6 movies is still going fast in making an additional 2 or 3 Million dollars. Are people that bored or frustrated with their regimented life that they need to see fast passed destructive movies? Yes the good guys win in the end but both these movies are harsh.

Although these 2 movies seem to have won the jackpot as far as ticket sales go, overall, 2014 turned out to be the worst year for film attendance in almost 2 decades. People just aren’t buying movie tickets like they used to or are only buying tickets for big blockbuster action packed stuff for that ultimate experience. Tickets are expensive now. NETFLIX has thousands of films for just $8 dollars per month. You can see best picture nominees before the Oscars on I TUNES. There are video games and tablets, games on line, smartphones that keep us busy. Then there are the big HG TVs in our homes with surround systems and home theaters we could invest in. America is busy at home watching stuff so it is hard to convince us to leave our homes the give up lots of money to see just one film once. Actual movie theaters have to now compete for our attention.

So, how are they trying to enhance our cinematic experience? AMC has been investing in extra plush seats and dine in theaters. Must fat Americans eat constantly? Why have we gone from popcorn and a candy bar to eating main full course meals while watching a movie? As I look down to cut my steak I could be missing a good part of the movie. What should I do? Just press a button on your seat and your server will appear blocking another part of the movie so you can argue with them about something with the food.  Is that really a better movie experience? I leave the theater with steak sauce and all kinds of stuff stuck to my shirt I didn’t even know spilled on it in the dark theater. At least popcorn and candy residue was easy to shake off on a shirt.

You can’t even watch a movie with the distracting smells of Buffalo wings and other stuff around you. The aroma of food can be very distracting. Then the waiters bring you the check right during an important scene in the movie during the movie. They could care less about why you are there in the first place. I find it all super distracting.  But it is not as nearly as distracting as Disney’s new experiment. They have been suggesting that you download their app and bring your I Pads along to the movie theater. Then “you can become   part of the story.”  No. I do not want to be part of anything. I want to see the Little Mermaid and Cinderella do her thing.

For those of you who really want to feel part of the movie, there is now 4-D Theaters. They are already popular in other countries. They offer gusts of wind, splashes of water, fragrances, and gyrating seats,   all to immerse you even more into the movie experience. It will be hard to sleep through any movie with all this going on during a movie. Please do not serve me food too with all this action at my seat going on. I will need a shower before I leave the place with spaghetti in my hair from the wind or something splatted or shaken on me. It is a cool thing for a 15 minute theme park attraction but for a 2 to 3 hour movie, well it can be torture.

I guess I am just old. I go to the movies to cut off the distractions in my life and focus on just one thing. The movie in my darkness. I guess in today’s competitive entertainment landscape a chair in the dark is not enough anymore.  I guess the true different experience now is a packed theater. Where do you see movies? A survey said that 84% watch at home. Only 4% go to the theater and 10% said they are about equal.  Maybe I will forget the whole thing and just read a good book. Does anyone do that anymore?

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