Current state of the cinematic experience

A few rambling thoughts about how the culture of moveigoing has changed.

The most frequent moviegoers by age group are the 25-39 years of age (25% of total moviegoers), Hispanics purchased 25% of the tickets sold last year (the most frequent moviegoing ethnicity). Hollywood will adhere to whatever the stats say and will work accordingly to make the most money possible. What seems to be selling these days are superhero flicks, blockbuster sequels, and animated movies. Last year's top 30 Box-Office champs were all either sequels, Marvel/DC, remakes or animated. The only exceptions were Hidden Figures (#14), La La Land (#19), Central Intelligence (#22), Sully (#24), and Arrival (#29). So, no, it seems like there's no room for a Kramer vs Kramer or Chinatown anymore at the Box-Office. Compare the current situation to 20 years ago and the difference is alarming. In 1997 26 of the 30 most successful films at the Box-office were originals. Only 4 sequels made it, no animated movies, no superhero movies, and just a single remake. Is this a dumbing down of the masses? I don't think so, I think it's just an outright extinction of the old-school cinematic experience.

People now go to the movies for a different kind of experience. I mostly go to press screenings, but whenever I do happen to buy a ticket at any given multiplex, and the place is sold out, chances are somebody around my vicinity will either be whispering to their partner the entire way through, a flashy cellphone light will keep bothering me, some idiot will be texting relentlessly, or, if I'm very unlucky, some brain-dead parents will bring a crying toddler to a PG-13 or R rated movie. I don't blame people for staying at home and watching Netflix, HBO ET all, especially with the skyrocketing ticket prices and the cinema being packed with 18-24 year-olds suffering from severe ADHD and believing that being on your phone throughout the movie is normal ethical behavior.


This kind of experience is not uncommon these days, in fact, it happens ALL THE TIME at your local AMC or major theater chain. The problem is that these people represent the demographic that buys the most movie tickets on a yearly basis, they are the ones that go to the movies for the next Marvel and DC extravaganza.

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