RICHARD writes...: THEATRE CINEMA RIP by 2025

Some may disagree, but movie theatres will no longer exist after 2015.

You read it here first.

How long do you think movie theatres will still exist?

Though some will disagree with Cooks, Books, and Nooks, we predict the demise of movie theatres by 2025. It won’t be a sudden death, just a slowly ebbing away as if dying from a mortal disease. In 8 short years, movie theatres will be as extinct as the dodo.

“Oh no, they won’t. I will still attend them because of their advanced features, their big screens, their amazing audio.” Some of the arguments in support of cinemas. But these people are blowing in the wind. Ask them how often they go to a movie in a theatre and they respond, “Oh, three or four times a year when a really special movie comes out. Something which must be viewed in a theatre rather than on a home TV.” Even if there is a home theatre setup back home.

Baloney again. Think about rain, cold, or better, snow and tell me if these people go out to a movie. They argue for the sake of arguing. They argue simply to be heard. Well, one can listen to them or one can deal with the facts.

Fact 1: Movie attendance is declining drastically every year. 2017 has seen an even greater drop than the record one in 2016. Box office revenues exceeded $11 billion dollars in 2016. Box office sales in 2017 barely exceeded $7 bill. It’s a downward ‘death spiral.’ Moview theatre supporters will try to convince you that the $4 bill difference in ticket sales will be reached within three months. Blowin’ in the wind!

Fact 2: Movies are available on alternate media very soon after release. Dunkirk, Wonderwoman, Atomic Blonde, It, Baby Driver, Big Sick, Annabelle: Creation are just some of the new releases playing in theatres now. Bet you haven’t seen one of them, likely never heard of most of them. Point is people do not feel movies are to be held in such high regard as they once had been. The past glories of Hollywood stardom, glamour, celebrities are fading, not over yet, but fading fast. Worse still, more and more people see Hollywood’s products declining in quality, not worth the ticket price.

Fact 3: Netflix, Amazon, Crave TV, even BELL, offer movie viewing at very competitive prices and very recent releases. The new attitude is, “Why go out when the movie will be available on TV very shortly?” A myriad of electronic devices which provide access to a great variety of TV shows and movies too, devices like Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV and Amazon Fire, provide users ways to cut cable TV dependency and access a greater pool of viewing entertainment, not to mention a lot of movies.

Fact 4: Hackers, thieves provide movies via Internet access. Sure, the quality isn’t there in all cases and in some cases, it can be a real strain to watch a movie via these pathways. But some people thrive on being able to say, “Hey, I watched it already and didn’t pay a cent.” No, agreed, they didn’t. They just stole it. Some thieves even video movies as they sit in the theatre viewing the actual movie and then release the sloppy video on the Internet. This area of movie theft is a growing industry and Hollywood is at wit’s end trying to shut off the illegal taps.

Fact 5: Movies are are receiving increasingly poor reviews and more frequently. Perhaps the old adage, “Everything old is new again” should be applied here because the new releases are being panned almost universally. Rotten Tomatoes, an Internet site which reviews movies has been bought up by a Hollywood studio. Maybe because Rotten Tomatoes is giving more and more movies very bad reviews. This, in turn, impacts negatively on theatre attendance. Rotten Tomatoes is working hard to make like it is working for the public benefit and using serious, professional reviewers. Yeah sure, and my granny shoots an AK47 for Sunday morning fun!

Fact 6: Television’s offerings grow steadily. HBO produces series which are increasingly popular with viewers. Other studios are producing better and better series and many now produce made for TV movies which compete well with Hollywood in plot and quality. Even public broadcasters like CBC are into the game of in-house production. Their professionally developed products are always improving and Hollywood can feel the breathing down its neck.

Fact 7: The population is ageing and older adults like comfort and convenience. It’s far more convenient and more comfortable to sit on the couch and flick the remote until something of interest catches one’s eye or attention. This is becoming a preferred path to cinematic entertainment than getting dressed, appropriately for going out, appropriately for the weather, getting into the car and driving to the theatre to pay for tickets which easily top $20 and more for two. A home rental can be had for a 1/4 of the price and if one is not too demanding, suitable alternatives are available for free.

The movie industry is struggling. More people are becoming more critical and less accepting of the inferiority of the product Hollywood is creating. Even Hollywood acknowledges its struggles with original content, plots and and stories by producing more and more sequels, some of which are being repeated as sequel #3 or even #4. And you believe movie theatres will last. When Hollywood is in death throes, the movie theatres will have no product to sell…soon. By 2025.

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