Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why Adults Don't Go To the Movies

Yesterday I read this article in Yahoo Movie News: Studios Keep Aiming Young as Adults Avoid Movies. My response: "Duh!"

The article listed all sorts of reasons why adults don't go to the movies any more, including:

The recession. Not too many adults are willing to spend a lot of money to see a movie they can rent at the local Blockbuster for less than half the price; and,

A lack of films that appeal to adults. The article quotes a "top studio executive" as saying that "Adults are a harder audience to motivate, and the problem with some adult movies is compounded by their not being high-concept films that you can boil down to 30-second spots."

I can't speak for you, of course, but here's a list of reasons why a grumpy curmudgeon like me doesn't go to the movies any more:

Too loud. The average film has a thundering musical score, and most science fiction, crime, and political thriller films are built around spectacular crashes and explosions driven into your head like acoustic railroad spikes by the latest Dolby surround-sound system. On top of that, pile the people who bring their squalling infants because they don't want to pay for a baby-sitter, the asshats (thank you, Zipcode!) who can't stay off their cell phones for the length of a movie, and the boisterous teens who threaten you if you ask them to be quiet, and you can't even hear yourself think. If I want a headache, I can read the latest economic news.

Too expensive. Unless you give up a prime part of your early afternoon to go to a matinee, movie tickets cost enough to feed the average destitute Somali village for a month. And that's before you pay $7.50 for a box of popcorn, $5.00 for a soft drink, and $4.00 for a candy bar the size of a bathmat. Most theaters need a branch bank in the lobby to make loans. That is, if banks actually make loans any more instead of paying bonuses to their directors. Never mind.

Too uncomfortable. Theater seats are not quite as yucky as the coach-class airline seats that were originally designed by unusually creative Gestapo interrogators, but they're bad enough. Not to mention crusted with spilled popcorn and drinks and dotted with the used gum left by previous occupants.

Bad views. No matter how carefully I select a seat for maximum screen viewing, some dumbass the size of a minor Himalayan peak will select the seat directly in front of me. If he can't make it, he'll send someone with an afro teased to the diameter of a beach ball.

Dumb plots. If all your movie consists of is explosions, car chases, and sex scenes, none of it connected by any rational plot, you lost me. If I want to be confused, I can try to understand why some brainless morons keep getting elected to office, and not have to pay high double-digits for the privilege.

There are other considerations, too. When you get to be a relatively senior citizen, you have to think about important things like the distance to the nearest rest room. At the theater, if you have to make a pit stop, you miss at least $3.00 worth of movie for the time of the average pee, and then you can't find your seat when you're done. At home, you can push "pause" on the DVD player, do your thing, return to your comfortable sofa, and pick up where you left off.

So, all you studio executives who are reading this little diatribe and scratching your heads in wonder ... it's not rocket science. Make good movies that thinking adults will want to see, crack down on misbehavior in the theaters (as if that will ever happen), and install cell phone jammers at each place.

Or you can call me at home and ask my opinion. I'll pause the DVD player long enough to give it to you.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


P.S. - yesterday, Jersey Girl honored my blog and I with the Friendship Award, given to "kind bloggers (who) aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement."
As usual with such blogging awards, they are intended to be passed on to others as a way of helping introduce our readers to other blogs they may enjoy. Thus, I hereby pass on the Friendship Award to ...

Amanda at The Milk Bar (who has turned out to be not just a serial commenter, but a great pen pal);

OCgirl (who is both a thoughtful blogger and an interesting person to meet and talk to);

Fiona at Travelin' Through (who has some hysterically funny travelogues in addition to her tales of horse care); and,

SusieQ of (where else?) SusieQ's Place (who managed to wheedle a good recipe out of me, and writes a great comment).

You may have noticed that no male bloggers made it on to this list. It's okay ... I'll talk about them tomorrow. Ladies first, after all.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

I still go but it takes a lot for me to spend money on movies. This might interest them...though..when I was more in their demographic, I went even less.

rima fauzi said...

I stopped going, there are sites with streaming movies, so I just connect my pc with my LCD TV and voila! Home theater. Free, comfortable seats and plenty of food!

Amanda said...

Thank you very much for the award. I never even imagined making friends when I first started blogging.

I'm definitely an adult now. No cinemas for me. Although...I'm not a renter either. Can't help it, over here, I HAVE to be watcher of pirated DVDs. Its the only kind available (apart from the cinema).

After saying all that, there is one movie that I think I want to watch on the big screen - The new Star Trek. I think I'll be in Malaysia when that comes out.

anOCgirl said... gave me an award! that's so sweet! i don't know what else to say except thank you :)

so...i just wanted to add laziness to your list (or as a corollary to your recession reason). why go anywhere and deal with the stuff listed above just to see a movie when you can netflix a bunch of movies for less than the cost of three days of starbucks? the movies come to you! how awesome is that? and the bonus is you get to watch them in your underwear with a tub full of buttery microwave popcorn.

*ahem* not that i do that or anything...

Leslie David said...

The only movie theater I go to is AFI in Silver Spring because of the kinds of movies they show. For the most part, why bother going out when you can rent (or buy) the movie and watch it when you want with the snack or beverage of your choice, and in my case, with a cat on my lap?

fiona said...

Thank you my darling for the Award!
I'm all a'twitter * wipes eyes *

I'm an "On demand" gal myself.
Go HBO! Free movies and series. SB and I watched every episode of the Sopranos over a couple of weeks, 2 or 3 or 4 a night!

wv- penny -The cost of the movies the last time I went!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

So true. Intelligent films are hard to come by sometimes. I'm hoping 'My Sister's Keeper' and 'the Lovely Bones' will be good though.

Mike said...

Claudia and I go to the movies about once a year. Just enough to say, 'oh yeah, now I remember why we don't come here anymore'.

Jersey Girl said...

I once was an extreme film buff. For years I took a class offered by a local university where we screened upcoming films and afterward there would be a discussion with someone associated with the film, ie. director, screenwriter, costume designer, etc. The first film we screened was "Shawshank Redemption" and the director/writer Frank Dellabont(?), Ethan Hawke was a guest before he was famous.

Anyway, I can't tell you the last time I was in a movie theater, mostly for all the reasons you cited. And I can't remember the last time a movie was released that I HAD to see!

SusieQ said...

My husband and I still take in a movie a couple times a year in spite of all the drawbacks. But I certainly know what you mean about some of those drawbacks.

Definitely most movies are way too loud. One time I found the volume to be so unbelievably high that I marched straight to management and insisted they turn it down. They did!

Oh, and before I identify the nearest exit in case of fire in a movie theatre, I make sure I know the location of the closest rest room. Once you reach a certain age, your priorities change.

The best thing about watching a movie at home is the popcorn is cheaper.

Thank you very much for the Friendship Award. I am honored. I have placed the Friends image in my sidebar with credit to you Bilbo. You have a nice, well-balanced blog. I like it here.

Twinkie said...

Leg cramps and back aches keep me from going to the movies. That and I like to be able to PAUSE a movie while I go to the bathroom and the movie theatre REFUSES to do that for me. Go figure?

Anonymous said...

Movies are way to expensive, the movie is TOOO loud, and the theater is too cold. Those 3 reasons are enough for me to keep my money and stay home. Overall the experience isn't worth it!!