Over the past years we have had the MPAA shout to the moon, and anyone without a brain and would listen to them, that piracy is killing the movie business, the only problem was that every time they would trot this malarkey out it was proven that rather than losing money the movie industry was making massive profits.
Well, not so this year as word is that the box office for 2011 has experienced a downturn, even though they still made over $10 billion. However even with those kind of profits you can be assured that because there has been a noticeable downturn in profit that the MPAA is going to be pounding the pavement with the same old piracy stories.
One person isn’t falling for it though and given his reputation his reasons for the downturn are slightly more realistic than the old piracy stories.
That person of course is Roger Ebert, one of the most respected film critics in the business, and he wrote about this downturn on his blog and provided some pretty compelling reasons as to why the downturn occurred. Here are his top three reasons, out of six, are:
1. Obviously, the absence of a must-see mass-market movie. When moviegoers hear about “Avatar” or “The Dark Knight,” they blast off from home base and land in a theater seat as quickly as they can.
2. Ticket prices are too high. People have always made that complaint, but historically the movies have been cheap compared to concerts, major league sports and restaurants. Not so much any longer. No matter what your opinion is about 3D, the charm of paying a hefty surcharge has worn off for the hypothetical family of four.
3. The theater experience. Moviegoers above 30 are weary of noisy fanboys and girls. The annoyance of talkers has been joined by the plague of cell-phone users, whose bright screens are a distraction. Worse, some texting addicts get mad when told they can’t use their cell phones. A theater is reportedly opening which will allow and even bless cell phone usage, although that may be an apocryphal story.
I totally agree with him on this and I know myself that these are the primary reasons why you won’t find me going to the local theater to see movies any more.
Making money in the movie business is no longer about pumping out big name blockbusters that should never have made it off of the editing floor. People want to be able to enjoy themselves when they go to the movies, especially considering the amount of money you have to pay out these days.
You want to keep making the big money then stop making crap movies and stop making us feel like going to see a movie is a punishment because the over all experience sucks major llama balls.
Of course none of this is what the MPAA will be claiming is the reason for a less than stellar year at the box office. They’ll still be blaming the pirates instead of the real reasons.