How Movie Night Has Changed In 2012
LOS ANGELES (MainStreet) -- In a few weeks, the Oscars will celebrate the best movie night America had to offer in 2011. Just what "movie night" means to average Americans is still up for debate.
In the past decade, where consumers spend their movie nights has become just as important to the film industry as what they're watching. According to BoxOfficeMojo and Rentrak data, movie ticket purchases slipped 4.2%, from 1.34 billion in 2010 to 1.283 billion last year. That's well off the record 1.575 billion tickets sold in 2002 and marks the seventh year-over-year decline in tickets sales in the past 10 years. Though box office receipts topped $10 billion for the third consecutive year in 2011, they declined for the second straight year from 2009's Avatar-driven record of $10.595 billion. This despite big-budget successes such as Toy Story 3, the final installments of the Harry Potter series, the Twilight saga and scores of superhero films.
|As the Oscars approach, fewer Americans see theaters as a necessary part of the movie experience.|
"It's been something that's been happening for quite a few years, and you see it in the greater percentage of mainstream Hollywood output that is for younger people," says John Farr, film critic for Huffington Post and founder of home media review site Best Movies By Farr. "We don't see as many human-scale dramas aimed at adults, and for very good reason: Adults don't go to the movies as much."
So what's happening? Moviegoers have a lot of other, more convenient options at their disposal than in 2002. Despite infuriating customers by splitting DVD and streaming plans, Netflix(NFLX) jumped from 19.5 million customers in 2010 to 24.4 million in 2011. Of those, 21.7 million subscribe to its streaming service. This company, mind you, has allowed content partners such as Time Warner(TWX) and Sony(SNE) to withhold "new" releases for months at a time just to build its streaming library, yet still convinces folks to stay in their warm, uncrowded living rooms and wait for content to come right to their HDTV.