Curtain Call for Hollywood: Is the Era of Theater Experience Fading Away?

Mad Max: Furiosa was released on Memorial Day a few days back and was expected to have a pretty good Box Office collection However, even though the movie received great reviews on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, Mad Max: Furiosa became the lowest Memorial Day collection ever made by a movie with a collection of only $68 million. Not just this, movies like Garfield and Ryan Reynolds led ‘IF’ also met the same fate. So, are people avoiding going to movie theaters, pointing towards the experience of watching movies in theaters seemingly coming to an end?

Going to Theaters Is an Expensive Affair

Curtain Call for Hollywood: Is the Era of Theater Experience Fading Away?
Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

One of the biggest hurdles that has resulted in the decline of movie viewership in theaters is the insane prices an average person has to pay for a movie-watching experience. If we talk about the ticket prices alone, in big cities, people have to pay somewhere between $18 to $25 to watch a movie on IMAX. These prices are outrageous but that’s not the end of it.

If you get yourself a bucket of Popcorn, depending on the theater you go to, it will cost you somewhere around $15 to $25. Add a drink to it, and your bill will see an increase of $5 to $10. So the overall cost of one person to go watch a movie with a full experience will be around $38 to $60. Now, nobody goes to the theaters alone in most cases so let’s say, for two people the total cost of going to the theater is going to be $76 to $120 which is too expensive for an average person.

OTT Platforms Are Stealing the Show

Curtain Call for Hollywood: Is the Era of Theater Experience Fading Away?

Another reason people nowadays are unwilling to go to the theaters is the availability of OTT platforms. For the price you pay for the whole experience of watching a movie, you can quite literally get yourself subscriptions for all the major OTT platforms. So, I have already told you that to watch a movie with a plus one, you’ll have to spend somewhere around $76 to $120. Now let’s have a look at the subscription prices of OTT platforms-

OTT Platform With AdsWithout Ads
Disney Plus$7.99$13.99
HBO Max$9.99$15.99

So, based on that data, you can get yourself a without-ads subscription to Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and HBO Max for just $63.47 a month. which is way cheaper than going to watch a movie every month. Other than that, all the newly released movies become available on at least one of these streaming platforms to stream or to rent/purchase in some time. So, why would someone spend that kind of money to go to the theaters when you can watch it from the comfort of your home and $0.50-1.00 popcorn from Costco?

A Streak of Theatrical Disappointments

Curtain Call for Hollywood: Is the Era of Theater Experience Fading Away?

If someone convinces themselves to go out for a movie, the minimum expectation that they have is to watch a good movie. Sadly, movies released in 2023 and a few from 2024 failed to stand up to those expectations with some of the worst movies I have ever witnessed.

Theatrical releases like Aquaman: The Last Kingdom, which was supposed to be the grand finale of DCEU turned out to be a walk of shame. Expendables 4 was a hot bowl of…mess, Ghostbusters busted my brains, what in the Lord’s name was up with Henry Cavill’s hairstyle in Argylle?, and boy oh boy, don’t even get me started on Madame Web.

These movies boasted a stellar and promising cast attracting people to the theaters. However, the only thing these movies were good for was to give yourself a nice 2-hour nap. This “theatrical catfishing” has made people skeptical of walking into a theater and would rather wait till the movie drops on an OTT platform.

Going to watch a movie has become quite pointless if you take into consideration all the points I just mentioned and this makes me really upset. Now, it’s not that people don’t want to go to watch movies, which is pretty evident by the performance of movies like Dune 2 and Godzilla X Kong but they are fed up with walking into a theater only to end up disappointed.

Going to the movies used to be something that we could do almost every time a new movie drops because back then, it was not an IRS raid on our wallets and even if the movie turned out to be bad it didn’t feel like we lost a limb. This makes me think, the movie-going days, are gonna be a thing of the past sometime in the near future.

Upcoming releases like Deadpool and Wolverine and Joker 2 have the chance to revive the dying theatre industry but the damage is too much to be undone by a handful of movies.

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