Roger Ebert Tells You Why Movie Revenue Is Plummeting

Categories: Film

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And he tells it so well that his piece on the subject has gotten damn well close to half a million clicks.

Roger feels it's a mixture of factors, like the absence of an Avatar this year; the absurd prices of movies and refreshments; the unbearable chattiness of patrons; and the various forms of competition that are making movie theaters way less special.

Roger reminds us that people adore movies more than ever.

Just not these movies and under these circumstances.

Well put!

They should turn his musings into a movie and call it Avatar 2 and I bet it would make tons of money.



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29 comments
Jay Hobermann
Jay Hobermann

roger, you look like shit.

we need to talk.

phone me, and tell me what's wrong.

i want to hear your wonderful voice, talking to me for hours, about today's movies.

let's chew the fat!

give me a yell!

Joely
Joely

Yup - unless I have off from work and can attend a movie on a weekday afternoon, I stay away from the movie theater.  The texting, and  - has anyone else noticed this lately? - non-stop crinkling of plastic wrappers (I thought this had been eradicated a couple decades ago).  Just not worth it when you can wait 8 weeks and see the film at home, with annoying people of your own choosing!

Victor
Victor

in now prehistoric times we used to have  first our  Sunday church followed by an afternoon in a magic kingdom.With awe we  grieved at Monty´s misfortunes,delighted in Cyd CHARISSE m pics,dreamed  of AN American in PARIS.There were no TV,,  cell phones but geniuses  like HITCHKOCK. Movies were all tHEW entertainment we had and we were happyUntil  movies stopped being an ART ,just business VIVA WALL STREET

Gene Siskel
Gene Siskel

roger should go on the radio or be in a documentary in which he talks about how today's movies stink.

6olivia
6olivia

I do not go to movies because of the language, nudity, sex scenes, etc. --  Hollywood apparently thinks that is more important than a good story -- and that a handful of "stars" are all we want to see and hear about instead of some very talented actors that they try to ignore because they are decent people not embroiled in scandals that we are tired of reading about, the same clunks over and over and not a bit of class!   Boring boring boring..

Jack
Jack

it not so much the chattiness of movie patrons rather than the constant lighting up of I Phones which mar the moviegoing experience

Anon
Anon

how about a working link... 

Tigerbos
Tigerbos

Because most movies are for kids, stupid teenagers, etc.  it's going doing the toilet.

Theotuxedo
Theotuxedo

Roger forgot to mention the BedBugs.

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Michael O'Farrell
Michael O'Farrell

Manners at the movie theaters has gone downhill greatly over the past years, to no one's big surprise. Roger Ebert touches on this and other subjects regarding the diminishing box office returns of this past year. 

Aa
Aa

The final straw for me was being forced to sit through all that advertising before the movie starts. And not just the grossly excessive previews (freely available on YouTube) but all those 15 and 30 second ads for everything from junk food restaurants to the local Ford dealership. I think many of us would be willing to pay a higher ticket price to avoid all that crap, but instead we get ever-higher prices AND ever-more crap.  

To make matters worse, the theater staff will secretly surveil the audience, hoping to collect on the huge bounty offered by the studios by catching a film "pirate" with a camcorder ... or a cheap cell phone. 

ibivi
ibivi

I hate cineplexes.  Play areas, loud music, kids running all over the place, the sound is waaay too loud, people can't sit still, really tall guys always pick the seat right in front me, the old theatres are gone-no velvet curtains or comfortable balcony seats; the new places are concrete bunkers-ugly as hell.  Did I mention the price?

MartinNYID
MartinNYID

I almost cannot bear to be in public to see anything: movie, opera, theatre, anymore. The audiences have comes to think it's about 'them' and behave like bourgeoisie animals - with the aformentioned phones, talking, eating...

I'd like to see an 'attendance contract' everyone has to sign at the box office: you make noise, you get tossed. End of.

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

Me, too. We go to first showings on off-days, almost never weekends. But if we do go weekends, it's always the first showing, because everyone seems to be sleeping off a drunk from the night before.

Melinda9
Melinda9

I don't agree with his reasoning that because foreign films are popular on Netflix that means that that's what people want to see in theaters. It just means that the people all over the U.S. who have no other way to see foreign/art house/indie films converge on Netflix. People have tried many times to run theaters devoted to those kind of movies in my area and they never succeed as a business. But I often don't agree with R Ebert - hate his film reviews.I like to see movies on a big screen and am willing to tolerate the annoyances for that reason. But there hasn't been one movie that came out recently that I wanted to see.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

That's mainly why I go to early-ish afternoon shows and sit near the front.

Notyah Nalla
Notyah Nalla

I would throw in the fact that most films are formulaic tripe. There are exceptions, but it's hard to catch them at the multiplex since they seem to vanish after one or two weekends.

Gregorama
Gregorama

I think he's right on all points.  For me, the most compelling reason to stay away from mainstream movie theaters is the appalling behavior of the fellow-moviegoers.  Sometimes, I feel that it's nearly impossible to simply go to a film and expect the entire assemblage to just shut the fuck UP for 2 hours.  Not to mention the cell/iPad plague.  And people who still have those repulsive electronic watches that "beep" every 15 minutes.  And then there are the Gorgonic eaters, who sound as if they're single-handedly devouring a two by four.  The belchers. The snorters.  The Camille-ish coughers. And yes, the farters.  I sometimes feel as if I'm the lone, self-appointed audience deportment police sheriff, which gets really tiring, can border on violence and makes friends not want to go to the movies with me anymore.  Unless a movie looks/sounds too good to wait (like The Artist, which was worth the almost-fistfight I got into with the chronic iPad glancer), it's probably best for everyone concerned that I wait until it's on video.

Madam Arcati
Madam Arcati

Obviously, the link works.  Scroll down, fool.

VonD
VonD

And the stupid commercials? Don't those blaring commercials that have plagued TV bother people when they appear at movies? Or the product placement? Or the bad plots? Or the sequels that should never have been made, or sequels of bad TV shows not turned into movies, that are a waste of everyone's time? Or the remakes that have zero historical or cultural context yet get made because the braindead rich people in Hollywood cannot create anything new anymore? Or any of the rest of the stupidity that Hollywood spews out over and over?

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

"behave like bourgeoisie animals"

...they see no "wrong" in it, it's what they do at home -minus changing the channel every 2 min... plus the fact, going to the movies is no longer "special" once the cineplexes came into being and you didn't have to wait for a blockbuster to come to town.

VonD
VonD

Most films do not reflect the reality of this country as it now is. They're narrow, formulaic, and far too focused on a narrow sliver of the American populace, because they're created by people who come from a narrow sliver of the American populace.

Why blow $10 to watch this crap anymore when you can do so, if you want to, in the privacy of your home? Lower the prices, make better, more diverse and compelling movies, and people will go to theaters again.

mjm
mjm

"The Camille-ish coughers"

oh my Garbo...

Anon
Anon

The link does not lead to an article (or Twitter) by Roger Ebert, it leads to a news collection website. And when you click on the referenced Roger Ebert article, it returns you to this page. The link goes in a circle back here.

MSpeer
MSpeer

Could not agree more. In NY, we're paying around $13 for a movie now and as far as I am concerned that should permit me to watch the movie without advertising, either those terrible slides on the screen or the unending, incredibly loud ads that run endlessly prior to the film. It's a sorry state of affairs. And the appalling manners have also been well addressed in the comments here. Also love the comment above about the new "concrete bunkers" that are today's theaters. The world has changed--and not for the better.

Mofarrell
Mofarrell

I spent half the time watching "The Descendants" at my local Art House cinema earlier this afternoon struggling to listen to the film's soundtrack while someone sitting in the row behind me was eating a snack out of what was apparently a very large, store bought potato chip bag or something of that ilk. IT NEVER ENDED! I don't go to movie theaters anywhere near as often as I used to for the well stated reasons by fellow readers and Mr. Ebert's all inclusive, excellent summary of the present day lousy moviegoing experience. I love watching movies in theaters but nothing compares to what it was like back in the 1950's, 60's when I was a kid and teenager. Movie theaters back then were dream palaces (whether they were bona fide Movie Palaces or smaller houses) ; there were no iPHONES, Cell Phones, Kindles, Nooks, etc. Sadly, those days are truly gone with the wind.....

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