Movie theater attendance is down

The number of people going to movie theaters as a whole is down according to Jay Forsyth, an instructor in the communication, is a self described active moviegoer.

“Watching something at home is completely different. It feels completely different than watching something in the theater, in the dark, with surround sound and with the gigantic screen, it’s a completely immersive experience,” said Forsyth. “And for those of us who that live for that immersive experience, there’s really no other place you can get that outside of going to the theater.”

Admissions into theaters in the U.S and Canada slumped 5.8 percent to 1.24 billion in 2017, the lowest attendance since 1992, according to estimates from Box Office Mojo.

Mackenzie Hays, a freshman and nursing major, said that she tries to go to the movie theater when she can.

“I’m going this weekend with my sister because it’s her birthday,” said Hays who planned on seeing Halloween (2018).

Forsyth said that the people that go to the movies will always go, regardless of price of admission or concessions. He said to hook the general public rather than just active moviegoers, there needs to be a deal to go, or a movie they want to see.

“Everything is subscriptions, so why not take that business model?” said Forsyth. “Now, how do we make that make sense for theaters? So, we have something like MoviePass.”

MoviePass is a theatrical subscription service. Subscribers are able to purchase tickets with their MoviePass card or with e-ticketing through the app to movies in theaters around the country, according to the MoviePass website.

With the decline of general moviegoers, Forsyth said that the only way to increase general admission is to give out deals on tickets and concession foods.

MoviePass was giving deals on tickets, however theaters lose a lot of money for that and now MoviePass is being investigated for fraud, so some theaters are coming up with their own ‘MoviePass.

“Where a movie theater really makes money is on selling concessions and stuff like that,” said Forsyth,

He said that when theaters make their own version of MoviePass, they can add concession deals to the plan and making more month through that.

“You’re not just paying to get to the movie theater, you’re spending money on gas to the theater, you’re buying a bus ticket to get there, whatever your means of transportation are, then you’re buying food, and then you’re buying a drink, so on and so forth,” said Forsyth.

Brianna Rovella, a junior and exercise science major, said that she mostly watches movies on Netflix.

In the third quarter of 2018, Netflix had over 137 million streaming subscribers worldwide. Of these subscribers, 58.46 million were from the United States, accorinding to Statistica website.

“It’s been hard because there’s so much going on,” said Rovella, “and sometimes movie tickets are $15.”


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