The Cinema

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  • 2017-03-30

The Cinema

T H E C I N E M A
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Anyone can acknowledge that as technology advances, so does our culture. ? The traditional movie-going experience (paying to go sit in a theater) is slowly dwindling in the fight against the digital accessibility anyone with internet access has to nearly any feature film they can possibly think of. The coupling of this with an ongoing plethora of virtual piracy has drastically dropped the urgency in waiting to see a movie until it officially premieres in theaters. ? Many people will watch a preview or a trailer on television, and rather than choosing between ???see it??? and ???don??™t see it,??? they??™re now choosing between a much more advanced set of options. ? Is it worth seeing in theaters Isn??™t it easier to just look it up online and not have to pay for the ticket Perhaps one can wait for it to come out on DVD and then just ???Netflix??™ it. What a lot of people can??™t seem to understand is that sitting down and watching a good film in a real theater, on a 35mm projector, with the sound pooling around the viewers??™ ears, and with every inch of the actors??™ expressions maximized on screen, is an experience worth paying for.

When referring to box office records of the past 30 years (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly) one can argue that in 2009, there was a remarkable increase of 10% in film grossing, the largest increase since 1989. The year 2009 made more money in the film industry than any other year. At a glance, this can be seen as good news for filmmakers, because it means more people went to see movies in the year 2009 than any other year. Audiences are flocking to the theaters again. The American people are in love with cinema again, and they clearly cannot get enough, spending their hard-earned money to be entertained by hard-working directors, screenwriters, producers and actors. With a closer look, however, it becomes evident that the numbers are merely a result of the industry effectively trying to stay afloat.

Ticket prices have risen every year since 1980; this year it costs $10.50 per person. 30 years ago, a person could buy two tickets for about five dollars. (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly) It can be argued that people have stopped attending theaters because it is simply far too expensive, and therefore it has become more economical for audiences to microwave some popcorn, gather around their laptops and wait for The Dark Knight to finish downloading. However, rarely do we consider the opposite: have ticket prices risen because fewer people are going to the movies every year

The number one movie of the record-breaking year of 2009 was James Cameron??™s Avatar. Not only did more people see this particular film than any other film that year, it also had a gimmick that no other film had. It had the advantage of Cameron??™s reputation, his meticulous use of new technology, and as a result, more press than any of the other films premiering that year. The movie was to be shown in 3-D, and when a film is shown in 3-D, the ticket prices reflect it. The average price to see Avatar was about 13 dollars. This, along with the large public turnout, made Avatar the highest-grossing film in cinematic history. The film itself was aesthetically beautiful, but critics and audiences agreed that it was quite lackluster in plot and storyline and was no better than the films that premiered with it (http://www.flixster.com), a sub-par movie for the amount of money it made. In second place is Titanic (1997) also directed by Cameron. When adjusted for inflation, however, the film Gone With The Wind (1939) would have easily made more money than both films. It could be argued then, that the general public of the ???30s and ???40s appreciated film in a way that people in this day and age do not. People went to see Avatar for the 3-D, while people went to see Gone With The Wind for the romance, the power, the story, the drama, and the experience.

In this ending year of 2010, box office results are at their lowest in ten years, even with the trending, over priced 3-D movies being released every week, and the generally expensive tickets for the 2-D movies. DVDs are now being sold with a ???digital copy??? included, one that could be saved to a computer and watched without a disc at the owner??™s will. These copies can be pirated and distributed via freeware websites, deepening the filmmaker??™s grave. It??™s become so ridiculously easy to steal films that distributors are turning to companies like Apple for sales through their iTunes service, finding that more and more people are buying their movies, if at all, through digital means. Although those who work in film hope with their entirety that the movie-going experience will still be around for years to come, it also must be acknowledged that it??™s a very real possibility that the tradition could die and lead to a different means of deliverance. Filmmakers will have to cling to this new digital age and learn to use it to their advantage. ? Perhaps they can curb sales from theaters to the availability of online release, but it??™s hard to believe that a person would pay to see a movie online, when they have been doing it for free for a number of years.

When viewing a classic in the comfort of the home, on a computer, the audience is allowed to move. They are allowed to answer the phone or order a pizza, or to stop mid-way to finish tomorrow. When in a theater, the audience is fixated. The audience is engulfed, and only comes back up to the real world when the world on the screen ends and it??™s okay to come out. The theater is not an expensive hassle, meaningless in today??™s increasingly digital age, it??™s an experience and a dying tradition that cannot be replicated.

Jordan Maynoldi

English 101

Professor Bayusik

11/09/10

WORKS CITED

Van Sijll, Jennifer. Cinematic Storytelling. 1st ed. Michael Weis Productions, 2005. Print.

“AFI Top 100.” The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 10 Nov. 2010. .

“Recent Ticket Sales and Critical Reception.” Flixster – Share Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings With Your Friends. Web. 10 Nov. 2010. .

“Movie Box Office Results by Year, 1980-Present.” Box Office Mojo. Web. 10 Nov. 2010. .

Jordan Maynoldi

English 101

Professor Bayusik

Bibliography

11/09/10

Monaco, James. How to Read a Film. 4th ed. Oxford UP, 2009. Print.

Van Sijll, Jennifer. Cinematic Storytelling. 1st ed. Michael Weis Productions, 2005. Print.

“AFI Top 100.” The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 10 Nov. 2010. .

“Recent Ticket Sales and Critical Reception.” Flixster – Share Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings With Your Friends. Web. 10 Nov. 2010. .

“Movie Box Office Results by Year, 1980-Present.” Box Office Mojo. Web. 10 Nov. 2010. .

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