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795 comments

Why Movies Suck (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887053)


Really. There's jibes all over in the press about it. Most of the films in the past year I spent my money on were at a place like this [thenick.com] .

Why?

Because I've seen it all before, now they're re-doing it all and nothing surprises me. Then I go to the Del Mar or The Nick and see something

  • See a story which is either deeply thoughtful or genuinely entertaining.
  • I have no idea where the story is going.
  • See really good acting.
  • See a production done so well I forget for a moment I'm actually watching it on a screen.
  • Suprising. Innocent Voices, that was an eye opener. Amelie, that was a charmer. Run Lola Run, that was just cool.
Steve Martin in the recent remake of The Pink Panther is a prime example. I already have some idea where jokes are going, long before the punch. The acting isn't anywhere near as good as the first (Sellers may have been an ass, but he could act comedy.) Honestly. Steve Martin (The Spanish Prisoner) and Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda) are really capable of great acting, but this was pretty weak.

I'm a real flim buff. You can tell. I take my own popcorn salt, rather than risk they'll have table salt shakers from SYSCO.

Hey, get that guys post! i want to create a movie based upon it! car chases! beautiful women! huge fireball explosions! sophomoric humor! It'll be great!

Re:Why Movies Suck (4, Funny)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887070)

I'm a real flim buff
There's a joke hiding just beneath the surface of that misspelling, but I can't figure out what it is!

Re:Why Movies Suck (3, Funny)

scaryjohn (120394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887137)

He was trying to make a Muppet Movie reference: "Dee flim ist hokey-dookey!"

Or maybe not. But that's all I can think of.

Re:Why Movies Suck (5, Insightful)

rlauzon (770025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887176)

Because I've seen it all before, now they're re-doing it all and nothing surprises me.

The reason for that is that they have choked off the supply of works going in to the public domain. Historically, Hollywood has dipped into the public domain for ideas. Nothing new into the public domain = nothing new in Hollywood.

Little wonder that Anime and Manga are getting more popular.

Re:Why Movies Suck (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887241)

The reason for that is that they have choked off the supply of works going in to the public domain. Historically, Hollywood has dipped into the public domain for ideas. Nothing new into the public domain = nothing new in Hollywood.

There's still buckets of stuff in the public domain. That said, there were a lot of great movies made of stuff copyrighted, like Gone With The Wind and The Wizard of Oz. I just think they've got some twisted idea that they won't take a risk. I think Heinlein's Tunnel In The Sky would make a killer film, but not with the calibre of actors I've seen cropping up lately. Lord knows they did a real job on Starship Troopers.

Re:Why Movies Suck (3, Interesting)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887190)

The Nick is an exceptional theater for an exceptional town. There are many people in Santa Cruz who want to see the funky flicks.

But leave the Santa Cruz Bubble and art houses like the Nick become incredibly rare-- they usually only show 1 movie a week. The Nick is showing 6 films this week. We arguably have a couple nice arty theaters in Berkeley, but they are plagued by loud people, cell phones, drunks, etc. (Students? I don't know).

Even Santa Cruz is loosing their Art houses--- there used to be 5-6 funky arty movie houses in the area. I think they are all gone except for The Nick & the Del Mar, and the Del Mar nearly went bust a few years ago.

Re:Why Movies Suck (1)

PancakeAbuse (960141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887195)

I would totally agree that the films at the Nick and Del Mar are much better than 90% of the crap that's put out in the mainstream theatres =/. Also, midnight movies are the win.

Re:Why Movies Suck (2, Insightful)

Bad-JuJu-Man (837063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887203)

The REAL reason movies suck is the mentality that lead to these POS's... The Dukes of Hazard Charlies Angels Mission Impossible Starsky and Hutch The Shaggy Dog Herbie: Fully Loaded The Pink Panther When a Stranger Calls Do I really need to say any more? Do you see where this is going?

Hooray for Santa Cruz! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887249)

At least we have a good community out here for supporting worthwhile films!

Damn it's tough being a pimp . . . (0, Flamebait)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887056)

No shit there is a decline in profits, the movies have sucked royally recently. I used to watch a movie once a week and I wasn't even that picky. I've seen my share of shitty movies, but this past year and a half or so I haven't been tempted to go see a movie. I've gone maybe three or four times in the past year and a half because I just wasnt interested in anything. My friends talked me into going . . .

Here's a thought Hollywood, stop making movies about gay cowboys and pimps. Get real writers and try making a quality movie or at the very least a movie about topics that people give a shit about. While you're at it, try removing the commercials in the beginning and lower the price of a movie to under ten dollars. What you lose from price you'll make up for in volume.

Re:Damn it's tough being a pimp . . . (3, Funny)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887094)

I've gone maybe three or four times in the past year and a half

"Hollywood, I wish I knew how to quit you..."

Re:Damn it's tough being a pimp . . . (1)

thedogcow (694111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887161)

Here's a thought Hollywood, stop making movies about gay cowboys and pimps. Get real writers and try making a quality movie or at the very least a movie about topics that people give a shit about.

Please. This sentence is hypocritical and trollish. Brokeback Mountain is a good movie with a good script. No, tell Hollywood to stop producing movies like "Date Movie" or "Hostel". People don't know a good movie if presented right in front of them. No, they are just obsessed if it has two homosexuals rather than a guy burning an asians womens eye out.

Re:Damn it's tough being a pimp . . . (3, Interesting)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887213)

Here's a thought Hollywood, stop making movies about gay cowboys and pimps. Get real writers and try making a quality movie or at the very least a movie about topics that people give a shit about.

Please. This sentence is hypocritical and trollish. Brokeback Mountain is a good movie with a good script.

Actually it isn't hypocritical or trollish. It's just worded horribly.

Gay Cowboys and Pimps == Movies about topics that most people don't really give a shit about. Don't believe me, look at the ticket sales. BBM may have had great writing, and even been a great movie (i don't know, haven't seen it) but very few people cared about the topic.

As far as the bad writing, do I really need to throw down examples? There are way too many to name.

My point is clear, if Hollywood wants to make more money they can do one of two things:

1) Make movies about things people care about. Even if it's not the greatest writing/acting/directing, people will see movies about things they are interested in.

or

2) Make movies with good writing. good acting and so on. There is more to movies than special effects

But if they want to maximize their profits, they can combine 1 & 2.

Re:Damn it's tough being a pimp . . . (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887216)

stop making movies about gay cowboys and pimps

Comming soon to a theater near you

He's a gay cowboy.
He's a new york pimp.

While each on their own personal vendetta to solve a string of theater realted murders, this unlikely pair team up... with wacky consequences.

BACKROAD SHAFT
Staring Heath Ledger and Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by Ang Lee

(I feel a decline in my karma).

Simple formula (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887069)

[sarcasm] Ticket prices rising, movie quality decreasing = fewer ticket sales. Go figure [/sarcasm]

Re:Simple formula (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887108)

Ticket prices rising, movie quality decreasing = fewer ticket sales. Go figure

Don't know where you live, but where I do they've only gone up a buck or two in the past 7 years.

Really, it's the quality of writing and diversity of acting.

Lucas said the Age of the Blockbuster, $200 million films, is over. I can't really see that. If you spent $200 million making a really incredible picture, it would bring in the audiences and pay for itself many times over. Problem is they spend $200 million on a bad movie.

Case in point: Spielberg's War of the Worlds. I loved the animation, but Cruise? Give me a break! And that story? What crack-addicted pulp-writing hack came up with that? Geez. Imagine how awesome it would be if he'd picked a few unknown, high quality actors and followed the original book, as Pendragon tried to do? This effort was sick!

Steve lost cred with me, now I have to scrutinize his offerings, like Munich (which was above average, but missed some facts.)

Re:Simple formula (1)

TheMotedOne (753275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887255)

Steve lost cred with me, now I have to scrutinize his offerings, like Munich (which was above average, but missed some facts.)

You realize of course that Munich is not a documentary right? When writing fiction historical facts take the back seat.

Re:Simple formula (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887128)

That phrase should be recorded by John Lithgow.

Re:Simple formula (2, Insightful)

SeeMyNuts! (955740) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887187)

IMO, it's more than that. I've been to a movie theatre only a few times in as many years, and it never fails that there is some obnoxious person kicking my chair or talking or, once, making rude noises during the movie. There is no common courtesy observed at theatres, these days. And let's not even mention cell phones (oops).

Add that on top of going to a movie being as expensive as a nice dinner for two, well of course pirates with camcorders are to blame!

Re:Simple formula (1)

SpectralDesign (921309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887208)

The only thing sarcastic I see about that statement is the final two words... the rest is spot-on.

If the wife and I want to go see a movie, get a single bag of popcorn, & a single drink, it's going to cost us over $50.00 CAD. The price of tickets here in Toronto is extremely out-of-alignment with the value of the entertainment. I can rent one new video-game or two new movies a week for more than a month on the same budget, or... hrm, spend it to watch a 90 minute flick in a small theater with sticky floors, people's cellphones going off, and a ton of commercials to-boot.

[sarcasm]It's a shock to anyone which entertainment venue I might prefer?[/sarcasm]

Re:Simple formula (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887218)

Ticket pricing is an interesting one because I have an easy comparison: I live very near a good quality second run cinema - the theatres are all decent quality, it's just that the films are all second run. Matinees and Tuesdays are $3 (Canadian), evenings sessions are $4.25. At that price I've found mself going to the movies far more often than I ever used to, and seeing a lot more films on a whim. That means I've sat through some crap, but I've also run into films that I enjoyed far more than I might have expected. It is surprising how much more motivating it is to see a film when it will cost you less than $5.

Jedidiah.

did you see the oscars? (4, Insightful)

adpowers (153922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887071)

I think two of the people speaking were trying to convince the audience to go see movies in theatres, "There is nothing like being part of the a community and watching a great film on the giant silver screen" or whatever. This made me a little sick. I rarely see movies in theatres these days because the other viewers are often inconsiderate (mainly by being loud and obnoxious), the tickets are expensive, and the theatres are often of poor quality (dirty, bad sound, poor projection, etc.). For the price of sending two people to the theatre, you can buy the freakin' DVD in a few months (I'm very thankfully for the quicker DVD release turn around these days).

Re:did you see the oscars? (2, Interesting)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887096)

I have to agree with you. I used to *love* going to see movies but in the past few years I'd much rather wait for it on DVD and watch it from the peace and quiet of my home. It's just not worth it going to a theatre anymore expect for those rare releases you know you want to watch on a big screen.

Re:did you see the oscars? (1)

adpowers (153922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887139)

Another thing I forgot to mention, it no longer has the romantic appeal it once may have held. Most movie theatres these days are huge corporate chains that all look the same and don't have any spunk or individuality.

Also, when we do fork over our money to see movies in the theatre, they treat us like criminals: trying to prevent us from having cameras and other perfectly reasonable devices.

Re:did you see the oscars? (4, Funny)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887103)

don't forget all the extra ads they show in the trailers! nothing like paying $26 for yourself and a date to eat some popcorn and watch ads! oh wait, this is /., forget the date...

Re:did you see the oscars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887178)

And also forget leaving the parents basement..

Re:did you see the oscars? (1)

darthservo (942083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887153)

Did they dare cross the line and say DRM was good?

Being a Part of It (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887155)

I think two of the people speaking were trying to convince the audience to go see movies in theatres, "There is nothing like being part of the a community and watching a great film on the giant silver screen" or whatever. This made me a little sick.

Honestly, the last time I think I felt A Part of a Community was when Superman (with one with Christopher Reeve) came out. Star Wars:ANH also was like that. Wherever you went, people talked about it, it wasn't just being in the theater with your jaw hanging open and half-chewed popcorn rolling off your tongue onto your lap as the Millenium Falcon went into Hyperspace. It was wherever you went, for weeks afterwards, that everyone was talking about it and you were in the party, no invitation necessary.

Can't say I've seen anything really like it, maybe Titanic came close, but films don't Wow(!) people like they once did. Probably because they're just too predictable.

Re:Being a Part of It (1)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887180)

I think LOTR and the first new Star Wars (but only because it sucked so bad) were like that. At least with the geek group. Neither were more than "just a movie" to the general population.

Re:Being a Part of It (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887205)

I think LOTR and the first new Star Wars (but only because it sucked so bad) were like that. At least with the geek group. Neither were more than "just a movie" to the general population.

I think Star Wars: ANH defined a generation of geeks, because they loved it (and still do.)

Star Wars: TPM defined another generation of geeks, because they didn't like it and hated Jar Jar.

LOTR was quite the series, but I never heard people outside the internet talk about it. No chatter, nothing. As if it had never happened.

Re:Being a Part of It (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887260)

Ask people to name some films that won "Best Film" at the Academy awards in the last 5 years or more. Most people manage to come out with Lord of the Rings, but will struggle to remember anything else. LotR may not have entered the culture in quite the way Star wars has, but it certainly had a much larger impact on collective conciousness and memory than I think you give it credit for.

Jedidiah.

This probably means... (1)

GlennYaHeard (857671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887072)

More people getting fined for downloading movies. They will just blame it on torrents, p2p, and so on.

Bwahaha (4, Insightful)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887073)

FTFA: "We are exploring new ways to reach more people using innovative methods of communication and distribution."

I'm sure they are, but their big problem is that we already explored all that five years ago. Time to catch up, Hollywood, and fast!

Re:Bwahaha (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887183)

FTFA: "We are exploring new ways to reach more people using innovative methods of communication and distribution."

I'm sure they are, but their big problem is that we already explored all that five years ago. Time to catch up, Hollywood, and fast!

You're referring to Blair Witch Project, right?

Sounds too much like they think the failing is due to not enough hype or viral marketing.

I think often enough I see trailers before the feature I'm going to see and use them to check things off my list of "Will Ever See", because all the good bits are essentially there.

There's probably also the odds a lot of people skip because they can just wait 4 months for the DVD, but I tend to buy DVD's of movies I already saw and liked.

What, they didn't blame piracy? (5, Insightful)

crimethinker (721591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887074)

I'm shocked that the MPAA spokesweasel didn't blame piracy. Shocked, I tell you.

And yes, I'll agree with the submitter's remarks - most movies nowadays are pure shite, little more than CGI thrown everywhere to try to cover a pathetic script. Oh, and don't forget the half-hour of commercials before the movie, too. And they always seem to start the commercials at the published start time. So you arrive half an hour late, trying to skip the commercials, and *this* movie was the one with only 15 minutes of crap in front of it.

I wait for the DVD nowadays. Cheaper, too.

-paul

Re:What, they didn't blame piracy? (4, Funny)

scaryjohn (120394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887093)

I'm shocked that the MPAA spokesweasel didn't blame piracy. Shocked, I tell you.

They figured out the real problem isn't pirates... It's ninjas!

Re:What, they didn't blame piracy? (3, Insightful)

JPriest (547211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887232)

2 Tickets + porcorn + soda = > $30
All that money and you get 15 minutes of some of the same commercials shown on daytime TV for free anwyway. I usuaully show up 15 minutes late, but sometimes it leaves me with crappy seats.

I used to go to the movies all the time (every week), but after sitting though the RIAA painter and stuntmans anti piracy rants about 50 times I all but quit going. I still go see great movies, but for most stuff I just add it to the Netflix queue and they ship me the DVD when it becomes available.

Home Theaters (5, Insightful)

expressovi (952511) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887075)

With the sale of home theaters on the rise I think that can also attribute to some of the loss. Many people I know who buy a home theater say they now have no reason to go the theater. I just got mine and I always ask why go out?

Re:Home Theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887189)

Nonsense. I don't have a "home theater". I have a 27" Samsung DynaFlat and a cheapie Samsung DVD/VCR combo. In fact, only one person I know has anything that could qualify as a "home theater", but no one I know sees movies in the theater anymore.

The movie studios and theater industry have lost the older viewers (and I'm not even 30 yet!), probably for good. Not because of "home theaters" but because even without a "home theater" the home experience is far superior to the theater experience. Heck, for the price of two tickets you can rent (and then buy if desired) the DVD two months later.

A theater is now nothing more than a place for young people to hang out.

Re:Home Theaters (2, Informative)

expressovi (952511) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887250)

I would disagree...I am in your category of young people and I can tell you that the theater is the last place you will see me and my friends. Also to the general public a home theater is 5.1 surround sound. In my case 5.1 and a mitsubishi projector. With some paint and creativity my basement is how I want my movie experience to be. With the price of DLP projecters lowering it's easily becoming more affordable to buy one of these than say a rear projection t.v. which until recently had on of the worst vewing angle of any t.v.'s I had viewed.

what... revenues felled.. (0, Troll)

hihihihi (940800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887076)

even after me and mine boy-fiancies watching B. B. Mountain more then 10 times..

PS: it is getting 5PM and I am in no mood to RTFA.

Movies Suck? (0)

RedHatLinux (453603) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887081)

Na, they'll blame piracy because its cheaper than producing decent movies and furthers their political agenda.

Besides, you really think the movie ever takes personal responsibly for its failings?

duh (0)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887083)

everything is a remake or a piss poor plotline... Kong anyone?

The only movie i've looked forward to seeing lately is V for Vendetta and thats becuase its by the W brothers

Re:duh (1)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887125)

That's precisely the reason why I don't want to watch it. The last good movie they made was in 1999.

Re:duh (1)

DrCode (95839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887131)

Yes, Kong, a remake of a remake of a story that was pretty dumb to begin with, was one of the most beautiful, and deadly boring, movies I've seen in years. At the end, I was cheering for the planes.

Re:duh (3, Informative)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887239)

The only movie i've looked forward to seeing lately is V for Vendetta and thats becuase its by the W brothers

You mean brother and sister?

Correction... (5, Insightful)

Joe5678 (135227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887088)

About 40 percent of the decline came from the U.S.


Come on, it's in the first sentence of the article. 40 percent of the 23 billion dollars in total sales was in the US, not 40 percent of the decline.

A misleading summary, here on slashdot, I'm as shocked as the rest of you...

Re:Another Correction... (2, Informative)

vettemph (540399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887188)

>spending the money to watch it in a room full of strangers.

  spending the money to watch it in a room full of assholes.

What do the cinema's offer? (2, Insightful)

kahanamoku (470295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887090)

WIth the (relatively) cheap High quality components available to set up your own home theatre, what benefit does a cinema offer compared to your own home theatre?

There comes a sense of self-achievement in setting up your own home theatre, and no matter how tight-ass you are when you set it up, you still love it like you love your own child. Sure, you sometimes get humbled by other people who have set up more expensive home theatres that sound better and have a bigger screen, but when it comes down to it, why would you prefer to pay $x PER PERSON for something that you can soon hire from a movie store for half the cost of 1 person's ticket, and screen it for as many people you can fit in your house, as many times as you want while you have the movie hired out?!

Pop-corn is cheaper, the seats are comfortable, you can leave your mobile phone on, you dont have to get pissed off at someone else leaving their mobile phone on, and you dont have a Texan woman trying to sue you for assault for simply asking them to be quiet!

whats wrong with old movies (2, Interesting)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887092)

All the good plots have already been explored - everything else is just variations on a theme. Someone suggested "Somewhere In Time" (Christopher Reeves) and from what is posted on imdb.com it looks pretty decent. Wish I could get Turner Classic Movies without having to pay for 90 other channels I have NO interest in.

Re:whats wrong with old movies (3, Interesting)

Potato Battery (872080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887224)

"Wish I could get Turner Classic Movies without having to pay for 90 other channels I have NO interest in."

McCain is actually working on legislation to require cable to go a la carte. From what I've seen, the cable companies are down with it, but the bundle-monsters like Disney and Fox hate it.

I really hope it materializes. We haven't had TV for a couple years now, but if I could just pick a couple of channels I can't get now without a multimegabuck megabundle, it would be great to be able to casually flip on the tube again.

Why bother? (1, Redundant)

ZeldorBlat (107799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887095)

I can't remember the last time I went to the theater to see a movie. It doesn't have so much to do with movies sucking (which most do) as it does with comfort and convenience. Why should I pay between $7 and $12 to watch a movie, with a bunch of people I don't know, where I have no control over the environment? Instead, I can rent the movie for $3 or less or grab it from the cable (either on demand or DVR). Furthermore, I can pause the movie to get up and use the bathroom, I don't pay $15 for soda, popcorn, and a candy bar, and the picture and sound quality is terrific.

With the quality of home theater equipment and the huge selection of things available at the video store or on cable/satelite I really see no reason to go anywhere else.

Re:Why bother? (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887192)

While I agree with the fact that using a home theater is cheaper, you must also consider the fact that not having control over the environment is one reason a lot of people go to the movies. There's no phone ringing, your cell phones (should be) turned off and nobody can come in and disturb you. You're literally "not available" and in a sense, forced to relax. Sure, you can't go the bathroom, but if you can't hold it in for 2 hours then perhaps you should indeed stay at home :) (no offense).

One more thing -- no matter how big your x.1 sound system is, for most people, there is a practical limit to how high they can crank the volume before the neighbors call the cops. I'd still go to the theatres to feel my bones shake without worrying about which asshole next door is getting pissed off. But then again, I live in a city.

hmmmmm (2, Interesting)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887099)

Well, lets see here, $10 per ticket where I live, they can piss off. No wonder ticket sales are down.

one word - netflix, atleast for me. (1)

jzeejunk (878194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887100)

i mean why shell out ten bucks on a crappy movie, when you can watch the same at home (netflix)

what's wrong with watching a movie with strangers? (2, Interesting)

keshto (553762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887101)

I don't get Cowboy Neal's editorializing- half the fun of watching a movie is watching it on the big screen, with nice sound and popcorn. I only watch movies on dvd when I don't think it'll be worth paying $9.25+ (in boston) for a movie ticket. Though it's true that the fraction of movies I watch on dvd rose quite a bit last year, but that's the netflix effect.

Movie quality might be a factor in lower box office collections, but easy, cheap availability of DVDs is too.

Re:what's wrong with watching a movie with strange (1)

sehlat (180760) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887182)

My wife would agree with you about the theater and big screen, except:

a: Last movie we saw on a big screen, the sound was crappy

and

b: At $10/ticket, it costs thirty dollars for our family to go out. That doesn't
include having to be at the theater in time for the show, gasoline, having to sit through
twenty minutes of advertising for crappy movies (trailers), and having to put up with rude,
noisy, inconsiderate fellow viewers.

Or haven't you heard about the Texas incident where a woman who gently tapped a cell-phone talker
on her shoulder to ask her to quiet down/shut up ended up in court charged with assault?

Movies have been sucking lately... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887102)

Movies do suck, so I say we all should spend our time thinking about The spicy italian sandwich from Subway. 2 layers of salami and Pepperoni topped off with 4 slices of american cheese. Put a little mayo on there, some lettuce, tomatoes, and black olives, and you've almost got yourself a sandwich. Next, have them cover the sandwich in salt and pepper, then spray some oil and vinegar over the top, wrap it up and there's dinner. I think we can all give thanks for a sandwich that good. mmmmm mmmmm

CowboyNeal (5, Funny)

anim8 (109631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887104)

"It's been a while since a film warranted spending the money to watch it in a room full of strangers."

If dropping a ten-spot and spending 3hrs in a theater to see King Kong on the big screen doesn't appeal to you then you are beyond hope.

But I can understand your fear of seeing 'Brokeback Mountain' with others around. I mean with a name like CowboyKneel ...

Re:CowboyNeal (1)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887200)

Apparently, a lot of people are beyond hope, hence the drop in sales. I did see Kong in the theaters but was very disappointed. People want more bang for their buck now, and watching a movie on a somewhat bigger screen with a few more speakers than what you can do at home, added with ridiculous concession costs and rude fellow patrons...almost no movie is worth the price of admission, when I can spend the same amount of money a ticket for my wife and I costs to get the DVD a few months later.

Summary inaccurate! (2, Informative)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887105)

According to the summary, the US was responsible for 40% of the drop. According to the story, the US was respnosible for 40% of the sales. The story says sales dropped 6% in the US but 7.9% worldwide -- so the US was actually responsible for about well under 40% of the drop.

OTOH, whether it's 6% or 8% doesn't make all that much difference in the end -- this is something like the fifth year running that movie sales have dropped...

At least the Oscars have integrity..... (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887110)

Slightly off topic, but still about movies sucking and blowing (thus not sucking). I expected the Oscars to be ruled by holllywood films that sucked, but were in all popular theatres. I was shocked to see the Oscar committee doesn't exist to promote movies. Most of the movies in there from what I heard were lower budget indie-type movies then multi-hundred million hollywood movies. Now if only Theatre's will follow this trend.....

Re:At least the Oscars have integrity..... (1)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887174)

What are you talking about? Because they picked lower budget movies they must have integrity because all low budget movies are good? They picked the movies they did, not because they were good movies, but for political reasons. If a movie is about oppression of Blacks, or oppression of gays, or oppression of women, it's sure to have a chance at an Oscar. That's how it's been for the last few years anyway.

It never fails... (5, Funny)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887114)

In a movie theater, no matter where I sit, the loudest person in the theater always ends up sitting next to me. You'd think with my "I've killed already tonight, and you're next" countenance, people would stay away, but I seem to attract the crazies.

Prime examples:

In that crappy Sky Captain movie, when the flying ships dive straight into the water, this guy next to me starts shouting "THAT DEFIES THE LAWS OF PHYSICS!!"

In that crappy Manchurian Candidate remake, some dumb bitch sits down right next to me, babbling through the whole movie. When Meryl Streep goes into a long speech, this woman starts shouting "MERYL STREEP AT HER BEST!!"

During Batman Begins, some fat ass was munching down bag after bag of chips right next to me. He'd finish a bad, then extend his hand out and drop the bag on the floor, and go for another. Then he'd start belching, or fall asleep and snore really loud.

What the hell is it with these people?? Can't they see that I want to watch my crappy movies in peace??

Re:It never fails... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887251)

During Batman Begins, some fat ass was munching down bag after bag of chips right next to me. He'd finish a bad, then extend his hand out and drop the bag on the floor, and go for another. Then he'd start belching, or fall asleep and snore really loud.

That reminds me of the time I went to see Batman Begins .. I sat next to this guy who looked like he'd killed already and like I was to be next. I got so nervous I kept eating bags and bags of chips. As it turns out this happened to cause gas and I couldn't help but belch ..plus i thought maybe it'll make him go away .. well .. when that didnt work .. I just decided to fall asleep.

I just spent (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887121)

I just spent 40 bucks to take my SO and her/our kids to the movies. Just in movie tickets.

Let's be clear here; That was two adults and two children. Under 2 got in free.

Then, she spent another 20 on popcorn and soda.

The ticket costs are what's killing them. Movie quality aside ( that seems to be a second thought now a days to both the people going to the movies as well as those making them ), I won't be going to the movies again this year because I've already spent what I feel is reasonable for the year.

Snack costs will do in the individual theaters.

And I bet (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887149)

You also spent 20-30 minutes before the movie being subjected to advertising you couldn't skip, mute or otherwise avoid.

Well, I just spent... (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887214)

$85 at the bar. Just in beer. Cheap, lousy, low-quality Pennsylvania beer. You know, I could get an equal volume of higher quality suds for 1/5th the price if I stayed at home... but, uhm, I'd be at home.

Re:I just spent (5, Funny)

rk (6314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887225)

"Under 2 got in free."

If you took someone under the age of two to a feature length movie, then I hate you.

Box Office Down... DVDs ??? (5, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887122)

Box Office sales dropped.

What happened to DVD sales?

Coincidence? (0)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887127)

So I'm supposed to believe that the reason both the music and movie business experienced big drops in profitability at the same time as mass piracy in both fields became practical, is that both art form went through an unprecedented quality drop at the same time? And it has nothing to do with piracy?

That seems like quite a big coincidence, doesn't it? Unlikely so, even?

Re:Coincidence? (1)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887197)

And around the same time home theatres became popular as well as somewhat affordable!

Not to mention that TV viewing is down as people are prefering other activities.

Or perhaps it's simply a cultural shift?

Correlation? Causality? Neither? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887215)

So I'm supposed to believe that the reason both the music and movie business experienced big drops in profitability at the same time as mass piracy in both fields became practical, is that both art form went through an unprecedented quality drop at the same time? And it has nothing to do with piracy?

If those were the only variables over the time span, you might be correct. First, critics in general agree that both *have* gone through a serious drop in quality. Second, other things compound the problem. For movies, one has the advent of Netflix and DVD sales cannibalizing movie revenue. More people are waiting for the DVD since they'll want to keep it and the audio/video quality is high. For music, they're comparing sales to the mid/late 90s when people were still replacing tape/vinyl collections. Third, in both fields execs are focusing increasingly on big budget "safe" bets as opposed to a variety of smaller budget attempts. The result is a bunch of "safe" products that do OK but not great. Finally, for movies, the increasing budgets are quickly pricing their tickets out of the casual date market - it's no longer something people will do once a weekend.

So there's a lot going on here. You can't just find two variables that happen to have a correlation and assume causality.

That seems like quite a big coincidence, doesn't it? Unlikely so, even?

I once read a study that showed a 0.9 correlation between National league batting averages and the GNP of Sweden for a few years. That best illustrates my point. If you have enough variables, two of them are guaranteed to be correlated for a while.

Why I don't go as much (3, Informative)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887130)

I only go to movies that have a very large visual or audio appeal, or something I really want to see. Or I am really bored. Why??
  • Kids go to matinees. Being in the same theaters as a bunch of rug rats suck.
  • Evening shows cost $9 (or more). Have to get a keg o'Icee, another $4.
  • Have to go with daughter or girlfriend, and pay for their move and stuff. Another $13-$18. Total so far, around $30.
  • Netflix costs less than $20/month and the food is a lot cheaper, and I can drink beer or tequila instead of an Icee.
Just because I can afford $30/week to go to a movie, doesn't mean I want to pay it.

The Decline For Me Is Because (4, Informative)

futuresheep (531366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887133)

It costs me close to $70.00 by the time I'm done with paying for:

*Babysitting
*Parking
*Ticket
*Crap to eat

It costs me approx. $15.00 for a DVD.

To add to that my home theater looks and sounds great, the seats are more comfortable, we can pee when we want, and the drinks are a hell of a lot cheaper. We haven't been to a theater in over three years now when before the munchkin we used to go at least once a month. Sure, there was the initial investment in the home theater, but we're past breaking even on that now.

The Passion of the Slump (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887147)

As Roger Ebert pointed out [suntimes.com] , the "Box Office Slump" is an myth. 2005 Box Office sales only appear down when compared to 2004, because 2004 saw the release of "The Passion of the Christ", which brought thousands of customers who otherwise do not visit the movie theaters.

The fact is, 2005 was the second or third best year for film revenue in history.

--
N

How dare you? (5, Funny)

Maniacal (12626) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887238)

The Slashdot editors are nice enough to post a non-story about movie theaters/revenues/profits/etc. so that we can rant about prices of tickes/snacks/parking/etc. and brag about the components in our home theaters and you have to come along and screw it all up by presenting facts. Where to you get off buddy? Now what the hell am I gonna rant about? Did you see the front page? There aren't any articles about how Linux isn't ready for the desktop. There are any columns about Windows out performing Linux in a recent benchmark.

From now on just keep your facts to yourself.

BTW, mod parent up. Sounds like he hit the nail on the head

Xbox,Ps2., Computers, Internet. Instant messaging (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887148)

People that use the internet to read reviews hurts bad movies or instant messaging from the movie theatre.

DVDs and home theatres are legitimate alternative to theatres.

Have you seen the new LCOS systems ? Projection HDTV is getting better and better.

With BlueRay now , watch out ......

It's because the movies suck, stupid. (1)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887157)

Make a decent film, with an original plot and good dialogue, that doesn't rely on special effects to sell itself, and people will want to see it.

What do I see in my local cinema's listings? The Shaggy Dog. The Pink Panther. Big Momma's House 2. Lassie. Remakes and sequels of crap films that shouldn't have been made in the first place. No-one people are giving up in disgust.

2001 In the Boston Area (2, Insightful)

flajann (658201) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887162)

I recently went to see 2001 at a movie house near Boston. I missed seeing it on the big screen when it initially came out (I was only 8 or 9 then!!!!) I was truly impressed with all the details I missed on the dinky little screen.

I can't say the same for any movie since. Usually, you are not missing much on the little screen. Why is that, I wonder?

Also, if you also consider that CGI simply did not exist when 2001 was produced, you can appreciate the film even more!

Hell, I even like the old Dr. Who series. Seems the level of use of CGI is inversely proportional to story quality these days. There are a few exceptions, but darn few, as I can count them on one hand.

CGI is simply not impressive anymore, considering what you see in the average videogame these days, and that's in real time. When all the chips are down, nothing beats a good story and a gripping plot. Nothing. Perhaps MPAA will finnaly catch a clue. If not, perhaps they will go bankrupt.

We'll see the rise of the independent films with streaming video distribution. Now with fibre to the last mile a reality, it's only a matter of time, folks.

According to Ebert and Roeper... (4, Insightful)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887163)

According to the film critics Ebert and Roeper, it's their opinion that there was a bump in attendance over the last few years for movies like The Lord of Rings and Spider-Man/2 where fans would see the films mutiple times. Let's face it, there were some real block busters that came out in recent years like the LOTR trilogy, Spider-Man 2, Shrek 2, The Passion of the Christ, Finding Nemo, Stealth, The Dukes of Hazzard, etc. The Passion of the Christ alone made something $360 million dollars. The only real block busters this year seem to be Superman Returns and X3, so expect more tearful news from the movies studios around the same time next year.

There are just going to be some years were attendance exceeds normal growth due to the popularity of certain movies.

Re:According to Ebert and Roeper... (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887211)

I suspect that Superman Returns is going to be almost as good as Ultraviolet and Daredevil, but not quite.

Give and Take (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887164)

I've actually watched more good movies in theaters this past year or two than I have since maybe 1997-9. Very few of them were among the top boxoffice takers. And I watch more independent studio releases on cable and recordings.

My cable bill has sure gone up a lot, though. Especially including my broadband Internet connection.

This is where graphs are useful (1)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887171)

I'd like to see them put together a nice plot of home-theater system sales vs. box-office sales. It doesn't cost me eight bucks for a bag of popcorn and a coke. My popcorn isn't stale. There's nobody talking during the show. My feet don't stick to the floor. I can pause the movie whenever I want.

I have been to the theater a lot less since I got my 52" TV + surround sound.
Yeah, it's the intarweb movie pirates dropping box office sales.... riiight.

I know why I don't go... (2, Interesting)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887194)

...Because (no particular order):

- Really expensive! (Ticket are $9.25 for adults! Are you kidding me?)
- Really expensive snacks ($4 for a Coke? Fuck You Cineplex!)
- Standing in a painfully long line to be gouged for your ticket.
- Standing in a painfully long line to be gouged for snacks.
- The arsehole that won't turn his cell-phone off until he "remembers" when it rings at the most tense moment in the movie.
- The other arsehole whose phone is on vibrate, but who answers and talks as he walks out of the theatre.
- Spoiled suburban brats dropped off at the theatre instead of the hiring a babysitter who throw things, talk, and generally distract from the picture.
- That unidentifiable sticky substance on the floor that could be spilled Coke... Or any number of other unpleasant alternatives, each indistinguishable from the next in the dark. ...and of course, so many movies suck blatant ass these days that I can't possibly justify it.

It's Grim (2, Insightful)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887199)

I watched 50-100 movies a year in theaters in the early-mid 90s. It seemed like there was something watchable almost every week. Not "good" but watchable.

Now, if I can watch CSI reruns, Modern Marvels, and Mythbusters, why would I drive 30 minutes to hunt for a parking space and then go wait in line to:

  • Pay $10 to get in
  • To a tiny theater
  • To watch Ultraviolet
  • After watching 15 minutes of trailers and commercials and reminders to put the cellphones away
  • While listening to someone on a cellphone
  • And someone's baby
  • While eating a $3.00 hot dog
  • And drinking a $3.50 soda

Thanks, but I'll wait for V for Vendetta and Thank You for Smoking and hope for the best. And watch L&O and CSI in the meanwhile.

And to put a finer point on it, the fact that I see about 5 movies a year nowadays has nothing to do with pirated video and almost nothing to do with DVDs. The stuff I watch on DVDs is generally not something that shows up in a theater.

Re:It's Grim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887266)

To watch Ultraviolet

Ouch. Say no more. Between me and my roommate, we spent $26 on that movie and a little tray of nachos with a medium drink. That movie was so bad they should've been paying us to see it. I've learned a valuable lesson, though. Always read the movie reviews before paying to see it!

Not true at all (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887201)

(This post reflects solely the opinion of its author).

This was a great film year, the best in recent memory.

Munich, Brokeback Mountain, King Kong, Syriana, Capote, Good Night and Good Luck, Walk the Line, Batman Begins, the Squid and the Whale?

I know I'm missing a few too.

I mean, please! I was hard pressed to pick just five of those for the Best Picture nomination. I was even more hard pressed to pick the winner out of the five that did get nominated(although I can tell you one thing: I would not have picked Crash). /.'ers, IMHO, can no longer claim mediocrity as a reason for diminished ticket sales. Let's face it, the new media theater is in the home.

Re:Not true at all (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887237)

Did you see those movies to have fun? That's why I go, anyway.

I generally get my edification and deep thoughts from books, or computer games (*cough*).

about those strangers. (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887219)

It's been a while since a film warranted spending the money to watch it in a room full of strangers...

... who all forget to turn off their cellphones, or want to show off their new supercool laser pointer. I swear, if I ever find an asshole ruining the movie with his laser, I'll tear his head off and shit in his neck!

(slightly irritated)

Re:about those strangers. (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887253)

A fellow known in the trade as merlyn used to employ his laser pointer in Oregon theaters all the time.

Just a bit of trivia. Yes I am a (multiple times) first hand witness.

Suck? (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887221)

Sure, lots of movies suck. I'll even concede that movies suck more than they used to. But there have always been a lot of sucky movies that did well. I mean, during the 70s, they made a whole string of movies with "Airport" in the title, all of which made money!

The main reason nobody's going to the movies: they've found other ways to entertain themselves. There's DVDs of course (I have a two-year backlog in my NetFlix queue!), and TV. But I think people are just generally branching out more. Book clubs are popular, and museum attendance is at all-time high. Hey, lots of folks are amusing themselves by creating their own content, in the form of blogs, podcasts, and now video podcasts. How can Hollywood compete with that?

Hollywood thinks we're stupid (1)

DAE51D (776260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887229)

I've completely had it with Hollywood. I haven't seen a truly geat, unique, innovative movie in ages. And every time I see they are remaking a great movie, I want to puke. It pisses me off to no end and I go out of my way to boycott. In fact, I don't know what is worse: a re-hashed tired plot, a "trendy" remake of a classic, or some insipid waste of film made for the lowest common denominator of intelligence (to use a term loosly).

The fact that those greedy fucks put commercials in front of a movie that I paid $10+ to see makes me even more angry.

How many times must I rent a DVD (I don't go to theatres because of the rant above) and be dissatisfied by a cheeze-ball "hollywood" ending.

Okay. I need to stop writing now. I'm getting frustrated and feeling a need to kill again...

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/ [rottentomatoes.com] and http://www.imdb.org/ [imdb.org] are your friends.

It's the end user experience, stupid! (1)

zorkmid (115464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887234)

Once you tally it all up it's about $20 a person to go to a 2 hour movie. These days the theaters are filled with idiots on cells and unruly, obnoxious children (from ages .5 to 75 years old).

If a theater in my area crafted a set of rules of conduct and enforced them (i.e. frog marched violators roughly out the door) they'd start to get my business again.

Until then I'm going to wait until it hits DVD and watch it at home.

decline of civic values (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887247)

I think it's a problem when people are wary about hanging out with strangers. It makes for a more fragmented, xenophobic society. If everybody tries to avoid interacting with strangers, the only people out and about will be crazy, homeless, or vagrant -- in other words, it will create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's not just the movies that suck (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887248)

It's standing in line to pay 12 bucks for a ticket, buy over-priced popcorn and watered-down drinks, then get walked over by some couple coming in late, which is right after someone 10 feet tall with a hat sits down in front of me, and the retard next to him feels like his business is so important he has to make a big show of holding up his cell phone to check his text messages every five minutes. With the couple behind talking through the whole movie which starts late because of the 15 minutes of commercials and previews before the movie, that sucks anyway, actually starts.

So, overall, Malco and the other big chains can kiss my big fat ass if they think I'm going to a theater. My house has comfortable seats, great booze, big screen picture and house-shaking sound. All for a 3 dollar Netflix rental.

It's the cell phones, not the films (1)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887254)

It's been a while since a film warranted spending the money to watch it in a room full of strangers.

There has been a few films that I wanted to see, but I didn't. I simply cannot enjoy a film when people are talking on their phones all the way through the film. I really wanted to see a movie last weekend, so I broke down and went to see that Bruce Willis/Mos Def thing. Before the movie started, two people were talking on their phone. By the time the movie was half over, three others had decided it was a good time to talk - one complaining loudly that the movie was too loud for her to hear her phone. Until they allow immediate capital punishment for talking on a cell phone in the movie, I just can't go. Also - it is *not* OK to check your cell phone for messages either. The phone lights up and distracts everyone else. Imagine if someone kept turning a flashlight on and off in the movie - it is the same thing.

The reason why people don't go to the movies (2, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887256)

I personally believe that the most recent development in home theater equipment is what makes people stay at home instead of going to the movies.

Think about it:

- HDTV has surfaced for real. - Large TV sets and projectors with much better image quality are here. - DVD prices are pretty much staying where they are. - Going to the movies is becoming more and more expensive. - Spending money on a home theater is widely acceptable and considered a high status item.

The main reason I don't go to the movies is because I already have a good system at home. I prefer to sit there by myself, with my friends or with my girlfriend rather than sitting next to a fat guy who devours chips throughout the whole movie. And besides, it's actually cheaper to buy a DVD.

In ten years, when HDTV is passé and when people are used to super quality at 100 inch screens or more, who will actually go to the movies?

Last but not least, movies have kinda sucked lately. There's been a few good ones of course, but to me, quality is down. It would be interesting to see how the movie ratings have developed on IMDB during the past five years. Does anyone have stats on that?

Honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887257)

I can't wait for indoor movies to go the way of outdoor movies. Actually when I think about it, I enjoy the atmosphere of outdoor movies a whole lot better than that of indoor.

Somebody help me with this quote. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887263)

Some time around the Oscars someone (Haggis, Spielberg?) commented that the days of $200 million movies were over. He speculated that in the future movies would cost no more than $15 million to make. I did some googling but couldn't find the quote.

So, the economics of movies is changing. The other thing is that technology keeps getting better and cheaper. At some point, according to Moore's law, we'll all have the power on our desktops to totally make a movie as easily as we can write a bad novel. Lots more movies will get made and distributed on the internet. Some of them (according to the monkeys and typewriters theory) will be good. It is sort of happening now. It is common to find a bunch of people gathered around someone's computer looking at the latest cool animation that someone has found on the net. So, guess what, things are changing and they are no where near finished changing.
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