Roger Ebert has posted his thoughts on why movies are losing money. I heartily agree with #4, refreshment prices. At the theater we go to in Charlotte it costs $12 for a medium soda and medium popcorn. I understand there will be some markup whenever you attend a concert or a movie but, Jesus Christ, $12 for a frickin' soda and some popcorn?!?!? It's not even good popcorn, they don't pop it there, they poor it out of a goddamn plastic bag. C'mon, meet us halfway here. I'll pay you $6 for a soda and some popcorn. I am going to start sneaking food in again.
He has a good point on #5. My big TV and surround sound system at home give us a pretty good show when we have a movie night. 40 inches of LCD goodness augmented by 200 watts from five large speakers? My home theater kicks it. My favorite new advertisement at the theater now is shown right before the trailers start. This new add starts out showing big loud action scenes at high volume. The screen slowly shrinks in size while the audio also loses quality. The screen morphs down into a flat screen TV and the text, "Go big or go home" appears on the screen. Yeah, that's good marketing, insult my home theater system while I am sitting in your theater. Screw you, hippy, my home theater kicks it, as I said just a second ago.
One thing about going to the movies Ebert didn't mention was the trailers. I like trailers as much as anybody, I even watch them on demand on my TV at home but when a movie is advertised as starting at 1:20 and doesn't start until 1:40 we have a problem. I find it insulting that I am essentially forced to watch 20 minutes of advertisements before I see the feature I paid to see. I am a paying customer and more than three or four trailers is an abuse by the company I contracted with to entertain me. The same thing happens when you purchase a DVD. When you buy a DVD you have to skip through several commercials. It's a big "Up yours" by the manufacturer of the DVD. "Hey," they say, "you paid $24.99 for this new Bluray DVD? Well, before you can watch what you paid to watch here's twenty minutes of shit you could give two shits about." It's insulting. You know what happens when you steal a movie off the internet? You can watch as soon as you fire it up. How about that, bootleggers treat their clients with more politeness than the movie industry.
It's good to see someone with the prestige of Roger Ebert come out and contradict the nonsense we here from the industry concerning pirating of movies. Their numbers are inflated and their attempts to push through heavy-handed legislation just because they are struggling to compete in a digital world are unfair to their customers.