A lot of people have been complaining about movie theaters these past few years. Movie makers are upset that fewer people are going to the theater; customers are complaining that it’s too expensive and inconvenient. Critics whine that the public has no taste; the public replies that Hollywood has forgotten how to entertain us. Good points all.
Here’s an idea. Instead of talking about why we don’t go to the theater, let’s talk a little about why we do.
I’ve been to the cinema four times in 2006. That’s four times as many as in 2005 when the only film I saw was “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This summer I’ve seen “The Da Vinci Code,” “Cars,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean II” twice. Okay, so what about these movies compelled me to spend the $10 a pop, find child care, burn my gas money, endure the lines, the crowds, and the interminable commercials and previews?
Both “Harry Potter” and “The Da Vinci Code” were film versions of good books that I had read. Plus, they were, for me, opportunities to go out and bond with my girl friends. My sister and I have a tradition of going to the midnight showings of all the HP movies. And another friend and I had both really enjoyed “Da Vinci” and wanted to see how the film compared.
“Cars” had the benefit of being from Disney/Pixar. My family has loved all of the Pixar movies. The marketing was cute and effective, and the reviews were good. Bottom line, though, my son wanted to see it and didn’t want to wait for it to come out on DVD.
Then there’s “Pirates.” I plunked down a total of $30 on this picture, so I think this one’s worth looking into. I saw the midnight showing with my sister the night it came out. I’ve been a longtime fan of Johnny Depp; my sister and I both used to work for Disney, and we love the ride which inspired the films. We were big fans of the first movie and were eagerly awaiting the sequel. It’s kinda goofy, but it’s sexy and funny and truly entertaining. I took my husband the very next day. We’ve been talking about going again with another couple we pal around with.
In the end, then, it’s more about the moviegoer than the movies. I attended these films more to be with the people I love than to see the movies themselves. The movies I chose had a personal connection to me and the people I went with: we’d read the book or ridden the ride that inspired them, enjoyed previous films from the series or the studio or the actor, worked for the company that produced them. We could have waited for the DVD as I did with “Wedding Crashers” or “40-Year-Old Virgin.” For certain movies, though, going to the theater is an event. I go to share a special experience with special people.
A few of my friends and I may go see Will Ferrell in “Talladega Nights.” The previews are really funny, and we could all use a laugh. And we do live in Indy – if we don’t go see a movie about racing, who will?