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Cinemas will die a slow painful death!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by eugdog2, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. eugdog2

    eugdog2
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    3 years ago I predicted in a thread on this site that the cinema will die out within a decade due to thre rise of the home cinema. When I posted this view it was dismissed with utter scorn and downright contempt. Some of the comments were even personal in the extreme.

    Last summer attendance was down in number terms in the US by 10%. There was a debate in the Times about home being the new cinema this week. (Stop press - cinema attendance in Australia has fallen by a staggering 18% in the last 2 years according to ausmedia.com)

    Many reasons were given for the fall in US attendance. Less convincing was the arguement about crap films.

    Another possible reason is the greatly improving standards of TV in the US. I think there is some truth in that. TV is far more mature and with improved production values and quality of writing when comparing it with 90s or 80s TV.

    But also a factor must be the rise in home cinema. I did think projectors would overtake plasma screen. That might come eventually when projectors fall to £500-600 (wait till the Chinese start mass producing them). However plasma screens are easier to sell in shops and are more convieniant then projectors.

    Cinema exist because they are for most still the only affordable way to see films the way they should be seen. But as more and more people have home cinema I cannot see why anyone would go to the cinema. Before TV most people went to the cinema 3-4 times a week. TV nearly killed it off. Cinema attendance fell by 96% from 1950 to 1984 (statistic.co.uk). TV was more convieniant even thought it was an inferior product (black and white with tiny screen).

    But with home cinema why would anyone want to go to the cinema? Some would argue that cinemas are like pubs - peoople go for social reasons - the logic being that just because alcahol is avialable at home people still go to pubs. I would argue that cinemas are not social gathering places. People cannot talk to each other at the cinema.

    I think that the cinema age is coming to a close. Home cinema has all the advantages of cinema without the cost in money ande effort. It is only a matter of when home cinema comes so cheap it will be impossible for cinemas to make a profit,

    I have nothing against cinema exhibitors but I welcome the demise of the cinema. It is a major barrier to the production of more adventurous films. This is because it raises the revenue required for a film to break even (to start making a profit). This is because 50% of the revenue will go to the cinema exhibitors to cover their costs. If films go straight to DVD or pay per view or internet then the cost of distribution are much lower and filmakers will get a bigger cut of the sales. It will result in more specialized films appealing to niche markets since mass market size revenue will not be need for the film to break even


    Cinemas undermine national film industries because the extra revenue needed to break even could be too great for local markets to support. Also cinemas discourage original and bold films. This is because going to the cinema is such an investment in time and money that cimema goers would favour safe and easy to like films inorder not to waste his/her limited time. This is totally understandable. The blockbuster is a classic example of a easy to like film.

    Cinemas may survive in major cities but more as sneak preview, invitation only marketing device to create word of mouth interest. Everyone else will be downloading or watching it on high definition TV or DVD!

    Welcome to the brave new world!!! :D
     
  2. pingu

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    Well, since I installed my home cinema I haven't been to the flicks. With DVDs being released only a few months after the theatre release, there's no real need to now.

    And the benefits are large:
    Not having to put up with people with mobile phones / talking / etc.
    Saving ££. I'm on the £8/month Amazon DVD rental scheme which works well for me.

    I'm even waiting for the DVD release of Episode III (not seen it yet!) and I'm a big SW fan.

    I think it'll take a long while yet for the cinema to decline - it's the only real big screen option for the vast majority and alot of people enjoy the occassion as much as the film.
     
  3. Anim

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    It takes less than 3 hours to download a UK showing cinema movie from a US DVDrip and thats on a 2MB line so Broadband is also eating away at cinema viewings.

    The future of broadband in Britain seems to be 8mb, 10mb and 24mb lines within a year from now. This is fast enough to stream live video on a par with digital TV. Its all eating away at cinema popularity and film pirating and illigal TV stations will appear all over the place.

    Cinema is mostly filled with young children that are more interested in sitting in the dark and throwing peanuts at each other thesedays :D
     
  4. stevegreen

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    So, what do people think, is it piracy thats killing the cinema or the quality of home cinema's?

    I have not been to the cinema for about a year, and I don't even have my HC room set up yet. I have also not seen any of the newer films. Like a previous poster, I will wait til things come out on DVD rather then going to the cinema, but I won't be downloading cinema releases even though I have a 2 meg line.

    Having said all of this, I believe that there will always be a place for a cinema.
     
  5. Neil in Bristol

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    Cinema attendance figures seem to follow cycles, much like any other industry.

    It's true that figures are down in Australia at the moment, which is seen as a leading indicator, but it's worth remembering that cinema has seen a huge resurgence in the last few years. (I don't think that the current crop of crap remakes helps much, mind).

    People predicted that video would kill cinema in the eighties, and it had a big effect for sometime, but they bounced back. I think it's way too early to predict the death of cinema in the foreseeable future.
     
  6. theritz

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    ...what in heavens name created the potential and has sustained the film industries for the past 50 and more years ?


    What was the medium for delivering films which you or anyone else might regad as original and/or bold ?

    I'm sure you've heard of the term " a symbiotic relationship". Cinemas and film are hand-in-hand. There's no doubt that the cinema business will continue to change - for instance in my movie-going lifetime (about 40 years) there has been the move from "theaters" in the 30s style to multiplexes aligned with other entertainment forms) but apocalyptic pronouncements are meaningless. Home cinema (theater) has been a actor of home entertainment in the US for many years. There's no doubt that improvements in the forms of entertainment available at home, internet, online gaming dvd etc., have an effect on movie-going amongst other forms of entertainment. Businesses adapt to times of change.

    Maybe this should be moved to the "Outlandish Predictions" forum.




    S.
     
  7. Anim

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    Steve, I personally think its a combination of things, some may be higher than others.

    Cons
    * Broadband and downloading pirate movies / tv episodes
    * Kids, people with B.O, talking, mobile phones
    * No pause, rewind
    * Home cinema
    * Some people like a pint or to smoke while watching a movie
    * Quality of releases like Red Eye are utter pants

    Pro's
    * Huge screen
    * Fantastic sound
    * Latest releases
    * That child like excitment of being at the movies (give me peanuts!)

    IMO
     
  8. eugdog2

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    I think much will depend on whether how quickly home cinema product can fall in price. If home cinema fell in price as fast as DVD players did then I would be panicking if I was a cinema owner

    I think that downloadable broadband at 8-24 megs (coming very soon to the UK) will also accelerate the decline. This will allow high definition films to be streamed or downloaded quickly. The studios would love the prospect of not having to share revenue with distributors and exhibitors. Downloadable films means that close to 100% of the revenue goes to the studio as distribution costs are minimal.

    Studios will be more enthusiastic about downloadable films then music companies. The music companies have large investments in high street shops which downloadable music threatens. They only moved into downloadable music because Napster et al forced them kicking and screaming into the downloadable market.

    Since studio do not own the cinemas (legally banned from doing so) they will not try to slow the move to downloadable films.
     
  9. eugdog2

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    Theritz

    Cinemas are very expensive middleman. Because they need to take a very big chunk of the box office revenue to cover their costs it raises the the minimum revenue needed for a film to break even. Until recently cinema was the only way of exhibiting films. They were necessary evil! Nowadays with home cinema, films can go straight from studio to home cutting out the middleman. Distribution will be via DVD or internet or PPV. That means a lower minimum revenue threshold for films to break even. That should mean more home grown films due to lower revenue requirements.

    Business adapt - yes but some products are so obsolete they are no longer made. That is why we do not have stage coach manufacturers, steam engine makers, lead based paint etc

    The only way I think cinema could save themselves is possibly 3-d adventure ride based virtual themepark centres. You go to a cinema to simulate a rocket take off, or a roller coaster ride etc
     
  10. stealther

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    I still see going to the cinema as a good day out. In fact this Saturday the mrs and I plan to spend the day at our local cinema complex and will watch at least 2 maybe more films. We will watch a film and then go for a drink(s) and visit the cinema store then watch another movie in the late afternoon after which we will dine in one of the many restaurants near by then depending how we feel either go back in for another movie or wonder into town for further drinks.

    It’s not always perfect sometimes chav kids may be in misbehaving and I will have to get them removed. But for us it is a cost effective way to spend a cold and wet Saturday. (we have unlimited cinema passes)
    Whilst I can agree that cinema viewing will decline as more people get into home cinema I feel that even if I had the most enviable home cinema on these forums I would still frequent the cinema once a week or more unless movies were released on DVD at the same time that is.

    My worry will be that the decline in cinema attendance will just trigger a decline in the amount of money spent on films for example:

    The first Harry Potter film released in 2001 cost an estimated $125 million to make and amassed $976 million at the box office, while the third film, released three years later, cost around $130 million to make and took in $790 million.
    So Warner Brothers not happy with only making 5 times profit from the last movie, have grabbed hold of the reins for this one and the director of the latest HP movie Mike Newell has had an uphill struggle with the producers (WB) to get the funding he needed to reproduce the mammoth 4th and best book of the series into film format.
     
  11. boksbox

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    The main reason for the drop in US cinema attendance, aprt from coming off a high, is the rubbish that was produced, e.g. remakes, Blockbuster, 2, 3, 4 etc.
    I've been into home cinema since 1992, at what point do you think I should stop going to the cinema?
    The death of the cinema was predicted after the advent of TV, then Colour TV, TV goes High Def (finally) cinema will probably go super high def digital, 3D etc
    I can remember Sensurround in the 70s for Earthquake, Roller Coaster etc, no matter how many times I've seen Roller Coaster since it can't live up to the seat shaking experience of circa 1975.
    I suspect the cinema might just outlive your prediction for its demise.
     
  12. binbag

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    Anybody who welcomes the end of cinema is no lover of film. An audience that is engaged in the subject adds a dimension to a movie that no piece of kit will ever be able to recreate; like watching the world cup down the pub, the atmosphere of the common experience is a vital part of the human experience and your delight in its decline is sad.
     
  13. dapex

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    Just my point of view, but I am in the online rental from blockbusters and I am leaving it becasue there are just not enough good films to watch. This summer seem sto have been very poor for good films.

    That coupled with Sky movies, surround sound etc all from home really makes the cinema a bit of thing of the past, I find the cinema an expensvie time if we take the kids, and they have drinks, popcorn hotdog etc.....


    Cheers
     
  14. NicolasB

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    Steven Spielberg reckons that we are in for a resurgence in 3D films, that will, for practical purposes, only be viewable in 3D on cinema screens.
     
  15. rogeralpine

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    ...I'm not so sure this is entirely true - it certainly wasn't the case when Indiana Jones hit the flicks. The film distributor wanted 100% of the ticket sales to go back to them - it was a close call that AMC (now UCI :D ) nearly didn't show the film - but they realised that with the hundreds that would pay to see it, they would also be paying for grub etc (which is where we all know the cinema's make most of their money)

    Things may have changed somewhat over the years, but I doubt the structure has changed that much - I reckon the cinema still only gets a small kickback from ticket sales.

    I cannot see the cinema disappearing just yet - and believe me, I have plenty of axes to grind with them so I certainly wouldn't shed a tear at their demise. I can see that they could evolve and tailor their service more to what the customer wants. With cinema's in the States already going fully digital and therefore can potentially receive via satelite material to broadcast (if they have the kit), they could therefore tailor a package for the customer - if I could book a new film in a mini cinema with a bunch of mates at a time I wanted, that would be great. I'm sure there's scope for it to survive because not everyone is going to go to the extremes of setting up their own system at home.
     
  16. Apollo11

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    Not to mention the fact that my local cinema (UGC) seems to increase the ticket price by at least 50p every month.
     
  17. Mr Grumpy

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    As good as watching films on a decent size screen in the comfort of your own home is, there is still something extra special about going to the cinema (film dependant of course). I certainly hope that cinemas are around for a long time yet.
     
  18. Neil in Bristol

    Neil in Bristol
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    I won't disgree there. There have been very few good mainstream films released in the last year.
     
  19. Dankeech

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    Personally, I go to the cinema at least once a month, purely to see good films on the large screen (My local is a 9-screen UCI multiplex)

    I really resent the fact that my £7/ticket expenditure seems to be going straight into the pockets of the company and not being at least partially re-invested into ensuring the image and sound quality is up to scratch.

    Why on earth my large local cinema isn't using digital projectors for a start amazes me.

    Even after having to put up with the frankly ridiculous amount of adverts before a film I don't know. 25 minutes+ is pure greed on the part of the cinema. After having forked out the best part of a tenner, I think this is taking advantage.

    When the film begins, you have someone straightening the image and putting it in focus and can still notice the flecks of dust on the reel etc and to be honest the image isn't that vibrant and well-defined.

    Perhaps a decade of greed and profiteering, without the investment in available technology could have something to do with it.

    It looks bad on paper for the short term to spend a chunk of cash forking out on digital projectors etc and upgrading the experience, but not doing this in the long term is to a degree patronising the viewers because 'hey, they'll come anyway'.

    Cinema used to be the option to view films in glory far outstripping the home entertainment system, but with people getting home cinemas and the laziness and penny-peddling that has been going on for so long I think the cinemas are getting the just-deserts.

    Just MHO for you.

    UCI: Get your wallet out you greedy penny-pinching gits.
    It's not as if my local cinema (busiest in s.east) isn't bringing in the
    dough.

    Dan
     
  20. img

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    i didnt go to the cinema for ages. reason being nothing wanted to see and spend 6quid on a ticket for. can rent things in couple months time if really wanan see it. been few times recently with friends just as part of nite out really.
     
  21. mjcairney

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    I know this is off topic but just to advise you that I have today received an email from Sainsbury to say that my copy is in the post.

    Cheers,

    Martin.
     
  22. William123

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    I come from a town in Scotland with a population of over 50,000 + and we don't have a cinema, this despite it being a relatively new town built in the mid fifties.

    Funny thing before I moved, I lived in Glasgow almost all my life and despite a plethora of cinema's there, I never went to them.

    My travels now take me to Bangor, Co. Down in Northern Ireland about once a month. In my case I think my PJ has rekindled my interest and I now find visit the local cinema over there at every opportunity.
     
  23. eugdog2

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    Any one who welcomes the demise of the cinema "is no lover of film". That is a bit harsh. A cinema event is not a sporting event where you root for the favorite team and the outcome is uncertain. I would concede that there is some atmosphere but surely it is far more pleasant to watch a film in the comfort of ones home without the overpriced food etc.

    I use to work in cinemas - how it would work is that the exhibitor (cinema) would get 50% of the box office up to a certain amount then a lower proportion afterwards. This is called in the industry the "nut". That makes sense because the first block of ticket sales must go to paying for the cost of exhibiting the film (i.e the staff, rent etc). With blockbuster films the exhibitor makes loads of money on popcorn from the huge audience turning up to see the film so it can give away close to a 100% of ticket sales.

    But you can see how this works against the small niche market films. They end up giving a greater proportion of the box office receipts to exhibitors because they are less likely to reach the audience threshold where a greater proportion is given to the studio.

    I am not anti-cinema people - it is just that their time has come and they are now hindering not helping the film industry!
     
  24. rogeralpine

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    ...very true - good point!

    Also, as UCI have already been mentioned that they should to get their wallets out - here, here!! I have recounted this experience a couple of times already on the web - so if you've read my ramblings on this subject I apologise in advance for putting you through it again :D - but my visit the Warrington UCI to see LoTR - TT, resulted in a complaint letter being sent to them because it only had a stereo soundtrack (...they couldn't be arsed sorting the DD-ex track) - which 10 minutes into the film had me scratching my head asking myself why it sounded so crap. I spent £20 that evening and missed part of the film whilst I went to complain. All I got back was a standard reply letter with "oh, we're sorry!" Well screw you UCI - I've not set foot back in there since and I don't plan to do so anytime in the future. The image quality was ***** as well - grain and allsorts over the print. IMHO they deserve to go down the pan.
     
  25. johnnyhaynes

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    I absolutely agree -don't get a lot for a ticket price .

    Most of you won't remember when cinemas ran a supporting film as well as a newsreel , before the main feature film.
    Sometimes the auidence would get an additional treat with the organ coming out of the floor for a few tunes - magic!
    The public would queue outside to get a seat - often if you were a couple you'd be in seperate seats!
    Everybody would be smoking though , which was a real pain.
    I live in Oz now and am sorry to see the demise of the drive in movie theatre-unheard of in London and I feel still has a place in the showing of movies -it was a real family outing.
     
  26. wyrdness

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    I haven't been to the cinema for a few months and was just going to book two tickets to see Corpse Bridge tonight. I was really shocked to discover that it's £15 for two people, which includes a £1 'booking fee' for booking online. I'm really not sure whether to go now. If I wait a few months, I can buy the DVD for that (maybe less online). My partner has just listed several reasons why viewing at home is better.

    This is what she said:
    You don't have to drive and park there
    You don't have to queue for tickets (can be avoided by booking online for an extra £1)
    You don't have to pay a fortune for popcorn and drinks
    You can snuggle up naked to watch the film :D (just try that in the cinema!)
    You don't get stuck behind someone with a big hat or hairdo (I don't think I ever have had a problem with someones hat in the cinema. Maybe she has).

    I'd add:
    Screaming kids
    People with mobile phones..
    The endless adverts before the film starts.
    At home, you can pause the film to go to have a pee.
    At home you can drink alcohol whilst watching the film.
     
  27. PJTX100

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    ...also at home you can fall asleep and pick up from where you left off the next night.... and the next... etc :D
     
  28. FlyingBig

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    Don't be silly, PJ has very little to do with it as in my view it is mainly down to the birth of torrents and how easy it has become to download the latest movies and even sell them for profit in the work place (i have seen this happen and the average age in my work was 40 odd so it just shows you are popular downloading/watching pirated movies has become) Also the quality of TV shows like Deadwood/Sopranos/24/Lost has been a thorn in its side a these are far superior and gripping to the crap released in the cinemas these days. I still went to see all the Lord of the ring films and Starwars but other than that the other so called films have been so underpowering its embarrassing. We are still in the minority when it comes to using Projectors, sure they are amazing but most people refuse to redecorate their house to fit in a huge screen and more importantly do not want to have to sit in the dark everytime the projector is on so CRT/Plasma/LCD still is the daddy but of course its just as attractive to watch pirated movies on these screens adn that is the main reason for the downfall of cinema.

    P.S. the ever increasing bandwidth does not help either ;)
     
  29. boksbox

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    Quite often in the past, pre 70s, people would go to the cinema at a time of their own choosing, they might go in with a film halfway through, they would stay to see the first half on the next showing, then leave.

    It was only the clever marketing of Jaws, especially in the States that sold the idea of a film as an event, so that people would queue for a particular showing, once the marketing people saw the response they never looked back.
    As far as I can remember, Star Wars was the first film I can remember queuing for.
     
  30. Nickiniquity

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    +4
    Ha! Too right,
    The Odeon chain is pretty dire too. Our local 13 screen multiplex is barely acceptable in the main screen 1, but they have several over-grown lounge sized smaller screens for the non-new release screenings. It's just great watching a DD trailer and hearing the lowering bass cut-off before it should do 'cos their system is too cheap and feeble to reproduce it. Likewise watching a jet-fighter or something fly across the screen and hearing the audio clip as it pans through the centre channel.... It's this kind of lameness which has stopped me visiting as I can do better in my own front room.

    On the plus side the High Wycombe UGC's THX enabled screen 1 used to be awesome.
     

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