There’s nothing quite like a trip to the cinema – you only have to look anywhere in the world to see that there is a culture around banding together to see the latest release on the big screen, with boxes of popcorn and the willing to sit through almost 30 minutes of advertising for big brands and other movies. It’s an odd concept, on the face of it, and there continues to be whispers as to what will happen to the traditional box office experience in years to come. Will we all still want to pay premium prices to watch a movie on a widened screen? Maybe not – and there seems to be moves to try and revitalise the physical box office as well as bring more entertainment home – as if there wasn’t enough already!
It’s emerged that Mitch Lowe, who helped to found both Redbox and Netflix in what would become the movie rental revolution – seems to be turning his focus to cinema-going, by knocking down the price of his Moviepass service by 80%. The service is a premium cinema club which allows subscribers to watch as many movies as they want at the local theater by only paying a set amount each month. By knocking down the monthly price of Moviepass so dramatically, it’s argued that Lowe could well be seeking to revolutionize the box office the way he helped to revolutionize the movie rental – by making it cheaper and more accessible to the main market.
The price of cinema tickets is arguably causing something of a dissonance – while movies continue to pull in big money each year, escalating ticket prices and the emergence of content that is readily available for low fees at home via services such as Netflix are pulling away much of the audience that local cinemas have traded on for decades. There is also talk of Netflix allegedly discussing plans to allow home viewers to watch cinema releases at home for a premium on their debut – something which could also eat into the popularity of the local theater.
Fans of the cinema need not worry just yet, however – with services such as Moviepass still crunching the numbers and potentially set to generate new interest in the box office, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing our favourite picturehouses shutting down too soon. You know what you can do if you are concerned, however – go support your local independent cinema – as every little helps!
Editor's Note: Check out Graham's Movie Reviews column here on One News Page