December and Christmas holidays are traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for movie goers, but not so far this year. Movie attendance has dropped for the past three weekends leading up to Christmas and this weekend the box office reached a 16 year low.
Some critics blame the economy, while others are quick to point out the content and quality of movies has steadily declined along with attendance. This weekends new releases included the Sherlock Holmes sequel A Game of Shadows, staring Robert Downey topping the box office at $40 million followed by the Chipmunks, Chipwrecked at a lowly $23.5 million.
Domestic Movie Theater attendance peaked at 1.6 billion in 2002 and has steadily declined ever since. Attendance at the movies this weekend was down about 12% over the same time period last year.
3D movies and Huge Giant Imax super screens were supposed to SAVE the movie theaters but that hasn’t worked Why?
Sure the economy has something to do with it and so does the quality of movies being made by Hollywood but there are several other factors which are playing an ever increasing role in the demise of the traditional movie theater and that’s HDTV, Dolby and DTS Surround Sound, 3DTV, Wide Screen Home Projector TV’s, Dedicated Movie Theater Rooms and the every increasing convenient access to content via internet streaming, netflix, digital cable and satellite not to mention physical media such as blu-ray.
Consumers have never had so much access to such high quality media at such a low cost and incredible convenience. Now with the easy access to media and truly affordable Large Screen HDTV Flat Panel TV’s and High Resolution Projection Screens, all with Dolby and DTS Surround Sound and you can no get better quality Movie Theater Experience in your own home 24/7 without the hassles of warming up the car, picking up the kids, driving to the theater, finding a place to park, paying $15-$20 per movie ticket, another $15 dollars for popcorn only to sit in some uncomfortable, germ infested seat with noisy neighbors talking over your shoulder and the glow of cell phones all over the place as people talk and text.
Don’t even mention the inconvenience of going to the bathroom, you can’t pause the movie in the theater, you have to interrupt everyone in your isle, walk the length of a football field to get to the bathroom and once you’re done you’re got to race back to you’re seat and inevitably you always seem to miss the best part!
It’s no coincidence that while movie theater attendance continues to decline – the average size of the television in North American and Canadian family homes keeps increasing. The most popular Flat Panel TV size 3 years ago was 42″ inches, now it’s the 47-50″ inch class. Flat Panel TV manufacturers are now producing 70-80″ LED direct view Flat Panel TV’s while projector manufacturers just released 3D projectors this year.
So what’s a home theater with large screen TV and surround sound going to cost – surprisingly a lot less than you think. An entry level home theater package with wall mounted 50″ TV and surround sound costs around $2500-$3000 installed. A huge 92-120″ projection screen HDTV with surround sound runs around $3500 – $7000 and a 70″ or 80″ flat panel direct view HDTV starts at under $3000 with a complete theater package starting around $5000. Of course if you want multiple screens the skies the limit and yes folks … if you can dream it … we can do it!
The quality of today’s HDTV Flat Panel and Projectors rivals the resolution of many movie theaters, the quality so sound from today’s A/V receivers and surround sound speaker packages also blows away many movie theater surround sound systems, especially when it’s properly calibrated and installed. So why are movie theater ticket sales down? SIMPLE for many the HOME THEATER experience is more better, more enjoyable and increasingly more affordable, then the traditional Movie Theater Experience.
At Ion Security and Integration we are experienced designers of Home Theaters for every size and budget. If you are planning a dedicated home theater room or would like to turn your family room into a multipurpose media hub give us a call we’ve got unique design ideas and solutions to fit all your needs.
email: email@example.com or Phone: 780-489-5522