Monday, March 10, 2008

Recession Looms and People Spend on Movie Tickets?!

I'm back baby! The Flu kicked me around for a little bit, but I'm almost revived!

Ah, the joys of the movies... A box of popcorn, over-priced candy, if I'm a lucky a lovely female at my side, and hopefully a good flick to immerse my mind into. Now, if I am ever strapped for cash, movies are always the first to go in my budget. Over the past five years, I feel like I can count on two hands the movies I have seen in the theaters (All the Bourne Series have been seen the-day-of..Matt Damon.. the man).

But, let's be frank, the quality of movies has just plummeted miserably. Gigli? Are We Done Yet? Any Halle Berry Movie, etc etc... And people pay to see this stuff? Hollywood's kool aid is only getting stronger and it scares me that these people are making millions of dollars. But, for that, I also have to applaud them... they have found the formula to draw the consumers into their theaters.

Now, bringing myself back into focus on the article and the business relevance. Movies do give a sense of mental relaxation. You can simply sit there, eat some candy, and listen to the annoying teenager whose cell phone goes off every 10 seconds, despite the plethora of signs instructing someone to turn off the phone.

Back in the days of the Depression, movies dominated life. It did in fact give an out for people. Plus, like the article touches upon, there were so few options back then that "4.6 billion" tickets were sold at that time... still clobbering numbers today.

Yet, despite all the years of change, the movie industry has always survived and adapted. (um, hello? Ordering your tickets online! Reclining chairs, oversized cup holders)

"We don't want to wish recession on anyone or hard times on anyone, but we certainly have done very well during recessions," said John Fithian, president of the theater owners group, who planned to touch on Hollywood's recession-proof history in a speech at ShoWest's opening Source

What Mr. Fithian says is good and all, but he runs a business. It would be pretty funny if he just came out and said what he is really thinking. (I'll leave that to your imagination). One of my clients is in Hurricane disaster recovery. It may sound evil, but he needs Hurricanes and damaging storms so he can remain in business. Society may think they are mean and selfish people, but someone has got to do it and survive as they do it.

But, you cannot simply say revenue was high because of higher ticket prices. Attendance is increasing as well. My reasoning: Population increase. Not because Hollywood is produce great art.

In closing, this post is disjointed and I'm not really sure where I wanted to go (see, I can admit where areas can be weak at time), but that is how Hollywood makes me feel. My frustration is more aimed at Hollywood. High prices on the "experience" and then I have cell phone bandits ruining it. Movies may be a way to get away from the "troubles" of the world and give someone an outlet. All I know, this Guru's wallet stays closed for movies unless they actually have some merit. Sorry J. Lo, Ice Cube, and now Will Ferrell (he's overstaying his same comedic welcome), your movies are awful and I will not pay to watch them, no matter how bad the economy may be.

~A Flustered Guru

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