What happens to cinemas when the thread breaks?

I haven’t been to many movies in the past decade — when you’re a cash-strapped, tech-savvy, beer-seeking uni student the cost really doesn’t make a lot of sense.

It’s kind of surprising in retrospect cinemas still exist. If I had to bet back in 2006 I’d have said they’d be largely dead by now.

Being a naysayer in this way is always easy - everything fails eventually - but I’m nevertheless surprised it’s taking so long for the end to come.

On a cost basis it’s a hard sell:

> Go out (ugh)
> To watch a film (OK)
> With a room full of strangers and kids (hmm)
> On a big screen (I have one of those at home)
> And big sound (I have one of those too)

The cost is over $20 for a standard ticket, which compares pretty poorly to other entertainment options. Gamers often weigh up purchases by calculating price per hour of entertainment to see if they’re getting their money’s worth, and it’s not uncommon to target a ratio of $1 per hour of quality entertainment or less for both indie and AAA titles.

Put another way, you could buy 2 months of unlimited Netflix or similar for your whole family, for the price of one ticket.

I did notice the pre-movie ads had increased to 45 minutes of advertising, of which around 10 minutes was actual movie trailers. What other medium these days - as ad-sensitive as we are - gets away with 1/3 to 1/2 of the total runtime devoted to advertising? Oh yeah .. tv, right? That’s doing quite well?

You have to think that once we hit the inevitable point where movies are available day 1 on digital distribution networks, cinemas will finally implode.

But hey - Star Wars was good. So there’s that.

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