Does the Internet lessen the chance of people going to the cinema? The outcome might make you surprised


Looking at the cinema, only a few ticket windows were open. Some people were making decisions about what they were about to see, while others were waiting for the movies impatiently. It seems an obvious declination of the number of people going to the cinema though you still smell of popcorn when you come in. But, is it true or just a façade?

Nowadays, people have many new ways to cheer themselves up by using the new technologies and media. The way people treat the entertainment is quite different from that of the past. It changes how we contact with each other, how and where we hang out, and even the habits of those hobbies or enjoyment.

Many people have heard a lot about the landing of the Netflix in Australia in the last year. As a famous online video website in the whole world, it is no doubt that accelerated the competitions between online video and also brought a new access to watch movies on the Internet. Just like what said its chief content officer Ted Sarandos, we are experiencing a generational shift.

Here is a popular video talking about the effect of the Netflix, bringing to the cinema:

It has a powerful competitor — Quickflix whose paying customers has more than 123,000 at the end of 2015, which increased 6 percent from that in the last year. Watching movies online has already become an important part for lots of people.

According to the IT specialist Calvin Page, there are about 55% of smart phone users and 61% of tablet users utilizing at least one television related app at least once a month.

It also took place in the movies. Frequently seeing people use their phones or computers during their commutes. People really want to save time to get more work done. Obviously, using such technic tools assists them to do that. They can get it at anytime and anywhere. Going to the cinema for several hours seems like not realistic for them.

Just like Professor Trevisanut said: “The new media and the Internet changed the way people watching movies. It gives people more options for movies. People can choose the movie they interested no matter it is new or old. In the past, people had to worry about the releases dates of the movies. But now, people are not limited by that kind of thing and enjoy them whenever they want, which makes a big difference.”

However, the attendance of going to the cinema tells us a different story.

According to the research done by the Screen Australia, there are about 69 percent Australians going to the cinema at least once a year since 2000. And the average of visits is eight per year per person. Although the rates may have fluctuated slightly in some years, but the entire view shows that it has not declined. There is a chart shows the attendance from 1974 to 2014.


When it comes to the box office, it is not disappointing as well.

In the report of the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia, the data shows that 2015 was the most successful year at the Australian cinema box office. The box office in 2015 has increased 14% from that in 2014. In 2014, the box CUME close at $1,226,315,433, which overwhelms the previous highest sales of $1,128,498 in 2010.

And the research of Screen Australia also did the same point. Except the increases in box office, the admissions have increased by 14.8 percent compared to the prior year.


So, why people still go to the cinema, although the new way or the Internet has so many advantages?

Watching movies at home on the Internet can’t totally substitute for going to the cinema. Even you can buy a 3D effects TV, but it is barely for people to have a huge screen as the cinema does at their homes. The size of screen influences the entire effects of the movie a lot, including visual effects and sound effect. Individuals also have less possible to use a large space with professional audios and screen just to meet their entertainment needs, because that is not realistic for the majority.

Moreover, people are more likely to be distracted by other things if they watching movies at home, like a phone call or an unsolicited guest. After they go back to the movie, it is likely that they have already forgotten what they had seen before they left. And if people watching with your friends, they might choose to hide your feelings about the movie because sometimes people don’t want your friends or others to look you are vulnerable.

Professor Mcquire said in the interview that: “People often won’t pay a premium price to see small-scale, intimate films in the cinema, but will pay to see large-scale action blockbusters that are heavy with special effects. This narrows the type of film that theater owners are willing to screen. And cinemas will still tend to have superior audio-visual experience, such as surround sound and larger image, compared to home viewing.”

People who go to the cinema are mostly the young people. We can see from the report of the Australian Bureau of Statistics: The popular age groups of going to the cinema were 18–24-year-olds (85 per cent) which 37 percent more than that in 75 years old people.

Michael Young who is an 18 years old boy who lives in Brisbane, said: “The one reason why I go to cinema sometimes because that is the first thing I want to do when I want some entertainments and it makes me feel not lonely anymore. And, the other reason why I go to the cinema frequently is because I want to have a good time with my friends and they all love watching movies in cinemas. Actually, we just need some time or room to communicate or share something together.”

After all, this is a kind of entertainment, but it may be more than that. When people go to see the movie, they perhaps not just go for that. There are the social needs inside of them. When they go to the cinema, they can see other people, talking with others. And during the showing time, they share the common emotion or feelings with others in the same dark room, which brings the experiences that people do not have the opportunity to have when they watch it at homes. Nevertheless, it depends on different people care more about the movie itself or the experiences of sharing.

Professor Mcquire also claims that: “The main reason people continue to go to the cinema is that it is a social experience. It’s not just about watching something, but experiencing it in the company of others. Remember that cinema number is still growing rapidly, especially in China, which is poised to become the biggest film market in the world in the next few years (taking over from North America).”

The number of cinema screens in Australia has risen as well. There are greater than 150 percent between 1980 and 2015, from 829 to 2,080. Although the chart shows a declination happened in the mid-1980s, the screens have increased in the entire scale.


Sometimes, people go to the cinema just because they can’t find the resources of the movie they want. Even though the resources in such websites mentioned early are plenty, individuals can’t find the newest ones because of major films are trying to minimize the impact of ‘piracy’. The same situation has also happened to the very old ones or the good movies which are not popular. Going to the cinema is the easiest way to get the newest information, and you don’t need to spend hours on searching for movies and its subtitles.

We can see there is a big difference between the past and now. But the facts show in an opposite way. After the invention of the Internet, the world has changed a lot, but there is no sign can indicate of the decline in this area. Not like the paper media, the cinema hasn’t gotten a huge impact from the revolution. Thus, the Internet maybe provide a new option. However, it does not attack the cinema like we think it should be.

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