Many thought Netflix was killing movies in theaters — but maybe not

Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu, and others offer so many options for viewing in your home that many pundits thought movie theaters were about to take a death blow. This article posits that growing movie gross receipts are due primarily to the flow of superhero movies. There’s no doubt that they’ve been a huge factor.

The article leaves out three factors that may only apply in NYC and other large cities, but are worth examining. First, even tho taking a family to the movies can indeed be an expensive proposition, particularly if you buy food and drink, but compared to other forms of entertainment, it can still be relatively reasonable.

Second, in disagreement with some of the comments to this article, there are quality films being produced many of them viewable only in smaller, neighborhood movie theaters. In the past five years, several small venues have spiffed themselves up and are offering wonderful movies that are simply unavailable elsewhere. In the Upper West Side of NYC, the demise of a much-loved multi-theater local movie house was succeeded within months by a group that’s showing award-nominated movies in a nearby theatre  being rented from an academic institution. Movie venues are thriving, like book stores.

Third, Moviepass has done a lousy job. But compare them to AMC Theatre’s A-List program which for $19.95 a month, allows you to go to up to three movies a week at one of their theaters. In my location, I can easily reach six AMC theaters that have overlapping but not identical offerings. Since AMC profits from admissions but also from their increasingly varied concession stand food, this program may well be a smart bet. It certainly gets people to the theater regularly — perhaps often enough to create a habit.

We shall see what happens (as with so many other things).

PS I love trailers. The period devoted to them in AMC theaters is predictably 20 minutes. Since all AMC seats are now reserved, you can come in as they’re ending if you prefer not to see them. What’s the downside?

2 thoughts on “Many thought Netflix was killing movies in theaters — but maybe not

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