Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: Movie theaters aren’t dying, they’re just getting better

Brooklyn Leighton

Since 2019, around 3,000 movie theaters have shut down. As streaming services rise in popularity it’s easy to assume movie theaters are a dying industry. However, I think theaters are just evolving.                                                                          

Disney releasing Pixar movies straight to streaming marks a major turn in the entertainment industry. Movie theaters are no longer the only way to see new movies, and that is not going to change, but you miss out on certain movie-watching experiences at home

What makes movie theaters special is that they’re the only place you can participate in the cultural event of seeing a movie. The recent summer blockbusters, “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie,” have become cultural events that brought significant foot traffic into theaters and onto social media platforms, which is something you miss out on sitting at home watching movies on your TV.

This is a trend theaters seem to have caught on to. “Oppenheimer” grossed the most ever for a biographical film, earning $942 million dollars at the worldwide box office. Additionally, the “Barbie” movie became the sixth movie post-COVID-19 to make a billion dollars worldwide.

Making these movies a trend to participate in no doubt had an effect on the staggering amount of money they made. This looks like a trend that is continuing. “The Eras Tour” movie opened to widespread success, raking in $123.5 million dollars globally after only being open in theaters for a week, making “The Eras Tour” the highest-grossing for a concert movie.

The success of these movies prove that studios can target a niche audience and make seeing the movie something to post on social media. People will pay to go out rather than watch from home.

Being able to share the space to watch this movie with like-minded people is a massive draw. Getting overpriced popcorn and food — or sneaking in your own food — is part of what makes the movies an experience. 

If released straight to streaming, you could have watched all three of these movies from your living room for the mere price of your subscription. However, you could not have dressed in pink to see “Barbie” or suits to see “Oppenheimer” to take pictures with your friends and experienced the “Barbenheimer” hype alongside other fans.

The chain cinema Alamo Drafthouse is adapting to the changing landscape by passing out hot dogs to moviegoers seeing “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” in reference to a scene in the movie.

Content is not what makes people come to movies anymore. You can see new movies from the comfort of your home for cheaper and more conveniently. I think movie theaters have to adapt and make movies about sharing an experience with people or the industry will die.

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About the Contributor
Brooklyn Leighton, Opinion Editor | she/her
Brooklyn is a junior English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in journalism from Falmouth, MA. When she isn’t working on writing a book, she is listening to Taylor Swift, watching Marvel movies, or reading. She loves cats, baking, and spending time with her friends. After graduation, she plans on becoming an author and literary agent. 

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