Hollywood Begs Moviegoers to Return to Big-screen Theaters
After a year during which a pandemic and political turmoil put a damper on the motion picture viewing habits of Americans, Hollywood had a message for aficionados of the big screen experience. In the words of The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, “We are back!”
That’s what the actor and former California governor told the “socially distanced” crowd at AMC Century 15 theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday, during an event promoting Hollywood’s “Big Screen is Back” initiative. The event featured such Tinseltown glitterati as Schwarzenegger, filmmaker J.J. Abrams, actress Maggie Q, actor Sam Richardson, director Janicza Bravo, and director David Bruckner.
And if you don’t know who many of those people are, you’re not alone — I had to look them up, too.
“Now it’s time to get back to the big screen,” Schwarzenegger told the audience.
As Schwarzenegger explained, the whole motion picture experience is just not the same unless you purchase your $12 ticket along with whatever exorbitant price they’re charging for refreshments these days and enjoy the woke propaganda that Hollywood peddles as entertainment.
“If you have the movie and you don’t have the theaters, you don’t have nothing,” Schwarzenegger said. ”Yes, we’ve seen over the past year in the pandemic, that people watch movies on their little iPhone and iPad and put on their glasses to see what’s going on there. They are missing special and visual effects and all the great stuff you usually see on the big screen.”
Schwarzenegger and all of the speakers were on a mission to boost a revival of the theater industry post-COVID, and the industry really does need a boost. According to Comscore, revenue from in-person attendance at movie theaters in North America was only $2.25 billion, an 80-percent decrease from 2019 when revenues hit $11.4 billion.
The event was meant to showcase the motion-picture industry’s upcoming blockbusters and gave sneak peeks of films such as Disney’s Cruella, Warner Bros.’ In the Heights, and the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect from MGM Studios.
Director J.J. Abrams, who has worked in both the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises as well as several other notable action films, said that watching movies on the big screen is a necessity for people.
“I think we all want to be kids again,” Abrams said. “And the idea of returning to theaters and being in a big dark room with strangers, screaming and laughing, experiencing the power of that is a human natural need.”
If that “power” is truly a need, it’s a need that people have learned to live without in the past year. And that’s making Hollywood desperate — desperate enough to beg for viewers to come back.
The movie-viewing experience has changed a lot with new technology and the advent of streaming services. Going to the cinema can be a bargain in relation to other activities such as sporting events, but you can come close to a big-screen experience just by staying at home nowadays.
Dr. Ted Baehr, the founder and publisher of Movieguide, a Christian-based movie review service, is a fan of the theater experience but realizes you can pretty much get close to the same experience by staying home in many cases.
“You can get almost as good, if not better viewing experience at home,” Baehr told The New American.
“If it’s a good theater and it’s got surround sound and everything is tweaked, it might be a better viewing experience,” Baehr said, before stressing, “might be.”
There’s another way that the motion-picture industry could almost guarantee that the viewing public will come back to the big screens. They could begin listening to what viewers want instead of just making leftist propaganda films and vanity projects.
Movieguide proves to Hollywood that more people will go to the theater if the industry offers films that reflect traditional values. Baehr has been trying to get this point across to the Hollywood establishment for decades.
“Year after year, movies with faith and values do better at the box office,” Baehr said. “The movies that we’ve honored that have church scenes, that have somebody that sacrifices themselves to save others … they always do better at the box office.”
Movieguide examines 150 different criteria for what makes movies sell, from the dramatic element to the literary elements to the worldview and theological elements and more, and one thing is clear — faith and old-fashioned American values sell.
J.J. Abrams is right about one thing: There is a certain magic to attending a film being shown on the big screen. The unreasonable prices are almost worth it when the theater lights go down and an entire crowd hushes in anticipation, waiting for the show to begin.
But that magic loses its luster when the films are unoriginal, special-effects heavy duds that seek to preach woke culture instead of simply telling us a good story. If Hollywood truly wants the public back, the major studios need a complete change of direction. They need to produce movies that uplift instead of titillate. They need to create films that applaud America instead of denigrating it. The Hollywood studios need to go back to a time when their purpose was to entertain instead of “enlighten.”
Published at Fri, 21 May 2021 22:33:02 +0000
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