The Box Office Situation

By: Scott Robinson

“Pennywise” from the re-adaptation of the movie “IT”

This past summer was part of one of the worst years economically at the domestic box office in nearly a decade, with many blockbuster franchises such as “Transformers” and “Pirates of The Caribbean” taking big hits. The ticket sales at theaters nation-wide was reported by BoxOffice Media to be down 11 percent from last year, a number that is expected to grow as 2017 finishes up.

With domestic box office revenue decreasing every year, many production companies are forced to reexamine what type of movies they put out and how much money they are pouring into them.

Within a 5-10 minute drive of FM’s campus are two local movie theaters, Johnstown Movieplex and Emerald Cinemas in Amsterdam. Both theaters screen current movies with ticket prices lower than those of other big name theaters in the area.

Assistant Manager of The Johnstown Movieplex, Alexis Darling, said that the local theater has also been affected by the drop in moviegoers—a trend that she believes is due to a lack of interest in recent movies.

“We’re already a small theater as is, so when we get lower numbers it’s hard for us `cause we need the money to come in so we can stay in business,” said Darling.

Darling commented that the theater tries to draw in returning customers by having strong customer service and offering great deals as far as ticket prices and concession.

Darling stated that she personally thinks going to the theater is best way to watch movies even in our modern world.

“It’s authentic. It’s just a good experience, especially if the movie theater is nice and they have good customer service. I just love the experience of the whole thing,” stated Darling.

Students at FM also discussed their views on movie theaters.

Paul David Richardson, General Studies student at FM, said that he only goes to the movies about four times a year because very few movies interest him.

“My preferred method of viewing is renting them off YouTube mostly because I can choose from a vast selection and very few newer movies catch my attention enough to want to go see them in theaters,” said Richardson.

Richardson also mentioned that he does enjoy the theater experience every now and then. “It’s cool to see a movie on the big screen which gives viewing it a much grander experience,” said Richardson.

Communications and Broadcast Media Major Catalina Lange said that she goes to Emerald Cinemas in Amsterdam about once a month to watch movies that she doesn’t want to wait to watch on DVD.

“I don’t like the fact of waiting for things to come out on DVD. When it comes to RedBox they don’t always have what I’m looking for,” said Lange.

She said that she likes going to Emerald Cinemas because the tickets are cheap and it’s not overcrowded.

As the 2017 movie year wraps up,  entries such as “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” are expected to be profitable and get people out to the theaters.

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