Media Advisory: Summer blockbusters: To go or not to go

According to an annual survey by Edleman, moviegoing has dropped significantly. Only 3 percent of U.S. consumers say a night at the movies is a frequent source of entertainment—down from 28 percent two years ago.

“Since Hollywood is going with the same old thing on the big screen audiences are enjoying other options,” says Mary Dalton, professor of communication and co-director of Wake Forest’s Documentary Film Program. “There are also some terrific shows on television now, especially on some of the cable channels, which spread new episodes across the year and minimize reruns, even in the summer, making television a viable alternative to a trip to the movies”

With movie ticket prices ranging from $6.75 to $14.75 in the Triad, date night or family night means thinking carefully about the expense, especially if you add popcorn and a drink. Dalton offers these tips for increasing moviegoing value when you do decide to open your wallet.

Choose 2D format films over 3D versions. “Hollywood has over-produced high concept, 3D films aimed at a young demographic, and while many of those films are very expensive to make and market, they aren’t always very good, especially in terms of storytelling rather than spectacle, and they are not very distinctive.”

Look for films made for underserved demographics. “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel proves that if you make a reasonably good movie for underserved demographics, you can still get people to the theater.”

Enjoy the movie experience. The movie experience offers relaxation and time to get away from the world. “I really relax in the cinema—no cell phone, no interruptions — so it’s almost always worth it to me to watch a film in the cinema,” says Dalton. There’s also the fun of sharing the experience with others who are excited about seeing the movie.

Go to matinees, and sign up for reward cards. It may not be as exciting as going  to the movies in the evening, but it is the same film, says Dalton. And reward cards periodically give free sodas, popcorn and tickets.

Try a second-run cinema. “In cities that have clean, well-maintained second-run cinemas, those are an excellent bargain for preserving the big screen experience at a steeply reduced ticket price. Concession prices are usually also deeply discounted.”

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