While it might have been an exciting and romantic date idea in the '90s, most people would agree these days that going to the cinema is more stress than it's worth — mostly because the price of tickets, the number of people on their phones during the movie, and the length of the ads pre-movie have been increasing faster than it takes to say "Netflix and chill."
So it'd make sense to assume the movie theater industry was slowly accepting defeat against handheld devices and the possibility of watching pretty much any movie from the comfort of your own bed (or toilet seat), attempting to make one last profit by selling a bag of candy at the price of six or seven DVDs. But that's not the case. According to data compiled by Buzzfeed and Box Office Mojo, ticket sales in the US have actually started to go back up!
Domestic Movie Ticket Sales Are On The Rise
The movie theater industry might have hit a low point in 2013, but sales have been going up ever since, with a 5.5 percent increase in ticket sales compared to last year. This is the highest point sales have reached since 2004, and there's a few reasons behind that.
The first is the variety of offers. Among the films having made over $100 million since the beginning of the year, there's a little bit for everyone. From Hidden Figures to Logan to Get Out and Beauty and the Beast, the offering in cinemas has been diverse as much in terms of cast as audience. Most importantly, this is the highest the number of these domestic box office hits has been in 20 years.
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- 2016 Postmortem: How Did 'Passengers' & 'Assassin's Creed' Become Major Box Office Bombs?
Why Do People Feel Like Going To The Movies Again?
The second reason behind American audiences' newfound motivation for taking trips to the cinema isn't the variety of movies on offer — it's what happens outside of the theater. Entertainment obviously provides a form of escapism, and when news just seems to be overwhelmed with negative events, there's nothing like a big flashy blockbuster to clear your mind.
As moviegoers Ben Comer and Kent Peterson put it to Buzzfeed News:
"Honestly, I go [because] it's my escape. With all the political drama and news — I like to escape from reality."
"It's a nice break from the news. Also, it's a good way to meet up with friends and talk about something other than politics."
Similarly to the spike of 2002 after the 9/11 attacks (see the first chart above), Americans are turning to diversions from the current political climate. At least there's one industry that Trump can pride himself on boosting!
Do you like seeing movies in the theater, or would you rather watch them at home?