Movies. From since before we were born, to long after we're dead, movies have seemed to exist forever. We've all seen our fair share of movies. We've seen them in some in theaters, some on DVD, some on tape (if you're really old school). We remember good movies, reminisce about the great ones, and revile the bad ones, (sometimes too vigorously for our own good). But why? Why do we watch movies? Is it for entertainment? Loyalty? So we have something to talk about? I have no answers to these questions, but I will provide my thoughts and let you decide for yourself.
One of the reasons one might watch a movie is to be entertained. We watch movies to see a production meant for us to want to see it over and over again. Films are designed to tell a story, familiar or unfamiliar, and hold our attention. If a film has a bad plot, or the acting is slow and stiff, or a number of other factors, we don't consider a movie entertaining. We don't consider it worthy of our attention, and it usually fades. Good movies, however, get and hold our attention. They have a fully developed plot, smooth acting, and flowing scenes that tell the story in a way that really connects with the audience. Movies like that keep audiences coming back for more. They generate fans, and make big money at the box office.
For example, Frozen. The first animated film made directly by Walt Disney Animation Studios in over 50 years, Frozen captivated audiences as sisters Elsa and Anna discover new traits of their character. They also come to the realization that true love is the most powerful emotion to ever thaw a frozen heart. The point, though, is that the characters are held in the same place in most of our hearts as Snow White, Rapunzel, Mulan, and others. The screenplay was well written, the characters were memorable, and most of us know the lyrics to songs like In Summer and Let it Go (even if we didn't want to). The film entertained us, and as such we gave it our regard and love. Many people are loyal to the film, which brings me to my next thought.
We all have those movies we've loved so vociferously, that we will always see movies with that franchise, no matter how good or bad other people think that it is. Movies like Star Wars and Star Trek have massive fan bases, and communities solely based on elements from the films and TV shows. These fans dress as their favorite characters, go to conventions, share material with other fans, and encourage others to watch the films and shows. This is the reason that upcoming movies like Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens have such a massive hype train, or following. The third trailer has 31,894,696 views already, according to YouTube.com. Other movies like the J.J. Abrams version of Star Trek, have raked in massive profits. According to Wikipedia (keeping in mind that it isn't the most reliable source in the world),
Official screenings in the United States started at 7 pm on May 7, 2009, grossing $4 million on its opening day.
A loyal fan base will make even mediocre movies seem like a great success, even though the fans can be the hardest audience to sell to, given their penchant for being overly critical of their genre. Being loyal is one of the reasons that I've tried to see all of the Marvel movies that came out, regardless of what people said about the films. It's also why I try to follow the people who can give me information on my favorite movies and shows. But talk is also an important part of the movie watching community.
Discussion is one of the key points of watching movies. It includes everything from, "Dude, did you see that sick movie last weekend?" to "I think Han shot first!". It takes many forms, from deep to shallow, and provokes different thoughts and feelings among the community. As an example, a lot of people are talking about Star Wars: Episode VII, speculating on who the characters really are, what their significance is, and what each character's relation is to the other's. A lot of the talk is also complaints about who was cast, who is directing, and so on and so forth. But if everyone was satisfied with where movies went, then there would be no enlightening conversation. People discuss every nuance of every scene, and relive their favorite moments from the film (or trailer). And its not just avid movie watchers and fans. Many "normal" people also discuss films, especially if there is a big movie out. Discussion is something that everyone can partake in, even if they haven't seen the film, although they might not want to see it after discussing it with people.
Truth be told, there are more reasons that people, so many that if i tried to list them all, we'd be here all day. But whatever your reasons, whatever your motivations, I can be sure of one thing: you will probably see a movie because of one of the reasons I mentioned. And if you do see a movie in the near future, think about the reasons you went. It'll add to the discussion.