“For many teenagers, the idea of focusing on a single screen for an extended stretch is anathema”, writes Brooks Barnes in the NYT.
What does this mean for the movie industry?
…what really has the exhibition industry unnerved are two statistics released in the spring by the Motion Picture Association of America. Last year, despite a glut of extravagant action movies, the number of frequent moviegoers ages 18 to 24 dropped 17 percent, compared to a year earlier; the 12-to-17 age bracket dropped 13 percent.
Will billions at stake now and tens of billions at stake in the future (if changes to consumer behavior today persist into the future, as they most certainly will), movie theaters are experimenting with everything from
…seats buck and dip in close synchronization with the action on the screen. Compressed air blasts from headrests to simulate flying bullets. Fans provide a gentle wind effect.
to letting audiences bring in their iPads, showing text messages next to the big screen (!!!), providing a “270 degree” experience and more, says Barnes.
And the results?
Audiences – in the coveted 18-24 young male segment that’s being targeted here – seem to like many of these “innovations”. But since the 24+ demographic segment bought 58% of all tickets sold (source: this MPAA report), at least in in 2013, there is hope for purists such as this blogger, at least for the next 3-4 decades.
Beyond that, we’ll probably just get movies streamed directly into our brains, with direct neurological stimulation to produce just about any emotion or feeling (who needs real seats that shake when your brain feels the ground shake with just a few micro-amps of directed current?), Matrix-style.