National data indicates that annual movie ticket sales have been at their lowest since 1995. Despite this, Zach Portelli, co-manager of the Oswego Cinema said he did not believe it was a cause for concern.
“It depends on what movie is out and also if college is in session. College students are a big demographic,” he said.
Even though ticket sales have been down, viewers have still kept up with the latest films, even if they have not been going to theaters. Websites, such as Netflix, have been growing recent years. As of January 2011, Nexflix had about 20 million users, which includes streaming videos online and getting DVDs sent in the mail.
Recently, Netflix changed its prices, but some customers still find Netflix to be well worth the money. Sophomore and Netflix user, Carlee Pacht, said that although she now only streams movies from the site, she still enjoys it “because they have a lot of movies and shows.” The only downside, according to her, “the movies aren’t always the newest ones.”
RedBox allows viewers to rent movies for as long as they choose, costing a dollar per day. At the end of June 2011, RedBox had more than 33,000 kiosks in more than 27,800 locations.
“I like it because it’s convenient, cheap and it has new releases,” said senior Lindsey O’Leary.
Movies being viewed online have affected local film makers as well. “We have noticed that more people buy our stuff video-on-demand style than on DVD,” said Jay Covey, producer for Mad Angel Films, based in Utica, N.Y. in an email. Covey said that 20 percent of people buy DVDs and the remaining 80 percent buy video on-demand.
Cost increases and different types of movie styling like 3-D include some of the reasons why people have not gone to the movies as much as they used to, but people do not plan on forgetting about seeing movies in theaters completely. Cinema and screen studies major, senior Nic Markham, said that even though there are so many different ways to watch, films are “primarily going to go through theaters for awhile.”
Another problem that may affect some college students is getting a ride to the movie theater. This is not a problem for students who attend Oswego State.
“I don’t think having to drive to the movie theater really impacts students because a lot of people carpool and it’s fun to get out rather than always staying in,” Pacht said.
If given the choice, many students would choose to see movies in theaters, as opposed to viewing them online.
“The big screen and the sound surrounding you,” Markham said. “It’s an event to go to a theater instead of sitting at home. And seeing a movie with a full crowd is great. Laughing with others or screaming with others, pure nirvana.”
Between seeing movies in a theater or on DVD, there is “no competition. You get more experience going to the movie theater than watching a DVD,” Portelli said.