New York Times reporter Laura

New York Times reporter Laura M. Holson is not Chicken Little. She is, of course, on to something…a turn of the cultural screw that has seemed evident to me for some time…in her 5.27 article about younger folks being less and less interested in going to theatres to see movies. The headline says it all (“With Popcorn, DVD’s and TiVo, Moviegoers Are Staying Home”) and while the drooping box-office over the last few months is about more than just this phenomenon, the leisure-time paradigm does seem to be shifting. A lot of people just watch the tube, rent DVDs from Netflix, instant message their friends, futz around with video games and go to theatres only to see monster attractions like Star Wars. It’s terrible in a way (the death of communal movie-watching would constitute one of the coldest social winds to ever blow through this country), but it’s not fantasy…and Movie City News‘ David Poland should know better than to dismiss this as another dubious report from “the paper of Wreckord.” Of course, movie quality has always been a key factor in attracting or repelling audiences. It is hugely ironic, to say the least, that Holson’s story quotes Amy Pascal, the Sony Entertainment motion picture group chairman who greenlit the two McG Charlie’s Angels films — certainly among the most wretched, big-grossing, shit attractions of all time — as saying with an apparently straight face, “We can give ourselves every excuse for people not showing up — change in population, the demographic, sequels, this and that — but people just want good movies.”

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