Movie theaters want you back again, and they’re pulling out all the stops to get you. That means bars, restaurants, recliners and other goodies to make going to the movie theater a more enjoyable experience.
We asked readers whether all of these renovations are enough to get them back to the big screen, and what we found was … well, no.
In fairness, satisfied moviegoers are unlikely to respond to questions asking what it would take for them to go to the movies. But of the stay-at-homers who took the time to email, it wasn’t added perks keeping them away.
The disgruntled generally fell into two categories. The first and most common response we received was that people didn’t like the kinds of movies being produced today.
“What would get me back into the theater? How about some movies made for adults?” emailed Michael Goffredo of Boca Raton. “I am not interested in reclining seats, dining options or other such ridiculous perks. I would just like to see Hollywood produce more movies with adult appeal, instead of all the superhero nonsense that’s out there now.”
“I am so very tired of action dealing with guns, death and blood,” wrote Lynn Needham. “I want to be entertained. I want to feel happy, warm inside and satisfied when I leave the theater. When Hollywood steps up their act, then I will be more than happy to see a larger screen show.”
One reader even suggested just re-running oldies.
“Certain evenings, bring back classics,” wrote Catherine Nucifora of Sarasota. “Too many poor production movies. Actors are pretty to look at but overall don’t know their craft.”
Nucifora also said she wanted theaters to be a little cleaner.
The second major category of respondents wanted adults-only films — and that doesn’t mean an NC-17 rating.
“Expand their ‘adults only’ theaters, so that you can go to a movie, any movie, and not have to deal with kids,” emailed Jeff Barnes of Fort Lauderdale, who also wanted to see more reservations, express lines for ticket holders and a membership program that would give people a fast-pass in the snack line.
“I’d go if the theaters banned cell phones and they had selective show times for audiences over 21 years of age,” wrote Henry Johnson of Coral Springs.
It’s possible that this is all just the squeaky wheel getting the grease. Overall, moviegoers sure do like their kids movies and special effects, be they superhero or sci-fi.
According to Box Office Mojo, a website that tracks box office records, of the top 20 highest-grossing domestic releases of all time, every single one was science fiction, superhero or animated, with one exception — 1997’s “Titanic.”
Adjust for inflation, and the results are a lot different, with “Gone With the Wind” taking over the top spot from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and several other hoary films of yesteryear creeping into the top 20, including “The Sound of Music” and “The Ten Commandments.” But since the advent of CGI, if it’s not animated, sci-fi or superheroic — or better yet, some combination thereof (see “The Incredibles 2,” now at the No. 9 spot and still in theaters) — it’s not breaking box office records.