Who Goes To The Movies Anymore?

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Author and film critic, David Denby, sees major decline in movie theater attendance … and he blames Hollywood. In a 2012 piece for The “New Yorker” he says:

“In the 1930s, roughly eighty million people went to the movies every week, with weekly attendance peaking at ninety million in 1930 and again in the mid-1940s. Now about thirty million people go, in a population two and a half times the size of the population of the 1930s.”

What’s taking people’s attention away from the big screen?

“… everyone knows, television, the Internet, and computer games dethroned the movies as regular entertainment. By the 1980s, the economics of the business became largely event-driven, with a never-ending production of spectacle and animation that draws young audiences away from their home screens on opening weekend.”

Apart from the pull of the internet, Denby accuses Hollywood’s culture for pushing people away

“The structure of the movie business—the shaping of production decisions by marketing—has kicked bloody hell out of the language of film. But the business framework is not operating alone. Film, a photographic and digital medium, is perhaps more vulnerable than any of the other arts to the post-modernist habits of recycling and quotation.”


The shared “big-screen” theater is still a great entertainment experience for many American families. Are you still an avid moviegoer?

You can see Denby’s full article at

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