Movies haven't been the number one option for entertainment since TV knocked it off its perch in the 1950s, however, it's popularity as a regular entertainment option is currently in free-fall and there's no mattress on the bottom to catch it.
Why is this happening?
There are 4 major reasons for the decline of the movies with audiences...
1. CONVENIENCE: It's a pain in the ass to go to a movie nowadays. The days of just walking down to the neighborhood bijou are long over. To get to a movie you have to locate which theater is playing the movie you want to see, you have to drive over there, because it's usually in a mall in the suburbs, then you have to find a parking space, get in line, buy your ticket, buy snacks, then find the screen playing the movie you want among the 150 at the local googleplex, then find your seat.
If your bringing your kids to the latest animated opus then all those inconveniences go up exponentially.
2. COST: It's expensive to go to a movie. There's the price of the ticket, the snacks, but that's just the beginning, there's also the cost of the gas you burn getting to the theater, and the price of parking, on top of that too.
3. QUALITY: Let's face it, while the Hollywood high-poobahs may like to go around waving around a handful of mega-hits like The Avengers and singing "Happy Days Are Here Again!" but that's just to distract you from the fact that in recent years Hollywood has dropped more high-priced bombs than Curtis LeMay on a bender.
The Hollywood industrial mind-set is to take a familiar name, either in the form of a remake, a comic book character, or even a board game, spend the equivalent of the gross national product of a Third World country on celebrities and special effects, put no thought towards story, and hope that the audience falls for it.
It had worked for a while, but the novelty has worn off. The audience knows when it's being jerked around and will choose to stay at home with reason #4...
4. COMPETITION: The movie's biggest competition right now is TV, with the internet creeping upwards. However I think some form of TV will remain dominant for the next while.
Because when it comes to the four reasons movies are failing, TV has the movies beat.
The per-hour costs of cable and satellite TV is a mere fraction of the per-hour expenses of going to the movie theater. Even though most "packages" saddle you with channels you never watch, the market will eventually evolve to provide more a-la-carte channel or even programming choices.
Then there's home video in the form DVD sales and rental, or some sort of streaming service. Both are cheaper per hour than going to a movie in the theater, and waaaay more convenient.
That brings us to quality.
Quality programming, shrewdly marketed can be very lucrative because the multiple convenient options the audience has in the TV universe means that you have to bring your "A-Game" in the form of a steady output of quality new programming that has originality and intelligence to keep eyes on you.
The movie business still thinks that everything revolves around teenagers, and that all teens need are tits and explosions. But even teens, the epitome of cultural stupidity, are starting to get bored with it all.
If you see something you don't like on TV, you can change the channel, or turn it off, without the thought that you wasted money and effort to go see this piece of crap.
That's what I think, tell me what you think in the comments.