VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) – Going to the movies has been declining in popularity since the pandemic with many people opting to stream movies from the comfort of their own homes. But could we be seeing a change in attendance at the movies?
Kevin Frazier, co-host of “Entertainment Tonight” says “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” have breathed life into the summer movie season, getting many people out of their houses to see the hype around these movies.
“People are going back, they want to see quality movies and finally we have movies,” Frazier said.
“Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” have pulled in huge box office numbers since premiering nearly two weeks ago, with Greta Gerwig’s Mattel adaptation sitting close to $1 billion dollars and Christopher Nolan’s World War II thriller coming up on $500 million.
“What we found is that people aren’t returning to movies yet, but they did a genius thing by packaging ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ together,” Frazier said. “If you’re going into the theaters, see both movies and enjoy both movies.”
Some moviegoers say for a while, they were hesitant to get back to theaters for health concerns plus the higher costs of seeing a movie. However, the current releases have the theaters seeing a true revival post-pandemic.
“There’s more hype around the movies coming out right now so that probably helps to get people out,” says Sidney Hearn, who saw “Barbie.”
“I think there’s a lot more popular movies coming out and like stuff that we’re excited to see,” says Ashley Armstrong who saw “Barbie.”
“Last time I went to a movie was in tenth grade like the theater since tenth grade,” says Octavia Harding, who saw “The Haunted Mansion.”
Frazier says while there’s a boom in the box office right now, the strike by writers and actors could greatly impact the entertainment industry for the rest of the year.
“The strike has to end,” Frazier said. “If the strike isn’t solved, it doesn’t matter how good these movies are, they’re going to get pushed back, award season is going to get pushed back and it could really be a death nail to the movie industry.”
Some moviegoers wonder where this strike will take the future of movies.
“The quality of movies may go down or some people may actually just rise to the occasion but more than likely, it’s just going to plummet down,” says Zachary Robinson, who saw “Talk to Me.”
“Especially we’ll see soon, but since these all were written and filmed before the strike maybe they’re still releasing them, but I think we’ll see an impact more coming up soon,” says Chris Nickell, who saw “Meg 2.”
Frazier says the strike has already caused the Emmys to be pushed back until January. If it’s not resolved by September, he says it could impact release dates for many upcoming fall and winter movies.