Recently, The Atlantic posted a story titled “Hollywood Has A Huge Millennial Problem” that blamed the movie industry’s box-office woes on young people who are “abandoning movies faster than any other group.” As the article says, millennials are simply too interested in “mobile devices and apps” to bother going to see movies that aren’t reboots or sequels like Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, which drives Hollywood to make more reboots and sequels even when they’re not as profitable as the studios hope. Naturally, these reboots and sequels then become more and more expensive as the studios try to distract millennials from their Snapchats, Instagrams, and official Chick-Fil-A apps.
However, Deadline says the problem isn’t that millennials are too interested in their phones to go to the movies, the problem is that they’re too interested in their phones to tell people that they’re going to the movies. According to the National Association Of Theater Owners (or NATO, as long as you explain the acronym first), a lot of statistics like the ones cited in the Atlantic story come from surveys that are “conducted via landline phones,” which is probably the least effective way to reach millennials—or anyone, really. Seriously, people send handwritten letters more often than they answer a landline phone these days. Anyway, not only does NATO disagree that young people are avoiding movies, it says that the millennial audience has actually been “growing by double digits for the last five years” and that the movies they go to see “are the premium, higher ticket price movies.”
So, as with most things these days, maybe the problem isn’t really millennials. Maybe it’s another loosely defined group of people that are easy to blame for everything, like hipsters. How many movies do hipsters see in the theaters? Probably none, because they’re too busy talking on landline phones.