Seth Rogen Compares Movie Theaters to Museums

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Former movie star Seth Rogen, who has transitioned into TV acting, humorously compared movie theaters to museums, providing a self-reflective moment.

“Paintings are still around. People still go to museums! There’s things flashier or more ‘interesting’ than…oil on canvas, but people still flock from all over the world, enough to keep museums open. Not a ton of people have to like movies to keep movies going. It’s always been a very small percentage of the population that actually goes and sees movies.”

This might be one of the funniest things Rogen’s come up with in a decade.

Additionally, Rogen acknowledged: “Not a ton of people have to like movies to keep movies going.”

Exactly!

That is absolutely true!

However…

The 2024 box office is still down 43 percent compared to the last pre-pandemic year of 2019 — 43 percent!

If just five percent of the American population went to a movie — a mere five percent — that movie would gross around $150 million domestically. Yet today’s movies are struggling to attract even that five percent.

Indeed, if merely one percent of the U.S. population — just one percent — went to see a movie, it would gross over $30 million domestically. Remarkably, many movies fail even to reach this number.

Nowadays, when a movie hits $100 million domestically, it’s often falsely touted as a hit. That’s absurd; the $100 million mark was a measure of success four decades ago in the 1990s. Considering inflation, that $100 million should equate to $200 million today.

We’re told Civil War is a hit, even though it topped out under $70 million. Adjusted for inflation, Civil War would’ve grossed just $34 million in 1995, and no one would have called it a hit then. We’re told Challengers has announced the arrival of a new movie star named Zendaya. Yet Challengers has made just $44 million domestically over three weekends, equal to $22 million in 1995 dollars.

The movie business is becoming a museum, a place people visit perhaps once every five or ten years. As recently as 20 years ago, movies were a significant part of life for millions, a shared entertainment experience where people came together to feel and express common emotions, where we saw our collective humanity explored, leaving the theater feeling more fulfilled.

Today, the cinematic landscape is filled with controversial content, moralizing narratives, questionable portrayals of human nature, and unrelatable characters. Audiences often leave theaters disappointed and disillusioned, questioning why they invested their time and money.

This reality impacted Seth Rogen as well. That’s why he transitioned to TV. His movies failed to attract even five percent of the population to enjoy his comedies.

John Nolte
John Nolte
Senior Writer.

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