Based on Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) 2013 statistics released on Tuesday, March 25, at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, the number of Americans who regularly go to movies in the 18-24 age group has dropped by 21%. A decrease in attendance in the 12-17 age group has also been recorded, plummeting by nearly 15%.
According to a report by Boston Herald, regular moviegoers aged 12 to 24 are possibly doing their previous film viewing in front of other forms of screens, a trend that seemingly does not bother MPAA Head Chris Dodd. Dodd even guaranteed cinema owners that technology is not a threat to the film industry.
However, even if Dodd still positively thinks that Americans, across all ages, have love for the movies regardless of how they consume them, his belief appears to be in opposition with the recently released statistics, which shows an unprecedented double-digit fall in the percentage of younger frequent filmgoers.
In his keynote address at the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, Dodd said: "We need to keep exploring fresh ways of leveraging our new technology to drive traffic to your theaters."
He emphasized that the film and theatre industry can embrace technology, and use it as a tool to increase ticket sales.
"The reality is that technology without content is just technology," Dodd explained.
The MPAA statistics also showed that Americans who often go to the movies have more mobile devices, revealing that 74% of regular filmgoers own at least four tech gadgets.
President of the National Association of Theatre Owners, John Fithian, stated that the most important way to overcome the decline in number of young moviegoers is to provide a more diverse moviegoing experience so exhibitors can attract audiences of all ages.
Fithian also agrees with Dodd's point of view, saying that watching movies on tablets or other mobile devices can be advantageous to exhibitors. "People having lots of ways to watch movies is great for us," Fithian said in a post-presentation press conference. "They're embracing the culture of loving the movies."
In a positive note, the statistics showed that there was an increase in number of frequent moviegoers in the 2-11 age group in 2013. It increased to 4.3 million, up by 54% from 2012.