I was browsing the online frontpage of my favorite news site this morning. A report that a movie, in it's second week of release, is a "flop" not because of critical review but because it "only made $5.3M last week" caught my attention. Really? Let's pretend that an average adult movie ticket costs $9 (not a scientific average...where I live tickets are $7-8 and in some cities they hit $12+, so this is my number. It'll work for this exercise). That means that over 588,000 people spent money to see it. Second week or not, that's a lot of people. And when the choice of whether to fill up your gas tank, take some clothes to the dry cleaners or see a movie is facing many people, that's a pretty good turnout.
More and more the "extra" money people had to spend on the little things is either missing - gone due to economic conditions - or moved to a new category in household budgets. The last time I went to see a movie at a theater was last May. Nowadays, I wait for it on pay-per-view so my entire family can see it for under $5. It costs us about $48 to go out to a movie together (without anything purchased at the concession stand!). I much prefer a night at home with the kids and making our own popcorn.
I've talked to a few friends and colleagues lately about the economic chaos in the world being likened to our modern day "Noah's Flood." Perhaps this is a really good time for people to reflect on what is really important in life and focus on the things that don't cost anything but time spent together.