More heading to theatre as real-life pressure builds up

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More heading to movie theaters during tough times

Some say this could be Hollywood's biggest year at the box office.

Movie-goer Aloen Kumlin says, "They give me a chance to get away from things and leave whatever work is behind and that kind of thing." Judy Robertson, another movie-goer, adds "I enjoy it. I've always enjoyed going to the movies and that will be the last thing I give up."

No matter what the state of the economy is, these two ladies are like many others who turn to movies to escape everyday life.

Dan Harkins explains, "When there's an economic issue, depression and recession you can see attendance in movie theaters go up because it's just so affordable."

Harkins, whose dad started the local home grown theater chain, is all about giving customers a deal. He says, "The T-shirt you buy and you get a free popcorn every time you go to the moviesand the cup, the souvenir cup, the loyalty cup gets you $1 refill. So if you come to a bargain matinee and you have your T-shirt and cup it's the best entertainment deal by far."

While people are still going to the movies, more and more are checking out comedies. Movie-goer Andrea Dinardo admits, "I think light-hearted movies right now, people want to have a good time, relax and not have to worry about something."

One such movie is Mall Cop starring Kevin James. It has grossed more than $121 million in sales since it opened in mid-January. Harkins explains, "It was never the dreams of any of the theater owners and studio that that was going to be the big hit in January but folks went to it because it's plain fun and so that's going to get more of a draw."

3TV caught up with movie critic Craig Outhier and while he believes people want to see comedies, the serious films could be just as popular. He says, "That's why a movie like Casablanca did great during World War II and even the Dark Knight last year in uncertainty and social upheaval and terrorism, that movie broke records."

Outhier also believes that people pick films based on the characters. "I don't think people like to go see characters they have nothing in common with and in today's day in age a lot of these characters are going to be suffering financially."

So whether you're going to the movies for fun or just to escape reality, Outhier says, "You can walk into a movie theater, go into outer space. You can fall in love with Kate Winslet and you walk out refreshed and really feeling like you've been on a mini-vacation."

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