Theater’s Declining Popularity and the Biggest Releases That Can Reclaim Audiences

Movie theaters have gone down in popularity. Covid-19 is a factor, but the biggest factors involve streaming services and prices. Teenagers, especially, are not as interested in going to the cinema. According to Forbes, 55% of people say they would rather stay home and watch movies. 50% said theaters are too expensive. Despite the declining popularity of theaters, there are huge releases that do not go to streaming until much later after their theatrical release.

The horror film M3gan, released on January 6, has so far been the most popular film this year. It was a surprise hit that already has a sequel in the works. February through July is already packed with anticipated films.

On February 17, Marvel Studios’ Antman and the Wasp Quantumania is going to be released. It is the third film in the Ant Man series, and a fourth is already in discussion. March is filled with anticipated releases. Creed 3, directed by the star of the trilogy, Michael B Jordan, is going to released on March 3. Scream 6, the sixth installment of the popular Scream franchise, may be the most anticipated of the month and is scheduled for release on March 10. Keanu Reeves returns as John Wick in John Wick 4 on March 24. 

Moving into spring, releases are even more anticipated. The Super Mario Bros Movie, which has been talked about everywhere since its casting of Chris Pratt as Mario and the praised animation graphics in the trailer, releases April 7. May is another month full of eagerly awaited movies. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, the third, and presumably final, installment of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy series is set to release May 5 and could even possibly be one of the highest grossing films this year. Fast X is the tenth film in the long running Fast and the Furious series and releases May 19. 

Kicking off summer blockbuster season, is Spider-Man Across the Spider Verse on June 2. The animated Spider-Man film is one of the most awaited for films after the overwhelming success of its predecessor Spider-Man Into the Spider Verse. Harrison Ford returns as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones: Dial of Destiny on June 30. No films have been released since 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which was met with mixed audience reception. The last major film in July is Barbie starring Margot Robbie as the titular character. The casting and images of her in costume have become iconic in pop culture. The film is set for release on July 21. 

Horror Movie Stereotypes and How They Formed the Genre

For many decades, horror movies have been popular. There are many character types from films that are highly referenced and parodied in today’s culture.

Classic horror films like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, which are often considered the most influential to the genre, all popularized different types of characters in horror films. Their influence shows in the horror genre even today.

Recent horror films like It, Don’t Breathe, and the 2018 Halloween sequel of the same name, Halloween, continue using character tropes established by preceding horror films, but usually do them in more self-aware ways. Some horror films, such as Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Cabin in the Woods, reference and make fun of how the characters act while still using them to tell its story.

The “final girl” is a character type and possibly the most popular trope in the genre. They are often the last character left at the end and are the ones who notice something is not right throughout. There is sometimes a “final boy,” who is either with the “final girl” or substitutes for the “final girl.” It is typically a single woman in the role. One of the most famous examples is Laurie Strode from the Halloween franchise.

Another popular character type are non-believers. They are typically in supernatural horror movies and are infuriating to audiences. They make explanations for weird occurrences and choose not to focus on what is actually going on and condemn the other characters as crazy. They eventually learn their lessons when it is too late. Two popular non-believer characters are the parents of final girl Nancy Thompson in the 1984 film A Nightmare On Elm Street.

A popular character type, is the harbinger of doom. They are perceived as crazy but are actually warning the characters of real danger. Their warnings are ignored and not taken seriously. This type of character became popular in the original Friday the 13th all the way back in 198o, with a character known as “Crazy Ralph.”

Other types of characters include the the red herring, which can be shared with multiple characters, an older authority figure, and, in more self-aware horror movies, a character that points out horror tropes. These characters make up most horror films. When done correctly, it creates a truly great film. When having a horror movie marathon this year, pay attention to the characters tropes.