Faced with stiff competition from alternative forms of entertainment such as Sony's
AMC and Loews, major players both, have announced plans to hook up and create a new corporate multiplex that would control nearly 6,000 screens. Congratulations, you two; you make a lovely couple. Still, it's hard for a movie buff not to wonder whether this particular love story may actually be a romantic comedy or, worse, a farce.
Even with the latest News Corp.
To wit: When you can hang at your pad and play ever more lifelike video games, or just have Netflix
Who, after all, wants to spend $30 or so on tickets and concessions for the "privilege" of having little Johnny kick the back of your chair while your fellow "adult" patrons chatter incessantly or actually answer their cell phones?
OK, OK: Perhaps I am a bit cranky. And who knows? It could be that consolidation is just what the industry needs, with economies of scale helping to offset the erosion of ticket sales.
Fact is, though, we simply have more -- and more appealing -- entertainment choices nowadays than we did even a mere five years ago. And with that in mind, the theater biz should probably get used to cutting a smaller slice of the entertainment-revenue pie.
Time Warner and Netflix are recommendations of the Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter service.
Shannon Zimmerman heads up The Motley Fool's Champion Funds newsletter service and currently thinks Napoleon Dynamite is the best movie since The Empire Strikes Back. No, he isn't kidding. Shannon doesn't own any of the securities mentioned above, and the Fool has a strictdisclosure policy.