This seems like a big topic and a mystery to many but it seems pretty simple to me. Kids used to come to everything at the movies, they did not care, they'd buy a ticket to anything if their friends were going there. We, theatres, were the social media. Besides the phone and occasional school dances, and I'm not talking about the kids who were free to hang out downtown or at the mall, I'm talking about kids with parents who know what is happening. Or try to. Anyway: today with Facebook, cell phones, tumblr (yes there is more!) www.tumblr.com/why-tumblr etc. etc. and not to mention skype and iPads that talk wto each other and now kids come to a movie they want to see but if they want to see their friends: there's now a better way. If we want them back: it has to be good and it has to be fun.
Most of these high school kids also used to have a JOB ....and therefore more spending money ....and now they dont. Even the minimum wage bagging positions that they used to get at the local grocery stores are taken by other displaced workers.
And my oldest who graduated from college on the Dean's List two years ago is still at home because all he can find is a part time minimum wage job about 28 hours a week ... and of course this has no benefits.
Theatre owners have long held a myth that the theatre business is recession-proof .... well it isnt. Want proof ... most second run discount thatres are having a record breaking year while the first runs struggle. Secretly most second runs cheer evey time the first runs raise their ticket prices as it drives more people to their second run theatres.
BTW Mike... your tumbler link above does not work because you accidentally put a comma on the end of it.