Introduction ways. The cinema has played a very

Introduction

     In modern world, the media is consumed by
every individual person. This age is the called as the digital age. There have
been many transitions in the media consumption process. The history of media is
a vast subject to study on. As the technology is developed the media takes a
new turn and twist in it’s consumption. There are televisions, radio, cinema,
theater, social media channels like YouTube, Instagram etc. that are the media
channels to keep the audience engaged. However, new technology based media
platforms are dwelled on the base of old technologies that were the mainstream
media in older times. The audience that consumes the media plays a vital role
in influencing the media. Among all these media platforms, talking about the
Cinema, there has been a huge change in the audiences consuming this medium of
entertainment.

     I am notably interested in the ways that
however individuals developed bound ritual uses of cinema. My intention is to
research practices, bound habits and behaviors of cinema going audience.

 

 

 

     The cinema
in 21st century has been producing as well as disseminating mass
popular culture. The cinema in 21st century is usually overlooked in
number of other ways. The cinema has played a very important role in
mediatisation of the society. Looking back at the time when the first cinema
was released, there were many people who viewed it in mass. The use of a film
projector and a camera resulted in a cinema. It was the very first electronic
medium in human history to create a mass audience. The cinema started to teach
people how to live with and within the media.

     Looking back in late 19th
century, the motion picture technology was emerging after the invention of
Kinetoscope by Thomas Edison along with his lab assistant William Dickson, kinetoscope
gained quality, the Thomas Edison Company began putting in machines in edifice
lobbies, amusement parks, and penny arcades, and shortly device parlors where
customers might pay around twenty five cents for admission to a bank of
machines had opened in country. However, once friends and collaborators advised
 Thomas Edison to notice the way to
project his device pictures for audience viewing, he apparently refused,
claiming that such associate degree invention would be a less profitable
venture (Britannica). But eventually as the development in technology took
place, audience viewing came into existence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kinetoscopes
hitting the headlines and earning few audience to use the technology.

 

 

     For the bulk of its silent era, from its
growth into a mass amusement within the decennary until its transition to sound
in 1929 it absolutely was wide accepted that Hollywood was, as its

advocates
insisted, a ‘family’ establishment. North American cinema began to transcend its
primitive origins, producers and exhibitors consciously selected to expand
their market

beyond
a core working-class consumer-base by representing their medium as a ‘family’ amusement.(Noel
Brown, 2013)

      The history of these technologies say
that these mediums did not have or hardly had any audience at the first place.
The audience gradually started to develop as the motion pictures were open for
public viewing. People gathered in mass and watched motion pictures making it
as a mass audience viewing. When the demand for motion picture grew, production
firms were created to satisfy it. At the height of record player quality in
1910 (Britannica Online), there have been twenty approximately major picture firms
within US. However, heated disputes usually skint out among these firms over
patent rights and business management, leading even the foremost powerful among
them to concern fragmentation that may loosen their hold on the market
(Fielding, 1967).

      The audience in the early era was very
away from uniformity. Immigrant audiences from city had a very different
reaction compared to the rural audiences to the various scenes of the movie
that incorporated urban life. Taking the African American audience into
consideration, the reaction from them were different to the racial humor as
compared to the white audience for whom these movies were particularly made.
Just like today, gender, ethnicity and class hold the audiences apart and this
reflects the screenings of the films. During the first decade of the film
exhibition which was during 1896-1806, films were not only bound to special
theaters but also to variety of venues. Cinema’s first two decades have shown a
radical change in the audiences viewing the cinema. Most of the people accepted
it Cinema as a form of vaudeville program (A style of multi-act theatrical
entertainment originated from France and which flourished in Europe and North
America from the 1880s to 1920s). The vaudeville were primarily attended by
middle class and low middle class audiences.

    After the motion picture firms, there was a
new channel to view the cinema. The audience shifted towards a new form of
viewing the cinema called as Nickelodeon. S. Porter, an engineer working at Thomas
Edison Company was the most innovative film makers. His 12 mins. film that was The
Great Train Robbery (1903), poor with the stage like compositions of
Méliès-style films through its use of rear projection, redaction, camera pans,
composed shots that helped in keeping the action in continuity. The Great Train
Robbery did not establish the realistic narrative as a customary in cinema
solely, it was also the first major box office hit. Its success promoted the
idea of expansion of the industry, while recognizing the motion picture’s moneymaking
potential, began gap the primary permanent film theaters all over the country. It
was known as Nickelodeon due to the admission charge being paid, which was only
5 cent. Around 9,000 nickelodeons appeared in US between the year 1904-1908. It
was nickelodeon’s quality that had set film as a mass amusement medium. The
Nickelodeon around the country resulted in a new shape to the audience viewing
experience of media. These Nick theaters mostly attracted the working-class
people across the country. People could afford the nick ticket price. They
started liking the theater’s casual atmosphere. The film being short for around
30-40 minutes, kept the audience glued and this was not at all the wastage of
time for the audience.

        Nickelodeons exploded onto the scene in
major cities in these years; there have been in all probability additional
nickelodeons then than motion picture theaters these days. Critics and
supporters alike stated the jukebox because the “poor man’s theater”
or “the poor man’s club.” The latter term was particularly applicable
since these tiny theaters provided the occasion not just for film viewing
except for meeting. Early audiences displayed a community spirit fostered
partly by attractions like the “Illustrated Song,” during which
audiences joined performers by following the lyrics projected on the screen.

 

 

 

     

Nickelodeon
Screens that came into the entertainment industry between 1905-1907.

 

Inner view of the Nickelodeon screens.

         After this period in entertainment
world, there were the audience platform in this sector underwent many changes.
This was because of the World War effect. By World War I, there were many
transformations seen in the movie going audience. From the worker class to
middle class, the audience included all the classes and it became a united
crowd for the purpose of entertainment. During the timeline of 1917-1960, which
was said to be the heyday of Hollywood, movies were recognized as an
entertainment for all class. American cinema had an aim to please out all
audience with a broad point of view. Eventually they succeeded in doing so.

         With the different class of audience
watching the cinema together under one roof, there began a shift of the
audience viewing in late 1960s. Movies of that time began attracting a younger
demographic, as a growing range of teenagers were drawn in by films like Arthur Penn’s Bonnie
and Clyde (1967),
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001:
A Space Odyssey (1968), Dennis Hopper’s Easy
Rider (1969)
and Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969),
 all revolutionary in their genres—that
displayed a sentiment of unrest toward typical social orders and enclosed a
number of the earliest instances of realistic and brutal violence in film.
These four films especially grossed such a lot cash at the box offices that
producers began churning out inexpensive copycats to attract a replacement,
profitable market (Motion Pictures). whereas this crystal rectifier to an
increase in youth-culture films, few of them saw nice success. However, the new
liberal attitudes toward depictions of sex and violence within these films
depicted an ocean of modification in the film industry that manifested in
several movies of the Nineteen Seventies, as well as Francis Ford Coppola’s The
Godfather (1972), William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973), and Steven
Spielberg’s Jaws (1975), all 3 of that saw nice money success (Britannica
Online; Belton, 1994).

         The term used as Blockbuster for a hit
movie got a new definition. The movies were targeted for certain period and
then released during that time. As, there were number of youths changing the
shape of audience viewing a movie, the producers and directors aimed for this
new bunch of crowd. It all started with the release of Jaws by director Steven
Spielberg. This movie was the first of it’s kind in terrifying the audience. It
was adapted from a novel by Peter Benchley. In the days of summer when the
youth crowd have their days off at schools and colleges, and plan to chill at a
beach or sea shore, the movie with a shark attacking in the sea created a havoc
among the crowd. This was planned particularly to terrify the audience about
the coastal areas when they have a fun time in summer. This movie smashed the
box office records itself says that there was an increase in the number of cinema
around the country. The record says Jaws was released in 600 theaters
simultaneously.

 

     In the upcoming years after Jaws was
released with the targeted audience in mind, the entire calendar for releasing
the movies was changed. Well targeted audience and changes in strategy was
coming more into picture. The mass audience for a movie has a new definition. What
was novelty had become usual. Two years from Jaws, Star Wars did the magic
again. The ‘opening day audience’ for a movie came into count. After the smash
hit opening of Star Wars, a George Lucas film in 1977, a small sci-fi movie got
a wake-up call for the industry. From there onwards movies kept on being an
attraction to the audience with the development of technology and a shift in movie
going audience occurred. The movies were categorized in genres. The audience
started favoriting the type of genres and watched the movies.

        With the development of technology, the
number of film going audience was dropped after the televisions and smart TV
came into existence as a mainstream media. Every house in United States had TV
for entertainment. Internet and dish cables broadcasted the movies on TV after few
months. Hackers started pirating the films and made it available on Internet
for free. Audience did not feel the urge to go for films anymore. Only the
films with big brands, big names, a historical background and with explicit
content made to the box office hits. Not all movies were full house or got a
good response from audience as there was much more content available to
entertain them. Many studies have been done to understand how the theatrical
attendance was shaped.

        

 

 

 

        The movie going audience had been
categorized in age groups. The following graph gives the statistical analysis
on how the attendance was recorded among the different age groups that the
movie going audience was part of from the year 1974 to 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a statistical graph of the frequency
of how many time the movie viewing audience visited cinema theaters to watch a
movie. This was also recorded after categorizing different age groups from the
year 1974 to 2016.

 

 

 

Attendance rate (%)1                   Frequency2

      Age Grps 
14-24                 25-34 yrs                35-49 yrs              50+ yrs                   14-24
     25-34      35-49       
50+

     Year

1974 91.9%     79.7%     61.1%     42.1%     16.4 8.7  6.9  5.6

1976 94.4%     77.4%     60.2%     35.9%     14.3 7.3  5.4  4.7

1978 91.9%     67.6%     56.2%     35.9%     14.5 9.0  5.7  4.7

1980 91.3%     71.3%     55.1%     35.7%     14.2 7.9  5.7  4.7

1982 92.2%     69.7%     57.6%     30.3%     10.4 7.1  5.5  4.3

1984 81.6%     55.9%     50.1%     33.9%     10.2 4.0  2.6  1.6

1986 85.3%     60.2%     51.5%     28.7%     12.6 9.6  8.0  7.2

1988 86.8%     64.6%     52.4%     34.7%     13.1 11.0 8.5  8.6

1990 87.4%     62.1%     58.4%     37.0%     12.7 10.5 9.2  8.9

1992 87.0%     69.0%     62.0%     42.0%     12.4 10.6 9.1  9.1

1994 88.7%     73.2%     67.7%     49.0%     12.2 10.5 9.4  10.1

1996 92.4%     79.3%     74.1%     51.8%     13.0 11.3 10.0 10.6

1998 91.0%     80.1%     73.4%     53.8%     10.6 8.5  6.6  7.5

1999 91.5%     80.3%     72.9%     54.0%     11.3 8.4  6.5  7.4

2000 89.8%     79.2%     70.6%     51.3%     10.8 8.4  6.7  7.6

2001 89.0%     78.2%     72.0%     52.6%     10.3 8.1  7.1  7.7

2002 89.8%     79.8%     73.4%     56.6%     10.2 8.3  6.7  8.1

2003 88.9%     78.3%     72.8%     55.4%     10.2 8.2  6.6  7.8

2004 90.0%     79.3%     73.1%     57.0%     9.8  7.8  6.5  7.4

2005 87.1%     74.6%     69.6%     54.3%     9.3  7.6  6.1  7.3

2006 85.2%     73.2%     69.1%     54.8%     8.9  7.4  6.1  7.3

2007 84.4%     72.9%     68.0%     54.0%     9.0  6.7  6.0  7.2

2008 84.1%     69.9%     68.8%     53.0%     9.3  7.6  5.6  6.9

2009 85.9%     72.8%     69.4%     56.9%     9.7  7.3  5.9  7.0

2010 84.6%     76.0%     70.9%     55.7%     9.3  7.4  5.7  6.9

2011 85.6%     72.4%     68.8%     55.8%     9.2  6.8  5.7  6.8

2012 85.8%     73.5%     68.9%     57.8%     8.5  6.6  5.5  6.9

2013 86.2%     76.1%     70.1%     58.4%     7.6  6.7  5.4  7.5

2014 84.4%     73.8%     68.1%     57.9%     7.9  6.9  5.6  7.0

2015 85.0%     75.1%     68.9%     58.8%     7.7  6.4  5.3  6.8

2016 85.7%     75.7%     73.4%     61.1%     7.9  6.1  5.4  7.0

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

       The entertainment industry always had twists and turns in the audience
count. From the high class audience to middle class audience viewing the media
under different roofs and mediums, up to the time when all the audience including
the poor class of audience came under one roof, was a gradual development in forming
a uniform audience. The history of media in terms of technology played a vital
role in forming the audience. The study reveals the characteristic of the
cinema culture shaping the shift in the audience.

        New practices were invented. They were constantly
repeated and internalized. Cinema ritualization became an integral part of
socialization among the audience. With change in the age of cinema, technology,
digital media has affected and paved a way for a new audience viewership. Films
were once consumed only in the cinema theaters. Nowadays films can be consumed
through several media such as cinema,
DVDs, DIVX, Television, Video, Internet, Interactive TV to mobile phones. Due
to the radical changes in technologies, cinema audiences of the digital age
‘become increasingly producers, commentators and even participants, rather than
merely spectators of cinema’s folklore – with the potential of screen
entertainment to become literally interactive’ (Christie 2012: 21) Going to the
cinema is these days now not a special event, however this will not mean that
cinema culture is disappearing; on the contrary, new ritual practices area unit

invented
by cinema shoppers, that area unit much more interactive, mediate and indirect
as were in any time in history, however area unit still weaving around cinema
going as some way to relax,

as
some way to travel on a date, to socialize, or to expertise concern, amazement,
surprise, joy.