The good news: The young generation that consumes all sorts of entertainment via iPods and the internet is doing more than anyone else to keep the big-screen experience alive. Rather than undermine the movie industry, these “third-screen” technologies are actually supporting it.
The bad news: Theatres are increasingly catering to this generation by creating “rowdier, text-friendly auditoriums” that encourage this generation to do all sorts of rude but increasingly common things like chatting and sending text messages while the movie is still in progress.
I am vaguely reminded of how, at the Wanted screening I attended a couple weeks back, a guy sitting across the aisle and a few rows down from me pulled out his cell phone and lit up its screen, and a security guard came up to him and asked him to turn it off. “But it’s silent,” the guy replied, as though that were the point. Never mind that the phosphorescent glow of his cell-phone screen was taking my eyes and many other people’s eyes off of the movie that we were all there supposedly to watch.
See also this recent comment by my CT Movies colleague Todd Hertz.