Are big-screen TVs killing the film industry?

Why the Movie Industry is in Trouble

The movie industry is still making money. Lots of money, in fact. LCD TVs really took off in 2006, and every year since LCD technology has been improving and coming down in price, leading to heavier adoption of HDTVs than ever before [source: MSNBC]. During that same time, though, the United States box office upped its gross from $9.2 billion to $10.5 billion [source: Box Office Mojo]. But those numbers don't necessarily mean all is well in movie land. Overall revenue dipped slightly in 2010, despite the fact that movie ticket prices rose from an average of $6.55 to $7.89 between 2006 and 2010. While 2009 was a banner year for movies, in general the 2000s have shown a trend toward fewer tickets sold [source: Box Office Mojo].

By selling pricier tickets, the theaters have managed to keep their profits high. Higher-priced digital 3-D tickets has helped with that, adding several dollars to the average ticket price and driving sales of movies like "Avatar"  [source: Box Office Mojo]. As a short-term solution, movie theaters can compete with the living room big screen by offering 3-D movies, and the extra profit helps them make up for slightly lowered attendance. But 3-D sales trended downward overall in 2010, and certain poorly-reviewed films like "The Last Airbender" don't help build buzz for the technology [source: The Wrap]. High-profile releases like "Avatar" will likely still draw viewers to 3-D movies, and theaters will likely continue to add 3-D screens to support them. But the remains will audiences stay interested or will they start watching at home?