For years, Hollywood has banked ever more money, mostly on established movie franchises, unwilling or unable to bet on less certain ventures. The end result has been a predictable staple of 3-D action hero movies and sequels that draw the same crowds, season after season.
This dependence on blockbuster films to perpetuate a cycle could cause a film-making catastrophe. Famed director Steven Spielberg is on the record as saying that it's harder and harder for new ideas to make it through to studio production. And he thinks it's likely that a string of embarrassing and expensive flops will turn the entire industry upside down [source: Bond].
The end result might be better movies.
If and when Hollywood relearns that storytelling trumps special effects, movie theaters stand to benefit in all sorts of ways, and audiences do, too. People would suddenly have new reasons to return to a public theater instead of hunkering down at home, anti-social and alone, watching lower budget but better quality programming.
There's a psychological benefit to the act of gathering to witness films with other humans. Perhaps more than technological advances and gee-whiz gadgetry, it's solid storytelling amongst others in our tribe that makes films so magnetic.
Director James Cameron thinks that theaters will last for a thousand years, saying that people have a need to enjoy films in a group setting. But that's far more likely to happen if we don't have to suffer through 999 more years of sequels in the "Transformers" franchise.