At a recent CinemaCon panel in Las Vegas, Studio and ticket-sales execs chatted about the 20 percent drop in box office sales this year and the power of social media, which could help reinvigorate growth. As newly appointed head of the MPAA Christopher Dodd puts it, "Studios are terrific at selling their films but terrible, just terrible, at marketing their business."

The hour-long presentation referred to the much-talked about Paramount "Demand It" campaign for 'Paranormal Activity,' and the use of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to connect Justin Bieber directly with the fans for his 'Never Say Never' 3D extravaganza. Still, industry leaders like Flixster co-founder and CEO Joe Greenstein are scratching their heads wondering, "There's got to be a way we can drive really meaningful 20 to 30 percent growth in attendance."


Social media could help change that, because as a recent poll demonstrates, those flashy print ads are being wasted -- seen by a mere 1 percent of the movie-going population. Greenstein reports that 40 percent of people Flixster surveyed found their movie showtimes and information on a mobile device. Another 40 percent turned to the Web to find the info. With only 1 percent turning the pages of a newspaper, this news confirms what any Captain Obvious can already sense: Print media is on its death bed.

While boosts in the business have come from the rising cost of ticket prices -- particularly 3D passes -- 2010 still tallied the second-lowest figure for theaters in the past 15 years. People like Dodd know that Hollywood's dwindling numbers are cyclical and " a content issue as much as anything."

While some studios believe 3D can help save the business, someone like Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations knows it's not a cure-all. "Hollywood has to convince people there's a reason to come to the movies this summer," he told USA Today. Hopefully exhibitors start making better use of their social media and online resources to do so.

Contribute to the discussion by casting your vote and letting us know how you find movie showtimes. [via: The Wrap]

How Do You Find Movie Showtimes?
On your mobile device50 (27.9%)
On the Internet122 (68.2%)
In the newspaper7 (3.9%)