If you had asked me this in the late 90s, in my teens, I would have said that I averaged probably 30+ movies watched a year. I believe in 1998 I actually saw around 40. Not ALL of them were gems, but the fact of the matter is, movies legitimately WERE a lot better back then. Yes, the CGI has gotten better, and certain filming tech has improved. But the creativity and inspiration certainly hasn't.
In the 2000s, the amount of movies I saw per year started to decline. I'd guess that maybe I saw, on average, 15-20, maybe, in that decade. And it certainly dwindled as the decade went on. And in the 2010s? It just kept declining, to the point that within the last 5-6 years, I think I've legitimately only seen maybe 3-4 movies, if I'm lucky, per year, on average. And I'm sorry to say, several of those were Marvel movies. And that's part of the problem. Disney practically owns the entertainment industry now, and keeps shitting out uninspired sequels, and remakes, and reboots, etc. And people lap that shit up. They keep making it, them AND other studios, because audiences still pay out the ass for these big blockbusters. For all the talk about how _____ film broke a new box office record, that's only because of inflation, and because I honestly feel that modern audiences have been conditioned to get excited for, and go see, these big, hollow "tentpole" releases, regardless of quality. The Disney "Star Wars" films are certainly proof positive of that. Yet the state of the Hollywood and modern film in general? If you ask me, it's pretty goddamn dismal right now.
The truth is, while I don't love having to deal with the inevitable annoying assholes in theaters, talking during the movie, kicking your seat, rustling a plastic box or some or snack loudly, etc, I DO love the movie-going, theatrical experience. For all that can be said for the comforts of home, the POSITIVE parts of the theater experience can't be replaced. However, that is not enough to make me want to see the garbage that Hollywood shovels out each year now. I don't think it's even just a matter of nostalgia, or "things were better when I was younger". I think it's the sad, literal truth, that Hollywood films have absolutely gone sharply downhill within the last 20 years.
The 80s was the high water mark. The 80s legitimately produced some of the very best films, of any genre you could care to mention, in the history of film. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Animation, Action, Drama, Comedy, you name it. It isn't just nostalgia. I think the 80s actually produced mega-hits, actual classics, in part because while Hollywood has always been a corporate, money-making machine, back then, they were willing to let people be more creative. They were willing to take more risks, with unproven ideas, with weird ideas, with experiments truly inspired shit. And you got Ghostbusters, you got Terminator, you got Back to the Future, and The Breakfast Club, and Short Circuit, and Rainman, and The Secret of NIMH, and The Black Cauldron, and Uncle Buck, and Big Trouble in Little China, and The Lost Boys, and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and The Running Man, etc. etc. etc. Not all of those were big box office hits. But they WERE made, and they were creative, and fresh, and now classics.
The 90s weren't AS high a period, but they were still a very high quality, productive time for film. You look at some of the highest grossing films from the 80s and 90s. You have Indiana Jones, and ET, and Beverly Hills Cop, and Crocodile Dundee, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Ghost, and Forrest Gump, and Titanic, and The Sixth Sense. Then you look at the highest grossing films of the last 10-15 years? It's gotten gross, and unsurprisingly, mostly Disney produced. And if not, STILL sequels or remakes or part of some franchise. If you ask me, the quality has dropped through the floor. We are, in this man's opinion, at the lowest point of quality, for mainstream Hollywood output, since the 1920s. And yes, as a student and lover of film, I am serious. That isn't said to be snobby. It's said because it breaks my heart. I genuinely hope that we see a renaisance at some point, where more films are made outside of what is left of the "Big Studio" system, and we see more films with imagination, and heart, that actually take risks again. But I'm not gonna hold my breath.
For 2020, of the films I'm aware that are coming out this year, I know of two that I want to see. One, The Game Chasers Movies, is indie, and KS funded. The other, Bill & Ted 3, is an unnecessary sequel that I'm hoping isn't as empty and pointless as Dumb & Dumber Too was. And that's basically it. The French Dispatch by Wes Anderson might be something I see, his films have rarely disappointed me, but I'm not excited for it. And as a movie lover, I gotta say...the current state of things really kinda sucks.