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Subtitles vs dubbed Movies

Recently I wanted to watch a movie at the cinema with a friend of mine, so we looked through the program and noticed that pretty much all movies were only shown in the dubbed version. That pissed me off, what is happening to my local movie culture?

I used to work at a multiplex and the reason we’ve given for this trend was always

dubbed versions sell more tickets than the original versions

I remember back then that I started to count sold tickets for newly released blockbuster movies and compare the English with the dubbed version to see if that statement was actually correct. The result (at least for my few test cases) wasn’t that dubbed versions sold many more tickets, it was evenly split actually, but then the big bosses might have more data to make their case. But for me it wasn’t just about selling more tickets, I firmly think that people wouldn’t just stop going to the cinema to watch movies if they are all shown in their original version.

Back in the day when I was just a kid all the movies were only shown in the original version with subtitles, only a few exceptions had a dubbed version as well, mostly animated and James Bond movies. For us that was normal and we never complained about having to READ during a movie. That’s the reason a lot of young people gave me when we told them that there’s only an original version showing tonight. So sure, you just wanna sit comfortably in the chair, glance at the screen and enjoy the pictures, I get that when I’m at home on my sofa and feeling really tired and not give a fuck what movie is playing. BUT if I actually want to WATCH a movie, take everything in, I want to hear the actors original voice, hear his feeling expressed through it.

So I’d love to see the cinema chains in Basel grow a pair (looking at you Pathé) and actually start showing more original content again, people won’t stay at home, believe me. Plus you’re doing something to educate the population. I think there are studies which prove that hearing a foreign language improves your pronunciation and if you hear complete sentences and read what they mean you actually learn the language at the same time.