At the Academy Awards last year, they were basically begging for people to go back to the movies again. Ticket sales are way down from what they used to be, and they're rushing them to DVD to make up for it. People seem to not like going anymore.
I just got back from Snakes on a Plane, and it was far more than I expected. I thought it would suck, but I thought I'd laugh and have fun. I laughed and had a terrific time, but it really didn't suck. It made good on its promise. Everything that I hoped for was given. An interested audience, not missing key lines, and just being happy to be somewhere where people all seemed to "get" the movie.
They need to make more movies like that to get people into theaters. A theater is a horrible environment to watch a serious movie, since someone will always be bothering you with their behavior. The answer, which seems obvious in retrospect, is to make movies that are more enjoyable with the crowd. Comedies work. Serious films do not.
I can't wait for the sequel, and judging by the reviews on rottentomatoes, there will likely be one. If a film snob like me can sit back and enjoy a movie in a crowd, then anyone can.