The cinematic use of high resolution, multichannel digital audio, with its capability to produce higher intensity (amplitude) sounds without distortion, has led to steadily increasing volume levels in movies. Persistent high volume levels lead to ear fatigue and I wonder if this fatigue makes it more difficult to clearly distinguish softer elements of the soundtrack like dialogue. It seems like a metaphoric association of dramatic intensity with sound intensity (volume).
This is a distinct aesthetic change from the use of sonic subtlety, nuance and musical means of expressing emotional intensity. In ‘blockbuster’ movies, a definitive cinematic shift has occurred, toward soundtracks with a primary focus on timbral (sound design) elements and massive loudness. http://kxan.com/…/02/14/testing-movie-theater-volume-too-l…/