A lot of people who would not consider themselves to be fans of classical music differ from this stance in one crucial way; the number of film soundtracks which they have downloaded to their phone. While many people may think that the world of the classical composer has shrunk to a small niche, followed by a shrinking group of people, the opposite is true when it comes to film scores. Movie soundtracks are bigger than ever before. Music streaming services have allowed millions of people to start enjoying the sound of their new favourite movie the second that they walk out of the cinema screen, and composers such as Hans Zimmer can sell out massive arena tours, in the same way as any pop star of the current era. Lists such as the 50 best movie soundtracks generate vast amounts of online traffic and are a genuine talking point among fans.
Of course, it is difficult to directly compare the experience of a major film composer to the likes of Mozart and Beethoven, but one has to remember that they lived in a very different era. It is entirely possible that had a lucrative film industry been around, they would have been writing for the movies. It has to be remembered that most classical composers wrote for a commission, to celebrate significant events or for patrons. Now that this era has faded away, the commissions which come from Hollywood are probably the closest modern equivalent.