Even As They Deny It, Hollywood Recognizing How To Sell Movies

from the amazing dept

It's been amusing to watch the movie industry continually blame technology and file sharing for declines, rather than (as a few admit) having a bad product. We've discussed repeatedly how the industry can fight back against file sharing by improving the movie going experience, but the same thing applies to DVDs as well. Even though people can download movies, often the fun of owning a DVD is all the additional features and extras on that DVD. And, even as they continue to blame file sharing, it appears that the studios recognize this. They're continually trying to add new and appealing "extras" to DVDs, and have found that people seem to really like things like cut scenes and alternative beginnings and endings. It's all about the product -- and how the product can offer a much better experience that things that are just offered for download. Of course, one thing they have to be careful about is not overdoing it. The article notes one movie that's already been released on DVD that is about to be rereleased with more extras. I have a few DVDs where this happened as well -- and it's annoying. People who already bought the DVD don't want to then find out that there's another DVD with just a few more extras. It makes them feel cheated. Just offer up the first DVD with a lot of extras and make everyone happy.


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  1.  
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    ZOMG CENSORED, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 10:46am

    Lord of the Rings...

    ...killed my friend's wallet. He bought each set (with the collectors item) just for all of the extras and added minutes to the movies. I like this idea, actually, I love it, but the price needs to come down a bit.

    I think that's what is really hurting the industry, overpricing. Charging an extra $20 for the same movie plus a bunch of features is a bit unreasonable... I wouldn't mind $10 but that extra $20 is too much for us Cinemaphiles out there.

     

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  2.  
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    Justice, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 10:54am

    Theatre Cooperation

    What needs to happen is better cooperation with the cinemas. The movie going experience has gone down, not just the quality of movies. For example, walking into my local Pacific Theatres, I can smell the rancid leftovers of hot dogs, popcorn, jalapenos and nachos; my shoes stick to the leftover residue of previous Coke and Sprite cups; and my eyes squint at the screen trying to overcome all the smudges and scratches. Why aren't these theatres fined by the movie companies? They are losing revenue on crappy environment!

     

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  3.  
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    LoneWolf, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 11:13am

    No Subject Given

    The quality of movies has definately declined. I only see several movies a year now, but only after they get extensively great reviews and many people I know also suggest it. This doesn't happen very often. When it is a really great movie I buy the DVD as well. And for extra features, this is definately a added value. Take LotR for example. I gladly waited for the extended edition box set to come out and was more than happy to pay extra for it and have no regret whatsoever.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 11:40am

    They need a clue

    Hasn't the MPAA done any market research? I don't know very many people who go to the movies that often. I go more lately than previously, but mostly because we have a new, clean theatre 10 blocks from my house. I can't afford $20 for movie tickets plus babysitting. But I can afford $20 for a dvd, or just get in on NetFlix. Mostly I think movies generally suck and aren't worth the admission price.

     

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  5.  
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    Rootman, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 11:46am

    Or is it actually . . .

    not the movie that's bad but the experience that's bad and lends itself to staying home and (eventually) watching it pay-per-view or Netflicks?

    I went to see King Kong last week. After a slow fight with traffic, getting in a long line at the theater, waiting for 15 minutes for the box office to open - late, having to wait on the inexperienced ticket seller being trained on the job to eventually give my both my tickets AND my credit card receipt we finally got in and slumped down in our seats to wait for the show. After watching commercial after commercial interspersed with coming attractions the movie finally started. A few reels into the film during one of the films climactic moments the opening slide show started up again and the house lights came up, the technological equivalent of the "film breaking". A few minutes went by and I finally went out to the lobby to find someone to fix the technical problem. All that were available were pimply faced kids who didn't / couldn't understand the problem. After explaining the problem to 3 people I was assured they would "fix you right up". 5 minutes later the film restarted.

    This is not the first time this has happened, it happens with alarming regularity, either that or the sound fails. There never seems to be anyone in the projection room any more it is all automatic.

    I came away with the thought that "Gee, this will be great to see on pay-per-view in a few months". Maybe next time I'll just skip the theater and wait for it on PPV instead. WAIT! I already do that for a lot of movies, seemingly more and more each year. With my large screen TV, surround sound and DVR it's just not worth the hassle to go out to the movies any more.

     

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  6.  
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    joey, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 11:47am

    Evil Dead/Evil Dead 2 Book of the Dead edition

    The last two dvd's i bought i already HAD copies of.

    But damn... what kind of ED2 fan would i be if i didnt have the Book of the Dead?

    For the Rest, i have blockbuster online. Why not Netflix? because i get two free rentals at the store, and i get PS2 games for my son.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 12:05pm

    if they really want to make it better

    force the theaters to cut their effing costs.

    I don't mind paying 7 bucks or so for a movie (some places charge 10-15 bucks, which sucks even more).

    What I DONT like paying for (and never do ) is the items at the concession stand. I know I know I know, they have to make money etc.................

    but fuck that, no offense but to charge $4.00 for a bottle of soda, just pisses ppl off.

    Regardless of how you look at it or try to defend it, its called "price gouging".

    That's the only name you can give for a 400 to 500 % markup.

    I like going to the movies more than watching them on TV, even on my 56" widescreen. Just something about it.

    But thats just me, and its only "slightly" off topic.

     

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  8.  
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    Ryan, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 12:30pm

    Commercials

    I love going to the movies with my wife. We have a nice night out, but the commercials....Who wants to wait for the movies watching the Marine's doing thier thing, or the automobiles, I can watch that on TV. I want to see the movie, not a bunch of crap.

     

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  9.  
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    Trek, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 12:40pm

    You forgot...

    the problems caused by critics and award show. Other than the problems already mentioned and the idiotic way the movie companies feel the need to deceive the movie goers with the publicity (advertise a drama as a comedy for more broad based appeal, etc) the problem I have with going to the movies is I can't get a trustable review. So often critics and award shows are raving over movies I've never heard of and probably aren't even being played in my city of 200,000 people. If the movie companies put pressure on the media and and the "academy" would strive to actually rave about good movies that are accessible to the common person, it would be a step in the right direction.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 12:41pm

    Re: if they really want to make it better

    $4 for a bottle of soda is a 400-500% markup over other retail prices. Its ~1000% markup over what they are paying per bottle.

    I have three kids and a wife. It costs me about 50 bucks just for the tickets to get into the movie, then the kids start wanting soda and whatnot. The wife goes and buys them some sodas. By the time we are out of there we have spent near $100 just to see one lousy movie, in a theater full of assholes who wont shut up, sitting in a seat sticky from all the food thats been spilled in it, with pieces of gum stuck to the handle. Other options would include pirateing the movie off the internet (free, but if possible I would like to give the movie makers something for their work), or going legit and buying the dvd ($10-$20) and watching it on our passable television in the comfort of our basement with a whole refrigerator full of food that costs 1/10th what it does at the theater. No jerks who wont shut up, no sticky seats, it costs less..... Gee tough choice.

     

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  11.  
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    Ivan Sick, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 1:24pm

    Re: if they really want to make it better

    As long as stupid people continue to pay the high prices the theater business has no incentive to lower them or do market research. I love how every part of the entertainment industry (movie theaters, tv stations, publishing, radio, RIAA, MPAA) won't shut up about how they are "losing money!" to piracy and newer technologies while they continue to gross millions or billions and execute merger after merger. I would love to lose that kind of money.

     

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  12.  
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    jeff, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 1:32pm

    I'd leave but I'm stuck to the floor.

    I haven't been to a theater to see a movie in a long time. You go to the theater, It's a good, solid 6 degrees in the theater, my girlfriend has to take her feet out of her shoes so I can peel them off of the floor before we leave. People with cell phones, people TALKING on cell phones in the middle of a movie. Snotty unsupervised teenagers that you can't slap around to shut up. Out of focus projectors with dirty lenses.
    It's just a bad experience, nowadays. I'm much more comfortable watching a movie in my living room that I've downloaded. IF a DVD has a bunch of nifty stuff on it, I'll buy it.

     

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  13.  
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    Chris, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 1:47pm

    DVD Extras

    Now I look at this and I think I have been deeply unsatisfied with some extras and they want to put these on Blu - ray disks? What kind of offal will they offer then? How much EMPTY disck space do they think the consumer is willing to purchase?

     

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  14.  
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    crystalattice (profile), Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 2:56pm

    How often do you really use the extras?

    Most DVD's I have, I'll look at the bonus DVD once and then never look at it again. Heck, I have some DVD's where I've never looked at the extras.

    I'll admit, if I'm spending ~$20 for a DVD, then I want the extras. It's a much better deal than spending $15+ on a CD that has 2-3 good songs on it.

    But honestly, all I really care about is the movie. If I can buy a DVD that has just the movie for $10 or less, I'm perfectly happy with that.

     

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  15.  
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    Steve, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 6:14pm

    Demographics

    The reason the experience of going to a move is so bad, is because of the customers.

    I imagine the people who bring in the most money for the theaters are the loud, rude soda spilling teens, and early twenty somethings.

    I think they fear driving away this money making crowd if they try to make them behave better.

     

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  16.  
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    Stack, Dec 22nd, 2005 @ 9:45pm

    Here's why your ticket costs so much

    Hollywood refuses to lower ticket prices, yet throws ridiculous sums of money at stars like Sharon Stone to film dreadful movies:
    ... the 46-year-old actress requires so much stuff when she's filming a movie that the list, a copy of which you'll find below, covers five pages.
    That inventory includes everything from Pilates equipment and a $3500/week per diem to armed bodyguards and a prohibition against on-set cigar smoking (funny, considering Stone graces the August 2004 cover of Cigar Aficionado). Along with a chauffeured car piloted by a non-smoking driver approved by Stone, the actress also needs a convertible sedan for personal use. Then there's the three nannies, two assistants, cell phones, pagers, presidential suite, first-class travel (if a private jet is unavailable), chef, and the deluxe motor home with air conditioning, heating, bed, private bathroom, shower, TV, VCR, refrigerator, telephone, stove, couch, stereo, and cellular fax machine. And, of course, Stone keeps all wardrobe and jewelry worn in a flick. Unless, of course, the merch was rented. Hey, she's not that grubby. (5 pages)
    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0630041stone1.html

     

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  17.  
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    Doyle, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 6:33am

    Overpriced and need to go back 40 years.

    I don not see why when I pay 7 to see a movie I have to sit though loads of adverts... I already paid for it.... And Overpaid for it in my eyes.

    I think Ticket prices need to shoot down in price to get more people going. And not just the ticket prices but food and drinks... Well in England Anyway, i dont know what its liek in US or other places but food and drinks cost more then the movie now.

    A day out with me andmy girlfriend costs around 30 (Work it out) which is not going to make me do it many times a year now is it.

    Also i think there needs to be more service. better seats and more fealing. if you go back 40 years the cinima was a big thing! And made to be not just a movie but a day out. I know this cant be done the same but maybe something can.

    It is only BIG name movies ill watch now. Unlike I did 5 years ago. And its not the movies... its everything else.

     

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  18.  
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    Max, Dec 23rd, 2005 @ 7:01am

    It's not the cost of the movie I mind so much...

    It's getting raped at the concession stand. It's getting to point where I want to start smuggling in popcorn, candy and pop to the movies! :)

     

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