Movie Industry Problems: Not My Fault

from the the-blame-game dept

We’ve had plenty of stories this year about problems with the movie business, and we’ve made it clear that we believe the problem is with the deteriorating overall experience (which includes movie quality, price, theater comfort, theater noise, advertising etc.) combined with many other options for entertainment dollars and time, but it’s amusing to watch the industry point fingers as news comes out that the box office take is down for the third year in a row. While many of the points do have some truth (though, not quite sure about the person who blames the fact that movies portray one political view more than others as the problem), what’s funny is that all of the blame statements point to someone else as the cause of the problem. No one wants to change what they do — and insist everything’s dandy if everyone else changes.

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Comments on “Movie Industry Problems: Not My Fault”

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Moto says:

Re: Movie Goers

My computer is my movie theater. Free HD movie experience (Computer Monitor which blows away the conventional TV and the awful resolution you get while playing any console on it.) and a home entertainment system hooked into the mix means more enjoyment, no additional money spent on tickets (No Fandango and there outrageous service charge… I got into Serenity openning night without it). I would agree that there is a “theater” experience but that is only a positive on a rare basis. Serenity openning night was an adrenaline rush and an experience that I will probably never relive… but beyond that, who knows.

Mark says:

Re: Movie Goers

A small group of persons has a strangle hold on the movie industry and alternatives are beginning to develop. The longtime owners and controllers of this industry are going to be facing a tough road during the next 10 years. Independent producers of high quality movies are going to rule the roost and deliver the product the way the public demands it.

Bill says:

Re: Re: Re: Movie Goers

in reply to “Digital projection was the last straw for me. Looks terrible. There’s less obvious pixelization watching a crappy divx on my 26″ LCD.”

I haven’t noticed any difference, but then again I’m mainly a renter (saw maybe 3 or 4 movies in-theater last year, because a friend nagged me)…


Kenn says:

Re: Movie Goers

Beyond the cost and commercials, I think the main reason why people are buying fewer tickets is the other people who are buying tickets. I’m fed up with listening to cell phones ringing and conversations, smelling the take-out people smuggled into the theatre, smelling the cologne or body odor of the other customers, listening to their children because the parents are too cheap to hire a sitter, etc. I also like the convenience of starting a DVD when I want, pausing it when I want, enjoying the beverage and healthy meal of my choice, adjusting the volume to the level I desire, sit in my own easy chair without wondering if I’ll get headlice…

Movie Goer says:

Re: Movie Goers

My 2 cents; the current issue bottom line with the movie industry is the quality (story line) of the movies. The fact that King Kong has been remade is ridiculous; it’s so ridiculous that the commercials for it try to entice moviegoers by saying, “Someone and someone (reviewers) say that the effects are amazing.” That’s it! Who sat down and said, “King Kong now that’s a classic that everyone will see for the gazillion time!”

Bogus reasons for not going to the movies: This past Thursday my wife and I headed to a movie theatre (last time was about 4months ago); we’re new to the area; it’s a nice area. Although, the theatre was “messy”; that fact will not shy me away from the movies; just that theatre; there are many other theatres around (some parts); I guess I can see this one being true for those who can’t go anywhere else. Long concession stand lines: when have they been short; this is all part of the moving going experience. Everyone is all packed in; when haven’t we? Too many commercials: who cares, don’t you go to the movies with company? Talk during the commercials; I’m sure no one will mind. I do agree with the prices being too high; but if the quality of movies increases, it might just be worth it. One idea; if you’re going with your kidsgroup go to a matinee; that’s what I do and you do save a tone.

My wife and I used to go about 2 to 3 times a month; we live in the Tri-State area and have many other options yet we liked the movie going experience. The fact that the quality of movies has taken a dive has kept us away.

Matt Bennett (profile) says:

No Subject Given

One-sided political tirades in movies IS a factor, although I supose it would affect home DVD watching just at much, if you’re even a little conservative, or in fact fairly centrist, you can learn to avoid any movie that makes a political statement pretty quickly. If one movie took your side and the next didn’t, it wouldn’t be so hard to sit through. But when almost any movie that makes any political statement at all is likely to not only disagree with but disparage your world view, you wind up avoiding a large segment of offerings right of the bat.

John says:

Re: Movies

You hit the nail on the head!! I calculated taking my family of 4 to a movie= it’s close to about $50 with stuff from the snack stand. Then you get in – about 10 minutes before the start of the movie and…commercials. Then previews, and then a couple more commercials about the snack bar. 25 minutes later. the show starts. Not worth it. Save your money for a largescreen and buy/rent the DVDs when they come out.

George says:

Re: Movies

Oh and one more thing I will not tolerate at the movies:


It’s completely ludicrous to see 50 customers waiting in two super lines, with two staff behind the counter scrambling to fill popcorn bags, or worse (and more common) staff taking 5 minutes per customer because they could give a shit (It’s as if the theatre DOESN’T want to make money off their primary source of income)

So .. what happens then? I either wind up:

-forfeiting the snacks, enjoy the movie less, don’t return to the crummy theatre, or
-wait in the terrible line, miss half the movie, don’t return to the crummy theatre

Same result. Theatre owners, clean up your act once and for all. Come to think of it, I wonder if the MPAA could do something useful for a change, and impose harsh sanctions for theatres that underperform in customer service.

That’d probably fix the slump overnight. Yep, I bet it would.

nonuser says:

Re: Re: Movies

Sure the concession line sucks and the prices way too high, but it’s probably even worse at the ballpark, and the MLB and NFL are doing booming business in many towns. If people want an experience bad enough they’ll put up with inconveniences. Too many previews? Give me a break. People seem to enjoy watching them. Bottom line is that most people don’t consider it necessary to go to the movie theatre once a month. The industry is now on a treadmill coming up with blockbuster action and special-FX hits to produce experiences people haven’t seen before and can’t get in their living rooms.

ehrichweiss says:

Re: Re: Re: Movies

The problem with comparing movies to sporting events is that movies play over and over again, a hockey game does not since it’s a live event so its “supply” is much lower than its demand. I’m going to see Bill Cosby in April and they could have the worst everything in the world, I’m there to see Bill, not have the experience of their theatre.

I would NOT do that for a movie of any sort, ever.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Movies

I dont mind previews at all, but like everyone else, I DO mind the prices and the crap you have to put up with.

1 – 2 people doing to the movies is about 15 bucks, not too bad, but a familiy of 4 with 2 kids?? (or larger?) nah, not worth it.

Like someone else said, you get shit movies or remakes of shit movies.

King Kong? Good lord, it was done how many times??? What’s next Mighty Joe Young?

If you want to cry and point fingers, look in the mirror.

Just because you indy ppl can afford (not like you would pay for the movies you go see) the prices, doesn’t mean the average person can (or wants to).

The issue is this, I walked into a theater a few months ago. There was a soda machine in the hall going to the left wing of theaters……$4.50 for a bottle of Coke.

When you can pick and choose what / when / how you watch your movies, in the comfort of your own home, with things under your control, for a fraction of the price?

Are poeople that stupid that they dont get it?

Just an FYI,
DVD Rental – $2.99 (5 night rental)
popcorn – $.99 for a bag that would give me about a garbage bag full of popcorn
2 liter soda – .79 to 1.49 depending on where i get it.

Total 5.47

Same thing at a theater.
Movie tickets $7.50
Popcorn – $4.50 (for a medium)
Soda – $3.50 (for a small)
Total – $15.50

Now, why in the world would I spend 3 times as much and have to deal with other people when I can wait 2 or 3 months and watch it on DVD and get all the extras and the control.


Matt says:

No Subject Given

Theaters seem to be missing out on one of the fundamental principals of economics: the law of supply and demand. If you see demand decreasing steadily, as it’s apparently doing, and your supply stays constant, you lower the price to boost demand. The finger pointing is useless. I especially disagree with the gasoline bit. My family is average middle class, and we don’t skimp on moving watching due to lack of expenses. I just don’t see the purpose in spending $35 for four tickets, only to spend between 30 and 50 minutes watching commercials about how I could have paid an extra service fee to buy my tickets online in order to save the “hassel” of walking up to the electronic box office and purchasing my tickets.

Dan says:

Movies suck!

Alright, number one, that article mentions Rotten Tomatoes as a barometer for the quality of movies. Not only do critics’ reviews matter little when I’m going to see a movie, Rotten Tomatoes usually has a rough time defining what’s rotten and what’s fresh when it scans movie reviews. I can’t mention the number of times I’ve read the reviews, only to see that the reviewer actually meant the opposite of what RT said they did.
And speaking of quality of movies, let’s take a look, shall we? A selection of the “box office smashes” (top 100 Box Office gross 2005), and think about how many you’d actually want to see.
Saw I… I mean Saw II
The Ring… II
White Noise
Miss Congeniality II
The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D
Cheaper by the Dozen 2
The Island
Because of Win-Dixie
Get Rich or Die Tryin’
Two For the Money
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
House of Wax
Sky High
Herbie: Fully Loaded
[#13 2005 Box Office] King Kong, the supposed savior – I’ve seen King Kong. There are already two fairly popular releases of this movie, and that’s just live action. Oooh, Peter Jackson’s making it, it’s gonna look pretty, it’s gonna be awesome, it’s going to change the way we think about movies… But guess what, Hollywood? I’m not spending money on a movie I’ve ALREADY SEEN. I don’t care how much “better” it looks. It’s the same movie.
Gee, if those were in the Top 100, I just can’t UNDERSTAND why people didn’t go see movies this year.

Curt says:

we are not all that bad

I am a theatre owner. I don’t own mega theatres, just one. We take pride in our theatre for comfort, presentation and price. Our prices are VERY reasonable. Our seating is comfortable and our presentation very clean. We do NOT show commericals, they are made for TV. We do a pre-show with triva and fun stuff. 3 Previews are the most we add prior to the show. If the show starts at 8:00 Show time is 8:10. This business is our bread and butter. Yes we need to watch the bottom line, but it’s NOT all about money. The bottom line will increase as we continue to improve the movie going experience. We continue to have good years dispite the bad ones other theatres have reported. Good presentation: Good Business!!

DittoBox (profile) says:

Re: we are not all that bad

nuff said. There’s a small theater here in our town, privately owned. It’s smaller, the prices are a good 2-4 dollars less, the sound is great, the video isn’t too bad, it’s always clean, there’s always people there watching movies too. The employees are kind and helpful.

It’s the only theater I can stand to go to.

Blog Gently (user link) says:

Re: we are not all that bad

Exactly! Most of the movies I see in the theater are now seen at my local Parkway Theater, Oakland. Its a small place with two screens and they have couches and comfy individual chairs. You can order food and beer and they bring them to you. They show second run movies no longer in the main theaters and run them until people stop going to see them. Guess what – they always have a good crowd and the tickets are only $5, two for one on Thursday, with a free matinee on the weekend and baby night on Monday. They have it right – people LOVE going there and its always a good movie loving crowd.
Make your theater a destination that works well with its audience and you’ll get a committed crowd, otherwise you’ll get a bunch of unhappy complainers who’ll just stay home. At my local multiplex which I can walk to all I get is bad expensive food, $10+ tickets, and noisey audiences who yack on their cell phones and get in shouting matches – I’ve even seen fights break out with the cops called. Guess what, we almost never go there any more.

Manny says:

Re: we are not all that bad

Saw King Kong the other night. The theater was part of a large chain. It was one of those mega-cinemas. Was sold a soda w/unlimited refills, went to get a refill, stand was closed. Theater was not clean and had ceiling tiles missing and stuff showing thru. I won’t go back again.

Where’s your theater?..if it’s close I’ll go

doubledoh says:

Re: Re: they should be paying ME

I stopped going the movie theatres when they started showing non-movie related advertising. Ticket prices go up, advertising goes up. F*ck that. I don’t mind movie trailers (but not too many), but when I have to watch any other commercial, forget it. You want me to watch your sh*tty, irrelevant, unrelated commercials…you should be paying ME. Same way I feel about clothes with logos on them…they should be paying me if they expect me to walk around all day advertising for them. Anyway, I stoped going to the theatres 5 or 6 years ago because of the advertising problem…and started buying DVD’s left and right. I bought about 120 DVDs over the course of 3 years…rather happily…until I got a freaking DVD with the can’t skip past the commericials “feature”. Unf*uckingbelievable, I thought to myself. One of the main freaking reasons I switched to DVD’s from VHS was so I could quickly skip to the beginning of the movie or a scene without rewind/fast forward. Same reason I spent thousands converting my music collection from tape to CD. Qaulity was secondary to me, convenience/efficiency was number one. But NO…they completely ignore what their customers want. First they f’d up the movie theatres, and now they’re F’ing up MY OWN PROPERTY with mandatory advertisements!!!? F that too.

So, I stopped buying DVD’s as well. I now download every single movie I want from the internet for free, commercial free and nicely compressed to store on my server so I can watch my movies from 3 different rooms without worrying about misplacing or scratching a poorly conceived scratch-magnet (DVD). I had/have plenty of money to spend of movies that I like, but there’s no way in hell I’ll ever pay money to be advertised to when competing entertainment mediums couldn’t get away with it (music cd’s–no ads, books–no ads, video games–no ads–at least the ones i buy, going out to eat/drink–no ads, hanging out with freinds–no ads, browsing the internet–no ads–with adblock, etc etc etc). Now, when I subscribe to magazines, i don’t mind ads because the writers need to get paid and that’s their primarily source of income. But all other mediums charge WAY too much money to even THINK about including ads and interupt my enjoyment or entertainment experience.

So, I went from spending about $1500 USD a year on movies and/or dvds (I’m a big movie buff), to paying ZERO. And you know what? I’m now getting pretty used to paying zero. It’s going to take alot for me to become a movie industry supporter again…and I can garaunf’ingtee you that they aint gonna win me over with HDDVD/bluray discs with all the proposed encryption (and certainly advertisements) that will be on them. I can garauntee you that I won’t be downloading overpriced, inconvenient, encrypted files that I can’t watch on all my computers/devices. Nope, they pretty much lost me as a customer. The only way they’ll get me back is by selling unencrypted files with no advertisements on them for half the price.

I’d gladly pay $10 USD for a compressed HD video file with no restrictions on it. I’d probably buy 4 or 5 of them every week. And I bet most people that like movies would do the same.

The movie industry forget that they’ll never be able to stop people that just aren’t going to pay no matter what. They need to write those people off as outside their market and stop screwing their legitimate paying customers by treating them like potential criminals or mindless drones that will sit through their mandatory marketing. Until then, the only money I’ll be spending on the entertainment industry will be my donations to azureus and bram cohen.

nonuser says:

Re: Re: Re: they should be paying ME

So, I stopped buying DVD’s as well. I now download every single movie I want from the internet for free…

Somehow I knew that was coming.

I don’t think anyone would have a problem if you went cold turkey and gave up watching movies altogether. If the industry can’t keep you as a customer, that’s tough. But to resort to trading in illegal copies of their product… that’s like if you or I decided to boycott McDonald’s b/c we hated their surly help and fattening food, and many more reasons besides, but that it was somehow our right to be able to use their parking lot and bring our own food and drink to eat on their premises. All the same sorts of arguments you’re making could be made in the McDonald’s case, and they’re just as bogus. If you’re going to freeload, better make sure you’re staying within the law.

Ray says:

Re: Re: Re:3 they should be paying ME

Unfortunately, Bram Cohen sold out to the MPAA. He now works for them (pretty much). Just Google “MPAA Bram Cohen” and you can read all about their deal.

Personally, I go to the movies once or twice a year. I saw the Star Wars Trilogy, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Batman Begins, and Munich at the local theater. So basically, one or two films a year are released that I would watch–which I guess isn’t that bad. My main issue is with the direction of these movies and the whole Hollywood attitude. You can see their direction by watching the Oscars. All they do is give out awards on a political basis. How else can you explain “Million Dollar Baby” bringing in four awards? But does it really matter who wins? Well, it doesn’t affect me personally, but it does foreshadow the future of the film industry. Who’s going to see “Brokeback Mountain”? I’m sure not, but it will win a lot of awards come March. See what I mean?

I used to download files illegally using BitTorrent, but I have since halted. It is illegal and no matter how much I can rationalize it, it is still wrong. So I stopped. I do believe that $10 ($8 matinee) for a movie (I live in San Diego) is ludicrous, not to mention $4 for a soda and $5 for a bag of popcorn. The commercials don’t bother me, I just talk through them and my wife and I always plan on at least 10 minutes of advertisements so we can get there a little late and bypass them all together if we want.

I?m not sure how the pricing for movies works, but I?m sure we are paying a ?reasonable? (by that I mean a fair price considering the mega budgets put into these movies which is passed on to the customer which is the movie theater) price, albeit too high. I don?t understand why they don?t price their movies according to their cost. I can see paying $10 for Revenge of the Sith (which was loaded with special effects and cost a lot to make), but not Munich (which had no special effects and was relatively inexpensive). Oh well. I will still see movies I want in the theater and the fact that their might only be one or two good ones a year will help offset the higher prices in my budget. My only issue now is there is nothing to rent. All the good movies I?ve seen or own (which is only a few) and the rest are just junk.

Nelly says:

Re: Re: Re:4 they should be paying ME

Well get a load of this then:
I live in England.
Me, wife & daughter go to the movies.
Online booking fee ?1.50
Tickets (2 adults 1 child) ?17
Drink and a snack if desired for 1 person ?5 yes ?5..

Travel expenses to and from the cinema is by car ?4.25 for a gallon of gas here in the UK.
So there you go, the most expensive cinema going in the world as I see it and I aint earnin a lot of money.
Life sux and they wonder why I download movies and tv series off the net.

I approximate my family visit to be $58.60

doubledoh says:

Re: Re: Re:4 they should be paying ME

I?m not sure how the pricing for movies works, but I?m sure we are paying a ?reasonable? (by that I mean a fair price considering the mega budgets put into these movies which is passed on to the customer which is the movie theater) price, albeit too high. I don?t understand why they don?t price their movies according to their cost. I can see paying $10 for Revenge of the Sith (which was loaded with special effects and cost a lot to make), but not Munich (which had no special effects and was relatively inexpensive).

The justify price fixing by regulating supply (big movies have wide 2000+ screen releases, and indies might be lucky to get 10 screens in LA/NY). I definately like the variable pricing model. My hope is that in the future, the big movie studios won’t be able to compete with the innovations of indie movie makers and computer geeks that get together to make and distribute movies outside the hollywood theatre machine. With really decent prosumer cams coming in at under 5 grand, editing software under a grand, and p2p eliminating distribution costs, the only major expense is marketing…and even that can be cheap with a viral blog campaign. I see millions of smaller, more clever movies in the future completely out of the hands of the movie cartels. I wouldn’t be surprised if movies get made (or at least reimbursed) by donations alone. (ie, at the end credits, “If you liked this movie, please donate whatever you want to so and so at“).

hmmm ignorance says:

Re: Re: Re:3 they should be paying ME

so what is so bad about sitting in a parking lot of mcdemons and eating a healthy ham sandwich.

A. they pay for the space, and present it to the public for use.

B. they are makeing the ALL the profit that they would be other wise.

C. mabey they will decide to make healthy ham sandwiches.

the point is that many of us really enjoy a good movie experiance. problem is that really crappy ones get hyped up. how do I know that King Kong was any good unless i see it. and if it turns out to be ape feces, ive already paid the con man. no thanks. not like mcdonalds where you can see the product before you purchase it.

I download the movie (legal), screen it (legal), and if i like it. I pay money to those who produced it (legal). I buy a copy, or go see it on the big screen. If i dont, and that happens to be most of it. I delete it.

and if you wanna talk about illegal. actually read something.. like the DMCA

doubledoh says:

Re: Re: Re:2 they should be paying ME

So, I stopped buying DVD’s as well. I now download every single movie I want from the internet for free…
Somehow I knew that was coming.
I don’t think anyone would have a problem if you went cold turkey and gave up watching movies altogether. If the industry can’t keep you as a customer, that’s tough. But to resort to trading in illegal copies of their product… that’s like if you or I decided to boycott McDonald’s b/c we hated their surly help and fattening food, and many more reasons besides, but that it was somehow our right to be able to use their parking lot and bring our own food and drink to eat on their premises. All the same sorts of arguments you’re making could be made in the McDonald’s case, and they’re just as bogus. If you’re going to freeload, better make sure you’re staying within the law.

Actually, it’s not even close. As someone that refuses to buy their content until the prices go down and the advertising stops, they don’t get a dime whether I watch or don’t watch their movies. I am not driving onto anyone’s property and using their physical goods. My downloads cost no one (except the ISP I pay). Completely false analogy on your part.

If anything, the movie industry should be happy that I still watch their swill. At least there is a chance that I’ll return as a paying customer once they fix their broken model. I could say “screw movies forever” and choose only to entertain myself with video games and books. At the very least, at least I’m able to market for the bastards when they do make the occasionally excellent film. Alot of my less discriminating friends go see movies in the theatres that I’ve recommended because I downloaded them.

Bottom line, you people need to learn once and for all the difference between copyright violations and physical theft. Theft deprives someone of their goods or revenue. My copyright violations deprived no one because I wouldn’t buy the movies ever until they rip their goddamn ads out of them. Thus, they are not losing money. It’s not like I say to myself, “Today I must do one of two things, buy this movie, or download it for free.” What I really am saying is, “I can read this book, play this game, or I can watch a downloaded movie.” Any way you cut it, Hollywood doesn’t get a dime.

nonuser says:

Re: Re: Re:3 they should be paying ME

Actually, it’s not even close. As someone that refuses to buy their content until the prices go down and the advertising stops, they don’t get a dime whether I watch or don’t watch their movies. I am not driving onto anyone’s property and using their physical goods. My downloads cost no one (except the ISP I pay). Completely false analogy on your part.

No, because I’d visit the restaurants when they are at least half empty so I wouldn’t be depriving any paying customers of parking spaces or seats. The restaurants are already paying the mortgage, utilities and labor whether I go there or not. And I wouldn’t be buying Big Macs and sodas there regardless, so they’re certainly not losing any of my money. But, you know, it’s likely that on some of my stops I might get extra hungry and decide to buy something at the lunch counter, against my better judgement, so my exercise of my “Basic Freedoms in the Automotive Age” would actually be *helping* McDonald’s.

In both cases – illegal downloading and McDonalds squatting – we’re talking about freeloading off a company’s huge fixed investment (including per-project fixed costs, such as for making and marketing a specific movie), which the company *must* make in order to competitively serve *any* customers. Then we argue that since that investment represented sunken cost, we’re not hurting them in any way. Balderdash. They calculate that the customers who are motivated enough to seek their products and service will cover their fixed costs *as well as* the variable costs (manufacturing and distribution of DVDs and movie reels, hamburgers and soda concentrate, etc). Sure, many potential customers will decide the product or service isn’t worth paying for, and some may go on line and rattle off a long list of reasons why it’s crap. That’s OK, as long as they don’t stealthily take some or all of the product w/o paying.

Nick Reynolds says:

Re: we are not all that bad

I live in LA, in the Valley. There are a whopping 2 movie theaters within biking distance from my house (I just turned 16, dont have liscence yet, hate having my parents drive me). One of them is a mega super plex at “The Galleria” (subject of many ‘gay-eria’ jokes). The other one is a smaller theater split up into two parts. It’s way better but last year, the company that owns the mega-plex bought the smaller theater. Then, they tore down half of it and sold the land to Best Buy (which I’m actually really happy of because before I had to go way out to no-man’s-land for an electronics store (ya, theres actually no stores in LA in case you were wondering)). I used to always go to that movie theater because 1 – it was cheaper 2 – there were no stupid 12 year olds wrecking up the place (thats my job) 3 – it was a block from one of my friend’s house. After a while, the company decided only to play really crappy movies at the smaller theater in order to drive more people to the bigger, more expensive one. Well, it worked. Now I have to go to the other one pretty much every weekend. I don’t really think movies have gotten a whole bunch worse since I’ve started going to them. It’s really expensive, but when you steal from your parents its not that big of a deal. I’ll keep going, but I hate everything about it until I’m actually watching the movie.

AvyTech (user link) says:

Re: we are not all that bad

And thank goodness for owners like you. There’s only 1 small theatre near me and they’re great under new ownership. It’s the huge companies, AMC, United Artists, Regal Cinema types. They have huge expensive chains, extra commercial tons of teen employees that barely clean after the idiots that made the mess. It’s just nuts. But the 1 privately owned theatre here is clean, quiet (they kick out loud people that act like they’re insane), and commercial free. The previews are even short and sweet. So thank you for being one of the few.

Fogglestein says:

Movies ... heh

When I go to a movie in a theatre, I am astounded ALWAYS by the industries’ take on just what I will put up with.
Firstly, the high prices put going OUT to a movie vs. renting one and staying home into a no-brainer.

Secondly, I can bypass the previews on a DVD or see none at all on a downloaded version. I *have* to sit through 20 minutes of them at a theatre.

Third, Commercials? Who’s hare-brained idea was that to put the last nail into the coffin?? It *may* BIG *MAY* have been acceptable if the prices had lowered ANY at all…but they simply didn’t. Don’t tell me “Well they didn’t go up quite as fast because of the revenue offset” BS!


Pete says:

Re: Re: Movies ... heh

You are so right!! Forcing us to see adverts on the DVD’s is outragous!
Try to fast forward and….”Operation prohibited by disk”! Even the legal warning gets in on the same act!! Have they never thought of just putting it on the packaging????
It’s obtrusive and unnessassary.
Why am I having to pay to see adverts?

Jamie says:

Re: Re: Re: Movies ... heh

Pete wrote: Why am I having to pay to see adverts?

Pete, have you seen how many commercials run on cable TV during any given segment of time? It’s ridiculous. And we’re all paying a hefty monthly cable subscription price for all those commercials. Unfortunately, it’s the sign of the times.

As for big-studio Hollywood, as soon as they start making decent movies again, sans commercials, I’ll start thinking of returning to the theater. Meantime, it’s Netflix for me. Anyway, with digital video quality constantly improving and coming down in price, along with the ease of obtaining movies for home viewing, those theaters will be gone soon anyway, along with the local Blockbuster.

George says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Movies ... heh

“Pete, have you seen how many commercials run on cable TV during any given segment of time? It’s ridiculous. And we’re all paying a hefty monthly cable subscription price for all those commercials.”

Yes however those are shows bundled in packages, that run whether or not you’ve specifically chosen to see them. They run whether the TV is on or off. The ads run as well, whether or not you may be watching. A theatrical movie is more akin to a pay-per-view program, a show that you’ve specifically chosen then paid for the privelege to watch. Would you tolerate a commercial in a pay-per-view show? Of course not.

You paid to see a specific program. You did not pay to see a commercial. That is the difference. Obviously, people today are not tolerating it and that is precisely why theatre sales are on the decline.

So, let the theatre owners rant and dig their heels in on this one; we’ll all just laugh at their pig-headedness while we buy out their bankrupt properties.

Why can I say this? Because I am the customer. You don’t TELL ME how I should consume your product, rather it is I THAT TELLS YOU how I will consume it. If, as a business owner you don’t like my rules, then I spend my money at your competitor.

Yes, I am the customer. Remember you are here to service my needs, not your own. You play by my rules, or you don’t play at all.. and you can watch as I take my business across the street.

Ktulu says:

Re: Re: Re:3 You Want me at the Movies?

Here’s an idea if you want me to go to a movie… SHOW SOMETHING ORIGINAL! For the last 5 years everything has been “remake of this”, “this was a book”, or the movie was SO CLOSE TO SOMETHING ELSE that I didn’t feel like watching it!
Hitch –> Anyone heard of Cyrano D’Bergerac (spelling??)
King Kong –> Haven’t they already made this one?
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 –> Why make a second one?
Herbie: Fully Loaded –> Take Lindsey Lohan out, what’s left?

C’Mon, the populace are not idiots, and when you package crap in a nice box with a bow on top, it’s still crap!

m0u53r says:

Re: Re: Re: Movies ... heh

i know what you mean, i had to bypass them in a pain in the rear alternative manner. although they try to make it so you cant do certain things with dvds ive managed to figure out ways to get around them, the fantastic 4 dvd is too glitchy to be much of a worry but if i diddnt know a way to get past the inital previews i would have been annoyed.

Chris (user link) says:

Re: Movies ... heh

I agree with a lot of comments made here. I love going to the movies, though it is often times a mix of good and bad.
In the theaters’ defense, however, most people are not aware that the movie theater owner only gets about 10% of the ticket sales. The distributors dictate how much the movie will cost you by setting the prices for the theaters. Theaters have to make their money with either concessions OR by selling commercials before the movie. I agree with you in that I don’t want to see a commercial before a movie I paid good money to see. The previews don’t bother me too much, so long as there aren’t a dozen of them. For theaters to continue and not go extinct, they are trying to strike the balance between how much we as patrons will put up with and how much extra revenue they can get from non traditional means (besides tickets sales and concessions).

Andrea (user link) says:

Why a theatre at all?

I should pay money to sit in a darkened room full of noisy and farting strangers to see something Netflix will send me in two months?

The so-called “theatre experience” may actually exist for live theatre, but movie houses are just a big inconvenient place for spreading the flu.

When you can by a DVD player for the price of two theatre tickets there should hardly even be any discussion…

A few creative and enterprising theatre owners may be able to survive, more power to them. But if you want to make money don’t sell to a shrinking market.

eastside says:

Re: Why a theatre at all?

I’m with you. I bought a 55 inch TV and a surround sound system for a reason. Movies are 3.95 for a 24 hour window to watch them, and with the DVR I can stop it any time. I can drink a 2 liter of diet Pepsi for 99 cents rather than pay $4 for a cup of ice with 2 swallows of Pepsi in it. I an nuke popcorn without missing the movie, and don’t have to deal with some brain dead kids that have a hard time making change for a 5. Home theater rocks.

m0u53r says:

why not be dependent

although im dependent of military from my dad’s side and have the chance to watch free movies in a new beautiful theatre with reclining chairs for free… i dont really bother, and so doesn’t everyone else, the 2 times i went this year there were 0 people in the theatre other than myself. now, free, clean, cheap snacks and variety of junk to make your lard explode… yet there was nobody. sometimew there are people, if the movie is really suppose to be popular, like 2 years ago… this year nothing, last year i was in japan so i have no idea how it went. so i think it’s how much the movies suck. i went to a cinemax to watch king kong and i was bored stiff… nice theatre, nice seats big screen, good price… but movie sucked.

cscalfani says:

Random thoughts on the problem

Granted, theater experience has taken a bit of a nose dive lately. But no where near the dive that the quality of stories have.

What passes as good stories is just pathetic. While the quality of writers hasn’t changed, the process of picking which movies get made has. In the ’70s, the years before the “blockbuster”, a highly diverse set of movies got made. If you don’t believe me, then look at the ’70s Academy Award Nominees and compare them to the last 10 years.

While independent films seem to be the future for films, places like Sundance have been invaded and taken over by the Hollywood star. Unless your independent flick has a big name star or a relatively large budget, forget it.

The movie industry is failing in the same way the record industry is, bad product. And why in a capitalistic environment aren?t there any competitors. One word, distribution. Distribution is a closed system. If Pixar can?t distribute their own movies without going to the likes of Disney, then no one can.

So where is all this heading (for movies and music both)? I?d say, distribution has to change. Here are a few of the possible channels that will open things up and shake up the big boys: the Internet, Netflix, Cable Companies, IPTV, podcasting, etc.

Then once you have an alternative distribution mechanism, then the biggest nut to crack is marketing. Being able to make an independent film is hard enough. Making money off of it is nearly impossible.

The movie industry is the way it is because of how the public reacts. You want it to change, then change your behavior. Go see smaller movies. Wait a week or two to see the big budget ones which will give you a chance to check out the real reviews, ones made by movie-goers not critics. Go to smaller chains.

As long as we keep eating up their slop, then all we?re going to get is slop.

Amauri Alves da Silva (user link) says:

Movie Industry Problems in Brazil

I’m from Brazil, and the Movie Industry problems discussed in US is the same as in Brazil.
Movie Industry says that problem is the non legal DVD comerce, that decrease the selling of original DVDs and movie tickets. I think that movie theatres would be better if we weren’t obligated to watch lots of ads before movie: tickets price has increased. Here, we gotta pay about 5 dollars for a ticket (this can seem not so expensive for you, but it’s “an assuault” for a country where most of people have to live with a minimum salary of US$128.00). I think that the price we pay is enough to cover the movie expenses. We don’t have (and we don’t want) to pay for ads…

skeezin' pete says:

My take on it all.....

It seems eveyone has beaten the main problems to death here. Laughable price, low demand, extremely poor movies and storylines, noisy theaters, horrible service at the theater, dirty and smelly theaters, poor sound and video quality, commercials, previews, etc. All of them are extremely valid points.

One thing I haven’t seen anyone mention is the price versus theater size. As movies age, the theaters start to show them in smaller theaters with less seats, worse sound and smaller screens. My problem with that is that they don’t adjust the price. I’m still paying $18 ($9 x 2 for the date) to see a movie that I can buy for less in a month or so. The upside is the lack of people in the show, but it still sucks as neither the sound nor screen are impressive and it’s still the same price. Even knocking a buck off the price would make me happier, and would likely bring more people out to see it.

As for the topics covered, I see only 2 that drive people to the theater: Seeing the movie on a large screen and seeing it when it is new.

Personally, I have never been al too impressed with the video quality of the large screen. Slap a DVD in the player on a large HD screen and it looks 3 times better. Couple that with even a low-end surround system and I’m happy. Back to the theater, I hate how they don’t talk about what kind of projection they use. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen digital projection in the theater, and I don’t know how I would know.

As for seeing a new movie, for my money, I don’t care if I see a movie when it comes out or not. When people ask “Hey did you see that new (insert terrible movie here)” I can say no and that’s that. The person will say “you should” or “don’t waste your time”. A few months later, if I wanted to see it, I can buy it for less than it would have cost me to go to the theater. What’s more, I can watch it as many times as I want. As a bonus, when I make my backup copy of the DVD, I can simply strip out the previews, forced ads, macrovision, css, etc. and just enjoy the movie. Lower the lights, insert the disc, press play and watch the movie.

In the off chance that I NEED to see a movie right away, enter the Internet. I can watch a horrible cam version of a movie the day it is released (sometimes before that). If I’m lucky, I will find a screener. If the movie sucked, nothing lost. If it was good, I’ll be buying the DVD. Yes downloading movies is illegal, but there’s nothing to stop me from doing it, and the industry ends up with me buying more DVDs than I normally would anyway (a handful every year versus none). And, in the extremely off chance that the movie is really good, I will actually go to the theater!

Personally, I’d rather go to a concert (local shows are about $5-$10 a person), baseball game (~$10-$15 a person), a brew and view show (drink beer while watching 1-2 movies for ~$7), play poker with friends ($10 buy-in), etc.

The theater is a dying breed. There will always be people who love going, but more and more just don’t see the need. I am one of those growing majority and have been for some time.

Anonymous Coward says:

what's the real problem?

funny, everyone talks about how terrible movies are–‘I’ll wait until it comes out on DVD”, “I’ll see it on Cable”, “Hollywood doesn’t understand supply & demand”, “Hollywood can’t write good stories”.
In the end, they still win, cause any method you use to see the content (home, public, even bootlegs), dollars still trickle back to the studios in some form, either from the content itself or the distribution channel, or the products you buy motivated by the content.
The movie threater is just a distribution channel–it’s all about the content, and people whinning should just ask themselves, our the independent efforts (indie, internet) really providing better quality of content than the studios? The solution is either save your money (cause media companies have a hand in everything from books to products, to leisure activities!), or learn something (i.e. go back to school or pick up a sport). Otherwise, if you continue to spend any time with their content, then they’ll just keep tracking down this path of mediocere storytelling (hmm, Star Wars ROTS is a great example…)
I’m not asking for a boycott, cause changing Hollywood is not gonna happen overnight unless the sutdios or independent content makers spur a revolution (not gonna happen). And the TV itunes thing is not much of a revolution.

The message: spend your dollars in the stuff you needed, not want.

bigpicture says:

Movie Industry Changes

Is that not always the way it is, people don’t necessarily resist change, people resist “being” changed. And that goes for the politicians and captains of industry as well. Is that not the fertile soil that the seeds of revolution grow in.

How much money does the Movie Industry or for that matter the Music Industry spend on Market Research, to provide products suitable to the customers tastes. Would they rather not spend heaps of money hyping their products, only to disappoint and get the customers ticked off. Do they not spend tons of money trying to bend and control the market, through all their lobbing and legal actions against the customer base.

When are they going to learn how to entertain, while at the same time maybe educating, all within the broad framework of the customers tastes and values???

Anabelle says:

Movie Theater Experience Stinks

Going to the movies used to be great. Now it just sucks. I think the last time I really enjoyed a movie-going experience was before some idiot decided to make cell phones affordable to the masses. And when did parents start dragging toddlers into R-rated movies? If you can’t afford a babysitter, then stay home.

Dennis says:


The one thing I noticed about movies these days is, sometimes when music is playing in the background I could hardly here what the actors are saying because the music is more louder then the actors voices.
Reccently I saw a preview of Alvin and the Chipmunks singing Witch Doctor, the music was more louder then the Chipmunks singing, I barely herd them singing. I like the studios to balance between the music and the actors voices or tone down the music.

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