Pre-Movie On-Screen Games Expected To Draw People Back To Theaters?

from the seems-like-a-stretch dept

For quite some time now, plenty of people have been pointing out that for all the whining from the movie industry that BitTorrent and the simultaneous release of DVDs and films in theaters, the real issue was that the theater owners have completely forgotten that going to the movies is a social experience — and if the experience was improved, more people would be willing to go. Instead, they give paying customers lectures and treat them like thieves. At least some companies are trying to provide new technologies to improve the pre-show experience with the ability to play games from in-seat consoles or via mobile phones. It’s a nice feature — and probably beats the traditional pre-movie trivia, but it still seems to be too narrowly focused. No one goes to the theater for the pre-show entertainment. Making it less annoying isn’t exactly a selling point. Also, the article doesn’t indicate it directly, but seems to imply that some theaters are looking to push ads to mobile phones as well, for those who participate in these games. Talk about killing off whatever advantage such a system would give the theaters.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Pre-Movie On-Screen Games Expected To Draw People Back To Theaters?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Rick Gratton says:

Movie theaters.

Me and my wife, used to take “mental health days” off from work go to a nice restruant for lunch, some place that normally would be packed, and have a 2 hour wait, then go and catch a matinee at this chain of movie theaters, of some especially hot new movie, IE Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Matrix or some flavor there of. I dont know how this movie theaters are doing money wize after 2 to 5 years, but this is at a chain of theaters back in Florida, that reinvented going to the moives, with Day care for prople with kids, that consisted of a play room, with video games, and giant ball pit, with a snack, that was supervised, the theater was massive well decorated, like the moive theaters of years gone by. The theaters even the small ones were stadium stlye, with lots of leg room, chairs that reclined, and were wider and more comfy than any airline seat. They even offered a “premuim” seating that were more like couches for two, food and drink service, including over 21 beverages, so no anoying kids, the tickets were $15 instead of $8, But for us a small price to pay for a nice friday night date night. They also offered a much better food fair, still with the jumbo popcorn, but they offered real natchos with meat, and selection of topings, not just non-descript yellow flowing cheese food liquidy substance. So the jist of my comment, if the theaters were to make the experience a service than just squezing as many people into a dark room with a big screen, I and Im sure many of us now can do that at home with my big screen. Make it a glorius even, give us something more than the movie and 2 trailers, sticky floors, and un-comfortable seats, and and over priced box-o-candy!

Joe Chin (user link) says:

Re: Movie theaters.

Yeah, the new movie theaters in S. Florida are a lot more than movie theaters. I think it’s great they go back to the old days of dinner theater and adding things to do outside the theater besides the arcade. I think there are two theater chains you are referring to. Consolidated and Muvico. I think Regal Cinemas tried a few years before, but the local chains have taken it to the next level.

The different themes are an awsome idea, so far I’ve seen an Atlantis, Egyptian, and the 50s theme theater.

Anonymous Coward says:

TechDirt, How do you turn off the ANOYING animated advertisements on the side of your article pages? It makes trying to read your articles, just near impossible to do.

If I see an advertisement that interests me, I’ll click on it. If I see an article that looks worth reading, I’ll read it.

…The same goes for the movie industry – If I see a movie that interests me, I’ll probably go see it. But if that movie experience is annoying (Such as the stupid FLASH ADs on the side of all the articles recently) – The chances of me coming back to see another movie (or in this case, read another TD article) will be slim to none.

Was putting up advertisements really worth it – if the advertisement is so invasive to the user experience the it is actually keeping your visitors (movie patrons) from returning?

TriZz says:

I don’t go to the movies. Not because I’m annoyed – but rather because I think the prices are outrageous.

I’m from the Washington DC area – and it’s like $10 for a ticket (the geographical reference is because I don’t know what it’s like elsewhere).

$10!! I pay $15 a month for Blockbuster online and it’s as many as I can watch in a month. The prices keep going up at the movies – and I don’t see any reason why. They’re not offering a better service. Plus, technology at home is increasing and said technology is getting cheaper. I can get nearly the same sound and picture at home (without the size obviously). All that’s missing is the mass amounts of people, the cell phones ringing, the uncomfortable seats, and the outrageous price(s) – even worse if you want to consume anything during the movie.

Movie theatres are pointless. But hey, at least they have an arcade…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You can’t compare a movie theatre experience to a blockbuster night. You have to compare it to a $70 footbal game, or a $120 balley, maybe even a $45 concert. Aren’t these better comparisons? They are all 2 hour out-of-home entertainmet in stadium seating with nice sound systems are they not? So compared to all of those I would definatly go watch a movie, it’s damn cheap!

Mike (profile) says:

Re: comment censorship

Does anyone else notice the comment censorship at techdirt over the past few days?

Um. No. And I can assure you it doesn’t happen because we don’t censor comments. Never have. Never will.

The only thing we remove are comments that are clearly spam. We have *never* removed comments that we didn’t agree with. Just look at how many comments disagree with us all the time, and we leave them up.

If you can point to a specific comment that went missing, please, let us know.

AND, anyone also notice that the comment counter just under the main article gets broken when TD staff doesnt agree and removes those replies.

There may be two things that you’re seeing. The comment counter does not always update immediately once a comment is added — which is a function of the way the system works.

Secondly, as some people noticed, our comment database went on the fritz twice today. We’ve been working on it, and believe it’s fixed, but that is likely the cause of any issues you saw with the comments.

As for comment censorship, I repeat — it DOES NOT happen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: comment censorship

one time I made a sarcastic comment about conservatives being racist. I referred to Barak Obama as a negro (something like “what are you going to do in 2012 when we elect that negro barak obama to be president in 2012?” and that got deleted a couple hours later.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: comment censorship

one time I made a sarcastic comment about conservatives being racist. I referred to Barak Obama as a negro (something like “what are you going to do in 2012 when we elect that negro barak obama to be president in 2012?” and that got deleted a couple hours later

I just searched the comments, and found that comment from back in November, still on the site, untouched:

You can see it here on the 17th comment.

Again, we don’t censor comments that we disagree with. If you read Techdirt regularly, that should be totally obvious, based on the sheer number of comments that disagree with stuff that we write.

LissaMel says:

I don’t go to the movies anymore because the prices are high, the times are inconvenient, there are too many snotty nosed obnoxious people (the last time I went some lady in front of me was doing her NAILS!! in the movie theatre putting nail polish on!) and worst of all the crappy food you pay a fortune for. I’m sorry but $12.50 for a ticket plus $4.00 for a small popcorn that tastes like styrofoam and fake butter and $4.00 for a small pop that is fountain pop – $3.00 for a regular sized hotdog – is just nuts. My husband and I went and saw a movie the week between Christmas and New Years and it was just a horrible experience that cost us $50.00. I like the small town theatres – in the town I used to live in we used to go to the movies all time – every week almost because the food was reasonably priced and really really good (sometimes we would see movies we didn’t want to see just for their popcorn) and it was only $8.00 to get in. Theatres like Empire Theatres and Famous Players are providing bad service and food on a slightly bigger screen. Pfft on that – I will be staying home now!

Phil (user link) says:

This COULD be great

Most screens are digtal now. Surely that means you could plug in some kind of gaming engine into the big screen! Put simple joypads in the arms of the chairs, and bingo, serious multiplayer mahem. Blasteroids a go-go!

I’d go just for that. There’s absolutely nothing else drawing me to the cinema. The only good films to come out of late were good home veiwing. So I watched them at home.

You can’t have fifty player Worms at home.

Yes I know the format would need some tweaking to make a game playable, but the effeort would be well worth it, if it filled the cinema, and made it a propperly sociable experience.

ed Mauhsen says:

there is no comparison

you say to compare to a $70 football game, or $45 concert, but the reason those are high is because there are living people entertaining you, not a prerecorded game, or prerecoded sound. you are comparing apples and oranges. Movies are expensive because people, in general, are greedy. I only go to movies once a year because they cost too much. If everyone else did the same they would find a way to drop the price.

Stuck to the floor says:

One of the biggest reasons I hate going to the theaters in my area is the cleanliness. They try to pack so many people in the theater show after show that they don’t take the time to clean up after someon has spilled stuff. The last time I went in to the theater I lost my sneaker, it got stuck to the sticky floor!!!!. At $10 a show with crappy food and overprice soft drinks. I would rather pay $50 to our losing football team!

giafly says:

Not Anonymous Any More

And now… a house address… an email address… and an expired dot com domain… which could add up to embarassment for an Anonymous Coward in Nevada.

“No, it’s all right, sir, we don’t morally censure, we just want the money….Yes, and here’s the address to send it to: Voice Over (and CAPTION:) ‘BLACKMAIL, BEHIND THE HOT WATER PIPES, THIRD WASHROOM ALONG, VICTORIA STATION‘”

Anonymous Coward says:

People suck...

I would gladly pay $10 to go see a new movie on the big screen in all it’s giant glory if it weren’t the fact that 90% of the time there are a significant number of assholes who can’t just sit quietly and watch the damned movie.

While I think the prices are outrageous they are not the reason I avoid going to the movies. It’s the stupid ass people who act like they’re sitting in their living room.

James says:

Movie experience sux for several reasons

Movie theatres blame the movie industry and vice-versa, but its obviously more complicated than that.

Lets see.. combine a $10/pp ticket price w/prices on candy and popcorn that make you consider financing, then combine that w/a movie industry that sends us more sequels and remakes nowadays than original content, and throw in a slew of 13yo’s w/cellphones who think answering a phone during a movie somehow makes them cool, and an increasingly better theatre experience at home… and its really no shock this industry is in decline.

I applaud their at least ideas about how to make the experience better, but they should forget the pre-show bs and trying to stuff our phones w/ads.

How about this.. we block ALL cellphone signals in theatres? ALL of them….if you are expecting a call you shouldn’t be in the theatre (what did these people do before cellphones?). Then, we have managers/ushers, or whomever, come through and throw out rude asses who should have saved their money and talked annoying at home in front of the tv. The hollywood side of it could be better movies, or we say f them and don’t go. That’d certainly be a good start to the problem.

Anonymous Coward #42 says:

I have stopped going to the theater all together (except for opening, midnight showings of the really big geek stuff) because of the audience. I have gotten to where I just don’t like to pay to be around rude / annoying people *read teenagers* when I can delay some gratification, wait 6 months and catch it on a better screen and dolby headphone at home. The reason I will still go to the midnight showing is for the group dynamic. Most people at those are part of a greater community, and it is generally an enjoyable experience. But try catching King Kong 2 weeks later and you’ll find the place riddled with kdis making out for lack of better location and lighting, cell phone yammering idiots, and hoodlums.

Now, give me a theater that allows 25 and up ONLY after 9:00 PM and I am there. I don’t think the demographic that theaters are losing are the teenagers. 13-17 yr old kids want to get out of the house, be alone with their friends and see movies. The theater will always be a good drop off point for parents. That is why us 20-30 somethings are leaving the theater in droves to catch flicks at our cush loft apartments with people that we like being around.

The theater has alienated the generation that made them rich.

The Almighty says:

S. Florida?

Plush theatres that serve food and alcoholic beverages, with plush seating and adults-only rules are everywhere, not just S. Florida. You may want to get out a little more.

I can sit thru commercials. I can afford popcorn and candy. That’s no big deal. But it’s the obnoxious people sitting around you that ruin the whole deal. Cell-phone blockers would be a great start – but even adults can be rude and just kill the whole experience.

sweetonyou says:

These theatres you are talking about with alcoholic beverages must be just a US thing because I have never seen anything like that. You are lucky if you even have a movie theatre in your town in Canada and all of the little family run ones are gone and you are stuck with either Famous Players or Empire Theatres. Most of the times I have been at the theatre and have been annoyed by others they are usually adults. It’s the adults who talk constantly, put their feet on the chairs – or are with their children who do this and say nothing. I mean when I go to a children’s movie I expect children and rude behaviour but when I went and saw Lemony Snicket the kids were amazing and well behaved – it was the best movie experience I had in a long time. Then I went to see another movie that I can’t even remember the name of and I was so digusted at the behaviour of the people behind and in front of us I almost left.

Also – for the person who said they should make it so only adults over 25 should be allowed in – I disagree – my husband and I and our friends are under 25 and we are very mature and well behaved people. I think it’s ridiculas to have people supervisor other people at the movie theatre but people have lost their manners (it seems) and it really has come down to that.

While the experience of going out is worth spending money – I disagree with the prices. It’s a movie – it’s not like I’m seeing my favourite band in person – getting to experience live – or see my team in person winning and losing – it’s just a recorded movie that 3 months later I can rent for $4.00 and watch it in my basement on my projected with comfy seats – proper room temperature with all my friends and no idiots – and best of good food!

CommonSense (user link) says:

User “sweetonyou” touched on an underrated factor in the decline in movie attendance: “…a recorded movie that 3 months later I can rent…” Yes, the price of the tickets/refreshments and the whole “movie experience” have a lot to do with it, but I’m betting theater attendance would go up if people knew they had to wait more than 3-4 months to see a movie if they missed it in theaters. I think Hollywood is cannibalizing some of it’s theater income by rushing things to DVD. It may not be much, but it would get at least a few more fannies in the theater seats. Maybe it’s more profitable to studios to get the DVD out quickly?

Incidentally, I like to wait until movies are almost near the ends of their theater runs to go see them. The theaters tend to be filled more with people who actually want to see the movie. It still costs the same, but it reduces the “A-hole” factor in the audience.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...