Say That Again

by Mike Masnick




Megaplex Owners More Worried About DVDs Than Theaters That Treat Customers Right

from the it's-dandy,-now-shut-up dept

It's still kind of scary to see that big movie theater owners don't seem to recognize what business they're in. They're so focused on the "threat" of movie downloads, that they don't seem to realize that it's easy to compete with them, if they just offered a better movie-going experience. Going out to the movies has always been a social experience, about more than just the movie itself. While a few smaller theaters have started to recognize this, the big chains still seem confused. The best example of this was how they reacted to the movie Bubble, which was offered on DVD the same day it was released to theaters -- hopefully giving people a choice in how they wanted to watch it. If the theaters were smart, they would have tried to play up the overall experience of the theaters -- but they couldn't, since that experience just hasn't been very good lately. There would be plenty of opportunities to profit from such simultaneous releases. For example, they could have sold the DVD to people leaving the theater who enjoyed the movie. Instead, the theater owners claimed that releasing a move on DVD took away their only competitive advantage. If they really believe that exclusivity is their only advantage, they deserve to die off.

However, it's fascinating to see Wired Magazine ask the CEO of AMC theaters some tough questions about this phenomenon, only to see him respond by totally missing the point. The interviewer asks a few times what's wrong with showing simultaneous "day and date" releases -- and he basically responds by saying that, by definition, any such release can't be good. He doesn't comment on the actual quality of the movie -- but simply insists that a studio wants to release it so quickly on DVD it simply has to suck. Then, when the interviewer notes that the high price of attending a movie upsets people, the guy responds by making a bogus comparison, saying that it's cheaper than going to more expensive live events, and then saying the real problem was that movie quality sucked -- a theme the theater owners love to repeat. The final question, basically notes that the overall experience of going to a megaplex sucks, and smaller boutique theaters seem to be much more enjoyable -- which is why their business is booming. The CEO totally misses the point, by bragging about how many millions of people go to his theaters, saying that proves they're doing something right. So, in other words, he's saying that everything is going just great with their product... even though the big theater owners were just saying that something as simple as releasing DVDs simultaneously will ruin their business, and that downloading is a huge threat? Meanwhile, he's complaining about movie quality, while the interviewer pointed out that movie quality doesn't seem to be a problem at all for the smaller theaters that focus on a better movie-going experience. So, his summary seems to be that everything is going great -- and the thing to worry about is not the real competition from smaller theaters that treat their customers right, but those damn people at home.

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  • identicon
    jdw242, 30 Mar 2006 @ 11:30am

    so a merger of sorts is called for?

    if the simultaneous release of a movie in a theater and on DVD is so dangerous to profits, why not merge a theater and some business like Suncoast. Give theaters first dibs on new release DVDs, a couple of weeks to recoup some costs, then release it general.

    That's one answer based on the comment above: "For example, they could have sold the DVD to people leaving the theater who enjoyed the movie." Yes, then they have a happy customer that hopefully will go tell other people about their experience.

    Word of mouth still works right?

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    • identicon
      JimTub44, 30 Mar 2006 @ 11:46am

      theater owner

      i have a private theater with 2 screens in a small town in wisconsin. there is a megaplex theater nearby, but scores of folks have complained (to me directly) about how much they don't like the experience at the bigger theater:

      members of the audience talk through the whole film, adults bring young children to violent movies, there isn't a lot of room to sit (for tall and fat people), the floor is dirty, ticket price is expensive, snacks are expensive, they have to sit through actual product commercials (not movie trailers) before the film starts, etc.

      the list goes on and on...

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      • identicon
        kenlration, 30 Mar 2006 @ 1:34pm

        Re: theater owner

        There was a small two-screen theatre in Lebanon, Indiana that my wife and I used to go to, and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a historic place, well-kept and clean, the ticket prices were a couple bucks cheaper than the Sony mega-google super plex in Indianapolis, and almost every showing the theatre owner would stand up in front and personally talk to the house and tell them how much he appreciated the business.

        I don't believe for a second that the social experience of "going to the show" doesn't have everything to do with why people are or are not going to the movies.

        We moved away seven years ago, and last time I was in town I was crushed to learn that the theatre we enjoyed so much had been destroyed by fire....(sigh)

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      • identicon
        paige, 5 Mar 2012 @ 11:38pm

        Re: theater owner

        What town in Wisconsin? I may have to come visit!! Check out your venue. I look forward to hearing from you.

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    • identicon
      RRS, 30 Mar 2006 @ 2:10pm

      Re: so a merger of sorts is called for?

      Here is my two cents as far as the whole purchasing of a movie as you walk out of a theater goes. This is what you would call double dipping in any other industry. Condiering the 8 bucks I paid for a large popcorn, not to mention the 5 bucks I shelled out for a large drink I've already come to the conclusion that this is going to be an expensive outing, SO well the movie theater should capitalize on it. Isn't that what capitialism is all about seeing an opportunity and taking it. So if I come out of a good movie I will typically turn to my wife and say HEY when this comes out on DVD we need to buy it. Well taking the rationalization that I've already come to in having to fork out $30+ bucks to come and see the movie I would personally be more then willing to shell out another 15 to $20 bucks to get the movie right then and there. So mister movie theater owner as they say in the high tech industry inovative or be left in the dust.

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  • identicon
    KGordon, 30 Mar 2006 @ 11:44am

    I hate theaters now

    I am a big movie buff, and even though I have a nice television at home, I would prefer to see movies at the theater. Unfortunately they are going down hill so fast that I almost refuse to go.

    Lately I have been trying the large new Harkins theater we have. It is the largest, fanciest, and most expensive in our state.

    The last film I saw, on opening night, (The Hills Have Eyes), was damaged, or there was a projector problem, and there were several green stripes through the screen on top of the movie. I was so furious that I left and asked for my money back.

    The previous film I saw (Ayreon Flux), about 15 kids under the age of 16 came in to the theater 30 minutes into the film, and started yelling across the room. I stood up and got them quiet, but the real problem here was that the theater had oversold the tickets, and there were no more seats, hence the confusion and interuption.

    I have a great respect for films, and really want to enjoy them on a big screen the way they were intended, but every theater I go to I deal with either misconfigured projectors, damaged film, inaudible audio, or distractions by other patrons, and it is utterly infuriating.

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    • identicon
      Bill, 30 Mar 2006 @ 3:45pm

      Re: I hate theaters now

      There was a time that Harkins was the place to go. He would send prints back if they were the least bit damaged. What theater did you go to?

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  • identicon
    Xanik, 30 Mar 2006 @ 11:54am

    I totally agree with the statement, 'the theater experience sucks.'

    The last few times I've been to the movies, I'm faced with over-priced tickets, then over-priced snacks. Yeah, it's a huge screen, with awesome sound, but couldn't I just save my money on the over-priced tickets/food to set up my own theater, in the comfort of my house? X-Men III is coming out this year, and you can bet I'm not looking forward to crowds at all.

    If he says, "...we must be doing something right..." that's because they are the only choice in town. I live in Nashville, and I'm not aware of any of these 'specialty' theaters I keep hearing about. You can bet I'd be going to those if they were around.

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    • identicon
      jdw242, 30 Mar 2006 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      there's gotta be something near Vandy. I can't believe that Nashville doesn't have something like this downtown at least...

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      • identicon
        Xanik, 30 Mar 2006 @ 2:11pm

        Re: Re:

        Not that I've heard of, jdw242. Hmmm... anyone wanna give me money so I can be the first in Nashville with this? =D lol

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        • identicon
          hammy, 30 Mar 2006 @ 2:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Nashville

          Xanik - try Franklin Cinema in Franklin (2 screen theater with tables and chairs serving real food and beer) or Belcourt in Nashville. Both would fall under the "boutique" status.

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          • identicon
            Dorothy Evans, 14 Sep 2007 @ 6:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Nashville

            I am from Nashville, and that's sounds like it is really fantastic way to spend and evening with family/friends, and get your money's worth. I wish there was a place like that here in Atlanta, (if it is I am not aware of it). Way to go!

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  • identicon
    AJ, 30 Mar 2006 @ 12:03pm

    Hmmm

    Sooooo, the same guys that sold me a "home theater" "sony", that provides the theater guys with some of the movies they play, want me to go to the movies, for an interupted, overstuffed, cell phone addicted croud, that loves to talk about the movie during the movie, while there kids are playing in the isle's, then... buy a copy of what i just watched to take home and play on my multi thousand dollar home theater only to realize that it wont play on my laptop or other device because there worried about copying?FuCk YoU, How about i just do this instead... just rip a half assed version off the web to divx and watching it on my old ass computer that doesnt have all of this b/s new digital rights management crap, and i can actually figure out and watch in peace not connected to the web, not asking permission from some idiot that wants to limit what i can do/watch... you want me to stop stealing you idiots, then make it worth my fucking while, or shut the hell up!

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  • identicon
    Chris, 30 Mar 2006 @ 12:35pm

    I agree that the movie experience has gotten worse over the years. I only go out to see movies if my friends want to go. This is because all of the annoyances at theaters... such as people talking way too much, little kids crying, people kicking the back of your seat, and people yelling out vulgar comments. It seems that at least 2 of those things happen every time I go. I would just wait until the DVD comes out and watch it on my 55" plasma w/surround sound rather than put up with all the crap in movie theatres these days.

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  • identicon
    m0rd3r, 30 Mar 2006 @ 12:42pm

    That guy is the very definition of "asshat."

    Typical of the majority of CEO's in big business. As long as they are making money everything is fine no matter what the customers say about them.

    I'm sick of their BS. So I'll just keep right on downloading. You screw me, then screw you.

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  • identicon
    Sean, 30 Mar 2006 @ 1:03pm

    Small theaters

    There's a theater I used to go to back home that had tables in the theater, the seats were Cadillac chairs on wheels, and a waitress came through doing the movie and brought drinks (beer!) and hot food. It was kind of a pub slash movie theater.

    That is a good movie going experience. Big multiplexes suck.

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    • identicon
      ravendark, 30 Mar 2006 @ 1:45pm

      Re: Small theaters

      we have/had one of these near me as well, more or less they renovated an old 3 screen theatre and instead of the cramped seating you had a 3 room restaurant/bar complete with semi-knowledgable waitresses, that because they were 21 and older were not so bad to talk to, though some purists were taken aback that there were people chatting and such like you would find in a restaurant, it was actually quite enjoyable to be able to have a nice dinner(the fish dinner was a steal) before the show started, then grab a drink or two while the ads and previews rolled, then sit back in a comfortable chair and watch the movie, it was indeed the perfect date on several occasions.
      these days however the quality of most movies convinced me that i would rather spend a lesser amount on the DVD when it drops so i could turn it around on ebay or to a friend that liked it if I thought it sucked, which in the last few years, most have.

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  • identicon
    john, 30 Mar 2006 @ 1:06pm

    commercials

    "we have to sit through actual product commercials (not movie trailers) before the film starts." this goes right up my but. i pay all this money put up with being treated like cattle along with many of the things mentioned above. now to watch commercials!! i can't change the channel turn it down or leave because they already took my money.
    i'm feed up to the top with there whinny bull crap..
    take take take till its broken then they blame piracy.
    i'm dun.. i'll stay home next time. you corporate jerks.

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    • identicon
      Timothy Crowell, 15 Jun 2006 @ 2:16pm

      Re: commercials

      I feel everytime i go to the movies and get a drink and popcorn for me and my wife that costs 25 bucks with admission that i have neem pickpocketed and ripped off it leaves a bad tasteb in my mouth to pay 599 for 20 cents worth of popcorn and Then watch commercials they gotta be kidding

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  • identicon
    RenderingSanity, 30 Mar 2006 @ 1:27pm

    Here's a birlliant idea!

    Lets try a new business model! How about a theater that doesn't hire highschoolers with no ambition who spit in your drink?! Maybe hire aspiring actors that entertain you with costumed scenes and parodies from movies, trivia about films presented on more than a powerpoint show that cycles the same 10 questions a million times.


    Certainly that would do more for business than the punk who blends the words "Thank you, enjoy the show," into "thankyouenjoyshow" while checking out the babe standing behind you.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2006 @ 11:46pm

      Re: Here's a birlliant idea!

      A bit fucking racial here agianst high schoolers. Im in high school, and I work at a theater. So now your going to treat me like im stupid go fuck your self.

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    • identicon
      anonymous, 30 Oct 2006 @ 3:15pm

      Re: Here's a birlliant idea!

      hey, honestly. For most of those kids, that's the best job around. How about stop being a grouch for a change? I definately agree that there are some very obnoxious kids around these days, but dear god not just in movie theatres. They got their job for a reason, and chances are, they're a nice kid, just because they are running rampant with hormones and what not does not mean that they are substandard and don't deserve to be serving you. I work in customer service. A rude costomer does not get what they want. The more polite you are to us, the more likely that we're going to go out of the way to be nice to you; and my goodness, if you're going to be rude, don't do it to us, it's not our fault you're having a bad night, chances are you're just going to put us in a bad mood, and then ruin our night, and the circle continues. Just be nice for a change!

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  • identicon
    Dale, 30 Mar 2006 @ 1:33pm

    This time, theatres really are going to die

    We all know that the demise of theatres has been predicted more than once. When TV got started; when VCRs became affordable, with cable movies, and now again with DVDs. The greatest threat to theatres is yet to come: Affordable "home theatre" systems with hi-def and easier access to digital movie files, whatever format that ends up being. I have no doubt that there will be fewer theatres. None will survive that do not come up with substantial ways to improve the movie-going experience. I think it is possible to keep some semblance of the theatre industry going, but only by major, major revisions in the quality of the experience for consumers.

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  • identicon
    Adam, 30 Mar 2006 @ 1:39pm

    Theaters

    Some of those small theaters out there are doing quite well. I still remember my first experience at The Kennedy School http://www.mcmenamins.com/index.php?loc=57 I saw Monsters, Inc with a friend. The movie had to have been out for six months or a year before I saw it. It was definitely out on DVD. However, there was a large audience and lots of kids (kids movies really should have kids around) and the food was good. I could get pizza and beer from the counter or order food from one of the restaurants and bring it in to eat. The chairs were an assortment of couches and comfy chairs with tables in front to eat off of.
    Since then there are more places around Portland that offer upscale screenings.

    Sell me on the experience.

    The idea about selling a DVD to people right as they walk out of the theater sounds like the perfect impulse buying opportunity to me.

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  • identicon
    dj Stu, 30 Mar 2006 @ 1:48pm

    Not Impressed lately

    Back it the 70's me and my friends would load up into somebodies car and head out at dusk to the local drive-in.
    Then in the winter time we would find our way over to the movie house and catch a flick on a friday nite of sat afternoon. It would cost us about 3-4 bucks total to see 1 good movie at the theater or drive-in where we got 2 movies. This was long before DVDs and VCRs and so it was something special to see a flick since there was really no other way to watch movies unless you had a 8mm projector.
    And if you did you either had home made family movies or skin flicks ;).
    Anyway times have a changed and so have the way people go about entertaining themselves and the movie experience has not keep paced with the digital age IMOHP. Lets face it, for the 30$ for 2 to see a show Ill wait the 3-6months for the 15$ DVD to come out and watch it on the big screen at the house. That way I dont have to wait in a long line for popcorn/pop and when I have to go to the bathroom halve way through i can hit the pause button and not miss a thing.
    Oh dont get me wrong I'll still go to the theater on ocassion but not much more then 1-2 times a year.

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  • identicon
    dj Stu, 30 Mar 2006 @ 1:50pm

    Not Impressed lately

    Back it the 70's me and my friends would load up into somebodies car and head out at dusk to the local drive-in.
    Then in the winter time we would find our way over to the movie house and catch a flick on a friday nite of sat afternoon. It would cost us about 3-4 bucks total to see 1 good movie at the theater or drive-in where we got 2 movies. This was long before DVDs and VCRs and so it was something special to see a flick since there was really no other way to watch movies unless you had a 8mm projector.
    And if you did you either had home made family movies or skin flicks ;).
    Anyway times have a changed and so have the way people go about entertaining themselves and the movie experience has not keep paced with the digital age IMOHP. Lets face it, for the 30$ for 2 to see a show Ill wait the 3-6months for the 15$ DVD to come out and watch it on the big screen at the house. That way I dont have to wait in a long line for popcorn/pop and when I have to go to the bathroom halve way through i can hit the pause button and not miss a thing.
    Oh dont get me wrong I'll still go to the theater on ocassion but not much more then 1-2 times a year.

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  • identicon
    Lion XL, 30 Mar 2006 @ 1:51pm

    mOVIE THEATRERS SUCK!

    I haven't been to a movie theater in so many years I lost count, (last movie I remember seeing at theater was Aliens V Predator, and that I was away on vacation and it was raining).

    I just can't tolerate it(the noise, the inconvenience, the crowds and especially the cost). I live in NY and the average cost of movie today is about $12, I have 4 kids plus my wife, thats $72 before dinner and snacks. A DVD costs $25 bucks max, you do the math. Now I still send my kids to movies occassionally when it's a group outing, but as far as family outings, we do can better things together.

    Now, recently, I heard that the Caroline's (the comedy club) is going to offer a Dinner and a Movie, They are gping to show new releases in a dinner setting, so that you canhave your dinner, have your drinks and watch a good movie, how well wiould it be implemented I don't know, but it seems like they are adding value to experience which is good thing. I might even try it out.

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  • identicon
    Robert, 30 Mar 2006 @ 2:01pm

    I agree with you 100%

    I do not go to the large chain movie theaters, like AMC, STAR, etc... I tend to go to one Independent Movie theater that has plush theater seating, clean, and buffet style food available. It is a much nicer movie going experience then the chain theaters. The Chain Movie Theaters seats usually suck, they are not clean. I will add that I don't go to the movies as much because good movies are rare nowadays. Evan Blockbuster sucks nowadays. Blockbuster has raised their rates and the movies that you rent are scratched, dirty and defective most of the time.

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    • identicon
      Michael, 3 May 2006 @ 7:05am

      AMC sucks

      AMC is a large, cruel corporation. I would know because I am a supervisor at one. I am actually going to quit; the only reason I was staying was because I thought that I could get the $1,500 scholarship that they offer to students going to college. I can't get it because you have to work there up until August 1st, and I am starting at Florida State University in the summer. As for transfering to the AMC by Florida State University, no way. The pay is horrible- as a supervisor, I do projection, concession, usher, box office, and inventory and I only make $6.75 an hour. That is nothing compared to what other businesses pay their employees, especially to supervisors. We recieved a memo that they would be issuing raises for employees back in December, and nothing else was said after that. I will never go to an AMC again.

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      • identicon
        Death to AMC!, 23 Jul 2006 @ 7:37pm

        Re: AMC sucks

        AMC is by far the worst place to work at. I was a supervisor and a projectionist as well and my "raise", if you can call it that, was only twenty more cents! So the base salary ended up being 6.95 an hour. Cheap bastards.

        Death to AMC!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2006 @ 11:43pm

          Re: Re: AMC sucks

          Amc does suck, I was working in box and the printer jammed and I got shit about it, and was "sent" home and I said well shit looks like im not getting schduled box.

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      • identicon
        Anthony, 9 Mar 2007 @ 7:28am

        Re: AMC sucks

        amc is horribly i got fired for nothing

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        • identicon
          Casey Luk, 28 Mar 2007 @ 2:35pm

          Re: Re: AMC sucks

          Cineplex sucks also. I was the ONLY guy who worked hard there. Well me and this family for Columbia, and Miguel from Mexcio. we were the only ones who worked hard. And the Cineplex often write me up..... for hard working. namely mopping the piss stains in the guys washroom.

          So I feel your pain dude.

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  • identicon
    Dave-O, 30 Mar 2006 @ 2:06pm

    Small theaters

    I hate the megaplexes too. The high prices, all those idiots talking. My theory is that people are so used to watching movies in their homes, that they think they are in their living rooms when they are at the theater, so it's OK to talk and let the kids run wild.

    It seems that the people who go to the boutique theaters understand how the theater experince should be enjoyed. I always enjoy it and the prices are much more reasonable.

    We have a theater here in Minneapolis called The Heights. Beautifully restored old neighborhood theater. Before the movie starts, a man playing a pipe organ slowly rises out of the stage! So cool! Then they usually play an old cartoon before the movie, not commercials. If you don't live here, be jealous!

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  • identicon
    me, 30 Mar 2006 @ 2:33pm

    Backwards business plan

    How dumb is it that a small theater owner that provides a better movie-going experience has to have cheaper prices to get people into his theater. Don't get me wrong, I love our little 2 screen theater in Delaware, OH (The Strand). 2 tickets AND popcorn and a drink for $13. How great is that. Plus I don't have to drive into Columbus and put up with the punks in the mega-plex. We have a 2nd theater in town that has gone through about 5 owners in the 10 years I've lived here. Some of them have done a good job of improving the experience, some of them have not. I think that every time someone does well running that place they get bought out by someone wanting to make a quick buck.

    Until a mega-plex owner feels like a crook to charge me $60+ to take my kids to the movie where they pick up new cuss words (from both the crowd and the movie) then I leave with gum on my shoe (or pants or kids), then I won't feel like a crook to watch a movie at home that my neighbor pulled off the internet the week before it released in the theater.

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  • identicon
    Demios, 30 Mar 2006 @ 2:53pm

    All the DVDs I (haven't) bought...

    I really do like this idea of buying DVDs when the movie is released. I've been going through my modest collections and all the DVDs I *have* bought have been either after I read the book, or saw the movie when it was released on TV.


    Seems to me that DVDs would sell so much better when the marketing blitz is actually going on, just before the movie is released in the theater. I can think of several movies I would have bought *if* the DVDs were available on release night. Instead after 4-6 months I generally forget how good the movie is or there is something shinier coming out.

    When the big companies learn to trust their customers instead of treating us like pre-criminals, then we will see a change of business models. I think we should relax piracy laws. Yes, it will increase piracy, but it will force companies to innovate and compete for your dollar instead of threatening us, and penalizing (DRM) honest customers. Less they spend on lawyers, more they can spend on real entertainment.

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  • identicon
    cody h, 30 Mar 2006 @ 3:16pm

    Megaplex Owners More Worried About DVDs Than Theat

    in the town i live in we have a theatre that runs the movies after the "big" theatres are done with them. the cost to get in is 5 bucks and for that 5 bucks you get the movie plus a popcorn or candy of your choice and a drink with refills. i would like to see the "big" theatres beat that!!!

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  • identicon
    Leatherwood, 30 Mar 2006 @ 3:31pm

    The Real Reason Theaters are Failing

    Did a bit of research on IMDB on releases back to 1980. In 1980 there were 5383 releases, 6108 in 1985, 14185 in 2000 and over 19000 in 2005!


    Yes it's easier with technology to make all sorts of films from indie flicks to documentaries to blockbusters. But it also means that the sheer volume is crowding out those films who have both commercial and critical appeal. There are frankly just too many movies being made!


    The answer if for the theaters to go with this and be more selective in terms of what goes to theater and what should go to DVD. Movies should be an EVENT based on the fact that the theaters are deciding which ones are worthy of the experience. Their price then becomes equal to the value of the movie and if they would match that with service (and clean floors) then you would have the type of theater experience that their counterparts on the live stage have provided.

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  • identicon
    Nick, 30 Mar 2006 @ 3:33pm

    Why Bother?

    As the nations morals have declined so has the movie experance. As adults we can choose to see what we want and when, but it infuriates me to see irresponsible parents dragging in their young ones to serious sexual explicit and violent movies just because they can't find a babysitter or are sick enough to think it's ok. Again piggy backing on previous comments, teens and adults disrupting the whole experance with chatter and cellphones is not worth my money. One of the main reasons I use to love to go see a good movie (When they use to make them) was the popcorn... man was it good back in the day. I think Orville makes a better popcorn then the theaters today. I don't believe in copy writing but I also only visit the theater about once a year due to the inflated prices and poor quality of food available (It just plain sucks and you better bring some TUMS if you eat it). I for one am glad that the DVD's are released shortly after the movie is released so I can enjoy a better experence on my personal home theater with friends (Cell phones off) and enjoy a better selection of food. Good theaters are a dieing breed but they did it to themselfs. With the technology out there they (CEO's) can fix the problem but won't because it's all about the mighty dollar. Well let them take the nose dive they deserve. If any of them are smart they would take the comments off of sites like this and fix the problem. I'm not holding my breath..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nick, 30 Mar 2006 @ 3:33pm

    Why Bother?

    As the nations morals have declined so has the movie experance. As adults we can choose to see what we want and when, but it infuriates me to see irresponsible parents dragging in their young ones to serious sexual explicit and violent movies just because they can't find a babysitter or are sick enough to think it's ok. Again piggy backing on previous comments, teens and adults disrupting the whole experance with chatter and cellphones is not worth my money. One of the main reasons I use to love to go see a good movie (When they use to make them) was the popcorn... man was it good back in the day. I think Orville makes a better popcorn then the theaters today. I don't believe in copy writing but I also only visit the theater about once a year due to the inflated prices and poor quality of food available (It just plain sucks and you better bring some TUMS if you eat it). I for one am glad that the DVD's are released shortly after the movie is released so I can enjoy a better experence on my personal home theater with friends (Cell phones off) and enjoy a better selection of food. Good theaters are a dieing breed but they did it to themselfs. With the technology out there they (CEO's) can fix the problem but won't because it's all about the mighty dollar. Well let them take the nose dive they deserve. If any of them are smart they would take the comments off of sites like this and fix the problem. I'm not holding my breath..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence R Torgrimson, 30 Mar 2006 @ 3:35pm

    How do you spell relief?

    If we as a nation would only boycott all movies including rentals for say a week or two, we would see these rip off joints come back down to earth and start treating us like the paying customers we are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bananaman, 30 Mar 2006 @ 3:49pm

    Why it sucks to go to megaplexes

    1. People talk, that is not respectful and greatly annoying, especially to people like me, who LOVE movies.

    2. It costs more than a dinner at a fancy restaurant, where it is QUIET, the food is good, and the service is nice.

    3. It costs more than the actual DVD, so waiting is not a big deal, there are always cheap movies on DVD to buy and watch at home and have a better time.

    4. Movies are FREE online, it may be illegal, but they are there, there is really no incentive to going to the theaters.

    5. Cell phones + kids + chatters + highschoolers = a horrible time, in any given place.

    6. They think WE owe them something, as if they were doing us a favor for showing us the movie. Ive dealt with the worst of the worst managers at theaters when I complain.

    Conclusion: I stopped going a while ago. It wasnt worth it because I wasnt having a good time, which is the point of going.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adam, 30 Mar 2006 @ 3:54pm

    I never go to the theaters to see a movie without a good reason. The last Star Wars movie was a good reason, as was the King Kong remake. Every other reason is word of mouth, where someone else has seen the movie and told me I need to see it on the big screen. I smuggled in a couple of Snickers bars in my pocket, and didn't need a soda. The total cost was $6.00, plus a buck for the Snickers. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and the movie experience was good enough for me to support the theater with an overpriced tub of popcorn next time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mr. Lucas Brice, 30 Mar 2006 @ 4:04pm

    Movie Theaters Are Over

    First, I'll state that since 99% of movies released are utter crap. I can see the 1% left over that are worth watching more happily at home. Here are some reasons that I could care less if I ever set foot in a movie theater again:
    • I can pause the movie if nature calls.
    • The popcorn that I make in the microwave costs a mere fraction of the cost of the overpriced theater popcorn.
    • If someone farts while I'm watching a movie at home, I know who did it.
    • I don't have to worry about focus problems at home.
    • For the price of two move tickets at the theater, I can get unlimited movies delivered to my house from Netflix.
    • No one will sit in front of me and block my view in my living room.
    • At home, I don't waste my time showing myself coming attractions to stupid movies that suck.
    • If I do accidentally wind up watching a movie that sucks at home, I can pop out the DVD and watch another moive. If this happens in the theater, I'd probably suffer through the movie because I paid for it, then regret that I paid for it.
    • I can buy an entire 2 liter bottle of soda for less than half of what a theater will charge me for one cup.
    • Movie theaters suck.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      smith, 9 Jul 2006 @ 9:15am

      Re: Movie Theaters Are Over

      I rarely go to theaters now because the cost and the experience is better at home... AMC theaters really SUCK! AMC took over the Sony Loews at Lincoln Square 13 recently. Now what should be the relatively simple act of calling the theater for showtimes and ticket availability has become a nightmare of of listening to commericals on the phone and repeat recordings that don't work. AMC has so over-commercialized the move theater experience that its predicted demise is guaranteed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mr. Lucas Brice, 30 Mar 2006 @ 4:08pm

    Movie Theaters Are Over

    First, I'll state that since 99% of movies released are utter crap. I can see the 1% left over that are worth watching more happily at home. Here are some reasons that I could care less if I ever set foot in a movie theater again:
    • I can pause the movie if nature calls.
    • The popcorn that I make in the microwave costs a mere fraction of the cost of the overpriced theater popcorn.
    • If someone farts while I'm watching a movie at home, I know who did it.
    • I don't have to worry about focus problems at home.
    • For the price of two movie tickets at the theater, I can get unlimited movies delivered to my house from Netflix.
    • No one will sit in front of me and block my view in my living room.
    • At home, I don't waste my time showing myself coming attractions to stupid movies that suck.
    • If I do accidentally wind up watching a movie that sucks at home, I can pop out the DVD and watch another movie. If this happens in the theater, I'd probably suffer through the movie because I paid for it, then regret that I paid for it.
    • I can buy an entire 2 liter bottle of soda for less than half of what a theater will charge me for one cup.
    • Movie theaters suck.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Limerat, 11 Jul 2006 @ 1:03pm

      Re: Movie Theaters Are Over

      I'm not sure they are over, but I do know the home experience is MUCH better.
      No commercials and trailers for movies I don't care about with the volume as loud as a 747 taking off.
      When we went to see LOTR the volume was so loud,it shook the friggin' floor!
      I wear ear protectors and ear plugs during the times I go to a movie,which is maybe once a year.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daniele Levy, 30 Mar 2006 @ 4:46pm

    Apples and Oranges

    The DVD vieweing experience and going to the movies are completely different choices in the minda of the consumer. If indeed the moviegoing experience was more positive, they wouldn't even be discussed in the same breath. As the quality of the theater setting degrades, and the breadth of the DVD choices expand, they become mutually exclusive choices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 31 Mar 2006 @ 5:16am

    While I am in general agreement with the arguements made here there is one thing I am sick of. Everyone just goes one and on about how all movies are crap now. It just isn't true. There have always been stupid movies, stupid actors, and overblown remakes. While I think we might keep better track of these things and the media blitz tends to throw egg on their face when they have a flop today things are not that much different. Blaming quility is the same horrible excuse that people use when taling about music, tv, or movies, it is even being tossed about by the AMC guy in the article.

    So give up on the crutch and focus on how we can enjoy movies more not whine about how we should scrap everything.

    I think that theatres could have a simple single disc version of a dvd there for sale along with movie posters, t-shirts, soundtrack, and all the other what nots. Then when it is done in the theatres the 2-disc special edition could come out with a ton of extras to buy it again. That would give the chains the profit oppurtunity they want without having to charge 12 dollars for popcorn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stoolio, 31 Mar 2006 @ 7:08am

    Independents are the best

    I just moved back home from Raleigh NC. While I was there I was introduced to a few independent theaters.

    Ticket prices were cheaper, drinks and popcorn were tasty/cheap, and no commercials! You could even drink beer.

    The drawback? No stadium seating... was not a big deal at all. The seats were ten times more comfortable.

    I even drove over to Chapel Hill and went to that old theater across from UNC to see Wallace and Gromit.

    Excellent.

    Then one night I went to one of the megaplexes to see something that was not playing anywhere else.

    What a shitty contrast. Movie was good, but everything left me feeling date raped and kicking myself in the ass for ever going there.

    Large coorporations just generally suck.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Akinyi, 31 Mar 2006 @ 8:13am

    If the theatre had a couch and a pause button I'd go. I can't wait for simultaneous releases of new movies in the theatre and on DVD. Sitting in a movie theatre for two hours is like being on timeout.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jimbo, 31 Mar 2006 @ 10:35am

    Where do the old reels go?

    Why is it that only recent releases are ever shown at movie theaters? There are plenty of older movies that I'd love to go see in a theater. What happens to all the old reels? Is someone just sitting on them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mary, 1 Apr 2006 @ 6:35am

    sell dvd in lobby

    I agree with Adam (comment #14) and Demios (#25) that theatre owners should offer the DVD for sale in the lobby. On the surface, it would be a terrific opportunity to get that dollar and share it with the studios to help recoup the cost of making the film. And quite frankly, if I liked the movie I just saw in the theatre, I'd be willing to buy the DVD right then if the price was reasonable.

    Why this terrific idea probably won't happen comes down to one thing - Wal-mart (and other retailers) who gripe that THEY will lose money on DVD sales. Wal-mart carries a lot of influence - in fact, too much - in today's market. It is said that Wal-mart's execs have told studio execs if they offer one DVD for sale in a theatre, Wal-mart will pull that studio's ENTIRE catalogue from its inventory. That studios and theatre owners will bow to Wal-mart instead of listening to loyal movie-goers further exacerbates the problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Buy The DVD, 2 Apr 2006 @ 12:22am

    Movie Theaters Suck

    The movie studios and the theaters don't care about these comments or improving the movie going experience. They are corporate wimps who are behind the times and they won't do a thing about it. If that is the case I will buy the dvd only and not go to movies anymore. The drive-in movie is almost gone. Walk-in theaters are next. It is their loss. Too bad. ;-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    darkbhudda, 3 Apr 2006 @ 12:14am

    Used to go weekly, now I go every 2 months

    10-15 years ago, at 1/4 of the movies I went to, people kicked my seat. They don't just kick, they kick and push against the seat continuously like they're 2 years old. Still happens. I used to move, but then you have to deal with other people who take off their shoes and put their stinky feet on the seat next to you or people talking or whatever.

    It's gotten to the point where I'm paranoid about anyone sitting behind me and cannot relax. Trust me, being tense and paranoid for 2 hours during a movie is not fun. I usually sit at the side in a row where no one is behind me, but it's not always possible. I've actually smacked someone's leg hard who was non stop acting like a tied down frog on speed. They stopped for 5 minutes and then continued. Unfortunately this was a fully packed preview, so no point complaining.

    It doesn't seem to matter what time of day or week you go, there is always a disruptive influence.

    Now I complain and get a refund, every time there is a full conversation, every time someone kicks my seat, every time they have sound or film problems - I have to get out of my seat to find someone to get the projectionist to fix it with rarely even a thank you?, give me back my money. If they say you can't get a refund after 1/2 hour into the movie, point out the people who were having a full conversation came in more than 1/2 hour into the movie. They'll sook, but you'll get a refund.

    Re: To the academics
    I know classical music and plays were performed to a crowd of people chatting and being loud. I know it was basically background noise to them. That's fine, that was then. Classical music was also performed by a bunch of drunks and louts. Do you advocate all directors and actors must get drunk to make good films? I want to watch a movie and enjoy it, get over it.

    Re: Old people
    Can be worse than teenagers.

    Re: People coming in late
    Don't have a 5 minute discussion about where you are sitting in a nearly empty theatre. You sit in the same area every time, your girlfriend always wants to sit in the back or whatever. Sit your arse down and shut up. Don't then continue to ask for 5 minutes whether the seats are okay, and then get up and buy snacks.

    And if you are late and there is hardly anyone in the theatre, don't sit right behind me and kick my seat. One day I'm going to snap, and you will have a reason to charge me for assault, once you come out of your coma.

    Re: Food
    Open your chip packets during the ad break, will it kill you to get 1 minute of oxidation on your chips? If you bring in a full cooked meal, don't put them in the noisest bags you could find.

    Re: Sick people
    Geez, if you are coughing and sniffling non stop, stay the hell home you toerag.

    Re: Chinese cinemas
    Funny thing is, I hate it when people gasbag during foreign films, except at Chinese cinemas. I don't mind it when people have full on phone conversations, it's just a different atmosphere. Better acoustics as well, so people talking isn't so loud.

    Re:Arthouse crowd
    Sometimes they're better, but other times not.
    The crowds at these movies can be worse. They draw the same crowd of people who go to the theatre and have full conversations. There was a play I went to, I had 4 people right in front of me have a 4 way conversation during Shakespeare. No smartarse scholar jump in and point out Shakespeare wrote for the smelly people, I don't frickin' care. I could only hear every 3rd line. The usher heard them and did nothing. By the way, the Theatre is not a cinema, stop eating cookies during the Opera you cretins.

    I absolutely loathe film festivals now. Besides you lining up to buy tickets and their computers are broken (put a sign up so we don't waste our time), and their online ticket software doesn't let you buy passes, you have to deal with just as rude a crowd, except you expect them to be better behaved.

    Re:Ticket prices...
    People complain about the price of anything. There are people who spend $200 each Friday night on alcohol, who then complain about a $10 movie ticket.

    The worst part about tickets is having to line up with people buying candy. What's that, you've lined up for 1/2 an hour and still haven't decided whether you want snacks or not? Do you SMS yourself to remember to breathe? Or those theatres with bizarre lines where no one can figure out where the line for tickets actually are.

    Re: Quality movies
    It's rare I want to see a movie on the screen anymore. I used to go weekly, but with all the disruptive influences I wait for DVD. Even then I wait for it to go weekly. There are just too many good classic and old foreign movies available to watch.

    Now if I want a good night out, I go to Bollywood films. The crowds are small and well behaved, and I get a 3 hour entertaining movie for my money.

    Re: kids in the cinema
    They showed the original King Kong (30's version) recently in Oz. There were at least 10 kids running around. I'll refresh your memory, it was violent, in one scene Kong rips a creatures jaw apart. Needless to say the kids were screaming in terror and crying. Nice parenting skills.

    I was watching a horror movie, where there were sound problems, the volume dropped to almost zero. On top of that, a woman had brought her baby along, and proceeded to play with a laughing bag. They have special sessions for mothers and babies, take your brats to those you selfish cow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Your Projectionist, 19 Apr 2006 @ 6:24am

    Movie Theatres & the MPAA have lost

    I can see any movie I want for free, but I'd rather download it off the internet, than watch it in a dirty scummy theatre.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jaja, 1 Jun 2006 @ 11:56am

    balconies

    What about the punks up in the balcony who throw their soda down on you. But, to beat this, I had a kid throwing flaming matches down on us!. What did management do? Nothing! They told me not to make waves! I left and called the fire department but never found out what happened to the brat. And, yes I did get burned. They don't blow themselves out during the fall.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    some guy, 6 Aug 2006 @ 12:18am

    prices

    Do you people really not understand movie theater pricing? The companies that make the movies get most of the ticket money - the movie theater only gets a tiny percent - usually not even enough to pay for the people working there. That is why concession prices are so high - they HAVE to be that high in order to stay open. Most megaplexes have leases that are probably over 1 million dollars a year, and the utility bills are probably a good $25,000 each MONTH. Then figure in all the times that some dumb shmuck doesn't watch where they are walking and trips over something, then sues for over $100,000. Why do you think all the movie chains went bankrupt awhile ago, because theaters arent profitable.

    The biggest problem with movie theaters isnt prices, it's disruptions. They should just charge an extra dollar and station an usher in each theater to take care of idiots on cell phones or ghetto parents who bring their five year old into a rated r movie instead of getting a babysitter (and you just know they said he was 2 so he wouldnt have to pay).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2006 @ 4:26pm

    re: AMC

    I recently started working at AMC. In fact the training material does address the point about what business they're in. The material says the goal is to "provide our guests with the best possible moviegoing experience", but was recently changed to "out of home entertainment experience.

    And yet the CEO is complaining about DVDs? Do you mean to say that the corporate slime up at the top doesn't believe the platitudes in their own training manuals? What a surprise.

    I was barely trained. I was required to attend one training session where we were exposed to the indoctrination of AMC's "guestfirst" program, then made to sign a form saying I'd seen all the various training videos and received training in all areas, which was almost completely false. My actual "training" came from coworkers. I've learned to do everything except box office, though I'm still being broken in.

    I'm not sure what management does. Most of the employees can do just about everything in the theater, except for the miserable ones with attitudes who get put on cleaning duty perpetually until they quit. The rest of us are constantly busy doing everything and often don't get breaks. All for mimimum wage.

    Well. I'll put in my time and continue to work as hard as I can for maybe six months, then leave with a letter of recommendation, which is really the only thing I'm looking to get out of the job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2006 @ 8:46pm

    AMC bad experiences

    I just walked out of AMC showing of Apocalypto in Tallahassee, FLorida, because of the disturbing behavior of the other people in the audience. The guy next to me was actually laying down talking on his cell phone. A gang of young thugs was running up and down the stairs. I tried to find a place to complain to the parent company on their web site and they don't offer that option. You have to send them snail mail. This is the third time I have left their theater, in the past two years for the same reason. A little crowd control, behavior monitoring and security would go a long way. But they have lost me as a customer for the foreseeable future. DVDs will get all my business. DLB

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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