stories filed under: "theaters"
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 3rd 2008 12:13pm
Two different themes we've discussed here quite often are (1) that movie theaters need to stop worrying about piracy, and focus more on improving the moviegoing experience and (2) that advertising is content -- and it better be good content if you want the advertising to be effective. That's why it's somewhat encouraging to see that movie theaters are now experimenting with much more entertaining and interactive "pre-show" advertising. They're doing things like using motion sensors to have the audience "play" a game as a group, or having them use their mobile phones to vote on certain questions on the screen and immediately showing the results. That latter example may be doubly surprising considering how theaters these days are so anti-mobile phone. Still, while this is a move in the right direction, it's the wrong thing to be focusing on at this point. Improving the overall experience is much more important than making the pre-show ads better, so hopefully this is only one small part of what theaters are working on these days.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Apr 16th 2008 1:52am
from the well,-it's-a-start dept
It is beginning to look like movie theater owners are finally (finally!) coming to terms with the fact that they can't just sit back and whine about home theaters. Instead, they need to actually compete and offer a better experience, not easily replicated at home. In the last month, we've seen a few different stories suggesting that theater owners at least understand part of this. As we've noted, they're investing in IMAX screens and building luxury theaters. The latest is that they're trying to do a lot more 3D movies where the overall experience is enhanced by seeing it in a big theater. These are all steps in the right direction, and things that need to be done, but it would be nice if they fixed the core problems first: making the theaters comfortable, clean and mostly free from distraction. Also, it appears that all of these stories focus on how the theater owners are looking to increase prices for these "new" types of movie experiences. Considering how overpriced some folks already think movies are, theater owners might want to be careful about how much extra they're charging, or no one will come check out these innovations in the first place.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Aug 22nd 2007 4:29pm
from the crimes-and-misdemeanors dept
Remember Jhannet Sejas, the teenager who was arrested for filming 20 seconds of a movie for the sake of showing her brother that she went to that movie? Apparently, she's agreed to plead guilty, which will get her off without any jailtime, a small $71 fine and an agreement to stay out of trouble for a year (afterwards, the misdemeanor will be taken off her record). It's unclear what this has really accomplished for the movie industry, other than highlighting that you better be careful not to take out a camera in a movie theater. A spokesman for the National Association of Theater Owners admits that it's hard for theater owners to police whose filming a movie for distribution and who's just doing it for fun, but then goes on to say that this case "reinforces our efforts to educate the public that unauthorized recording, whether a clip or the whole film, in movie theaters is against the law." Actually, it doesn't do that. It reinforces that theaters have a bunch of ridiculous and costly policies that likely cost more to implement (the article notes that they're rewarding theater employees $500 for each person they catch, which explains why you'll be seeing a lot more theater workers in night vision goggles). However, given that most of the movies you find online are actually leaked by industry insiders rather than camcorded versions (which tend not to be very good anyway), shouldn't there be someone doing a cost-benefit analysis on this? It seems like the educational campaign is quite expensive, makes the theater owners look like a bunch of bullies, and does little to nothing to stop movies from showing up online. Update: Apparently Regal Cinemas pushed hard to prosecute her. How nice of Regal Cinemas.