Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Misanthrope -- Sunday's Lighter Side

Pictures are for entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union.
Samuel Goldwyn (1882–1974), film producer

Movie Going is an Expensive Hassle. Hollywood moviemakers and theater owners are crying that ticket sales are down. It’s a no brainer really. Prices continue to climb and the product continues to decline. Hollywood does not cease in its efforts to cater to a younger audience because they like the fact that they return to the see the same movie a few times. Note to Hollywood, the kids who keep returning have friends who work at the theater and let them in for free.

I only occasionally go to the show and when I go, I wait a couple weeks for the initial crowds to subside. Or, I will go to the Arclight Theatre in Hollywood to the early show on a Sunday, which could be 11 a.m., but everyone out there is still sleeping or afraid to be seen going out so early, god forbid someone think they had nothing to do the night before.

I did see the new Batman at the Universal City Walk IMAX when I was on vacation. What a mistake! The movie and the theater were wonderful, but parking was $10 with a $5 rebate when you purchase your ticket that costs $15. I didn't even look at the snackbar. The crowds and noise at City Walk were enough to make me an agoraphobic for life.

Four reasons why ticket sales are down and there may be more: one, who wants to pay to see commercials? Theater owners continue to sell ad space before you even get to the previews. Two, people are too rude and inconsiderate of others. I certainly don’t want the film narrated for me. And, this is not just young people; seniors are the worst for yakking during the movies. Three, ticket prices are just too expensive for a crappy movie, forget if one has to hire a babysitter, or pay parking. Four, snacks are excessively overpriced. Let’s face it, we are not a captive audience such as those trapped in an airport or amusement park.

Finally, time is just too valuable to spend at the theater. I would much rather stay home and read or putter than go the movies and spend $20 just to get in, when I can rent a DVD for $4.


Lorianne said...

I can't remember the last time I went to a movie theater. There's a old restored theater here that shows art films, and I occasionally enjoy going to that: although it has the usual ticket prices, they serve REAL popcorn with REAL butter, and I can walk there & back. So it's occasionally fun to sit in a beautiful old theater.

BUT, most of the time I rely on Netflix to provide a constant supply of DVDs, which I watch on my comfy couch. Who needs to go even to a video store when you can get DVDs through the mail?

(Good thing I'm allergic to cats...otherwise, I'm well on my way to becoming a Crazy Cat Lady who never leaves her house!) :-)

On The Mark said...

I used to go to the movies 2 or 3 times a week. Now it's just an expensive bad experience and poor product. What happened is that the movie industry, just like the music industry, fed instead of led its audience.

Pirate said...

I'm with you. I saw all three Lord of the Rings in the movie theater, because I wanted the huge screen. Before that, I think the last movie I saw in a movie theater was Monster's Ball when it was playing at a "film"-type theater here in Calgary. Now, of course, we have it on DVD. Movie houses have to pay vast sums of money for the rights to show movies; they freely admit that they make their money not on ticket sales but on snacks. Where else can you buy popcorn, the markup on which is about 5000%???? Yeah, I don't do movie theaters either. If I HAVE to see a movie in a theater, I do the matinee, when it's quiet and the floor can still be walked on.

Aurelius said...

Just for an international comparison, Misanthrope, in AU, movie tickets are $9 to $11.

The Misanthrope said...

It goes to show you were are getting ripped off worldwide.