That's the golden advice theatre owners are telling Hollywood at ShoWest: make better moves. Boy, I'm so glad that somebody finally wised up and told those crazy Hollywood studios what they needed to hear, because, gosh, I'm sure that they've never been told that at all! To "make better movies" is such a crazy idea that it... just might work!
Seriously, I had to laugh at this article because really -- isn't that what movie companies are trying to do anyway? Granted, they are not succeeding, of course, but don't you think that they already feel the audiences breathing down their necks and clamoring for better entertainment? To make better movies is not a simple patch job, though. To entertain people and have them come back for more is a crap shoot. Studios have been trying to figure out the fickle-minded movie-going public for decades now and they STILL haven't gotten it right. Even with all their idiotic focus groups and test screenings (if you knew all the great movies of the past that had horrible test screenings, your head would spin), the People will remain an enigma.
No matter how hard you try to replicate a blockbuster film, the People will not go and see it unless it is a good film. What makes a good film? There's your problem. No one knows. Good movies will remain an enigma as well.
What some of the theater chain owners are suggesting to get butts back into their cozy high-back chairs seem to be a band-aid solution to a broken arm problem. Some of these suggestions may work -- making it conveinent to buy tickets over cell phones can prove to be profitable, as well as giving incentives to repeat customers. But there are a few things I'd like to see change in order for me to fully enjoy my time at the movie theater:
1. Take away the pre-show entertainment. The "20" and all that glorified TV and movie promotional crap shown before the trailers is so annoying and so loud that it makes me want to come in late or not at all. One of the reasons for going to a movie is to be with friends or a loved one, but how can you have a decent conversation with them while BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE LATEST OC EPISODE ARE DROWNING OUT ANY CHANCE OF HUMAN INTERACTION? It's inane and frustrating, to say the least. That time you have when you get in your seat before the previews used to be a fun time, to chat and cuddle, to joke and make fun of people coming in, etc. That's lost now.
2. Cut down the amount of trailers shown before each movie down to 3 or 4. The next time you see a 2 1/2 hour film, the last thing you need for you and your bladder are 10 previews of movies that probably do not go with the tone of the movie that you paid for. Show restraint, theaters! (And I know it's all about theaters promising to show so-in-so's trailer before so-in-so's movie (ie: money), but theaters can have a backbone in all this.)
3. The cell phone thing will always be a problem. Nothing you can do will change the fact that we People are dumb and will still talk while a movie is playing. But I do have to say that they're doing okay with the fake movie previews reminding us to turn off our cellies. Not sure if it's working, but it's a start.
4. I know that theater chains make money off of concessions, but PLEASE -- $4 for a coke? That's JUST CRAZY. And when they offer special combo deals, it'd be great if they were true "deals." I'd rather save more than just a quarter, thankyouverymuch.
I worked at a movie theater for 3 years before I got into the animation biz, so some of this hits close to home for me. I did it all, from sweeping popcorn kernels off the floor to serving hot dogs, pretzels, buckets of popcorn and coke to threading 14 films at once to counting the mulah at the end of the day. It was a pretty wild time I had from '93 til '96 -- a time that I will never forget. I learned so much about myself as well as about others throughout this period, which provided an invaluable resource of characters and inspiration for me.
Plus it was free movies. Couldn't beat that.