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Steven Spielberg Predicts 'Implosion' of Film Industry


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#21 of 62 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 13 2013 - 06:07 PM

What is "going to happen" is already happening - premium prices for IMAX, 3d, 21+ theaters, Dbox, etc.  Theaters and multiplexes turning into social gathering sites with leisure areas and more and more food/drink choices including alcoholic bevs.  And, theaters beginning to serve meals inside the actual theaters and outside.  In other words: premium pricing for premium experiences and making the theaters more home like.


That was my first thought: theaters are moving to make more money with better services. I've got a brand new Alamo Draft House a ten minute walk from my house. It's a wild experience after a lifetime of normal theaters. Reserved seating, booked online. Food and drink ordered and served in the theater, during the movie!

I might expect these theaters to resist increased ticket prices. If they can shift revenue from low margin ticket sales to high margin food and alcohol, that seems more what they'd want.

#22 of 62 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 13 2013 - 06:32 PM

Yes.  A few years ago, AMC did that as well locally; they have "Cinema Suites" (we also have a draft house in KC).. reserved seating.   21 and over only.   Full bar.  Restaurant, waiters.   Those experiences are great for "small" films; I saw "Lincoln" in a Cinema Suite because I knew the audience would pay attention and give a dang, compared to seeing in a big IMAX type screen where you're packed with kids and someone whips out a cell phone every so often..

 

On the other hand, several of our local theaters have started "work and kids" showings; 10AM showings at theaters of older or old run films (for example this week they did "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" where kids run around up front, and parents are encouraged or told it's OK to bring iPads/SmartPhones/whatever, they sit in the back and the kids run amuck in the front.. $4 tickets.

 

This is the way that the theater business is changing; it is offering "different prices for different films".. premium pricing for films that are not necessarily super blockbusters but are the kind of film that has a small but loyal audience that will pay to see it in peace and quite from the seat of a recliner with a beer; whereas the giant blockbuster can have the huge auditorium, 3D and whatever else at an also higher price, for a much different reason.

The cinema screens seat 100/200 tops.   One of the best ones seats 130.  Compared to an IMAX screen that seats a couple thousand.  Just a difference in the way it's marketted


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#23 of 62 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 13 2013 - 06:35 PM

Food and drink ordered and served in the theater, during the movie!

I have to ask a question about this kind of presentation- is someone delivering food during a movie? Are people banging forks and knives around during the movie? I get how people would like having a dinner and seeing a movie all in the same place but when I see a movie, I want to see a movie in a movie theater. I don't have any interest in sitting at a table, being served, eating a meal, listening to others do the same and I've given up drinking so it's clearly not my thing but I find it odd that people generally complain about cellular phones and talking but don't seem bothered by the noise surrounding eating a meal.


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#24 of 62 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 13 2013 - 06:56 PM

I have to ask a question about this kind of presentation- is someone delivering food during a movie? Are people banging forks and knives around during the movie? I get how people would like having a dinner and seeing a movie all in the same place but when I see a movie, I want to see a movie in a movie theater. I don't have any interest in sitting at a table, being served, eating a meal, listening to others do the same and I've given up drinking so it's clearly not my thing but I find it odd that people generally complain about cellular phones and talking but don't seem bothered by the noise surrounding eating a meal.

 

Barco-loungers with a swing out arm and table holder for your food.   There aren't a lot of things that are heavy knives and forks, it's mostly bar or finger food (ie, pizza, mac & cheese, chicken, etc.) and liquor, or course.  There are waiters; but because of the way your seats are elevated they tend to move between (and below) you on the rows.. you signal them with a push button on your barco lounger that alerts them.  

IT's pretty slick, actually.  I rarely see a film in any other way now.


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#25 of 62 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 13 2013 - 07:14 PM

^ I've got a lot of theaters near me so I imagine that one will start offering it soon. At that point, I'll check it out.



#26 of 62 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted June 13 2013 - 07:31 PM

I've got a new theater somewhat near me that is almost heaven on earth. The Angelika Mosaic.

Reserved seating, bar upstairs, high end sandwiches and snacks and hot dogs, fill your own soda (unless I want a bottle of Mexican Coke) from one of those new-fangled machines that can do 8 different flavors of pick your soda, extra comfortable seats, at least 6 inches more between rows, only shows two trailers, surrounded by good restaurants and easy parking. They show art house and blockbuster films next to one another as well.

And my local babyImax screen (the best one) just went reserved seating as well. It is the only way to fly. You pay a few extra bucks across the board, but the experience is much, much better. So I readily admit there is some wiggle room for the experience.

As for pricing in general, I think the studios are doing well. I don't see a $50 ticket price I'd pay for in my near future. Maybe if they get Michael Mann to make Gates of Fire or Jim Cameron makes a sequel to Aliens. I'm certainly not paying $30 to see Transformers 4.
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#27 of 62 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted June 13 2013 - 07:31 PM

I but I find it odd that people generally complain about cellular phones and talking but don't seem bothered by the noise surrounding eating a meal.

 

I too find this quite funny.  I remember going to one of those "waiter" screenings back on THE BLACK DAHLIA and I was outraged to the point where I told the waiter that they had better not come back my way.  Back then you actually had to hold your hand up and the waiter, who was standing at the bottom, would come up, stand there, take your order and then come back with the food.  Of course this added talking during the film AND they would stand in front of you.  The Rave Cinemas have this "waiter" section now closed off to what's basically a balcony.  The problem is that if you're in the lower section you can still hear these people ordering food.  I won't even go into these split sections any more because of the talking.  I know they have the lounge chairs at different positions now but still.



#28 of 62 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted June 13 2013 - 07:35 PM

Most theaters seem to have multiple price options so it seems we're already deciding what price to pay.  $5 pre-noon.  $8 matinee.  $10.50 at night.  Then you have the "extras" if you want to pay for them meaning the 3-D, the waiter, the IMAX or the other things that haven't hit where I am yet. 

 

Earlier today I was at a "mainstream" theater to see THIS IS THE END and then I went over to an arthouse to see STORIES WE TELL, which turned out to be the best movie I've seen this year.  I'm not sure what the budget is on these but it's too bad TRANSFORMERS 4's budget isn't divided out to where we could get more movies like these.



#29 of 62 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted June 13 2013 - 09:30 PM

Indianapolis had a "dinner and movie" theater a long time ago. Right downtown. Theirs had no actual talking with the wait staff once the movie started. You had menu/drink sheets you filled out and left on your table. The ink glowed in the dark so the wait staff could see them as they milled around.

#30 of 62 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted June 14 2013 - 02:11 AM

Michael, I'm really confused by your listing of Spielberg projects.  You clearly admit that you removed the titles that didn't fit your assumptions.  Is your intent to say that Spielberg doesn't encourage younger filmmakers in their starts in the business?   How do you explain the donations he has made to USC among other places, as well as his commitment to education?   Or are you saying that because he has put money into popcorn movies, he shouldn't have an opinion here?

 

I agree that the gloom and doom prediction is over the top, but I wouldn't say that his only contribution to film has been to make big budget entertainments.



#31 of 62 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 14 2013 - 05:21 AM

I have to ask a question about this kind of presentation- is someone delivering food during a movie? Are people banging forks and knives around during the movie? I get how people would like having a dinner and seeing a movie all in the same place but when I see a movie, I want to see a movie in a movie theater. I don't have any interest in sitting at a table, being served, eating a meal, listening to others do the same and I've given up drinking so it's clearly not my thing but I find it odd that people generally complain about cellular phones and talking but don't seem bothered by the noise surrounding eating a meal.


Yea, they serve during the movie. The rows are deeper with space between each one, and a shallow bar running the length. Under the bar is low-level lights so you can discreetly read the menu as write an order on a slip of paper. You put the paper in a holder on the bar. Servers slouch through the rows and take orders and being food and drink. Of course, if you arrive early, you can so all your ordering and get the foo before previews. On the flip side, you can get a refill halfway through and not miss a moment of the movie.

It is a small distraction to place and get an order. The distraction of others ordering seems very low. I love it. My wife thinks its good but not perfect for all movies.

Food is burgers, wraps, pizza. Bar food. Good. Not amaoNg.

Edited by DaveF, June 14 2013 - 05:33 AM.


#32 of 62 OFFLINE   MattPriceTime

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Posted June 14 2013 - 06:45 AM

I honestly feel they are putting far too much emphasis on theaters in general.


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#33 of 62 OFFLINE   Everett Stallings

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Posted June 14 2013 - 07:35 AM

That's a good argument, but with respect, I'd counter:

 

John Carter tanked because

 

1.  It was a bad movie, and

2.  They spent way too much money, and

3.  #2 cannot override #1

I liked it. The 3d had ghosting though.


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#34 of 62 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 14 2013 - 10:02 AM

I find it odd that people generally complain about cellular phones and talking but don't seem bothered by the noise surrounding eating a meal.

No noise. People aren't chomping and slurping and moaning "Om nom nom!" :)

Its a nearly noiseless service. There's some visual distraction of your own making. But distractions by choice are not frustrating the way distractions out of our control are. -- texters and talkers.

And Alamo has a very strongly stated policy on not taking or texting during the film. I've not see it enforced, but they've got the best no-text pre-roll 'ads'.

#35 of 62 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 14 2013 - 11:46 AM

Hear me now and believe me later: Your John Carter arguments are mostly nonsense. :P  It tanked because of bizarro marketing and (much as it pains me to say this) because the built-in audience of people familiar with the property was too small to seed the amount of word-of-mouth that sort of budget requires. And it got good word of mouth; just not enough to make back that kind of money.


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#36 of 62 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted June 14 2013 - 12:58 PM

Who's argument of why John Carter failed?

My point was(but yes, familiarity with Barsoom helps) the fact Disney was doing it...

Totally turned me off from seeing it. It would be the same if Disney ever picked up the movie rights to Equus.

#37 of 62 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 14 2013 - 01:38 PM

The idea that it would've done better if it were rated R is the craziest explanation I've heard yet. And yes, I've read the book. More sex and violence might've been a more accurate rendition of the book, but it wouldn't have sold more tickets. There just aren't that many Barsoom fans out there who might be thinking that way to have made much difference.

 

FWIW, I thought the film was very true to the spirit of the book, even if it wasn't quite the Frazzetta painting some of us imagined when we read it. I loved the movie, and so did my kid (who would not have seen it were it rated R. . .so that's one more ticket!  ;) ).

 

Equus is not a valid analogy. That deals with R-rated subject matter, not R-rated sex and violence. It couldn't be toned down while preserving its plot and themes the same way the Barsoom story could.


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#38 of 62 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted June 14 2013 - 01:42 PM

So they can't do nudity in PG?

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#39 of 62 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted June 14 2013 - 01:56 PM

By the way...I wasn't intending that John Carter had to be staged in a nudist colony. An R rating wouldn't have made a difference.

Upon first meeting Dejah, they could have pulled off the same thing they did in Doc Hollywood. Lynn Collins was interviewed and even said herself...not doing an initial "by the book introduction" of the character diminished the role. She signed up expecting it.

As soon as Disney was involved...killed the spirit of the series.

The very point of why Carter saves her comes down to the point of her "beauty belies the need for clothing". Ergo, not providing that glimpse...

Killed the entire movie.

#40 of 62 OFFLINE   Ejanss

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Posted June 14 2013 - 03:25 PM



Who's argument of why John Carter failed?

 

1) Too much Alice/300-fueled expectation of "March blockbusters" - A myth that keeps being fueled by ONE teen-oriented blockbuster released during "Geek Week" HS/College spring break, and then usually for one ultra-core audience title (and not "Big sci/SFX blockbusters in general", as Warner tried to convince themselves with Clash of the TItans).  In this case, there was no stopping the teen-break rush to The Hunger Games, and none dare stand in its way.

Add to a short window of availability before most of the target audience is back in school and with fewer daily showings at the theater, and you've got twice as much work cut out for you to recoup a $150+ budget as you'd have in a nice unlimited summer.

 

2) THE most horrendously studio-sabotaged Disney marketing since Treasure Planet.  Studio fears over movies with "Princess" in the title explained why "A Princess of Mars" had to be changed, but sudden fears over movies with "Mars" in the title (we hear it needs Moms) chopped off the most iconic part of Edgar Rice Burrough's title, and left us with a movie about...some scruffy guy.

Rich Ross's head already rolled for the inscrutably awful trailers that forced fans to go on YouTube and re-edit Phantom Edit versions of "The Trailer They Should Have Released".  And when fans try to Occupy a movie to take it out of the clumsy hands of the studio, that's not good.

 

3) Stockholder fears--With quarterly meetings coming up, it's quicker to get a movie out of sight and out of mind quickly, and while it wasn't pulled as quickly as Treasure Planet had been, there was less time for backlash word-of-mouth to spread and support this film as a #2 sleeper, while the odds were forever in the other big hit's favor.






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