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Skip the theater, Get the DVD?

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128 replies to this topic

#1 of 129 OFFLINE   Joey B

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Posted July 11 2002 - 04:12 AM

Has anyone else here (I'm sure there's a few Posted Image ) skipped a movie in the theater that they really wanted to see, specifically to wait for the DVD?

In my case, I'm dying to see Spider-Man, but my wife and I decided to wait for the DVD. Since we know we'll both love it and want to buy it anyway, and it will probably cost less then going to the theater. (It also helps to be on a tight budget Posted Image )

Anyways, Can't wait for Spidey on DVD!

You are hearing me talk.

#2 of 129 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

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Posted July 11 2002 - 04:17 AM

I have done this with a few movies that I want to see. I rate my movies as 'must see in theater' and 'wait for DVD'. There are very few that I put in the first category now. Usually these are the ones that need to be seen on the big screen. This may change when I get my new RPTV this fall(ish).
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#3 of 129 OFFLINE   Dave Gilbert

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Posted July 11 2002 - 04:18 AM

I only ever go to the theatre for "event" movies (Star Wars, LOTR, Spider-Man) anymore. Unless it really benefits from the big-screen, I'll wait for the DVD.

There is no one sitting behind me talking, and it's cheaper to buy the DVD than admission and snacks for two. Most of the DVDs that I buy these days are one's I've never seen before.

#4 of 129 OFFLINE   Andrew Chong

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Posted July 11 2002 - 04:22 AM

I've done this a few times too, most recently with "Insomnia". The larger screen and bigger sound system notwithstanding, paying ~$24 (dvd) instead of ~$33 (theatre+dvd) adds up to big savings in the long run.

#5 of 129 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted July 11 2002 - 04:47 AM

This is my attitude almost 100 percent of the time. Few exceptions--such as seeing 2001 screened in 70mm in The Egyptian last December. And watching Eyes Wide Shut in the commercial cinemas.

Another exception I might make is to see Star Trek: Nemesis in a commercial cinema this fall--for the simple reason I don't want to wait until the DVD before I can get into lively discussions about it here at HTF.

(Now, if I could convince the HTF membership to wait for the DVD along with me, that'd be another story!)

So, basically, I am a wait-for-the-DVD kind of guy.

#6 of 129 OFFLINE   MarkPayton


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Posted July 11 2002 - 04:53 AM

Like Dave and Richard, I usually only go the theater for "event" movies - last one I saw was LOTR. My wife and I do this as a rule for many reasons:

1)It's most practical for us as we have young kids (7, 5, 3, and 1 month) and it's far more convenient logistically to simply rent or buy the movie and watch it at home.

2) Economically, by the time you've paid for the tickets, popcorn and a single small drink, you've paid for a DVD you can watch several times, or several rentals. Add to this the cost of babysitting in our case, and you've paid for a multi-disc special edition or two!

3) We're not very impatient about seeing the latest hot thing to hit the theaters, so it's relatively easy for us to just wait for the DVD - there are plenty of other, older movies to rent/buy and watch in the meantime.

Having said that, sometimes the "event" value of going to the theater wins out. For example, I took the kids with friends to see Chicken Run in a packed theater, and we all loved it. In that case, despite the expense ($80 including food and drink!) I think it was worth it. (I then went ahead and bought the DVD and have since entertained my kids and many more of their friends with it.)

#7 of 129 OFFLINE   Jodee



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Posted July 11 2002 - 04:59 AM

Well, I find I am doing this more and more. I have had two absolutely horrible movie-going experiences so far this year: Gosford Park & Monsoon Wedding. Both were ruined by older people (who should know better) talking incessantly throughout the films. In the case of Gosford Park, it was an entire theater filled with over 60 types who chatted non-stop. My husband & I were the only ones being quiet and our "Shh"s did nothing. In the case of Monsoon Wedding, it was one elderely couple who insisted on reading the subtitles out loud.

Since then, the only movie in a theatre I've seen has been The Cat's Meow (because I am a huge Bogdanovich fan). We have waited for Panic Room, Spiderman, and a bunch of others. I think we'll go to Minority Report but haven't gotten around to it.

I usually buy the big new releases on street date (on sale) and it is comparable to going togetheer to the theatre. Plus, I usually loan my DVDs to mu mom & sister after viewing them so we get a good value. Not going to the theatre definitely saves us money.

#8 of 129 OFFLINE   John Boutwell

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Posted July 11 2002 - 05:27 AM

As stated above, I've got 2 kids and after paying for me, wife, and kids and snacks it gets pretty expensive. So I just wait for the DVD since I really enjoy being in total control of my movie experience.

#9 of 129 OFFLINE   Neil White

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Posted July 11 2002 - 05:33 AM

I too wait for the DVD in most cases unless it is an event movie. But even then, due to having two young kids myself, we don't always get to see those at the cinema. We actually didn't go for two years at one point!

I wonder if this trend is affecting box office takes? The revenue from the DVD's balances it I guess (for the studios anyway). I know VHS was to be 'the death of the cinema' and for while, at least in the UK, box office takes did drop off and that was with rental windows. Things picked-up again quickly though. DVD has the different model without the rental window (hopefully for good) and it's take-up is much faster than VHS so I'm curious if the cinema's are taking a hit.

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#10 of 129 OFFLINE   Colin-H


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Posted July 11 2002 - 05:36 AM

Going to the theater is stupid economically. Even the art house theater devoid of surround sound local to me in Providence charges $8.50 for admission. (On top of that, you get one of those useless-in-vending-machines Kennedy half dollars for change!) That's pretty ridiculous. The only time I go to the movies now is during the $5 matinees (which aforementioned theater doesn't even have). I got Royal Tenenbaums CC for the price of two movie tickets. Not bad, in my opinion.
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#11 of 129 OFFLINE   TimG


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Posted July 11 2002 - 05:43 AM

I will have to agree with the above concerning kids. We have a 2.5 yr old and another on the way. (Due in 8 days Posted Image ) Our local theater sucks, so we have to drive 30 minutes to see one, babysitter, etc.. We usually just hit the big ones, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars. Hell, our local still hasn't got Spiderman. We would probably see more if the local theatre wasn't so bad though.

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#12 of 129 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted July 11 2002 - 05:49 AM

Not I; my friends and family joke that when I say "I'll wait for video", I really mean "I will never see this movie".

(They also believe that I chose my apartment specifically for its proximity to the Brattle Theater and Harvard Film Archive. I swear, it was only one of, like, three factors!)
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#13 of 129 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted July 11 2002 - 06:00 AM

Since I have some "industry" connections, I'm lucky enough to see most movies for free. I'm lucky enough to pick and choose and I passed on stuff like A Beautiful Mind, The Sum Of All Fear and The Bourne Identity which hold no interest for me even for free! I'm a movie lover rather than a home video lover (so sue me!) and for a movie lover, the big screen is where it's at. I've even sought out big screen showings of titles like Citizen Kane, Gone With The Wind, Casablanca and Bringing Up Baby, titles that were released before I was born.

I use my home video library to enjoy the films that I fell in love with on the big screen.

Realistically, of course, some older titles are films I've never had the opportunity to see on the big screen but only on TV. How Green Was My Valley, Stagecoach, Adam's Rib etc.

#14 of 129 OFFLINE   John_Berger



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Posted July 11 2002 - 06:14 AM

Guys, I hate to disagree with you, but it's really kind of a silly argument. The common theme that keeps getting repeated here is cost. Sorry, but that is no reason to stop going to theaters.

If you don't want to pay $8 for a ticket, fine. I don't either. In that case, go to a matinee or wait until the movie enters second run. The splendor of a movie is not based on its ticket price, so there is absolutely no need that one MUST see a movie at night when the ticket prices are at their premium.

Also, no one said that you HAVE to buy anything at the concession stand. The purchase of popcorn, candy, or soda is not a requirement for seeing a movie, nor is the impact of the movie affected by your purchase.

Most of you seem to be implying that the money saved by not going to the movies will somehow make a financial difference in the future. Oh, please! Be serious. How many of us decide to stop at McDonald's or some other place on the way home when we know very well that we can prepare food that is probably healthier and less expense at home? Or how many of us decide to buy that extra bag of chips in the supermarket? The impulse buying habits of the average person will get rid of the massive profit saved by not going to a movie theater in pretty short order.

No matter how much you argue that you're saving money, the vast majority of us will end up piddling it away on something else that is of equal or lesser intrinsic value than going to a theater.

The issue of kids and other difficulties (like 30 minutes to a decent theater) are separate issues in themselves, so I'm not referring to those. Having a two-year-old causes problems, but thankfully my wife is willing for the most part to wait for the DVD so she can watch the kid. Posted Image

The point is that if you think you're somehow going to save movey by not going to the movies, you're fooling yourself. We know we're going to buy the DVD. In our minds we've already mentally found the funds in future income to do that. To "save" money by not going to the theaters simply means that the money "saved" will be allocated to something else that is probably not needed either.

Just my two cents. Posted Image

#15 of 129 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted July 11 2002 - 06:15 AM

from an economic pov, it makes no sense to go to the theater. the costs are so prohibitive now it's ridiculous.


i do like watching spectacle movies (star wars, etc.) on the big-screen. i especially enjoy hearing the sound.


if it's an action-packed type movie, i'll probably go see it on the big-screen (matinee if at all possible).

otherwise i'll wait.

#16 of 129 ONLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted July 11 2002 - 06:16 AM

Before DVD and during laserdisc days, I was really into seeing movies in the best theaters in Dallas (and we had some really good ones). Even the best home theater could not compete with a showcase theater like Northpark. I was also into the crowd experiences on opening night and preview screenings, film festival screenings, etc.

Now, I do tend to only see "event" movies theatrically, like LOTR and ATOC. I also have a soft spot for Spielberg movies and DLP presentations.

The rest I see on DVD. And now that Northpark is gone and THX auditoriums are dwindling, I can truthfully say that while I don't have a 60-80 foot screen, I have a better sound system than 95 percent of the theaters in town.

I also had a terrible crowd experience at opening night of INDEPENDENCE DAY which fouled me of doing group movies on opening night. I was attempting to hold seats for a number of people, and some squatters were occupying a reserved section behind me--they refused to move, and the police were called. And while the theater was within their rights to eject the people who were squatting in the reserved section, they also got pissy with me for attempting to hold seats in the non-reserved section. That kind of hassle is just not worth it. So with rare exception, it's the home theater for me.

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#17 of 129 OFFLINE   Matt Stone

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Posted July 11 2002 - 06:18 AM

I used to see quite a few more movies at the theater than I do now. I usually see 20 or so a year now, and wait to see the rest on DVD...but I'd still prefer seeing films at theaters.
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#18 of 129 OFFLINE   Brian Kidd

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Posted July 11 2002 - 06:20 AM

I love going to the movies and would rather see any movie on the big screen than at home. Unfortunately, my name isn't Gates, so I only get to go to the ones I really want to see and have to wait until the video release for the rest. Let's face it, most movie releases today are geared toward teenagers and singles with disposable income. Anyone with even one child can't really afford to go to the movies on a regular basis.
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#19 of 129 OFFLINE   John_Berger



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Posted July 11 2002 - 06:20 AM

the costs are so prohibitive now it's ridiculous.
Not when a matinee or second-run showing could cost as much if not less than a rental from the local video store. Posted Image

#20 of 129 OFFLINE   Gruson


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Posted July 11 2002 - 06:22 AM

Steve, Northpark was PERFECTION!!!!!!!! I get chills thinking about that theater. It was the VERY first THX theater in the U.S. Every time they played the movie, they had the sound CRANKED. I saw Jurassic Park there 7 times because it sounded so good. Then they tore it down.....

I prefer to wait for the DVD now. My system ALWAYS sounds and looks better than the movie theaters that are in TX.

I swear every time I go to the theater, I have to tell them to switch it from mono to surround, etc. Plus those annoying teenagers really ruin the movie.

I will only go to the theater now if it is a must see movie. I have my own theater for everything else. Posted Image

I miss Northpark 1 and 2 though......oh well.