Harry Potter OWNS all large screens - SPY GAME will play in janitorial rooms

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard_Huntington, Nov 19, 2001.

  1. Richard_Huntington

    Richard_Huntington Stunt Coordinator

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    The wife loves both Brad Pit and Robert Redford, so this Wed she wants to see SPY GAME. Well, that ain't gonna happen because after calling every theater within an hour of me, it is clear that SPY GAME will only be seen on the very smallest screens, in the smallest auditoriums, most with mono sound. :angry:
    Why? Because HARRY F'n POTTER has 3 to 8 prints at every theater! And MONSTERS INC. gets the next best screens.
    Is anyone else out there just sick and tired of this multi-multi-print thing? I know I will not spend $18 on tickets and $10 on snacks to see a film in a theater where the screen is not wide enough, is covered with soda stains, has an aisle down the middle of the room with seats that are old and covered with lice.
    Meanwhile, all the good screens with the good sound are gone because of some British twit. [​IMG] I don't care if the film is good. Some decent screens should be set aside for new films each week. God, this is frustrating. Makes me want to build a Home Theater room with a Front Projector and a 100" screen.
     
  2. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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    Let's be realistic for a bit:

    Even if WB and the theaters wanted to forgo the potential revenue from the largest screens for a short time so that they can show a movie that few people want to see, there would be pandemonium and chaos from the peope trying to get into the small theaters to see HP or MI. There would also be empty seats for Spy Game (not that many people, relatively speaking, want to see this one).

    Obviously, this is unacceptable to theater owners and studio executives who secure agreements for multiple alrge screen because they would be filled to capacity (and even beyond capacity - some ideas that Monsters did well this weekend as a result of overflows from sold out HP screens - WB and AOL want that money!).

    It would be like pulling a 767 off of the Dallas to Atlanta run and using it to fly to Charlotte because Charlotte bound passengers want some room to stretch out. The plane would be empty because not that many people want to go to charlotte and hundreds of atlanta bound passengers would be storming the airline offices because they couldn't get a flight to atlanta.

    My advice to you - if it is that important to you, wait for the DVD and view this in the comfort of your own home.
     
  3. Richard_Huntington

    Richard_Huntington Stunt Coordinator

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    I disagree. When MI2 was released, it was in so many theaters, that Shanghai Noon was relegated to the 200 and under capacity screens. I spoke to a manager at a local theater who said well over a thousand people were unable to get into Shanghai Noon because it was in too small a theater and it sold out every time. Meanwhile, his prints for MI2 were never more than half full, because there were so many. You can bet Noon's weekend totals were hurt by this (and it did had a higher sell out ratio than MI2).

    I talked with my sister last night. She went to see Harry Potter with her daughter at a Showcase Cinemas at 7 PM on Saturday. The largest screen holds over 500 people. She said it was barely more than half full.

    These showings are not selling out in most areas. The 5 screens per theater just means there is a showing every 30 minutes.

    If a film with two big stars like SPY GAMES opens, it should be allowed to have at least one good theater. Prints 4 & 5 of POTTER can go to two smaller screens in week 2.
     
  4. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

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    Since "Spy Game" is from a competing company, it is hardly to Warner's advantage to give up the big screens for a competing product. Also, the distributers of "Spy Game" knew they would cost themselves the big screens by releasing during the 2 week special engagement status of "Harry Potter". Even with the holiday weekend I think they would have done better delaying a week.

    Kenneth
     
  5. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    It seems like your area needs some new theaters and fast. In Orlando there are plenty of big screens to accomodate all the big movies, and even the smaller auditoriums have ample screens and every auditorium has digital sound. Of course we benefited from the recent theater boom and most smaller theaters were squeezed out in favor of the larger palaces.
     
  6. Richard_Huntington

    Richard_Huntington Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I always believed that the multi-screen deployment lead to the short shelf life of current films. In the past, with one screen per movie, it was a common occurance for people to be turned away from a release. People actually planned the day that they would go so that they would have a chance of getting a seat. But now, it's pretty difficult to avoid getting into the movie on whatever day you want. In that sense, people have little reason to wait to see a movie. So everyone sees it the opening weekend and never delays for a week. So the impression is that the opening for a movie is the only important statistic, and not it's staying power. This really hurts the movies that open on smaller screen counts because they don't get an opportunity to build word of mouth, something they were afforded when people had an eight week view of movie releases.

    I could be wrong, but that's the impression I have. They could turn Harry Potter into a quarter long even if they had half the screens. Instead, it will see significant drops by Thanksgiving.
     
  8. Richard_Huntington

    Richard_Huntington Stunt Coordinator

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    You are 100% correct. Not to mention the studios get less money as the film plays, so the more they make up front, the better off they are. But the theater chains go right along with it, because they do not want to lose out on any big releases.

    It is terribly frustrating to go to a theater, only to find ONE film has all the good screens, while another new film is stuck in a shithole. :angry: Oh well. I have said what I feel. Talk amongst yourselves.
     
  9. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    It depends on the theater and location. Here, It will most likely be on the smaller screens at the 10 screener Silvercity, where HP is on 4 auditoriums, and I believe by contract they have to be on the two largest ones for two weeks (they even had to bump the WWF Pay Per View event to a smaller screen!)
    Downtown though, Spy Game will be opening at the Odeon on screen #5, the largest screen in that theater, while HP runs on three screens across the street at the Capitol. This is the same story in Vancouver.
    Jason
     
  10. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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  11. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Richard,...hilarious title! My sentiments excactly. The holiday season was also meant to draw in the adult crowd, too.

    I'd like to see this movie too. I wonder if this is the first pairing of Robert and Brad since A River Runs Through It?

    I'll just have to make sure I call in advance to find a decent screening.
     
  12. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    Maybe some theaters had empty seats for Harry, but its three day, $93 million take leads me to believe that wasn't the case in most places.
    All this frontloading is bad for theaters in that their larger percentage of the box office totals comes when a film is deeper into its run. Why they've decided to be complicit in this gambit by the studios is beyond me. It isn't uncommon for every major release to get two screens its first week in our thirty screen theater.
    While it's aggravating not to get into the movie you want, I know I usually went to something else (back in the days when I had to pay to get into movies [​IMG] ) if I didn't get my first choice. That doesn't happen much anymore, I don't believe.
    Spy Game is from Universal, BTW.
     
  13. Richard_Huntington

    Richard_Huntington Stunt Coordinator

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    http://www.forbes.com/2001/11/19/1119topnews.html
    Here is an excellent article on the front loading and how Harry's numbers are not all that impressive.
    With so many screens playing this film every 30 minutes, it's easy to get a seat, folks. It's not selling out. Heck, when I saw PHANTOM MENACE opening night, it had not sold out! Of course, lots of people were afraid to go to that during the first two weeks, fearing massive crowds. [​IMG]
    And by the way, Showcase Cinemas (National Amuements) and Hoyts are the two majors near me. There are some other small chains, but the conditions of their theaters is deplorable and I will not give them my money.
     
  14. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    I heard that Harry Potter beat out The Lost World: Jurassic Park for opening weekends.[​IMG]
     
  15. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Ticket sales is always the best barometer.
     
  16. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    If a theater has even ONE screen that's unacceptable (mono sound), I won't go to ANY movie there, even if it is playing on one of the 'good' screens. I shouldn't have to check ahead of time to see which screen it's playing on (though some screens are disgustingly small!)
     
  17. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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  18. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Depending on the theater, some theaters might be moving screens of Monsters, Inc. to the "janitorial rooms" [​IMG] to put new films like Spy Game and Black Knight on the decent sized screens (if Out Cold gets better than a janitorial room, then you know something is wrong at your local theater [​IMG])... luckilly in Vegas, at the theaters near me, even the "janitorial rooms" are nice (100 - 250 seats in stadium seating) and include either DD or DTS. [​IMG]
     
  19. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    A discussion of that same article is already ongoing here.
    ~Edwin
     
  20. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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