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Regal and Cinemark agree to play commercials in the middle of movie trailers

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Wayne_j, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Of course trailers are commercials, but they're commercials many people enjoy.

    Heck, there have been trailers so popular that theaters had to institute "no refund after the trailers start" policies for some movies! People would go to see the trailer for a new "Star Wars" movie and then want a refund!
     
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  2. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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    I have also noticed a lot of people coming in late to Fathom Events and missing half the movie probably trying to miss the trailers which don't play before Fathom Events.
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    In the short term, this decision makes me more likely to go to the local arthouse theater owned by Landmark (when it's an option) and less likely to go to one of the many Regals in my area. I've already been doing this since Regal introduced assigned seating.

    These movies by the big chains create a real opportunity for the independent theaters and smaller chains to distinguish themselves by NOT treating their customers like cable companies do.
    Around here, the Regals have the same twenty-minute preshow for all of the movies, but they definitely have fewer trailers in later weeks once the movie has started to lose screens.
     
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  4. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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    And the local Landmark theater tends to only show around 10 minutes of trailers.
     
  5. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Screenwriter

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    I left my living room to avoid commercial content.

    And while 'trailers' are technically commercials for other movies, they are a time-honored part of the press and promotion. We used to play the national anthem, a few choice cartoons, a short-subject and a trailer or two at the movies. Now, I sit through commercials for automakers, banking institutions, popular retailers, insurance companies and, promos for the concession stand.

    All in all, it really makes me want to stay home more and just watch what I want to in projection in the comfort of my own home. If I can't see a 'new' release until a few months after it's hit the 'big' screen, so be it. I don't go to the movies to watch commercials - period.

    Note to theater exhibitors: if you cannot pay to keep the projectors running and the lights on without outside businesses littering your screens with their junkets for merchandise and service I may or may not want to buy thereafter (on principle alone, I boycott the businesses who have the audacity to think they can preempt my viewing pleasure at the cinema with their gunk!), then it's time to turn out the lights and go home.
     
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  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I don't like the commercials either, but damn, some of the comments in this thread have me chuckling as these movie chains try to survive in this new entertainment landscape that's not friendly to their business model.
     
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  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think the smaller theaters are probably the most viable long term - the ones that can treat their business like a specialty offering and cultivate and cater to a specific audience. I don’t think there’s much of a long term future for gigantic multiplexes, particularly ones attached to large shopping complexes which are also falling out of favor. A theater with a smaller building, fewer auditoriums to fill and less overhead to meet probably has a better shot. Though I haven’t had a chance to go to one, Alamo Drafthouse seems to do really well in part because it’s not trying to be all things to all people.

    Interesting that you mention Landmark. They had a theater in NYC which closed a year or two ago because they couldn’t afford the new lease. That theater had a bunch of good sized auditoriums - maybe 400 on the largest and a couple hundred each in the smaller ones. They’ve instead opened up a new location which also has about half a dozen auditoriums. But in the new place, the biggest one holds about 50 and the smallest may be under 20. The entire facility is new and was built to their specs; it’s not an old space they’ve taken over and rebranded. That says something to me about where they think their future lies - that they think they have a better chance at staying alive by providing a consistent experience to a small group rather than maintaining capacity that more often than not was going unused.
     
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  8. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Well, IMO they're not enhancing their survivability by adopting practices that drive a percentage of their customers away. They need to get more creative. As a society, everything we see, hear, or touch these days is just saturated with scads and scads of intrusive advertising. Some people are just sick and tired of it.
     
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  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    We all have opinions!
     
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  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think there’s a calculation being made that the people who would be driven away have already started leaving, and that the weaponized spoilers employed by today’s most successful tentpoles are too alluring to be affected by this.

    I think we’re basically saying the same thing though. This will further alienate our dying breed of movie lovers, but we already matter so little to the powers that be that the promise of a large corporate check upfront is something they won’t turn down even if it alienates the people who used to make up the core of their business.
     
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  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    If the various guild rules didn’t prevent it, this would probably be far worse. I wouldn’t put it past these guys (and the studios) to try something where the next Avengers movie has a 30 commercial break that you can pay an extra $20 in advance to skip. Short enough that many would endure it to pay less, and short enough that it couldn’t be used as an exit strategy to skip the commercial and visit the bathroom, but annoying enough where those who could afford it would pay more to skip it.
     
  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    The Spectrum in Albany has eight screens. It was expanded hodgepodge over the years, so the size and shape of the auditoriums varies widely from screen to screen. It operated independently for 32 years, owned by a quartet of movie buffs. They sold to Landmark because it became too much work.

    The arrangement is much better for Landmark than the brutal NYC real estate market. Landmark bought the business, but the original owners still own the building and lease it to Landmark. They worked out an arrangement where Landmark's rent is very reasonable, but the owners get free movie passes for the duration of the lease.

    The local newspaper published a good article at the time of the sale about the history of the theater, if you're interested.
     
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  13. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    :D
     
  14. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    It's pretty depressing, actually. Who knows where we'll be in another decade?
     
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  15. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Whores.
     
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  16. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Some kind of adjustment has to be made because it can’t continue as it has been unchanged and survive forever.

    I think the current strategy of nickel and diming everyone to death won’t work forever. Extra ticket fees and surcharges and rising concession prices have worked but there’s a limit to what people can pay.

    On the other hand, people do like watching content, whether it’s a movie in theaters, a show at home, or some kind of hybrid like streaming’s current premium offerings.

    Maybe theaters become a niche part of the infrastructure, in the way that far more people watch sports on TV than at the stadium.

    But I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know where the money comes from when content is being devalued all the time. I don’t know how theaters survive this as they are. I saw the last week’s #1 box office winner on a Tuesday night and there were four other tickets sold. Clearly that’s not sustainable. But how long will advertisers be willing to pay premium prices for that premovie commercial when more often than not, it’s to an empty room?

    I think you’re right about the oversaturation of advertising. I understand why it happens, but I think long term, it’s a losing proposition.
     
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  17. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    On the other hand, you have an entire generation that's always lived in a world where commercials are everywhere due to their ubiquity online. They probably find ads at movie theaters less annoying than older customers because they're so accustomed to them...
     
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  18. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    At the very least, we're going to see a contraction in the exhibition business. There are far too many cinemas - or rather, too many screens - right now. There are over 40 000 screens, compared to under 20 000 in the mid-80s, when home video was still fairly new, and there was no streaming, social media or video games vying for an audience's attention.
     
  19. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I just surf on my phone during all the ads these days.
     
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  20. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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    Of course commercials are fine if you aren't someplace that you had to pay $20 to see them.
     
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