Monday, July 25, 2005

Movie Prices?

Today I want to talk about something that really bugs me.
I think most people will agree, that Movie-ticket prices have gotten pretty high. But you know what hat's the way it is.
HOWEVER part of that bugs me

Last night i watched wedding Crashers
by the time you get rid of the credit you are talking a movie, that is roughly 58 min long.

Now comparatively to that lets take lord of the rings. Just shy of 3 hours if I recall?

Why is it, that I pay the same money to the theater, to see Wedding crashers, as I do to see Lord of the Rings?

I mean, seriously. Pop-corn Candy bars, etc. are all charged separate, so there's not consistent comforts being figured into it.. If i goto a motel to attend a convention, for 3 days, they don't charge me just for one day, just because it's all part of the same convention do they?

If I goto a restaurant, and order, 12 separate meals, I don't pay for only one, because they are all part of dinner (okay, maybe at a buffet)

Now, admittedly, at the dawn of cinema, many movies were the same length, it wasn't an issue. And honestly even a few years back, mostly you were looking at the difference between 90 min or 120 min.

but now, there are more & more movies, that are willing to run long and some that are made painfully short. Yet we still pay the same price for both.

I think it would be great, to see theaters adopt a sort of sliding scale pay-rate. It would have several effects
first the theaters would make more money on the longer movies, Would I have paid $12 instead of $8 to see Lord of the Rings? Hell yes.

Shorter movies, charge $5

People will be more likely, to goto a movie theater, instead of renting, if the prices get similar. And then at the theater, they make extra off the concessions, meaning more money of the cheaper movies, also due to volume.

This will also encourage film makers, to put more thought into their run times. As their income is based of the theaters, there is incentive to make longer movies, to get the inflated per-customer rates. And they will be less likely to make short crappy movies. They may still make good short movies. However there will be less occurrence of Shortening movies, in order to reach a bottom line, because whatever money you save, during production, will be counter-acted by the smaller ticket prices. So that movies that are short, will be short for a reason, not just because the budget was getting over. 

I dare say That people might be less likely to Pirate movies (at least certain ones) if they know they can goto the premier of it, in a nice good clean theater, (not the cheap theaters) for only a few bucks.

Going even further people might be more willing to take a chance on movies that got bad reviews, or that they haven't heard of, if they knew they would only be out a few bucks. Not only would this bring more money to theaters but also would be a GREAT boon to many independent films/producers.

On the other hand I can see how the theaters is making money this way.

If you run back-to-back, how many screenings of lord of the rings can you run in one day?
8 that's without brakes, without intermissions, previews etc

but wedding crashers. You could run 20 and still have plenty of time for previews advertisements, etc. etc.

if they are both charging $10/ticket, then lord of the rings could have TWICE as many viewers, and still bring in less money.

So i can see why theaters would like this. I also believe though, that if major theaters, showed these shorter movies, for say $4 they would get MORE than enough customers to make up the difference.

Moreover, right now the system is one that makes the theaters happy

It's clear that it is possible, to use a system that would make both the theaters AND the viewers happy.

Well those are my thoughts maybe I'm crazy, maybe I'm an idealist, or naive. Personally thought I prefer to think of it as full of hope, or optimistic.

That's my two cents, take it or leave it.