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TOPIC: Money Making Idea

Money Making Idea 14 Oct 2007 22:33 #16255

  • Invictator
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Hello all,
This is exactly the forum I've been looking for... Now I know I'm new but I've been reading all of the posts that I could so cut me some slack.

I'm currently a college student about to graduate. I'm enrolled in an entrepreneurial program and I had an idea and have a bunch of questions that I'm hoping you expects can answer.

My friends and I go to the movies about once a month, maybe more. Generally everytime we go we have no idea what we want to see, so we decide when we get there. Every single time we go there is always at least one (up to ten) movies that we've never heard of, about which we'd like more information. Only one theatre that I've EVER been to has had information about all of the movies. It was all in a very dirty binder (which I didn't want to tough) and gave roughly 3-4 sentences about the plot of the movie. This essentially did us as much good as having no binder at all...

Anyways, my idea was to create a touch screen setup in the lobby of the theatre such that it would contain movie trailers/teasers to customers free of charge... Also, it would have all of the general information about the movies (actors, running time etc) and would contain user reviews from a respected review site.

Now I can understand from a business standpoint that making this free to customers wouldn't generate any revenue and all it would actually do is give people more information about the movies. However, if advertising could somehow be implemented into this device such that advertisers would pay to have their ads shown, I believe that it could potentially generate revenue for the theatre...

I have a ton of questions going further into detail, but I just wanted to throw the idea out there to see what you all think of it (good idea? will it work? is it viable?) Please let me know what you think.
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Re: Money Making Idea 15 Oct 2007 10:51 #16256

  • rodeojack
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While I haven't seen your specific idea in theatre lobbies, I can say from experience that the percentage of patrons who come to a theatre with no clue what they want to see is fairly small. Yes, it does happen, but we tend to remember it because it's more a novelty than the norm.

Out of 50 people who collect around a boxoffice, how many do you think would need your service? Most people I know have already selected their show, time and theatre before they leave home. Other activities frequently surround the theatre experience... like shopping and meals.

You actually have a LOT of information available to you before you go to a theatre. The internet has taken care of that. Theatre listings, showtimes, reviews, synopses, length, format, cast, crew, studio info, etc, etc, are all available on the net at the push of a button, from most any computer, before you head out the door. Most anyone who watches TV is innundated with advertising for the new releases. Radio, newspapers and the telephone are still sources of info. All of the above would dilute the value of an on-site setup.

Yes, you obviously could set up the kind of info source you're talking about. You could collect all the information yourself ($$Staff, location, money$$$), or you could partner with sources that already provide this info ($$licensing$$). Then there's the equipment, promotions, ad sales, accounting, maintenance, etc.

You'd have to find a way to project numbers. Potential advertisers would want to know what they were buying, unless it's a "per-click" proposition. Do you expect your users to remember an advertisement that they see while looking for information about something else (the movie)?

In any case, you probably need some money and a plan to work out details and prove interest. My hunch is that exhibitors might think there's better usage for their square footage... but you never know.

About the only way I could see this working is if you could buy the ticket at the same kiosk that you're using to peruse movie information. The large exhibitors may already be doing this, since some of them already make good use of ticketing kiosks and online ticketing web sites.
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Re: Money Making Idea 15 Oct 2007 12:33 #16257

  • Invictator
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Rodeojack,
Thanks for the input. I wasn't aware that that percentage was so small. I'd like to add in a few things for you to consider though.

The device that I am suggesting would run like this:
The theatre would purchase the device which would have a connection to the internet. The theatre would also pay a monthly subscription fee which took care of maintenance and would update everything on it. All the theatre would essentially need to do is purchase it, place it in an appropriate spot, and collect money off of advertisements.

A way to purchase tickets off of the device could be added without problem, if the owner would want that. I think that this could be a positive effect during busy nights with long lines.

As far as advertising goes, advertisements would be shown in between trailers and all around the reviews page. Additionally, a big name sponsor could have their logo on the outside of this device. Anyone who used the machine would see these ads.

Now I'm not familiar with how much theatres make off of arcade games etc...but this device wouldn't take up much more space than a typical arcade game, and would potentially generate more revenue.

After reading what I've said, let me know what you think.
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Re: Money Making Idea 15 Oct 2007 12:54 #16258

  • rodeojack
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I don't want to dash water on your idea, because others here might see something in it that I don't. From my perspective however, I don't think what you're presenting would be of interest to me.. at least not in its present form.

I don't see that many people who get all the way to my boxoffice without any idea why they're here. As we've both said, it does happen, but not enough that I'd pay extra money to make life easier for them. That may be where I miss the boat, but for me, it's not enough of a positive.

I hope others here might chime in... someone probably will. In any case, stay with your idea and see if you can develop it in a way that works for all concerned (read: makes money or indirectly generates more than it costs).
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Re: Money Making Idea 15 Oct 2007 13:38 #16259

  • rdetzler
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You will never get the theater to buy into this. Your idea has some merit though I tend to agree with those above that have pointed out there is WAY more information out there now for consumers, than there used to be. Also, I agree that the 'not knowing what I want to see' scenario is pretty rare.

If anyone is interested in your idea its not the exhibitors per se. You would be much better off trying to sell that type of concept to a business that is already serving a high percentage of cinemas. My pick would be cinemasource, who does internet time postings, newsletters, and websites for hundreds of theaters already. They might look at it as something they could add to their service package to make it more appealing to potential clients or retain existing clients.

Roger
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Re: Money Making Idea 15 Oct 2007 13:48 #16260

  • trackfood
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I see another problem with this. You aren't marketing to a very wide audience. Only 1-2 people can stand in front of your small kiosk at a time. The potential for a large amount of people to view the advertisements is small. Think of on-screen advertising, an entire cinema can see it at one time, verses 1-2 people at your kiosk. For that reason, I think it would be hard to convince an advertiser to advertise with you. You would need this advertising to make any money.
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Re: Money Making Idea 15 Oct 2007 15:05 #16261

  • Mike
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au contraire mon ami.

The single best person to market films to is one who is already at the movies. The problem with this proposal is that it has been framed as a service for people who have arrived without knowing what movie to see. That is rare as most of us agree. But just as often: people are standing around the lobby and do not know about many of the films. If they are the theatre: there is no better person to market to as 50% do not attend thus the person who is there top prospect for other films.

Also: most theatres that are larger are showing trailers all the time in the lobby.

Most smaller theatres would not subscribe or provide for various reasons. Lobby size, added expenses, equipment, etc. in relation to gross would not justify.

Lastly: we often do not want people to have the reviews that people are writing. I have read that less than 15% of people read reviews or allow it to influence their film choice. If we were in the first week or second week of showing a movie that had bad or mixed reviews I would not want to present them to the general public. We do the same thing when we post reviews in our theatres. We do not look for or post the terrible pans; we look for the okay or good reviews.

Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: Money Making Idea 15 Oct 2007 15:35 #16262

  • Invictator
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I'm still debating whether or not I should stick with the idea. I don't really have plans to follow through with it but it really is interesting getting opinions from you all.

As far as reviews go, I wasn't really thinking in depth reviews, but more of a review system (like rottentomatoes has) with a rating scale from 1-10. Perhaps these machines could even allow the users to interact by submitting their own ratings to previously seen movies...

I think that Mike also brought up another good point though: Even if people are there for a movie they want to see, who is to say that they won't watch a trailer for a different movie, then come back and see that movie? The on-screen trailers before feature presentations are really only for upcoming movies, not ones currently in the theatre.

I do agree that the one downfall of this idea is that it won't reach to very many people, only 1-2 at a time. However, would that 1-2 people at a time be enough? Anytime my friends and I go to see a movie, especially a big one, we get there early and don't have anything to do but sit around in the lobby and wait. We really don't play arcade games anymore so I'd see this as being an substitute to that.
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Re: Money Making Idea 17 Oct 2007 12:25 #16263

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Chiming in...

I happened to think there is great merit in Invictator's idea. As Mike mentioned, many larger theaters have large monitors around the concession stand that show continuous trailers and advertisements. They are trailers for currently showing movies AND upcoming movies. They stick their ads between the trailers. It gives you something to watch while in line. This has a much larger audience potential than a small screen because everyone in the lobby can see them. Unfortunately, ads are often also played in each auditorium, so patrons are getting hit twice with ads- not cool. I would just use the ads on the monitor and take them off the big screen myself. Ah, the greed of it all.

This doesn't address the information about a particular movie though, which was the original intent. I have heard many times, the teeny boppers in line that just met up there and who now needed to decide which movie to see. Their intent was to get together and see "a movie". Having information on a kiosk for a small group of 4 or so would prove helpful for these types of people. This may not happen so much in smaller towns as you will hear, but it definitely does at megaplexes where more kids meet to hang out.

And trailers cannot be shown enough- from a studio's perspective. They are on TV, radio, internet, newspapers, video blogs... basically everywhere. I'm sure they would be interested in a new venue.

I could see teens swarming around a kiosk with movie info on it, talking about which movies they want to see and why, which actor is cuter, whatever. Anything digital that has open access seems to attract teens.

I don't know- playing devil's advocate here. I wouldn't quickly dismiss the idea though.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Money Making Idea 17 Oct 2007 13:59 #16264

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Thanks for the input Cinemateer... I've been thinking in depth about this idea for the past few days and came up with some conclusions...

Although I really like this idea and would really want to follow through with it, the cost of touch screens and a kiosk (with installation and maintenance) would outweigh the revenue of advertising that it would receive.

This idea was sort of a segway for another idea I had... To make this idea follow through, I'd need some more feedback from you all:

How many theaters use an automated ticketing system? You see it in supermarkets every day. It would be a similar device to my original, but instead of showing trailers and movie information, it would sell tickets and gift certificates. It could also display how many tickets have been sold/are available for the movie that you'd want to see. This way, if someone wanted to see a movie in a less crowded theater, they'd know.

Do you think that idea would work?
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Re: Money Making Idea 17 Oct 2007 20:29 #16265

  • trackfood
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Many theatres already have a ticket kiosk. Especially larger theatres, or chain theatres. Tickets can be purchased or picked up at it. It must be something that is integrated with their box office software. So, you trying to sell a ticket kiosk to a theatre probably wouldn't work.
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Re: Money Making Idea 17 Oct 2007 21:49 #16266

  • rodeojack
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... not to mention that I really doubt any theatre would subscribe to a service that might not rate their films highly.

... oh, wait a minute. Most of us are buying ads in newspapers that publish reviews by crabby old goats who usually trash our films.

Same thing?
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Re: Money Making Idea 21 Oct 2007 20:40 #16267

  • dsschoenborn
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Delux had a kiosk setup at show east that was a touch screen that would play a trailer for a movie on a big flat panel above the touch screen. So many poeple could see. It was easy to use and I guess delux would orvide all the needed updatess. So this is a reasonable idea but I have already seen it at showeast last week.

Also there was a company that is providing CD's of movie information for the upcoming several months of titles for you to take home with you from the theatre. You play it on your computer and see what all the upcoming movies are about. It is free for the theatre to get. The studio's are paying the operators of the company. Again this was a showeast thing I was able to sign up for.

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Re: Money Making Idea 22 Oct 2007 10:53 #16268

  • BigScreen
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The information the OP is looking to provide can already be had by most theater's own web sites, or other web sites like The BigScreen Cinema Guide (shameless plug), Yahoo Movies, or Movietickets.

For theaters that offer online ticketing, that function would be there as well.

The only missing element is a kiosk/station with a computer and a large display screen, which can be had on the open market if one looks for it.

I'm not saying that the OP had a bad idea, but I agree with the other replies that the information is already very available and to create something new (esp. if supported by fees and/or advertising) would be a difficult proposition.

Scott Jentsch
The BigScreen Cinema Guide www.bigscreen.com

[This message has been edited by BigScreen (edited October 22, 2007).]
Scott Jentsch
The BigScreen Cinema Guide www.bigscreen.com
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