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TOPIC: Now Showing: Highway Robbery

Now Showing: Highway Robbery 25 Jul 2012 02:52 #38916

  • rufusjack
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Saw this on another theater's facebook page:

Tonight my wife and I went out with our girls to a movie in Capital City (made up town). We went to see an independent film called (ironically) Safety Not Guaranteed. I knew that we would probably not be able to show this movie at one of our theatres and we also look forward to going out afterwards to get frozen yogurt. The popcorn at the AMC Theatre we went to was $6.00 sm, $7.00 med , and $8.00 for a large. It was no wonder to me that we were the only ones in attendance at a 7:00pm show in the summertime. The chain theatres just do not understand the basic economics of todays family. They are leading our industry down a road to destruction

Talk among yourselves. I agree 100% with this observation.
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Now Showing: Highway Robbery 25 Jul 2012 05:28 #38917

  • revrobor
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The corporate big boys do not understand nor do they care about the economic situation in which much of the American population finds itself. I suspect that's because they are not at all familiar with the cities in which they build or their demographics. The small town and rural operators who try to keep filmed entertainment affordable for their communities are to be applauded.
Bob Allen
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Now Showing: Highway Robbery 25 Jul 2012 13:16 #38918

  • Mike
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I have been to major theatre complexes all over the USA and in major markets there is no doubt that they are packing them in. I can't charge what they do in my market because I have a smaller population but when you see the grosses at large population theatres they are doing very well. Those theatres more often than not do have state of the art projection -sound-seats-decor. When I see a movie in those places I never feel that I was let down in that regard. I may not want to buy a popcorn-soda-and a candy but they do a good job on showing movies. People in my theatre complain about our prices and compare our prices to what they can buy it for in a convenience store. What are you going to do? The world is full of people who like to complain. What I think we need at the movies is a few less super hero films and a few more good stories.
Michael Hurley
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Now Showing: Highway Robbery 26 Jul 2012 13:58 #38928

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This is a real problem for our industry. I believe we have reached a tipping point where the cost of a movie experience has effectively made it impossible for a family to attend on a regular basis. Yes, they will still go see the tentpoles but they will remember how much it cost and the next so-so movie they will wait for redbox or netflix. Every price increase has a cause and effect. Since 2000, only one movie has broken into the top 25 all time attended movies(donestic)...Avatar comes in at number 25. Even though the population of our country has gone up steadily. In 1990, 1.2 billion tickets were sold. Population was 249 million. In 2011, 912 million tickets were sold and population was 311 million. This represents a 24.4% drop in overall attendance and , more alarmingly, it means in 1990 the average person went to the movies five times per year and now they go three times.

The battle we must fight is one of perceived value. An overwhelming percentage of the population thinks going to movies is too expensive. This also makes them more critical of the product. The more you pay, the more you expect. In addition, the high prices at the concession stand causes concessions to be smuggled in.
Go to your local Wal-Mart and look at the front of the store where they have a huge bin of theatre-box candy. That is no accident. Our high prices has created a whole new marketing opportunity for them. They are experts at exploiting market vulnerabilities.

Now on top of everything we have a mass-murder at a theatre in Colorado. Another public relations nightmare for all of us. How much longer can we last before we completely destroy the moviegoing experience with our short-sighted business plans.
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Now Showing: Highway Robbery 26 Jul 2012 15:33 #38930

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Mike wrote:
I have been to major theatre complexes all over the USA and in major markets there is no doubt that they are packing them in.

Mike, this particular theater is in the Midwest. 120k population with median home value of $114,000. This is not a major market with high prices for everything.

This theater's ticket prices are not that bad. $5 or less for matinees and at most $9.75 for a primetime 3d show. $6 for a small popcorn....even if it is a 85 oz or so is still pretty damn high.
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Now Showing: Highway Robbery 29 Jul 2012 04:39 #38949

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I'm not sure that film is a good indicator of anything, beyond its own inability to attract an audience. It cost less than a million to make and has only managed around 3 million nationwide since it opened on June 10 (per IMDB). Currently, it's playing at only one theatre in the whole Seattle area.

As for the economic argument, I don't think people do anything as regularly as they used to, but it's not necessarily because of price. If you want to take it back that far, you could consider that the movie theatre was the public's "evening news", and admission was somewhere around a nickel or so. Television eventually screwed that up for the cinema and it had to adapt... which it did.

When I grew up, we had one phone in the basement and it was on a 259-party line. We couldn't stand the thing and it got used, maybe, twice a week. Now, we can't stay off the phones and our kids use them to communicate in a manner that's SLOWER than actually talking.

We have a million more options to select from when deciding what to do with our elective time... starting with the tube (now flatscreen) in our living room... and probably in our kids' rooms, too.

In my humble opinion, the public hasn't considered theatre-going a regular habit for a long time, select few examples notwithstanding. Rather, we're more comparable to a night at a local play, a concert, maybe a major-league sporting event. Compared to those choices, we're still a pretty good deal.

Yes, the studios could come up with better stories, but then we'd blame our perceived malaise on something else.

Life is more expensive. You simply can not run a theatre and make reasonable payments to yourself by running one the way it was done in your parents' time.

A family will spend only so much of their disposable income on entertainment. Whether they spend it in one shot or split it up and go to a discounted house twice, it'll probably be about the same. However, in the second example, you will have carried the overhead of serving them twice for roughly the same money.

Adapt, promote, position, find a way to provide as exceptional an experience as you can with the same basic product every other theatre in town has.

Oh... and work the social media options as hard as you can. A sure way not to reach the majority of your potential customers is to advertise only in the local paper, like we all did forever. Unless your trade is mostly seniors, who don't tend to buy a lot at the popcorn counter, many of us could probably get by without the paper altogether.... but that's yet another tether that's painful to break.
Last Edit: 29 Jul 2012 04:56 by rodeojack.
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Now Showing: Highway Robbery 09 Aug 2012 00:05 #38981

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small town three screen and we had 175 people today/ maybe they're not going somehwere but if this is "stopping" then bring it on.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Now Showing: Highway Robbery 09 Aug 2012 05:04 #38985

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SORRY-- CANT AGREE-- CANDY PRICES FOR CHAINS MUST BE WHAT THEY ARE...... HEALTH INSURANCE , TAXES , RENT , AC, PHONE, CABLE,SUPPLIES , EQUIPMENT,MANAGER, AST MANGER , CANDY MANAGER, SECURITY, WEB SITES, CLEANING CREW , BUILDING MAINTENANCE , ELECTRIC, PAYROLL TAXES, BUILDING TAXES, ADVERTISING , INSURANCE, FILM RENTAL , AND MORE...........
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Now Showing: Highway Robbery 09 Aug 2012 05:07 #38986

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SAFTEY NOT GUARANTEED-- IS NOT A PICTURE TO MAKE A JUDGEMENT ON
LOW SCREEN AVERAGE EVERY WERE OTHER THAN ART HOUSES.
Last Edit: 09 Aug 2012 10:56 by slapintheface.
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Now Showing: Highway Robbery 09 Aug 2012 05:08 #38987

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OOPS -- FORGOT FILM BUYER FEES AND HEAT ..............................
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Now Showing: Highway Robbery 10 Aug 2012 20:43 #38997

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I see lots of reasons to justify the high prices. My central point was and still is that there is a perception that the cost of going to a movie is too high, especially in the family demographic. Whether true or not, we must all work everyday to provide evidence of the value of moviegoing. The tragedy in Colorado sucker-punched us and we had better get right back up or I am afraid we will lose another chunk of our audience.
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