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TOPIC: How Can This Be?

How Can This Be? 26 Dec 2004 00:31 #9610

  • muviebuf
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Following up an earlier thread, I finally had time to go through the Carmike website at [url=http://www.carmike.com.]www.carmike.com.[/url]

I have been in this business for 40 years and heard every argument against discount theatres under the sun. The one I like the best is that it costs about $2,000 to make up a print and therefore you must charge XXX dollars for admission to assure that you return to the distributor enough rental to justify the cost of a new print on break. That why we can't give you a print on the break if you only charge $3.00.

But I guess this doesn't apply to Carmike. I found two theatres (i) Oneida Tenn which on weekends charges only $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for kides but on Monday thru Thursday is ALL SEATS $1.O0 and they are currently playing Snicket, Fockers and Spanglish (ii) Talladega Alabama which charges all seats $1.50 at all times and also playing the same three pictures as Oneida.

As I have said over and over in this forum the theatres in the Northeast get treated a lot worse than the rest of the county and despite all my years in this business I just don't understand why this is so.

Even if Oneida and Taladega are non-comptetive situations I don't understand how Carmike rates prints for these theatres at the prices they are charging while other first runs charging substantially higher prices go begging for prints.

As I have also said repeatedly in this forum it is the kind of disparate treatment which I find most objectionable about this business.
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Re: How Can This Be? 26 Dec 2004 02:03 #9611

  • rodeojack
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This is an issue I've asked about on several occasions in the past. Price/percentage/availability ratios are very much different on the West coast. I see double & tripple feature bookings in the mid-to-East coast areas that I can not obtain in my area. The reasoning I'm given (by several sources) is the economic balance in our states allows the studios to "bill" at higher rates from here than in other areas of the country.

That being said... if you're relatively close to theatres that seem to get deals you can't, look to your booker for an explanation. If you do your own booking, ask the studios why your situation is different. If you're in a different geographical area than the theatres you're comparing yourself to, chances are you won't be able to argue the situation much. At this point, it seems the best advice is to make sure your percentages are on par with other theatres in your region.

It's highly likely you won't get very far, comparing your situation to another theatre, if that outlet is in a relatively distant area from yours.
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Re: How Can This Be? 26 Dec 2004 11:40 #9612

  • puzzlegut
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At our single screen, we only charge $3 for all seats and we are normally only open Fri-Sun at 8PM. We've only opened a few movies on the break only doing our normal weekend times; although, we normally have to show the movie for 2 weekends and we usually include an earlier 5PM show as well. The movies that we've been able to open at our theater includes: Spiderman, Men in Black 2, 007 Die Another Day, Shrek 2, Spiderman 2, Incredibles, and Sponge Bob. Quite a few of our bookers say our grosses (even for movies that have been out for a few weeks) are just as good as other, much larger theaters.
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Re: How Can This Be? 26 Dec 2004 13:23 #9613

  • krownsman
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Can you help me with some info on operating a theatre? I need to convince my city's chamber of commerce that a movie theatre will benefit the city.

I need to know: number of employees, annual revenue, and whatevr info would benefit the city. Also, if you have a business plan or proposal, could you share it with me.

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Re: How Can This Be? 26 Dec 2004 17:12 #9614

  • muviebuf
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Jack - I do my own booking.

If I told any of my sales people that that I wanted to play first run at 1.50 a head they would have a coronary from laughing so hard!
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Re: How Can This Be? 26 Dec 2004 20:07 #9615

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That's cool!

You're fortunate to have found a place where that kind of discount will work.

We have a lot of screens in our area, so the pictures are pretty much tapped out by the time they run at the discount house here.
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Re: How Can This Be? 27 Dec 2004 00:43 #9616

  • RoxyVaudeville
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It has always seemed strange to me that the distributors always use admission price as a reason for justifying the disqualification of a print for a given theatre. If it costs $1,500 per print, or whatever, the only figure that should be of any concern to them is what film rental is garnered.

If they want the print cost covered by the film rent from the first weeks rental, and that rental is 70%, a minimum gross of $2,200 is what would be needed to cover that cost. It shouldn't matter whether that gross was created by $8.00 tickets or $1.00 tickets.

However, the competitive situation is what comes in to play here. If you can gross that amount at a lower admission price while there are other theatres in your area charging much more, the studios will argue that had you not offered the cheaper tickets, many of those same patrons would have gone to the other theatre and paid the higher price, and thus the studio would have received a higher amount of film rental.

If you're in an area so far removed that most people would never drive to another theatre, then your low admission price would probably not effect availability as long as the weekly gross is high enough to generate a film rental that would substantiate the cost of a print.

I would suspect that those Carmike Cimemas that you used as an example, fall into that category.
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Re: How Can This Be? 27 Dec 2004 01:03 #9617

  • outaframe
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Ahhhh yes, ROXY, but then you're speaking about common sense, and this is an area where such things are frowned upon... Per usual, the studios will do as they damned well please, and common sense will play no part in what they decide to do!...
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