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TOPIC: double booking?

double booking? 15 Aug 2000 20:58 #22884

  • RICK
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I would like to show 2 different movies in my theater one at 7:30 and 1 at 9:30. I have been told that i can't do this in a single screen theater. I see a 6 plex here in this state that regularly advertises 8 different films all showing on one day. why is this ok for the big dogs and not ok for us little guys?
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Re: double booking? 15 Aug 2000 22:52 #22885

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Usually they don't allow splits on the same screen during the first weeks(s) of a films engagement. You may have seen it done after it's been out for a while. They will then ask the same of you...if you hold it a second week (if you're subrun), you may then be able to split the screen. If first run, probably much later in the run. It depends on how well the film is performimg. A few films like "The Tiger Movie" and "Thomas the Train..." were allowed to be split from the getgo.
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Re: double booking? 15 Aug 2000 23:46 #22886

  • Avalon
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Granted, I'm an art house, but we usually run two films per night on my single screen. Right now i have "Croupier" and "Hamlet". Usually the first week of a bigger film, I run it clean then do sparate admission for the second week with another feature. The movie companies are really good about saying you cannot run anything else with their film. Last spring I was told i would have to run one of the films nominated for best pic clean. Too much good product, so I quoted Nancy R. and just said no. Two weeks later, they called my booker and offered it again without the pesky request it run clean.

I find (and this is my situation) that I might be the only theater in the area willing to run a lot of art product. My additude has gotten to be that if they think anyone else is going to play their stuff, they can try offering it to the multiplexes at that rate and with those conditions. I have never said this outright to any movie company, but it enters into a lot of my thinking when i book a film. Also, if they offer their best to the multiplexes and not to me, they can offer their lesser movies to them, as well. If they want me to play their esoterics, I need to be thrown a bone now and again.

We're onto another aspect here: most people you deal with at the movie companies have no idea what running a theater is like. Many don't have even the life-experience to know that if they are pushing an esoteric product, they better be willing to wiggle on terms. That means they better be willing to let me play it with a film I know will pay the bills to offset the probible loss of the wierder stuff. I was told many of the "kids" at the companies i deal with are interns -- not even real employees. Don't know if that is true, but I dealt with one movie company where the twit started screaming racism when my booker called him on his incompetence (she had no idea of his ethnicity. Phones can be funny that way). I can't imagine anyone letting a real empolee get away with that. 'nuf said.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: double booking? 16 Aug 2000 00:01 #22887

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HEY THANKS EVERYONE FOR THE INFO. I AGREE AVALON THE COMPANIES JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO PAY THE BILLS. THIS IS A SMALL TOWN AND I NEED TO SHOW FILMS TO ALL TYPES. WHEN YOU GET JUST A KID SHOW FOR EXAMPLE U LOSE THE OLDER PEOPLE AND VICEVERSA. IT TAKES SO MUCH MONEY EACH WEEK JUST TO PAY THE BILLS TO KEEP THE PLACE OPEN SO I CAN PLAY THE CRAP THEY SOMETIMES SEND. I WOULD THINK THEY WOULD WANT US TO MAKE MONEY EACH WEEK WE HAVE TO MAKE MONEY TO STAY OPEN 52 WEEKS A YEAR. WELL ANYWAY ENOUGH VENTING THANKS EVERYONE
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Re: double booking? 16 Aug 2000 16:25 #22888

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A friend of mine with a single screen theatre runs one film Friday, Saturday and Sunday and them pairs it up with another film Monday through Thursday. He says that the studios don't care what you do on weekdays. That second feature had best be an older title that the studios will not care about.
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Re: double booking? 17 Aug 2000 11:35 #22889

  • Mike
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This is a very touchy subject and one many theatre owners who do double will not discuss in public forums.

The art distribs are much more lenient and generally just happy to take a date. That of course changes when you are opening a big Miramax or Sory Classics picture. They can be just as hard ass as the rest plus they have less prints.

The majors are just plain no humour when it comes to doubling it. I had BV tell me "You'll either play it clean or pull the film." the day before the picture opened and we'd already advertised the pics and they meant it and implicit in the conversation was the threat that I'd be lucky to get another print out of them for a long time.

There's the rub: there's a lot of product but it's 10 people you talk to 95% of the time.

They really care about doubling! And they should. They've only got X days to make it happen. How would you like to spend 75 million making a pic and then have a shmo up in Maine doubling your pic? If they didn't fighjt it we'd double everything all the time!

Keep in mind the old Chinese saying, "The land is wide and the emperor is far away." Out of sight.... out of mind.

If you have close competion they are known to rat you out should they notice you doubling.

We use our own judgement and never double brand new stuff or something that is still hot. After that we start to get a little murky and plastiuc about the whole thing.

The last word is "Don't ask to double." They'll just say no. But you need to have a certain comfort level of experience that it's okay. In other words: doubling The Phantom Menace on the 2nd week should send a a warning flag to your brain. Putting Love's Labour's Lost on top of Chicken Run's 5th week early shows is a no brainer.

Some doubling is what makes it possible for us to back and fill, play catch up, sell tiks, and stay alive!

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: double booking? 28 Aug 2000 03:54 #22890

  • BurneyFalls
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I love this site. I am learning alot here and may need to change my username to something generic. I asked about doubling something once and was given the emphatic "NO WAY". I wondered how the multiplexes can show 25-50% more titles than they have screens. And how they can get four prints and I can't get one. I like the government's saying, "DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL" phrase. I may one day start implementing it.
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Re: double booking? 28 Aug 2000 13:35 #22891

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DON'T THE FILM COMPANIES REALIZE THAT IF WE ARE ALLOWED TO DOUBLE BOOK THAT WE ARE STILL GOING TO PLAY THE MOVIE THAT WILL DO THE BEST AT 7:30 AT THAT TIME AND THE ONE THAT WILL DO THE BEST AT 9:30 AT THAT TIME-- AFTER ALL WE WANT TO MAKE MONEY TOO!!!
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Re: double booking? 29 Aug 2000 01:43 #22892

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I talked to a small theatre owner a few days ago about doubling. He does it frequently; but never the first week after release. He told me that he got caught once and was not allowed to book a movie from that studio for one year. That could hurt. Anyone else ever been punished?
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