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TOPIC: Doubling A Film

Doubling A Film 13 Mar 2002 12:00 #23205

  • poppajoe
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I'm just kind of curious as to how many of you out there double a film without telling your distributor, and how often do you do it?
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Re: Doubling A Film 13 Mar 2002 17:08 #23206

What's this doubling?

"I don't want you playing with something that has such bizarre hair. Such awful, awful hair!"
-Marge Simpson, on Bart's toy trolls
Since 1987
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Re: Doubling A Film 13 Mar 2002 21:03 #23207

  • wimovieman
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I "double" (or stack, or split) whenever I can, escpecially in my small market area and running one screen theatres I have found offering family fare early and more older teen/adult later pays off. I mostly ask permission before doing, Paramount is the hardest, they keep varying on their policy. Fox keeps sending letters warning not to, but when they have prints laying around and you ask, they usually allow. I use to do the "don't ask, don't tell" way prior to another theatre owner reporting me, actually reported 3 times in 1 week!--only one I got in trouble with was Paramount--they took me off service in one theatre for 3 months. Since then I bought out the guy who reported me (he was a lawyer who had a one screen as a hobby/tax write-off, but also was competitive). I always ask now though, even when not worried about anyone reporting me.
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Re: Doubling A Film 18 Mar 2002 18:39 #23208

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We ask permission to "mix" film whenever we think that it will work and we can get permission. Always ask first unless you are planning on getting out of the business. You only have a limited number of distributors to deal with and they don't have to deal with you. We are very aggressive about asking for a mix because single screens need to get as much film on the screen as possible to keep our audiences happy.
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Re: Doubling A Film 18 Mar 2002 19:30 #23209

  • wimovieman
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Beckwith,

I sure wish we could get all the "authentic" one screen theatres together and work with the distributors on treating us different, as they do the drive-ins. The biggest reason they always give me for saying no, at least until the warehouses are overflowing with prints, is that it costs them showtimes, which costs them money not made, but when I run a G movie "clean" I usually end up with all no shows--or 1-3 people for the late showing. With R movies Most come to the late show. And funnier still is when I have 2 features alot of people come back out, buy another ticket, and go in for the second. If I wasn't allowed to have more than one all the time, so many less movies would be shown in my market area.

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Re: Doubling A Film 18 Mar 2002 21:22 #23210

  • Avalon
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We "split" regularly -- and usually get permission. Mind you, I'm living in Art House Land, but if we play a hot one for two or three weeks clean, we start stacking after that with lesser films. Usually, we get no complaints from the "major" film, and a lot of the "minor" films are just grateful for a screen. It's a given that one doesn't open a major film with a split screen.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: Doubling A Film 18 Mar 2002 21:51 #23211

  • RoxyVaudeville
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wimovieman:
I couldn't agree with you more. It has bothered me for years that drive-ins are treated as a special entity because they have a short season, or because they can only be open at night etc. etc. Single screen theatres are a special entity today as well. We need special help probably even more then the drive-ins do. I can't help but wonder if the distributors don't just want us to all go away. They seem not interested in doing anything that would make it easier for us to exist. And as you pointed out, most of what we would want would never hurt them financially anyway. The little film rent that they would lose on a late show for one film would more then be made up by having more of there pictures played at that theatre.

There is a lot of creative booking that could be done at a single screen that would bring many more patrons into the theatre and thus more film rent into their coffers. Besides the money... what about developing more movie goers? More films shown, and a more far reaching array of product would be beneficial to developing patrons from more deverse demographics which would help the entire industry over the long run.
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Re: Doubling A Film 19 Mar 2002 18:34 #23212

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Roxy---

Yoy brought up a lot of good points and think like me lol. I know that when I opened a single screen that was closed for 10 years, I had such little impact on the multi's in a drivable distance from me, and still to this day, 6 years later, hear from people "we never went to a theatre to see a movie til you opened" also there are the people in our depressed area that could not afford to see the same movie at a multi--both are additional markets and monies for the over all industry. Plus the kids that are brought up coming to a theatre will undoubtedly attend movies when they go to college, or move away in general---which I believe also helps the over all industry.

As far as your statement about the film companies just wanting us to go away--I really believe your right, considering they do most of their business in just 2 market areas (LA & NY) us "little" guys are not really appreciated---unless they are having problems getting their movie on a screen, then the phone is ringing off the hook begging for anything I will offer.

I understand not making more prints, as they are costly to dubb, but I hate when I know the warehouse is full of prints of a movie I would love to screen, and they insist I have to give them all the show times.

I guess it always has been a love-hate relationship--but in our case you would think the directors would love their film shown in a "historical" but updated theatre, for one thing I do not know too many small independents who have wrecked a print, but I sure get my share of 2 and 3 week old movies scratched from the multi's.
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Re: Doubling A Film 22 Mar 2002 18:40 #23213

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I see that the April issue of Boxoffice says that we independents are complaining about long hold times. Well that isn't my beef. I don't have a problem holding a movie for 4 weeks if they will let me mix it with another film which can hold down its own time slot and is not in direct competition with my first feature. The reason given was that the studios need high screen counts or else their egos/status in the industry will be diminished.

Well I would be happy to have many more products on my screen and would keep some longer if I could still get a variety of film. Maybe they should consider that we will go for longer terms if they will give up their exclusive ownership rights. Then everyone gets their films held over longer and the screen counts don't diminish. Everyone is happy.

I am in agreement with you guys that the studios are probably hoping that we single screeners just go away. They don't need us, we need them. They don't worry about serving the smaller/underserved markets that we specialize in. If we didn't exist they wouldn't have to make as many prints and could maximize cost vs revenue per print. Everyone one who wants to see a movie just drives to the nearest mega-gigantorplex which are located about every 20 miles or so in highly populated areas and every 100 miles or so in thinly populated areas.
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Re: Doubling A Film 22 Mar 2002 20:47 #23214

  • D. Bird
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I think it's time the corporate studio beancounters quit whining about having to serve smaller customers. I mean really now, a print costs a couple grand to strike, and as I understand, most theatres cover at least this in a couple weeks or so, thereby serving the purpose of selling the VHS, DVD or licensed crap later. They must spend millions more to advertise these films, and they ought to get one to every town, hamlet, or burg willing to stretch a sheet between two telephone poles! Can't sell what you don't promote...
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