Friday, July 26, 2013

At The Movies, Now Playing Overseas!

Going to the movies use to be a big event.  I'm not talking about before there was the invention of television.  I'm referring to just a few years ago.  Something has changed that.  I want to explore what that could be.

Siskel & Ebert made going to the movies into a big event!
I am not sure if Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert were the very best at reviewing films, but their passion, knowledge and especially their delivery as they talked about the movies, made going to the movies, something so much more.  They were exceptional personalities who knew how to be informed entertainers.

A couple of newspaper guys became the most popular and influential movie critics, because they made it bigger than it was.  They made it into an event.

It looks like Hollywood is interested with making flicks for the international movie-goers!
They are focused on the international audience.  First off, movies are being released overseas before they are here domestically.  With the social media, this is spoiling certain plots and twists.  They are also pushing out niche flicks, and are going for more big-budget action movies, (i.e. Transformers / Fast & The Furious).  This isn't a knock against those films, just pointing out what is getting mostly made these days.  The international audience is easier to market to without any over-complicated a plot.

For your viewing pleasure...
Today it would be difficult for Spiels to make the movie Lincoln.  Yes, the movie that was just released last year, would very likely only get released on cable-TV.  Just like Behind the Candelabra hit the theaters in the UK and elsewhere, but in the US was released on HBO.

George Lucas & Steven Spielberg spoke at an event for the opening of a new USC School of Cinematic Arts building, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter:
"I think eventually the Lincolns will go away and they're going to be on television," Lucas said. "As mine almost was," Spielberg interjected. "This close -- ask HBO -- this close."  "We're talking Lincoln and Red Tails -- we barely got them into theaters. You're talking about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can't get their movie into a theater," Lucas said. Spielberg added that he had to co-own his own studio in order to get Lincoln into theaters.
Why don't we count?  Well, just 'count' the money!  Movies have become huge internationally for the big studios.  Look at two examples:
Skyfall (James Bond)
Domestic: $304,360,277   27.5%
Foreign: $804,200,736   72.5%
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Domestic: $241,071,802   23.1%
Foreign: $802,800,000   76.9%
The US is still the biggest single country to gross for most films, but it seems like that doesn't matter.  So, what are they doing to entice you to go to the movies and treat it like an event again?

Be sure to get a gourmet pretzel and bottle of water for about $30!
The movie houses closed the balconies for multiplexes!  
The overall affect of going out to the movies changed as the small theater houses were bought up by the big movie chains, like Cineplex Odeon and Loews Theatres, which then was gobbled up by an even bigger chain, AMC Theatres (American Multi-Cinema).

"This uncanny gift is yours when you see THE WOLVERINE at AMC, July 26-28."
Instead of paying about $10 for a movie ticket...would you be interested in paying $50?
Yup, that is the angle that they went with for the hit movie World War Z.  Here are the perks:
One ticket to see the 3D movie, 2 days before the actual release (hopefully you are available)
One HD digital copy (before even knowing if the film is worth seeing again)
A pair of 3D glasses (No really, this is included in the $50 ticket price)
A movie poster (of a film that you may not be that thrilled that you saw)
A small popcorn (drink not included)
THIS was called a MEGA-TICKET!

I expect to see more events like this, but with Netflix, Video OnDemand and DVD/Blu-Ray eating away at the domestic gross, the studios might charge different prices per film.  Steven Spielberg predicts:
"you're gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you're probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln."
The movie studios get their biggest percentage from each ticket during the opening weekend, (leaving the movie theaters depending on the cash spent at the concessions).  As the weeks go by, this reverses, but movie goers tend to follow the hype.  So, they are doing more hype & cross promotions to get you to come to see the movie opening.

There is currently some evidence of movie goers willing to pay extra to see movies in IMAX and 3D formats.  So they will continue to find new and creative ways to market movies to make it once again an event.

Until going to the movies is an event again, I'll just make my own events!
So, I had this idea back in the 90's to create a pointless website featuring pictures of UGLY MOVIE RUGS...but I never followed that dream. Now, I am finally back on the path of success again with these pics on the Pinterest!

Ugly Movie Rugs
Thank you for coming to Loews, sit back and relax, enjoy the show!!!

Tony Lossano, Broadcast Producer (TV & Radio, Chicago), amateur bicyclist, a fantastic dog walker, and has never been married to Alyssa Milano.

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