Friday, January 20, 2012

Hollywood -- panderer, miser

So, I just read's article on the new movie "Red Tails" (one of their articles). They point out that Hollywood as an industry rejected the notion of the movie, refused to get involved. An action movie with an all African-America cast, about racism in the US Army and in America, and how racism got in the way of fighting WWII. And how Americans, of various races, survived the conflicts.

So I checked. There is one theater in rural Ponca City, OK. Four screens, the Northpark Cinema Four, a Carmike Theaters theater.

And it *isn't* playing Red Tails. Nor is it playing "Haywired" (the movie I actually wanted to see this weekend.

And, you know, that whole SOPA crap just really hit home to me.

Here is Hollywood, advertising on local stations movies they flat out do not intend to show in my area (not within fifty miles). They are already advertising the DVD release. Their industry isn't about serving my community with quality entertainment, not Hollywood, not Carmike Cinema.

Now, Carmike I can see, picking and choosing which films to show. I mean, they charge an extra three or five bucks a ticked when they can flag a '3D' film. The one 3D film I saw wasn't worth the three bucks, let alone ticket+$3. And the 3D wasn't the part worth seeing, not for me.

So I kind of resent that they are holding for the fourth or fifth week a second screen of some Disney re-release, instead of an interesting new flick. You have to understand the theaters, I know. The theater gets to keep like 5% to 10% of the ticket price the first week or three, depending on the distributor and the contract the movie chain signs with the distributor. That is why "no passes for the first week(s)" thing. But the revenue share goes up, if you hang onto the movie for four or five weeks, so if 20 people go to see the movie the fifth week, the theater makes as much, or more as if 100 to 200 people see it opening week, barring popcorn sales. And leaving the movie there simplifies bookkeeping for everyone, so we see movies hanging on, taking the places that might have been used by fresher releases.

When a popular movie is well received and the community continues to return and return (Star Wars, Sound of Music, Shooter come to mind), this works out OK. Otherwise, not so much.

My own feeling is anger. If the movie makers are so disrespectful of my town they won't show, in movie theaters, the movies I want to see and that they are pimping hither and yon, then I care less about whether the "oh, by the way" fees and crap get enforced.

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