11 votes

Movie theater rescue called for by top filmmakers, NATO, MPA, DGA in letter to Congress: “Theaters may not survive”

14 comments

  1. [8]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    Many businesses are not surviving, lacking any governmental support. Why does the movie industry deserve a rescue when so many others are neglected? Because it maintains what US-centric soft power...

    Many businesses are not surviving, lacking any governmental support. Why does the movie industry deserve a rescue when so many others are neglected? Because it maintains what US-centric soft power still exists?

    23 votes
    1. [6]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      Every sector should be receiving support, no doubt about it. That does not entail that movie theaters should not be supported.

      Every sector should be receiving support, no doubt about it. That does not entail that movie theaters should not be supported.

      8 votes
      1. [5]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        Absolutely. Every industry needs support at this time. But forgive me if I'm dubious about the utility of supporting movie theaters over others, given the decline they were already experiencing.

        Absolutely. Every industry needs support at this time. But forgive me if I'm dubious about the utility of supporting movie theaters over others, given the decline they were already experiencing.

        17 votes
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. vord
            Link Parent
            Eh, there's a good reason to tear stuff like this down: We're told so many times that "we can't have nice things because they're too expensive." Well, don't fund stuff like this and give us nice...

            Eh, there's a good reason to tear stuff like this down: We're told so many times that "we can't have nice things because they're too expensive."

            Well, don't fund stuff like this and give us nice things. Like healthcare.

            I disagree that all industries need support. I'd say all people need support. The best thing we could do for this country (USA) is to literally lock down the nation for a month to the bare minimums. Healthcare, food, utilities, emergency repairs, firefighters. Beyond that? Shut it down, damn the costs.

            We can rebuild industries, it's happened before it'll happen again. We can't rebuild the dead.

            11 votes
        2. [3]
          mrbig
          Link Parent
          Movie theaters do employ people. They also have a cultural significance. Other sectors are also important for a variety of reasons, of course.

          Movie theaters do employ people. They also have a cultural significance. Other sectors are also important for a variety of reasons, of course.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            post_below
            Link Parent
            Don't theatres employ minimal, low wage staff? In terms of efficiency, any bailout of theatres has got to offer a lower cash to jobs saved ratio than so many other sectors.

            Don't theatres employ minimal, low wage staff?

            In terms of efficiency, any bailout of theatres has got to offer a lower cash to jobs saved ratio than so many other sectors.

            6 votes
            1. mrbig
              Link Parent
              Sure they do. So do lots of business that should also be supported

              Sure they do. So do lots of business that should also be supported

    2. post_below
      Link Parent
      They don't, movie theatres were a rapidly dying business model before the pandemic. Hollywood as a whole was already well on it's way to adapting to the digital age, losing theatre revenue won't...

      They don't, movie theatres were a rapidly dying business model before the pandemic.

      Hollywood as a whole was already well on it's way to adapting to the digital age, losing theatre revenue won't kill entertainment, only speed up the transition to streaming.

      Small businesses need a bailout, some of those are theatres... but the big corporate theatre chains? I don't see them as important enough to society to require a taxpayer bailout.

      4 votes
  2. [6]
    vord
    Link
    Movie theaters wouldn't be struggling so much if the studios wouldn't take such a huge cut of the first 2 weeks of ticket sales. The reason theater food is so exorbitantly expensive is because...

    Movie theaters wouldn't be struggling so much if the studios wouldn't take such a huge cut of the first 2 weeks of ticket sales.

    The reason theater food is so exorbitantly expensive is because studios demand upwards of 90%+ of opening weeks ticket sales.

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      Yeah, it is very well know even here (Brazil) that it’s popcorn that keep movie theaters open, not tickets.

      Yeah, it is very well know even here (Brazil) that it’s popcorn that keep movie theaters open, not tickets.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        arp242
        Link Parent
        Popcorn is also what keeps me away from them, because I'm always sitting next to someone munching loudly on it, or playing with their crisp bag, or has a big bag of strongly smelling chicken wings...

        Popcorn is also what keeps me away from them, because I'm always sitting next to someone munching loudly on it, or playing with their crisp bag, or has a big bag of strongly smelling chicken wings I need to listen to them munch on and lick their fingers off.

        I feel like a grumpy old man, but I don't remember that kind of stuff being so bad 20 years ago. Pretty much every single I went to a big theatre in the last 5 years has been a shitty experience because of stuff like this, the only exception when I went to see The Red Turtle in a big theatre as we were the only ones in the entire screening 🙃

        And yeah, I understand the economics of it, but ugh.

        The best theatres are the small independent ones where you have none of this. They also don't bombard you with 30 minutes of advertising.

        6 votes
        1. mrbig
          Link Parent
          I really don’t mind the popcorn, it’s not a sound I must interpret and it’s easy to ignore. IDK how’s people’s etiquette where you are, but people here tend to chew quietly! And popcorn tends to...

          I really don’t mind the popcorn, it’s not a sound I must interpret and it’s easy to ignore. IDK how’s people’s etiquette where you are, but people here tend to chew quietly! And popcorn tends to end before the first third of the movie. Our big buckets are probably not as big as elsewhere.

          What makes me extremely angry and confrontational are people that talk, use the cellphone and engage in full blown conversations during the projection. I usually complain in very clear terms. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, now I have a tiny rivalry in the movie theater, which detracts from the experience.

      2. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. vord
          Link Parent
          And it's gotten worse since then. For the highest demand movies (think Star Wars), that first week of ticket sales might be 95% studio cut. IIRC it was Star Wars Episode 1 that really kicked that...

          And it's gotten worse since then.

          For the highest demand movies (think Star Wars), that first week of ticket sales might be 95% studio cut. IIRC it was Star Wars Episode 1 that really kicked that practice into high gear.

          So the biggest theater draws (that people want to see in theaters over their couch) don't make money for the theater, and they're left hoping for returns after the first week rush, or from the slightly higher earnings on lower-profile films.

          2 votes
    2. tomf
      Link Parent
      I came here to say this. Give them +10% of opening week and they'd be set. The entire structure is bullshit.

      I came here to say this. Give them +10% of opening week and they'd be set. The entire structure is bullshit.

      1 vote