Mark Cuban asks for ideas on getting people to go see a movie in his post “The Movie Business Challenge“. I have some ideas, but they are not brilliant ideas. They are basic concepts of business. I think his assumption that people don’t want to go see movies is flawed. They do. Or at least I want to go to movies. And my family does. And most of my friends do. So why don’t we?
Well, partly because the movies suck. But I even want to go to a sucky movie sometimes, for the fun of it. I sat almost half way through Lara Croft: Tomb Raider because I really really really needed to escape from my environment for a few hours and just immerse myself in something different. That movie was truly aweful. Lucky for me after I left that theatre I wandered into School of Rock and caught almost the whole thing. That was a good movie.
Mark Cuban asks:
How do you get people out of the house to see your movie without spending a fortune. How can you convince 5 million people to give up their weekend and go to a theater to see a specific movie without spending 60mm dollars.
You do that by making it safe, for one. I can’t send my kids to the movies because it’s not safe for them to go alone (even together). If it were safe and the movies were good, they’d go often. OFTEN.
You also can do that by making it respectful. To offer me a fountain coke for $6 is to disrespect me. Ditto for an $8 box of popcorn. And a theatre that is not much bigger than my home theater? With seemingly uncontrolled audio levels and air conditioning? Or how about when the movie next door bleeds into your movie… completely inexcusable business practices.
And while we are on the topic of respect, how about the 20-30 minutes of commercials? And the product placements! Tody’s theaters seat so few comfortably, you have to arrive early to get a decent seat and then sit through all that nonsense. You know you’re being nickel and dimed. Nobody likes that. It’s disrespectful.
So sorry about the lack of originality Mark but I honestly believe you simply need to improve the movie theater if you want movie goers. We stand in long lines on opening night because we want to BE THERE, sharing the limelight of opening night, seeing neighbors further back in the line, and telling stories the next day about the new movie we saw last night. After that, wait for the DVD. Going to the movie theater is simply not a fulfilling entertainment experience.