This past Saturday the wife and I went to see The Borne Ultimatum. This may not seem like a big deal but with two kids (three and four years old) getting out to something as simple as a movie is a big deal.
Now I could easily post about how expensive a night at the movies are but that would be like a stand up comedian talking about airline food……so instead I want to talk about how bland the actual movie going experience has become.
OK so let me start by saying that I love movies……love em love em love em. When I was in high school I would go to the noon movie on a Saturday and usually see 2-3 movies in a day….and like a sucker I would pay for them all and not just sneak in. Like most kids I wanted to work in the movies but I never wanted to be an actor…I wanted to work in the marketing department of a film studio (and I still do…hint hint) so when I say the movie going experience isn’t what it used to be I say this from a point of expertise.
So we get to the theatre about 40 minutes before the start time, grab some snacks and head to our seats. For the entire 35 minutes before the movie started there was “trailers” playing on the screen and I thought this was cool until they played the same three trailers in a loop so I saw them 4 times each before the lights went down. Once the lights went down they showed the exact same three trailers in the “official” coming attractions section and this got me thinking…….why not make the “before the lights go down time” a fun interactive event that gets people excited about going to the movies again.
Theatres could be equipped with game show buzzers and people in the seats can play “movie trivia” for a chance to win movie swag or fee snacks. The “fun” element will create a cool experience that will get people talking about “going to the movies” and not just the movie they are seeing and since movie swag like t-shirts and sweat shirts will help promote the films there really is no loser in this situation!
…….and while we are on the topic of movie experience. Why don’t movie theatres sell DVD’s on site? I am not talking about releasing movies in theatres and dvd at the same time rather but they could sell a small selection of “new releases” and grab people when they are in a “movie mood”.
…..and if selling DVD’s is a no no then at the very least movie theatres should sell current film soundtracks. I read somewhere (can’t remember where so I might be making this up) that movie soundtracks are some of the biggest selling cd’s in any music store. If this is true then why not offer soundtracks as an impulse buy to people leaving the theatre. You could have a kid with a 50’s style cigarette girl harness full of cd’s and watch the money flow.
Ok so here is my final thought on this (I have plenty more but I need to keep some to myself just in case this post gets me a job offer) I think theatres and DVD subscription companies like Zip.ca (or Netflix for my American readers) would benefit a great deal from working together and not creating a one or the other mentality. Sure they are both trying to make money and develop loyal followings but if the home subscription companies sent people OUT to the movies every now and then and vice versa it would develop passion about movies in general and passionate customers spend more money…….at least that is what my Magic 8 Ball tells me.