Lower the ticket price!!

Since they are paying to reach us, ala broadcast TV, lower the damn price of the movie ticket! You don’t pay money to watch HBO with commercials for anything other than previews for more HBO features. Movies used to be the same, with only previews. Come on! Faking the recycled contect is advertising as well… I’m sure NBC had nothing to do with replaying the clips, or that the videos are not being promoted by record labels.

PRE-MOVIE SHOWS. America’s largest movie-theater chain — Regal Entertainment Group — is testing the boundaries between advertising and entertainment with a 20-minute pre-movie show that mixes content with commercials, as reported by Brian Steinberg in Dow Jones Newswires. The content claims 13 minutes of the programming, and includes music videos and Tonight Show clips, for example. The commercials consume the 7-minute balance, and the early takers include Colgate Palmolive, Coca-Cola and Cingular Wireless.

Whether audiences will accept the shows is not yet totally clear. Some theater owners say that “patrons want to chat with their friends” and relax before the film (make that the shorts) begin, and not be subjected to anything more intrusive than those hokey slides from local merchants. Regal, however, thinks that if their pre-shows enhance the movie-going experience, they will be a hit. The theater chain cites its own research showing that “80 percent of respondents expected advertising at the movies, and 47 percent even liked it,” while “12 percent disliked the advertising they saw.”

Such rosy numbers could hold — or even improve — provided the pre-shows live up to their potential to entertain, perhaps using the size of the screen “to give rise to spots as engrossing…as those that air during the Oscars and the Super Bowl.” However, notes MediaCom’s John Connolly, the cost “is huge” to make ads exclusively for theater screens, and the effectiveness could be diluted if much of the audience is still in the lobby getting popcorn. Regal, meanwhile, says it “has sold about 75 percent of the available movie-screen space for the year,” and that “three of the nine months between March and December are completely sold out.” The pre-movie shows are currently available “in about 160 theaters and on close to 2,000 screens,” and “the company expects to expand that to nearly 400 theaters and 4,500 screens by the end of 2003.”


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