Movies and DVDs

noskilz writes:

"Do you think the rapid turnaround from theater to dvd is a problem? One of my friends refers to theatrical releases as "trailers for the dvd" and I usually don’t worry about catching a film at the theater unless it’s the sort of thing likely to benefit from a gigantic screen and sound system."


I think the rapid turnaround from theater to DVD is a problem — but apparently not for the corporations that own the movie stats

DVD has, unquestionably, changed the movie industry. It used to be, a movie came out in theaters, then came out on video a year later. Video was the "paperback version" of the movie. You could own a copy of Batman! The quality wasn’t that great, and usually the image was cropped "to fit your TV screen," but it was better than nothing — you could watch your favorite movies any time you wanted, usually for the price of two tickets.

Then, the money-counters at the studios noticed that they could make more money faster if they brought the video out faster — usually six months faster. Thus, the summer blockbusters became the Christmas stocking-stuffers. And the money-counters were pleased.

Then, relatively recently, the heads of all the studios were all fired and replaced with corporate types. Corporations, the reader will recall, report their income quarterly. To a corporate type, the key to keeping one’s job is to have each quarter do better than the last. Thus, it was deemed wise to have movies come out one quarter after their theatrical release.

And yes, noskilz’s friend is correct: for all intents and purposes, a theatrical release is a trailer for the DVD. A theatrical release is a virtual no-win situation for a studio — the costs are so astronomically high that, unless one has a hit on the scale of The Dark Knight, a studio cannot turn a profit on a theatrical release. For the vast bulk of movies, the theatrical release is merely one small part of a vast promotional scheme designed to promote the value of the movie in future ancillary venues: DVD, cable, airplanes, web-streams, iphone downloads, toys, stickers, lunchboxes, temporary tattoos and what have you. The purpose of a studio (WB, Paramount, Universal, Fox) is to supply its corporate parent with a quarterly stream of "content" which it can then sell to these mulitudinous venues on a quarterly basis — to keep that red line on the chart going up, up, up — so that the corporate heads can keep their jobs.

Now then: as noskilz’s friend has found, the quarterly-release pattern has created a situation where a movie comes out and the audience sees the ad in the paper and cannot find a compelling reason to go see that movie in a theater. It does not matter if a movie is chockablock full of stars and has a dynamite hook, if it lacks a certain something an audience will stay away and most likely wait the three months until it shows up on DVD.

This has, inevitably, changed the shape and tone of movies. One studio executive put it to me this way: to have a movie succeed in a theatrical release, it must deliver an experience that cannot be reproduced at home — that is, it must be something that will compel people to want to see it in a crowd, on a big screen, with excellent sound and projection — on opening weekend. This executive provided me with a list of those things people will pay money to experience in large numbers. The list is: spectacle, comedy, fear and stars. They like to see things they’ve never seen before, they like to laugh together, they like to scream together, and they like to project their hopes and dreams on their favorite screen idols. And so, our movie theaters brim to overflowing with genre fare — thrillers, comedies, horror movies and spectacles. Dramas, the kind of movies that used to win Oscars, are made by "other people" — studios are no longer interested in them, even "at a price." George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett could make a stirring drama that plumbs the depths of the human soul for a budget of $4.95 and the studios would still not be interested. Even if they got the movie for free, it would still cost them too much to market and distribute the movie to make it profitable for them.

Comedies, as we have seen, are doing very well at the moment. The studios like them because they are cheap to make and have a reliable audience. Cast Vince Vaughn or Seth Rogen or Will Ferrell or Steve Karell or Paul Rudd in it, and make it vaguely raunchy and appealing to an adolescent mind-set, and you’ve got a license to print money. Horror, also, is very appealing to studios, although the gut-level horror of something like Saw a major studio won’t touch — they like to consider themselves above the fray. (I enjoy a good number of horror movies, but my agents won’t even allow me to consider writing one — they tell me they won’t read it, "they don’t go to see movies like that." Well, maybe they don’t, but plenty of other people do.) Spectacle has always been what movies do best, but to put something on screen that no one has ever seen before becomes more and more expensive every day. Stars, on the other hand, are rapidly losing their power in movie-land — only Will Smith seems to be able to make absolutely anything a hit, whether it’s an action-horror spectacle, a romantic comedy or a touching personal drama. "Chick flicks" are also cheap to make, but the market is much more difficult to pin down: miss the bullseye and you have the worst of all worlds: a $30 million movie that costs $60 million to promote and has limited ancillary potential.

Find a way to combine spectacle, comedy, horror and stars and you’ve got a huge hit: Ghostbusters. The Dark Knight thrills and frightens, contains a reasonable amount of spectacle and delivers a tremendous star-turn by a recently-dead actor. Pirates of the Caribbean provides all kinds of specatcle, a reasonable amount of comedy and an unexpected star-turn from an interesting actor who was not quite a movie star at the time it was made.

Movies, they say, are a dying art form, and I’m sure that that’s true. Theater was once a dying art form, but I look around and see that there are still people putting on plays. Maybe people will still be going to see movies in a hundred years and maybe they won’t. Maybe movies are simply going through a change the way they did in the 1950s, when they were forced to differentiate themselves from television. (Television, it’s worth noting, has its own troubles — lots of people simply don’t watch it any more, and if they do they don’t watch it the way people watched it a generation ago. They spend their time playing video games and surfing the internet, and if they watch TV they can watch it on their computer or on their DVR.) For now, movies are mostly big, loud and dumb, and occasionally big, loud and smart.


49 Responses to “Movies and DVDs”
  1. craigjclark says:

    I’ve actually experienced this very phenomenon recently. Last weekend I was all set to go out and see Role Models, but at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to wait for the DVD. On the other hand, I jumped at the chance to see the new Jonathan Demme film Rachel Getting Married because it seemed like the kind of film that would reward the immersive experience and I’m happy to report that it did.

  2. sheherazahde says:

    I don’t get cable TV. I watch all my TV shows on DVD from Netflix. I could probably download them from bit torrent but It’s just easier to order the DVD. Then I can watch them on the big screen (tv instead of computer monitor) while relaxing on the couch. And I can watch the whole season in order at once without comercials.

    • clayfoot says:

      Wow, me too. I have PlayOn setup to stream NetFlix’s “Watch Instantly” queue to my Xbox 360 and XBMC. A friend asked me this week what was playing in theaters, but I couldn’t name a single title –and I actually like going to the movies.

  3. swan_tower says:

    Not that it changes or negates anything you said here, but John Scalzi just posted today about why it’s still worth seeing a movie in the theatre.

    • Todd says:

      I am in complete agreement with Mr. Scalzi, and I’ve tried to give to my children a passion for the moviegoing experience as a habit in and of itself. We have a pretty impressive home-video system here at chez Wadpaw, but even so the “day out at the movies” is a special family thing (well, dad-and-kids thing anyway) with its own rituals and charms: the popcorn, the previews, the gigantic screen, the digital projection.

      One of the reasons the studios are pushing 3-D as a form unto itself is to keep this going, to create an “event” that simply can’t be found at home. Whether any of these movies will be good or not (the ones I’ve see? not) is another question.

      • craigjclark says:

        When I was growing up, movie outings with the family were a special treat, and my brothers and I always made sure we were on our best behavior. Back then, it would have been unheard of for us to get up and walk around during the movie because the movie was the whole reason we were there. Makes me wonder what values parents are instilling in their children nowadays.

      • Ditto that, going to the movies remains one of the few experiences I absolutely loved as a child and still continue to enjoy today, and I’m going to try my damnedest to instill that same joyful sentiment in my kids. I think there’s enough people that have that same emotional connection to physically going to a moviehouse – popcorn, previews and all – to keep the entire movie release business alive forever in some form or another.

        And I’m currently enjoying the hell out of the nearby movie theater that only charges four bucks a pop for a matinee. I literally drag the girlfriend to a movie every weekend, and I enjoy every moment of it, even when the movie we see is utter shit.

      • Keep an eye out for Coraline in digital 3D next year. That should be a good one.

        • travisezell says:

          I work for the company who animated it (in the commercial department… as a taperoom lacky) and I’ve gotten to see reasonable chunks of the film as it’s been worked on. It’s hard to judge the quality of the story that way, but at the very least it’s going to be PRETTY.

          And as to story: it’s definitely got potential!

      • curt_holman says:


        I found Beowulf to be an extremely exciting experience in 3-D. I’m scared to see it on DVD, because it probably suffers.

        Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D was pretty lame, and the 3-D did not strike me as particularly impressive.

        I’m looking forward to Monsters vs. Aliens in 3-D, because it both suits the 1950s movie matinee vibe its satirizing, and because “middling” CGI cartoon features can be more fun with a gimmick like 3-D (or in the case of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, IMAX presentation).

  4. catwalk says:

    i have missed out on many a big screen spectacle, not because i figured i could wait for dvd, but because i can’t stand the current movie-going population. rude, rude, rude… takes me out of the experience. i like modern theatres with their stadium seating and comfy chairs, and i don’t mind the price of a small popcorn and soda along with the ticket as part and parcel of the whole outing, but if can see a film without some jag’s phone ringing at full volume or a bunch of kids snarking loudly the whole time, then yes, i will wait for the dvd.

    • buzzmo says:

      Absolutely. Moviegoing has become such an odious experience that avoiding it is one of the main reasons I tend to stay home, content with my DVD player. If there is a big-screen spectacle that I want to see in a theater, I go out of my way to at times when I know crowds will be minimal, and I make sure to sit in the back row (minimizes noise from other people).

      But even these techniques are hit-and-miss. Inevitably, some mouth-breathers have, e.g., brought their two-year-old into the R-rated violence-fest I’m trying to enjoy, and it practically takes the kid vomiting on other patrons to get the ushers to throw them out. (And the parents then have the audacity to get *indignant* about being asked to leave.)

      The only theaters that will keep moviegoing from disappearing completely are specialty venues, e.g., “brew n’ view” and places that refuse entry to children past a certain time.

      Honestly, though, good riddance. The home viewing experience is, IMO, vastly superior. And with the ever-increasing availability of quality HD screens and surround-sound receivers, the “spectacle” differentiator is going to go away.

  5. johnnycrulez says:

    During high school I worked at a movie theater, which took away most of the magic of seeing movies in the theaters.

    I still see anything I care about on the big screen, though. Way cooler.

  6. misterseth says:

    A few trends I noticed with my local multiplexes…
    Aside from pressuring some of the smaller second run theatres out of business, a few have remodeled their lobbies to include snack areas (not just popcorn and soda mind you, but Nathan’s hot dogs, Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream, a cappuchino shop, etc.), a small lounge complete with bar and occasional live entertainment (!), and a waiting area, complete with cable news. It’s a recent trend in my area (Connecticut) but, assuming this is happening in other venues, it seems to be, as Todd put it, a desperate attempt for the cinemas themselves to deliver an experience that can’t be felt at home.

    • chronoso says:

      it’s happening in the areas of NJ i frequent and Boston as well. I find myself in a strange market since my desire is the movie itself, and not the opportunity to buy ice cream at a significant markup.

  7. This has, inevitably, changed the shape and tone of movies.

    Do you think more movies are being written to succeed in DVD release? People like to laugh together in the theater, sure, but a lot of the Rogen-Rudd-Vaughn comedies have plots that don’t require intense concentration to know what’s going on, which seems ideal for the DVD viewer who wants to watch some of the movie, stop it, go do something else, then pick it back up.

    • chronoso says:

      they also film hours of content they must know at the time will not make it into the theatrical cut, which makes the SUPER SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION UNRATED DIRECTORS CUT OMG!! a certainty. that along with the bonus features that most dvd buyers will never watch (i must admit, i am way behind on my commentary watching) makes seeing the movie in theaters just a taste of the later movies.

      I saw Dark Knight three times in theaters. I had to see it there for the large projection and sound and spectacle of it (one of the times was in IMAX) but i remain certain that there is about half an hour of cut movie that i hope will be on the DVD. does that mean the movie paid to see at the theater is less of a movie than the one i’ll pay to watch on dvd?

      • iron_pyrite says:

        Oh, absolutely. Never have I seen a movie that could have comfortably been a half-an-hour longer. There was some serious cutting in that movie – to the detriment of the pace, if you ask me.

        Harvey: “Rachel’s dead? KILL EVERYBODY!”

  8. clayfoot says:

    Well, somebody should write a good horror movie. The Saw series is so boring, so dreadfully boring.

  9. rootboy says:

    I also agree there is value in going to the theater, but I just can’t convince my wife. We live in New York, and she thinks $11 for a movie ticket is rarely worth it if you have to get there early to get a seat, can’t wear your pajamas, and can’t pause it to pee. This is also a woman who can’t tell when something is on our TV with the wrong aspect ratio, so arguments about the quality of the projected image aren’t getting me anywhere either. So this situation is exacerbated by the presence of people like her in the market, for whom all the reasons we cite for going to theaters aren’t enough to justify the price.

  10. marcochacon says:

    Write your deepest, darkest horror movie and publish it under a pen name. Something unlikely–but with gravitas. Something like say … :: glances around thinking :: Marco Chacon.


  11. malsperanza says:

    This certainly explains the incredible noisiness and explodiness of movies now, also the megaglittering massive ballroom scenes. I’m expecting the remake of Pride and Prejudice with car chases any minute now, and a Celine Dion soundtrack.

    I work in the book business, which has been experiencing a similar paradigm shift (overworked phrase though that is). Booksellers are expecting the worst season ever, book reviews are being cut from the (dying) newspaper industry, and everyone seems to have supposedly stopped buying books in favor of magazines and used copies from bookfinder.

    Against that are two interesting book trends: the kindle (very popular) and the Google Books settlement, both of which are beginning to remake the book market in digital terms. But there’s no doubt that this economic crash will wipe out a number of struggling book publishers, movie theaters, and probably a shocking number of newspapers, including some big ones. (The latter worries me the most. The Chicago Tribune may be a rag, but it is going under and that’s not good.)

    I suspect that most movie theaters will go the way of drive-ins, and many good movies will only be watched at home, on ever-bigger flatscreen monitors.

    I’m interested in how this is affecting screenwriting. I quite enjoy the layered way some movies (& TV shows) have responded to the fact that audiences a) like to interact with the movie, and b) own the disk and rewatch it. E.g., TV shows that presume a longterm audience that can tolerate having info presented in season 1 that only pays off in season 2, and the like. (Most of those shows are terrible, but the idea is great–a bit like a Dickens serial publication of an 800 page novel). What this may mean for big-screen movies I can’t say, but it seems potentially interesting.

    What I don’t understand is why the movie comedies are so bad. Is the 15-year-old male audience the only one going to the theater?

    • craigjclark says:

      The curious thing about the noisiness and explodiness of current movies is that those are the very things that are actually keeping me away from theaters these days. Two years ago when I walked out of Casino Royale I had the burning desire to see the next Bond film when it came out. Now Quantum of Solace is here and I can’t get myself motivated to go see it.

      I kind of reached my limit with epic fantasy films with the Lord of the Rings films a few years back. It’s quite possible that this summer’s action adventure films (Iron Man, Indy IV, Hellboy II, The Dark Knight) did the same for me for that genre.

  12. I can’t wait for the day when the Cocapplexxon Bottling Corp. can transmit spectacle straight into my optic nerves…just imagine the whole world in 3D!

    Until then I guess I’ll have to settle for the inviting darkness of an olde fashioned movie theater…

  13. greyaenigma says:

    One of the worst thing about this for me is that this accelerates the brevity of movies’ lifetimes in the theater — especially on the big screens. I have vague recollection of movies lasting months in the theater when I was a kid, now it seems to be blink and you miss it, especially if you wanted to see it on the really big screen.

  14. “i have missed out on many a big screen spectacle, not because i figured i could wait for dvd, but because i can’t stand the current movie-going population. rude, rude, rude… takes me out of the experience.”

    This really baffles me.

    I see a minimum of 50 films in the theater a year (yeah, I realize this isn’t the norm, I just love seeing movies on the big screen).

    Now I remember waaaaay back in the day, like in the early 1970’s when if you wanted to see a first run movie you HAD to see it at the theater. If you missed it you’d have to wait about 2-3 YEARS before it would appear on TV. And then, that would be one of the three main networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) where it would be cut to fit in a two hour format with commercial breaks (and the “mature” bits cut out or over dubbed)

    So back during that time I could understand why people would do whatever it takes to get to the screens. If it meant bringing the kids to an inappropriate film, well you could almost see their point. If it meant people who’s manners weren’t right for a group, folks who talked during a film for example, again while I don’t agree with their habits I could almost understand them going to the theater. They had no choice. In order to see that film they HAD to go to the cinema.

    There was no Cable movie channels playing uncut films.
    No Video tapes and no DVD’s.

    But here we are in the age of DVD’s, Internet and extreme quick turnarounds from first run to the home. If a movie premieres’ in June for example, that moviegoer with the young child or rude behavior just needs to wait a little while and they can watch it at the leisure at home.


    (sorry, I needed to vent)

    • misterseth says:

      Maybe they are either (a) too cheap to afford , or (b) cannot find a babysitter? 😛

    • catwalk says:

      these people reek of an undeserved sense of entitlement…

      even though they have brought the joy of a new life into this world a scant two months earlier, they seem to believe that they should be able to do whatever they want AND bring the infant along, regardless of the child’s mood or health. my concerned complaint: today’s movies are LOUD. why bring an infant or toddler to a film that will cause them pain?

      and talking… people don’t seem to realize that they are in a theatre with other people and not at home watching their tv. they talk back to the screen, they talk to each other, they answer their phones, and i can only think that it is because they think that because they paid for the ticket, that they should be allowed to behave however they want.

      back in the time, i remember people whispering, not talking. i remember children misbehaving and being taken out of the theatre by embarassed parents. maybe it’s like the ‘memory lane’ stories i hear about people dressing up to travel by train or airplane. i know the ‘good old days’ weren’t always as good as we remember; maybe they were just quieter.

      • Todd says:

        In the town where I grew up, the downtown theater had, no kidding, a “cry room” up in the balcony, a glassed-in section with piped-in sound for parents with newborns. These days, in the big cities they have “mommy screenings” on weekday afternoons so that moms with little kids can go and not worry that they’re bothering anyone.

    • Here’s what’s weird to me: I see tons of films on the big screen too (though doubtful I’ll ever hit fifty in a year), and honestly? I almost never get stuck in a rude crowd. And usually, at worst, it’s maybe one or two people nearby doing something inconsiderate who’ll usually acquiesce if I say something (which I have zero problem doing). The one theater I know of that consistently threatens to suck for watching movies at because of the general crowd rudeness is connected to a bar/music venue and there’s often a spillover of drunk assholes wanting to be funny, but that’s really an outlier in my experience, and half the time I’ve gone there it’s for a midnight RHPC showing, when drunkards being ridiculous sort of fits the experience.

      Is it an opening weekend phenomenon? Is it AMC GIGAPLEX related? A big premier at a big theater tends to draw the worst odds for crappy crowds as far as I’ve seen, but that’s fairly easy to avoid.

      • Yeah I find as long as I stick to the theaters I know are best about having the least obnoxious/rude people I tend to have pleasant movie going experiences. It’s on the rare occasion I’m out of town visiting a friend or something of that nature and we go to see a film that I run into the crowd that is mostly teenagers, who talk aloud or yell obnoxious things at the screen trying to make their friends laugh, and of course are constantly taking phone calls or texting throughout the movie. Also one is more likely to have an obnoxious crowd on the opening weekend of a blockbuster-type film.

  15. pseydtonne says:

    I wanted to try the movie-going experience in France while I was there recently. They’re famous for being the most voracious film-goers around.

    It is striking to see very long lines of people waiting to see movies in public. You just don’t get this in America: often people order ahead, snatch the tickets at the machine and walk right in. Even crappy flicks have a line of suckers waiting to get in.

    Some Australian friends and I headed to the morning showing of Vicki Christina Barcelona, Woody Allen’s latest flick (which was knocking it out of the park in France). Then we saw what the web site hadn’t told us: this particular Pathé cinema was only showing the film dubbed into French. No way.

    We walked up the block and found another Pathé (it was Lyon… it’s a dense downtown) that would be showing the flick in English with subtitles instead. We killed time and then headed into the cinema.

    The seats were amazingly comfy! Oh man! This turned out to be really useful because we had to survive 18 minutes of ads. There was an intermission during the ads, as if we needed a pause during the annoyance. Still, it was nice seeing film previews that didn’t include some guy saying “in a world…” — they just show clips and let them do the talking.

    The film was late Woody Allen, aka a Spike Lee Joint for neurotic people from the Nineteenth Century. No one is happy in the end, everyone has been shattered, no one really knows why and Allen can’t write an ending anymore (which is why I call it a Spike Lee flick: Lee can’t come up with a decent ending worth a nickel. For example, Bamboozled just slams into a wall instead of giving what would make more sense: Damon Wayans’s character should come out of the closet and feel better bout himself so that he stops dragging the rest of the world through shit.)

    It’d been a while since I’d seen a movie in a theater (two months). I’d forgotten the joy of seeing something I can’t pause, can’t control and just washes over me… even if it’s Spanish with French subtitles.

  16. “I enjoy a good number of horror movies, but my agents won’t even allow me to consider writing one — they tell me they won’t read it, “they don’t go to see movies like that.” Well, maybe they don’t, but plenty of other people do.”

    Absolutely right. I think there are a lot of people out of the loop, not realizing the audience that horror has, the profit they could be making. Some studios wouldn’t exist without horror. Particularly, Lionsgate is great at finding the good horror/thrillers and making money off of them, but apparently they’ve recently named a new CEO as he wouldn’t let them release what could have been a huge movie to a wide release(I’m speaking of Repo! The Gentic Opera, a horror musical), only showing it in 4 major US cities.

  17. noskilz says:

    I like to keep an eye on emerging train wrecks as an exercise in reality testing, so I’m mainly interested in the theater-to-dvd rush because it makes me wonder if it isn’t setting the scene for another theater crash. I certainly don’t have anything against rapidly appearing, feature-rich, inexpensive dvd’s (big fan of the $3-$5 bargain bins), but those bargains are only possible if the overall financial numbers still work out.

    It seems unlikely that movies or movie theaters will cease to exist(surely any decent-sized city will be able to support at least one, and many of those new content suppliers will need some), but it’ll be interesting to see how the changing economics reshape the situation. How many theaters have to go out of business before it’s a problem? If one wants to go the other way and jump aboard those more modern product distribution systems, how do you reach enough people to make it pay when you’re competing against everything that’s ever been released?

  18. Also, I find myself falling under the opposite of most people. I’ve seen more movies in the theatre in the last 3 years than I saw the preceding 5 years(this is most likely due to there being more well made comic, horror, fantasy, and comedies, I think than in the few years before that). But, I do believe I’m more likely to wait to see most dramas on DVD because they do not have much to offer in atmosphere in the theatre.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I love going to the movies, I wish I could go out more . .. I just wish they’d give us more of a window to see films rather than two or three weeks . . .

    Joshua James

  20. curt_holman says:

    Audience behavior

    Sometimes people talk about bad audience behavior as a sign of the decline of the moviegoing experience. Cell phones and texting are definitely modern detriments, but I wonder if people are looking at the audiences of yesteryear through rose-colored glasses. I remember shouting at someone to shut up at Ghostbusters in the early 1980s.

    These days, about once a week I go to a night-time screening that’s usually packed with people, and the audience usually behaves well. There are odd or annoying incidents every now and then (like the woman at American Dreamz who’s cell phone started ringing, but she refused to turn it off, I think because she was offended by people yelling at her to turn off her f*cking phone), but often the response is reasonably polite.

    Then again, these screenings usually involve free passes and are prefaced by a huge guy telling people not to take out their cell phones, so the audiences are “incentivized” to behave better and appreciate the experience.

  21. dougo says:

    Have you thought about writing for video games?

  22. curt_holman says:


    An interesting short piece on DVD sales from The New Yorker on-line:

  23. Anonymous says:

    Theatre experience — sure, but how many movies deserve this honor?

    My point being — nowadays just aren’t too much films that I NEED to see on the big screen. Any new picture of Mr Eastwood or Mr Fincher — sure, but other than that?
    It’s sad but it’s true, in my case anyway.
    The single greatest moviegoing experience in my life–I’m 6, or 7, and I’m about to see for the first time Raiders of the Lost Ark in my hometown’s small cinema. But the place is packed, brimmed with people. Note that this takes place in the heart of an ex-USSR satellite country. Luckily, my mom knows the cinema manager and he produces an extra chair, and places my in the best spot–first row at the balcony. And then the Lukasfilm logo appeared and… God, I’d trade almost everything in my life just to go back at that dark theatre and relive this moment again…The moviegoing magic.
    And a recent nice personal moment–I’m going to see Quantum with a woman I’m pretty much in love with. The MGM lion roars and she bends towards me and says, “I love this cute kitten”.
    Yeah, the moviegoing magic.


  24. Anonymous says:

    Theatre experience — sure, but how many movies deserve this honor?

    My point being — nowadays just aren’t too much films that I NEED to see on the big screen. Any new picture of Mr Eastwood or Mr Fincher — sure, but other than that?
    It’s sad but it’s true, in my case anyway.
    The single greatest moviegoing experience in my life–I’m 6, or 7, and I’m about to see for the first time Raiders of the Lost Ark in my hometown’s small cinema. But the place is packed, brimmed with people. Note that this takes place in the heart of an ex-USSR satellite country. Luckily, my mom knows the cinema manager and he produces an extra chair, and places my in the best spot–first row at the balcony. And then the Lukasfilm logo appeared and… God, I’d trade almost everything in my life just to go back at that dark theatre and relive this moment again…The moviegoing magic.
    And a recent nice personal moment–I’m going to see Quantum with a woman I’m pretty much in love with. The MGM lion roars and she bends towards me and says, “I love this cute kitten”.
    Yeah, the moviegoing magic.


  25. Anonymous says:

    This actually rings a couple bells for me. I’m one of the few people in my (Largely under 20) group of friends who still would rather see movies in theaters then at home. Maybe it’s because the biggest screen in my household is 30 inches, or that I’ve never hit a particularly bad crowd. Honestly though, I went and saw the Grindhouse double feature, and wished there were more double features around today. My parents even took me to a triple-feature drive-in a couple years ago, and man was that cool.

    There’s just something about movie theaters that immerses you in a way that at home just can’t. Maybe it’s because, with the lights down and everyone quiet, and the screen too big to ignore, it focuses your mind into it. Just you and the screen.
    A couple years ago, a local theater showed Life of Brian as a anniversary sort of thing, and at the end the whole theater started singing along. You don’t get that kind of thing happening except maybe in sports stadiums when everyone’s supporting the same team.

    Regardless, I think as long as there are people like me around, there will still be theaters. Or at least very elaborate home systems.