What Business are theaters in ?

With the release of Bubble on January 27th in theaters, on

DVD
and for 2 showings on HDNet Movies, there has been a ton of press and
discussion about the
future of the movie industry.

THe most extreme has come fromJohn Fithian, who wins the award for the best ever imitation of Jack Valenti’s
famous comparison of the VCR to the Boston Strangler when he was quotedin
FastCompany assaying

John Fithian, the head of the National Association of Theatre Owners, a trade group based in Washington, DC,
called Iger’s suggestion this summer a “death threat” against his members. Fithian says that “if [release] windows
were eliminated, what you would have would be fewer movies, fewer total dollars for the industry, and less choice for
the consumer.” He thinks movies would become little more than commodities and that hundreds or thousands of theaters
would close.

But he wasnt done there, he said the same thing to
USA Today

It’s the biggest threat to the viability of the cinema industry today,” John Fithian, president of the National
Association of Theater Owners, said of the so-called “day and date” release strategy.

How sad is it when the President of the National Assoc of Theater Owners doesnt think his members can create a
better movie going experience than what we can see in our houses and apartments ?

Guess what John, I can whip up a mean steak, but I still like to go to restaurants. Because I enjoy it. I enjoy
getting out of the house with family, friends, who ever.

Every single Mavs game is on TV. It wasnt that long ago that some people in the sports business thought that
having games on TV would reduce attendance. After all, why go to the game when you can watch it for free on TV ? Then
someone decided to do some research and as it turns out, the more games you broadcast on TV, the more people who go
to your games. At the NBA, when we do our analysis to determine the revenue opportunity in any given market,
the number of games broadcast is one of the criteria analyzed.

Hey John, you can get just about anything you want online….. but people still go shopping.

Going to a restaurant. Going to a sporting event. Going shopping. Cabin Fever is alive and well. Wanting to get
away from your parents, your kids, your job, your apartment, your house, your problems will never, ever go out of
style. For the next thousand years the question will be asked…

What do you want to do tonight ? For the next thousand years, people will want to get the heck out of the
house. The question is where to and why.

It didnt take me long to realize that the business of the Mavericks was not selling basketball, it was selling a
fun night out and creating a favorable brand identification with our team and our players, with the hope that people
would be excited to buy merchandise , products and services from us.

It didnt take me long to realize that the business of
Landmark Theaters was very similar.
AtLandmark, our business is not showing thebiggest movies from the biggest studios.

At Landmark Theaters we know who our demographic is. Its not kids 18-24 who are deciding whether to hang out
at the mall or go to the movies. Its not people who are concerned with seeing the latest blockbuster. The 12mm
and growing number of people who attend movies at a Landmark Theater are typically 25 plus years old, who love
independent films from independent minds.

We try to be the Voice of Independent Film for the people who make movies, and the people who love to see those
movies. That is our mindset. That is what our demographic wants.

Our job at Landmark is to go out and find those movies and to make the experience of watching those movies as
unique and enjoyable as possible.It can bethe decor of the theater. It might be offeringadult
beverages before, during and after the film. It may be offering the a DVD selection of the movies director so
you dont have toscour the aislesof a huge retailer looking fora title theymay not have. It
may be offering the soundtrack of the movie, or the book the movie wasbased on. And starting withBubble,
it will includeselling the DVD of the movie you just saw.Also starting withBubble will bethe
rollout of Digital Cinema. Every single play of Bubble in our theaters will be digitally
projected.Weare using a mix ofSony 4k and TI based 2k projectors. We want our customers to
have the best possible viewing experience with every single showing of this and future movies. No scratches, no pops,
no fades, no problems with thepresentation whether you see it the first day of release or the last showing 6
months later.

Wehave to create an environmentthat makes going to a movie at a Landmark Theater- fun,
entertaining, relaxing, a good value andfor a film fan, the best answer to the question, what do you want to do
tonight.

We alsohave to create an environment where people trust our judgement in the movies we offer to
our customers. There are going to be times when someone wants to see something different, and may not know a lot
about a movie playing on one of our screens. We want them to trust our judgement that this movie is worth seeing. And
when we find a movie we really like, we try to put it on in as many cities as we possibly can. So as many of our
customers as possible can see it.

Thats the relationship we have with our customers. We arent perfect, but we work hard to make it as strong as
possible. We also want to retain the relationship we have with our customers when they cant make it to one of our
theaters to see a movie they want to see. We realize that there are times when you cant get out of the house for
whatever reason. You want to see the movie. You are dying to see it, but you cant make it to the theater during its
run. Or maybe you live in a city where the movie is not showing

We dont feel we should penalize our customers for either scenario. We want you to be able to see the movie you
want to see, where and when you want to see it. If you decide that you would like to own a copy of the moviethe
week it opens in theaters, feel free to buy it at your local Walmart, Best Buy, Movie Gallery, online,
wherever. Thats great.

If you have a great High Def home theater setup and you want to subscribe to HDNet Movies to watch one of the two
showings available only on opening night. Thats great. Go for it.

As with the Mavs, the more committed you are to independent film, the more likely you are going to come back to a
Landmark Theater, again and again.We know that the preference of any film fan is to see independent film
in a Landmark Theater And we will always work our asses offto make sure it stays that way. So unlike Mr
Fithian, we think the day and date release will expand the audience for the movies our audience wants to see.

As forMr Fithian’s Valentiesque fears … I can and will offer my observations of the problemsfirst run
multiplexes have.

First of all, I dont think they know what business they are in any longer. It appears they believe they are in the
business of showing the movies Hollywood gives them and praying that Hollywood makes good movies and spends enough
money to drive people through the doors so they make some money on the boxoffice andconcessions. They
arent.

But thats not the biggest of their problems. Their biggest problemis that they dont care who their
customer is, as long as a lot of people come. Which in turn makes it almost impossible to determine what
business they are in.

I will explain.

The experience that a 16 year old expects is going to be completely different than what a 35 or 55 year old
expects.

When a 16 year old goes to a movie, there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with answering your cellphone,
talking back to the screen and texting your heart away during a movie. The movie is just there because its better
than doing the same thing sitting or walking at the mall, or hanging in your buddys smelly bedroom again, listening
to his mom yell at him.

All of the above drives anyone not in that demographic crazy. So when a couple of 35 year olds go to see
King Kong, not only can you pretty much bet that they arent going to have a great experience during the showing of
the movie, but they probably didnt have a great experience before they even got their seats.

They are probably already pissed because the stereos were blasting in the parking lot, the lines to the concession
stands were filled with kids chit chattering and taking their good old time, while you wanted to get into the movie
so you could talk to your wife or date. The whole reason you left the house to see a movie in the first place was to
get away from kids.

People of different demographics have different expectations of the movie going experience. Trying to mix them
only ends up making both mad.

It probably wouldnt be a bad idea for the multiplexs to tailor the experience to the appropriate audience.

Its also probably a good time to take steps to be paid for the role you play in promoting the sale of DVDs and TV.
You already know that you platform movies and create demand for future sales. Your problem is that you dont get paid
for it. DVD sales now exceed box office sales and you dont get a nickel of those DVD sales. Its time for that to
change.

There will be non Landmark Theaters that show Bubble, just as there were that showed

Enron – The Smartest Guys in the Room.
The DVD for Enron just came out this week, and every single theater that
played the movie will get a percentage of the DVD sales.

Its time your industry stood up for itself and rather than fighting day and date or collapsed windows, realizing
that it will increase the total sales for a movie and get paid for the fact that you help increase those
total sales.

Just think, all thosemillions of people that were outside the reach of even King Kongfirst run
theaters could run to the store and buy the movie they have beenhearing so much about. While its still exciting
and fresh to them. Think maybe they could sell more DVDs that way ?You could even getpaid for it. A
pct of DVDsales in towns where the movie isnt even playing..Youearned it. Or are you going to make
this a religous war and adamantly oppose any day and date release of movies ?

And lets take a look at kids movies. If you have DVDs sitting behind the counter, staring at the little kids
, all with big smiles as they come out of the theater after just having seen Ice Age Benji,Shrek, or any number
of kids movies. How many kids are going to let their parents walk out of the theater without pitching a fit if
they dont have the DVD of the movie they just saw to watch at home ? And to be nice, you can give them a 5 dollar
discount from retail for having seen the movie. Lets see, you made 5 bucks on the popcorn and soda, but you stand to
make 15 on the DVD.. Isnt that more than your gross margins on the concessions and box office combined ?

But alas no, Mr Fithian. Rather than recognizing this and using the business opportunity that the studios want to
present you as a way to make the pie much bigger, and do a deal to get a piece of that pie that you ahve never gotten
in the past, and also use the change as a catalyst to correct some of the movie going experience issues your members
face and maybe even extract some guarantees in the process (after all , you are eliminating the DVD spend. They might
share that with you up front)…. you would rather join Jack Valenti in the “oops, did I say that ” Hall of
Fame and try to block it all

Thats your call. But the decline in the number of theaters wont come from the collapsing windows, it will come
from not recognizing what is happening in the business and missing an opportunity to get paid for the value you
create

142 thoughts on “What Business are theaters in ?

  1. Pingback: rianjs.net » Economics, perceived value, and the framing problem

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    Comment by dzhhsanshen -

  4. Danny:

    You say, “…any of you have maybe an Uncle that is a plumber that does work at the nearby movie theater, well what happens if they lose that account because that theater no longer exist- How many of you have nieces or nephews or friends that work at the local video store? That job won’t be around long.”

    This is very specious reasoning, and not worth commenting on. It’s like asking “What if that McDonald’s shuts down?” or “What if those people on Smith Ave. move? I like to plumb them the best!”

    But you do raise some valid concerns. Ultimately, though, doomsday predictions are always wrong.

    Player pianos did not kill the music industry, and neither did records, cassettes, CDs, or even (*gasp*) file-sharing. The VCR did not, in fact, destroy television as we know it, nor did it pull a “Boston Strangler” on the movie industry (which is a gauge of the accuracy of Jack Valenti in predicting the future).

    But let’s examine a worst case scenario: With or without the day-and-date releases, movies decline (I disagree that movie profits have really reduced at all – in fact they’re doing quite well, save for a lack of super-mega-jackpot-releases this year), and theaters slowly begin to shut down.

    Like anything, there’s the possibility that this could happen, but perhaps it’s just the theaters’ time to close. Let us consider that, once upon a time, there was the last factory to make buggy whips. I’ll bet they’d made the best buggy whips imaginable, but no one bought them anymore because they had cars.

    But I doubt, seriously doubt, that Mr. Cuban’s experiment is going to plunge 5000+ theaters into darkness. Since when are we against experimenting in this country? Experiments in the way of doing business is what makes the economy thrive and prosper. Without experimentation, with all doomsday predictions heeded, there would be no VCR, no cassette tape, no personal computers, no internet, etc.

    Without the willingness to look beyond our immediate self-interest and into what might be beneficial to us five or ten years down the road, then we are forever condemned to antiquity, and, ultimately, obscurity.

    Comment by John -

  5. Go get ‘em Mark!!!!

    Comment by mike bertelsen -

  6. Mark
    You are the man. This business idea you have is brilliant. I hope you stick it to those bastards and bankrupt them. Now if there was only a way to clean my ass better.

    Comment by Reggie Dunlop -

  7. Speaking of the movie industry…

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=6987644

    Comment by khyron -

  8. congrats mr. cuban. i think this is a great idea.

    Comment by Lee Majors -

  9. Why not just make some better pie?

    Comment by James David Dykas -

  10. Why not just make some better pie?

    Comment by James David Dykas -

  11. futureoffilm,

    I think the majority of these posts (and the article itself) cover it quite well. Landmark are offering a superior experience to a run-of-the-mill hollywood theatre. An experience that’s good enough, and different enough, to get excited about.

    There’s the good food, good drinks, better quality projection and sound. When you’ve been once, you’re excited about how *different* it was, you tell your friends, they try it out…the excitement spreads.

    OK, next picture that you go to a movie with overpriced, below average snacks, bad sound, glitchy projection, screaming children, and come home and tell your friends – how excited are people going to get about that?

    I’m sure there are people who just don’t leave the house to go to the movies. Maybe there’s nothing you can do to get them off the couch and into a theatre. If that’s the case, that’s not a customer you’re ever going to get anyway. But listen to these people posting right here. Going to the movies pisses a lot of them off! Piss customers off too many times, and they won’t come back – they join the people on the couch.

    Comment by Fleegle -

  12. Danny,

    I think you’re missing the point that most people have been making here. The theater experience is currently a poor one and many of us, including Mr. Cuban, are searching for ways to make it better so that people will want to go out to the movies more often, not less. Theater jobs are already in the crosshairs of a marketplace where technology is making alternatives like home theater better and less expensive while theater owners cling to outdated business models and charge more for an experience that most of us seem to agree is declining in value. Sure, Mark stands to make money on HDNet even if theaters continue to decline, but he’ll make a lot more if theater attendance picks up and helps stimulate demand for the content he’s in the business of delivering. In short, his interests are aligned with yours. The greatest threat to your job is theater owners that think the status quo is a viable long-term strategy. It’s not.

    Comment by Darrell -

  13. #71: The video rental store is already a dying breed. Many forms of video-on-demand are eventually going to replace them. Anyone who doesn’t realize that has blinders on. Plus, simultaneous release just means that the rental store would have the movie available to their customers even sooner! How is that going to put them out of business?

    I am all for simultaneous release. I’ll still go to the theaters as part of an evening out, and if the theater gives me a $5 discount on the DVD with my ticket stub, I will take advantage of that offer, if the movie was good. My DVD library is full of movies I saw in the theater first. In fact, most of the time me and my family see a film we like, one of them asks me “do you want to get the DVD when it comes out?”

    Comment by dthree -

  14. Shawn-

    See how you would feel if someone with Cuban’s means and money had your job or way of supporting your family in his crosshairs. See what kind of ‘tangent’ you will be on.

    Comment by Danny -

  15. Mark, it’s great that you are so confident about what’s happening with “Bubble”, and I wanted to say that I’m really looking forward to its release and seeing it at one of the Landmark’s here in Seattle.

    Most of the other theatres in Seattle really suck in terms of creating an experience that’s about enjoying a movie (i.e., AMC, Loews, and Regal are obviously trying to make money off of our eyeballs and stomachs, and they present the movies themselves with much less enthusiasm than they present in-theatre advertising and concessions).

    The Landmark’s here in Seattle really stand out–I actually look forward to seeing movies there. (And, btw, I can say the same about the great Landmark’s in San Francisco.)

    Thanks!

    Comment by Jay Fienberg -

  16. Don’t waste your time trying to change fossils, they’re already dead!

    Comment by iHatePC -

  17. Fleegle-

    Explain again why people are going to be more excited about going to the movies?

    What can theatres possible do that will encourage the people who are now staying home to go out? Please be specific about what in particular Landmark is doing.

    Comment by futureoffilm -

  18. Hey Danny… News flash… If you think the execs at the theatre chains or Hollywood Studios or Wal-Mart, really gives a damn about what will happen to those that make their living at a theatre if the theatres go belly up, your nuts! It’s just like any other company that makes poor decisions… they finally crap out and have to let workers go. Not a new story, guy…. sorry. Just a reality check for ya since you seem off on a tangent……

    Comment by Shawn -

  19. Danny, did you read the article? Why are theatres going to close again?

    The whole point is that the theatres won’t close because people will be more excited about going to the movies. At the moment, the theatres do a sucky job, so people stay at home – simple!

    If we follow your logic, then we shouldn’t be driving cars because of all the steam-train engineers and horse-shoe makers that will go out of business. Propping up an economy by hindering innovation – now there’s a good idea!

    Comment by Fleegle -

  20. Mark, thanks for trying to put this in a better perspective. I had to admit, the first time I heard about the day and date release schedule I was confused about how theaters would survive. Then I was watching a DVRed episode of Molto Mario and realized that I’ve been to two of Mario’s restaurants in the last year even though he’s shown me how to make his own recipes. I go to theaters for blow-me-away sound and other random people laughing the the bone-headed humor in Dude, Where’s My Car. Experience is what theaters are selling, not a product. That’s where they’re confused.

    Feel like opening up some theaters?

    Comment by Lou -

  21. A question for Mr. Mark Cuban:

    Did you ever think of the long term effects on the economy of your idea?

    Let me give everyone an example:

    Everyone is aware of the current run of a typical movie: Movie Theater to Video Store to Cable Premium Service (i.e- HBO).

    Now under Mr. Cuban’s idea lets offer it to all three on the same day, who benefits and loses from that idea? Well here are your losers:

    Movie Theater employees, vendors, and servers
    Video Store employees, vendors, and servers

    Great idea right? Not for the millions of employees who work in movie theaters and video stores whose jobs you are putting in jeopardy. Those movies that come out and play in theaters, well under your idea you don’t even have to see them in the theater or rent them, heck you can just order them on HDNET. So what happens to the movie theater employees? Theaters start closing up and these people would be out of work. How about the video stores- you can not tell me that you fully expect places like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video and others to survive and profit under this sceme? Those employees go jobless also. How about the vendors, service companies and others that supply movie theaters and/or video stores?

    Think of it this way Mr. Cuban take all of the employees who work at your American Airlines Center in Dallas- all of the service vendors and concession employees and ticket takers and ushers, etc. and now put them out of work and you too will realize what we who work in the movie theaters and video stores feel like right now. I ask of everyone who reads this and has posted a comment about what a great idea this is- how many of you work as or have a family member or friend that works in a job that might be impacted negatively by this? Think long and hard about it, any of you have maybe an Uncle that is a plumber that does work at the nearby movie theater, well what happens if they lose that account because that theater no longer exist- How many of you have nieces or nephews or friends that work at the local video store? That job won’t be around long.

    Is this still a great idea?

    Well we haven’t gotten to the winner yet, and that would be you Mr. Mark Cuban- and no not for coming up with this horrid idea but because you, who already can put more than enough food on your table, are part owner of HDNET, which under your idea you can show movies on the same day as they are on video and in movie theaters. So this benefits you and only you since you can get to more of movies money faster.

    Comment by Danny -

  22. Mark,

    Your incorrect on your stance regarding DVD margins. As an independent grocer, the prices we pay for new releases trickle between $19-20. When we sell for $19.99 to match the competition, the margin is razor thin. This doesn’t include the costs of shrink, labor, and other factors. It’s not worth the time of a theater to be in the newly released DVD business.

    But…

    It would be a great model for people to buy the movie at the theater on their cell phone, and when they come home, it is already downloaded onto their Media Center PC. :-)

    Comment by Todd Murphy -

  23. Classic marketing myopia – the harvard business school would eat it up as a case study.

    Comment by barry shah -

  24. Dear Mr Cuban:
    My perdiction for “Bubble” is simple. In the future when histotian write about film, two films will be noted as “historic”, “The Jazz Singer” that ushered in talkies, and “Bubble” which ushered in the second major change in the way the film business works.My wish for you is simple, “Best of Luck”, you get it!!!
    I would love to do business with you.
    Frank Traynor,High Eight Pictures LLC.

    Comment by Frank Traynor -

  25. “The whole reason you left the house to see a movie in the first place was to get away from kids.”

    EXACTLY. That is dead on!

    I am in the 25-34 demographic and went to see King Kong with a couple of guys – leaving the wives and kids at home. 10PM movie, kids all over the place, cell phones ringing, people sitting in the aisles because they oversold the time slot, and then to top it off they closed the concession stand at 11PM on a Friday night. I ended up buying a 20oz soda at an employee vending machine. Lost sale, bad movie experience.

    Comment by Ryan Kime -

  26. I sure wish there were some Landmark Theaters in Toronto. I am the biggest film fan and I’m young and have disposable income. I don’t care if movie tickets are $20 per movie. I just want to go and have a good experience and not leave the theater hating the human race. If cell phones aren’t going off, people are looking at their phones, which are on vibrate, with their bright LCD screens( which are as distracting as rings). The talking during movies is getting worse. For all the whining that the film industry has done about downloading, it’s not going to get better. I’ll admit, I’ve downloaded a movie in release, in order to watch it in peace and quiet ’cause I can’t get that in a theater. I used to go to the theater at least three times a month and now it’s once every two months, maybe. I’m just going to rent and buy dvd’s and spend my cash at the Toronto Film Fest, in september, ’cause it’s the only audience in the city with manners.

    Theater owners need to wake up. They need to spend money on training their staff, stop gouging customers at the concession stand and enforce etiquette in the auditorium.

    Comment by warrenpeace -

  27. Filmmaking is a balance between great art and forward-thinking as to, what’s the best way to promote this product. Without taking care of both sides, you’re lost

    Comment by qq -

  28. Kobe got 81 tonight.

    Finally someone will stop nagging Marc for the 62 he hung on the Mavs.

    Move over, there’s a new shitty defense in town: The Toronto Raptors.

    Comment by mike -

  29. I am wondering how people feel about the ads they have been playing for several years now before the trailers at the start of a film. They really piss me off. Recently I have had to sit through “Bod Man” ads that were horrible when I went to see 2 recent movies. I go to the movies to get away from that crap. I love trailers, and do NOT want to see more commercials than I already do on TV. What does Cuban think about this? I understand there is a revenue stream that has been created here. Does Landmark play ads before trailers? I have never been to one. By the way we need one here in Morgantown,WV. The theaters suck here.

    Comment by John Giannuzzi -

  30. Mmmm… pie.

    Now *that* would improve the movie-going experience. Serve pie!

    (I’m actually not kidding. Given that it’s the only thing they make money on, why don’t theaters serve better food?)

    Comment by Alex C -

  31. This is the gospel. I’ve printed it up.

    Filmmaking is a balance between great art and forward-thinking as to, what’s the best way to promote this product. Without taking care of both sides, you’re lost.

    As I go into on my blog (See URL above), I dislike most theatres. I’m a Netflicker, too, and I bought the largest computer screen I could afford (not huge, after all, I’m a student) for home viewing. I also love Comcast on Demand.

    I’m not going to change as a consumer, so the movie studios better, or it’ll be the 1950s all over again for them. And as a film student, I’d better put on my business cap and say, how can I distribute my product in a way that helps the most people see it, and not, what is the most convenient for the whims of a corporate distribution schedule?

    Comment by REBELFILM -

  32. Mark, off topic here, but saw you on CNBC the other day. Nice that you think the stock market is for suckers, but you’re very willing to jump on CNBC for a little free pub. That show feeds into all the bad habits investors should steer clear of, frequent trading etc. Consequently, I noticed you didn’t mention your belief that the market is for suckers to either Faber or Kernan….

    Comment by Jeff -

  33. I look forward to people fully comprehending what they’re selling, because once they do they’ll hopefully get past some other barriers. People still have a hard time understanding where technology can go and what industries can be affected in just the same way as the music and film industries are today.

    To understand what I mean by that, try this entry of mine from last May:
    The Accomplice – http://blog.rebang.com/?p=186

    For something related, see this recent entry:
    Smiley Face Savvy – http://blog.rebang.com/?p=577

    And because there’s no trackback here (that I can see, anyway), here’s my comment on this entry:
    Redemption Essay Reincarnate – http://blog.rebang.com/?p=579

    As always, this blog is a wonderful read. Thank you.

    Comment by csven -

  34. The one thing that I think people keep getting wrong about the exhibition business, including Mark, is that they will survive simply because people always want to get out of the house…
    Mark, later in the post, you recognized that the exhibs do a terrible job of marketing… so take that the next logical step. Bad marketing is a KILLER in any business. The exhibs won’t survive using the same marketing strategy they’ve been using. The “shrinking window” will kill them… they aren’t going to work out deals with the Studios, isn’t that clear enough at this point?

    The exhibs have to find a way to offer a value proposition to the consumer… which entails have a real, segmented marketing plan. This takes work… they can’t just keep doing the same thing over and over.

    And let me just say, if I’m the Studio, I don’t want to give a cut of any DVD’s to the theatres… they already take a big enough chunk. In my view, the Studios are exploring other channels because they want to keep more of the revenue from their content. And content is king right now. Plus, the consumer is demanding the new channels. So it’s be totally stupid not to give consumers what they want, especially when it is a more profitable business (due to new technology).

    Comment by Shawn -

  35. This is the gospel. I’ve printed it up.

    Filmmaking is a balance between great art and forward-thinking as to, what’s the best way to promote this product. Without taking care of both sides, you’re lost.

    As I go into on my blog (See URL above), I dislike most theatres. I’m a Netflicker, too, and I bought the largest computer screen I could afford (not huge, after all, I’m a student) for home viewing. I also love Comcast on Demand.

    I’m not going to change as a consumer, so the movie studios better, or it’ll be the 1950s all over again for them. And as a film student, I’d better put on my business cap and say, how can I distribute my product in a way that helps the most people see it, and not, what is the most convenient for the whims of a corporate distribution schedule?

    Comment by REBELFILM -

  36. People are growing tired of crappy films made for the masses. I prefer Netflix because I have the option to watch indie films and documentaries, stuff you won’t find at AMC Theaters or Blockbuster Video.

    Landmark Theaters is great, but the closest one to my apartment is 20 miles away.

    Comment by blitz boy -

  37. All i have to add to this conversation here is one thing. You should have had the guts to try this release schedule with “The World’s Fastest Indian.” While I personally love the idea of Bubble, and i support it entirely, its just an easy movie for the public to ignore. With regular actors and a short running time, i can’t imagine people running to grab it on DVD. But, i haven’t seen it yet, and hopefully it will make me eat my words and buy the DVD after i see it on HDnet movies. I’ve been boycotting the theatres for about 2 years now; the only thing that will make me return is digital cinema or an experience change like you mentioned.

    Comment by Damian -

  38. I’m not sure what people are talking about when they say going to the theater is a social experience. It is precisely the opposite. Sure we interact with people before and after the movie, but the bulk of the time is spent trying to ignore the distractions (other people) around you and immerse yourself completely in the alternate reality created by the film. To the extent that the theater environment prevents one from achieving that immersion, it fails and loses market share to other forms of entertainment (games, music, comedy clubs, bars, restaurants, etc.) or methods of viewing (home theater), which provide either better escapism or better opportunities to socialize. The movie theater is, and always will be, a poor place to socialize. Its survival depends on it being a good place to watch movies.

    Comment by Darrell -

  39. I don’t get Cuban. He’s phuckin crazy, but he’s always right. How do you get away with that? It’s not fair to the rest of us who are just crazy and drunk.

    Comment by Augie Ruckdeschel -

  40. It’s interesting to contrast this description of theatres with my recent experience at the dominant theatre chain in Southern California. Not only were kids loud (used to that, not a big deal for the movie we were seeing), but we made the mistake of arriving early for the movie and were rewarded with 20 minutes of high volume infomercials. Easily the most unpleasant movie experience I’ve ever had.

    A couple days later, I tried again. This time we showed up later, and were sold tickets to a movie where only single seats were available.

    I used to look forward to going to movies when I went down south. The selection is better than up here, and my mother is more than happy to watch our son for us. I’m not sure I’ll ever go again.

    There’s a current of American business that reacts to any downturn by punishing its customers. You see it in the recording industry, the theatre industry, and the airline industry. I’ve never understood it.

    Comment by Bob English -

  41. Good point…I wonder if they used to call it dinner and the drive-in? I’m not saying the entire movie experience is going down the drain, I’m just saying we’re finally offered an option which will force regular theaters to either step up and provide real value and a real experience, or eventually face some sort of demise…don’t worry though, I’m sure your dinner will be followed by a film of some sort, I just can’t say how or where that will be shown. I’ve been to several movies by myself, but the truth is, if I had friends, I’d bring them along.

    Comment by Nick -

  42. Don’t expect the elected leaders of industry associations to be innovators. On the contrary, in most industries it seems the defenders of the status quo are the ones who get the job. This gives the majority of those “business as usual” members a false sense of security, all while the changes taking place around it. It reminds me of the industry I’m most familiar with – travel which has been dramatically impacted by the web over the past seven or so years. What did the industry leadership do? Encourage their increasingly endangered members to get with the program and become true experts at selling the vacation experience. Of course not, they lost at least five years defending their turf and circling the wagons. Only recently have they started pointing the remaining members in the right direction. It’s amazing how this kind of myopic behavior remains the norm while embracing innovation and offering a better customer experience seems to be the exception.

    Comment by Joe -

  43. Mark, this is exactly why I loved the first iteration of Napster.

    Before Napster, I’d stopped buying CDs because I was sick of paying $15 to $18 for something that might have one or at most two songs on it that I liked. With Napster, I could try before I bought — and I found out that I, silly old fart that I am, really liked Nirvana (though I found out too late to tell Kurt Cobain). I wound up buying Nirvana and other CDs because I was able to hear lo-fi MP3s of them first via Napster.

    Another thing Napster was good for: Finding out-of-print stuff, like old stringband recordings. Stuff that the major labels aren’t ever going to commercially release. But that’s all gone now.

    Comment by Phoenix Woman -

  44. Nick:

    I must disagree with you. Movie theaters remain social events. I mean, how many times have you gone to a movie alone? For me, that number rests squarely at zero. As long as people go out on the weekends and need to get the hell out of the house, there will remain two forms of recreation to partake of above all others: Dinner and a movie.

    Comment by John -

  45. I hesitate to post this because I know you are in the movie house business…but I like your concept about opening up movies for everyone. I agree with your defense of your audience and the “art house” experience, but I think you’re newest concept may be tolling the bell for the American movie experience as we know it. For at least half a century movies have been a a social event…”sadly” your new campaign WOULD destroy that in time. While I am tempted to understand the cries of theater owners in their early mourning of an American institution, I have to remember that these are the same theater owners that pimped out said institution. They don’t care about the experience they are mourning. They are the ones who charge 6 bucks for popcorn, 4 bucks for M&Ms, and who allowed for 20 minutes of previews before a movie. These folks should not sit around and mope at the destruction of something beautiful they exploited long ago. I’m not buying the crocodile tears, where do I sign up for hd movies again?

    Comment by Nick -

  46. Well done! I don’t see many movies in theatres for ALL of these reasons mentioned in your article. I was especially impressed with your comparison of the 16-yr-old set with the 35-yr-olds. I used to be 16 and once or twice I acted out in a theatre. I was quickly reprimanded for it too. Doesn’t happen anymore. Seems that anyone can do anything they want there now. It’s not for me!

    Comment by Christi -

  47. The movie industry has always been greedy and crooked. The comment’s they’ve made about the VCR, fair use laws and file sharing are all ridiculous.

    Comment by Mr. Holla -

  48. Excellent analysis, Mark, but didn’t mention some of the big profit opportunities for the theaters:

    1) Provide value-adds to the “going out” experience. As mentioned earlier, there are theaters (none near me, unfortunately) that provide restaurants and alcohol (imagine the sales to guys who are dragged to chic flicks, and vice-versa – we snuck in some vodka to get my fiancee through “Lord of the Rings”). On-site babysitting, anyone?

    2) Purchasing the DVD at the theater is genius. Except you forgot to mention that many people only go out to see a fraction of the movies they want to see in theaters. So if I’m at the theater, I’d be inclined to pick up an extra DVD or two for the movies that I know I won’t get around to going out to see.

    Theaters should be able to at least double or triple their net profits off of these items alone.

    That being said, for the sake of the movie industry the information in your blog entry should be force-fed to theater owners, Clockwork Orange-style.

    Comment by Erik Carlseen -

  49. Think all of these ideas are dead-on, and wanted to add one more big idea about transforming the movie theatre industry: Old, known movies should be played a lot more at movie theatres. When Lucas brought the original Star Wars Trilogy back to the theatres with Special Edition, the people who went did not go for the new edits made to the films, they went because they are damn fun movies to watch on the big screen, and youths like me love being in a big crowd that is cheering wildly for moments that are just cool, even if we’ve seen them a thousand times.

    Digital projection plays into this, as there’s now no economic reason why theatres can’t have a wide range of movies new and old available, maybe some shown just once, or once a week, or once a day, or the big draws continuously on 6 screens like we have now. People frequently complain that thare aren’t any good movies out because there really aren’t. Why give new movies such a huge exclusive channel without having the endless catelogue of great not-new movies also available as an option?

    In the end, the downside is the typical blockbuster vs long tail fight that we’re seeing all over media. (Eg, Metallica vs MP3’s.) Blockbusters definitely face losing some money. The $14 or more price for movie tickets maybe needs to come down. (I wonder though how much of that goes straight to the studio and how much does it actually cost our shiny and cozy stadium-seat multiplexes per head to show movies?) But the overall movie industry grows in revenue, as variety and competition make movie audiences happier and demanding for more.

    Comment by Will Hutchinson -

  50. Innovation is scary. New things and ideas are frowned upon. Only a few are able to see something new as valuable, take the risk, and succeed. Obviously you’ve been able to do that, so you have a bit of swagger at this point in your life.

    Who knows if I’ll succeed, but my “bright idea” is to form a non-profit cooperative to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins and keep them in Pittsburgh.

    Everyone says it can’t be done. That the sky will fall! It only eggs me on! :)

    Comment by sugapablo -

  51. As an Independent Producer I need to produce a product that I can realize revenues from a multiple of markets. Shoot HD and repurpose. Film theater distribution provides the smallest percentage of revenue for the producer. The one thing it does do is assume the largest portion of my marketing costs and therefore I look at the theaters and the distributors as my partners who handle my advertising. I disagree with the idea of giving them a percentage of DVD or Download sales only because the cut to the producers is so small allready. We are not a Major studio who is also the distributor, owns the cable network and the DVD distributor. Your efforts in the development of HD production is appreciated and admired.

    Comment by Kenneth Knoll -

  52. Wait.

    “And for those of you, who like myself do not support the Hollywood approach to copy protection and fair use, if you buy a copy of either movie, check out the copy protection environment that we use.”

    So if only one DVD can be shared by any amount of people, the theatres will lose that shared percentage of DVD sales, right? Is that factored in to the % they get?

    Comment by Drew -

  53. Like many others I agree with your sentiments. I find going to a movie theater these days (which is a rarity for me) to be an absolutely antagonistic experience. From the price of the tickets and concessions to the advertising that runs before the 10 to 20 minutes of previews, before I’ve even begun watching the movie I almost wish I’d just waited to rent the DVD. Another issue that I’ve found is that theaters sometimes don’t have a real projectionist on staff. There were lens issues at a screening of “The Constant Gardener” that I was at that resulted in the audience settling for either a stretched or squashed image. The staff couldn’t get the movie to play at the correct aspect ratio.

    Most theaters are lucky to still be open after how they treat their customers. What are we paying for?

    Comment by aharden -

  54. Great post Mark! I’m 44 and stopped going to theaters years ago. Here’s why:

    1) I ALWAYS have to ask them to turn down the volume. Now, I grew up on loud stereos and rock concerts and have some hearing loss to prove it. If I find movies too loud I can only imagine how they sound to my kids, who routinely cover their ears through all but the quietest parts. I know theaters are in love with their surround systems (which usually don’t sound all that good anyway) but how about taking a page from the airlines and putting a headphone jack and volume control at every seat. They can still play the subsonic stuff that people seem to crave, but let me control my own volume please. If I go to a theater it’s to see the big screen and quality picture that I can’t get at home, not to hear the big, distorted sounds that I can do better at home.

    2) If you want to ensure that I don’t go see your movie or buy your DVD, just show me a trailer that contains every good scene and discloses the entire plot. I can’t even count the number of times my wife and I have been forced to sit through a trailer then turned to each other and said, “well, I guess we don’t need to see that one.” How many Mav games would people watch on TV if you delayed them by 3 hours and started the broadcast by announcing the final score? Remember the Monsters, Inc. trailer? Now THAT made me want to see the movie. It was funny, showcased the great animation, and had almost nothing to do with the actual plot. Get a clue Hollywood–we don’t want everything revealed in the trailer!

    Finally, to echo your point on DVD sales at the theater, when was the last time you went to a concert and couldn’t buy the artist’s latest CD in the lobby on the way out? Many of my CDs were acquired that way and many of them never would have been purchased if I hadn’t had the opportunity to make an impulse buy right after the show. How dense are the studios and theater owners not to realize they’re both losing sales FOREVER by not giving customers the option to buy when they’re ready?

    Comment by Darrell -

  55. “Every single play of Bubble in our theaters will be digitally projected. We are using a mix of Sony 4k and TI based 2k projectors.”

    Are we going to have 4k projection in Dallas at our Magnolia Theater? I can’t wait to see how it compares to the 2k projectors I’ve seen.

    Comment by Jerry Jones -

  56. Maybe I missed this, but one thing that hasn’t been mentioned is that a lot of big movies make their money back on return visits. If you release the DVD of the next Harry Potter film when it comes to theaters, I would think you lose possibly hundreds of millions of dollars for folks who would not only come back 2-3 more times to see the film but are going to by the DVD anyway.

    I think Mark’s approach may work well with smaller, indie films where it may be harder to recoup production costs. But I am skeptical about that helping movie companies on the larger, mainstream scale.

    I also agree with Mark’s comments about improving the moviegoing experience. Theaters also need to stop allowing parents to bring babies and young kids into PG-13 or higher movies. The last three movies I went to were almost ruined from babies howling from the loud soundsystem or scary scenes, and the parents (often very young parents) wouldn’t take the kids out until it had gone on for five minutes and the whole theater was hissing and saying stuff.

    Comment by Bill -

  57. There’re a couple of questions to ask:

    How do we get a Landmark Theater in our town or city? And, if I’m interested, how do I get a slice of that pie?

    If I had the dough to open a digital theater, that’s what I’d be doing.. and “day and date” release would be SOP.

    Comment by Tim -

  58. I’m 26 years old and its been years since I’ve actually wanted to go see a movie in theater. And thats not because tickets are 16 bucks a pop. Its because the experience is terrible and it has not changed for as long as I’ve known.

    If I knew of a theater playing movies like Enron – The Smartest Guys in The Room, and I could have a glass of wine and some some cheese while I watched the film, I would be waiting on line the first night it opened.

    Thankfully there are people like you ready to pounce on these organizations who are just doing things the way its always been done.

    Comment by Thomas Kisthart -

  59. I can only say halleluiah. Is it me or does every industry lobbying group behave towards their customers the same way that unions act towards their employers. Anything to preserve the status quo, kill competition, and stifle innovation.

    Comment by Nabil -

  60. Mark, I would really love to see you write more about release of movies to video media day & date with their theatrical opening in light of your pulling films already booked at Landmark which are also going to VOD. Forgive me but it seems a bit 2-faced to cancel bookings where someone is doing exactly what you have said is the future of the industry presumably just because you don’t have a piece of the video action. The typical theatre is likewise not involved in video and I’ve no doubt if they refuse to book movies that are D&D to VOD or DVD etc. you’d be the first to call them dinosaurs for standing in the way of what you call progress yet when you do exactly the same thing it’s…well I don’t know…you tell me.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve -

  61. Good stuff … My main advice to theater owners would be to bring back USHERS … Once I’ve paid 9 bucks or so for a flick, I don’t want to have it destroyed by rude, loud people, and I shouldn’t have to!

    Comment by Keith Demko -

  62. On the same topic as this blog entry on the business of theatres …

    David Leonhardt in the “New York Times” last month: ” … (Soon with movies) you will pay more for a ticket on the weekends and less on weekdays. You’ll be able to buy a reserved seat in the center of the theater for a few extra dollars. One of these days, you may even have to pay more for a hit movie than for a bomb. The changes are under way, and they are long overdue. The theater industry’s attempt to ignore the laws of supply and demand is as good an example of corporate inertia as you will find. For decades, going to the movies was one of the rituals of American life, and competition among theaters revolved mainly around trying to land more hot films than the theater down the street. But now theaters face a very different competitive landscape, thanks to DVD’s, high-definition TV’s, Netflix and TiVo … It’s no wonder that the share of disposable income spent on moviegoing has fallen a stunning 17 percent in just the last three years …” (source: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/15/business/15leonhardt.html?ex=1297659600&en=e9cb4735b9d7f6e7&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss)

    And “Newsweek” on recent “Freakonomics”-style research on the economics of the decision to buy vs. recent a movie– http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11768172/site/newsweek

    Comment by JohnD -

  63. Just remember that there are some areas where some movies are not available at theaters, and the only way to watch those missing movies is to get them on DVD. When talking about DVD prices you should consider how it cost at the first place to make the DVD; material, recording, and other expenses to come into the calculation, and the most important; the movie would still be at your hand to watch over and over.

    Comment by Mag -

  64. Perfect, It should be $5 to go see the movie, and the DVD should be on sale for $5 outside – If its a good film the movie executives have doubled their income, no shops to pay to retail it etc… I think DVD;s are really only worth about $5, most are shown on TV for free and
    I personally find it pretty disgusting that a new DVD film costs pretty much the same as a cheap DVD Player. The movie industry has got to stop trying to lock people into how they think things should be. Regional encoding is one example as will DRM be.

    If the movie industry was losing money, then there wouldnt be an industry. Its all getting slightly annoying to hear how if we download a song we are ruining musicians, whilst they are driving around in Diamond Encrusted Bentleys.

    Same goes for Hollywood, Does an actor really need 10 million dollars for his 3 months work?

    http://www.h3-digital.com

    Comment by Ben Hobbs -

  65. DD – Great Read to “Ponder” and is on topic here, jmho, ENJOY!: Who Cares About Internet TV?

    By Elizabeth Millard February 24, 2006 7:15AM

    http://www.sci-tech-today.com/news/Who-Cares-About-Internet-TV-/story.xhtml?story_id=12000DEC3BIO

    “We believe your grandchildren won’t know what a TV is,” said Saul Berman, global partner for media and entertainment at IBM Business Consulting Services. “Programs will become unrestricted by becoming more mobile, but programming will be freed as well from constraints.”

    All the best,

    sonofgodzilla

    Comment by sonofgodzilla -

  66. I just came across this site, but didn’t realize how much interest there was in this subject. I read an interesting article about this whole release window issue a little while ago you may be interested in.

    http://www.easyarticles.com/article-2086.htm

    Comment by Nigel Swaby -

  67. Just to confirm your point that if the cinemas die because of same-day releases it will not be because of this but because they are failing at doing their own jobs:

    I live in Saigon, Vietnam. All movies come out on dvd the same day here–and you can buy them for about fifty cents to a dollar tops. That said, the movie theatres here stay packed all day long. They charge anywhere from 2 bucks to 3, depending on the time.

    The reason they’re packed is not because of lack of quality of the dvd’s. I can’t see a difference between them and any I’ve bought in the States. Instead, movies here are new and exciting–and they do a good job at creating, or highlighting, a movie-watching experience that can only be had at the theatre.

    Comment by Daniel -

  68. Dear Mr. Cuban:

    Firstly, thanks for your efforts to make going to the pictures a better experience. We film nerds appreciate it.

    Secondly, I cannot help but wonder if you’ve heard of and/or have experienced the ArcLight theatre in Los Angeles. They implement a number of the ideas that you expound here (e.g. they show much mainstream fare, but they also have special “21+” adults-only screenings), and they seem to have become a success. May I ask you to share any thoughts on what they’re doing?

    (BTW: they have a large and courteous staff of ushers as well, many of whom seem like movie fans themselves. I went to see the latest version of _Peter Pan_ there and, even though the theatre was filled with children, I didn’t hear a peep that didn’t belong to the movie.)

    Comment by Jack -

  69. Hi:

    The days of movie theaters are numbered.

    It is more convenient to buy the dvd movie and watch it at home rather than going to the theater.

    The only exception is if you have a date or friends who prefer to go out instead.

    Ikey Benney
    http://www.maychic.com/maysearch

    Comment by Buying Dvd Movies -

  70. It makes me really angry that cinemas would collude to deprive consumers of choice. If we want to ensure that distributors like Magnolia aren’t intimidated, we should fight fire with fire… by boycotting exhibitors who resort to these strong arm tactics:http://www.boycottbubbleblowers.com/

    Comment by Matthew Gertner -

  71. It makes me really angry that cinemas would collude to deprive consumers of choice. If we want to ensure that distributors like Magnolia aren’t intimidated, we should fight fire with fire… by boycotting exhibitors who resort to these strong arm tactics:http://www.boycottbubbleblowers.com/

    Comment by Matthew Gertner -

  72. Go mavs! Your articles are good and so is your blog! To the top!

    Comment by Andrew Hillman -

  73. Frankly, it’s a dumb idea for real movies. But for a non-event, no-name “digital” mess of a movie such as The Bubble, it’s a good way to try and scrape up some profit. And considering how run-down many of the Landmark Theatres are – especially in New York and L.A. – Cuban is *last* person who should be criticizing other theatres.

    Comment by Bob Bacall -

  74. You are right on about the day/date release concept. I knew someone would do it one day..I am a movie buff, 69 years young, and love the Landmark theaters. However, it is too far for me to drive, increasingly it is harder for me to be mobile….I WANT to see the indies, foreign and latest releases….I very much think – with the boomers turning 60 …you will see this type of experience inevitable. Attaboy, Mark!!!

    Comment by Joy Mann -

  75. what’s the point of digital projection if I can buy my own digital projector and cover my wall at home for a few hundred bucks? At the $20 it costs to pay for tickets, it’ll pay for itself after the 35th DVD we screen on our dining room wall. Probably pays for itself after the 20th DVD if you count savings in soda and Popcorn (that’s $12 a pop).

    I’ve taken a pretty hard stand that I won’t pay good money to see a blown up video – HD or DV, it’s still something that’s meant to be seen on my TV. Is it really a movie? Or just Big TV?

    And I’m getting sick of being treated like a criminal when I go to the movie theater. I’ve been wanded twice in three times for fear of videocameras. They even told my friend she couldn’t take her cellphone in the theater because of the camera function.

    as far as old films being played in a regular theater – forget it. Sure there are geek films that can be re-issued, but people would rather buy a Special Edition DVD that gives you the film and all the great bonus features. Do you really think it’s worth $10 to see a video of Casablanca projected in a room?

    Comment by Joe Corey -

  76. The kids movie statements are bang on. I’m a single dad, and about once a month I take my 5 year old and twin 2 year olds out to a movie. The week before I usually download a copy of the movie, via bittorrent, so that they can watch it again after we get home. Anyone with small kids knows they love to watch things over and over again.

    I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with doing this, because 95% of the time, once the “real” dvd comes out, I buy it. If it was in the theatre on the way out, I’d be first in line.

    Same goes for music. I only download mp3s of music I buy from itunes, so I can play it on my stereo. I’ve paid for it once, and that should be enough.

    Comment by Paul -

  77. Mark, you got it. Theaters who fail have only themselves to blame, primarily for not realizing that customer expectations are changing and for not being creative and responsive regarding the customer experience. But I won’t mourn the modern theater mega-chain — the best theaters always tend to be small, locally owned places anyway.

    Comment by Craig -

  78. Releasing movies in theaters and for sale has been happening for years. This time its just becoming a legal operation instead of illegal bootlegs. Producers have been missing out on that market for years and it seems they finally figured it out

    Comment by joey d. -

  79. Landmark in Peoria:

    http://www.landmarkrec.com/other.htm

    Comment by nate -

  80. Danny (post #71)

    You’ve got it exactly right.

    Shame on anyone who finds a better, more efficient means of providing a service or product and displaces any workers as a result.

    Signed

    Mr. Smith
    Mr. Corona

    Smith-Corona Typewriters Inc. (RIP)

    Comment by Kevin -

  81. Mark — I’m glad somebody in the film industry is ready to change the model.

    I think Josh Sapan and IFC are the first of many indies that will follow you. And the theater owners will relent.

    But the big studios won’t change the way they do business — at least for a while. They thyink they make more money this way — regardless of threats made by Bob Iger in the past.

    Not that it matters to a maverick . . .

    Comment by Josh Bernoff -

  82. stupid

    Comment by sonewmakorei@msn.com -

  83. Hi Marc, thought you’d find interesting, DD…GO MAVS, GO STEELERS! and keep up the great work! ps…enjoy the dd!

    All the best,

    sonofgodzilla (from PA:-))

    dd: 2006 TO BE A MAKE OR BREAK YEAR FOR HOLLYWOOD
    http://e.ccialerts.com/a/hBD13f2AHJQfmAUDSLFANSWYiSn/clck25
    Movie Industry Grapples With Box Office Declines and In-Control Consumers
    January 24, 2006
    QwikFIND ID: AAR33V
    By T.L. Stanley
    LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) — This is a make-or-break year for Hollywood.

    Comment by sonofgodzilla -

  84. What is wrong with the theater experience, is the theater experience.. In my theater, I can pause the DVD, control my environment, and the people watching with me. Manors and respect for those sitting around you in the theater is gone. Too many commercials at the beginning of the movie, so many that I most of the time forget what movie I came to see.
    Fix the theater experience and I will come back to the theater.

    Comment by Colin DeFord -

  85. PREDICTIONS….

    1) The “day and date” movie release strategy will soon become the Hollywood standard….

    2) The Dallas Mavericks will go to the NBA Finals this year….

    3) Despite reports to the contrary, Ron Artest will become a Sacramento King….

    4) OSTK ($24.53/share) will pop 10%+ in the next 3 trading days….

    Jim Parham
    Yuba City, CA

    Comment by StockMaverick Returns -

  86. The last movie I went to was shown for free but offered the movie on DVD for $15. The movie rocked, so I picked it up on the way out the door, knowing I’d want to watch it again.

    Comment by Ed Kohler -

  87. I am with mark on this one. i have banned going to the Theatre all together. The last 3 times have been horrible. There has been 2 crying babies and on one occasion the parents decided to bring all 9 kids, ages infant to 15 to watch of all movies, Dawn of the Dead (The newest one). I was astonished. I complained to the management, asked them to leave, etc. I did get a refund but not without me firmly demanding it.

    The last with crying babies just ruined the film. There were so many quiet passages where all I heard was crying. I asked them to leave also but they looked at me like I was crazy. Management was impotent about the situation. I walked out of the theatre to go let the management know that they had lost my business forever but decided against it because they could care less.

    I would easily pay $5 or $10 more for a ticket to be catered to and to have ushers keep the crowd polite to other patrons. Until that happens I plunked down the money for a 7.1 surround system, a nice digital HD projector and a 106″ screen. I do not even have a dedicated room for it. i just installed it all in my Living Room and it is great. The family adores it and we have a blast watching movies together in a “Fun” enviroment.

    I love the idea of getting a chance to buy the movie on the way out of screening. I like the idea of just the movie also. No extras or trailers for other movies. Just charge me 10 bucks for just the flick. i would buy it everytime if I enjoyed the movie. Then sell the one in the stores with all the extras for $20 like is done now. Some folks may like the extras, I used too, now I just want the movie to start when I put it in the player. ;-)

    Thanks for the time to rant.

    Cheers, John.

    P.S. I have 3 kids so no one tell me I do not understand not being able to find a sitter. Babies do not belong in movie theatres. Period.

    Comment by AC3BOY -

  88. I agree with you that movie theaters wait for what Hollywood sends them, and hope “good” movies are made so that the theaters can make their money. I also agree with you that theaters don’t care who their customer is, or if they enjoyed their movie experience. All that matters is that the customer shelled out their money.
    You are right about a 16 year old having differnt expectations than a 25, 55 year old, ect. I am 26 and I would enjoy going to a theater that is marketed more toward an older crowd. I would also like a theater that shows independent films. I saw the movie Assylum in Sacramento at an independent theater a few months ago. But that movie was not shown at any theaters in Fresno, CA where I live. Theaters like Regal and Edwards 21 don’t show independent movies. I guess they don’t think they are money makers. But you can see the latest kid-flick out (whatever that may be) on 3 different screens anytime of they day you want. I’m glad there are independent thinkers like you out there who speak what a lot of us are thinking.

    Comment by Melinda -

  89. I don’t go to see movies anymore. The demise of the “feel good” movie is the reason. The front end advertising is a minor problem, and the audience can be an annoyance, but that is not the real problem.

    The real problem is the assumption in Hollywood that everyone goes to a movie to see people drawn and quartered in technocolour (is that even a word anymore?), in slow motion, with surround sound. It’s torture to sit thru most movies, because of the violent content, or the general perverse nature of the characters. Not everyone is comfortable with the violence, physical or psychological. The state of the art FX makes it even more disturbing. Honestly. ew. Even if you do find it difficult to suspend disbelief in a theatre, it can be rather too much.

    The best part of having a DVD or video version at home, is that you can fast forward through the sickening parts of the movie, that many people might not enjoy watching, or better yet just turn the stupid thing off. If you are viewing the Video or DVD, you can at least do damage control.

    I don’t think I am in a minority here, either. I think there are plenty of people who don’t like what they see. What if every person in the US is not exactly the same?? Could that be? It’s natural that most of the audience attending movies would be under 18, but it’s a shame they do not provide a small number of movies for the babyboomers. In Austin, they used to have a theatre that showed old Marx Bros movies. Even that would be a nice change.

    It seems that the critics only respond well to a violent movie. The critics don’t represent all movie goers. However, the critics may be what is driving the trend.

    Also, It’s next to impossible to get a true idea of what you are walking into. The previews are designed to attract an audience, not to give you a true idea. So better just to skip it. We can live without movies quite nicely. Not a big problem.

    Comment by D. Haake -

  90. Dan:

    I doubt that would happen again, seeing as how the Supreme Court showed that such practices were a violation of antitrust laws and forced the theaters to split themselves up and sell to independent chains.

    The history of it is right here:
    http://www.cobbles.com/simpp_archive/1film_antitrust.htm

    Comment by John -

  91. Here’s the thing the movie moguls don’t understand: in this day and age people care more about instant gratification than in the past.

    The moment the movie studios change their minds will be the moment the study the following …

    How many movie goers that would buy the movie they just saw right after seeing it never purchase the movie on DVD.

    That’s where the real profits will be – those people who are excited about the movie they just saw, buy the DVD on an impulse and probably wouldn’t have bought the movie six months down the road otherwise – when they are interested in something else.

    I also think a great opportunity is there for the middle of the road movies that can’t compete with the blockbusters. how many times have you thought a movie sounded interesting, but never saw it because Lord of the Rings or King Kong was out at the same time?

    Again you’re capturing the whim buyers. “Well I can’t decide between these two so i’ll see movie A and buy movie B so i can watch it tomorrow night.”

    Comment by William Gilmore -

  92. Being a developer, I think this concept would work great in upscale fashion malls. I noticed you opened one in Carmel, IN recently, a wealthy suburb of Indy. I am in Atlanta, and Landmark currently only has a theater catering to the in-town crowd. There is much more money in the suburbs, has it been doing well in Indy?

    Comment by Adam Schwegman -

  93. Just as long as there are no Sony Movie Theatres, Warner Brothers Theatres, or Dreamworks Movie theatres in the future.

    That scenario would have a movie studio show only its movies, and give you the opportunity to buy a bare bones DVD at the same theatre.

    Talk about leave the indie film industry behind.

    Comment by Dan -

  94. I agree there is a market for people who want to get out of the house and be pampered. It could probably be developed further, and you have interesting ideas.

    The Landmarket target age demo (35) may be more of a niche. People that own mass chains of theatres may have financial prospects more closely tied to younger audiences, which may be a larger audience (not sure) due to frequency of movie attendance. Do windows matter more or less for younger vs. older audiences?

    The Texas economy is currently better than the economy in other parts of the country. This may influence prospects and your perspective.

    http://www.fdic.gov/bank/analytical/stateprofile/Dallas/tx/TX.xml.html

    Comment by nate -

  95. You are right on the money on your analysis of the movie theater business. Of course your track record in the game of basketball is simply awesome. I’d like to hear your take on other industries. Such as the music industry, retail financial services, home construction, real estate brokerages, etc.

    Comment by John Kai -

  96. Wait…never mind.

    Comment by John -

  97. Damn, they arrived to approve out of order. Sorry, Gail, just read them in reverse. :-)

    Comment by John -

  98. Mark, always a fasinating perspective. One of your greatest strengths is your ability to view the market from the minds and motivations of the ultimate consumer.
    Unfortunately Hollywood still works the other way and consequently billions of dollars are wasted every year on crap they throw against the screen hoping it will stick.
    The biggest problem facing the entire entertainment industry is monster of modern society which has eaten…Time…there just isn’t enough of it for people raising a family to enjoy entertainment.
    I remain
    Markus

    Comment by markus fipps -

  99. Right on Mark! I love movies, both in theaters and on DVD. My Wife and I go to the local Cinemark movie theater here in California at least 1-2 times a week. I also buy 1-2 DVD’s per week. We love movies! We go to the theater to enjoy the experience, the ambience, the sound, etc. but not the teenagers who like to talk loudly, make fun of the movie or characters, talk on their cell phones, text message, kick the back of your seat repeatedly…You get the point. I have 3 teenagers but for the most part, they respect the movie going experience the way I do. I will not go to a movie theater in or around any mall and I will not usually go to a movie in the evening because there are just too many disrespectful teeneagers that detract from the movie going experience.

    I have read your posts on Landmark Theaters and read much in the media and I love what it stands for and I’m in the target demographic. Unfortunately the closes Landmark Theater is about 2 hours from me. The way I interpret your move to release a movie in the theater, on DVD and on HDNet Movies without the usual Hollywood window, is that you are looking to bring these films to a much larger audience which I think is briliant. This will not only allow the consumer to choose the best method of seeing the film, but should also save marketing dollars. You can capitalize on one marketing campaign and more than likely, see more people visiting the theater, more DVD’s sold and more subscribers to HDNet & HDNet Movies. Giving the consumer choice is what will drive your success in my opinion. I would see the movie in the theater for the experience, and then if I liked it, buy the DVD for later viewing in my own “home theater”.

    Not much more I can say than pure marketing genius!

    Comment by David Ward -

  100. (continued from prior comment)

    This could apply to theater owners, as well. Although, I don’t think it would hurt attendance. Going back to sports, another study (http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&se=gglsc&d=5002433936) proclaims the following:

    “The importance of television to MLB and most all sports is difficult to overstate. There is no exaggeration in saying that through television, sports truly became a vital part of the national culture. Baseball Weekly recently listed television as second only to Jackie Robinson’s signing in its feature on the ‘Top 100 Things That Impacted Baseball in the 20th Century.’ Television was cited for exposing MLB to a much larger audience, generating a financial windfall for owners, increasing the value of franchises exponentially and, with the development of cable, ‘chang[ing] the way Americans followed the game.'”

    Mind you, this doesn’t apply to movies, which are already a part of the national pastime, but you asked specifically about sports, and the impact of television is, to put it mildly, a spectacular success.

    Comment by John -

  101. Gail:

    There is, in fact.

    For instance, take a look at this chart:
    http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/054/NBAFigure1.html

    As you can see, attendance rises over the years. Is it because of population changes or more interest in sports, or something else?

    Another X-factor is the shear amount of money earned from broadcasts, which has consistently gone up:
    http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/054/NBAFigure4.html

    Granted, this is only one area of sports, but there have been a few papers on the subject. Take this one, for instace:
    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/search/expand?pub=infobike://routledg/raef/2000/00000032/00000012/art00001&unc=

    They researched what effect local blackouts on games have on attendance, and conclude that “the gain in team revenue is small in comparison to the loss of viewership rights.” Meaning that, while attendance might go up if you are in arms length of the thing, broadcast rights are far more lucrative.

    (continued in next comment)

    Comment by John -

  102. ——————–
    Just think, all those millions of people that were outside the reach of even King Kong first run theaters could run to the store and buy the movie they have been hearing so much about. While its still exciting and fresh to them. Think maybe they could sell more DVDs that way ?
    ——————–

    I don’t know how many times I’ve failed to buy a movie, not cause I didn’t want to get it, but because it was SOOOO LONG since the promotions were out, I just plain forgot about it. I know for a fact that my DVD purchases would go up 3 fold if DVDs were released simultatiously as their theatre release.

    As it is now, I just get movies I loved so much or wanted to see so badly, I remember them 6 months down the road.

    Comment by Philip -

  103. I totally agree about the movie-going experience. I (luckily) have a choice between three distinct theater experiences within 5 minutes of my apartment. The first is the standard megaplex that shows all the blockbuster movies on stadium screens. If I want to see Star Wars, that’s the theater I choose. Across the highway is the independant film theater (run by the same company as the blockbuster theater) which always has immaculate floors (very important), respectful audiences and interesting films showing. My final option is to drive up the road about 10 minutes to the Alamo, which serves food and drinks in the movie theater. A more relaxed movie experience, but it is a theater devoted to creating a quality experience for my theater dollars. It just goes to show that I’m not just going for a movie, I want a specific experience depending on my mood and which movie I’m interested in.

    I know for a fact that I would only rarely be interested in purchasing a DVD of a movie on opening day or watching it at home, because I do enjoy the experience of the movie theater. But I love the opportunity to do so, if my home theater ever gets to a point where it is comparable to the movie theater.

    Comment by Miguel -

  104. You are exactly right, Mark.
    The fear of change is rampent in the live theatre. It is time for a change. I produced my play, “Peace Now,” in an off-off-Broadway festival in New York City last summer. It was successful. Now I’m dealing with taking it to off-Broadway or Broadway. Producers in these areas are petrified of anything different from what they believe is the “right” way to do Broadway. They are afraid to put their shows on TV or to be controversial. Take a look at my web page http://www.peacenowplay.com. This could be the play to restructure the live theatre just like you want to change the movie theatre. Many of the same theories apply.

    Comment by Tom Peterson -

  105. Damn, Mark.

    Sometimes I think you’re just some loudmouthed buffoon who fell backwards into N billion dollars.
    That Colbert Report interview, that Playboy interview, that blog series on success motivation. None of those helped.

    But I think what this article proves is that history books just filter out the retarded bullshit that everyone said in their lifetime and only show you the few scraps of brilliance.

    This might be one of those cases. I think you hit the nail on the head: we have to deal with so much crap to see a fucking movie in a theater and for the longest time no one was doing anything about it.

    This scheme of yours just might work.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Michael B -

  106. I suspect you left a certain point, ah, between the pixels, but a significant part of the ‘blockbuster’ business model will need to be changed. A successful film will need content, 5-10 huge explosions that look great in a 30 second TV ad will be insufficient to compete under this new model. Look at this historically, the good Phineas Taylor Barnum would be appalled at your proposal.

    Comment by Samuel Murphy -

  107. “But Mark, this is the way we’ve always done business” exclaims John Fithian.

    Comment by keefer -

  108. and those pre-movie advertisements are a total beat down, but it is the old, easy way of gaining additional revenue stream…a problem can’t be fixed with the same mindset that created it…Mark, you’ve stepped outside the box and offered fresh solutions…

    Comment by David Haas -

  109. You miss one point, which is that for the most part, its pretty easy to get your hands on a bootleg DVD of just about any movie playing on the day its released in theaters, even before its release. You would think that movie industry and theater chains would want to limit this by making their own genuine DVD’s available the day of release. For the most part, people would pay a few extra bucks to get a DVD they knew was legit but still have the convenience of consuming the movie how they wanted to.

    I for one would watch alot more movies if the system you are trying to create catches on. I rarely go to the movies for many of the same reasons you mention in your post but I’m always interested when something new comes out. If I had the option of watching it on demand at my house, I can guarantee I’d watch alot more new releases because it would mean I wouldn’t have to get a babysitter for my kids, drive 20 minutes each way to closest decent theater (you know, one that actually has surround sound…most of the theaters by mean saw their last renovations in the early 80’s), pay $5 for stale popcorn, etc.

    Comment by Looch -

  110. If only the industry saw things like you do. They are not only making things ugly for the customer but hurting their own sales. They are ruled by lawyers and accountants, not strategic thinkers and marketers.

    Personally, I wanted to see more movies at the theaters. Started to go, and right off the bat ended up in a movie that was horribly bad. I rarely walk out of a movie, but this one stunk. (And the more movies you go to the more likely you’ll run into some bad ones.)

    In a restaurant, if I got a bad steak they’d replace it, or maybe not charge me, or sometimes even invite me back for a free meal some other day.

    The theater manager says that there’s lots of info available about movies and I should have known whether I would like it or not. No refund, no option to switch to another movie, not even an apology that it was a bad experience. I thought it was just a bad manager until I looked into it a bit more and found out that it’s the way the industry works.

    Mark’s approach wins customers. The movie industry approach alienates customers. Now I rarely ever go to a movie theater, and nobody wins. But if Landmark Theaters ever come to my area, I’ll be checking them out!

    Comment by Bob Russell -

  111. “Our job at Landmark is to go out and find those movies and to make the experience of watching those movies as unique and enjoyable as possible. It can be …”

    the knowledgeable, friendly staff as well. I know you’ve had to make many business decisions at Landmark, and one of them has been to have a pay freeze and limit wage increases among your employees. This has caused a considerable number of quality employees to have to leave Landmark in search of a living wage, especially in California and other high cost-of-living markets. I’m not a business mogul, but I’d just like to point out that a lot of people choose Landmark because of the experience, and that experience also includes interacting with the fantastic employees, from the popcorn seller on up.

    Comment by Nicholas -

  112. “Then someone decided to do some research and as it turns out, the more games you broadcast on TV, the more people who go to your games”

    I have had a long standing argument with my father in law about that, is there an article or something on the net confirming that?

    Comment by Gail -

  113. Booooyaaaaa! Mark Cuban!
    You are dead on.
    It is the new mantra in all areas of business.
    “adapt and change”
    “make the pie bigger” and everyone is happy

    or as my ol’ gandpa use to say
    lead, follow or get out of the way!

    Go Mavs!

    Comment by Randy Blair -

  114. Slotkey:

    You have an option too. Curl up with absolutely nobody and watch it on HDNet. This model is great because it brings so many options to the consumer. Granted, we don’t all have HDNet, but that isn’t through lack of trying.

    Comment by Greg -

  115. We’ve all seen this before and we’ll see it again. Companies will fight tooth and nail for their shrinking pie through all legal and illegal avenues, but rarely will they take the big risk and try to expand the pie with innovation and customer friendly approaches.

    Most business collapse when they are not willing to change as upstarts chew them up. Entertainment content industries have the extra shield of copyright they get to delay the inevitable with. It is only time though. Content delivery will always change with what the consumer wants unless we are willing to submit to a totalitarian state of gov’t protection of content owners vs. consumers.

    Comment by Scott Griffith -

  116. I hate going out of the house – I hate being with the monkeys and cows, you call my fellow citizens.

    What’s your point?

    Comment by Slotkey -

  117. good stuff! i have used the “make the pie bigger” example on many occasions. few folks take the time (and it is hard work) to do the logic exercises required to see the light!

    Comment by ski -

  118. I’m looking forward to seeing changes in the way movies profit those who make and distribute them. I hope 2929 and HDNet are right on the money, but the important thing is that you’re willing to change and experiment. That’s what counts in the long run.

    Comment by Ryan Stauffer -

  119. what is true and quite important is that nowadays more and more citizens tend to prefer a so called “home cinema” than going out to watch a movie at the cinema or even to watch a spectacle at a theatre.

    as far as i’m concerned ,i prefer watching a movie with my friends,home,when i have enough time…But on the other side,i agree that there are 2roups of people:young people who prefer to spend their time with their friends-watching movies home)and people between 18-25 who enjoy wathing a movie at the cinema or a spectacle at the theatre…

    all in all i guess that for this project it is needed a lot of improvements,originality and labour…

    Comment by supercars -

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    Comment by Fred -

  121. They can still play the subsonic stuff that people seem to crave, but let me control my own volume please. If I go to a theater it’s to see the big screen and quality picture that I can’t get at home, not to hear the big, distorted sounds that I can do better at home.

    Comment by runescape money -

  122. I agree with your defense of your audience and the “art house” experience, but I think you’re newest concept may be tolling the bell for the American movie experience as we know it.

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  123. Few films in recent times have generated so much pre-release ballyhoo as Oliver Stone’s Alexander. This was to be expected, as the project was the conjunction of two factors that made it a publicist’s dream: one of filmdom’s most talented and controversial directors had turned his attention to the career of an ancient king who is arguably the most famous secular figure in history But what would the director of previous films fraught with controversy and conspiracy do with the enigma of Alexander’s character and aims?

    Comment by Ariton -

  124. The awe of going to the cinema has abandoned us & the exhibitors…

    ~ “For art reflects the artist, a moment in his heart, reflected upon the world.”

    Where are those who will rise up and pursue cinema history again?

    Comment by Adam Edwards -

  125. There are times when I’m alone and borned of everything I usually do and I want a change and sometimes I really desire to go to the theatre because I’m not going to often ,but not only once happened to come back home and to love everything I hated before.
    The sound was to high,the quality of the image was awaful or when all these are fine,there are little incidents which make you lose your patience.
    We all must do something if we really want to fell like home but with a “family” of hundreds of members.

    Comment by raul -

  126. It’s a great experiment and deserve to be tried.The success and the pleasure is bigger when you see a movie on a cinema screen.You can have all the confort at home but there the atmosphere is special, is not the same thing and some improvements will make this better.So make the experiment happen.

    Comment by shopaholic -

  127. A note to db regarding his comment “MAVERICKS ON LANDMARK SCREENS = THE FUTURE?”:

    There is already a place to watch sports on the big screen while drinking beer. It’s called a sports bar. Where I live, there are plenty of places showing sports, but only 1 place showing “Wassup Rockers” (the new Larry Clark film), and that’s at Landmark. The fact that Mark Cuban has mentioned the very type of “sports theatre” that you propose as the future of Landmark is the very reason why he has no business owning Landmark, which is the nations largest chain of theatres devoted to art house films. Or at least, it was.

    But lest you think that Cuban is some sort of visionary maverick, you should know that most of the mainstream theatre chains (Regal, AMC, etc.) are already showing sports on their screens. Losing another screen of Superman is no great loss, but the screens devoted to true alternatives to mainstream fare are shrinking. (This is also a side effect of Cubans day-and-date releasing, but that’s another post). If Cuban were truly visionary, he’d think of a way to make a profit on art films without resorting to the “me-too” style of management that’s turning Landmark into just another place showing movies.

    Comment by futureoffilm -

  128. The movie theater business is such that it puts forth this illusion that it could be made much much better, and very easily at that. And from the looks of things Mark Cuban is the latest to having just fallen victim to that. But the movie theater experience is a creature unto itself. And it has its own set of terms that everybody, no matter who it is, must fully respect if it’s to be at its best.

    We can stage the perfect movie theater experience, having actors behave as we want everyday people to. But in a real theater situation, if people are putting forth their own money to come out to see a movie, if they can’t get to be who they are naturally while in that setting, well, there goes the motivation to go out to see a movie in the first place. And a theater operator can either balk at this and wind up not having any patrons at all, or he can run the theater in such a way so that everything falls in place the way he wants it to of its own accord. Case in point, I can remember being in theaters of the past where I acted just as those running the theater wanted me to, but yet where I felt like I was totally being myself at the same time and not under any unfair or unnatural restraints. And rather than it working out this way because I was adhering to a certain set of rules, it was a case where there weren’t any rules, just be yourself is all, yet everything came together the right way regardless. Yet not due to any total laxity on the theater operators’ part, which is the totally other way of driving theater patrons away. All those theaters of the past I remember were very well-run. And at the time it looked so easy, and perhaps it was for those theater operators who understood that theaters — that is, real theaters — are entities unto themselves. They’re real life situations, not movies in strict accordance to script.

    And Mark Cuban appears to be starting off on the right foot when he points out that many theater operators have forgotten what business they’re in. And that much is very easy to say. But for him to go from that to demonstrating first hand that he can run theaters better, he’s going to have to get past the big “Oh…” first so as to make his vision a reality — the big “Oh…” being accepting people on their own terms while making it all work out at the same time.

    Regards, FSBO Realtor
    http://fsboindex.wordpress.com/

    Comment by FSBO Realtor -

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  130. The movie theaters that came into existence after the Crash of ’29 and how they were run were a universe different from those before the Crash. And the movie theaters that came into being after World War II and how they were run were a whole lot different than those which flourished throughout the Great Depression and WWII years. And it’s not as if everything right here and now is written in stone and is to be of permanance here ever after. The Beatles began their careers in Hamburg, Germany in the late 1950s. But they sure as heck couldn’t have in Hamburg or any other part of Germany 20 years or so before then. And whoever became a success in Germany when the Nazi Third Reich reigned over it, became branded with that success as a black mark against them after the Third Reich was brought down. Which German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl and others can well attest to.

    Which is to say…

    Anyone who’s having a really difficult if not impossible time operating or launching a well-run movie theater in this particular era we’re living in right now should take that to heart. Meaning that if you’re getting a whole lot of resistence towards your efforts, it probably means you’re doing all the right things, but it’s probably not the most fitting place or time to try to do them. But the right time is coming. But it’s not here yet. And even Mark Cuban, with all his wealth, his pull, his influence, must respect that, too.

    JT
    http://jewelrytown.blogspot.com/

    Comment by Jewelry Town -

  131. MAVERICKS ON LANDMARK SCREENS = THE FUTURE?

    mark,
    i’m sure you read somewhere how world cup soccer games are being shown in movie theaters:
    http://www.techweb.com/wire/ebiz/189401260

    it seems in an age of home entertainment centers with surround sound and big screen tvs, the next logical step for movie theaters to compete to get more customers — other than improving their services while showing movies — is to use their screens for other, exciting, audience driven entertainment: SPORTS.

    as anyone who watched all the close games in the NBA playoffs this year can attest, live sports can be more dramatic than any scripted movie. what makes it great is that is inherently unpredictable. no onw knows what will happen. every game. and when the stakes are raised in the playoffs, it seems like a workout just watching a game.

    so why aren’t sports teams distributing tv feeds/web streams of their games to movie theaters? competition. right now, most people are comfortable with their routine — watching games at home or in a sports bar with friends. to get audiences into theaters the experience must be demonstrably better than at a sports bar. most would prefer going to a sports bar to a movie theater (despite the huge screen) if there is no alcohol available at the theater.
    so getting the theaters to serve alchohol would be a major hurdle. but serving alcohol in theaters is not unusual in movie theaters overseas. and the argument that serving alcohol at theaters would ruin the family experience for kids ignores that every basketball/baseball/football stadium/arena are all family friendly while serving alcohol. as a compromise theaters can have one screen “alcohol free” for kids, another with alcohol. so alcohol is a must. food is another.

    to make the “sports theater” viewing experience superior to a sports bar there must be food other than the usual junk food sold at movie theaters. i’m talking pizza, wings, and fries, not to mention healthier foods like a salad station and sandwiches (why movie theaters don’t do this now is beyond me).
    another important element: stadium seating. anyone who’s ever had their view blocked while watching an nba playoff game at a sports bar knows that having an unobstructed view is critical to showing sports in theaters. theater screens must have stadium seating.

    teams can sell their merchandise at theaters the way they do at music concerts.

    showing a sports team’s games in local movie theaters can be a major draw for theater owners, especially during the playoffs, it can give teams more exposure, and give fans an even better experience — watching a sports game on a huge screen with your friends.

    maybe during the playoffs is the right time to start showing games in theaters, when interest in a local market is practically guaranteed. but eventually, over time, some theaters may evolve into “sports theaters” — showing boxing on friday and saturday nights, college football on saturday, nfl on sunday, baseball, basketball and hockey all season long. even tennis and golf during their 4 biggest tournaments of the year. the potential is there.

    yes, there are major obstacles to making it happen, but an experiment like this needs someone creative, someone willing to take the risk and break the paradigm to show that it can be done.

    someone who is a maverick.

    Comment by db -

  132. Also, the number of staff needs to be increased, and better staff as well. The whole sense of presentation has been lost in the industry

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  134. I can pause the DVD, control my environment, and the people watching with me. Manors and respect for those sitting around you in the theater is gone. Too many commercials at the beginning of the movie, so many that I most of the time forget what movie I came to see.

    Comment by cntouzi -

  135. The problem with the Cinema is twofold. Firstly the films are generally of a low quality. I saw 50 or so films last year, maybe 15 at best would have been worth paying for (the joys of a staff pass!). Hollywood just doesn’t deliver enough any more, and the British industry is probably worse.

    Also, the number of staff needs to be increased, and better staff as well. The whole sense of presentation has been lost in the industry.

    Another thing, if someone is being a pain in the cinema, go and complain! It’s so difficult to go and do something if no-one comes and tells you, at a lot of multiplexes you’ll have maybe 3-5 screens to a person so it’s hard to keep tabs on stuff all the time.

    Regards, Drug Stown
    http://drugstown.com/blog.html

    Comment by Drug -

  136. Much of what Mark says hits home, in particular his call for open-mindedness on NATO’s part. In a way, the association’s panicked response to “Bubble” and the movie’s release strategy makes as much sense as TV stations refusing to air ads for, say, upcoming movies or Six Flags, for fear that people actually going to the movies or the amusement parks will then not be watching TV and will enjoy their outings so much that they’ll never tune in again.

    However, I’m not so sure about his statement, “It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for the multiplexes to tailor the experience to the appropriate audience.” How? Are we talking about multis ONLY for teen or kids’ flicks, others only for and others ONLY for over-35 moviegoers (who have in common only the fact that they’re over 35)–or failing that, separate “adult-only” and “children-only” lobbies? And are we talking about doing this in the context of existing theatres, or tearing down the 20-plex to put up three or four 5-plexes? Because it seems to me this kind of “segregation” would be the only way to keep the different demographics from rubbing elbows with one another. Outside of the major city markets where more specialized chains such as Landmark can thrive, the multiplex kind of has to be all things to all people. Or at least try to be.

    Comment by Portuzenkov -

  137. ?????????you send me an email?

    Comment by Adam -

  138. Hello

    What is wrong with the theater experience, is the theater experience.. In my theater, I can pause the DVD, control my environment, and the people watching with me. Manors and respect for those sitting around you in the theater is gone. Too many commercials at the beginning of the movie, so many that I most of the time forget what movie I came to see.
    Fix the theater experience and I will come back to the theater.

    Comment by buy paroxetine -

  139. cannot add comment?

    Comment by Adam -

  140. I don’t give a hoot what Mark Cuban thinks. Until they make a 75 foot HD Television, I will continue to support my local movie theatre!

    If NATO/the studios want us back, 2 things they must do:

    1. MAKE BETTER MOVIES!
    2. MAKE BETTER THEATRES!!! Anyone who sat through King Kong, Star Wars, or Narnia in a shoebox stadium seated auditorium on a 40 foot screen with subpar digital sound (a.k.a. Regal Cinemas!) should agree with me on this point! Forget the digital 3D revolution – put an IMAX in every multiplex! That’ll bring ‘em back!

    Comment by Sergej STR -

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    Comment by Eduardo Bernal -

  142. Releasing movies in theaters and for sale has been happening for years. This time its just becoming a legal operation instead of illegal bootlegs. Producers have been missing out on that market for years and it seems they finally figured it out

    Comment by grosse bite -

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