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Robert Iger urges movie industry to rethink DVD release policy

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Robert Iger urges movie industry to rethink DVD release policy

Old 08-10-05, 11:21 PM
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Back in the old days you had to wait ages for the video release, which would be a rental first and then for sale later (unless you wanted to pay $100 for a VHS tape). Now they come out for rental and sale like three to four months later. Maybe that's part of the problem.
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Old 08-10-05, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
Actually, no, the Angelika is a worse theater
What, you don't like the gentle roar of a subway train interrupting your movie-going experience?
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Old 08-10-05, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Cygnet74
you go to shitty theatres. i'm sorry if that's all that's available to you. here, we have The ArcLight. $14 is steep, but the quality of the presentations, reserved seating, courteous staff, etc make it well worth it. from their website:
This is the problem here. Haven't found a good theater in Mpls yet, except for the Omni and Imax.

For your earlier discussion, I find the colors at home just fine compared to the theater. And while the resolution may be far less, played on appropriate equipment it looks great. Matching makes it better. (DLP in 90", Denon 2900 perfection spinning the discs)
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Old 08-11-05, 07:10 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
I'm starting to lose friends for the number of times I agree to go to the movies and back out rather than go to Union Square.

Might I suggest either of the two 34th street theaters? The one on 2nd Ave is great, but commuting to it is difficult; the one by Penn Station is fantastic, and the only theater left in NYC which is under $10 [$8.75, I believe].
Oh I wont go there again thats for sure, and I just went there to see H&F because it was a sneak preview (and we usually go to one by Penn Station because its cheaper and there is a Chipotle next to it). I just find it funny that an industry continues to bitch and complain about it losing money and customers, but does nothing to make people want to come to the theatres. They have to know what the problems are, but they dont seem unwilling to do anything about it except blaming other factors and throwing their hands up in the air.
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Old 08-11-05, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
Might I suggest either of the two 34th street theaters? The one on 2nd Ave is great, but commuting to it is difficult; the one by Penn Station is fantastic, and the only theater left in NYC which is under $10 [$8.75, I believe].
It's not convenient for most, but if you're looking to avoid crowds and have a pleasant, relaxed experience at a clean, decently run theater, you can't beat Battery Park.
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Old 08-11-05, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
I just find it funny that an industry continues to bitch and complain about it losing money and customers, but does nothing to make people want to come to the theatres. They have to know what the problems are, but they dont seem unwilling to do anything about it except blaming other factors and throwing their hands up in the air.
I also believe that nobody wants to fix the problems that now affect theaters.

Also add commercials into that mix. I know theaters need to make money...but dammit i don't need to see a friggin car commercial before my movie.
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Old 08-11-05, 12:46 PM
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Someone mentioned going to the movies just for the popcorn, I'd recommending just buying theater quality popcorn and pop it at home. Here's an example what I purchased recently: MegaPop Popcorn . I popped it in a $30 StirCrazy popcorn popper that I picked up at Target, and the taste is identical to theater popcorn. I even cut the oil in half. I even bought some popcorn tubs from the same website.

Last edited by PerryD; 08-11-05 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 08-11-05, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Nuff
I prefer to watch movies at home and it has nothing to do with being "lazy". I have better quality audio at home, better quality video (even if a smaller viewing size) and no cell phones, no crying kids, no talking teens, etc. Honestly the *only* reason I *ever* go to the theaters any more is because my wife and I like movie theater popcorn.
Then there's this guy called Orville Redenbacher.

As for the rest of your statement, I agree too. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to the theater this decade. I think I went to see Spider-Man, X-Men, Pearl Harbor, Gladiator, Episode II, LOTR-FOTR, and LOTR-TTT.

The point is that since I started collecting DVDs in Dec. '01, I've only been to the theater twice.

I'm a quad also as someone else mentioned, and going to the theater and being stuck in a seat for ~2 hours without being able to hit the stop button, go to the bathroom, or get food that isn't overpriced by 5 times. Paying $4 for a package of candy that would normally cost $1.20 is not what I have in mind for a good time.
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Old 08-11-05, 01:54 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by illennium
For a community so enamored of directorial intent (cf. endless OAR discussions), people here certainly don't seem to mind overlooking another important of that intent--that films be viewed in theaters as part of a social experience.
Social experience?! That is what is ruining movie theatres! Too many social experiences going on. The only place for "social experience" and movies are drive-in theatres!!!!

I'd gladly pay the going theatre rates for a good, classic Drive-In experience. One of my dreams has been to buy an old closed down drive-in, rennovate it, and turn it into a real retro experience.
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Old 08-11-05, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by UAIOE
I also believe that nobody wants to fix the problems that now affect theaters.
I have to say with the right audience a theater can be a great experience. We went for the midnight showing of Episode III and the crowd was excellent. Okay they were all fans so no one was going to be rude, but I just list it to point out how cool it is to see a film with a good audience that reacts together with laughter, cheers and applause. That really is an awesome experience. The same way seeing a game live in the arena is 100 times better than seeing it at home.

Granted for every great experience I have had some horrible ones. The first 20 minutes of Sin City was ruined by a rude couple that had to sit and talk about every single frame and ignored every attempt by several people to get them to be quiet. We finally got them tossed out, but by the time that happened the first segment of the film was ruined. They were we paid our money so we can do what we want kind of people.

I had two cell phones go off during Return of the King, someone explaining the film to their friend on the phone during Devil's Rejects and about 10 teenagers started a brawl during Scary Movie 2 years ago because they said someone threw ice at them.

I'm also had many regular uneventful visits too where everyone sat bored and watched the film. I have gotten to the point I also prefer to stay home. The cost of a sitter, popcorn, those annoying 20 minutes of commercials before the film and the assholes that can be in the theater have pretty much kept me at home for the most part. I did drag myself out more than usual this summer though and I would hate to think the theater might not be an option in the future.

So I would be happy to see DVDs released at the same time, but I would hate to see the theaters go bankrupt because of it. I honestly think DVD could close about 75% of theaters if it was direct competition.

If you do prefer to watch DVDs at home I recommend at least having movie nights on occassion and invite friends over. Movies are much better when you watch them with people.

Last edited by darkside; 08-11-05 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 08-11-05, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Cygnet74
you go to shitty theatres. i'm sorry if that's all that's available to you.
That is all that is available to most people. Most theatres in the country were last updated over decade ago. And it sucks.

If I want to watch a movie in a room built in the late 70s with a bunch of loud assholes, I'll go back to my parents' house and invite over the dillhole neighbors.
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Old 08-11-05, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Morf
If I want to watch a movie in a room built in the late 70s with a bunch of loud assholes, I'll go back to my parents' house and invite over the dillhole neighbors.


As my "home theater" is about a year off, I can only compare the going to the movies to watching at home on a 55" RPTV and 2.0 old ass Pioneers.

I still prefer home.

Crappy seating, rude people, $5 cokes.

No thank you.
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Old 08-11-05, 03:29 PM
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Most of the theaters I go to around here were built in the last 5 years or so. They are fine. I will never stop going. NEVER!!!! bwhahahahaha!
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Old 08-11-05, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
This is the problem here. Haven't found a good theater in Mpls yet, except for the Omni and Imax.
The Block E (Crown Theaters) is a great place to go. Crisp projection and sound, and during the weekday afternoons, entire theaters to yourself.

But I'm a theater purist, and I don't really enjoy watching things at home. If I have the choice, it's always the theater. Home theaters have their limits, and I have yet to see one that can match the theater experience. The sound maybe perfect, the image solid, the the experience is always lacking soul.
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Old 08-16-05, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc
God I hope this never happens. Movie theaters would just sink away. People are lazy, pure and simple. They'd just rent it and never leave their houses.
I notice you live in NYC. Most of the movies I watch never appear at the local multiplex. In any case, even when there is something at the local multiplex I want to see, like many others here, I am unwilling to suffer the multiplex movie going experience when I have other options, like HT.

The closest theater that shows most of what I want to see is a two hour drive --one way. In contrast to the multiplex, the movie going exerience there is usually good, but these days, the gas alone would cost about $40. I can usually pick up used DVDs at anywhere from $2 to $10 (avg. price in the $6-8 range), and resell the ones I don't want to keep.

I welcome a same day release on DVD. I'd even be willing to pay more to pick up some of these movies on release day. If I could watch movies at a decent theater that cared about the presentation, I would. I suspect a lot of other movie buffs feel this way as well.
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Old 08-16-05, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by scott shelton
The Block E (Crown Theaters) is a great place to go. Crisp projection and sound, and during the weekday afternoons, entire theaters to yourself.

But I'm a theater purist, and I don't really enjoy watching things at home. If I have the choice, it's always the theater. Home theaters have their limits, and I have yet to see one that can match the theater experience. The sound maybe perfect, the image solid, the the experience is always lacking soul.
I keep meaning to go there. Maybe I'll skip out of work early one day to try it out.

"Theater Purist". Hmm, I must be a "movie purist". The only sole that becomes an issue at theaters for me are the ones that become sticky and need washing after I leave.

I would love to see a solid definition of what theaters give you. Maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 08-16-05, 02:39 PM
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There's nothing wrong with viewing movies as a social experience. But that can be accomplished just as well at home, only unlike the theater, I get to choose with whom I socialize.

For what it's worth, the only movie I can think of where the "social experience" significantly adds anything is Rocky Horror.
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Old 08-17-05, 12:14 AM
  #68  
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Terrible idea financially. Right now the DVD market is often "propping up" the theatrical market, and helping to offset the losses studio suffer from box office bombs. But if the DVD market became the primary market, what happens then? You'd never see another Lord of the Rings or big budget movie of that type. Not to say a big budget movie couldn't turn a profit on a DVD-only release, but the risk factor would be too high. Thinking long run here, studios would rely even more on sequels and remakes... "proven formulas". Is waiting a measly four or five months for the DVD really worth it?
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Old 08-17-05, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Malticor
There's nothing wrong with viewing movies as a social experience. But that can be accomplished just as well at home, only unlike the theater, I get to choose with whom I socialize.

For what it's worth, the only movie I can think of where the "social experience" significantly adds anything is Rocky Horror.
Here I think you're mistaking the term "social experience" for "social interaction."

And on the latter there are a number of classic movies that get replayed as summer events - not just your average Rocky Horror midnight screening. I attended a showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Fox Theater in Atlanta that elicited cheers and key moments and hisses anytime the villian appeared on screen. This is just one example - there are hundreds in every major city across this country. These are both "social experience" and "social interaction."

Going to the theater for the "social experience" is vital to the movie industry - they'd be stupid to eliminate this. It's vital to moviegoers. It's vital to DVD sales as well. In larger groups, you laugh more at comedies. The communal experience makes the film more enjoyable. You likely won't feel the same way about the same film in the theater versus at home on your television. No matter the size. You see the film in the theater. You buy the DVD. And continue to enjoy the DVD because you remember those feelings from the theater.

The same goes for the epic or action movie. Sound and spectacle. The thrill of a great scene, bigger than life... the rare occasion that an audience becomes so invested in a film that spontaneous cheers erupt... these cannot be recreated on your home theater. I saw Independence Day at a midnight screening the morning of it's release date with a packed theater. Granted the movie is ridiculous drivel, but the experience made me love that film. And I still own a copy of it because every time I watch it, I recall that first experience in a packed movie theater, cheering for President Pullman and Randy Quaid and Will Smith at 2:30am before I had to get up for work at 7am. And I am *positive* had I seen that movie on DVD at home for the first time, I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought. I first saw Lawrence of Arabia on VHS. A few years later I attended a theatrical screening of a restored print. I swear it wasn't the same film. It was a completely new experience.

I'm not going to get into the numerous (and tiresome) psychological theories written about the theatrical experience... suffice to say that going to see a movie in a darkened theater surrounded by similarly entertained/skeptical/horrified individuals is an important part of the movie culture... and of our culture for the last century.

The factors beyond our control - the talkers, the seat kickers, the cell phones - have always been around in some form or another. There may not have been many cell phones in the early days of cinema but women used to wear huge hats that men complained blocked their view. They factors just change over time. Maybe it's our patience that's dwindling rather than the factors preventing our enjoyment of the experience. The now-ingrained thought that if we can't have it exactly our way, we're not going to have it at all.

I've gone to fewer movies in the last two years because of the financial strain of living in Boston and a decrease in disposable income. So, I indeed do understand the escalating price of movie tickets being a factor. Plus my desire to watch the average Hollywood film has dwindled significantly - but at the same time, my desire to seek out the average foreign/indie film has increased.

I don't know why I felt the need to write all that... I guess I just find it appalling that there are so-called movie fans out there who admit to not caring if theaters disappeared altogether...
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Old 08-17-05, 11:13 AM
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As I said earlier in the thread, releasing the DVD with the theatrical release would just keep reduce the type of people that shoot you for asking them to take off their big hat blocking your view.
I feel that doing this would allow theaters to cater to revival showings like Raiders and such. This type of audience is much more likely to be polite, than the crowd that just goes for the "social experience" alone and not so much the movie.

I love movies, and I'd love to see the current type of movie theaters disappear, if it will mean more will appear like I explained.
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Old 08-17-05, 01:33 PM
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I think it's obvious that the theatrical experience has killed itself. I RARELY go to the theaters these days. Every rated R movie I've been to has had little kids in it, babies even. Not at my house. Every time, someone is talking through the movie. Not at my house. Commercials. Not at my house.

I'd rather watch movies at my house. Plus, it's cheaper.

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Old 08-17-05, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Tarantino
I think it's obvious that the theatrical experience has killed itself. I RARELY go to the theaters these days. Every rated R movie I've been to has had little kids in it, babies even. Not at my house. Every time, someone is talking through the movie. Not at my house. Commercials. Not at my house.

I'd rather watch movies at my house. Plus, it's cheaper.

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your namesake wouldn't be very happy to hear this.
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Old 08-18-05, 08:03 AM
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Why are they taking marketing advice from this guy?

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Old 08-18-05, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
I lost the desire for this "social experience" several years back. Too many kids, cel phones, sticky floors, bad audio systems, commercials, charity drives, yakkers and people eating dinner to make it much fun.
That about sums it up for me.
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Old 08-19-05, 07:07 PM
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The theater owners strike back...

With Hollywood in the throes of rethinking its business model, movie-theater owners went on the attack, blaming the industry's problems on the choice of films being made rather than any shift in the behavior of movie-goers.

The National Association of Theater Owners blasted Walt Disney Co. in particular for comments made by incoming Chief Executive Robert Iger. Against the backdrop of declining box-office and DVD revenue, Mr. Iger last week said the industry needs to consider rejiggering the release of movies, perhaps in a way that would result in a film's DVD coming out simultaneous with its theatrical release.

Such a plan has been discussed in Hollywood for some time, but no major film has been released that way. Theater owners, however, are sensitive to anything that curtails a film's exclusive run in cinemas.

"Mr. Iger considers the slowdown in theater box office and DVD growth a 'wake-up call' for the industry," said John Fithian, president of the theater-owners group. "I'm not sure who was asleep but it wasn't the exhibition industry."

He added: "Here's what we know about 2005: the movies are not as good. They're not terrible. They're just not as good."

A spokeswoman for Disney declined to comment.
Source: Wall Street Journal (reg req'd)
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