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Interesting note about the Davinci Code in our local theater

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Interesting note about the Davinci Code in our local theater

Old 06-09-06, 06:35 AM
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Interesting note about the Davinci Code in our local theater

This letter to the editor appeared in our local small town weekly paper about a theater in a nearby town:

http://www.cabinet.com/letters/2005/...r-Wilton-44867

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To the Editor:

For more than three decades, Wilton's Town Hall Theatre has been a Mecca for movie lovers. Week after week, year in and year out, its knowledgeable and amiable owner/manager Dennis Markaverich has brought the public first-rate, first-run movies. Those seeking "slash movies," horror shows, and other trashy crowd pleasers have plenty of other places to go; Markaverich sticks to excellence.

Everyone acquainted with the Town Hall Theatre loves its luxurious leg room and friendly prices. Where else can we see good movies for $5? Or eat fresh popcorn for $1.50? What other theater manager offers free classic movies every week, asking only for donations to local charitable causes?

Last month, with the eagerly awaited hit “The Da Vinci Code” scheduled and advertised, this honest man received a stunning demand from the film's producers: "Raise your prices (and our profits) effective immediately or we will withdraw the film from your theatre."

Raising prices would have put money in Dennis's pocket — a great deal of money. But Markaverich is not a man to cave in to demands. Nor is he a man to let down his loyal followers. He refused. “The Da Vinci Code” will not be shown at the Wilton Town Hall Theatre.

Those determined to see “The Da Vinci Code” can catch it at dozens of other theatres. But true movie buffs have another, better choice — they can join the many outraged friends of Dennis in boycotting this greatly ballyhooed blockbuster.

I hope readers of this letter will join me in rejecting the greedy producers grab, and in honoring the principled stand of a good New Hampshire businessman. Let's stay home and read the book.
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I'm not gonna boycott the movie, I was actually planning to see it there, but I did find the letter interesting.

As an FYI, this is the place she is talking about:

http://www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com/
Old 06-09-06, 06:45 AM
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That's rather fucked up. Good for him. Reminds me of Tim League.

-JP
Old 06-09-06, 11:49 AM
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While it's kind of a shitty thing to do, I understand Sony's reasoning here. Theaters are contractually obligated to provide a cetain percentage of box office returns to the studio, an especially large sum when it's a first run film in its first weekend (something like 80-95% of the gross). Theaters make most of their money from concenssions at this point in the film's release. The studio isn't providing the theater with a print just to be nice, after all.

When the studio is contracted to get 95% of the gross for a blockbuster like this (which will drive in tons of concession sales) the actual ticket sale money is secondary to the theater itself. If the studio doesn't insist on a minimum pricing level, what's to stop the theater owner from charging a dollar, or a penny even? They're not getting much of that money, after all, and it would mean more bodies in the theater to buy concessions AND people would have even more money left over to buy concessions. The studio gets screwed out of grosses and the theater benefits.
Old 06-09-06, 12:13 PM
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That makes sense, and hadn't crossed my mind. Good thinking.

-JP
Old 06-09-06, 02:56 PM
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I can readily understand a film company not wanting their profit potential being set by someone else's policy.

And as for this statement .....
"Wilton's Town Hall Theatre has been a Mecca for movie lovers."

.... I'm surprised some religous group hasn't protested the invocation of a Holy Site to describe an entertainment venue. Guess the P.C. police are sleeping.
Old 06-09-06, 03:12 PM
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But this guy was charging 5 bucks, not 1 dollar... I see the point here, but really, what's to stop them from demanding a minimum like 10 bucks a ticket?
Old 06-09-06, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fujishig
But this guy was charging 5 bucks, not 1 dollar... I see the point here, but really, what's to stop them from demanding a minimum like 10 bucks a ticket?
Economics and the Free Market as much as anything I suppose. If distributors demanded a minimum $10 ticket price, theaters would raise prices, and few people would go. And that will hurt revenues. And what corporation worth its salt wants to reduce revenues?
Old 06-09-06, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DRG
While it's kind of a shitty thing to do, I understand Sony's reasoning here. Theaters are contractually obligated to provide a cetain percentage of box office returns to the studio, an especially large sum when it's a first run film in its first weekend (something like 80-95% of the gross). Theaters make most of their money from concenssions at this point in the film's release. The studio isn't providing the theater with a print just to be nice, after all.

When the studio is contracted to get 95% of the gross for a blockbuster like this (which will drive in tons of concession sales) the actual ticket sale money is secondary to the theater itself. If the studio doesn't insist on a minimum pricing level, what's to stop the theater owner from charging a dollar, or a penny even? They're not getting much of that money, after all, and it would mean more bodies in the theater to buy concessions AND people would have even more money left over to buy concessions. The studio gets screwed out of grosses and the theater benefits.
I thought it was completely the opposite. I could be wrong. I thought the movie theater got a larger gross of the ticket sales at the beginning, and the movie company got more as the movie was shown longer.
Old 06-09-06, 05:54 PM
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I can see both sides of this. On one hand, it's admirable that the theater owner is willing to lose a few dollars to keep his prices down and stand by his principles. On the other hand, the movie studio is not making movies for laughs, they want as much money as they can collect. So I can see why they aren't willing to lose revenue just so Dennis Markaverich can be the most popular man in Wilton and get to ring the town bell on Daniel Webster Day.

Final take, I wish there were more theater owners like this, unwilling to alienate his customer base just for a quick cash-in.
Old 06-09-06, 07:43 PM
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I wish there were more theater owners like this, unwilling to alienate his customer base just for a quick cash-in.
Well, I did quit working for Regal Cinemas because they care more about putting ads on the screen than the actual movies.

I now have a good reason never to see this movie.
Old 06-10-06, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
I thought it was completely the opposite. I could be wrong. I thought the movie theater got a larger gross of the ticket sales at the beginning, and the movie company got more as the movie was shown longer.
Nope, DRG is correct. That's why theaters love movies with legs, like Wedding Crashers, as opposed to front loaded flicks like X3. By the 4th weekend they're actually raking in some decent money from ticket sales.
Old 06-10-06, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Mittman
Nope, DRG is correct. That's why theaters love movies with legs, like Wedding Crashers, as opposed to front loaded flicks like X3. By the 4th weekend they're actually raking in some decent money from ticket sales.
Ok, my mistake.

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