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The next step in movie watching?
May 5, 2005 7:13 AM   Subscribe

Steven Soderbergh's radical plan could change the whole movie industry.
posted by debralee (24 comments total)

 
It only makes sense, since a lot people don't want to go to the movie theatres anymore.

Reasons why include the fact that a lot of people have high-quality viewing equipment in their homes now, more so than ever before. In addition, home sound systems are generally better than the horribly calibrated systems that are being used in theatres. (Note to Theatres: Louder is not always better.) It also allows them to watch the movie within the privacy of their homes, and not be interupted by the sounds of cell phones, loud people talking, and babies crying. And it allows them to pause the movie, in case they need to get up.

Movie theatres themselves should be relegated to the niche market that they should be in this day and age. They are for people who enjoy the massive screen, overly loud crummy sound system, and overpriced food. And for those people, theatres will still exist. However, instead of 15 in a medium sized city, there will be two-three high quality theatres. Theatres that capitalize on the experience, and not just the movie. They will become more competitive. And they will become more pleasurable.
posted by benjh at 7:40 AM on May 5, 2005


Back in my day we had to wait years before movies came out for our Betamaxes and we were glad to get 'em!

/crotchety
posted by Cyrano at 7:44 AM on May 5, 2005


Nose army.

Nose army. Jigsaw.
posted by devbrain at 7:46 AM on May 5, 2005


See also: http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/39472

Back in that discussion most people equated short window to DVD as equating to crap quality (as in straight to video). Soderbergh apparently gets it.
posted by spock at 7:47 AM on May 5, 2005


Smell sign.
posted by rhizome23 at 7:52 AM on May 5, 2005


Also note this was Mark Cuban and Todd Wagners' brainchild, not just Soderbergh's. My post in the above linked thread provides some context.

(Go Mavs...)
posted by jungturk at 7:59 AM on May 5, 2005


I didnt realize 2929 was owned in part by Mark Cuban. It's an interesting idea, but until detailed "long tail" analysis of movie viewing is precise, I think this venture is in for a rough ride.

I think documentaries (especially Imax productions) would be a better choice.
posted by infowar at 8:01 AM on May 5, 2005


The all-important opening sentence doesn't make any sense, or is it just me?

"Although the year's not even half-over, the news that Steven Soderbergh and 2929 Entertainment plan to release six movies day and date to theaters, television and DVD is likely to wind up being one of 2005's most controversial stories." emphasis added

It took reading the discussion here for me to figure out what the hell the article was talking about. At any rate, I was waiting for someone to try this. I didn't realize theatre owners got more of a cut of the ticket price later in the run. They're going to have to renegotiate their pay scale with distributors in order to stay in business.
posted by turtlegirl at 8:23 AM on May 5, 2005


ok, opening sentence is terrible, but if anybody can shake the tree it would have to be somebody like Soderbergh.
posted by Mme. Robot at 8:29 AM on May 5, 2005


My only question is, if Soderbergh's model was adopted, would it result in more bullshit "event" filmmaking or less? I've always been surprised how hard it is to wean Hollywood off the overpriced, overblown, overproduced epic crap they've been making. Perhaps CGI is to blame.
posted by fungible at 8:31 AM on May 5, 2005


Back in my day we had to wait years before movies came out for our Betamaxes and we were glad to get 'em!

I grew up in Spain. We had to wait for a year just to see the movie in the theater. Dubbed. Badly.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:36 AM on May 5, 2005


Theatres that capitalize on the experience, and not just the movie. They will become more competitive. And they will become more pleasurable.

I don't know, seems to me that with less volume on the movie itself, they would try to squeeze even MORE out of the ancillary crap by raising popcorn prices more adding more arcades, maybe entire restaurants, blah blah making it thus even MORE expensive and MORE of a despicable circus atmosphere. Hopefully I'm wrong.
posted by spicynuts at 9:04 AM on May 5, 2005


spaceballs the video tape! the movie is on store shelves before the filming is finished!
posted by MrLint at 9:18 AM on May 5, 2005


Beef diaper.
posted by basicchannel at 9:48 AM on May 5, 2005


Movie theatres themselves should be relegated to the niche market that they should be in this day and age.

Whether they consciously acknowledge it or not, people see movies in theaters in part for the group experience. Jokes are funnier when you hear a hundred other people laughing with you.
posted by gsteff at 9:56 AM on May 5, 2005


I suspect gsteff might be on to something.
posted by agregoli at 10:00 AM on May 5, 2005


gsteff is right. Comedies, horror films, action films, and historical epics are better when you're sharing them with an audience and completely cut off from the rest of the world, with that enormous screen taking up all of your attention. (Until they answer their cell phones, that is.)
posted by goatdog at 10:18 AM on May 5, 2005


Eventualism isn't about answering all questions; it's about questioning all answers.

Eventualism isn't about healing all pain; it's about the pain of all healing.
posted by koeselitz at 10:45 AM on May 5, 2005


I *don't* want to watch Star Wars in a crowded theater, elbow to elbow with smelly geeks. I want to watch it at home where I can relax. I don't do PPV. But I would if it was on at the same time as in theaters.
posted by jmccorm at 11:05 AM on May 5, 2005


Yeah, gsteff's summarizing a known, clinically demonstrated sociopsychological effect. In any case, the large screen, the amazing sound, and the surrounding glitz are my reasons for seeing a film in the theater, even if I could pirate it at home. Enhanced theaters could take advantage of this core difference, broadening their services to in-house meals and attaching themselves to better arcades, bars, and such.
posted by NickDouglas at 11:50 AM on May 5, 2005


For me the defining moment when the first TV commercial was shown before a movie. I didn't pay $11.50 to become a captive audience. #&*#$*.
posted by anthill at 1:50 PM on May 5, 2005


I would love to rent, find out if a movie is any good, and still have the opportunity to see it on the big screen if it is and would make a difference.
posted by dreamsign at 10:04 PM on May 5, 2005


I'm waiting for the first time a major studio puts together a big-budget marketing campaign for a film that will only be released on DVD (or PPV or whatever). Imagine, for example, if "Sin City" was released not to theaters but to every Best Buy in the country, but promoted as heavily as it was for a theatrical release. At that point the death of the movie theater as a mainstream media outlet will have begun.
posted by kindall at 12:05 AM on May 6, 2005


Ambassador jumpsuit land mine!
posted by rhizome23 at 5:01 PM on May 6, 2005


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