It seems many are feeling the financial and emotional pain inflicted by this year's dismal boxoffice gate (which actually started to freefall last holiday season). My previous post - Are We Witnessing The Collapse Of The Cinema - opened a floodgate as I was bombarded with all manner of venting from the digital domain.
It's quite apparent that many in and out of the cinema industry feel that film distributors and exhibitors are not responding to the obvious lack of interest in moviegoing by the general public. A phenomenon, I believe, due to content which is not compelling enough to motivate an expenditure north of $30 (and in some cases much more) for two admissions and concession at the local cinema.
IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE
Many of the comments I received were thoughtful and one of the most telling can from Debbie Adams , owner of the Joylan Theatre in Springville, NY. Her comment centered around not getting access to enough product and would like to see the playing field leveled. For example, she does not know why Drive-in theatres have access to many more films , with shorter play dates, and double book all the time. Why can't the Joylan double book and have shorter runs as they play second run most of the time.
This is but one of the situations faced by small exhibitors and there are many others. What puzzles me is if you have an distribution point for your product and customers willing to buy it why not give the retailer (exhib.) the product to sell, especially since the product (a movie) has a very finite life.
FILM BOOKING NEEDS A REVAMP
What once worked in the FILM BOOKING business doesn't anymore. The current and archaic movie booking business needs to be restructured. The whole process should be on-line, straight forward, and exhibitor friendly. I'm sure a process can be devised whereby exhibs. are given access to upcoming films and playdates in a menu driven, secured format controlled by the studios.
I know this will sound like heresy to many in the industry but a complete redo of the movie booking business is way overdue. The current process is seriously out-dated and does not provide an efficient, flexible , or best use of technology. A revamped and streamlined booking process would provide enhanced profits for both the distribs. and exhibs. Think about it.
Best and Happy Movie Going!