August 17, 2005

You paid $18 to see "The Wedding Crashers," why?

For the privilege of sitting in the balcony next to people who are eating monkfish and clinking wineglasses. Only the popcorn is included in the ticket price.
"Even without the popcorn, it's definitely worth the money," said David Raphael, a salesman from Boca Raton who, with his wife, Judy, was enjoying a glass of wine at the upstairs bar at the Palace before a screening of "Wedding Crashers." "We pretty much go here whenever we go to the movies. And we pass other theaters to get here."

None of this, of course, changes the fact that Hollywood movies seem to skew younger and younger every year.

"We're a product-driven business, and we don't have any control over the product, unfortunately," [Muvico president Hamid] Hashemi said. "But in all our customer surveys, the unifying factor is: 'Get us away from the kids.' It's the exact opposite of what we're led to believe in this business."

Apparently, people are crazy. If the movie is bad and you want to eat a nice dinner and not be near young people, why not just go to a restaurant? If the problem is that you don't know how to have a conversation that's as good as a bad movie, well, that's pretty sad. You could go to the restaurant alone and bring a good book. Or you could take out restaurant food and stay home and watch a good DVD (which is, I think, what most older folk do).


Aaron said...

I work for New Line Cinema - maker of the genius film Wedding Crashers. It is worth every penny anyone is paying to see it. Yes - I have a conflict of interest but I tell you it is the funniest movie of the past five years. One wonders what a mature comedy that makes you laugh till you pee your pants might look like. Can't actually think of one. Any nominations? Every movie I can think of that was funny funny funny was at some level adolescent.

DannyNoonan said...

What was it that you didn't like about Wedding Crashers? I thought it was very funny. I also saw it in a theater (Mayfair) full of talking people. Not kids. I paid $8.50 for a ticket and $5 for popcorn. I would have gladly paid an extra $4.50 to shut those people up.

Glen H said...

"Hollywood movies seem to skew younger and younger every year."

Could it just be that the movies stay the same, but we skew older and older every year?

Aaron said...

Older people and those who call for "quality" in Hollywood are a pain from a financial standpoint. You put tens of millions of dollars on the line and years of work by hundreds of people and all these "audience members" who only have to sit for two hours on their butts and spend a few bucks feel free to criticize. Worse - they do so from home without ever giving us in Hollywood their money. Who needs 'em! Teen-agers will watch what we tell 'em to watch! That is a demographic we can get behind.

GreatAjax said...

Wedding crashers is a great comedy. The Wilson brothers / Vince Vaughn / Ben Stiller team are turning out some great work these days. More power to them! Die Adam Sandler!

Harkonnendog said...

Wedding Crasher was hilarious, but it is as much a guy flick as The English Patien was a chick flick. Regardless, watching a crappy movie with a bunch of idiot teenagers around you is MUCH worse than watching a crappy movie without a bunch of idiot teenagers around you. (On the other hand Wedding Crashers was probably BETTER because of the teenagers.)

If you've got a youngster and going on a date with the wife is a rare treat, not because of money but because of the daughter, then it is definitely worth it to pay the extra. Why not stay home? Because I live there.

And- as for having a conversation with the wife- crap I conversate with her all the friggin' time. It is a pleasure to have a shared experience with her during which she and I have an obligation NOT to speak.


Btw, gotta say I'm SHOCKED that a guy who goes by the tag "dannynoonan" liked Wedding Crashers, lol.

XWL said...

The article in the NYT linked to was primarily about the new trend of 'quality' movie houses.

I know I will go out of the way and pay the premium (offpeak $10 versus $8 at most other area theatres/peak $14 versus $11) for the Arclight Hollywood (mentioned in the article) because the experience is superior.

They show a mix of arthouse and popular films, all the screens and projectors are kept in fantastic working order, all the theatres are stadium style so no sight obstructions with , and reserved seating at a movie is a luxury that can become addictive quickly (and they don't charge an additional service fee for buying tickets in advance online). Also ushers introduce the films and hang around to check on the sound and projection and I think this might also effect people's behavior cause I've never had a movie there interrupted by talking or phones.

Also they frequently have Q&A sessions with filmmakers (a big benefit of being in Tinsletown), but I haven't been going as often lately cause the selection of films this summer has been abyssmal and don't even look rentable, but rather wait for cable bait (and even then, I'd have to be very bored to sample a Herbie or Stealth).

Crank said...

1. I assume it was tongue in cheek, but that second comment by aaron is a really nice summary of the movie-studio mindset.

2. Not all movies are "good" or "bad" - you're ignoring movies that are "good enough to rent" but don't really rate a trip to the muliplex. If you give people a pleasant atmosphere, they may be more willing to watch some of those on the big screen.