Dickens, Mark-up, and Piracy

My wife and I went to see Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” in 3D last Saturday. The movie was like a long simulation ride to me and was the most fun I have had at a theater for a long time. Although “Star Trek” at the IMAX was a pretty close rival. However, there was a blatant problem, not with the film, but with the theater. Revenue.

I expected to pay a high price to watch a film, but was surprised to pay an extra three dollars per ticket for the 3D glasses. The cost was excessive, but hey, pay a little extra to get a little extra, right? But then there were little bins outside the theater asking us to recycle the glasses, with no reimbursement, so they could be reused. This is more of a side note to the shameless revenue-generating methods.

Now, for the focal point. We arrived late, but still had time to sit through 10 minutes of TV-grade product ads before getting to the trailers and ads for concessions. Most of these were ads I had already watched amidst the Detroit Lions’ saddening defeat on Thanksgiving. So, the theater started the night off with high ticket prices, outrageous costs for snack (from which we chose to abstain), marked-up 3D glasses which are required for viewing, and their typical ads. Then, they decide that after we have made this $30 investment, we deserve to sit in front of more ads that we could have seen at home.

When I finally decide to put the money down on a trip to the theater, I do not want to be pumped full of TV ads. I expect ads when watching something for free, but not when I pay. Why is it that Hollywood does not understand why people prefer pirating advertisement-free media? Even with the shift in Mininova’s business plan and the continued pressure on The Pirate Bay, people are not turning to theaters and television. Instead, they get behind replacement technology like DHT. If the motion picture industry plans to survive the continual advancement of technology, they need to adopt a new strategy that takes its paying consumers, like those in the worst economy of the US, into consideration.

Even Charles Dickens cannot stay out of this fray.

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