Thursday, May 31, 2007

Swag #3 Dead Silence.

This is a plastic cup and two refrigerator magnets given out by Universal for the horror movie Dead Silence. These were the only items given away at the convention for a movie that had already opened. Normally I'd use them for prizes but Western Film doesn't play horror movies. If anyone is interested in them let me know.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Importance of Trailers

I was thinking about movie trailers (previews) tonight. A trailer is most people first look at a new movie and the trailer can make or break a movie. One of my pet peeves is misleading trailers. I haven't seen it but my understanding is the trailer for Georgia Rule is a bit misleading. It's more dramatic than the trailer would have you believe. One movie for a movie called Home Fries made it look like a romantic comedy. I went to see it on a night when that was wanted to see and and got a quirky dark humour film. I would normally have liked the film but since it wasn't the type of movie I wanted to see that night I was left with a bad impression.

When I was at ShowCanada there was a seminar on posters and trailers. One of the trailers they showed is below. It's a parody trailer for the Shining, it's an extreme example on misleading trailers.

The one below is a great example of how important music is to a trailer. In case some don't get it the footage is from a old sitcom called Perfect Strangers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Next Week's Movies

I had basically already decided to play Fracture next week. I could have played it the current week but decided to play Disturbia and I didn't want to play two shows. The only other new movies were The Invisible and possibly Georgia Rule. I think the Hyland is planning to play Georgia Rule next week so normally we would have to wait until they were done. As an aside Westmount is still playing Fracture so I'm not sure what would have happened if we had picked it up. Offering it to us was either a mistake or the studio figured we are so far apart from each other there's no competition

So the current plan is Fracture next week and Georgia Rule the following week. Hopefully Spider-Man will be available the next week or things might get interesting from a booking point of view.

I hope Fracture does well, it deserves to despite the relatively low press it got. Both Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins are great and the story was interesting.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Swag #2 Shrek The Third shirt

This is a fairly bland t-shirt with a nice graphic on it. The odd thing is the image is on the back of the shirt, the front is blank. I kinda wondered if a mistake was made on that. My nephew is a Shrek fan so I'm going to give it to him.

Long Movies Pros and Cons.

I just saw Pirates 3 which was about three hours with trailers. I got to thinking about how long movies affect various aspects of going to the movies.

Movie watchers.
-more bang for their buck (literally in Pirates)
-sometimes have to miss part of movie (or hold it) to go to the washroom.
-some may forgo going to the theatre because the movie is so long. That was one of the problems with Grindhouse.

Movie Theatres
-long movies tend to be blockbusters which are usually good for concessions sales, they don't call 'em popcorn movies for nothing.
-fewer shows per day which means less income.
-late shows that start and run really late increasing staff costs. Pirates 3 ended at 1am.

Western Film.

-We usually only have one show a night with a long film, no late show. We can't push our start time any later than 10pm, it never works. This reduces our staff costs but also reduces any income we might have had from a late show of a different movie.
-If I do run a long movie for a late show it increases costs, occasionally even to the point of paying for a taxi home for staff if the movie ends after the buses stop running.
-long movies are a pain in the .. back. A 3 hour film weighs about 100 pounds.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Interesting video about Copyright Law.

I thought this video was neat. Must have taken ages to put together. I don't completely agree with it's message. I fully believe in 'fair use' of copyright material but I don't agree with it's thesis that copyright should be reduced. If I create a character/book/work of art it should be mine to control and/or make money from. Just because things like films and books are reproducible shouldn't mean they should be subject to different laws. Why should films fall into the public domain when an original painting by Warhol, Rembrandt or DaVinci doesn't? I'm sure the Louvre would be quite happy if I came knocking and said the Mona Lisa is public domain now, can I have it to put over my mantle?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Movie Poster of the Week

I think everyone has seen this movie. If you haven't, go and rent it, now, run. It's one of the funniest movies ever made. We played it as one of the midnight films a couple years ago and it did really well. The print was getting rough so I'm not sure if we'll play it again.

I picked this one because I was looking through the new arrivals at which is in Toronto. They have an excellent condition, folded copy of this for sale. For $460!!

I'm pretty sure I have a mint copy of this poster at home. Anybody want to buy it? Only $400.

Annoying customer #413 / Hot Building.

Theatre is a bit hot today which reminded me of an incident from a couple years ago. It might have been a Tuesday but in any case it was a very busy night around the beginning of summer. This building is heated with radiant heating using liquid not by heating the air like most houses do. So when the outside temperature changes the insides of the buildings take a bit to catch up. The physical structure (concrete) of the building has to either warm up or cool down before the temperature inside stabilizes.

On this particular night the room was about half full and very hot by the end of the movie. As we learned in The Matrix human bodies produce a lot of heat. One older guy comes out after the movie and starts yelling at me about how hot the theatre is and he's had two heart attacks. I tried to be as nice as possible to him and explain the situation and how the temperature of the room is beyond our control.

I couldn't help but think though, why didn't he just leave before the movie was over if it was that big a deal for him?

Next Week's Movies

There were a few movies available today.

The NameSake- I hear it's good but Fox wanted all shows which I couldn't do for this movie even when the students are here.

The Ex- Wasn't promoted at all. Plus it wasn't a good movie.

Fracture- I am planning to play this next week.

Disturbia- I decided to play this one. Only one show at 7pm. I wasn't planning to play this film before it came out as it looked like a standard teen thriller. However when it came out it turned out to be a really good movie and was a surprise hit. It's actually still #4 on the North American top 10. We only got it already because Pirates 3 will be playing on about half the screens on the planet.

Part of the reason I decided to push Fracture off to next week was we have so few movies coming off in the next couple weeks I want to play until Spider-Man is available. Basically there's Fracture and Georgia Rule. Hopefully Spidey is available the week I think it will be or I'll have to get creative. Maybe experiment and play Meet the Robinsons. We may get a better response to kid's movies now that Rainbow has gone first run. We pretty much lost the family market when they opened.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Movie Poster of the Week

The poster for Jaws is one of the most iconic posters ever produced. Anything that has been parodied as much has got to be iconic. It's also one of the best designed in my opinion. In one glance it tells you exactly what the movie is about despite being so simple. It's also one of the best movies ever made.

This just goes to show why movies are important.

There was a story on the news today about a single mother who found $10.00 on the ground and bought a lottery ticket with the money. She won a million dollars! How did she celebrate? She took her family to the movies.

Friday, May 18, 2007

SWAG #1 Transformers gym bag.

This was one of the more interesting swag items we got. It was useful to carry some of the other stuff home too!

The movie looks like it could be good or bad, hard to tell from the trailers. In either case I'm pretty sure Western Film will play it. The gym bag will be given away as a prize that week. Everyone who comes to the film will get a ballot to fill out if interested.


Swag is stuff that is given to people at conventions, awards shows etc. The presenters at the Oscars get swag bags worth thousands. I'm not sure what the origin of the term is, someone told me it stands for Stuff We All Get.

I'm going to do postings of the items I got at ShowCanada. Some I'm going to keep, others I'm going to give away with contests when we play the relevant movie.
The pic is a nice bag we were given to tote around our notebooks etc (and our swag!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The eternal question, what time should we start a single show?

One thing that gets brought up quite a bit is whether we should start the movie at 8pm instead of 7pm during weeks we only have one showing. I've tried a bit of both and I tend to leave it at 7pm.

Pros of an 8 pm movie.
-patrons might come who couldn't make it to a 7pm.
-it's an unusual time so it might make us stand out more and be remembered for future moviegoing.

Cons of an 8pm movie.
-patrons might not notice we changed the time for that week and show up at 7pm or vice-versa and assume all summer or single shows will be at 8pm.

- not all of the single summer shows would be at 8pm, long movies (Spider-Man 3) would still have to start at 7 as well as anything that children might come to (Shrek).

-When I have run 8pm shows in the past I noticed concession sales were lower presumably because people have had more time to go out for dinner beforehand. Since we pay a large portion of our expenses from the food sales this isn't a good thing.

-even short movies starting at 8pm might run too late for some people.

When I have tried it in the past I have found the cons outweighed the pro. Please feel free to leave a comment if you disagree.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Single / early shows only?

During the summer there are a lot of weeks we only have one show at 7pm with no late show. There's a few reasons for this.

-With fewer students around there are fewer movies that are worth playing, for example I might play something like 28 Weeks Later during the school year but probably won't during the summer.

-The crowd is different, we tend to get a lot more faculty, off-campus, and families during the summer. As another example I probably wouldn't have played Wild Hogs during the school year. This crowd tends not to go to the late shows.

- last year it seemed like almost every week there was only one movie I wanted to play anyway. During the summer you tend to get big movies and lots of small movies that don't do well. This summer may be different, it looks like there's going to be lots of good movies.

- long movies- Spiderman, Harry Potter and Pirates 3 are all almost three hours long with trailers. That makes a late show at 10pm which doesn't always work for the reasons listed above. Even during the school year that's getting late for us.
A couple of my staff and I were talking about whether to play a late show of Spiderman when we get it. I honestly couldn't decide whether I should or not. I figure I'll wait and see how long it takes to get it. I may also use it as an experiment. Play a late show and see how it does to gauge whether I should show late shows of the other big movies.

Next Week's Movies

Actually there is only one movie next week. There were three movies available:

Lucky You- big bomb, bad movie.
Next- looks like an okay movie but didn't do very well and not a type of film Western Film does well with.
Blades of Glory- I decided to play this one but with only one show at 7pm. (see next post about singles shows).
Coming the following week should be either Disturbia or Fracture.

Poster of the Week

I don't know what this movie is about, looks like Ping Pong but I think the poster does a good job of telling you it's a comedy and exactly what kind of comedy it is.

Friday, May 11, 2007

ShowCanada preview Screening of Shrek The Third

The first day of ShowCanada (Apr 25th ) we got to see a preview of Shrek the Third. The schedule listed the event as a Paramount movie. Paramount had a movie opening later in the week, Next with Nicolas Cage, so I figured that was what we would be seeing. However I neglected to take into account that Paramount bought Dreamworks which is releasing Shrek. It was a working print. The final color correction wasn't done but it wasn't too noticeable. There were a couple spots where actions were missing.

Overall the movie is really funny and one of those great movies that works both for kids and adults. I predict huge business.

There was only one small disappointment for me, there's a moment in the trailer where a certain piece of music that seems perfect is used. The same song played an important part in Kill Bill. It's called Battle without Honour or Humanity. In the scene in the movie different music is used. Probably no one else would notice, I suppose I noticed because it's one of my favorite songs.
The song is at 1:00 (one minute) in the trailer.
I tried to embed the trailer but it wasn't working for some reason.

The Coolness that was ShowCanada.

Show Canada is an annual convention of exhibitors, distributors and movie studios. The last few years it's been in places like Halifax or Victoria but this year it was in Niagara Falls so this was the first time I was able to go.
ShowCanada consists of seminars, screenings, lots of meals and some parties.
My main reason for going was to learn more about Digital Cinema, how it works, when it's coming and who's going to pay for it. I learned a lot.
There were also seminars on Internet marketing, movie piracy, posters and trailers and others.
We got to see Shrek 3 which was really cool. It's a lot of fun. We also got to see parts of Hairspray and a couple of the stars were there including Nikki Blonsky who plays the central character. There were a couple screenings I didn't go to , one was Away From Her which is coming out soon.
The meals were each sponsored by a different distributor or Studio. During each meal we got to watch trailers and other footage from upcoming films. Some of the trailers for movies as late as next year were still in rough cut which was cool. There's some really interesting movies coming out in the next while. I think my favorite meal was the lunch sponsored by Fox. The centerpieces on the tables were stacks of donuts similar to the one on the posters. They also had a couple really cool standees, one was a life size couch with the Simpsons on it. There was a spot on the couch where people could sit and have their picture taken.
There were talks by various big wigs in the exhibition industry.
Rick Mercer hosted the final dinner, he was hilarious.
The Swag we were given after each meal was cool. Shrek shirts, Transfomers gym bag, Warner Bros barbecue set etc etc. I'll be posting pics of each item over the next while. Most of the items will be given away as prizes when we play the various movies. I think I'll keep one of the Simpson's mugs though.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Next Week's movies.

There were only 2 new movies available this week.

The Condemmed - so I don't think so.
Wild Hogs - I didn't plan to play this before, I never even ordered any trailers because I thought it looked stupid. However it was a surprise hit so it must be better than it looked. It's also a good movie to play right now since it skews slightly older and until summer school starts the number of students around is about as low as it gets.

I decided to bring back 300 for the late show. There was a lot of demand for it and the week we played it was not the best. It included the tail end of exams and the end of the month when a lot of students have to move. We'll see how it does.

Shrek the Third opens next weekend so I expect Disturbia and or Blades of Glory to come off. I already know Vacancy is available but I don't think we'll play it.

One of my staff mentioned tonight that by the end of the month there will be basically only three movies playing in London, Spidey, Shrek and Pirates 3.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Poster of the Week

For those of you familiar with British comedian Rowan Atkinson and his infamous Mr Bean character you should be looking forward to this film. It's a kind of sequel to his first movie from 1997. Mr. Bean's Holiday is about the infamous Mr.Bean, a lazy buffoon who manages to cause problems in even the simplest of tasks. It's already done huge business overseas and comes out here Aug 31. I'll be there opening weekend.

I don't think Western Film is going to play Grindhouse.

As anyone who reads this blog (assuming there is anyone) knows I was really into Grindhouse but I don't think I'm going to bring it to Western Film for several reasons.

1. For whatever reason it bombed which tends to make people think a movie is bad even if it isn't.

2. Most of the students have left for the summer.

3. I figure it's one of those movies where most of the people who wanted to see it saw it already.

Sorry if anyone was waiting for us to play it.

Someone expects Spider-man 3 to be big!

I looked at the movie listings tonight (Thursday) and noticed something. If you include the midnight shows Thursday night the Silver City at Masonville is playing 18 shows of Spider-man on Friday alone. Considering the movie is 2 hours and 20 minutes plus Famous usually puts 20 minutes of Trailers in front that's almost three hours. I figure they are playing it on 5 of their 12 screens.

BTW Some of my staff and I have a bet as to how much Spidey does opening weekend. The current record is $135 million for Pirates 2. My guess for Spidey is $150 million. We'll see how close I am.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

This week's plus last week's movies

This is going to be a combined post for the last couple weeks movie choices. I was away at ShowCanada last week and didn't get a chance to do any posts. For more on the coolness that was ShowCanada see later posts.

For the current week Apr 27 - May 3 there were several films available.

300- I decided to play this one. In a rare move I played the film for both shows when I didn't have to. The demand has been very high for it. As it is we got it the last few days the students were around.

The Hoax- planning to play in the next couple weeks.

The Lookout- good movie but not enough awareness.

The Reaping - an okay movie but not a genre Western Film does well with.

Sharkwater - This needs to be a 7pm show so I pushed it to the next week.

TMNT - too kiddy for Western Film.

Grindhouse. - I had decided to push this to the week after 300, see later post.

For the upcoming week May 4 -10 there were a couple movies available.

In The Land of Women - big bomb, we normally do well with films aimed at women but this one just didn't seem to appeal to anyone.

Perfect Stranger - big stars, bad movie, big bomb.

Shooter - I was iffy on this one as Western Film has a mixed history on basic action movies how I decided to play this one for a couple reasons.
-Mark Wahlberg is popular.
-Mark Wahlberg is shirtless.
-It's a really good, above average, action film with a sensible plot, good acting and special effects meant to support the story not be the main attraction.