Friday, June 26, 2009

Pulp Fiction playing at a theatre in London but not Western Film.

The presence of the Pulp Fiction trailer on the 50 Top Trailers list below reminded me that it's playing in London on Jun 26th at 11:30 pm. Empire Cinemas Wellington 8 has been playing old films once a month. Last month was Grease and the month before was Ghostbusters.

I haven't decided whether to go or not. I've seen it so many times.

I don't normally mention films playing at other theatres for competition reasons but I figure this is a special case as it's only once a month and we aren't offering the same types of films currently.

I went to the last couple and there were a fair number of people there. Apparently they did Fight Club the month before but I never heard about it. How annoying, I love that film.

They are doing the screenings the last Friday of the month so check their website for details.

Next Week's Film Jun 26 - Jul 2.

The booker told me last week ANGELS AND DEMONS might come off so I held off on booking in Wolverine which I knew was available. Angels was available so I booked it in. I thought for a bit about whether or not to play a late show but decided not to. It's a long film and caters more to adults who tend not to come to the late show.

These films were also available.

LAND OF THE LOST: I can't believe this came available after only two weeks?!, talk about a huge bomb. If I get a dead week I might throw it in but I don't plan to play it.

IMAGINE THAT: another huge bomb and too aimed at children for us to play it anyway.

WOLVERINE: I'm so pissed at Fox and their rules. This film has been off screen for two weeks and the only reason I couldn't play it already is because they make us wait two weeks. I ended up playing TWO LOVERS this week just to fill the space and it has rewarded me by being one of the worst attended movies ever at Western Film. It's a good film but the studio didn't do a good job promoting it and people haven't heard of it.

There is a possibility STAR TREK may come off for the following week so I didn't book Wolverine in. As I mentioned in a previous post I don't really think we will be losing much if we don't play Wolverine at all.

I just spent an hour watching Trailers. has this really cool list of the 50 Best Movie Trailers. I watched quite a few of them. It's interesting to see how creative some of the older trailers were, some were practically short films. The trailer for Psycho was almost 7 minutes long?! Imagine how well that would go over these days when most trailers are 2 -2 /12 mins long.

#42 was the first trailer I thought of when I read about the list.

There are a couple I would have put on the list.

Needful Things: This is the only version I could find online but I'm almost sure there was a version using the same music but with no dialogue. I've always loved this piece of music and I remember going out to watch the trailer over and over again when it played in the theatre I was working projection at. I don't think I would have done that if it had the dialogue.

Needful Things (Trailer)
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CLIFFHANGER: Again this isn't quite the right trailer. I'm pretty sure there was a trailer for this film edited to match almost perfectly with the same piece of music as the Needful Things trailer. I guess I'm either remembering things wrong or there are unusual versions of some of these trailers. There is a possibility they were Canada only trailers but I don't know if they would have made trailers for use just in Canada.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Next Week's Film Jun 19 - 25

Again there wasn't anything new coming off so I had to be creative. This week there was a print of TWO LOVERS available so I booked it in. It's got low awareness but Sunshine Cleaning was in a similar situation and did surprisingly well here. It's also a good movie.

If that hadn't been available I was going to book in 17 AGAIN. I wouldn't have expected it to do well but I might have been surprised.

Wolverine is available to start Jun 26th but I decided not to book it in yet. The booker says Angels and Demons will probably come off since Transformers 2 is opening. I'd rather play that than Wolverine. I wouldn't be particularly upset if I didn't get a chance to play Wolverine. It's Fox with all the conditions that go along with that. While it wasn't a terrible movie it got a lot of negative buzz, I've noticed movies in that situation don't seem to do well at Western Film anymore. I think the fact it's a big movie would outweigh that but I wouldn't be surprised if I'm wrong.

A hard decision is going to be whether to play a late show of ANGELS AND DEMONS or WOLVERINE. I know my staff will want me to so they can get more hours but will enough people show up to justify it? I was way wrong on the late show for MONSTERS VS. ALIENS. The late show was a complete bust. We did 5 people on Tuesday?! Something I wouldn't have thought possible since it's our discount night and usually the busiest.

New Trailer for 2012.

I have a soft spot for disaster movies and no one makes them better (or worse) than Roland Emmerich who is best known for Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow.

His new film coming out in November deals with the end of the world as prophesied by the Maya. The teaser trailer was interesting, it showed a mountain monastery getting pummelled by a mountain high wave of water. The new trailer is currently only on Yahoo and it doesn't have an embedding function. The new trailer shows much more of the destruction but still doesn't show exactly what causes it. My thought from the teaser was a comet or something hitting Antarctica and instantly melting all that water. I think I'm still on the right track but it's maybe multiple objects?

A lot of people think the movie will be bad but I don't think anyone can say it won't be worth watching for at least the absolutely awesome looking special effects.

The scene in Independence Day where an alien ship blows up the White House is one of the most famous destruct ions in movies. There's a scene near the end of the trailer that may outdo that one, this one involves an aircraft carrier.

I'll be in line to see this opening weekend.

Answer to Comment about video/film projection.

This comment was left on a post. I'm not sure if anyone reads the comments on older posts so I thought I would repost my answer as I think some will find it interesting.

QUESTION: This is a naive question on my part, but why are movies still in film format and not digital? I am sure there is a reasonable explanation, but it seems cumbersome to have huge reels to take care of.Also, with all the CGI and digital enhancing that goes into a movie these days, do they have to transfer everything to traditional film in the end to make the reels?

ANSWER: Video projectors that can make an image even close to the quality of film are still about $100,000. More if you add 3-D. The problem is there's not any real difference between film and video presentation to the general public and so there's no real advantage to the theatres to make the investment in new projectors. 3-D is really the only driving factor there.The Studios will save hundreds of millions of dollars by not having to strike film prints and ship them around but so far have been dragging their feet on helping the theatres convert. This doesn't make much sense to me.The other issue is going to be all the small theatres that can't afford to convert. Most movies are shot on film, converted to digital for editing then put back on film to show in theatres. Some films are shot with digital cameras. Eventually it will all be digital but how long that will take varies widely depending on who you ask. I think in about 3-5 years it will be hard to run a theatre that hasn't converted.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Projectionist's Nightmare.

I got this picture off a projectionist's forum. This isn't at Western Film, it's a print of Angels and Demons somewhere in Australia. That's the film all over the floor, where it's not supposed to be.

The piece of equipment in the middle is called a platter. It consists of three revolving discs about 4 ft wide. On the bottom one you'll see a film as it's supposed to look, nicely wound in a big spool with the beginning of the film in the center and the end on the outside.

When a film plays off a platter it pays out from the center, goes over some rollers, through the projector and back onto one of the other discs. It wraps around a ring placed in the center and ends up looking the same as it started, just on a different disc.

What happened here is somehow the film was not going back onto the platter but was just spilling onto the floor. There's several things that can cause this, mostly projectionist error but sometimes it can be a equipment problem. Even something like a momentary power drop out can cause this. That's why you'll always see the projectionist at Western Film go into the booth after the power blinks, even if the film seems to be running normally.

The scary thing is the average film is 12,000 ft long, that's a lot of film to try to wrap back up manually.

James Cameron's Avatar

James Cameron is one of, if not my favorite directors. He's never made a bad film, even his weaker films are better than most movies and he has made several downright classics (Terminator 1 and 2, Aliens, Titanic.

His next film is Avatar which opens in the fall and supposedly will change the movie business again. I'm looking forward to it but I'm being sure not to get my hopes too high. No matter how good the movie is it will be compared to Titanic and how well that did. It's not a fair comparison as the combination of elements that allowed Titanic to be come the biggest grosser of all time will never be repeated. It's been 10 years and the movie business has changed. Titanic was still playing in theatres a year after it opened. I don't see that ever happening again.

One of the big variables with how Avatar does is the number of 3-D screens available. The movie apparently employs some of the highest quality 3-D ever done. But at this point there still only about 2000 or North America's 40,000 screens equipped for 3-D. The 3-D is so important to this film that Cameron says one of the reasons it took him so long to make this film was waiting for the technology to catch up to his vision.

The link is for a really interesting article at which summarizes what is known about Avatar which is surprisingly little. The movie comes out in 5 months but there's been no trailers, posters or even good stills. I think most of the illustrations in the article are from the video game, not the film.

I'll probably be in line opening night, how about you?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Next Week's Film May 12 - 18

Next week was a weird week to book. The only new film that came off the first run screens was Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, however that Studio (Alliance) usually puts a week between first and second run so I initially wouldn't have been able to book it for next week. That left me in a bit of a scramble as I didn't have any other movies that I wanted to play. Nothing recently had done well enough to bring back. So I was going to have to play something I hadn't planned on playing. I was looking at these options.

TWO LOVERS: Not a high profile movie but a good one. I saw it at the Hyland and they kept it for a couple weeks. The showing I saw it at had a fair number of people. There weren't any prints of it available though.

WALTZ WITH BASHIER: This is one of those films I don't think will do well but I could get surprised by. However I decided not to take the chance this time of year.

ADVENTURELAND: a fairly good movie aimed at an audience who isn't here right now. (students), didn't do great in First Run though.

17 AGAIN: an okay movie aimed at an audience we don't really get a lot of, young girls. However it does star Zac Efron and did fairly good first run. It's also the highest profile so I decided to go with it and see what happens.

However in the end I ended up getting Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. The booker decided this was a good time to question the one week wait policy at Alliance. They had been inconsistent in applying the policy, doing it in some places with some movies but not in others. As a result we won't have to wait a week any more and I was able to book Ghosts. I did have to wait until Tuesday to get an answer which caused a bit of a reworking of the things the staff and I do on Monday and Tuesday nights.

Now watch the movie bomb, romantic comedies are usually a pretty safe bet for us.

The following week should be Wolverine, it's not playing anywhere first run as of Thursday. Fox also does the waiting bit but at least does it consistently. I'm pretty sure they usually only make us wait a week so Wolverine should be available. If it's not I'll probably try 17 Again as there isn't anything else new I see coming off.

Last Week's Movie May 5 -11

I'm behind again, sorry.

The movie that finished tonight was Monsters Vs Aliens. I booked it last Monday, the only other choice was Dance Flick which I never planned to play.

During the summer we usually do matinees of any kid friendly pics. I also decided to do a late show of Monsters figuring some people would want to see it.

End of Week Update: This was one of those times when I was really off. Monsters did really bad. The matinees were dead and the late show was even deader. I'm quite surprised as I thought the film would at least do okay. I think a lot of it was the fact it finally got warm last weekend so people were doing things outside. It may or may not have been the fact it wasn't in 3-D. We only had a few people ask if it was then not see it.

We'll see how the next film does on matinees.