January 06, 2006

Commercials in movie theatres

Over on digg they're talking about a proposed Connecticut law that would require movie theatres to publish the actual starting times of movies, not the time when all the pre-show commercials start.

(BTW, one commenter over there says that this is old news, and that the CT law has already failed to pass.)

Regardless, be careful what you wish for. Remember that most movie theatres these days are not in the "showing movies" business. They're in the "selling other things to people who come to see movies" business.

I wouldn't be surprised to discover that these theatres are making a significant portion of their income from on-screen ads. If there were a law like the one above, they would be motivated to find another way to present the ads.

How about restoring the old-time "intermission" and play commercials then? Maybe more than one intermission per movie showing.

Or how about adding "bottom third" ads to movies as they run, like we're seeing on most every TV show these days.

A more hopeful alternative is that some movie exhibitors will embrace Mark Cuban's notion of improving the exhib business by providing a better "experience" to the movie attendee. We'll see.

Posted by jackhodgson at January 6, 2006 10:38 AM