Cuban now seeking to cure cinema's woes
Mark Cuban, the Internet bubble boy turned media mogul, is wrestling with an intractable problem -- how to get people into movie theaters without losing money. Movie studios regularly spend two to three times more in marketing than they make from their cut of ticket sales, Cuban points out -- a $60 million marketing budget might get 5 million people into theaters on an opening weekend, which works out to $12 a person. So he's looking to hire a new-media marketer who can figure out a way to promote movies on the cheap. (Here's an idea -- cut ticket prices.)

But it's clear that Hollywood is slowly figuring out that the Web is a good way to generate buzz -- take "Snakes on a Plane," a hotly anticipated action thriller that generated endless discussion online the moment its title was revealed. But this approach also threatens the whole movie-theater model, as the audience may turns to short clips on YouTube rather than venturing outside the house. “Their nightmare is a direct feed from moviemaker to audience,” novelist Walter Kirn tells the New York Times.

Would any amount of marketing get you into theaters? Or would you rather just watch videos on the Web?
Posted by Owen Thomas 10:05 AM 8 Comments comment | Add a Comment

Price and convience!
When you pay $20 for two people to see a single 1 and 1/2 to 2 hour movie in a VERY cramped theater it's not worth it. The theaters need to reduce cost, increase confort and improve quality in order to keep from being disruppted. Theaters, like film camera compaired to digial cameras, will fade out as our TV's become bigger, it's the nature of business.
Posted By NuclearTonic, Rochester, NY : 3:25 PM  

There's no way watching a movie online will ever replace the theater. Some things are better when experienced with a huge screen and massive surround sound!
Posted By Tolana, Norfolk, VA : 4:45 PM  

as long as theaters exist, i will keep going!
Posted By andrew h., newberg, OR : 10:09 PM  

While trying to watch Superman and POTC:deadmans chest I decided to quit going to movies. Superman was cramped to the extremem a week after it's release and 5 year old kids going "Is he the bad guy??" every minute or two. The ushers wouldn't do anything about it after two complaints. I couldn't even get into pirates even though I tried three times. Maybe I'm not fond of showing up an hour ahead of time to watch a movie. It's not the airport or anything. I'd pay $10 to rent it for a 48 hour period at home. Few movies take advantage of the "big screen and sound". If PG-13 ment no one under 13 could see it, I might go back until then probably not.
Posted By Dave Jax,FL : 7:44 AM  

Now that I have to sit through 20 minutes of commercials then 15 minutes of previews before every movie - the theater is getting really unattractive.
Marketing Comet
Posted By J D Moore - Boston : 8:50 AM  

I read the on-line newspapers USAToday,CNN,& Reuters)a great deal and would love a section for up-coming movie previews.
Posted By Richard, Hudson, MA : 8:59 AM  

I love seeing movies at the theatre. However I have a real issue paying $8 to $12 to see a movie as well as paying the ridiculous concession prices. my solution is to go to the dollar cinemas and see slightly older movies and to avoid the popcorn and drinks. This way my family gets to see 3-month old movies for less than the cost of a video rental (and there is no return trip to bring back the DVD).
Posted By Tom Buffer, Alpharetta, Georgia : 11:00 AM  

I just think the ticket prices are too high. If the theaters want to make money off of the concessions, I say let them. I just want to be able to afford the ticket price. But at $9 a ticket, I can pay for like 6 movies off of Netflix, and not have to leave my "home theater".
Posted By Greg, Minneapolis Minnesota : 1:25 PM  

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