I have always been of the belief that if you are paying $15.00 for a movie, especially in LA, then you should turn off your phone and check out the movie. However, with the younger audience, they have to stay in touch with their friends no matter what they’re doing. Theater owners are thinking the same thing.
Deadline is reporting that some theater owners may be considering weakening the absolute ban on cell phones. Now, you know this has nothing to do with freeing people up to make their own choices, but it has everything to do with money.
In the earlier days, many kids would spend their money in movie theaters but they are trying to increase revenue and think somehow weakening the no texting ban would have some impact. The debate took place at CinemaCon in Las Vegas Wednesday morning.
Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Jeff Blake said, “I’m concerned that the movie going experience isn’t just for baby boomers.” So in essence, only older people want to watch a movie without the glaring light of someone cell phone.
I think the drop in attendance is more than weakening a ban on cell phones, it has to do with more of the content that is coming to theaters. Many of the major events that was supposed to bring in moviegoers this year, with the exception of The Hunger Games, have failed to materialize.
Banning cell phone use may make them “feel a little handcuffed.” Like many things, that statement is an oversimplification of the matter. I think that many theaters and studios are reaping what they sow. Movie ticket prices are high and can be high for teens with that disposable income.
When a ticket for the midnight showing of The Avengers range from $12.00 in standard 2D at the local AMC but can get as high as $18.00 for 3D IMAX. Not to mention, I love going to the movies but with the economy in the situation its in, I am saving my money for the films I truly want to see, and there aren’t many of them during the winter and early spring.
Tim League, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse — a small chain that is known for throwing out customers who talk or text during a film was not happy with that assessment. “Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater,” he says. “I love the idea of playing around with a new concept. But that is the scourge of our industry. … It’s our job to understand that this is a sacred space and we have to teach manners.” He says, according to Deadline, it should be “magical” to come to the cinema. But Regal Entertainment CEO Amy Miles shot back that “one person’s opinion of magical isn’t the other’s.”
Weakening of the no texting rule would lead more people to stop going to the theaters, which adds to people’s small grievances about going to the movies. That among older people asking about what is going on, people that talk through the film and other annoyances. I think this isn’t the way to go and they need to worry about content and prices and not something that will for sure drive people away.