The movie industry’s continued self-destruction

At a couple of points during the Academy Awards, people stood before the microphone and dissed the world of unbundled film viewing. “Go to the theater,” was the refrain, “to enjoy films the way they were intended to be viewed.” This laughable plea, of course, was self-serving and came from people with the bankrolls to support the financial drain of theater attendance. It takes a stunning degree of ignorance to make such statements, because these stars and executives are far, far out of touch with the people their films are meant to entertain.

Not only is it too expensive, but then there’s that whole pre-film experience that theater owners (the infrastructure) impose on their captive audiences. Now comes news this week that a 15-second pre-film ad by Phillips (see it here) was rejected by Screenvision (the folks who “present” all those ads) for Boston and Minneapolis. Phillips was buying four minutes of time during which to run the simple 15-second ad. It was a brilliant move for a company that makes home theater equipment and also would’ve been a reprieve for theater-goers. The rejection of the ad is an amazing illustration of how lost the movie industry really is as it fights disruptive influences from without.

Wake up, Hollywood. In order to get out of a hole you’ve dug for yourself, the first thing you have to do is stop digging. Frankly, I don’t think there’s a chance of that happening.

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