There are a lot of new pictures and what-not over at the official Iron Man site.

ironmanupdate.jpg

OOoooooo- BABY! I can’t wait for this film to hit my local theater.

Speaking of theaters, let me go off on a tangent for a moment. I was having a discussion last week on one of my other podcasts The Coolness Lounge. There, I questioned fellow co-host Charlie White on if he thinks people would shell out $25 for a HD quality download rental of a movie the day it is released in theaters.

Take the jump for my ramblings on the topic.

My reasoning is this;

  • A growing number of people in the U.S. have home theaters (mine happens to be 108″, 5.1 surround, yada, yada, yada)
  • Those without home theaters are migrating to 42″ and higher HD televisions
  • Most movie theaters are switching to digital projectors instead of traditional film
  • I would argue I have a better sound system in my home than the average multi-plex.
  • My comfy chair is way better than some ripped, stained, beat up P.O.S. found in those same theaters
  • Legal video downloads through Amazon Unbox and other online services like iTunes are making it possible to skip the video rental store completely, allowing you to watch new releases within an hour of ordering through your TiVo or iPod
  • Currently Unbox and iTunes only have SD quality video – I want/need Hi-Def!
  • I hate going to the movie theater and having to sit in front of the guy who wants to jibba-jabba on his cellphone while I’m trying to enjoy the film, and I hate sitting behind the guy who is a foot taller than I am who constantly blocks the view of the screen for my wife.
  • Couple that with the people who smack their lips when eating pop-corn, and it’s no wonder I haven’t been to a movie in the theater in months.
  • The average ticket cost for a family of four is between $30 and $50.
  • Concession prices are ridiculous as it is the only way the theater owners can make money. $4.25 for a large soda I can get for under $1.00 at the store? Give me a break.
  • How much are cable companies charging for PPV wrestling and boxing matches? $60? $100?
  • $25 is a compromise for the studios. On the one hand they can make more money for a couple who decide to skip the theater experience and see it at home, but they could lose money if more than 4 people watch the flick. Of course the EULA would come into play (see NFL vs. the church).
  • The $25 is for a 24 hour rental only. After that, if you want to watch again, you have to pay again. The only reason Titanic made the money it did was because the 14-year-old girls went to the theater to see it again and again and again. Imagine how much money could have been made if Titanic were the weekend sleepover movie at $25 a pop.
  • There could be a sliding price scale that coincides with the number of weeks the movie is out, so by the time the movie hits the rental/Blu-Ray market (you aren’t still buying traditional DVDs are you?) the price would be comparable.
  • With a 9 month old son, the chances of getting a qualified baby sitter and having my wife relax while at the theater is nill.

Several people have already confused what I am saying. I’m not saying studios should charge $25 for a movie that is already available for rental, or on a premium cable channel. This is not a mandatory purchase, you can still go to the theater if you like, and you don’t have to watch a new movie weekly. This is not an argument for movies that have been in theaters for months. I’m talking about first run, day of release flicks.

Gimme Iron Man, The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk, Wanted, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and all the rest of the movies I really want to see as a high-definition legal digital download, and I would gladly pay $25 to see the film the same day it is released in the theaters. And best of all, I don’t have to deal with the headache and hassle of what the beloved movie theater experience has become.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

Previous post

Snake-Eyes!

Next post

In Your Dreams Sneak

9 Comments

  1. Young
    March 21, 2008 at 10:15 am — Reply

    1. Whoever (or whoevers, if there is such a word) was responsible for the textures for the Iron Man 3D model deserves an Academy award…they did a splendid job.

    2. I like your $25 per movie idea, however, as much as a time limit on the rentals is something the movie industry would demand, and is actually quite reasonable, I am loathe to see it.

    3. My puny 65″ DLP is crying in shame at the corner compared to your 108″ projection screen.

  2. March 21, 2008 at 10:20 am — Reply

    1) Metal is so much easier to recreate in a 3D environment than organic textures (this coming from a guy who was heavy into 3D for about 10 years)
    2) So may I sign you up for some of our literature? Perhaps you would like to come to our facility and take an exam on how you can improve your life?
    3) You should see the New Frontier projected in 1080p on that 108-incher…simply amazing
    4) in the living room, we only have a 42″ screen, of course we sit 10 feet away, so we are still within the optimum viewing range.

  3. March 21, 2008 at 11:34 am — Reply

    Today’s movie theater is just sad. It smells like plastic,new carpet, and the arm pits of the guy they shoehorn in next to you to maximize profits. I remember the old, dark, and spacious theaters of my youth.

    Why is the food wrapped in cellophane? So that it can be as loud as possible when someone opens it up? And why do they sell the loudest foods available? Popcorn munchers are the primary reason I hate to go to theaters. I just watch my 27 inch SD.

    Stephen’s idea would bring the studios more money. Most movies make their money early. To cash in on the hype and buzz, make it available to people who are not going to go to the theater. If I don’t see a movie right when it comes out, I forget about it and rarely ever see it.

  4. boundsj1830
    March 21, 2008 at 11:43 am — Reply

    I would love to see that happen as well. Having kids makes it hard to plan out ahead what is coming out when and to line up childcare, pay the sitter, then for all the stuff at the theater $25 makes perfect sense to me.

  5. March 21, 2008 at 12:28 pm — Reply

    I agree that the studio’s would make a ton of money off of this there’s lots of times where I can’t get to a theater to see something and then end up waiting for it to show up on Netflix, when I would gladly watch it in HD on the 42″ in the living room.

  6. Joe
    March 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm — Reply

    I think the best point you make for this is “Most movie theaters are switching to digital projectors instead of traditional film.” Despite everything else you mention…going to the theater can not be beat for me because film still looks the best and the big screen in the dark room is still the best setting as well (I don’t have a room devoted to my home theater or a super big HD television, surround sound, etc.) But if all theaters eventually switch to showing movies digitally and seeing movies on film becomes the novelty (and I can afford a projector, etc) then I think your plan has merit. But I’ll be the one driving 25 miles to the last remaining film projecting theater…that is as long as movies are still being shot on film!

  7. March 22, 2008 at 9:22 am — Reply

    This will eventually be the way movies are released. It’s not IF, but WHEN. Movie theaters will go the way of the drive-in. They will probably be released to the internet to coincide with DVD/rental releases, then gradually move that date forward with correspondingly higher buy-in costs (and shorter viewing period). You’ll also be able to purchase over the internet download.

  8. Balius
    March 23, 2008 at 2:39 am — Reply

    At a movie theater, you’re paying more than the $25 for an inferior service. Babies crying, people eating popcorn, less than ideal viewing/listening positions, uncomfortable seating, people talking, a strict viewing time, it’s just not comparable to watching a movie in the comfort of your own home. ‘d be much more likely to download a new release temporarily than go to the theater, so that’s money they’d get that they wouldn’t otherwise have.

    Personally, for my own needs, I’d be happy to see movies released directly to DVD/BluRay without a theater run at all. That probably doesn’t make fiscal sense for the studios, but it’s quite unlikely that I’m, personally, going to go to a theater to watch a movie.

  9. J'osh
    March 24, 2008 at 1:26 am — Reply

    Unfortunately the “theatre experience” died with “manners”. Why do people talk on their cell phone? Why talk to each other? Why do we need to tell them not to?

    And speaking as a parent of four. When you have a child, and can’t find a sitter then you don’t go to the movies. Sorry but you have a responsibility now. Do not bring your baby to “Casino Royale”, “Hot Fuzz” LOTR or SAW movies (yes I’ve seen it happen, not the movie).

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section