At the weekend, against our better judgement, we decided to go and see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
First problem: Ticket price. Seriously, it cost $44 dollars for the two of us. Apparently this consists of:
$18 Ticket price
$3 3D Surcharge
$1 Booking fee.
$1 3D glasses
We already had 3D glasses from Avatar, so we didn't have to pay that. But dutifully we paid the rest of it.
On the way into the cinema we stopped at the snacks cart, where the girl tried to sell us some chocolate for $6.00, which could probably be bought across the road for $2.80.
So, let me get to the crux of the issue. Why should I have to pay good money, to go and sit in a room full of people who I probably wouldn't like if I met them, and who seem to only exist to annoy everyone else?
Constantly throughout the film people were rummaging with chip packets, lollies etc etc. It got to a point where it was quite distracting, particularly in the quieter parts of the film. The woman next to me seemed to be wanting to elbow me in the ribs for no good reason. Some guy bought a pizza box into the cinema and put it on the floor, but didn't eat it? Are you people serious? And it goes on. Kids giggling, someones phone ringing.
Hollywood, your distribution model and the model of cinemas in general, suck. Do you seriously wonder why people pirate and download first release films which are only on at cinemas? It's because CINEMAS SUCK. If I've got a perfectly good large screen TV and possibly even surround sound, why should I be forced to suffer in going to the Cinema? Oh yes, for the "atmosphere". Well, the atmosphere sucked on saturday night, and this was at Rivoli Cinemas Camberwell. I'd imagine your average suburban megaplex would have been even worse. I'm kind of surprised someone didn't start smoking.
Now I would happily pay a reasonable amount to download a High Definition version of a first release film. I'm not talking about films released on DVD or Blu-Ray... I'm talking about a film that's just been released, that's on at the cinema. I'd do it through itunes or Bigpond Movies or whatever, I don't care where I get it from.
And I'd expect to save a fair amount too. After all, at the cinema I'm paying all the overheads, for the faux art deco styling, to have acne covered kids greet me with disdain, and to be offered the chance to buy incredibly expensive chocolates.
By getting rid of all those overheads, I'd imagine by just purchasing content I'd have to be saving them a bunch of money. However, I know they are still greedy money sucking vampires. So say I paid $10.99 for a first download movie. That's $10.99 they're going to get that they otherwise wouldn't, because otherwise like many others I'll probably just wait for the first DVD quality torrent that became available.
And more than likely I'd watch more films as well. There are lots of arthouse/independent type films that I don't bother going to see because of limited opportunity at cinemas. I'd happily pay to download and watch them as well, and hopefully much of that would go directly to the film makers.
And being shackled with delays just because of where we live on the planet is indescribeably annoying. It doesn't seem to happen so much these days, but particularly with TV shows I like to get online and talk about my favourite shows with others. But I can't do that, not legally, if the show hasn't aired here yet. I don't see why I need to wait to watch something just because TV stations etc are still stuck in the past, no matter how modern and up to date they pretend to be.
It's possible for us to have whatever content we want right now, without waiting, without having to leave our couches. Hollywood, we WANT to give you money. We WANT to consume your content. But you persist with these archaic way of doing things, and then you wonder why people seek other means of watching things. In the majority of cases they aren't thieves or criminals. They just want what technology can give them, without waiting. Why must you be so stupid? Why won't you just let us have it???