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Low Cost Cinema Through Dynamic Pricing

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the pack-'em-in dept.

Movies 385

cinesprocket writes "EasyJet, the European pioneer of LowCost airline travel has broadened its horizon into the entertainment field. easyCinema is to open tomorrow in Milton Keynes, England, offering cinema-goers cheap rate tickets as low as 20 pence (33 cents) using the same formula that made their airline company revolutionise the industry in Europe. However, according to the the BBC, easyCinema is being given the bird by Hollywood who will not allow it to show it's high cost movies for a low price for fear that it will create a domino effect in the future, like the airline industry has felt (in Europe). Given that easyCinema is willing to pay the movie producers the same price as the other multiplexes, it shouldn't matter what price they sell on the tickets at for we poor folk? Their success depends upon showing the big films and their lawyers are reported to be already mounting a case. Given that the case will be heard in England, where the MPAA have less of a hold on the government, it will be interesting whether they can bring the behemoth to its knees."

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385 comments

Based on Slashdot profiling (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029443)

Tickets to the Matrix 2 would've cost $5,402,302.49 each.

Re:Based on Slashdot profiling (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029623)

faggot! cockeater! homobear!

how about... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029448)

low cost fucking through dynamic dildoing?

good website (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029451)

you can find out more info about the american/european differences here [geocities.com]

It's reasonably up to date.

Trs gai (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029453)

Macintosh, feel the word sliding over your lips. Do you feel the rhythm, sure you do. It's definitely gay.

Safari, feel the word sliding over your lips. Do you feel the rhythm, sure you do. It's definitely gay.

IPod, feel the word sliding over your lips. Do you feel the rhythm, sure you do. It's definitely gay.

Gay, feel the word sliding over your lips. Do you feel the rhythm, sure you do. It's definitely Apple.

Wait, are you saying apple is gay? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029481)

*Phew*, good thing I bought a Thinkpad with twice the performance and half the price of a gay iBook.

Re:Trs gai (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029495)

CmdrTaco's cock, feel it sliding over your lips. Do you feel the rhythm, sure you do. He's definitely gay.

Cowboy Kneel's cock, feel it sliding over your sphinter. Do you feel the rhythm, sure you do. He's definitely gay.

Hemos's cock, feel it sliding over your man-tits. Do you feel the rhythm, sure you do. He's definitely gay.

Re:Trs gai (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029525)

Michael's lips, feel them sliding over your man meat. Do you feel the rhythm, sure you do. He's definitely gay.

Re:Trs gai (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029591)

Your nutsack, feel it slapping against pudge's ass as you violate his poop-chute. Do you feel the rhythm, sure you do. You're definitely gay.

Re:Trs gai (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029688)

This fart, feel it ripple out of your ass. Do you feel the rhythm, sure you do. It fucking stinks.

This site, see the crapflood posts. Do you see the lameness, sure you do. I fucked your mom.

This thread, see it scroll down the screen. Do you see the gayness, sure you do. Go fuck your uncle.

Wha lawyers? (4, Interesting)

Have Blue (616) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029456)

Courts? Why are there courts involved? Is easyCinema trying to force the MPAA to sign a contract? Is the MPAA trying to get easyCinema shut down even though they aren't doing business with each other?

Re:Wha lawyers? (1)

orange_6 (320700) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029533)

Exactly. If a distributor doesn't want a cinema to show the movie, they don't have to let them, they do own it.

If the copyright owner has a dispute with it, as opposed to the distributor, would that make a difference?

Later
Josh

Re:Wha lawyers? (5, Insightful)

Throatwarbler Mangro (584565) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029549)

Yes, easyCinema, in their way, is trying to force the MPAA into signing a contract.

If, like most /. readers, you follow[ed] the myriad Microsoft court cases (or browse practically half of the YRO section) you'll remember that there are some things that ordinary companies can do that monopolies can't.

Normally a company can decide who it wants to do business with. That's just common sense, not to mention an important facet of the free market. A monopoly, on the other hand, by virtue of being the [near] sole provider of a resource cannot be allowed that luxury. To make a borderline facile analogy: Suppose a pharmaceutical company developed a cure for cancer, and cornered the market on same. Also assume that have, for our hypothetical purposes, a near-infinite supply of same. Would we allow that company to refuse the cure to certain people, even if they were willing to pay the specified price? Obviously, this isn't an exact analog to the situation (this situation would probably be brought under charges of discrimination, rather than monopolism), but it servers the purpose.

Is the MPAA a monopoly? While I'm sure a large percentage of Slashdotters have a very strong opinion on that subject, ulitmately it remains for the courts to decide.

Re:Wha lawyers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029628)

You are right that analogy sucks, try again.

Off Topic Grammar (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029686)

...the myriad Microsoft court cases...

Thank you! I swear to god that's the first time I've seen or heard "myriad" used correctly in months. This week I even saw it misued on the back cover of a book.

Hey, everyone has an irrational pet peeve.

You've seen it as a noun, perhaps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029715)

This is legal grammer.

You could just as easily say the "myriad of Microsoft court cases" as you could "the myriad Microsoft court cases," though the latter case denotes variety while the former denotes a large quantity.

Look it up. [reference.com]

Re:You've seen it as a noun, perhaps? (2, Funny)

MyHair (589485) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029732)

I stand corrected. Now I feel stupid.

Where's the "delete post" button?

Oh well, I'm used to feeling stupid. At least I'm not the only one.

From your link:
Usage Note: Throughout most of its history in English myriad was used as a noun, as in a myriad of men. In the 19th century it began to be used in poetry as an adjective, as in myriad men. Both usages in English are acceptable, as in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Myriad myriads of lives." This poetic, adjectival use became so well entrenched generally that many people came to consider it as the only correct use. In fact, both uses in English are parallel with those of the original ancient Greek.

Re:Wha lawyers? (5, Insightful)

citog (206365) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029635)

The courts are involved because the film distributors are creating a monopoly that keeps ticket prices artifically high. You could probably accuse the cinemas of operating a cartel also. easyCinema are prepared to pay the going rate to screen the movie but are going to allow the ticket price to be determined by market forces. However they are prevented from doing so because a monopoly is profiting from the exclusion of market forces. Therefore this is a case for the courts (in the UK and other EU countries) because consumers are impacted.

MPAA (4, Interesting)

Soulfarmer (607565) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029457)

should be US-only problem. If something, in this case rights to show a movie in a theather, is sold to europe, MPAA should not have ANY say in the matter. As long as both parties of the deal which gives those rights follow the deal.

It makes me angry to even think about any meddling from MPAA part on british, or any european film avenue for that matter.

Re:MPAA (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029488)

First, the MPAA has a subdivision or something called the MPA, which handles stuff outside the US. Second, the movie studios can sell to whomever they want. It's their movies (or rather, their members movies). I don't quite understand their logic here, but "they reserve the right to refuse service to anyone".

Re:MPAA (2, Interesting)

malfunct (120790) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029648)

Except (as it has been stated before) in the case that they are a monopoly in which case as the sole provider of the service they have less choice of who they sell to so long as those people are willing to pay the same price as everyone else purchasing the product.

Re:MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029553)

MPAA should be US-only problem.


When the easy group last [boycott-riaa.com] did something the content industry disliked, they got slapped down - not by RIAA, but by The BPI [bpi.co.uk] (The British Phonographic Industry). Presumably at RIAA's behest.


I'm sure there's an MPAA equivilant in the UK, and I'm sure Chemical Valenti will just give them a call.


[because they're US only] MPAA should not have ANY say in the matter


I agree. But I suspect they think they've already got the right to go into Europe.


Look at the US content industry's attacks on Australians [zdnet.com.au] and lets not forget DVD Jon [afterdawn.com]

Pot, meet Kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029716)

Not that I can argue or would even try to defend the US governments 'elastic' concepts of borders, but the Aussie government really doesn't to much help in squelching fair use or personal freedoms these days.

Understandable. (3, Insightful)

m_chan (95943) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029458)

The money for the release locations is in concessions. Get the body in the door, then make your dime. Ticket price is not the principle motivating factor in the business model of most theaters, regardless of whether they are first-run mega-plexes or indie houses. SUre enough tickets are revenue, but that's not your profit center when you run a theater.

Re:Understandable. (4, Informative)

SchnauzerGuy (647948) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029493)

RTFA...
"But that's not the only radical idea behind this venture. At Easycinema there is no popcorn stand, hot dog stall or pick 'n' mix concession. In fact, there is not even a box office."
...
"The sign above the old pick 'n' mix concession remains, but the fittings have been stripped out and it will stay empty. We don't aspire to be professional caterers, we aspire to show films people want to see James Rothnie, Easygroup The same goes for the old refreshments counter. If customers want popcorn at Easycinema they will have to bring their own, says Mr Rothnie. "When you look at the cost of serving popcorn it's actually quite expensive - you have to buy it, cook it, employ people to sell it, get a health and safety person to check it's at the right temperature. "Then you have to employ someone to clean it up after the show. We don't aspire to be professional caterers, we aspire to show films people want to see." "

Re:Understandable. (5, Informative)

m_chan (95943) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029584)

Whether or not the parent post gave complete credence to their business plan doesn't matter. Your cut and paste from the fine article does not change the fact that movie theatre profit is generated principally from concessions, and should their model prove successful, others will copy it but won't mind paying the "high cost" of popcorn serving.

It [howstuffworks.com] is [thedesertsun.com] documented [didntialre...smovie.com] concessions are the principle motivator in the venture of showing feature releases. If there is sufficient demand for popcorn when the bodies arrive, it will be understandable when they will sell popcorn.

Re:Understandable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029693)

You get +5 informative for a four letter cliche?

Re:Understandable. (3, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029511)

Ticket price is not the principle motivating factor in the business model of most theaters

I disagree. I was visiting in Texas when X-men came out. Saw it in a first run, nice theater in the Dallas area. Matinee tickets were 2 bucks for an adult, Saturday evening tickets were $4. Back here in North Carolina the same tickets were $5.75 for the matinee show and over $8 for the evening show. Clearly the local theater was charging that to make extra profits, and their concession prices are so high that most people avoid them. Other local theaters (different chains) charge similar prices.

Re:Understandable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029554)

Just because they charged more at night, it does not mean that it was "clearly" profitable. It just means that more revenue was generated from the night-time ticket sale.

Re:Understandable. (5, Informative)

bmcphall (560577) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029518)

If you go to their site, it proclaims that there is "NO rip-off popcorn". They encourage to bring your own, just do not make a mess.

They make their money by cutting the overhead:

"The efficiency of easyCinema starts at the box office which we have quite simply removed. Seats are booked online or by phone (soon to be available on a premium rate line), and the earlier you book the less you pay."
They also try to get a larger quantity of people:
"On average across the whole cinema industry and across all showings the average occupancy of cinemas is currently only 20%. Four fifths of cinema seats are going empty and yet cinemas continue to charge high prices. What we are doing at easyCinema is lowering the price in order to get more customers. We will make money as a business and more members of the public will get to see more films more often."
It crazy enough it just might work.

RTFA! (1)

cheshiremackat (618044) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029562)

RTFA!!!

There are NO Concessions at this cinema... you want popcorn, you bring your own...

This (IMHO) is a pretty dumb idea (concessions)... the Margins on popcorn and soft drinks are on the order of thousands of percent... one of the reasons easyCinema isn;t selling popcorn is the cost of cleaning it up, BUT if people bring their own, they still will have to.

This raises a few other questions... I am unsure how this venture will make any money, firstly concessions and adverts before the movie are huge profit centres for cinemas, cutting them out will certainly hurt business. Also for the *best* movies out there (Matrix, LOTR, et al.) the studio gets almost 100% of the box office revenue for the first few weeks, and then a declining percent as the movie continues... easyCinema would have to go 2-3 weeks with no revenue from the Matrix, just to show it, let alone cover the fixed costs (lighting, heat, staff)...

HOWEVER... they will most likely win their suit to get to play the movies, as long as they agree to pay what the *going rate* is... there is a company (galaxy cinemas) that does something similar... they pay the *going rate* for a film, then charge one price to get in... no senior discount, no matinee discout, no child prices... everyone pays the same price, BUT the kicker is that the price is 1/2 of the competing adult price at Loews...

Also, since a lack of staff seems to be a significant part of their (easyCinema) business strategy, what is stopping me and my pals from simply hopping the gate? If they are going to have an usher(?) or two checking tickets, how different is this from a traditional cinema? No cost savings there...

_CMK

Re:RTFA! (1)

citog (206365) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029608)

Take your own advice - RTFA. James Rothnie states that the cost of serving popcorn is expensive. Unless you know something he doesn't about f&b then don't write it off as a "pretty dumb idea". A crucial part of their business model is to minimise their overheads. By not employing people to sell low return products they are reducing staffing costs. This saving is significant. Yes, they still pay for cleaners but they probably require fewer of these. As for you and your mates hopping the gate, contract security guards will probably handle that problem. They are cheaper than having dedicated ushers and quite effective.

Re:Understandable. (1)

methangel (191461) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029593)

So the money is made in concession sales? I still have my extra large cup from January. Best 3.75 spent evar. My wife just makes sure she brings her "concession" purse. Free refills!

muslims are evil! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029459)

Muslims are evil arogant fucks! Do not trust them! Do not befriend them! They will stab you in the back!! They are EVIL! Beware!

MPAA shouldn't have much hold (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029460)

Since it's the Motion Picture Association of America.

Re:MPAA shouldn't have much hold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029514)

Posted at the same time as the other question, which means it was posted before it was answered.

Re:MPAA shouldn't have much hold (1)

yintercept (517362) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029550)

The MPAA should still have control over the movies produced in America, and should be concerned with changes that might affect international distribution policies.

It seems to me that negotiating distribution rights is different than simply selling a product. Ultimately, the producers are selling the right to see the movie through the theatres. With such distribution rights, you would want to avoid creating a situation where distrubutors undermine either your organization or your other distributors.

The hesitancy of producers in accepting a new distribution mechanism seems quite prudent to me.

The only realy novel thing about this movie theatre is that they have fewer employees per movie going patron.

Of course, Garb's Arbitrarium [descmath.com] does this joker one up, since they have an infinite number of seats.

Re:MPAA shouldn't have much hold (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029592)

Oh you mean they are engaging in price fixing, last I checked that is illegal.

33 cents-there has to be a catch (1)

j_dot_bomb (560211) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029464)

How can they pay holywoods fees which are a large percentage of typical ticket fees ? Even food sales at crazay prices probably wont make that up.

Re:33 cents-there has to be a catch (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029494)

Think about setting up a small shopping mall with fast food, film related gadgets and toys, and make money on those... the movie could just be a good magnet to get customers into the store.

Re:33 cents-there has to be a catch (5, Informative)

Chemical (49694) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029508)

Read about them on their website. The idea is no frills. No food, (but they let you bring your own) and as few employees as possible. They don't even have a box office or ticket checkers. You print out a barcode on from internet and have it scanned to unlock a turnstile. Their whole idea is minimal overhead and large volume (cheaper prices mean more attendees). It might work. It seems to have worked in the airline industry (which I find amazing, as an airline is uber-expensive to operate)

Airlines (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029720)

(which I find amazing, as an airline is uber-expensive to operate)

They make their money on peanut sales.

Oh, wait...

and (3, Insightful)

ChrisMG999 (308536) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029468)

If theatres in the States were willing to do this (Highly Unlikely), I would be much more willing to go see movies in the theatre rather than downloading them.

Re:and (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029515)

If theatres in the States were willing to do this (Highly Unlikely), I would be much more willing to go see movies in the theatre rather than downloading them.

And at the same time maybe guy key-chains, gadgets, posters, sound-tracks, caps, t-shirts, etc., movie related stuff. And, maybe guy fast food thingies.

The end result being that you might spend $40 or so in a movie theater, once you actually go there (which may only cost you 50 cents).

Re:and (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029673)

>

That theoretical end result will never happen. It's typical slippery slope, 1. 2.??? 3. profit bullshit. Why don't you just admit you'd rather download the movie because you're cheap and don't want to leave the house. You won't spend $40 on crap at the theatre-- you're so fucking cheap you won't even pay 6 bucks for a matinee.

Walter Becker and Donald Fagen:Reloaded (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029470)

Yep. Still gay.

Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029490)

Looks like our little troll has been rummaging through daddy's tapes. (Probably looking for porn)
Listen kiddo, Slashdot is full of no-older-than-35-year-old geeks. They: 1) Don't know who you're talking about and 2) Have no taste in music anyways.
Come back when your balls have dropped so you can troll with the big boys.

MOD PARENT DOWN: -1, Blasphemous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029528)

How dare you

pricing (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029474)

I don't know about Europe, but in the US, the movie theatre pricing is royally fucked up.

First week, distributor gets 90% of the ticket sales, theatre gets 10%

Second week, distributor gets 80% of the ticket sales, theatre gets 20%

etc.

The only way a theatre can make money is if the movie is so popular people want to see it 2 months later (star wars (original one!)), or by selling overpriced popcorn.

Re:pricing (4, Informative)

asparagus (29121) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029560)

You forgot the 'nut', or the weekly minimum theatre take. The numbers vary from film to film, but in a typical eight week run the split between exhibition/distribution is closer to 50/50. Or, in other words, the theatre ends up with $5 of that ten dollar ticket, no matter what they're telling you about the evils of the MPAA. European numbers are similar.

Re:pricing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029572)

where i live, most movies only show for 2-4 weeks though.

Grief stricken developer: What Killed FreeBSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029477)

The End of FreeBSD

[ed. note: in the following text, former FreeBSD developer Mike Smith gives his reasons for abandoning FreeBSD]

When I stood for election to the FreeBSD core team nearly two years ago, many of you will recall that it was after a long series of debates during which I maintained that too much organisation, too many rules and too much formality would be a bad thing for the project.

Today, as I read the latest discussions on the future of the FreeBSD project, I see the same problem; a few new faces and many of the old going over the same tired arguments and suggesting variations on the same worthless schemes. Frankly I'm sick of it.

FreeBSD used to be fun. It used to be about doing things the right way. It used to be something that you could sink your teeth into when the mundane chores of programming for a living got you down. It was something cool and exciting; a way to spend your spare time on an endeavour you loved that was at the same time wholesome and worthwhile.

It's not anymore. It's about bylaws and committees and reports and milestones, telling others what to do and doing what you're told. It's about who can rant the longest or shout the loudest or mislead the most people into a bloc in order to legitimise doing what they think is best. Individuals notwithstanding, the project as a whole has lost track of where it's going, and has instead become obsessed with process and mechanics.

So I'm leaving core. I don't want to feel like I should be "doing something" about a project that has lost interest in having something done for it. I don't have the energy to fight what has clearly become a losing battle; I have a life to live and a job to keep, and I won't achieve any of the goals I personally consider worthwhile if I remain obligated to care for the project.

Discussion

I'm sure that I've offended some people already; I'm sure that by the time I'm done here, I'll have offended more. If you feel a need to play to the crowd in your replies rather than make a sincere effort to address the problems I'm discussing here, please do us the courtesy of playing your politics openly.

From a technical perspective, the project faces a set of challenges that significantly outstrips our ability to deliver. Some of the resources that we need to address these challenges are tied up in the fruitless metadiscussions that have raged since we made the mistake of electing officers. Others have left in disgust, or been driven out by the culture of abuse and distraction that has grown up since then. More may well remain available to recruitment, but while the project is busy infighting our chances for successful outreach are sorely diminished.

There's no simple solution to this. For the project to move forward, one or the other of the warring philosophies must win out; either the project returns to its laid-back roots and gets on with the work, or it transforms into a super-organised engineering project and executes a brilliant plan to deliver what, ultimately, we all know we want.

Whatever path is chosen, whatever balance is struck, the choosing and the striking are the important parts. The current indecision and endless conflict are incompatible with any sort of progress.

Trying to dissect the above is far beyond the scope of any parting shot, no matter how distended. All I can really ask of you all is to let go of the minutiae for a moment and take a look at the big picture. What is the ultimate goal here? How can we get there with as little overhead as possible? How would you like to be treated by your fellow travellers?

Shouts

To the Slashdot "BSD is dying" crowd - big deal. Death is part of the cycle; take a look at your soft, pallid bodies and consider that right this very moment, parts of you are dying. See? It's not so bad.

To the bulk of the FreeBSD committerbase and the developer community at large - keep your eyes on the real goals. It's when you get distracted by the politickers that they sideline you. The tireless work that you perform keeping the system clean and building is what provides the platform for the obsessives and the prima donnas to have their moments in the sun. In the end, we need you all; in order to go forwards we must first avoid going backwards.

To the paranoid conspiracy theorists - yes, I work for Apple too. No, my resignation wasn't on Steve's direct orders, or in any way related to work I'm doing, may do, may not do, or indeed what was in the tea I had at lunchtime today. It's about real problems that the project faces, real problems that the project has brought upon itself. You can't escape them by inventing excuses about outside influence, the problem stems from within.

To the politically obsessed - give it a break, if you can. No, the project isn't a lemonade stand anymore, but it's not a world-spanning corporate juggernaut either and some of the more grandiose visions going around are in need of a solid dose of reality. Keep it simple, stupid.

To the grandstanders, the prima donnas, and anyone that thinks that they can hold the project to ransom for their own agenda - give it a break, if you can. When the current core were elected, we took a conscious stand against vigorous sanctions, and some of you have exploited that. A new core is going to have to decide whether to repeat this mistake or get tough. I hope they learn from our errors.

Future

I started work on FreeBSD because it was fun. If I'm going to continue, it has to be fun again. There are things I still feel obligated to do, and with any luck I'll find the time to meet those obligations.

However I don't feel an obligation to get involved in the political mess the project is in right now. I tried, I burnt out. I don't feel that my efforts were worthwhile. So I won't be standing for election, I won't be shouting from the sidelines, and I probably won't vote in the next round of ballots.

You could say I'm packing up my toys. I'm not going home just yet, but I'm not going to play unless you can work out how to make the project somewhere fun to be again.

= Mike

--

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore Roosevelt

just to point out (2, Informative)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029479)

distributors make money out of box office, cinemas barely keep themselves staffed and the doors unlocked on the ticket margins they recieve. Thats why coke and popcorn are so expensive and only come in two sizes: Xtra Large and INSANE!

Re:just to point out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029491)

It appears that to me that the sizes start out extremely small, then skip the middle, and shoot up into your insane range with insane price.

Just imagine... (3, Interesting)

Code-Ex (655722) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029485)

- Frequent viewer miles - Standby viewings - Movie ticket scalping - Last minute rushes for extremely low prices - Progressive/preferential seating and all those other "niceties" ^_^

Re:Just imagine... (5, Interesting)

cheshiremackat (618044) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029578)

You know what... there is a cinema in Toronto that offers *First Class* stlye services like on an airline... the tickets are 50% more, BUT you get a seat in a smaller theater, with Lay-Z-Boy type seats, free coat check (a nicety for Winter in Toronto), and a cinema Peon to fetch your popcorn and water (still have to pay though)...

So although it costs more, and I feel like a snob going, it actually becomes more reasonable everytime I see a movie at the *regular* (coach?) seating... Before the Matrix was 30 minutes of commercials, 5 (!?!) movie previews (1 good 4 crap), and waiting for the movie to start (before the lights dimm) there were slideshow ads on the screen...

Paying first class is certainly worthwhile, just to avoid all the advertisements!

_CMK

Bring your own popcorn?! (0)

dev_alac (536560) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029487)

If customers want popcorn at Easycinema they will have to bring their own, says Mr Rothnie.

Hells yeah! Instead of paying out the nose for chemical goop, you can bring your own $0.30 bag and your own $0.30 bottle of soda. Oh wait... I guess we do that already anyways...

Excuse me... (1, Insightful)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029489)

Where is the MPAA or the MPA (international version) mentioned in the BBC article? Or Hollywood for that matter?

Easycinema says it is being denied the rights to screen the blockbusters because film distributors are opposed to the company's radical pricing policy.

In short, they don't want to see their big-budget releases being sold for a song.


It's probably a safe assumption that the distributors are in the UK. Nice try at pushing buttons though...it did get your article posted. Next time throw in RIAA and Microsoft for real fun!

You also wrote, "...and their lawyers are reported to be already mounting a case." Really? Where was this reported? Reported by whom? Admit it...you made that part up.

Re:Excuse me... (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029498)

like two lines down
Easycinema has a team of lawyers working on the case but it could be a long and expensive battle for Mr Haji-Ioannou, who will judge the cinema a success if he sells one million tickets in the first year at an average price of £1.50.

Hollywood == volume (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029523)

Where is the MPAA or the MPA (international version) mentioned in the BBC article? Or Hollywood for that matter?

How many movies first published by Hollywood studios make it to the UK versus movies first published by British studios? As far as I know, Hollywood is second only to Bollywood (India's movie industry) in movie output.

Re:Excuse me (distribution in the uk) (1)

mikeb (6025) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029696)

Though I'm not an expert on the film business I recollect just a few months back seeing a section on 'The Money Program' on BBC about the film distribution industry in Britain.

From what I remember one US-based distributor (Vista? or a name something like that) controls something like 80% of film distribution in Europe. Even the films that are locally financed in the UK have to use them for distribution as they have a stanglehold on the cinemas.

That will be why Easy are talking about legal action - it IS effectively a monopoly on supply.

Dominos are cool (3, Insightful)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029497)

I sincerely hope that easyCinema appears, enjoys a lot of success, and causes exactly the domino effect that the MPAA fears. I want to see movie prices come down, and more importantly, I want to see this change affect the music industry as well. Finally, I hope that such a powerful domino effect causes laws like the DMCA to get taken out of the books.

Ha! (2, Insightful)

Micro$will (592938) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029604)

Yeah, when Bill Gates decides to release the NT source code and license it GNU. Just like the record industry, the movie industry enjoys it's little spot at the top, and it will take a lot more than a few entrepreneurs to make them let go.

The only way to make the MPAA and RIAA listen to customer demands is if there is an all out boycott. No CDs, no singles, no DVDs, no movies, no tapes, no bargain bin, no radio, no downloads, nothing... not one more penny enters their pockets, and not one byte to blame on software piracy. Just like drugs, as long as there is demand, there will be a dealer. Like Nancy said, "Just say NO!"

Re:Dominos are cool (1)

Tancred (3904) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029619)

I think we'll all agree there's tremendous room for price erosion in the music biz since it can be produced and distributed so cheaply. I don't think there's nearly so much fat to trim in movies though. It takes a lot of money to put together a feature film. And the big budget movies seem to be more popular (not always, but there's a correlation). Digital cameras, editing and distribution might help some though.

Trollin', Trollin', Trollin' (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029499)

Don't got much to say, but I'd figure I'd get in a quick troll before I went to bed. It's almost 1:30am here in good ol' EDT.

Well, good night!! See you all tommorrow!!!

Re:Trollin', Trollin', Trollin' (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029561)

Good night, baby. Let your good father stroke his soft, pink cock against your smooth cheeks.

ticket prices/popcorn (2, Interesting)

philipgar (595691) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029501)

what I don't understand is how this company claims to be able to make any profit. The motion picture companies have the right to charge what they want for a movie, after all how else are we going to get 200 million dollar blockbusters? What doesn't make sense is selling tickets this cheap. Sure if you plan on making money off concessions you can get away with it. But their website even said that they encourage people to bring their own sodas and popcorn. They mentioned that most theaters are only 20% full. Makes sense, as most people can't make showings at 2 in the afternoon on a work day. But regardless of how cheap tickets are people still can't make the showings. They talk about making money in the margins, but it doesn't seem logical. If they have to pay a fee to the movie company for each viewer of it, then there's no possible way this makes sense. Who knows, maybe theirs some brittish law that forces motion picture companies to sell tickets in a certain manner. If this is true, and they'd be paying less pre viewer, then I understand why the MPAA or whoever would be angry, and not want them to sell tickets. As the information I see shows though, it just looks like a business model that will follow the dot coms to a massive crash. Philip

Re:ticket prices/popcorn (2, Insightful)

SagSaw (219314) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029611)

It makes plenty of sense. Lets say you have a theater with 100 seats. Lets also assume that a particular screening of a film fills 75 of the 100 seats. Any money you can bring in for the remaining 25 seats increases my profit (or decreases my loss). The trick is you still want to make the people who want to see the movie regardless pay full price. Also, IIRC in some (most?) cases, the licensing is by the size of the venue not the number of attendees. At least that was the case when student government showed films on campus at school.

Re:ticket prices/popcorn (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029620)

ok this place sells tickets based on how close to movie time you are buying it. Yes a ticket purchased a month in advance may cost you $.33 but how much do you think one purchased an hour before the movie costs??

Why not? (5, Interesting)

Viceice (462967) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029507)

As it stands, in some parts of the not so rich world , movie tickets are just about equel that in value.

So what if the lowest possible ticket price is 33 cents? it's just like booking a really cheap flight.. teh cheapest one being the 3 a.m flight which you have to book 6 months adead for.

Why not have it like in a real theather, where the better seats, say smack right in the center, are more expensive then the left most seat in the front row?

You get to advertise cheap and you have the option of paying less for a crappy seat.

Re:Why not? (1)

Kwikymart (90332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029556)

The movie industry relies on first come first serve seating. I think assigned seating would spawn a whole new fad of calculating the end of the 15 minute advertisement and preview spiel so you can well, avoid wasting 15 minutes of your life as a zombie/whore. The MPAA would NOT stand for this either.

Re:Why not? (1)

Repton (60818) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029574)

Huh? Cinemas here generally do assigned seating, and have done for years. We still get the big movies..

Re:Why not? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029598)

You live in New Zealand. Need I say more?

Re:Why not? (1)

Viceice (462967) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029707)

Not where i'm at. We get a ticket with a number on it. but you're free to change seats if you want to when the show starts, and theres space.

Bout time (0)

mlerner (601733) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029536)

Here in Canada the local theater is quite pricey: $10 Canadian for a ticket $10-$20 Canadian for popcorn and a drink Of course I could go to a smaller theater but I don't have a car and they are pretty small.

Correction -- not really connected with easyJet (4, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029539)

This is yet another venture by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the seventh of his easy* ventures [stelios.com]. One of these is easyJet, but he's no longer involved with the management of that company.

I don't understand.... (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029545)

Ok.. man has a vision of creating a profitable enterprise where users pay a small sub $1.00 fee to see a movie, and is willing to pay moolah for big name hollywood films.

This sounds terrific.

the "domino effect" I see is in order for such an enterprise to make a profit, many people will have to go see the movie, which given the cost this still sounds great

sooo... as a result... other theaters might actually have to lower ticket prices to attract more people

What's the big fucking deal?

More people watching the films is good... A strive to lower prices, if the number of people increases enough so profits don't decrease, sounds quite fab to me.

Furthermore, atleast in my little part of america, there is a drastic lack of things sub 21 year olds can do (legaly). Rather then wondering the streets causing trouble, they could catch a film on pocket change. Sure beats the park scene, hang out till the cops chace you away.

If I can catch a film at sub $1.00, then i'm far more likely to actually spend that $1.00 then download the matrix, a film that dispite it's popularity, i'd never pay usd$6.50 -> $7.00. But I'm curious enough to go see it for sub $1.00.

It sounds like this person has the answer to the pre-video release piracy problem.

Re:I don't understand.... (1)

Throatwarbler Mangro (584565) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029567)

The big deal is that the studios, contrary to all evidence and public opinion, aren't necessarily always stupid and short-sighted. At least not in this instance, since it's in their best interest.

The "domino effect" you speak of is the competition of the free market. If a few theaters are drastically cheaper than the others, they will start to attract more business. The other theaters will all have to follow suit to maintain customers. The inevitable price war will whittle margins down to nothing.

What does that have to do with the studios? They sell their films to the theaters at a flat rate. When all the theaters are no longer pulling in the money like they used to, they can band together to demand lower prices. Thus, the studios have to start lowering their prices as well.

Re:I don't understand.... (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029671)

The "domino effect" you speak of is the competition of the free market. If a few theaters are drastically cheaper than the others, they will start to attract more business. The other theaters will all have to follow suit to maintain customers. The inevitable price war will whittle margins down to nothing

So, what you are saying is that studios are anti-free market and are creating an enviroment where artifical price fixing is the practice, and damned anyone who actually has an inovative way of presenting the media to customers breaking the traditional monopoly.

Pardon me if I don't agree with you on the whole.

I see movie piracy and bootleging being a very large thorn in the side of studeos. Why pay $7.00 when you can download freely. Right or wrong, this is becomming more common practice. It's not just Hong Kong anymore, I know localy I can pickup bootleg theater releases in not quite so mainstreem stores at $3.00 a pop.

These days, I don't see alot of movies in the theater. It's a budget thing... for the cost of one ticket, I can have two latte's. If the fee was cut in 1/2, i'd visit the theater more often. If the fee was cut by 1/4... i'd see even more movies. if the fee was cut by 1/8th, well now, i'd cancel my cable telivision subscription and go out and see a fucking movie.

Then there would still be a choice... something kinda subscription based... and the more traditional theater that you can often pickup tickets before the show, get some popcorn, and see a movie.

My logic is very simple... empty seats = lost income. So often are we tied to the belief of lowering prices too much would just be bad cause consumers would come to expect it. I imagine in retail this is why clothing is often destroyed rather then being given away for fear of apearing like you are some bargin basement. Heaven forbid actually lowering prices to actually move stock, that would be silly wouldn't it.

The belief that empty theater seats some how serves a higher purpose is equality silly. If it can be shown that you can create an equal or greater 22x demand for tickets by lowering prices for tickets by 1/22th, isn't it common sence. For the more traditional theater, heaven forbid lower ticket prices would create an increased demand for trivial things like popcorn.

I see prices as low as was 33 cents a film as a great means of actually getting people to see ye old silver screen again, rather then their home TV. I would easily see more then 22 films a year at that price. And hell, if they had a starbucks, i'd get an overpriced latté too!

It's only common sence.

Re:I don't understand.... (1)

bagsc (254194) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029697)

Theory of Constraints teaches us that the bottleneck here is the theatres. They're already full for blockbusters, weekend nights, etc. Quantity sold is a constraint. To maximize profit, you need to maintain quantity of tickets sold at exactly full capacity - lowering prices when you can't fill on Saturday night and raising prices when lines are long.
Supply and demand here is all f'd up. A decrease in price for the tickets means a decrease in revenue for theatres, which means theatres are less valuable (less likely built, more likely closed), and the audience base (limited by profit maximization to seats in theatres) will contract.

Re:I don't understand.... (1)

malfunct (120790) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029689)

So you advocate a system of monopolies and price fixing? You don't sound like the normal /. anti-corporation, free-software drone I'm used to seeing around here.

Free market forces are a good thing, prices should tend toward the marginal cost in the presence of competition.

Re:I don't understand.... (1)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029626)

Furthermore, atleast in my little part of america, there is a drastic lack of things sub(-)21 year olds can do (legaly). Rather then wondering the streets causing trouble, they could catch a film on pocket change.

From the looks of things, they needs ta' worry more 'bout gettin' sum good english books for skools 'round them parts.

Other viable "Easy" markets? (1)

SalTerre (240065) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029546)

After reading their 'about us' section it really does make sense. Most theaters are only at 20% occupancy - if even that - when you adjust for all the time slots. You just automate the hell out of the process, do online ticketing, market, get publicity from Hollywood crybabies, and profit.

Now why the crap is this business technique only working in Europe? Don't we churn out more MBAs and consultants than any other country.

There's got to be American demand for this sort of thing. Professional sports? Collegiate sports? Rental businesses - like rollerblade parks or classic rollerskate rinks? Fitness centers? Museums? I NEED MORE EXAMPLES I'VE GOT TO START ONE OF THESE!!!

The road to the top of the bell curve is paved with mediocrity

Economics Humor (2, Funny)

jonblaze (140753) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029581)

open tomorrow in Milton Keynes, England

Is that next to John Maynard Friedman, England?

ba-dum-dum

Fantastic (1)

Bombula (670389) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029594)

It'll be like when I was a kid again, when movies only cost $1! I hope it catches on in the US too. Then studios will have to go back to counting the number of tickets sold a a meaningful measure of a film's success instead of box office receipts. I've always hated that new movies like Harry Potter and Spiderman are seen as 'more successful' just because they made 10% more money than Star Wars. Star Wars did it when movies cost 1/5 as much!

Scalpers... (1)

Derg (557233) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029652)

am I the only one who sees the myriad of scalping possibilities with this plan? go in, buy a ticket at the cheapest possible price. The movie doesnt start for an hour or whatever, so you leave and come back. That is what I assume they expect for the cheapskates, as they dont have any reason to stay, its no frills.


But if you are enterprising, you just grab a small business card scanner, turn it into a image and duplicate it ... clip and sell for late commers at 10% of the now higher price.. works great for multiple day runs too, come back whenever you want to see it again... whos going to check your ticket? a barcode scanner...

what happens of the person uploads the barcode to the itnernet? Now thousands could get in free.. Imagine the reprocussions for a flick like LOTR:ROTK ... could be tragic... The geek to sheep ratio on that film alone could ruin the film industry.... Heres hoping!! :D

Re:Scalpers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6029691)

Yeah, cause it would just be too hard to have a different barcode on each ticket. A computer small enough to fit into a barcode scanner would have too many problems with anything bigger then a 10 digit numeric barcode.

C'mon, get real.

Re:Scalpers... (1)

zztzed (279) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029710)

Yes, because obviously the theater would never ever notice thousands of people using the same ticket, nor would they do anything to prevent people that from happening like, say, invalidating a ticket after its first use.

Re:Scalpers... (1)

zztzed (279) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029722)

"do anything to prevent that from happening", rather.

Really should proofread/edit my comments better before I post them...

stupid idea (0)

gfody (514448) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029656)

this is a stupid idea.. people could just scalp the cheap early-buy tickets at the door the night of the movie.

also, byop byos?? I avoid edwards cinemas cuz they dont have hot tomales, but no soda? im way too lazy to stop off and get my own soda on the way to the theater i'd rather pay the $2.75 for a medium coke (no I dont care for the 64oz for only a quarter more) im happy to pay the inflated price for snacks and drinks and you should be happy to charge me for it

why do current theaters only fill 20% of the seats? because they're so fucking small! nobody wants to sit in the seat next to some stranger, nobody wants to sit in the seat next to the seat next to some stranger because the seats are so freggin tiny you'll still be sitting too close

same problem the seats are too close together.. nobody wants to sit directly behind or infront of some stranger. and wtf is up with the seats 2 feet away from the screen

and having one line for all the different movies is stupid, you should buy your ticket at the entrance of the theater your movies playing in.. that way you dont get assholes waiting in line then deciding what movie they want to see at the window because they just found out the movie they wanted to see is sold out because the person in front of them wasted all sorts of time trying to decide what movie to see because the movie they wanted to see was sold out

Finally, this is on-topic! (4, Funny)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029679)

1. Sell movie tickets for a loss.
2. ???
3. Profit!!!

Tell me again why people who think the airline industry is a good place to turn a profit have a viable business model here?

the best way to make money (5, Funny)

miyako (632510) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029692)

...would be to not only have cheap tickets

but to sell those super duper jumbo sodas really cheap
...and then charge $20 to use the bathroom

seriously the only time you ever have to pee worse than when you wake up in the morning is right after sitting through a movie in the theatre, or is this just me?

Show films from independent filmmakers (2)

FattMattP (86246) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029700)

They should show some films from independent filmmakers. There are a lot of good films out there and few of them originate in Hollywood.

Price fixing? (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 10 years ago | (#6029706)

If the MPAA won't let him sell tickets at a fair price (his price), wouldn't that be price fixing?

That could make for and interesting news story.
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