Friday, February 10, 2006

Theatres vs DVD

Lots of talk lately about the fast turnaround from theatre to DVD releases, and if that is going to kill the theatres. Makes sense to me. It’s certainly not helping the theatres.

Take for instance the movie Walk the Line. Now there is a movie I really want to see. However, due to various reasons, I didn’t make it out during its initial run (though it’s still playing now thanks to the Oscar noms). As more time passed, the less I felt like going to the theatre, because I knew the DVD release had to be coming along. And sure enough, a 2 disc collectors edition will be hitting stores February 28. Even over the last two weeks, I was mulling over possibly going to see it, but now that I’ve heard a confirmed date, I’ll just wait. The thing is, that’s only about 3 months between theatre and DVD. Of course this title is different because of the Oscars.

However, most movies are being fast tracked at this rate, and it certainly takes away the urge to go to the theatre. I think in their efforts to maximize DVD profits, they’re skewering themselves on the box office take. I’d much rather watch a movie in the comfort of my own home, even on my 17 inch computer screen than go to the theatres and deal with the people and the costs. Of course, I like to avoid people at all costs, but that’s another topic for another day (to quote Linus: “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.”) I went and saw Sin City on opening night, and that was the first and last time I will ever do that…

Back in 2000 when the first X-Men movie came out, I went and saw it twice and had to wait 6 or 7 months before it came to the home video market. Nowadays, unless it’s a movie I’m really, really pumped about seeing (Sin City, Serenity, Brick, X3, etc), I don’t feel a rush to get to the theatre. Last summer I missed Batman Begins in theatres, though it was due to health issues and stress, but even then I didn’t feel I was really missing out because I knew I’d just wait for the DVD.

As Hollywood’s originality well keeps running drier, there are less and less movies I feel like going to the theatre to see. More often than not, I hear of a movie that interests me, watch the trailer, opening day comes, and I’m still thinking “rental.” Unless I can talk someone into going with (and then it’s not about the movie, it’s about spending time with someone I actually like), I much prefer watching movies at home. And if I had a 50 inch LCD widescreen TV and surround sound system, it’d be even harder to get me to a theatre with their $12 popcorn, sticky floors, and people blocking the screen, kicking your seat, and making you move as they disrupt the aisle for the umpteenth time........but I digress. I'll have to elucidate on that great Linus quote in another post...

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