Wednesday, June 29, 2005

You'll Like It...Guaranteed!

It looks like AMC is offering customers who watch Cinderella Man their money back if they don't like it, as illustrated by this CNN article.

I must confess, the failure of this film boggles my mind--although the movie had a terrible marketing campaign. The first trailers were very slow-paced, and the release date--June 3, is not where you usually have a solid Oscar contender. When I first saw the trailers, I thought it was going to be November or December. I think the story's feel would have sold better during the holidays, but it's clear that Universal wanted to back King Kong for their major holiday release (this is somewhat out of necessity, also, since that movie just got finished filming in April). They could have shot for Thanskgiving, but with no real summer blockbuster on their schedule, they went for it. This is all speculation on my part, but I'm sure Universal looked at their summer slate and said, "Our biggest movie is Land of the Dead? Let's open that Russell Crowe flick in June."


At 6/29/2005 12:54:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

That's interesting. It makes AMC look great to their customers. It makes AMC look great to Universal. And...even if there are jerk customers who come out to say "I hated it" just so they can get their money back (and there will be these customers...for sure) well, we've already discussed at length on this blog that Universial is the one losing the $8 and not AMC. AMC just passes that ticket money on to the studio anyway, so why should they care if they have to refund a ticket?

Nice little strategy. Could be a foreshadowing of studios and exhibitors teaming up more and more. They're going to have to work together and share profits (and losses) more if the system is going to last. Who's to say Universal isn't paying AMC in some fashion (dollars...or better bookings on Universal films) for doing this?

At 6/29/2005 01:20:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Yeah, and to further your comment about the ticket money, AMC gets whatever unrefunded concession money out of it, too. That makes it a complete win-win.

And it would make sense that there's some sort of agreement between AMC and Universal here--especially considering that AMC is going to merge with Loews and be a close 2nd to Regal in screens.

At 6/29/2005 01:39:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

Just seems strange that they'd pick that movie, in the history of the last ten years of movies....that they'd pick Cinderella Man to be the one movie good enough to finally start offering money-back guarantees. Know what I mean?

I mean, I saw it...and it's fantastic. But it's just a little too coincidental that the film's sagging so badly at the box office. I'm guessing Universal made the pitch to AMC, but it could have been the other way around. But I'm sure there's some sort of arrangement going on there.

And how will the other studios react?

At 6/29/2005 03:00:00 PM, Blogger MaraJade said...

Even with that, I don't think I'd have the guts to demand my money back for anything. I figure, if you sit through it you pay for it.

Once LOTR:Fellowship froze during the last five minutes in theaters. They fixed it within a couple minutes, but people were outraged, demanding money back, saying we should get free food, all this stuff. It was so dumb.

Of course, these are the same people who were dumb enough that I actually heard this:
::walking out of the theater with three girls behind me::
one: I can't believe that's how it ended!
two: Yea, I know. We should totally get our money back.
three: That ws so dumb. How do we ever know if Frodo destroyed the ring??

They didn't know it was a TRILOGY. They probably didn't know they were books either. The decline of society was in that show with me, honestly.

At 6/29/2005 03:23:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Customers often overcompensate and demand far more than the damage when they have been "wronged." You can bet when something happens to a movie, those customers will claim to have missed "15 minutes," when in actuality, in any technical glitch, the actual time is close to a minute or less. So they want their money back, and free food, and a pass too.

I once got a demand from people who had NOT bought a ticket. When the live-action 101 DALMATIANS came out, Disney had a huge weekend at the box office--they had even enforced their own showtimes on theatres, and one was a 6PM show. Theatres (mostly individual box office employees) have a hard time in some cases of figuring out what to charge for that 6PM show (I don't think it's that confusing anymore, however) since that is the cutoff for the matinee price. Disney figured that they could have had some unbelievably colossal weekend had theatres charged the correct adult/child price at the time, and to eliminate the confusion, they changed the 6PM time to 7PM for the next weekend. Well, you've got people who read the Sunday papers thinking that those times are good through time immemorial--coming in on a Friday (that's 5 days later) expecting the 6PM time to still be there. They ranted and raved, they wanted passes, they never understood one damn thing I told them.

They didn't see that they were the ONLY people who were there to watch the movie at 6PM. Of course, one other person comes up to box office at the time, and they take that as proof that we're wrong--but that person simply said, "OK," and left.

They also didn't understand that had they picked up a Friday paper, the confusion would be over. They told me they'd never come back to the theatre again. I'm like, "It's your prerogative." I get paid the same no matter what.

At 6/29/2005 09:31:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I don't know if you guys remember this, but MGM, or whoever the studio was had a deal like this for their remake of "Miracle on 34th Street." The studio had an adress that you could send your ticket back to if you didn't like the movie and they would send you your money back. That seemed like the stupidest thing to me. Because I'm looking at it as this is not a very good movie in their opinions if this is their campaign. So why go see it and then have to go through the hassle of sending your ticket back and having to wait forever to get your money back. And guess what, the movie was a bomb.

This really has nothing to do with "Cinderella Man," which I love. But it just made me think of that.

At 6/30/2005 07:48:00 AM, Blogger MaraJade said...

This is slightly off topic, but on the subject of film control and such I have to say that I�m a little annoyed this morning.

The 501st (Star Wars costume group) had a great event planned in August that I could have actually made it to. The town of Worcester was doing �movies in the park� at this great huge park they have there. They were going to show all three of the OT and have the 501st there to act as �security� and entertain the people.

I guess 20th century fox put out an order that this summer no one is allowed to play those movies except for them. So the event is pretty much off now. It�s not like they ever cared before, but suddenly because of all the hype they have to be like that.
Sorry, that�s my only rant for the day. Promise.


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