Monday, March 29, 2010

This Isn't Going To Work

Let's look at something from another angle.

In a parallel universe, let's say that the film industry was undergoing some changes. For years, every movie at the theater was priced the same, no matter if it cost $100,000,000 or $50,000 to make. It was difficult for an indie film to even get distribution into theaters.

Then, a new distribution method was invented. Instead of a few movies available only at specific times, with all of these movies costing the same to go see, there were suddenly hundreds of movies to choose from when you went to a theater. Every seat had headphones, and every screen could show twenty different movies at the same time (parallax 3D tech, warped into the future), so where you sat in the theater determined which movie you'd see.

The pricing structure was suddenly different, too. All movies used to cost $8, but now, the indie movies cost less to see--$5 or $2 or even free.

The big movie studios tended to only have a few different plots, because the big studios were all basically making the same movies, but the indies had hundreds, even thousands, of variations.

The big studios started making less money, because the indie movies were fun and offered a much better value than the films the studios made. They claimed, though, that independent films and their pricing and content had nothing to do with them losing money. They were losing money because so many people were sneaking into theaters and watching their movies for free. That was why their movies cost what they did--if people stopped sneaking in, they said, movies would be much cheaper.

The studios decided to take charge of the situation. They actually raised the price to go see their movies, and they also added special content that you couldn't see unless you paid extra. For the base price, you'd get to see the main story of the movie, but you'd miss out on all kinds of sidestories that made the movie more vivid.

They also made movies shorter. Now, movies lasted barely half as long as they did five years ago. That didn't make them any less expensive to make--in fact, the studios said, it was more expensive to make a movie than ever. So they were going to release fewer movies, and they were only going to make sequels.

They also announced that special "extended short" versions of the movies were going to be released, which would cost about 25% of what the full movie would cost. When the full movie was released later, though, you still had to pay full price.

The studios also announced that they had a surefire way to stop people from sneaking into the theater. They added plastic slots to the seat armrests, and all customers were required to slide their ticket into the slot. During the movie, special ushers would walk up and down the aisles every few minutes, making sure that everyone had a ticket.

The ushers weren't always available, though, and if they weren't able to check the tickets, a fire alarm would sound and everyone would have to evacuate the theater until the ushers returned.

Everyone thought this would make the studio movies cheaper to go see, but they didn't. The ushers had to be paid, and in some cases, ticket prices even went up.

Does anyone think this is going to work?

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