The cinema experience is no longer sacred


A new advertisement is shown before each film in AMC theaters. After 30 minutes of movie trailers, a Dolby Cinema promo (yes, the projector is still on) and an advertisement for AMC’s rewards program, Nicole Kidman appears on screen and explains what makes the experience from the AMC cinema so special. “We come to this place for the magic,” she said, entering an empty theater. She talks about the “indescribable feeling we get when the lights go out and we go somewhere we’ve never been.” At the end of the monologue, Kidman announces AMC’s new slogan: “AMC Theaters – we make better movies.” “


But nothing she says relates specifically to AMC. She doesn’t say anything about the AMC A-List, the reclining seats, or the signature cocktails at MacGuffin Bar. Instead, she talks about the dazzling images on the big silver screen and the sound you can feel. Change the tagline and the ad could be used in Cinemark, Regal, or any movie channel anywhere in the world. In fact, in the UK this exact advertisement, including Kidman, is used for Odeon. This is not an advertisement for AMC as much as it is a post-pandemic plea to return to the cinema, any theater, where films feel “perfect and powerful”. AMC would like you to believe that going to the movies is the right way to watch movies and any other kind of movie watching experience is inferior. Oh, but please use the On Demand menu in the AMC app as well, as renting movies on my phone is a perfectly appropriate way to watch them as well, I guess.

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We have been bombarded with these kinds of messages from theaters and filmmakers. Gal Gadot begged fans to see Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters last December – before vaccines were widely available – in order to get the “full movie experience”. Christopher Nolan, who has put tremendous pressure on theaters to reopen during the height of the pandemic to screen Tenet, launched a tirade after learning of Warner Bros.’s existence. plans to air its new releases on HBO Max throughout 2021, saying, “Their decision makes no economic sense and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction.” More recently, Dune director Denis Villeneuve compared watching Dune on TV to driving a speedboat in your tub. When the sequel was confirmed last week, Villeneuve said a theatrical-only release was not negotiable for him.

The Hollywood machine has a century-old investment in movie theaters, and it’s undeniable that the switch to streaming has had and will continue to have a huge economic impact on the industry. I don’t pretend to know the extent of the impact streaming has on the film industry, but I do know as a viewer that it doesn’t concern me at all. I don’t care about the complicated contractual disputes Scarlett Johansson has with Disney. If Christopher Nolan is mad at Warner Bros., it has no bearing on where or how I will watch his movies. They understand that, of course, so they would like to convince us that we don’t really want to watch movies at home. It’s like driving a speedboat in your tub, after all. Come to AMC theaters, we make the movies better.

But does anyone really still believe in it? It was certainly true for a long time. When tube TVs were 24 inches or less and soundbars weren’t there, there was something lost between the big screen and the VHS version of movies. But is today’s theatrical experience really much better than what you can get at home? On the other side, Samsung, Bose, LG, and Roku are selling us 65-inch OLED screens with sound systems that can rock the walls. I invested thousands of dollars in my home theater – am I supposed to use it just for watching The Bachelor?

Before Nicole Kidman explains the magic that happens when the lights go out and we are transported to another world, everyone has to watch a 90 second reminder to act like human beings and demonstrate a fucking respect. Stop talking, put your phone away, don’t mess. Please don’t spoil the movie for everyone around you. Even still, people ignore this. When Kidman says that we are “not just entertained, but kind of reborn together”, I can’t help but notice that she is sitting on her own.

After a year without going to the movies, I haven’t suddenly forgotten everything I like and don’t like about the movies. I’ve had a lifetime of theatrical experiences, and I weigh it all up whenever I decide whether or not I want to watch a movie at home or see it on the big screen. Sometimes I go to the theater – three times just in October, actually – but sometimes I don’t want to spend the time and gasoline driving there, buying expensive snacks and sitting with a legion of people. inconsiderate. Sometimes I just want to watch a new movie on my huge TV on my luxurious couch, take bathroom breaks whenever I want and hold my cat, and no celebrity can ever convince me that I’m missing something.

Via: Getty Images

I know what the theater has to offer, I’ve been there my whole life. I have had incredible experiences and miserable experiences. I applauded when Captain America lifted Mjolnir in Endgame like every other nerd out there, and also dealt with dirty screens, a chatty audience, and people who just can’t stop. to fart. I watched Wonder Woman 1984 on TV on Christmas Day 2020 and it was one of the worst movies I’ve seen in my life, but it was a lot more fun to watch at home where I could openly. make fun of it surrounded by my family. I saw Tenet in the theater and couldn’t understand what someone was saying, but when I watched him again with subtitles it made more sense. Not many more sense, but some.

There’s nothing sacred about the cinematic experience anymore, despite what celebrities and self-proclaimed writers would have you believe. Cinema has as many advantages as it has disadvantages over streaming, and whether you see a movie on the big screen in the theater or on a slightly smaller screen at home is purely a matter of preference. If it were up to me, every movie would be available to stream the same day it hits theaters. Ideally, the filmmakers would be paid fairly as well, but honestly I’m not too concerned about people making more money on a movie than I’ll ever see in my life – for them buying a speedboat from luxury to drive in your tub would probably be an inexpensive party gag.

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