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Author Topic: Late Show
Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-23-2000 12:13 AM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have had the oppertunity to play a film late this week. We have a 10:00 PM show. In this town the sidewalks seem to roll up about 8:30 PM. Tonight we had 4 people for our late show and they came in on passes from a competing theatre and didn't buy popcorn and soda.

As a percentage the 10:00 PM show represents 3% or our business. I don't think we will be running it next week.

Every now and them someone approaches us about doing a Midnight film at our theatre. I don't think it would do very well with our past experience with a 10:00 PM time.

How many of you do well with late films?

How many of you do well with early shows?

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Mike Spaeth
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1102
From: Hampton, GA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-23-2000 12:23 AM      Profile for Mike Spaeth   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Spaeth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
During the weekdays, my 9/10 round beats the 7's. On the weekends, they're pretty much even (maybe 10% slower than the prime). However, I tried Midnights - what a disaster...wasn't worth it.

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Dave Cutler
Master Film Handler

Posts: 277
From: Centennial, CO
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 10-23-2000 01:50 PM      Profile for Dave Cutler   Email Dave Cutler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have worked at several theatres in four states (Colorado, Michigan, Missouri and Kansas) and have seen a variety of scheduling technics.

However the only place I saw a regular midnight round do well was the theatre I worked at up in Michigan. It was in a town that had FIVE colleges in the immediate area. Now that's a lot of college students, and since we (college students) don't sleep it was the best time to go see movies. We only ran the midnight on Friday and Saturday, but they did very well. The rest of the week our last show typically started by 10:30. Frequently our late shows did better than prime, I found that the college students would wait till later to avoid younger kids and adults. It was also a good study break.

If you have mostly highschool kids around I would think that anything starting after about 9:00 (maybe 10:00) would be about as late as you would want to go. If you are in a area that has mostly adults or older folks, I would think that you could start the last show by 8:00 and be just fine.

Every area is unique. (which is why micro-management doesn't work ) IMO

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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 10-23-2000 06:47 PM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here in Huntsville, AL, there is only one theatre out of the five in Huntsville and Decatur that show "midnight movies". The Regal Hollywood 18 shows midnight movies and must do pretty well with them since they've been running them ever since they've been open in 1994. Before it opened, Regal (then Cobb) Madison Square 12 had midnight showings because I remember a bunch of students that would hang out at the Computer Science Building and head over there for a movie and not get back until well after 2 AM. Madison Square 12 abandoned midnight movies after Hollywood 18 opened. I'd guess that the University of Alabama in Huntsville is what makes the midnight movies worthwhile around here.

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Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 10-24-2000 12:02 AM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our late shows are usually 9:30 and almost never later than 9:45. Late show attendance is always much less than the early. We've done midnights too. Last time we did a mid night series we decided not to do it again except for an occasional special show. The midnights seem to bring in the drunk and overdosed, it never failed that 3 or 4 would puke in the seats, the sound would be hard to hear over the clank of beer bottles and cans hitting the floor the picture hard to see thru the pot smoke, forget it.

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Steve Scott
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1300
From: Minneapolis, MN
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 10-24-2000 03:03 PM      Profile for Steve Scott   Email Steve Scott   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a tough call to make during the school year, but we usually schedule 10:00 PM shows, and discontinue shows before 12:00 PM. This week, we've got Coyote Ugly and Lost Souls at 10 PM. We usually have to run Lost Souls every time, but Coyote Ugly usually only gets started on Teusday (its matinee night then).

We'd lose more money running the early morning shows.

And... don't ask me why we still have coyote ugly. I have no clue!!

------------------
"Trying is the first step towards failure!"
-Homer Simpson

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7868
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-24-2000 06:19 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Midnight shows can do business, but only if you're in a really boring college town. We sold out stuff like "Princess Bride" and even did business with 10:30pm shows of "Saving Private Ryan" (yes, it sounds stupid on paper, but people actually showed up for this! I was amazed!). Otherwise it's probably a bad idea--either no one shows up or you get too many of the "wrong crowd."

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Scott D. Neff
Theatre Dork

Posts: 919
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 10-24-2000 06:50 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Author's Homepage   Email Scott D. Neff   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ian -

The Raven in Healdburg used to run midnight shows on the weekends, starting in the summer and continuing into the fall and winter. They were minimaly advertised cult flicks.

If you guys ended up doing a cult series - all you'd really have to do is make flyers and paper the Junior College and Sonoma State University... they'd show up.

About 6 years ago my old boss did Monty Python's The Meaning of Life -- and it did REALLY well. Now Blazing Saddles on the other hand... didn't do so well... NOT the kind of movie college students will jump up to see.

Anyway... there's my 25 cents.

-Scott

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 11752
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-24-2000 07:21 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Midnight shows, like everything else in this business, really depends on your area. I've seen them work and have seen them fail, miserably.

The midnight crowd is definately not the same crowd as the earlier shows. Having colleges or a young (but past driving age) population seems to be a necessity. Also what Hollywood offers can affect the midnight business too...many films don't play well to the midnight crowd while others, cult films and the like, can do really well.

Another thing I have noticed is that sometimes a midnight schedule has to be cultivated....the kids need to know that it is a regular thing and not here and gone. I remember opening a theatre and shortly after starting midnight shows...nothing...six months later they were doing rather well in a 5-plex.

In short, it isn't a sure bet either way.

Steve

------------------
"Old projectionists never die, they just changeover!"

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Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-24-2000 09:34 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Midnight Shows,

Hell!

I was talking about 10:00 PM shows!

I'm never going to do a midnight show.


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George Roher
Master Film Handler

Posts: 266
From: Washington DC
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 10-24-2000 11:18 PM      Profile for George Roher   Email George Roher   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I had to run late shows every weekend at one theatre I worked in, and it was a major pain. They rarely sold more then four tickets for each show (often less), but insisted on running the stupid late shows every Friday and Saturday night. Of course, a real late show is supposed to be something special and not just predictable Hollywood tripe that happens to have been threaded up at midnight. Staying up till 3 am to watch Bruce Willis save the world doesn't make it any more profound.


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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 11752
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-26-2000 11:58 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ian,

I have never seen 10:00 shows do well, as a rule. It isn't a midnight show, so you won't get that crowd and it is too late for an evening show so you miss that crowd too. I would avoid scheduling any evening show past 9:45 in most areas.

One thing I have noticed around here is that the value of the second evening shows (the "9s") has gone way down in value but the "twilight" shows have gone up. I'm seeing more and more theatres going with a 4-5:00 first show and an 7-8:00 second show and calling it a night (weekday schedule, not Friday or weekends).

Steve

------------------
"Old projectionists never die, they just changeover!"

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