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Author Topic: Studio Screenings
Michael Riley
Film Handler

Posts: 52
From: New Jersey
Registered: Apr 2010


 - posted 05-26-2015 06:16 PM      Profile for Michael Riley   Email Michael Riley       Edit/Delete Post 
Anyone have any experience dealing with these? I had some passes for "San Andreas" tonight, and was surprised for once that it was full to capacity more than an hour ahead of showtime. I understand how these things work, studio books the screening, local film critics get first dibs, x number of tickets to go local radio and TV promotions, and if the studio feels that there's still not enough tickets out there, the rest are given out via online channels like GoFobo or other sites.

Now I get that these things are always overbooked because they want the screening filled to capacity, and there's no guarantee that everyone who gets passes is going to show up, and I also get that the theater has absolutely no control over the screening, but I felt bad for the AMC manager who was getting chewed out by dozens of people that were being turned away, and I'm sure over the course of the hour before the show, that number probably totaled over 100.

Joe moviegoer doesn't understand that AMC has no control over the screening, and doesn't read the fine print that says first come first serve, so if I was the manager, or AMC, I'd be pretty pissed at WB for putting me in this spot. I could see way overbooking the screening if the movie was a real dog, but it doesn't exactly take a genius to realize a film like San Andreas is probably going to be popular, and overbooking the screening by hundreds of tickets is probably not the smartest idea. What goes through the brain of these knucklehead film studios that would think this is a good plan?

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Sally Strasser
Film Handler

Posts: 16
From: Tupper Lake, NY
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 05-26-2015 08:40 PM      Profile for Sally Strasser   Email Sally Strasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In NYC, the studios hire outside companies to manage the extra seats, giving them a full audience for their critics to sit with. I used to not like dealing with them...and I hear they are quite expensive!

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Michael Riley
Film Handler

Posts: 52
From: New Jersey
Registered: Apr 2010


 - posted 05-26-2015 08:56 PM      Profile for Michael Riley   Email Michael Riley       Edit/Delete Post 
When I worked at the theater, we ran them a couple of times, although it was never a shift I worked, but the other managers hated them because once they filled up, the studio rep would disappear and force the theater management to deal with the guests who got turned away. As far as I know however it was never oversold by maybe 15-20 tickets, and it wouldn't fill up until very shortly before showtime.

This show tonight was oversold by well over a hundred or more, I think the company running the screening for the studio is paid per seat, so it's in their best interest to oversell it and leave it to AMC or Regal or whoever to handle the guest service issues.

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Edward Havens
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 614
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Mar 2008


 - posted 05-26-2015 11:21 PM      Profile for Edward Havens   Email Edward Havens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've dealt with more than my fair share of these, and the ones that aren't a total pain in the arse are the ones that have been carefully planned out. We know that twice as many tickets will be given out as there are seats in the theatre, because at one time half the people didn't show up. But now, that percentage is closer to 65%-75%. But we also make sure we have a second screen ready to go now, in the event it appears early in the process that we're going to fill the theatre with plenty of time before the schedule showtime.

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Jesse Skeen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1517
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 05-30-2015 05:37 PM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Funny to read this when I tried this week to see a "San Andreas" screening I got passes via email for and couldn't get in- I got to the theater an hour before showtime (I simply refused to come any sooner than that) and there were already a lot of people lined up outside. I saw some critics go in and I think they had some tickets given away by a radio station who got priority over the regular passes I had. A few people at the front of the line I was in got in, but about 30 minutes before showtime the manager came out and said the theater was filled up. I wasn't going to bitch at him for denying me a free show, but seems they could have counted how many tickets were given away and then counted how many people were in line to tell sooner if they were going to run out of seats. I'll just wait til the 3D Blu-Ray comes out, no need to shell out close to $15 to see it once on a letterboxed screen. The trip wasn't a total loss as I went by the Dollar Tree nearby afterwards and got a bunch of DVDs. [Smile]

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1661
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted 06-02-2015 08:21 PM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
At one of the private advance/preview screenings I worked at recently,
the studio had two or three rows plastered with these signs, which, of
course were all in the "choice" seating rows of the screening room.
 -

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William Kucharski
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 244
From: Louisville, Colorado, United States of America
Registered: Oct 2012


 - posted 06-11-2015 03:07 AM      Profile for William Kucharski   Email William Kucharski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The last one of these that I attended was a GoFobo and there was a line about thirty people long a good four hours before showtime.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 894
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 06-11-2015 06:48 AM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The things people will do for free stuff. I'm not really willing to sit in line for four hours to save $10... That's the worst deal I've ever heard of.

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William Kucharski
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 244
From: Louisville, Colorado, United States of America
Registered: Oct 2012


 - posted 06-17-2015 11:39 PM      Profile for William Kucharski   Email William Kucharski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Buck Wilson
I'm not really willing to sit in line for four hours to save $10... That's the worst deal I've ever heard of.
It's all opportunity cost; if you've nothing better to do it beats watching Jerry Springer reruns at home, especially if it's summer and you don't have A/C.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 894
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 06-18-2015 06:51 AM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Suppose you've got a point there!

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