Potpourri

Just a little bit of everything (don’t worry–it’ll be bite-sized)

AMC 18 Chattanooga: Not happy.  They add a 6:15pm Imax 3D showing Spider-Man: Homecoming, but that’s all.  They seemed determined to squeeze every dollar they can out of the movie-goer in the name of profits as 6:15 is not a matinee and they don’t have to charge matinee prices, but the full Prime cost.  Looks like I’m not going to see Homecoming, after all.  AMC 18 Chattanooga may have just lost a customer as I refuse to give them anymore money just because they are a monopoly (only Imax 3D theater for popular movies in the city).  Competition (i.e., other Imax 3D theaters in the area) wouldn’t allow them to pull this type of stunt as customers would just go elsewhere.

*Note to all politicians (current and future): THIS is why monopolies are bad.  Capitalism ONLY works when there’s CHOICE in the marketplace.

174 Days and Counting: That’s how long a story of mine has been under consideration with a particular market that I’ve not submitted to before.  I personally consider 90 days to be my limit, but I recently saw where this particular market had responded to someone else’s submission in about the same time-frame (although it was an outlier), so I waited, but that has passed and still no response.  Queried them about it today.  If no response by August 1st (perhaps sooner), I’m withdrawing and moving on to the next market.  Personal comment (it is a short-story, not a novel.  It shouldn’t take half a year to make a decision on it).

The Heart of What Was Lost: Close to finishing this book. Not sure if I’m going to review it yet.  If I do, I’ll post it here or at Goodreads.com (or both).

 

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Not Happy with AMC at the Moment

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Image Source: Rental Car Momma

So, this blog catches me on “travel” day, so it will be a bit shorter than normal.  Right now, I’m not to pleased with the local AMC Imax theater in my area.  Blog readers will know that I did a post earlier this summer that talks about AMC buying out my local Carmike theater, raising prices, and eliminating size options at the concession stand.

This last night, while looking at the movie showtimes for Spider-Man Homecoming (SP:H), I discovered that the AMC 18 (in my area) is NOT offering Imax 3D showings for Matinee times.  Starting today, through the rest of the week, you can only see SP:H at the 7:15pm and 10:15pm showings.  If you want to see the movie during a matinee showing, you only have the option (at my local AMC 18 theater) to see it either in Real 3D or Imax 2D.

What are they thinking?  While this seems like a local management move (probably to improve revenue as theaters generally charge more for evening showings) rather than a corporate move, this is still a move that handcuffs those of us who are not interested in seeing the movie during the evening by limiting us to less than optimal showings of the movie.  Real 3D tends to be much darker than the brighter Imax and while 3D is sometimes not worth the extra money, for a special effects driven movie like Spider-Man, this time I feel 3D will be worth extra money, but thanks again to short-sided choices, that is something that is out of my hands.

I do have options, however.  Thanks to a comment from a reader on the blog (thanks libraryladydella!), I do know of a cheaper alternative that I will investigate later this summer.  For now, I’ve decided to probably try the Majestic (formerly, the Bijou).

The Majestic does seem to have SP:H in Imax 3D during matinee times, so this looks like the best option for right now.  The irony is I stopped going there some years ago because they didn’t hold a movie in theaters long enough (Peter Jackson’s King Kong), while the Carmike theater (the one bought out by AMC) did have it and had a better projection system.  It looks like with SP:H, I’ll be returning to see what the Majestic’s renovated theater looks like.

The local AMC theater in my area should be very worried as there is a chance they are going to lose me as a customer thanks to a incredibly poor choice of Imax 3D showtimes for such a high profile movie.

UPDATE: Looks like I was wrong about the Majestic theater having a Imax 3D screen.  I seems that they do not; it looks like the only Imax 3D screen (outside of the Chattanooga Aquarium’s screen) in the local area is AMC East Ridge 18.  So it looks like my only choice this weekend is: Imax 3D at 7:15pm and 10:15pm or Imax 2D at 4:15pm.  Grrr.  As it stands now, it looks like at the moment I won’t get to see Spider-Man: Homecoming this weekend.  Now I’m really not happy with AMC.

Time to catch up on the Tour De France, do some yard work, and start reading for my summer class that starts on Tuesday.

Bleh, some companies, in pursuit of the all-mighty dollar–really know how to take all the fun out of summer.

AMC, The Mummy, and Me

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Image Source: Fandango

So, I was looking forward to seeing the new Mummy movie starring Tom Cruise–and then the first wave of reviews hit (currently 20% on Rotten Tomatoes).  Now, regular blog readers know that I have a rule–call it the World War Z Rule–that I will ignore critical reviews on movies that I want to see unless they are almost uniformly negative (& even then, I’ve been known to see the movie anyway, a la Warcraft).  This is what I’d been planning to do with The Mummy as I’m a fan of monster movies, in general and the Brendan Frasier version of The Mummy was one of my favorite recent incarnation/reboot.  This film, while not a critical darling, has all the earmarks of a fun, summer popcorn action flick, in the vein of WWZ.  However, as it stands now, I’m probably not going to see it.

Why?

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Image Source: Spicy Movie Dogs

Well, earlier this year, AMC bought out the local Carmike theater that I like to attend (it is only one of two theaters in town with IMAX).  Now, normally I don’t begrudge companies buying out each other, but in this case, the buyout meant several changes that happened almost immediately.  AMC did not make any substantial changes to the theater that I could see (no new seats, projection system, etc).  Everything pretty much stayed the same except for AMC branding.  However, AMC seemed to raise ticket prices–the charge for Wonder Woman was more than I usually paid, but more galling was the removal of option for buying a Small popcorn/Small soft drink at the concession stand.  Yes, I know that the concession stand is where theaters make their money, but a regular or large popcorn bag is just a waste of food (and money)–I can’t eat all that popcorn and will end up throwing most of it out and I small coke is all I really need.  I don’t like being “forced” to buy things that I don’t need.  All told, the movie-going experience for Wonder Woman cost me close to $30 and that was for one ticket on a Saturday matinee.

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Image Source: Boundless

Now I understand that theaters are trying to maximize their profit margins to get a return on their investment, but the high cost of seeing a movie just means that people will become even more selective in their movie-going experience.  Marginal movies, like The Mummy, that don’t get favorable reviews will find a much harder time achieving the coveted blockbuster status.  It will take a sure/proven hit to get me out to the IMAX screen now, whereas under Carmike’s pricing strategy, I probably would have gone to The Mummy, this weekend no matter the reviews.   That is why Marvel and Disney movies are seeing such a visceral reaction from the audiences: while Marvel & Disney movies don’t always “hit,” they do so with enough of a success ratio that families and movie-goers feel that they “trust” that they can get a good, quality story experience for the price that they’re asked to pay at the admissions window (and the concession stand.)  As for me, my next major summer blockbuster comes in about a month, and surprise, it’s a Marvel movie: Spider-Man Homecoming.

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Image Source: Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki