When going to see a film at the cinema you now often see a “Love film? Hate piracy.” campaign during the trailers.
This campaign includes shots of people laughing and having a good time in a cinema, juxtaposed with shots of a tiny audience in a decaying cinema. This campaign really annoys me and it doesn’t make me feel any empathy for the film industry or the cinema industry, if anything it makes angry with them.
Yesterday, Steph and I took TBK to see The Avengers at Cineworld in Birmingham. The film was great and we all really enjoyed it, however the cinema going experience is one that I enjoy less and less as time goes by. This particular cinema is pretty good, the staff were pretty friendly, the place is relatively clean and well kept, and the seats are comfy – it’s a far cry from our local Cineworld in Wolverhampton where the whole place feels tired and tatty, the staff have been reduced to the bare minimum and are therefore completely demoralised and uninterested in customer service. It’s the kind of place where they call you ‘mate’ not ‘sir’.
Despite singing it’s praises, I would expect Cineworld on Broad Street, Birmingham to be a quality cinema, it’s probably the busiest cinema in the City and one of the busiest in the country.
What I can’t understand is how cinemas can charge what they do and then complain when families choose to download a film and watch it at home, legally or otherwise.
Yesterday we bought x2 adult tickets, x1 child ticket, x1 hotdog, x1 popcorn (small), x1 drink (large) and x1 ice cream, totalling £38.70! Yes, £38.70! For a single visit to the cinema! We didn’t even have a drink each, we shared the drink, popcorn & ice cream!
Is it any wonder, with prices like this that people are turning to piracy? We are a family of three, but imagine a family of five and you’re looking at £60+ for 2 hours entertainment.
What really irks me about this whole ‘love cinema, hate piracy’ campaign is that the film industry seems to be learning nothing from the mistakes that the music industry has been making for the past 10 years.
I have tried both the major film streaming services in the UK, Netfilx and Love Film and they are both pitiful in terms of the selection they offer. The reason? In part because the film studios (the same ones who are complaining about massive losses and paying for ads about hating piracy) refuse to license their films to the same services, so you can only get films from studio ‘x’ on Netflix and studio ‘y’ on Love Film.
How exactly is this, combined with rocketing cinema prices encouraging people to pay for films legally and turn their backs on piracy?
Meanwhile, The Avengers has smashed the record for the biggest US opening weekend, taking £123m. I wonder how much the cinemas made on refreshments?