AMC #Cancels Universal Studios Films over Trolls World Tour Flap - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 12:24 PM
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Alamo Drafthouse has had my business for a long time now. AMC theaters used to be great a long time ago but the poor experience and high cost drove me away. Companies like AMC simply fail to adapt and compete and forget that they don't simply deserve our money, they earn it and for many years they haven't in my opinion.
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post #32 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 12:43 PM
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i dont see the studios willing to loose that revenue stream. right now their business model is -get $(millions to hundreds of millions) from us at theater. then get money from us from rental and discs. my bet is there are quite a few people that do all three.
while i buy most of the movies i watch on disc and i do the occasional purchase in itunes along with some rentals from them and amazon i do to the theater for what i consider 'must see' movies- part of that being the theater 'experience'.
i do think the theater is on its way out- and covid is speeding that process-but until the studios can replace that revenue stream it isnt going to happen anytime soon. jmo
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post #33 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 01:11 PM
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Soon, will all our cinemas look like the formerly glorious theaters in India that are now mostly decaying and/or boarded up?
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post #34 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 01:45 PM
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i dont see the studios willing to loose that revenue stream. right now their business model is -get $(millions to hundreds of millions) from us at theater. then get money from us from rental and discs. my bet is there are quite a few people that do all three.
while i buy most of the movies i watch on disc and i do the occasional purchase in itunes along with some rentals from them and amazon i do to the theater for what i consider 'must see' movies- part of that being the theater 'experience'.
i do think the theater is on its way out- and covid is speeding that process-but until the studios can replace that revenue stream it isnt going to happen anytime soon. jmo
I can't see shareholders in these movie studios ignoring a distribution model that seems to indicate with Trolls World Tour that a PVOD model that is 70% of a theater going audience results in more net profits to the studio.

Excerpt from CNN Business article below:
Quote:
The original "Trolls" movie, which was released in theaters in 2016, brought in $153 million domestically, or about $76 million after the split with theaters. That means "World Tour," which came with a rental fee of $19.99, has made more for Universal in three weeks with a digital release than its predecessor made in five months theatrically in North America.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/28/media...and/index.html


That seems like a lose-lose scenario for movie theaters. Keep your 3-month exclusive window and give up some revenue sharing or keep your revenue sharing percentage and shorten the exclusivity window.

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post #35 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 01:49 PM
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Since I've had a theater in my home (1998) I have been to the big screen about 10 times. We have been on the 6 month later release program and we are fine with it for multiple reasons. I personally do not support AMC for even one second. I just want to make sure I can get full quality disk or stream because I have the avenue to enjoy it.
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post #36 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 01:58 PM
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In some ways this mirrors the situation that transpired in the video game industry decades ago. You used to have to visit arcades to experience all the latest and best games before their home ports became available. Eventually the home gaming experience became better than the arcades and they became extinct. Movie theaters are next unless they figure out some way to offer something you can't currently get at home.
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post #37 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 02:00 PM
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If I've learned anything in sci-fi movies is that there are no movie theaters in the future. It's all about instant personal gratification/entertainment.

And if the numbers are showing video on demand to pull in these kinds of numbers why would they not move to this channel?

Convenience trumps everything for the average consumer and if they can rent new releases day one of release, why not. That's why we on the forums have our own theaters. Of all people we should rejoice now we can just chill at home and watch the movie with better picture and sound.
I got what you are saying. My only complaint with home video is that in theaters I can actually hear the dialogue where at home the dialogue track is so low I have to enable close caption just to make out what they are saying.
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post #38 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 02:38 PM
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I think it's cute that AMC is acting like it isn't already over completely.

Universal is not the problem.
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post #39 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 02:40 PM
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I got what you are saying. My only complaint with home video is that in theaters I can actually hear the dialogue where at home the dialogue track is so low I have to enable close caption just to make out what they are saying.
Ask in the sound setup forum... most likely you can setup the dialog to be louder and/or also compress the entire range of sound so that it can be loud enough for voices while not being too loud.
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post #40 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 02:46 PM
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I got what you are saying. My only complaint with home video is that in theaters I can actually hear the dialogue where at home the dialogue track is so low I have to enable close caption just to make out what they are saying.
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Ask in the sound setup forum... most likely you can setup the dialog to be louder and/or also compress the entire range of sound so that it can be loud enough for voices while not being too loud.
Agree. Low dialogue volume should not be a deterrent to an enjoyable home theater viewing experience today. Most streaming devices, AVR's and Soundbars offer some form of Enhanced Dialogue feature that directly addresses this.
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post #41 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 02:51 PM
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Even though it is financially struggling, and it’s theaters remain shuttered with an uncertain future, and TV sales are WAY up, Chinese-owned AMC says that when it reopens, it plans to shun Universal Studios movies.

Why such hard feelings? Apparently it is the success of Trolls World Tour video on demand that has led to this acrimony.

Key quote "As it turned out, Universal made more revenue from Trolls World Tour after three weeks in digital release than they did from five months of the original Trolls in theaters." - IGN

Trolls World Tour made a hundred million bucks in VOD rentals so far, which is enough to open studio's eyes. What may have triggered AMC is the following quote from Universal: "As soon as theaters reopen, we expect to release movies on both formats."

Check out this article from IGN for more info: AMC Theaters Refuses to Play Universal Movies Once Theaters Reopen

And here's an article from CNN on the topic: AMC bans Universal films from its theaters over 'Trolls World Tour' spat
I would like to see all movies go directly to the home. 4K TVs (mine is 65")have a better picture quality than theaters (except maybe IMAX), at home you have the best seat in the house, no noise, no food or bathroom problems. Sound systems can equal the theater because of the advancement in smaller areas. We can go outside when this crisis is over and do other things, including enjoying sports.
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post #42 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 03:26 PM
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AMC Theaters has really learned how to shoot itself in the foot in a big way
I would completely disagree. Theaters cannot survive without an exclusive window. That window used to be a year or more. It's now just 90 days. IMO, they're doing EXACTLY the right thing, just as most theaters refused to play Netflix films that were streaming at the same time.

In fact, IMO, theaters never should have allowed the window to get down to 90 days. But they figure that today, most films have earned whatever they're going to earn within 90 days. The problem with that is that a lot of people don't bother going to the theater knowing that the film will be available on home media in 90 days.

My prediction is that once theaters fully reopen, Universal backs down. They'll really have no choice. Without theaters, every movie has all the cultural impact of "direct to video".

Movie studio executives are notorious for only looking at the short term. They think releasing everything together improves cash flow and decreases marketing costs. But if you destroy theaters, you destroy the business.
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post #43 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I would completely disagree. Theaters cannot survive without an exclusive window. That window used to be a year or more. It's now just 90 days. IMO, they're doing EXACTLY the right thing, just as most theaters refused to play Netflix films that were streaming at the same time.

In fact, IMO, theaters never should have allowed the window to get down to 90 days. But they figure that today, most films have earned whatever they're going to earn within 90 days. The problem with that is that a lot of people don't bother going to the theater knowing that the film will be available on home media in 90 days.

My prediction is that once theaters fully reopen, Universal backs down. They'll really have no choice. Without theaters, every movie has all the cultural impact of "direct to video".

Movie studio executives are notorious for only looking at the short term. They think releasing everything together improves cash flow and decreases marketing costs. But if you destroy theaters, you destroy the business.
The counterpoint, or rather what differentiates today from the past, is that only recently has VOD quality gotten to the point where it holds up on a big screen, and the cost of going big at home is much lower than ever, with a good projector costing under a grand, a decent 75" TV under 2 grand and 95" TVs are no longer extravagances that cost as much as cars.

As for cultural impact, I bet premier night for movies would hold up with VOD because of social media. Kids are on their phones for the whole movie watching in theaters, my guess is if a hot movie premiered on VOD on a Friday, it'll get the sort of buzz that people expect of a movie event.

After observing how people treated Game of Thrones episodes, I'm pretty confident this is a new reality.

The industry will follow the money, that's all I know for sure.
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post #44 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by markrubin View Post
AMC Theaters has really learned how to shoot itself in the foot in a big way [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/IMG]
I would completely disagree. Theaters cannot survive without an exclusive window. That window used to be a year or more. It's now just 90 days. IMO, they're doing EXACTLY the right thing, just as most theaters refused to play Netflix films that were streaming at the same time.

In fact, IMO, theaters never should have allowed the window to get down to 90 days. But they figure that today, most films have earned whatever they're going to earn within 90 days. The problem with that is that a lot of people don't bother going to the theater knowing that the film will be available on home media in 90 days.

My prediction is that once theaters fully reopen, Universal backs down. They'll really have no choice. Without theaters, every movie has all the cultural impact of "direct to video".

Movie studio executives are notorious for only looking at the short term. They think releasing everything together improves cash flow and decreases marketing costs. But if you destroy theaters, you destroy the business.
I think it had more to do with piracy than just making quick big bucks. Piracy was running rampant and to combat that they shortened the release time frame for home versions of the movies. Plus of course they wanted to capitalize on home video sales by releasing it sooner while the movie still resonated with the consumer.

We've also forgotten piracy and spoilers forced movies to be released at the same time Worldwide. We've forgotten there was a time that the US would get the first opening and then UK would get that movie 3-6 months later. Now everyone sees the release the same time.

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post #45 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I think it had more to do with piracy than just making quick big bucks. Piracy was running rampant and to combat that they shortened the release time frame for home versions of the movies. Plus of course they wanted to capitalize on home video sales by releasing it sooner while the movie still resonated with the consumer.

We've also forgotten piracy and spoilers forced movies to be released at the same time Worldwide. We've forgotten there was a time that the US would get the first opening and then UK would get that movie 3-6 months later. Now everyone sees the release the same time.


Is it really just piracy and spoilers, or is it a more basic and logical result of the transition to digital projection that allows for global distribution of a title at whatever scale is warranted, whereas when a release was distributed on film the logistics and cost of a worldwide premier would be far higher than doing it regionally.

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post #46 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 04:14 PM
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Afterwords he commented about how rudely the only other group of people in the theater were constantly talking.

One of many reasons theaters will eventually fail. Moons ago, there were theater ushers that kept that kind of nonsense from happening. Now constant talking, lights from cell phones and general rudeness are the rule of the day - along with typically lousy sound. It is only a matter of time!!
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post #47 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 04:16 PM
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I can't see shareholders in these movie studios ignoring a distribution model that seems to indicate with Trolls World Tour that a PVOD model that is 70% of a theater going audience results in more net profits to the studio.

Excerpt from CNN Business article below:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/28/media...and/index.html


That seems like a lose-lose scenario for movie theaters. Keep your 3-month exclusive window and give up some revenue sharing or keep your revenue sharing percentage and shorten the exclusivity window.
maybe i didnt make my point clear- vod is hear to stay(tho imo is not ready for prime time) and is expanding, but rt now i am sure that hollywood views it as an additional(growing) revenue stream to theaters. rt now many people only go to the theaters to see movies. many people go to the theater AND purchase/rent the movie online AND/or buy the disc. losing the theater revenue can in no way be made up by vod now or in the near future- they have the benefit of both streams and would be stupid to give up that kind of money.
maybe they are willing to suck up those hundreds of millions in losses for several tears to get the theaters of their backs but i dont see it.
that being said i think the theaters are using this as a bargaining ploy as this is not going to work out for them either.
got the feeling that we are probably closer in our opinions than apart
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post #48 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 04:23 PM
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The counterpoint, or rather what differentiates today from the past, is that only recently has VOD quality gotten to the point where it holds up on a big screen, and the cost of going big at home is much lower than ever, with a good projector costing under a grand, a decent 75" TV under 2 grand and 95" TVs are no longer extravagances that cost as much as cars.

As for cultural impact, I bet premier night for movies would hold up with VOD because of social media. Kids are on their phones for the whole movie watching in theaters, my guess is if a hot movie premiered on VOD on a Friday, it'll get the sort of buzz that people expect of a movie event.

After observing how people treated Game of Thrones episodes, I'm pretty confident this is a new reality.

The industry will follow the money, that's all I know for sure.
Regardless of the acceptance of home video by consumers, the right thing for AMC to do from their business perspective is to not play movies that they don't have exclusives on. While the total revenue from all types home video gets larger all the time and is already larger than the theatrical industry, the revenue for any one film is far smaller on home video. While we don't know streaming license fees for any one film, what we do know is that Blu-ray revenue for the #1 title of 2019 (Avengers Endgame) was $67.4 million at list prices in North America vs. $858.4 million for domestic theatrical box-office.

The Blu-ray numbers reported on the-numbers.com for GOT seem unreliable, because the same numbers are repeated for different seasons, but in terms of ratings, the seasonal averages ranged from 2.52 to 11.99 million viewers (and I suspect that's premiere + 3 days numbers). That's actually not very many.

Also, participants on this forum are self-selected and likely to have better systems at home. The average consumer has a cheap big-screen TV they bought at a big-box store that is uncalibrated and at best, has a sound bar attached to it (and many don't even have that). Anecdotal, but out of all my friends and relatives, I am the only one who has a TV attached to a decent audio system. Therefore, for most people, the theater is STILL a vastly superior experience, especially a better theater or many Dolby Cinema theaters.

(I live in an apartment building and frequently help people out with their systems. Before cable companies started automatically switching to the HD channel when someone chose the SD version of the channel, many of my neighbors were watching the SD channel because they didn't know the difference. And when I did a modest calibration using a calibration disc, they usually wound up hating the picture and preferred the over-bright, over-contrasty, over saturated picture they had before as the TV was set out-of-the-box.)
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post #49 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 04:41 PM
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Well my point is that if theaters cease to exist tomorrow I won't care. I will definitely miss 3D movies but eventually I'll have my 3D projector setup again. I haven't been to a movie theater in ages as I buy all my movies on 4K discs and watch them at home. And get to keep the movie. I might be in the minority but I can wait for a home release. I haven't watched any of the Marvel movies in theaters last 3 years. All home releases. Except End Game. Oh and had to watch Star wars in theaters only because of spoilers.
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post #50 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Regardless of the acceptance of home video by consumers, the right thing for AMC to do from their business perspective is to not play movies that they don't have exclusives on. While the total revenue from all types home video gets larger all the time and is already larger than the theatrical industry, the revenue for any one film is far smaller on home video. While we don't know streaming license fees for any one film, what we do know is that Blu-ray revenue for the #1 title of 2019 (Avengers Endgame) was $67.4 million at list prices in North America vs. $858.4 million for domestic theatrical box-office.

The Blu-ray numbers reported on the-numbers.com for GOT seem unreliable, because the same numbers are repeated for different seasons, but in terms of ratings, the seasonal averages ranged from 2.52 to 11.99 million viewers (and I suspect that's premiere + 3 days numbers). That's actually not very many.

Also, participants on this forum are self-selected and likely to have better systems at home. The average consumer has a cheap big-screen TV they bought at a big-box store that is uncalibrated and at best, has a sound bar attached to it (and many don't even have that). Anecdotal, but out of all my friends and relatives, I am the only one who has a TV attached to a decent audio system. Therefore, for most people, the theater is STILL a vastly superior experience, especially a better theater or many Dolby Cinema theaters.

(I live in an apartment building and frequently help people out with their systems. Before cable companies started automatically switching to the HD channel when someone chose the SD version of the channel, many of my neighbors were watching the SD channel because they didn't know the difference. And when I did a modest calibration using a calibration disc, they usually wound up hating the picture and preferred the over-bright, over-contrasty, over saturated picture they had before as the TV was set out-of-the-box.)
If home viewing is just a tiny fraction of theatrical revenue then the studios have nothing to worry about with VOD being same day as theatrical release.

Flip side is nobody knows how well a tentpole major release would do in VOD if it was released at the same time as theaters. But now there's at least a hint. And if it turns out a movie does a lot better with VOD it it has not already been released (and therefore discussed) months earlier, then we've got a new paradigm on our hands.

Thoughts on Game of Thrones... let's say the highest number you cite (12 million) is equal to a big movie on a 3-day weekend. at 20 bucks a rental we're at 240 million, but because the studios get a bigger cut, that's closer to a $300+ million theatrical premiere as far as studio accountants are concerned.

I envision concurrent releases and fewer theaters across the country, but those that are open I think will have more "premium" auditoriums rather than being a collection of dinky multiplex shoeboxes.

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post #51 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 05:14 PM
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Remember, guys. Trolls is aimed at kids. There are a lot of kids at home now and parents will fork over 20 bucks just to keep them entertained and out of their hair for 2 hours. The question is...will the parents spend $20 on themselves. Would love to compare the numbers for The Invisible Man...my guess is that they are a lot lower than for Trolls World Tour.
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post #52 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Remember, guys. Trolls is aimed at kids. There are a lot of kids at home now and parents will fork over 20 bucks just to keep them entertained and out of their hair for 2 hours. The question is...will the parents spend $20 on themselves. Would love to compare the numbers for The Invisible Man...my guess is that they are a lot lower than for Trolls World Tour.
I've got a Vudu collection of 366 titles. Since I started using Vudu I've been to a movie theater 4 times. So that's >$7000 vs. about 60 bucks, but I understand I'm an outlier.

The Invisible Man was already in theaters and made $125 million before it hit VOD, so it won't be apples to apples.

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post #53 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 05:32 PM
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Remember, guys. Trolls is aimed at kids. There are a lot of kids at home now and parents will fork over 20 bucks just to keep them entertained and out of their hair for 2 hours. The question is...will the parents spend $20 on themselves. Would love to compare the numbers for The Invisible Man...my guess is that they are a lot lower than for Trolls World Tour.
True but invisible man was not day and date like Trolls. Bond? That would be interesting
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post #54 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by vsorgi View Post
The question is...will the parents spend $20 on themselves.
I think we may find out the answer to that question sooner than we all thought.

I agree that Trolls World Tour may be the anomaly. It was the right genre of movie at a time when options for new entertainment were scarce and a lot of kids were unexpectedly at home. But, for AMC and other theater operators to take a stance of demanding exclusivity to 100% of a studios output or refusing to show any of it seems ill-sighted. It seems that we are nearing a tipping point where tent-pole major releases may be theater exclusives, while other content/genres may support a dual-release model and others may be exclusive to PVOD. Taking an all-or-nothing stance as a theater operator seems to indicate they know their business model is failing. If the only reason to visit a movie theater to view a film is because you 'have to', it feels like a service offering begging to be replaced.
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post #55 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 07:43 PM
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Regal just joined AMC in refusing to show Universal movies. Cinemark can’t be far behind.
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post #56 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 09:23 PM
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Really! No pandemic or natural disaster escape clause in these exclusivity contracts? I would think there would be exceptions built into these contracts. If not then hire a better attorney.

I don't frequent movie theaters often, maybe once or twice a year at most, but I'd be sad to see them go. If I had a normal job (do those exist any more?) I'd likely go more often.

Once when I was exiting the local Regal RPX the theater owner was greeting all the people as they came out after the movie asking about their experience (my experience was great!). Owners want people to have a good theater experience and I think that at least this movie theater owner would listen and do something if I had constructive feedback.

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post #57 of 111 Old 04-29-2020, 10:14 PM
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And all this time I thought AMC was owned by INDIANS.

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post #58 of 111 Old 04-30-2020, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jpillar View Post
I got what you are saying. My only complaint with home video is that in theaters I can actually hear the dialogue where at home the dialogue track is so low I have to enable close caption just to make out what they are saying.
I had the same problem then i replaced my center speaker with a better diy center channel speaker for better dialog no subtitles .

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post #59 of 111 Old 04-30-2020, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Lynkage View Post
Since I've had a theater in my home (1998) I have been to the big screen about 10 times. We have been on the 6 month later release program and we are fine with it for multiple reasons. I personally do not support AMC for even one second. I just want to make sure I can get full quality disk or stream because I have the avenue to enjoy it.
It's about 90 days now for most movies. They hit the street as soon as they are able to, which makes going to the theaters even less tempting.
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post #60 of 111 Old 04-30-2020, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jpillar View Post
I got what you are saying. My only complaint with home video is that in theaters I can actually hear the dialogue where at home the dialogue track is so low I have to enable close caption just to make out what they are saying.
I used to have the same problem, then I started spending a lot of time in the DIY forum here. Not just for speaker building tricks, but for the whole body of knowledge that they embrace.

Here is a worthwhile experiment, very easy to perform. Try turning off the center channel and running a phantom center. If it sounds clearer than your physical center, you need to upgrade your center channel speaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Burrows View Post
I had the same problem then i replaced my center speaker with a better diy center channel speaker for better dialog no subtitles .
Once I really embraced the idea that center channel speaker has to be at least as good, if not better than the front left right speakers, I stopped having issues hearing dialogue. It's definitely something that can be solved with an upgrade.
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