Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Please, Please, Please Come See Da Movie

In an innovative new twist of Hollywood's efforts to lure people away from their sofas and into the theaters, the movie theater chains are hitting on a concept popularized by sellers of Ginsu knives and Vegomatics and the like: 100-percent satisfaction or your money back.

Disappointing box office for Cinderella Man (an excellent film, by the way) has prompted many AMC and Cinemark theaters around the country to offer full refunds for moviegoers who find themselves insufficiently entertained by the story of nice-guy boxer James J. Braddock.

The New York Times' Felicia R. Lee reports that movie chains are resorting to some gimmickry this season in hopes of reversing a significant slump in revenues:

"To lure theatergoers even into blockbusters like Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith this weekend, 20th Century Fox is offering a 'buy three tickets and get one free' deal through the Fourth of July. And on June 19, when Walt Disney offered sneak previews of the film Herbie: Fully Loaded, on 800 screens, free tickets went to anyone named Herb, Herbert or Herbie."

It's a mighty good thing, one supposes, that The Passion of the Christ proved to be such a massive hit last year. Free salvation for moviegoers would've really, I dunno, cheapened the whole died-for-our-sins thing.


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