August 2, 2008

Random Musing: Only in Theaters


When times get slow in a nine-hour day at Borders, my mind starts to wander (until the coffee timer goes off). Today while working alone and thinking, I suddenly remembered a pet peeve of mine - when movie trailers pronounce "only in theaters." I have never quite understood this seemingly required declaration because a newly released studio film is naturally going straight to movie theaters across the country. In addition, it appears that I am not the only person who has questioned this signification and pondered at its consistency across new movie trailers.

Their thoughts basically sum up my own... Only in theaters? Blogger Kevin Meltzer naturally wonders "Where else would it be shown?," which is exactly the thought of mine that instantly follows any appearance of "only in theaters." Zoshchenko also questions:

Are they afraid people will think it's a TV show and therefore NOT go to the theater to see it? Are they afraid instead people will sit at home surfing from channel to channel trying to find the movie? Or are they afraid people will go to the store looking for the DVD instead of shelling out $10 to go see it at the theater?
His questions are quite logical - do movie studios really think we viewers will find the new "Mummy 3" at the local blockbuster or on the action channel on TV? Hopefully not.

Do you think the studios are trying to "insult our intelligence" by questioning our ability to pick up on context clues as to the whereabouts of a new film's screenings? Comedian Spencer King thought so on his blog. (Even better, the blog's sole comment mentions the lack of quality in those films that do not start in a theater! Ha!)

Anyway, do studios have real reason for using the phrase "only in theaters" in their newest movie trailers besides questioning the public's intelligence or ability to reason? I think surely not.

1 comment:

keeganisironman said...

It's a simple explanation, really: cam-rips. On the night of a movie release, some tool will sneak a camera in a trenchcoat and record the film, only to return home later to copy the film to his computer and then upload the pirated film to a torrent tracker. Within hours, thousands of cheap-asses around the world will download the poor quality bootleg, effectively ripping off the MPAA. The phrase "only in theaters" serves to imply that the only way to see a movie for the time being is to pay $7.00+ for a movie ticket until it released on DVD. Few know how to obtain or even know of the bootlegs available online.