I'm not talking about coffee. (well, I'm not not talking about coffee...it also did some impressive awakening at about 6am today). But no, I mean "The Force". Apparently the odd person went to see the new Star Wars movie. Everyone except me, it would seem. I've never been much of a fan (no offense, all you odd people who paid over six hundred million dollars worldwide). I'm the one always saying, wait, now...is that Star Trek or Star Wars? (much to the frustration of Trekkies and whatever Star Wars fans call themselves). I know they both take place in space, thanks to their cryptic titles and my brilliant powers of deduction. One of them has an R2D2 and he is really cute. Also a C3P0 who was less cute but extremely polite and filled with data and...wait. Maybe I'm thinking of "Data?" Data is Star Trek, right? Greenish guy? Weird eyes?
I've definitely done the cupping hands around my mouth and nose and breathing, "Luke...I am your father" bit because, come on. That is never not funny. I could tell you Darth Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones, but gun to my head, I probably couldn't answer whether or not Luke's uncle is Spock. Oh. Your face...okay, sorry! it's not, I take it back, it's not! (sheesh, Trekkies, you need to calm down)
All that everyone is talking about is the astronomical amount of money this movie is hauling in, but I can't help but think that this is all just a marketing ploy to generate a buzz. A buzz which will get even more people going to see it. I know...I'm perceptive that way. Could be the effect of the $350 million or so that they spent in marketing and promotion. (but probably more that I'm really really perceptive).
Is it getting too expensive to go to the theater to see movies though? Okay, for this movie, I could see the logic. Coming out right in time for the holidays, it was that big "family" thing to do that got you away from hostile relatives, it had you just sitting there, not needing to talk to anyone, and entertaining you...what is not to love (besides the price tag, but you can't put a price on getting out of eleven consecutive rounds of Pictionary). That opening screen with the text fading off into the vanishing point "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..." (see? I know stuff! Are we friends again Trekkies? What? Still not you? Oh. Nevermind...) This movie would definitely be better on a giant screen.
Then again. It's a strange thing to say because these days, everyone seems to have a theater right in their own home - giant screen and everything! Which brings me back to my point...do we really want to go out to see movies?
There is literally a 700% mark-up with that bucket of popcorn alone. It costs them a dollar to make. It sounds like a number I just made up (not that I would ever do that) but no. Google will have my back here...700 per cent! A family of 4 might be looking at a hit of about $100 just to go out to see a movie. Which is FINE for Star Wars. It's an event! A cosmic event...wait, no. (sorry) But what if you wanted to see a rom-com starring Reese Witherspoon? Are we willing to spend that much money to see every pore on her face? (trick question. There are no visible pores on her face).
At the home theater in your very own house, you have access to popcorn that is arguably just as good, now that Orville and his cronies make it "movie-theater style". You can drink your weight in Coke at an eighth of the cost, and then pause to go to the bathroom (about a dozen times, due to drinking your weight in Coke). You could avoid the awkward discomfort of watching graphic and/or inappropriate sexual scenes with your child/sister/mother/brother-in-law right sitting beside you in the darkened theater. Okay, this one might happen in your home too, but at least there you could pause it while you yell (super enthusiastically), who wants pizza!! and secretly fast-forward. And speaking of pizza - Pizza! You could have pizza while watching at home, too.
Mostly you could avoid this guy. We all know this guy. Unless you are this guy, in which case, head's up...you are kind of annoying. So...picture a movie theater. Picture a climatic scene. The tension is mounting, the music is all angry, screamy violins when...
That guy: (not whispering) Um...what is happening?
TG: Okay, I know, but just tell me - does he escape the thing?
You: (hissing) I don't know. I have to SEE it first!
TG: Fine, crankypants. I just wondered because I read that he doesn't escape the thing and...
You: (incredulous glare...more hissing) SHUT IT!! Just. Shut. It. (misses climatic pivotal moment due to crankypants accusation and spoiler)
Him: Hey, looks like it's almost over. After this do you want to...(interrupted by another huge calamity on-screen) Oh, look at that. What do you think is happening now?
I'm not worried about cutting into movie-ticket sales with this post, unless this blog is ridiculously more popular than I realize (pretty sure we're safe there...) but I do predict that over time, the decline of movie-goers is just going to continue to go downwards in direct correlation to the price of the experience going upwards.
Except Star Wars. Go see that one. It's Brobdingnagian. Yup, that's a word. Google was so pleased with itself to hand me that one (it means big but I say "epic" too much). That movie is just crushing records left and right, it must be amazing.
Plus, who wouldn't want to see good old Captain Kirk again, right?