Matt's Blog

Would You See A 4 Hour Movie? What About A $50 Movie?

There are two very different film going experiences on offer in Brisbane this weekend.

Firstly, for one week only, the Palace Centro will be screening both volumes of Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac.  Described in the press notes as a “wild and poetic story of a woman’s journey from birth to the age of 50”, the film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellen Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman and Willem Dafoe.

The film is rated R for its “high impact sexual themes, actual sexual activity and nudity”.  I suppose that will raise a few eyebrows… but what I really want to note is the film’s length.  The two volumes clock in at a combined 4 hours and 1 minute.  There’s also a 15 minute internal (not included in that runtime) that will allow me to replenish my popcorn.  From memory, this makes it the longest cinematic release in Brisbane since Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet back in 1997 (which was one minute longer).  With only two sessions per day, it’ll be interesting to see how it performs at the box-office.

I should also mention that the 4 hour cut is not the whole film!  There’s a 5 and a half hour version that will most likely be released on DVD later in the year.  Bet you can’t wait.

Secondly, Event Cinemas are continuing a concept they launched last year and are holding a special screening of Captain America: The Winter Soldier this Sunday night at their Chermside and Indooroopilly cinemas.  You’ll be able to see the film a few days before everyone else (it’s not released officially until next Thursday) and I’m sure many Marvel / comic book fans will be keen.

There’s a catch though.  The ticket cost is $50 per person and it includes a small drink, poster, figurine, 3D glasses and a Marvel branded bag.  This is piggy-backing off an idea that was trialled in the United States last year.  It’s a way of getting a few extra dollars from those people who are prepared to pay more to see a film in advance.  You may see it as a “cash grab” but it’s not a new concept in the entertainment world.  Some pay more to attend the opening night of a theatrical production.  Others pay more to attend the sound check at a major concert.  It’s economics 101 – supply and demand.

The likes of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas aren’t fans of the concept (you can read an article here) and I’m curious to know if this trend will continue in coming years.  Would you pay $50 to see a movie in a theatre?  A quick check of the Event Cinemas website shows that both the Chermside and Indooroopilly sessions for this Sunday are close to fully booked.  So I’m guessing there’s quite a few out there would answer that question with a “yes”.