In praise of intermission and why the movies have to bring it back
Movie theaters have obviously struggled with methods to get more people to come to the movies. Due to the ubiquity of streaming, in response to people’s reluctance to go to the movies and the pandemic more recently, theaters have tried everything, from making seats more comfortable, to offering a greater variety of entertainment. food and drink options and implement their own subscription services to make movie night feel ‘worth it’ for customers. Movie studios and filmmakers are looking at gadgets to enhance the experience, from the 3D craze in the early 2010s to shooting IMAX movies. The problem with the studios’ attempts to organize the movie experience is that they require everyone coming to the movies to pay extras for these gadgets, and although some people may fork out the extra money to experience the movie in its form. optimal, many cannot, letting them either choose the sub-optimal presentation to wait until it arrives at their home.
One option that the studios have not attempted is one that once worked to make a movie an “event” over half a century ago, and which would be to include intermissions in their footage of masts. attempted. Intermissions rose to prominence in the 1950s as part of touring studio presentations of the biggest films in an attempt to snatch people away from their new televisions and were a hit. While the whole roadshow experience, which saw these films debut in a very limited number of theaters across the country before gradually expanding, can be financially untenable with today’s absurdly high budgets. , the reintroduction of intermissions has the ability to invigorate filmmakers, theaters, audiences, and studios all at once.
Blockbuster films show very little sign of reducing their airtime. Marvel, the current clubhouse frontman, regularly releases films around 150 minutes, with their most successful film, Avengers: Endgame (maybe you’ve heard of it), with a record time of three hours. Many critics are frustrated with what they perceive to be the Marvel formula, which undeniably exists. By the end of some of these footage, audiences can sometimes be exhausted with the relentless motionlessness to the point of leaving the film. If they were to start using intermissions in their films, the Marvel formula would need to be pushed around. Placing a ten to fifteen minute break in the middle of your film forces filmmakers to adjust how and when to construct certain elements of the story, typically creating a two- or five-act story instead of the standard three. Instead of just letting audiences beg for more with a post-credit teaser, they would have the option of incorporating a cliffhanger at the top of the intermission, giving audiences a surge of energy to speculate on the wait for the second half. . An intermission allows storytelling techniques regularly offered in theatrical and non-cinematographic settings to breathe new life into something that audiences might find out of date at any time.
As for theaters, intermissions offer an invaluable chance to do the one thing theaters really have to do: sell more concessions. Granted, there are people willing to miss part of a movie in order to get a refill on their popcorn or have a sudden craving for a box of Reese’s Pieces, but opening a sizeable window to allow giving everyone in the theater a perfect chance to eventually double their dealership purchases could significantly boost dealership sales. Multiplexes originally helped crush roadshow presentations, with people heading to the theater more frequently to see what’s going on rather than heading to a single movie. This culture has changed dramatically, due to more selective theater attendance and online ticket purchases, so multiplexes now have to adapt more to the crowd of people who are going to see something specific. Maximizing concessions is also the best way to have a direct impact on the success of a movie theater and can help improve overall theater operations.
The public benefits from an intermission in several ways. In practice, you don’t really need to worry about missing crucial scenes in a movie anymore, because they need to use the toilet. While it might seem like a small thing, we’ve gotten so used to the pause button on our remotes that properly preparing for not being able to use the bathroom for three hours could be difficult for many people, especially those who have health issues. problems. This pre-determined bathroom break allows audience members to relax a bit, so that they don’t hold onto her for the final hour of the movie, fearing that they won’t be on top of the best part. On a related note, intermission also makes those ever-longer race times less intimidating. While many are perfectly happy to watch seven straight hours of a TV show in one sitting, something about the roughly three hour hunk freezes people. With an intermission, a three-hour movie could instead be read more digestibly in two consecutive 90-minute episodes to align with more modern viewing habits.
Plus, the intermissions, in a strange way, seem fancy. They make us feel like what we are seeing is so important that we just need a break in the middle to collect our thoughts. A brief interlude at Hobnob generates a special atmosphere currently held exclusively by traditional theater. Instead of leaning over to the person you’re asking a question about what’s going on in the movie, you’ve set aside time to take stock and check the temperature of everyone’s feelings about what you’ve all seen up to. here. You also now have a time slot where using your phone for something becomes perfectly acceptable and doesn’t bother everyone around you.
For studios, films with intermissions really only play as well as in theaters. At home, you would probably move on to the next section of the movie, regardless of that allotted intermission time and continue to take a break wherever you see fit. All of these perks require a movie theater, and in an era when theatrical exposure is getting more and more frightening, not being able to replicate that experience at home on a streaming service could increase those box office numbers slightly. and further demonstrate the future viability of this business.
In recent years, only Quentin Tarantinowestern bedroom room The Hateful Eight embraced the intermission in a notable way. Tarantino has chosen to recreate the entire roadshow experience, with an opening and an intermission, souvenir programs, and projecting it exclusively in 70mm in a small number of rooms. Later, the film spread to wide circulation, eliminating all of those extra features, even that intermission. While it certainly was a noble effort in this recreation, perhaps a one-piece western wasn’t the best test subject to submit to the cinephile audience to see if that was an option. viable, although the execution of these concepts has been done quite well in The Hateful Eight.
To really gauge how everyone would feel about it would have to be something akin to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever announcing that it is 185 minutes long, including a fifteen minute intermission. Of course, this storyline is purely hypothetical, but if this announcement were made, wouldn’t that give the film a sense of grandeur and significance to excite moviegoers? Following Black Panther is going to be a blockbuster phenomenon anyway, but something high-profile running a successful intermission would undoubtedly open the door for more movies to be made by capitalizing on the success of the format, to the point where you can give the movies l seems to be an event that has slowly moved away from cinema as culture flattens out.
Some of the greatest films ever made, from Laurence of Arabia To West Side Story, feel as grandiose as they are because of their size and reach on screen, but because their intermissions give people time to digest what they just watched and time to breathe among what could be an overwhelming epic. Their unique film structures allow them to stand out from the crowd of thousands upon thousands of traditional three-act films. In times of crisis for the film industry, seizing the opportunity to repeat this tactic would be a success even if it worked half as well as in the 1950s and 1960s. Of course, there is always the possibility that people insult intermission, but you have to be prepared to at least try it out before you know its impact.
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