Monday 25 May 2009

Take Out The Trash Day: Vue Cinema and the Mystery Movie.

Last month Vue Cinemas started a monthly 'Mystery Movie.' You buy your ticket to a film having no idea what it is. If within twenty minutes you think the film blows, you can get your money back.

Why are they doing this? Well, to make money obviously. The hope is that it'll bring in more movie-goers. I didn't like the rather pretentious thing that Mark De Quervain, the marketing director of Vue said. "It’s all about getting people to see films they normally wouldn’t see, to see films that wouldn’t be their normal choice of film. We want to broaden their film repertoire.”"

Oh gee, thanks Mark. Thank you for enlightening all of us; without you we'd all be going to repeat viewings of 'Hannah Montana: The Movie'.

What I suspect is going on is that this is a way for the distributors to dump their trash on us. The films that have tested badly or that they fear are likely to flop -- these 'mystery movie' figures will count towards their box-office take. Meaning that, at 6:30pm on a Tuesday they can fill the nations Vue cinemas; meaning full audiences see, I dunno - some struggling Ray Liotta/Ben Affleck movie or whatever.

The first Mystery Movie was the new 'Star Trek,' which is admittedly a pretty cool choice - but then the first film was always going to be. Anyways, I'm open-minded-- anything that gets people into the cinema is a good thing, I just fear that we're going to be used to hand over money for films we don't want to see. And whilst, yes, they do offer your money back after twenty minutes; it's unlikely many people will take that option.

Care to share?


  1. Terrible films forced onto people? Where can I sign up my 80s throwback flick?

    And yeah, I don't like this Mark guy either. My day job is being a movie manager and I really don't care about patron's film knowledge. Just when my shift ends...

  2. Gawd I hate Hannah f'ing Montana. My 4 year old is obsessed and it's ridiculous.

    I'm not sure if I'd do the Mystery Movie thing or not. But you're right...I wouldn't leave after 20 minutes...even if it turned out to be a documentary on rubber bands. You know what they say about train wrecks!

    And this is probably going to get me banned...but I've never seen one single Star Wars movie. Ever.

  3. I hadn't seen one either. I'm not into all that spaceship malarkey. But this new one I saw - I liked it. It was fun.

  4. Wait. You haven't seen 'Star Wars' or 'Star Trek'? Because if you haven't seen 'Star Wars' because you don't like space...then you have no business calling yourself a film aficionado. (I say this lovingly, of course)

    The Star Wars films, like them or not, represent an awakening in American cinema for a lot of moviegoers. You have to at least respect the power of those flicks. And I'm referring to the original trilogy. (Always)

  5. Are you saying you don't like Hannah Montana??? :O haha

    It's an interesting concept, but like you said, it's only cool if it's not a blatantly cynical way of palming off duds and making money from them.

    Also, money back within the first 20 minutes is a cheap shot, few people would make up their minds about a film in that short space of time ... unless it WAS the Hannah Montana movie