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On the wisdom of crowds

after last weeks Batman story I got an e-mail grilling me on why I have a rule to not see movies on the opening weekend.

As the individual pointed out, I not only advocate going to the theatre generally (watching movies in large groups is a profoundly different experience than doing so at home), but I had actually chastised him in the past for not going to see certain movies on opening weekend (because the opening weekend gross often determines if small films last more than the opening weekend).

An aside: If you are a Canadian, and like Canadian films (or aren’t sure if you like Canadian films because you can never find any in your local multiplex) go join the First Weekend Club. Not only will you get notified when cool domestic films open near you, there may be the occasional cool freebie in your future. Just saying.

To clarify this seeming hypocracy, my rule is: No Hollywood Studio Films on Opening Weekend. Ever..

This rule was introduced for a very simple reason: Opening weekend of “tentpole” (major summer) films attract people who don’t normally go to movies. And their children. These are the types of people who drag their sleep-deprived children to late films because they want to see them themselves, and throw things, and talk with each other, and answer their cellphones in the final five minutes of the film and then proceed to narrate what is happening in the film with their buddy on the other end of the phone in order to determine how much time is left in the film and in the process spoiler the ending.

In short, these are people who think they are in their living rooms. If I wanted to watch movies in stranger’s living rooms I’d take up breaking and entering.

I did make an exception for “The Dark Knight” (which was great fun and unusually complex popcorn fare) and sure enough, five minutes from the ending, some nitwit started text-messaging on their phone, unaware that their screen was blinding several rows behind them. Much shouting and profanity ensued. Therefore until theatres insistute some kind of audience licensing system, the rule remains in effect.