Unlimited movie theater pass system on hold

Unlimited movie theater pass system on hold (photo)

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So remember a few days ago when I wrote a piece called “What I want from an all-you-can-watch movie theater pass?” That was inspired by the news of MoviePass, a program that would offer unlimited Netflix-esque access to movie theaters for a flat monthly rate. The things I wanted were like “reasonable pricing and “reserved seating” but I guess I should have included more basic stuff like “that it exists and is available to the public” and “doesn’t draw the white-hot rage of exhibitors.”

The story breaking last night from Wired, who got my hopes up by telling me about this idea in the first place, is that MoviePass’ beta test, which was supposed to kick off this weekend in San Francisco, is now on hold, ostensibly because they built this entire product based around movie theaters without getting the movie theaters’ support. In the words of George Costanza, “was that wrong? Should I not have done that?”

Well, yes, obviously! Apparently, MoviePass “coordinated its ticketing with online ticket sellers, instead of cinemas, after not being able to get exhibitors to sign on.” In other words, the theaters said no so the company tried an end-around by working up a technology that worked with online ticket websites instead. When the service was announced, all these companies read the news with incredulity. One exhibitor chain CEO whose theaters were unwittingly part of the planned beta test described his reaction to the news of MoviePass to Wired as “stunned” and added “we are not interested in outside entities setting ticket prices for us.”

That was number two on my list of wants for an unlimited theater pass, “flexibility across all movie chains.” And it’s pretty clear now that the whole thing has fallen apart that that was a big sticking point. Why would all these theaters want to work together? They’re competitors! In a business that’s based on customer loyalty, you can’t encourage potential ticket buyers to go somewhere else. Even more fundamentally, why would they want someone else taking and controlling their ticket sales? This idea might work for moviegoers — it definitely works for moviegoers — but that doesn’t mean it works for movie theaters.

With exhibitors balking, MoviePass is now, in the words of Norman Osborne, “back to formula.” If it ever comes to fruition some day, I would be very surprised if it had that much desired flexibility. I think we’ve got a decent shot at one theater chain putting together their own private all-you-can-watch system; it’s too good an idea for that not to happen. But an umbrella organization operating independently of — but utilizing the theaters of — all these chains? Don’t hold your breath.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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