The light dims. Usually we’d say the “curtain raises” but we’ve just sat through seven Scotiabank and Telus commercials. The trailers start. After about 15 minutes, you’ve been blasted with about five different mini-movies, all with an attempt to bring you back to the theatre to spend money from our ever-dwindling entertainment budget. Did it work? What entices you to see a movie? There are usually four factors.
1) Who’s in it / Who made it – “I loooooooove Nicholas Cage,” said no one. But people do see movies based on who’s staring in them or who directed them. Maybe you have to see every Quentin Tarantino film or if Tom Cruise’s name is above the title, you’re automatically in line at the theatre. Unfortunately, this can lead you to seeing a lot of crap (ie Nic Cage), based on the fact that not every actor is hitting it out of the park every time. Whether it’s because you identify with them, respect their talent or see something in them that you wish you had, this is probably one of the most common reasons people will see a movie, sometimes regardless of good or bad reviews.
2) Familiarity (remakes, reboots, sequels and prequels) – gotta collect them all. Whether you must see the new Hobbit Trilogy (3 movies, 1 book…really?) because you loved the Lord of the Rings movies or books, or Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka ignites that nostalgia for Gene Wilder‘s Willy Wonka, there’s something to be said for familiarity. Or, as the studios like to call it, “a built-in audience” and “name recognition”…which basically means, you’ll pay for this just because you heard about it that one time or because you’re devoted to it in another medium – comic, book, board game, video game, etc. This seems to be most embraced during the summer months when everything is at its most unoriginal. Hey, I’m as guilty as anybody. As a fanboy, I’ll watch anything that has some link to a comic book, superhero or otherwise, but I think that lends itself as much to genre…
3) Genre – My girlfriend loves westerns and horror. Me? I’m interested in anything but horror (sorry honey). Fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, comedies, dramas; everyone has a genre then tend to lean towards more than others. Hell, I’d even add blockbusters and independents in there as I know some people won’t miss a single summer, big-budget flick while others avoid them like the plague. Movies like these tend to come in and out of popularity, usually depending on one big movie. For example, when Unforgiven came out and won a bunch of Oscars, there was a nice flood of westerns. Knocked Up and 40-Year Old Virgin influenced a lot of sex-focused comedies (thankfully most went straight to DVD).
4) That certain something…Have you ever seen a trailer and it hooked you? Maybe it was for that “Based on a True Story” tag boldly portrayed at the beginning of the commercial? Or maybe…just maybe…it seemed like an interesting story? Those don’t happen as much as they used to because the other three points are easier to do to get your ass in a theatre. It is nice when it happens though.
What inspires you to travel to your local Cineplex and fork over your cash? One of these things or do you have another reason? I’d love to hear what gets your movie-going on.