Netflix should tie up with Movie Theaters

I love watching movies, and in New York City, where I live, the cost of watching one movie in a theater is around $13-$15. For two people, that’s almost $30, and if you have a family of four, that’s pretty darn pricey.

No wonder lesser and lesser people are “going to the movies”. Well, there are other reasons too I guess. Home theater systems for one, but I don’t know if their penetration has reached the point that they are causing the masses to stay home. Shitty movies might be another, but shittyness doesn’t have that great a track record of keeping the masses away from anything. I mean we have this and this! Maybe piracy? Now that’s a whole new conversation, but at the end of the day I do believe; provide something compelling and people will pay (a little).

I was in a bus passing by the United Artists Theater on 1st Ave & 85th St, and its currently playing Black Swan, and thought hmm, it would be good to get off the bus and go watch it until my impulse to not pay $30 to some production house kicked in. You can argue if that is justified, but afford it or not, it doesn’t pass my cost-benefit analysis-o-meter!

So here’s my idea; I googled it a bit and doesn’t seem like its been talked about publicly. Netflix, feel free to steal and implement it. Okay, maybe not really. If it works, I would like 50% of the profits. Just putting it out there in the universe, you never know what sticks!

I currently pay somewhere around $10 to get one DVD at home and unlimited streaming of the movies available for instant watching. Pretty good deal, as my cost-benefit analysis-o-meter tells me. Charge me $20, if you can also give me the ability to go to a theater and pay a small amount, say $5 and see a movie.

There are currently around 20 million Netflix subscribers in the US and Canada, and here is how much the top grossing movies of 2010 made. Table copied from here.

Rank Movie Title (click to view) Studio Total Gross /Theaters Opening / Theaters Open Close
1 Toy Story 3 BV $415,004,880 4,028 $110,307,189 4,028 6/18 12/2
2 Alice in Wonderland (2010) BV $334,191,110 3,739 $116,101,023 3,728 3/5 7/8
3 Iron Man 2 Par. $312,433,331 4,390 $128,122,480 4,380 5/7 8/19
4 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Sum. $300,531,751 4,468 $64,832,191 4,468 6/30 10/21
5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 WB $292,890,256 4,125 $125,017,372 4,125 11/19

So i’m not really a finance guy but maybe there is a way to make the numbers work here. Infact, there will probably be a lot of interest in such an offer, even at a higher price point, say $30. Besides it will create economic activity that could be tied back to Netflix, and the movie business in the long run.

I don’t care about the shitty butter covered corn and sugar they serve at the theater, and yea, noisy idiots do bother me, but i’ll figure that one out. However, I do love to watch movies on the big screen, and will jump at this offer. Hopefully many others will too.

Finally I would like to say that these opinions are solely mine and I do own a minuscule amount of stock in Netflix, so if their share price was to increase because of this post, maybe I will go and watch a couple more movies at the local theater.

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About floatingfrisbee

A programmer/blogger from New York City
This entry was posted in business, ideas and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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