Serenity Now : Stop Advertising Before The Movie

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Serenity Now (taken from the classic Seinfeld episode) is a place where we complain about whatever is bothering us in the world. 

The movie starts at 7PM, so you buy your $12-22 ticket (depending on how many dimensions you choose to view it in), buy whatever overpriced concession food your heart desires and sit down hoping that this movie is worth the growing price of going out to the theatre.Then 7PM hits but its not the movie that’s starting, it’s not even the trailers, its 5-10 minutes of advertising bullshit. I absolutely despise this practice and it needs to stop.

I understand that the movies are a business and  this is a way for the company to widen their profit margins but that doesn’t make it right. If it is a necessary act, do it BEFORE the scheduled start time like the rest of the pre show.  On top of the increasing cost of the ticket/food and the trailers that we have to sit through (which we have as a society grown to accept) we now have to sit through this too?! We are already bombarded with product placement within the movie, we have already paid our price of admission. Enough is enough.

It’s not even solely from a monetary perspective. It’s an issue of time. Our time on this planet is limited, so when I buy a ticket for a movie that starts at 7. I want the movie to start at 7 instead of at 7:30 (which has become increasingly the case). You can’t buy back that lost time and if you are a frequent visitor like I am (estimated ~100 times a year if I hit my goal of 300+ films watched annually) it becomes increasingly alarming how much time I have unwillingly wasted due to forced advertising. Yet studios still complain about piracy (and how it keeps increasing) when the collective industry is trying to rob the consumer time and time again

This sounds trivial, I know but imagine if every time you went to a restaurant you were forced to sit through a 2 minute ad for (insert mega giant corporation here) before every dish came and you were allowed to eat. Or, for example if on every third page of that new book you’re reading an annoying pop up ad appears forcing you to watch it.  You are still paying full price for these things, nothing has changed in that regard but just picture the outrage if such a practice came to be.

It’s easy to just say “well why don’t you just come at 7:30 instead of 7” but again to use the restaurant metaphor if I booked a reservation at 7 I’d expect to be seated at 7 (with slight leeway but definitely not half an hour).

You could argue that the overall cost of the movie going experience would go up even more without these ads but even in that scenario I’d be happy paying more if I knew that my movie would start on time (again the time lost cannot be reacquired).

Please movie goers of the world, stop putting up with this bullshit. You are already putting in your hard earned money to go to the theatre, don’t let them get your time too. On the internet there is adblock but in life we lack such a luxury.

Stop this practice, it wouldn’t be acceptable anywhere else in the real world, don’t let it be acceptable here. Stop pre movie advertising.

Nate Lam
Nate Lam
Editor-in-chief of Before The Cyborgs. Part time filmmaker and occasional short story author. One day he hopes to be as cool as Bill Murray. Follow his latest work on Before The Cyborgs or follow him on twitter (@NateTheCyborg) to get the latest updates.



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