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PER3
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Jan 5, 2010, 03:45 PM
 
Interesting to read some translated responses from professionals in China's film industry. They seem to have been very impressed by "Avatar":

(Ning Caishen)

I went to watch the midnight showing of <Avatar> with several directors and producers. Afterwards, the atmosphere was eerie, silent and depressing. Almost nobody talked about this movie. We were all shell-shocked.
(Lu Chuan, director of <City of Life and Death> (Nanking! Nanking!))

I felt as if I had gone back to my childhood and became a small boy full of dreams ... but the simple story was flawless and the plot was very engrossing. <Avatar> let us know that we lack not only just in technology. Technology can be acquired. <Avatar> let me realized how far our movies are from simple perfection; how far our movies are from crystal-clear purity; how far our movies from passionate dreams; how far from genuine sincerity are we who are embroiled in grim entanglements and dim vulgarity! We ought to ashamed in the face of the purity of <Avatar>. This is a complete defeat that we Chinese filmmakers must collectively witness and concede.
From ESWN blog:

EastSouthWestNorth: Daily Brief Comments, January 1-10, 2010

While I don't agree that China has any reason to be ashamed or has faced "complete defeat" in the face of this movie, the reviews were very curious nevertheless.
( Last edited by PER3; Jan 5, 2010 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Cutting repetition.)
     
Monique
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Jan 9, 2010, 01:38 AM
 
Totally amazing movie. Love it from the beginning to the end. I love the fact that it was about aboriginals people in New Zealand.
     
exca1ibur
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Jan 9, 2010, 04:14 AM
 
I just got back from an IMAX 3D I thought it was great. Better than I expected it to be.
     
Eug
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Jan 15, 2010, 04:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by pooka View Post


P.S. Avatar is now over $1.4 billion worldwide. (!) They're nearing the $1 billion mark for foreign, and are at $450 million domestic.

Domestic:

1 Titanic Par. $600,788,188 1997
2 The Dark Knight WB $533,345,358 2008
3 Star Wars Fox $460,998,007 1977
4 Avatar Fox $450,467,005 2009
5 Shrek 2 DW $441,226,247 2004

Worldwide:

1 Titanic Par. $1,842.9 1997
2 Avatar Fox $1,424.6 2009
3 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King NL $1,119.1 2003
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest BV $1,066.2 2006
5 The Dark Knight WB $1,001.9 2008

With these types of numbers I think Avatar has a reasonable chance of beating Titanic.
     
The Final Dakar
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Jan 15, 2010, 04:38 PM
 
Am I the only person unimpressed by money made? Give me tickets sold.
     
TheoCryst
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Jan 15, 2010, 06:40 PM
 
According to Box Office Mojo, Avatar is still hovering around #50 after adjusting for ticket price inflation (which is pretty close to showing a real ticket count). But again, this only counts domestic sales, not international.

Anecdotally, Avatar seems to be doing better than many recent movies -- several weeks after its release, people are still lining up an hour in advance to see it in non-IMAX 3D in Seattle. If you want to see it at the IMAX theater, you need to buy tickets at least a week in advance.

Any ramblings are entirely my own, and do not represent those of my employers, coworkers, friends, or species
     
TheoCryst
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Jan 15, 2010, 07:27 PM
 
Actually, I just realized I haven't commented on the movie itself yet. I've seen it twice now, once on opening night after my friend dragged me to see it, and again with a different friend. As of a week before opening day, I had exactly zero intention of seeing it -- the trailers left me completely underwhelmed and unimpressed, but a few glowing reviews (specifically by Ebert and Gizmodo) convinced me that it might be worth watching, if only for the eye-candy.

Since I don't really feel like writing a long review and no one really feels like reading one, I'll briefly echo what everyone's been saying. Avatar brings gorgeous visuals, is the first movie to really do 3D right, and boasts good emotional depth (I actually gave a crap about the characters and whether they lived or died). Yes, the plot was weak and the characters were one-dimensional, but the important part is that through two viewings, I didn't care. As a whole, the movie was creative and gripping, even if we've all seen the plot a hundred times before.

An easy 4.5/5 stars, no questions asked.

Any ramblings are entirely my own, and do not represent those of my employers, coworkers, friends, or species
     
dedalus
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Jan 15, 2010, 07:49 PM
 
Say you only saw it in 2D. Is it better than LOTR?
     
BlueSky
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Jan 15, 2010, 07:50 PM
 
First time I've seen a 3D film, I didn't realize the technology was so uncrappy. I was more impressed with the 3D effect during inside scenes...it was like there was someone standing right over yonder.

Great film.
     
Chuckit
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Jan 15, 2010, 08:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Am I the only person unimpressed by money made? Give me tickets sold.
Because convincing people to buy a movie ticket for $5 is just as impressive as convincing them to buy one for $17?
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ghporter
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Jan 15, 2010, 09:34 PM
 
Since today most tickets cost $10 or so the total gross is not really comparable to the number of tickets sold. Does anyone here remember when, in 1977 Star Wars astounded reviewers by getting people to stand in long lines for hours to buy tickets? At $3 a ticket, it made a whole lot of money. Today, a movie that sells 1/3 the tickets could gross the same amount. Attendance is what matters most in terms of popularity, not gross. Even adjusting for inflation doesn't really do the job of reflecting attendance unless you correct for regional differences in ticket prices across the years-which I doubt anyone has the historical ticket price data to actually do.

Making piles of money is a good thing, no doubt about it. But making piles of money because lots and lots of people go to see the film is better.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
turtle777
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Jan 15, 2010, 09:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheoCryst View Post
Anecdotally, Avatar seems to be doing better than many recent movies -- several weeks after its release, people are still lining up an hour in advance to see it in non-IMAX 3D in Seattle. If you want to see it at the IMAX theater, you need to buy tickets at least a week in advance.
Wow, that's odd.

I saw it almost 4 weeks ago in an IMAX in Chicago. Bought my ticket about 3 hours in advance.
What's up with Seattle ?

-t
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 16, 2010, 05:20 PM
 
Ok I saw it first in IMAX and now a second time in "Normal" but still in 3D.
This was a top notch theatre with true IMAX screens and theatres.

I can say the non-Imax version is MUCH better. When I saw it in IMAX it was really hard on the eyes that I couldn't wait to get out of there. The picture was also overly sharp and the edges harsh. Things looked way to layered and it poped up in 3D or it was flat.

When I saw it again last night in the normal 3D theatre my eyes didn't hurt once and the picture was very clean and had a great sense of depth. I was totally comfortable with the glasses and the 3D image.

I looked it up and the movie was filmed in 2:35 non-Imax. The IMAX version is something like 4:3 ratio so lots must be cut off the sides, plus it really looks upconverted. I also remember it didn't even fill the entire screen like a tru IMAX movie does.

From now on I am not going to IMAX unless it was filmed in IMAX like Dark Knight was.

So love 3D. Don't dig upconverted IMAX movies.
     
dedalus
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Jan 16, 2010, 06:06 PM
 
According to Jim, Avatar actually was shot for Imax (RealD, actually), with the 2:35 Cinemascope cut extracted from the full frame version afterwards. According to this, he did want to shoot at at least 48fps to counter strobing, but FOX shot him down over that. There’s a good article about the whole technical side here.

Incidentally, only about 30 minutes of The Dark Knight were shot in Imax format, the rest is standard 35mm.

[Edit:] Apparently, RealD 3D is superior to Imax 3D, that’s why it looks better. First of all, the projected framerate is much higher, and secondly, RealD 3D using digital projectors means the entire production can be digital, whereas the Imax 3D requirement of having to have the video transferred onto 70mm film stock for projection increases costs significantly.
( Last edited by dedalus; Jan 17, 2010 at 09:21 AM. Reason: accuracy)
     
ghporter
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Jan 16, 2010, 07:12 PM
 
Filming at 48FPS would at least double the film stock cost for any film. For a big film like Avatar, film stock is a big chunk of change to begin with. Plain 35mm stock costs around 50¢/ft for color negative and probably about 20¢/ft for processing. There are only 16 frames of 35mm film per foot, so every second is 1.5 feet...or $1.05 just to come up with a processed negative. 65mm IMAX stock is significantly more expensive; it's about each frame is about 4x the size of a 35mm frame, which means that not only is there more material involved, but there are only about 4 frames per foot... That's a LOT of money.

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dedalus
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Jan 16, 2010, 07:29 PM
 
Well, obviously.

it’s a nightmare from a director’s point of view. All you want to do is get your vision realised, but the suits can only think short term.

If Jim had got the go‑ahead to shoot have it projected on 70mm stock at 48fps, analogue SPRINKLES would have had a killer experience at the IMAX theatre, told all his friends, they all would have paid through their noses to get the same experience, and the studio might very well be making more profit out of the film than they are now.

[Edit:] Obviously, the movie was not shot on film but digitally, using a bunch of Sony CineAltas and Cameron’s own PACE Vision system. [facepalm] Neither camera is capable of shooting at 48fps. Nowadays, he could have used RED Ones for the filming, but obviously they weren’t available at the start of production.
( Last edited by dedalus; Jan 17, 2010 at 09:04 AM. Reason: Stupidity.)
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 16, 2010, 08:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by dedalus View Post
According to Jim, Avatar actually was shot for Imax, with the 2:35 Cinemascope cut extracted from the full frame version afterwards. According to this, he did want to shoot at at least 48fps to counter strobing, but FOX shot him down over that. There’s a good article about the whole technical side here.

Incidentally, only about 30 minutes of The Dark Knight were shot in Imax format, the rest is standard 35mm.
Strange. I definitely didn't like it in IMAX. Was much to intense and sharp with strange depth even though I was dead centre of the theatre. I still don't get why it wasn't the full screen either if they filmed it in IMAX.

I remember that only parts of Dark Knight was in IMAX, they look amazing even on Blu-ray.
     
dedalus
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Jan 16, 2010, 08:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
I still don't get why it wasn't the full screen either if they filmed it in IMAX.
Theoretically, what you viewed at the Imax theatre should have been the full frame, nothing missing from either side, more data vertically. What they show at 2D venues ought to be somewhat less than that, top and bottom chopped off.
     
ghporter
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Jan 16, 2010, 11:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by dedalus View Post
Well, obviously.

it’s a nightmare from a director’s point of view. All you want to do is get your vision realised, but the suits can only think short term.

If Jim had got the go‑ahead to shoot on 70mm stock at 48fps, analogue SPRINKLES would have had a killer experience at the IMAX theatre, told all his friends, they all would have paid through their noses to get the same experience, and the studio might very well be making more profit out of the film than they are now.
No doubt it would have been awesome with chocolate sprinkles on it if it had been filmed at 48fps. But Cameron is savvy enough to not push something that wouldn't sell or would torpedo the project. Perhaps he went with the available, affordable option of 24fps to make a point-that 24 isn't fast enough for something so visual and deep in 3D or IMAX.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Eug
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Jan 18, 2010, 01:07 AM
 
Avatar has hit $1.6 billion worldwide, after only one month.

For comparison, the next Blu-ray purchase on my list, The Hurt Locker, made $16 million worldwide. ie. So far, Avatar (82% on RT) has made 100X as much as The Hurt Locker (97% on RT).
     
The Final Dakar
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Jan 18, 2010, 11:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Since today most tickets cost $10 or so the total gross is not really comparable to the number of tickets sold. Does anyone here remember when, in 1977 Star Wars astounded reviewers by getting people to stand in long lines for hours to buy tickets? At $3 a ticket, it made a whole lot of money. Today, a movie that sells 1/3 the tickets could gross the same amount. Attendance is what matters most in terms of popularity, not gross. Even adjusting for inflation doesn't really do the job of reflecting attendance unless you correct for regional differences in ticket prices across the years-which I doubt anyone has the historical ticket price data to actually do.

Making piles of money is a good thing, no doubt about it. But making piles of money because lots and lots of people go to see the film is better.
I don't get to say this often, but gh understood my thinking.
     
exca1ibur
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Jan 18, 2010, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Since today most tickets cost $10 or so the total gross is not really comparable to the number of tickets sold. Does anyone here remember when, in 1977 Star Wars astounded reviewers by getting people to stand in long lines for hours to buy tickets? At $3 a ticket, it made a whole lot of money. Today, a movie that sells 1/3 the tickets could gross the same amount. Attendance is what matters most in terms of popularity, not gross. Even adjusting for inflation doesn't really do the job of reflecting attendance unless you correct for regional differences in ticket prices across the years-which I doubt anyone has the historical ticket price data to actually do.

Making piles of money is a good thing, no doubt about it. But making piles of money because lots and lots of people go to see the film is better.
That was a beautiful post man.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 18, 2010, 02:58 PM
 
Does it really matter how much money it makes for any of us? Do we get a cut? Bragging rights? What?
Nobody here seemed to absolutely love the movie to death so I don't see why it really matters anyway.

Plenty of great movies hardly make a dime. Horrible movies usually make a killing (horror/teen crap).

We need to measure how good of a movie it is on everything other than ticket sales and money.
     
exca1ibur
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:20 PM
 
You still need to factor in how many people saw the movie, to affect the percentage of how many liked it.

Number of people and review/ranking are the best ways, IMO. Not money.
     
Eug
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
Does it really matter how much money it makes for any of us? Do we get a cut? Bragging rights? What?
Nobody here seemed to absolutely love the movie to death so I don't see why it really matters anyway.

Plenty of great movies hardly make a dime. Horrible movies usually make a killing (horror/teen crap).

We need to measure how good of a movie it is on everything other than ticket sales and money.
Of course it matters. Good dramas with potentially lousy ticket sales are at a strong disadvantage to getting made.

I'm personally interested in why Avatar and Titanic made so much frickin' money despite having so many issues with the dialogue, etc. ie. Do you have to intentionally dumb down your movies to be a commercial success? It seems so.
     
The Final Dakar
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:27 PM
 
I think buzz is a huge factor. Both had a huge amount going in thanks to their budgets.
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Because convincing people to buy a movie ticket for $5 is just as impressive as convincing them to buy one for $17?
Well, seeing as Avatar has only sold 69,630,300 tickets, and Star Wars: A New Hope sold 178,119,600, Avatar is a long way from being #1 in ticket sales.
     
Chuckit
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I think buzz is a huge factor. Both had a huge amount going in thanks to their budgets.
Titanic did, but Avatar didn't seem to have that much more than your average big-budget blockbuster. In fact, most of the early buzz for Avatar was negative, how it was Ferngully for furries, etc.
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exca1ibur
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Do you have to intentionally dumb down your movies to be a commercial success? It seems so.
Of course you do. It's not just the movie industry though, gaming took a big leap doing the same thing.
     
The Final Dakar
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Titanic did, but Avatar didn't seem to have that much more than your average big-budget blockbuster. In fact, most of the early buzz for Avatar was negative, how it was Ferngully for furries, etc.
By budgets I didn't mean their marketing budgets, I meant the attention the size of their budgets attracted.
     
Chuckit
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Well, seeing as Avatar has only sold 69,630,300 tickets, and Star Wars: A New Hope sold 178,119,600, Avatar is a long way from being #1 in ticket sales.
Yes, but tickets only cost $3 when Star Wars was out. This is like looking at Apple's iPhone sales and comparing them to Nokia's free handset sales and going, "Man, Apple has a huge flop on its hands." It doesn't seem unlikely that if Avatar tickets only cost $3, it would have beaten the tar out of Star Wars.
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Chuckit
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
By budgets I didn't mean their marketing budgets, I meant the attention the size of their budgets attracted.
Yes, that's what I meant too. Most of the buzz around Avatar early on was about the ambitious CGI and the fact that the plot sounded stupid. There was a little talk about the budget, but most big-budget action movies get approximately the same amount.
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The Final Dakar
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:45 PM
 
Then I disagree on your analysis of Avatar.
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Yes, but tickets only cost $3 when Star Wars was out. This is like looking at Apple's iPhone sales and comparing them to Nokia's free handset sales and going, "Man, Apple has a huge flop on its hands." It doesn't seem unlikely that if Avatar tickets only cost $3, it would have beaten the tar out of Star Wars.
What does that have to do with it? When you factor in inflation, the costs are almost exactly the same.
     
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Jan 18, 2010, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
What does that have to do with it? When you factor in inflation, the costs are almost exactly the same.
Give or take 70%, sure. Accounting for inflation, $3 is about $10. The price of an IMAX movie in many places is about $17. And in case you haven't noticed, we're in the middle of a recession and lots of layoffs, so it's not like the populace is exactly awash in their fat, inflated dollars.
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Jan 18, 2010, 04:01 PM
 
Yeah, that people are so willing to fork over so many $$ for Avatar is quite impressive, esp. in this day and age when there are so many other sources of video entertainment (most of which didn't exist during the Star Wars era).
     
The Final Dakar
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Jan 18, 2010, 04:02 PM
 
I'm starting to feel that trying to compare film performances that are 30 years apart is as pointless as comparing players from different sports eras.
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 18, 2010, 05:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Give or take 70%, sure. Accounting for inflation, $3 is about $10. The price of an IMAX movie in many places is about $17. And in case you haven't noticed, we're in the middle of a recession and lots of layoffs, so it's not like the populace is exactly awash in their fat, inflated dollars.
You don't have to see it in IMAX. Here, tickets are $5.75 for a digital showing... which means it's actually cheaper than back then.

EDIT: In today's money, A New Hope has made $2.8b.
( Last edited by imitchellg5; Jan 18, 2010 at 05:55 PM. )
     
exca1ibur
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Jan 18, 2010, 05:57 PM
 
I haven't seen a movie theater charge $5.75 for a matinee since about 88.
( Last edited by exca1ibur; Jan 18, 2010 at 06:25 PM. )
     
downinflames68
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Jan 18, 2010, 06:22 PM
 
Used PS3 games cost $20. They also provide 8-15 hours of enjoyment, at the bare minimum.
     
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Jan 18, 2010, 06:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
Used PS3 games cost $20. They also provide 8-15 hours of enjoyment, at the bare minimum.
Yes, but there are only four of them in existence.
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downinflames68
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Jan 18, 2010, 06:30 PM
 
?!

I just bought Uncharted, Assassin's Creed, and COD5 for $60.

There are many more. I watched Avatar online for about 2/3rds of it. Glad I didn't pay for that. I wound up turning it off when I knew he'd fight for the natives.
     
jersey
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Jan 18, 2010, 06:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
I haven't seen a movie theater charge $5.75 for a matinee since about 88.
HA! I go see movies when I'm back home visiting. All first run, but no fancy 3d stuff ....

$2.25 before 6pm and $4.25 after. Word up. Popcorn, still $8.
     
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Jan 18, 2010, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
?!

I just bought Uncharted, Assassin's Creed, and COD5 for $60.

There are many more. I watched Avatar online for about 2/3rds of it. Glad I didn't pay for that. I wound up turning it off when I knew he'd fight for the natives.
Yes, that means there's only one used PS3 game left. Unfortunately, it's The Orange Box.
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Jan 18, 2010, 06:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
I haven't seen a movie theater charge $5.75 for a matinee since about 88.
That's what they charge here. And then a military discount bring it down to $4.75.
     
Chuckit
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Jan 18, 2010, 07:06 PM
 
Matinee here is $11.
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imitchellg5
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Jan 18, 2010, 07:41 PM
 
Wow. Get away from California.
     
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Jan 18, 2010, 08:09 PM
 
Cinemark Bay Area Prices.
$9.50 is about the cheapest, but you might have to take a road trip to get there, or yell 'Shut the F up, often' to random people.


$9.75
$10.75
$11
$10.25
$10.25

They even charge more on the weekends on top of that.
     
torsoboy
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Status: Offline
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Jan 18, 2010, 08:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
I haven't seen a movie theater charge $5.75 for a matinee since about 88.
The matinee shows are $5.50 here and the regular showings are $7.50. Too much money, according to me. For the 3D movies they tack on an additional $2 "technology fee".
     
exca1ibur
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Oakland, CA
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Jan 18, 2010, 08:20 PM
 
IMAX is $14.75 here. $10.75 + $4 (tech fee)

This is where I went to see Avatar
IMAX
     
 
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