disney @ lil theaters: give us all ur money
Have you ever thought about why people sour so quickly on the ideas of ‘business’? Have you ever thought why people refuse to even pick up a book about business because it’s about business? Some of it may very well be intellectual laziness… but a lot of it seems to stem from the behavior people have seen businesses engage in.
Fairness matters to people, good behavior matters, compassion matters… and over and over people see businesses do the exact opposite of what they would do in a particular situation. United Airlines allows a passenger to be assaulted and only pretends to care, Google & Gang arbitrarily restrict access to services, banks charge for anything and everything without ever giving anything that a normal person would consider as proper notice. People, in a general sense, would not engage in that kind of behavior. They know that behavior is terrible and they cannot see themselves engaging in it.
So ‘business’ as a whole, through the specific actions of a few moronic businesses and their managers… becomes tainted. It’s a dirty word and a dirty thing that only the greedy and evil know about and engage in. That is not true… but do you now understand how people can reach that conclusion?
If not, here’s another example of poor business behavior…
WSJ reports Disney has crafted agreements through which it will receive roughly 65 percent of ticket sales, “a new benchmark for a Hollywood studio” according to the report. (Average splits range from 40 percent abroad to 55 percent on average in the US to 60 percent for only the largest hits, WSJ writes.) And anonymous theater owners told the paper that Disney’s list of requirements for carrying The Last Jedi are the “most onerous they’ve ever seen.”
Among the asks theaters had to oblige, Disney insisted The Last Jedi must be shown on a participating theater’s largest auditorium for at least four weeks, theaters must sign individually watermarked contracts so official language doesn’t leak, and any marketing must be held until Disney gives theaters the go-ahead.
Disney not only wants a larger cut of the revenue generated by Star Wars: The Last Jedi it is also preventing theaters from showing other films.
That is the behavior of a bully.
It may not sound like a big deal to you because in your mind you’re picturing large chains like Regal or AMC who have oodles of screens and have the marketing power to charge more to make up for Disney’s increased cut of sales.
But not everybody is an AMC or Regal.
Some are much smaller businesses, are community driven, have limited numbers of screens, and show a mixture of popular and niche content. Some are those quirky hipster-ish theaters where you can chug a beer while enjoying Indiana Jones.
And that’s a problem.
Being locked in to showing only Star Wars on your largest screens means death for a smaller theater. They cannot only show Star Wars on repeat for months on end.
So if a smaller theater rejects Disney’s terms they lose out on a big chunk of revenue. If they accept Disney’s terms they lose out on a big chunk of revenue from other films. It’s a lose lose for theaters. And Disney doesn’t care because they’re a bully.
They wont care.
At best, they’ll pretend to care only after public outcry.
Lose lose situations is exactly what people hate… it’s exactly why people hate ‘business’… and it’s just another reason to abandon Hollywood.