Friday, March 31, 2006

Family Films -- and a plea from the indie cinema in Oakmont

From the email newsletter at The Oaks Theater.

We generally receive a lot of comments and suggestions about showing more "family-friendly fare," but this week we're feeling a little burned. "DUMA" is one of the best films of the year, and landed on several critics' TOP 10 lists for 2005, nationwide. It's a beautifully photographed film, appropriate for all ages, with none of the typical kiddie-flick pandering that is a trademark cliche of most Hollywood family fare. Still, despite the overwhelming number of pleas we hear to show "less R-rated movies," this past week has been disappointingly slow. The total week-long attendance barely equals one DAY's attendance for our last R-rated film. Meanwhile, "DUMA" is currently playing to sold-out crowds in single-screen art-house theaters in nearby cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C.

Why is that?

We showed "DUMA" three times a day this week, often filling less than 10% of our 430-seat auditorium. Statistics like this present the argument that similar films are simply bad for business! We always appreciate feedback and movie requests, but we certainly cannot afford to cater to requests that promise no return. We have held onto "DUMA" for three extra shows this weekend, Friday thru Sunday at 3pm, and we challenge you to bring your families THIS WEEKEND and prove that it is worth our commitment to continue bringing films based on audience demand. Right now it's certainly seeming like most families won't come unless there's a Happy Meal endorsement involved.

Unless we can get a better sense that audience support backs up audience demand, this will probably be the last "family film" for awhile...

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