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Release Me?

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By Chris Kavan - 03/22/10 at 10:40 AM CT

There was quite a stir recently when Disney announced they were going to release Alice in Wonderland on DVD a scant three months from premiere. Some theater chains pulled the film, irate over the fact that they thought people would skip the theatrical release and wait for the home version.

Yet Alice has dominated the box office since its release. Sure, the 3D aspect had a lot to do with its success, but from this point of view, it seems people (myself included) don't care when a movie is released - I know I would rather see a good movie in the theater than at home, no matter how good my setup looks.

What's really bothering theater owners is that year to year, attendance is down. Sure, the bottom line looks great, but only because ticket prices keep going up to offset a lower number of people. I'm sure some people are content that their Blu-Ray/Home Theater system can rival any theater packed with noisy teens, cell phone interruptions and the crying babies. Me? I wouldn't trade the experience of watching a movie on the big screen for anything else.

I have to wonder if I'm in the minority on that issue. Even with the rampant price gouging (though I'm sure Nebraska has nothing on New York or L.A. when it comes to pricing), I still would rather watch a mediocre movie in the theater, than a great movie at home - distractions and all. I've had good experiences, I've had bad, but every one counts for something.

So go on - I don't care if you release a film six, four, three or the next week after a film comes out. If it's a movie I want to see on the big screen, you can bet I'm still going to watch it in the theater first.


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