Open Letter to Mark Cuban
My idea for the movie biz challenge.
Take the best of the Alamo Draft House concept of having food and drink served on counters at your seat and merge it with a low key touchscreen at each seat for ordering food and products, and roll in a perpetual “film festival” ambience and theme.
I can elaborate on all these in detail if you’re interested.
I have a friend in Austin who owns the old Aquarius movie theater in South Austin and he’s looking for a revival of it. This would be an ideal test bed.
You’ve covered the kids and rowdy cell phone users. This would be for the rest of us. The SXSWers, the boomers, the quiet crowd.
I think I’ve got your answer.
Ok, blog reader if you’re scratching your head I need to fill you in on a little background. Over the last few days, Mark Cuban has issued a “movie business challenge”. It’s … well, here it is:
This is an open challenge. You come up with a solution, you get a job. Seriously.
This is the problem that consumes me more than what Free Agent we are going to sign. How to get the NBA to get their act together. Which 7-11 Im going to run by to get a sandwich. Its that important.
Only HDNet takes more time out my day than trying to solve this problem. Its the holy grail of the movie business. How do you get people out of the house to see your movie without spending a fortune. How can you convince 5 million people to give up their weekend and go to a theater to see a specific movie without spending 60mm dollars.
For those of you doing the math. You are right. Its not unusual to spend 8, 10 , 12 dollars PER PERSON that goes to a movie in the opening weekend. Shoot, its not unusual for studios to spend that much per person to get people to go to the theater through a movies entire run !
How crazy is it to spend more on marketing than the revenue recieved when they go to the movie ? Its double crazy because that revenue is split with the theater. So if a studio spends 12 bucks to get someone to go to the theater, they might only be getting 4 dollars back in return.
You would think that there has to be a better way than spending 1x, 2x, 3x or more times the initial revenue received opening weekend or week ? Right ?
For all of you thinking that there are other downstream revenues such as PPV, DVD, TV, whatever….no shit. Yes, those revenue streams will benefit from the initial spend, but they dont make the economics of getting people into theaters any less frightening.
We are looking at affiliate programs. So people with lots of myspace or other social network friends could get a buck or 2 or 3 if someone goes from their myspace page directly to fandago, moviefone, movietickets.com etc and buys a ticket to a film of ours prior to its release. Get 100 friends to buy tickets to a movie, get a 100 bucks from us.
We are looking at other similar ideas.
We already do movie marketing 101. We do buzz marketing. We put up videos all over the net. We set up websites, myspace accounts for the movies and its characters, we work with movie forums, we buy ads, etc, etc, etc. If its been done before, we are doing it.
So if you want a job, and have a great idea on how to market movies in a completely different way. If your idea works for any and all kinds of movies. If it changes the dynamics and the economics of promoting movies, email it or post it. If its new and unique, i want to hear about it. If its a different way of doing the same thing you have seen before, it probably wont get you a job, but feel free to try.
So go for it. Come up with a great idea that i want to use and I will come up with a job for you to make that idea happen.