Showing posts with label Piracy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Piracy. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is it a DVD Movie or Theater Movie?

Going to theaters to watch a movie was an event. I still remember as a kid the excitement would start much in advance. For a long time, maybe due to innocence or ignorance, no movie was good or bad. I just loved watching movies. Going to theater with parents or friends or relatives was always desired.

There were times when I was willing to pay a premium (black tickets). While on the others, I would be quite satisfied with the front row seats that cost a fraction of the normal tickets.

Over a period of time, due to changes in technology and economics, the business of watching a movie has changed drastically.

I recently watched watched Kalavaani at the newly opened PVR Cinemas at the Ampa SkyWalk Mall in Chennai. While I loved the movie, I thought it wasn't worth watching it in theater.

What does that mean?

Before I articulate, let me clarify that watching a movie in theater is still in many parts of the country and sections of society an event. But then the following developments are important to consider:

  1. Continuous improvements in TV technologies, boom in TV channels and rapid adoption of Cable & Satellite
  2. Ability to record and distribute content: While it was difficult in the VCR and VCP days, it wasn't impossible. But with the arrival of digital age, any content is, today, available to any one. Storage devices (earlier floppy disks to CDs to external hard disks, today) have made distribution easy; Internet just broke all the shackles in distribution.
  3. The growth and improvement in the area of acoustics and home theater.
A combination of the above makes watching content in the comforts of homes a better option than visiting theaters. And thus began the downfall of theaters. Many theaters, at least in Chennai, have closed. Or have evolved, like the Sathyam Theater. The economics of ticket pricing also hasn't helped. And piracy has become rampant.

Blimey, like a very bad film scriptwriter and a very good Soap Opera story writer, I have digressed so much from the subject. But then such a detailed explanation was necessary to come to the central point.

Now back to the difference between theater movie and DVD movie is quite simple. DVD movie is any movie that doesn't require mega infrastructure and technology to enjoy it. For example, Kalavaani was a good movie. But it wasn't spectacular. Neither sound nor visual. It was plain simple. Now, to watch this movie in theater, even if it's just two persons, would be an expensive proposition. Even in Chennai where the highest ticket price is only Rs. (sorry, my keyboard is still not equipped with the new Rupee symbol) 120, it would cost minimum Rs. 250. Online booking charges, parking, let alone the snacks. With large screen TV and a good home theatre watching the movie at home makes more sense. Movies like Kalavaani are DVD movies.

On the other hand, think about Avataar. You can never relish this Magnum Opus in the confines of the four wall of your home. The movie is meant for theaters. That it was 3D was just an additional reason.

Am I thinking too much about it or do people, in general, are selective?

As I have articulated in my previous blogs, would it help if movie producers become practical and consider launching movies in DVD and Internet?

Or do you think theaters will remain as favorite destination to watch movie, forever? Will going to movie remain an occasion, just like going out to eat, going to beach or holidays are?

How do you like to watch a movie?