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Guest Blog Contributors and More Updates

After numerous attempts to maintain a steady flow of current posts on this blog, I have encountered difficulties doing so. This is due to many factors, some of which were technical problems beyond my control and others were.....well, either lack of motivation or just plain procrastination after day jobs and life's other annoyances came into play and crowded my daily schedule. I'm taking this time to welcome guest contributors who would like to get their work published on the Madlab Post blog. The topics covered should be focused on independent films, studio films or entertainment in some way. If you are a Blogger or freelance writer who is interested in making guest contributions to this blog, send a message that includes your name, current occupation and a summary of your previous writing experience, using the contact form in the sidebar.

While planning for specific updates such as the King Dong series and film festival series would be nice, it us unlikely that this planning will be done immediately. I appreciate the support of you all who continue to read the blog and am requesting that you stick it out with me as we get the Madlab Post up to speed with some new posts on random topics that pertain to media, films and the movie going experience altogether. Some of these posts may be drafts that have been sitting around waiting to be published while others are previously published material that I wrote for other websites and the rest will be new posts that are put up on here for your reading pleasure!

Content requests are welcome, or better yet:
What topics should be covered in future posts on this blog?


Can the Oscars Best Actress Curse be Avoided?

Sandra Bullock was noted as being one of the more recent actresses affected by an "Oscar Curse" that has become common knowledge in Hollywood.

Sandra Bullock,News

The curse consists of a relationship that falls apart after the actress wins an Oscar in the "Best Actress" category. Previous examples include Halley Berry (who divorced with Husband Eric Benet after winning an Oscar for her performance in Monster's Ball ), Reese Witherspoon (divorce with Husband, actor, Ryan Phillipe), Hilary Swank (divorce with Husband after winning for her role in Million Dollar Baby ) and the very famous...Julia Roberts.

This year, Kate Winslet also announced that she and her husband separated. Winslet won the best actress Oscar last year for her role in The Reader.

Here are a few questions that I am wondering based on this news, talks about whether an Oscar curse even exists and these Best Actress relationship statistics:

1. If there is an Oscar "Best Actress" curse, are their any couples who can get pass or avoid it?

2. If there is an Oscar "Best Actress" curse, is it better to not win and keep your marriage OR is it better to win and just get another husband.

3. If there is an Oscar "Best Actress" curse, is it better to just be single and wait until you are nominated and win before you date or marry anyone?

4. If there is an Oscar "Best Actress" curse, why doesn't a "Best Actor" curse exist for the leading men as well?

What are YOUR thoughts regarding the Hollywood curse?
Does anyone have answers to these questions or more insight on this matter?

Side note: I know I've been slacking off over here on this blog so I'm adding some new (or fairly new) material this week to close out Memorial Day 2010 in a good way. I don't know if all movie fans know about this Oscars curse in Hollywood. Actually, I don't know if any filmmakers are familiar with it either for that matter but I previously published this piece on Redgage regarding the curse, just as news about Sandra Bullock and Jesse James was starting to gain traction in the media. I posted it here since responses were minimal on there.

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Are Movie Theater Tickets Worth $20 ?

Would YOU pay $20 to see Avatar, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen or Alice in Wonderland in a movie theater?
movie tickets,movie theaters

A Wall Street Journal report recently described movie theater plans to increase ticket prices. The report mentioned that movie theater attendance accounted for over one billion ticket sales in 2009, a 5.5% increase since 2004 and is still growing. Since there have been claims in the last few years that movie theaters are losing money, then a growing surge in attendance should make exhibitors grateful that they are still in business. This new report does not reflect a grateful position but rather a display of greed as companies try to capitalize on the revenues that they are already generating.

Starting today for example, a 3-D Imax movie ticket at one AMC movie theater in New York will cost $19.50 rather than the usual price of $16.50. Hey, I understand at some level why companies would have the attitude of "we're making money, so let's make even more money!" but they do not seem to be considering the entertainment budgets of adult consumers ( or even putting themselves in a consumer's shoes for a minute) who is the reason they generated more revenue in the first place.

My question on this matter is, does an increase in theater revenues mean that major movie theater chains such as AMC, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark can justify adding up to $3 more to their adult ticket prices for consumers? After leaving the following comments on the article, I realized that there are a few solutions for consumers who may not agree with ticket price increases:

I agree with the author and those few studio executives who mentioned they are concerned about the price increases due to their position of being a value option for the consumer compared to more expensive forms of entertainment.

Movie theater tickets are already pricey for a regular film, forget about 3D because that's another area to tackle. If they want to raise prices, why not just negotiate a better commission in their deal with movie studios instead of making consumers foot the bill?

Another option for movie theaters would be to only increase ticket prices on premium 3D releases during the opening weekend and keep the prices for the standard versions the same as they are today. Increasing prices for all movies, no matter which format tells consumers that movie theater chains are not concerned with the recession and that they will collect as much money from consumers as they can.....so long as they are still in business of course, a status that may change when consumers stop visiting theaters as much as they do now.

movie tickets,movie theaters

One option that we have as consumers to deal with these movie theater ticket price increases is to skip the theaters altogether. If a movie ticket costs $19.50 (using that one AMC theater price as an example), that's almost $20. Movie fans can use that money to buy a DVD of the same movie by waiting a few weeks or months to watch it at their leisure instead of paying $20 to a movie theater. I don't know about the rest of you, but as a movie fan, $20 better get me a little more than a movie on one large screen, especially if I have to deal with crying babies and rude people on their cell phones to watch this movie. The actors better be in attendance for a Q&A session OR free concessions better come with my ticket OR at the very least, a CD Soundtrack or itunes download.

Some movie goers will think "what if I don't like the movie? why should I buy it on DVD" and there is a possible solution to this problem. Get three of your friends to contribute $5 each for a DVD of a movie that you all want to watch. Their money, plus your $5 will pay for a $20 DVD release and then if you don't like the movie, give it to someone who does. You can also sell it to someone who hasn't seen it for the price that you paid, which is another reason why bootlegs are not the best option.

In order to avoid these huge ticket prices, I hope that as consumers, many of us will start to support more independent movie theaters. Many independent theaters show first-run movies such as the recent "Up in the Air" with George Clooney and such.....but the catch is that some of the independent theaters start to show them a few weeks or more after they are released in the multiplex theaters. Another upside is that the independent theaters also charge a few dollars less, so an adult ticket that costs around $10.50 will cost $6 or $7 at independent movie theaters for the same movie.

If that is not a reason for consumers to spend wisely on movie theater tickets, I don't know what is.

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