I used to feel that seeing the previews was better, on the average night, than seeing the movie to follow. I would have paid the $6.00, or whatever, just to watch twenty minutes of previews. Today I am considering forsaking previews altogether. The economist in me wonders why:
1. Internet reviews make previews less important for judging whether I want to see a movie at all.
2. Current previews are more likely to spoil the money and give away the good bits in advance. The goal of a preview today is to get you to go at all. It doesn’t matter if the preview ends up spoiling the movie for you, since word of mouth is today worth less. Movies make more of their money in the first week than in previous times. Earlier previews took greater care to preserve the quality of your moviegoing experience.
3. The pre-movie warm-ups, including commercials, have become longer. Filmgoers are treated as a captive audience. At my local theater I can show up seventeen minutes late and miss nothing.
4. I am older and presumably harder to satisfy in most regards, although the value of good chocolate ice cream has not declined.