Friday, August 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy and itself: a heckuva double feature

I don't still live in America, but I do still receive my weekly emails from Mission Tiki Drive-in, the pride of Montclair, California.

This week they are doing something extra-special awesome: showing customers the same movie twice in a row.

I've written a number of drive-in posts over the years The Audient has been in existence, and if you're interested in perusing them, you can follow the "drive-in" label at the bottom of this post. If you recall reading any of them, you also recall that going to the drive-in is designed, at a minimum, as a double feature. We've seen as many as three movies on a visit (the first movie usually plays a second time after the second, and if you switch screens you can catch all three) and as few as one (we once got busted for trying to switch screens, which you're not supposed to do).

It's the second parenthetical point in the sentence above I'm calling attention to now. YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SWITCH SCREENS BETWEEN MOVIES. In fact, two dudes in a golf cart started to follow us when it became clear we were trying to do that back in early 2011, when we saw Battle: Los Angeles and then tried to see Hall Pass on another screen, rather than sit through Battle's double feature partner, The Green Hornet, which I'd already seen. They didn't force us to leave, but that's what we decided to do rather than endure The Green Hornet again.

Unless they've changed their policy, which I seriously doubt (those guys had major poles up their asses), that golf cart is going to be pretty busy this Saturday night.

After all, if you are going to abide by their rules, your only option is to sit there and watch Guardians of the Galaxy twice in a row.

It's supposed to be a really good movie, but that's a little much, don't you think?

But this isn't just faulty logic. Oh no. It has a very business-specific intended outcome.

See, Mission Tiki wants to start upselling the most popular new releases. Instead of getting Guardians of the Galaxy AND some other movie for your $7, you get just Guardians. And then they clear out most if not all the cars from the Guardians lot, in order to sell Guardians to another group of cars arriving for the second screening.

Well, shouldn't they be worried about having to police people who leave one screening to go to another, and the extra strain that will put on their resources? Aren't they concerned that this pairing forces people to consider breaking the rules?

Nope. By running 122 minutes, Guardians ends well after the start of all the other second movies. (Which are The Purge: Anarchy, Maleficent and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in case you're keeping track at home.)

It's a dick move by people who have proven themselves to be dicks before. However, you should take my outrage with a grain of salt, as living in Australia has acquainted me with just how good a deal people are getting at Mission Tiki. If this same concept existed in Australia, they would charge $20 a head and consider it a bargain. The fact that you are getting even one new release for $7, let alone two, is astonishing. Sure, it's not theater-quality sound or picture, but you also get to bring in as much of your own food as you want, further mitigating the costs.

And as for what many people are now calling their favorite Marvel movie -- a bold statement considering some of Marvel's recent successes -- we Australians will get our first crack at Guardians of the Galaxy next Thursday.

Just the one time, for most of us.

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