Everyone expects some ads when they go to the cinema, but 19 just kills the whole experience. Is it just my local cinema abusing the ad breaks or is this a widespread problem that needs to be addressed?
I’ve recently come back to the UK after living in China for two years, and one of the things I was really looking forward to was going to the cinema to see all the new films.
Western film releases are heavily controlled in the People’s Republic, with only the endlessly repetitive comic-book hero blockbusters making it into the multiplex.
So, I couldn’t wait to watch the latest releases. Until, that is, I actually went to my local cinema.
Too long to wait for the film
I know that cinemas are finding the current economic climate tough, but the number of ads the audience is forced to sit through is over-the-top.
Last night, before I watched the screening of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy the audience was subjected to 19 adverts, five film trailers, one booming sound system trail and an excruciating Orange phone break ‘turn your phone off’ reminder. It was 28 minutes before the ‘8pm’ screening actually started – no wonder the man in the next row started snoring!
And that’s not my worst example. Nearly 50 minutes of bum-numbing tedium preceded my trip to see ‘Harry Potter and the Second Half of the Book that was Too Long to Make into One Film’. The audience nearly cried with relief when the film classification certificate appeared on the screen – there was sarcastic hand-clapping all round.
Ads are having the opposite effect
As far as I’m concerned, making me sit through so many adverts actually reduces my desire to buy any of the products I’ve been exposed to. I resent paying my ticket fee to be forced to watch ads for three different types of beer I won’t drink and four separate ads for a car I would rather throw myself in front of than have to watch again (and will certainly never consider driving now).
I wouldn’t mind a couple of adverts followed by some tempting trailers for future films, but 19 is just too many. Is my local cinema in the minority with this extended ad break before the film? I hope so, because it’s really making me reconsider my desire to go to the cinema. I go to be entertained, not bored and frustrated.