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Friday, July 05, 2013

Sean Kelly

My Ten Cents on Cineplex’s SuperTicket

superticket

As much as I enjoy going to the movies, the sad truth is that movie attendance as a whole is on a downward spiral.  While there are still hardcore cinephiles like myself, who go on a near-weekly basis, most of the general public only heads to the cinema a handful of times throughout the year.  In recent years, it has gotten a lot easier for people to find other ways to watch movies, typically through digital distribution and VOD, and there is no longer any need for people to have to go to a theatre and contend with audiences, who may or may not behave properly during the screening.  When you have people like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg predicting an implosion of the entire film industry, you know that all is not right in Hollywood.

A few weeks ago, there was a much hyped “MegaTicket” for World War Z, in which people in five US cities had the option of paying $50 for a deluxe ticket that included a ticket, digital pre-order, custom 3D glasses, a poster, and popcorn.  I suppose the presumption here is that people would be willing to pay a little more, as long a they get more bang for their bunk.  Since those MegaTicket screenings for World War Z reportedly sold out, it seems like this presumption might be correct.

Well, here in Canada, Cineplex is taking this idea one step further by adding a new option called “SuperTicket” to their ever-growing list of premium theatre experiences.  Essentially, selecting the SuperTicket option will add about $22.59 to your ticket price, which will go towards the preorder of a digital version of the film via the UltraViolet cloud-based service.  You will also get other perks, such as up to 750 SCENE points, as well as exclusive bonus content.  SuperTicket is scheduled to launch next week with the release of Pacific Rim.

So, what do I think of Cineplex’s SuperTicket?

I suppose I shall start with the positives.  Even though you will end up paying in the range of $40 for a SuperTicket (especially if the SuperTicket charge is added onto a premium ticket), it is still a better deal than buying the movie ticket and digital download separately.  In addition, you have the option of upgrading to a SuperTicket after the fact and can also refund the SuperTicket charge if you ended up not liking the film.  Also, getting extra SCENE points is always a plus.

All that said, I do not plan on ever buying a SuperTicket.

My reasoning for the fact that I don’t want to buy into this SuperTicket “deal” is an easy one – I’m a hardcore cinephile who goes to films on a near-weekly basis.  I already pay more than I would like to every week at the movies and I don’t want to pay extra, just so I can get a digital file on my computer.  In addition, I consider myself a collector and I would much rather prefer getting a DVD or blu-ray of a film, instead of digital download that may or may not work properly.

Also, it is highly presumptuous to assume that I even want to own the film at all.  I don’t typically make such decisions until AFTER seeing a film and, even then, it’s only a small percentage of the films I see each year.  Yes, most of the general public typically see more movies at home, rather than the theatre.  However, they can very easily just rent the film off of a VOD service or watch it on Netflix, both of which are much less expensive than the SuperTicket download.  Also, even though its a major problem that I don’t support, we also can’t ignore movie piracy, which people are probably going to use no matter what theatres and studios try to do.

Of course, when it is all said and done, SuperTicket is merely an option offered by Cineplex and people don’t have to buy one if they don’t want to.  However, I do fear the post-Moviepocalyptic described by Lucas and Spielberg, where they said more expensive tickets for films will just become the norm.  If that day ever comes, I am going to seriously re-evaluate my status as a cinephile.

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).