Person at theater sues since they have to sit through commercials

OK, I agree that it’s a nuisance lawsuit of the type that usually get my dander up, and it has no chance of winning, and all that.

But I still hope they manage to pull it off.

Holy shit. I find this completely unbelievable.

I though it was bad enough that TV coverage in the US shows adverts in the midst of sporting events (soccer matches et al.)
But to stop a movie in mid flow to bombard an audience with further adverts is completely inexcusable.

::shakes head in disgust::

The drawback to this suit is that, if successful, it might remove badly-needed revenue from the cinemas, forcing some of them to close.

not at all Jim, they can still show the adverts but before the listed time for the movie to start.

Ah, but if the advertisers know that the ads are unlikely to be watched, due to their being shown before the movie’s time of showing, then they might not advertise (or they’ll pay less).

BTW, I fucking hate cinema ads - I just have a feeling they might be a necessary evil (except in istara’s case - ever watched a Bollywood movie on VCR in India?!).

I imagine that if the suit is successful, theaters will insert disclaimers into their advertising indicating that actual start time may be a little later.

Personally, I love watching trailers. However, the concept of advertising before (or during) a movie is pretty offensive to me.

Well, I don’t have kids, but many of those I know who do have expressed a desire for some sort of interval in the middle of very long films, such as Potter and LOTR. Otherwise, they end up taking their sweet sweet treasures to the can on a rotating 20-minute cycle through the second half of the film (one couple has 6 kids under 10…). Now, I agree with you that it would suck that they don’t announce the interval, and/or have a “countdown” or clearly-defined length.

Shoot, for that matter - both mine and Fierra’s bladders were screaming by the end of LOTR, and it made it impossible to enjoy the movie. I think intervals may have some place, if properly done, with really long movies.


The Atlantic Ocean just got wider, in my estimation.

This is just absurd. I saw the lady on GMA this morning and…basically, she needs to get a life.

I do hope that when/if this goes to trial, that the judge will throw this bullshit out.

Totally absurd. Either you have time to go the the movies, or you don’t. Why is it anyone else’s fault?

The lawsuit is stupid, but so are the commercials. Let’s delete them both and call it even.

My problem is that the ads running before the movies were placed there to help defray the ever rising cost of movies and thus the cost of prints that the studios sell to the theatres.

The idea is if you sell ad space you’re generating money without having to raise ticket prices.

They raised ticket prices anyway.

The theatres are just fucking us. Would it be so hard for them to do what English movie theatres do and list the time you can sit, the time the trailers start then the time the movie starts? Is that so freaking hard?

I think people are misunderstanding this suit. This person finds that paying gobs of money to watch a movie and then being subjected to paid advertising is offensive. I don’t blame her. Now the only way to stop this rather offensive practise is make it unprofitable for the cinemas (because it’s unrealistic to think that the industry will suddenly develop a moral compass). This means that you have to cost them money somehow. The best way to do this is to have people boycott cinemas that show commercials. For a boycott to work, you have to raise people’s awareness of the problem.

So, if you’re an activist, one of the things you can do to draw attention is to file a class action lawsuit. So you go to a lawyer and say “I want to sue them because they are double-dipping – earning revenue from showing commercials AND from my ticket purchase.” And the lawyer says, “Well, that’s not illegal.” But because lawyers are paid to be clever, the lawyer then says, “But one approach we can try is to sue them because the startup time is not the same as the advertised time.”

Now this probably isn't the woman't main complaint.   But it is (arguably) actionable and it allows an attention-drawing suit to be filed.

And, let’s face it, the woman’s primary complaint has merit. If you are paying $8.00+ for a ticket, plus whatever concessionary purchases you make, it’s reasonable to think that you are paying for entertainment, not advertisements.

You know, this sort of debate really gets me thinking. In some ways, it is not dissimilar to the conversations that folks have been having recently about Pop-up ads on the internet.

As far as I can tell, the argument in favor of pop-up/TV/Movie commercials is something to the effect that they are needed in order to somehow subsidize the service so that I pay less than I normally would if the true cost were reflected in the ticket price/bill from my ISP/whatever.

What I want to know is if this is something for which we have any form of cite, or if it is just a line of Bullshit that sounds plausible. How much does it really cost to run a web server/ TV station etc?

For that matter, how far can we expect this to go? Will I start having ad jingles break in periodically on my phone conversations? Am I crazy to think that there should be some way that I can pay for a service (be it my ISP, cable company or a movie ticket) and just receive that service, rather than not be treated as a captive pair of eyeballs?

This will only work if we do as the English do and institute reserved seating. I remember a few years back a theatre here tried that…and it flew about as well as a dead ostrich.

Giving people the option of missing the commercials defeats the purpose of commercials.

I don’t like the commercials, but I understand how they help theatre operators defray costs and maximize revenue. If they bother you that much, don’t go to the friggin’ movie. You’ll live. [size=1]That’s a generic ‘you’ and not pointed at any particular poster[size]

I hope the suit is found groundless and the defendants are given permission to bitch slap the lead plaintiff and plaintiff’s lawyer.

You had to bring this up.

Just to put the cat among the pigeons, I’d like to offer the worthless opinion that I find cinema advertising quite entertaining; I don’t know what sort of adverts they put on in American cinemas, but the ones over here are actually rather watchable in their own right.

Every ticket I have ever purchased has also stated the start time as well as the name of the film. If I am shown a different film, do you think I would deserve a refund? If the film begins at a time significantly different than that stated on the ticket, don’t I likewise deserve a refund? When I went to see LOTR2, the film did not begin until nearlya half hour later than advertised, mainly due to ads. If I had been paying for a babysitter, I would have thought about sending the bill for those 30 minutes to the theater. It’s bad enough that I had to rearrange my schedule for the rest of that afternoon as a result.

It isn’t the commercials in and of themselves that I object to, it is the sheer number of them, and this includes trailers. Trailers do bother me somewhat less since they are also movies, that is, they are the thing which they are an ad for. To be equivalent, the car ad would have to be an actual car, but not a movie.

I think there must be a better way to go about this, but I’m not really able to see it. There is no way that she’s going to convince me to believe that she’s suffered damages due to having to watch a chevy commercial, and as such she is not entitled to a settlement or a victory in a lawsuit. I also HATE seeing non-movie ads in a movie theater.

The Libertarian in me knows that sooner or later, some theater chain will eliminate the advertising and use that to their advantage- imagine seeing a list of showtimes with the header BLAH BLAH CINEPLEX - We will NEVER show non-preview ads before our movies!! They could make it a little catchier, I’m sure, and I think if they were effective at getting the word out there, people would often make the effort to go to those theaters instead of others, just as people prefer to go to the theater with better sound, bigger screens, more comfortable seats, better food, whatever.

The problems here are:

  1. This will likely take a while. I don’t wanna wait.
  2. It might not work, people may well not care, no matter how much I do.
  3. Hi, Opal!

So there you go. I don’t think she SHOULD win, but if she did and it made this practice stop, I would be happy at least until people started using this new legal precedent to sue for even more insignificant shit than they already do.


Why are they a necessary evil?! Were they necessary in the 80+ years that movies were shown WIHTOUT them? This is about greed and intrusiveness, plain and simple.

People who say we should just “live with it” make me :mad: What, we should just sit on our asses and not voice our displeasure at being treated like cattle? It’s not as if these ads are paying for the program, the way TV ads do. You forked over cash to get into the theater, remember?

Binarydrone, some websites have adopted an ad-free, paid subscriber service. Not being a webmaster, and not knowing any who use this tactic, I can’t say whether it has or has not been successful.

I can guarantee you that without advertising, there would be very, very little television (would that be a bad thing - a topic for another discussion). And what television that would be available would have near constant subscription drives as occur on PBS (can we sue them as they put the best shows on during their campaigns, and the shows never start at the indicated time, but after much pleading for my money?).

Companies who advertise - the Coca-Colas, the Disneys, the Microsofts - would not do so if there was no return on investment. All these companies really care about is increasing profitability and ensuring continuing revenue streams. If advertising did not work, they would not advertise. If an ad campaign doesn’t work, or a particular medium doesn’t generate enough leads, it will cease.

As for where it will go, it is not good. I don’t remember rampant advertising in elementary/middle school. Now it is there. Saturday morning cartoons sole purpose was not to sell toys when I was a pre-teen. That had changed by the time I was in my late teens, and now every cartoon, and even Sesame Street) needs a product tie-in (corporate speak calls it synergies).

Have you heard cross-selling of services while waiting on hold? I have. More advertising. Due to people time-shifting their TV watching and skipping commercials, product placements are becoming more prominent and many stations using scroll bars on the bottom to advertise their other shows during the one your watching. News programs shill their corporate parents shows.

I’m willing to entertain ideas of how to minimize or abolish advertising, while still giving companies a way to introduce new products, inform the public of existing products, and for advertising mediums to continue to provide their services at current cost levels. I haven’t heard any.

Thats not really an applicable analogy. When you go to a theater, you’re paying $10-$15 for a 2 hour show. Your cable bill is $25-50 for a whole month of programming. Stations and networks need the advertising to exist.

From the link above:

I’ve done the only recorse I think I can and thats with my wallet. We go to about 1 movie per year, and the last two years it has been the LOTR and TTT.

As mentioned, her argument really is that the movie is not starting when it is advertised to. Commercials are. I am not paying $25 for my wife and I to go and sit through a 3 minute Pert shampoo or gum commerical. Would it really be difficult for the theaters to show on the ticket when the movie really will start? Ads that they still show will still have an audience, you’ll always have early-birds looking for the good seats.

Is it a huge deal? No, but it is a piss off. Do I expect the lawsuit to actually win? Hell no. But I hope it does.