Monday, November 27, 2006

Do I Hear $120?

Oncee has linked to a interesting Dave Peyton column about the bizarro way Marshall University, Warner Brothers and Huntington's theater groups are promoting the premier of We Are Marshall.

Pullman Square's Marquee Cinema location failed Public Relations 101 today, however, by refusing to set a maximum number of $25 tickets that could be purchased per person for it's version of the premier. Those tickets, which include access to a bleacher area on 4th Avenue where one can gawk at the movie's stars waltzing up the green carpet, were purchased by the dozens (and sometimes by the hundreds) by people now selling them on eBay. Most locals who stood in line for the tickets this morning were sent home empty-handed.

The current eBay price for a single ticket? $117.


UPDATE: As of this morning, the ticket I'm tracking is bidding at $177.50.

8 comments:

Wabi-Sabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wabi-Sabi said...

I was at Pullman this morning and fortunately ended up with 6 tickets, but you're correct that Marquee failed PR101 miserably.

First, there was no real sense of special occasion or celebration while people waited. I thought there would be some marketing promotions, giveaways, etc., but instead it was like the theater viewed the day more as inconvenience.

MU's Keith Spears tried to get things going and the crowd was mostly good natured, but instead of being fun, people were mostly anxious.

No one knew if we would get tickets before they were all sold online or to someone in front buying 500 tickets. I got there at 6:15 a.m. and was about 14 people back in my line, but it was iffy whether I would get a ticket. You could count the number of people and knew that if people bought 20 at a time, then they would run out quick.

Then, when no tickets were sold until 5 minutes past 9:00 people were REALLY worried that the internet sales would keep those present from getting tickets. Then they sold one or two tickets and the system crashed again for another 30 minutes.

They should have put a limit on the number of tickets 8, 10 or 12 / person would have been more than reasonable, and either eliminate internet sales altogether, or at least set a lower allotment (300 - 500?) for internet sales.

The technology at the theater should have been tested too. I can see the web server getting overwhelmed, but for the theater ticket machines to overload too after selling a few tickets is pretty extreme. They could have done a few tests while they were waiting watching people line up.

I saw the woman get her stack of 100 tickets, and a young guy who looked like a student ordered 40 right in front of me. That's the first time I've heard someone say "That'll be $1,000 for your movie tickets."

All in all, it was still fun talking with other people in line, and I got my tickets. It just could have been better with some more effective planning.

Also, I really wanted to tell the ticket clerk that I wanted to buy "2 tickets for to see the Borat movie-film" as if I didn't know what was happening, but I was so excited to finally get to the front of the line, that I decided to save the comedy for another day.

The Film Geek said...

Glad you gottem, Jim. Wanna sell a couple for $200 each? :)

Wabi-Sabi said...

Sure! You can pay me via PayPal. :)

jedi jawa said...

"2 tickets for to see the Borat movie-film"

God damn that would have been hi-larious! I can see how it could have its drawbacks as people in the crowd began to throw things at you though. :-)

oncee said...

Thanks for the link.

Chris James said...

I kind of hope the person with 100 tickets gets stuck with a bunch of them somehow.

I also hope that the toilets backup in the theatre and the company is forced to pay overtime to the janitors.

I furthermore hope that all of the honest people that bought a sensible number of tickets have the times of their lives.

I have a seven month old, so movie theatres are off limits for a while, so I'm waiting for DVD. Anyone heard an early/preliminary/best guess street date on the DVD?

jedi jawa said...

I'd say June as these things typically go. Who knows though.