Demand for Movie Ads

(Photo: Sarah_Ackerman)

The hit movie of a few weeks ago was Breaking Dawn Part 2, which several of my grandkids saw on opening night.  A grandson reports that at the first showing there was a full 30 minutes of advertisements before the movie, more than he’d ever seen. He figured correctly that the captive audience (people lined up for hours to see the first showing) would fill the theater immediately, implicitly increasing the demand for advertisements.  That made the advertising time more valuable, so the theater responded by offering more ads. I would bet too that they charged the advertisers more per minute for the right to show their ads—implicitly thus increasing price as well as quantity.  (HT to SCH)


I witnessed the exact same thing when going to see Wreck It Ralph on the opening weekend - a full 30 minutes of ads! I was extremely PO'd and complained. I got a free ticket out of it. I suspect that giving out the occasional free ticket to assuage the occasional pissed off customer is worth it to them in exchange for the greater ad revenue.

I haven't been back for another movie yet to see if this is a new "normal" amount of advertising or not. I hope not. If it is, then I won't be showing up until 20 minutes after the pronounced start time.


i like it


Interestingly, I attempted to watch a movie trailer on the moviefone app on my roku. I was actually surprised when an add for some aol service played first.

I can't even remember the trailer. I was frustrated that I was voluntarily watching advertisements, and yet, someone thought that blocking an advertisement I was interested in with another one that I wasn't was a good way to do business.

At any rate, I forgot about the movie, but have a new and conscious hatred for aol. I also won't use the moviefone app unless necessary in the future.


I think if more consumers started walking out after 10 or 15 minutes of ads before a movie and demanded their money back, there would be fewer ads shown before movies begin.

What I dislike is that I'm already paying to the see the movie, and nowadays paying a lot (last movie I went to was $16 - and that was the movie only, no parking, concessions, etc.). If I'm putting up a lot of money, I shouldn't have to sit through ads.

Joel Upchurch

It seems pretty silly paying this much for a movie when you can get Netflix DVDs delivered to your house for a month for the same price.


Joel, I generally don't go to the movies, but there is a difference between watching a movie in the theater (big screen and better sound system) than watching on my home TV or computer.


I haven't been to a movie in years. Are these ads for soda? Cellphones? Or are they movie trailers? I DO like watching movie trailers, we vote 'yeah, that looks like it'll be great' or 'no way!'. Most of the movies do turn out to be 'no way!', though, which explains why I haven't been actually going to the movie theater in years.