It just happened. We had placed a call to Warner Brothers to inquire about booking some of their upcoming films, and somehow missed the message that someone from Warner Brothers had actually already called us earlier that same morning. The reason: They wanted to know if we’d book “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” in 3D. Regal’s Pioneer Place location has recently added a single 3D screen, but had already committed to opening Disney’s “Step Up 3D” the week following the open of “Cats & Dogs”. This left Warner Brothers in the tough situation of only getting single week play in 3D at Pioneer Place. So they called us. Done deal – we’re opening the film on July 30th in 3D.
This is definitely a departure for us in terms of the types of movies we’ve been playing, and no we’re not “selling out” or changing our focus or commitment from quality independent and foreign titles. Most people are surprised to learn that in the process of booking films there is a somewhat pre-determined pecking order as to what locations can actually book what films. Just because we wanted to play Inception (also from Warner Brothers) didn’t mean we could. Regal got it. They get to open most movies because they are a giant corporation with near monopoly position here in Portland (and lots of other cities). It is a very competitive and tough business – one where the big corporations (including the studios) hardly ever want to play fair.
We are trying to strike a balance between having a mainstream movie or two and the rest of the more “art” or “indie” movies that everyone has come to appreciate watching on our screens. This necessitates us establishing a track record with the major studios any way we can, and “Cats & Dogs” was an opportunity for us to further that goal with Warner Brothers. There’s a certain boy-wizard series finale opening in November that we’d like to get a shot at in 3D on our screens.
Having said all that, there is definitely an audience out there for “Cats and Dogs”. My mom was excited to hear we’d be playing it, and my 9-year old nephew will appreciate seeing it in what he thinks is the most comfortable theater in all of Portland. We need your help in supporting the “little guy” – the local business (that would be us) – by telling your friends and family that there’s another family oriented movie opening at Living Room. Take advantage of one of the lowest priced 3D tickets with the best 3D system in all of Portland and help us show the big corporations that there is something to be said for a small movie theater with class, comfort, and real food.
As always, we value feedback from our customers. In order to continue to be a viable theater that is able to show the small indie, art, and foreign movies, we need an occasional mainstream hit to help us balance out the books, and keep the lights on. What do you think of the few family oriented films we’ve managed to “steal” away from Regal like “Shrek” and “Toy Story”?