From Jeffrey Wells:
For the first ten days of the run of Dreamgirls (i.e., Friday, 12.15 to Sunday, 12.24), which is strictly a New York, L.A. and San Fran thing, interested parties will be charged $25 a ticket on a reserved-seat basis.
This means that the Arclight will be testing the waters on more than doubling their usual ticket price. For the filmgoing public, these are dangerous waters… while Pacific Theatres will claim that this is just a one time, rare instance for a “premium engagement”, I fear that if the run goes well we can expect dramatic increases in ticket prices for new releases.
Special engagements and advance screenings are nothing new for the Arclight, so I don’t understand what makes this a “premium event”. Is the additional cost of tickets going to a charity? Is there a preshow? In short, what makes this show more premium than the countless screenings that have come before it?
In the meantime, Poland at the Hotblog takes issue with the racism that Wells injected into his original report. Wells wrote that the studios are “basically looking to attract gays and the ‘bling’ crowd.” To clarify, he continued:
The blings have taken over the bar at the rear of the Beverly Wilshire. Weekends there are like New Year’s Eve in Dubai…gangstas and ho’s…guys with socks on their head or Iranians with shaved heads pulling up to the valet in $75,000 rich-ass- hole sports cars. The Beverly Wilshire used to have a touch of class…no longer.
In a post titled, “Archie Bunker Goes To the Oscars”, Poland responds by stopping short of labeling Wells of bigot, and defending the studios by explaining that idea behind the increased ticket prices “is to create the feel of an event, not to fleece black movie fans or anyone else.”
I agree with Poland that Wells writing verges on being racist – but the idea behind Arclight’s reserved seating is that every day is a “special event”. $25 for a regular movie ticket? That’s fleecing, no matter what color the audience is.