Cinema advertising is out of control

Yesterday I went to see Mistress America, which was directed by Noah Baumbach and written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. I really enjoyed the film, but all I could think about for the last ten minutes was whether or not I’d get a parking fine. Should I have known better? Arguably yes, but I’m going to explain the entire scenario. The film’s scheduled start time was 11:40, and I entered the carpark at 11:30, thinking that if I was seeing an 85 minute film, I would be within the park’s two hour free schedule without having to pay for a third. I bought my ticket and got into the cinema at 11:40, which is when the advertising started. General ads went for 15 minutes and then I had 10 minutes of trailers. Watching trailers is one of my favourite things about going to the movies, but not yesterday. Mistress America was indeed 85 minutes long, and the feature took up 83 of those minutes before the credits started. I was probably 2 minutes late at the car park, but I knew that it took photos of the car entering and leaving, so I bought myself a ticket for $6.80 (it turns out you can’t pay for part of an hour) rather than get a $200 fine. I knew that the ads went for a while, but I didn’t realise that an 85 minute film became 110 minutes with ads and trailers. I’d already paid for the film, and I understand that cinemas need to be profitable, but I don’t think there was even that much advertising when I went to see The Martian two days previously at the same cinema. All I know is that next time I go and see an 85 minute film, I’ll have to plan to get there 10 minutes after the scheduled start time so I don’t have to worry about this kind of thing.

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