Theaters make ends meet with ads
Rows of seats in a movie theater
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Kai Ryssdal: The Incredible Hulk muscled its way to some serious green at the box office this weekend -- $54.5 million worth, to be exact.
If you happened to be in the audience for the all the window-smashing, shirt-ripping action, chances are you sat through a slew of previews and before that, a slew of commercials.
Stacey Vanek-Smith reports that these days, it takes an extra large bag of popcorn just to hold you 'til the film starts.
Stacey Vanek-Smith: When millions of people come out to see a film, you might think the theaters are cashing in, but up to 90 percent of ticket sales go to Hollywood studios in the opening weeks. When a movie theater sells an ad, though, it gets to keep most of the money.
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The Cinema Advertising Council said today theaters sold more than half a billion dollars worth of ads last year, an 18-percent jump over 2006.
The Council's Dave Kupiek says movies offer advertisers an increasingly rare commodity: a captive audience.
Dave Kupiek: They're completely focused and attentive with what's going on on screen and they're in that entertainment mode.
But industry analyst Hal Vogel says too many ads could backfire.
Hal Vogel: Would you want to pay $12 for a ticket, an enormous amount of money for your popcorn and then sit through a half hour of commercials? I don't think so.
Vogel also says advertisers' interest could flame out. He says there's lots of competition for ad dollars and movie attendance has been flat for years.
I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.