Insights: Fostering good business

The holidays seem like such a distant memory – already, and it really is a pleasant one for me. One of my many traditions during that downtime is to take my wife and youngest daughter to see a movie on the big screen. The feature chosen by my 9-year-old Anna Kate was “Bolt,” a wonderful animated film about a dog who plays a superhero in movies, but runs away only to find out he doesn’t really have any super powers at all.

When we arrived at the theater however, the ticket prices were almost twice the normal cost. The young lady at the ticket counter explained “Bolt” was in 3D, as she handed me three pairs of glasses necessary to see all of the cool special effects. After the film, I realized these new computer enhancements are not the same quality I remember during past trips to Disney World. This piqued my curiosity enough to begin reading more about what impact these new movies are making on the industry (several others are planned for release this year).

According to the news, Hollywood is just now realizing only a small percentage of the movie theaters in the country have the proper upgraded projection equipment necessary to show the new 3D or 4D full-length movies. In case you’re wondering, 4D theaters involve “interactive seats” to add the dimension of touch to the viewing experience. There is a dispute between the studios and the movie theaters on who is going to shoulder the $100,000 per screen investment necessary to upgrade the theater equipment. This is a discussion that should have taken place long before the studios began investing the additional $15 million per film in production costs to make them multi-dimensional.

I can just imagine the conversations in the Hollywood studio offices: “Oh, you mean it takes a special projector to show these new movies? And the price tag to retro-fit the camera is $100,000 each?! But, we’ve already produced 30 new 3D films this year!” Now that’s a lot of buttered popcorn and Milk Duds.

We all realize the importance of innovations. It is often the difference between good companies and great ones. It is equally important though that while forming a strategy for those great ideas, we think through the process and consider all of the implications before we make the considerable investment. It just sounds like good business to me.

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