The three month-old war between Kansas City based AMC Theatres and newcomer Cinetopia soldiers on. And unfortunately for south Johnson County moviegoers, AMC appears to be pulling ahead.
Far ahead, of late.
This past weekend for example, AMC’s Town Center 20 outgrossed Cinetopia’s Overland Park 18 by a two-to-one margin or better.
Because AMC had boffo box office smash Guardians of the Galaxy, Lucy and Hercules while Cinetopia floundered with the critically acclaimed (but slow selling) James Brown biopic and stale leftovers like Planet of the Apes, Tranformers 4 and Maleficent.
That is just not likely to keep the lights on for Cinetopia, folks – not indefinitely.
Somethings gotta give if the Oregon-based cinema company wants to live to tell the story.
Don’t get me wrong.
In all likelihood Cinetopia will mount a small comeback this weekend when it gets the cheesy-but-visually compelling, tornado teen magnet Into the Storm. While Town Center refuses to play it, that is. Cinetopia will also get specialty film The Hundred Foot Journey which however is likely to do very little business in the scheme of things.
Moreover, unfortunately, AMC Town Center will be showing potential blockbuster, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles along with specialty film What If, starring former child star Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame…exclusively.
That’s all well and fine if your idea of prudent business investments includes plowing millions into spanking new, state-of-the-art movieplexes and only screening half the available movie product.
And it’s not going to get a whole lot better in the coming weeks with AMC Town Center boasting on Fandango that it will have Meryl Streep‘s new movie The Giver, Ice Cube‘s Ride Along, the comedy Let’s Be Cops, the new Sin City, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar and horror thriller As Above, So Below.
Make no mistake, Cinetopia will get some movies exclusively that AMC passes on.
However, unless Cinetopia can convince movie studios to let it play day-and-date on all of the new movie releases, it’s likely to be a battle to keep its head above water here.
Of course, the movie going public is also the loser in all of this.
Because AMC’s insistence on not playing movies Cinetopia plays denies the general public the freedom of choice of which theater they want to see a movie at.
On top of that, while AMC can show the “exclusive” movies Cinetopia shows at its nearby theaters in Olathe and Ward Parkway, making it a tough row to hoe for Cinetopia.