markyMark Cuban's Landmark Theatres have signed a two-year deal with Ford Motor Company (the Mercury division) to "present preshow 'making of' featurettes, and interviews with directors," as well as possible free screenings. While this move already has some advertising-wary filmgoers calling for boycotts, I'm not convinced that it's a disaster for audiences.

Obviously, everyone who has had to sit through hours of pre-preview ads is pretty cynical about any contracts between theaters and potential advertisers, no matter what they seem to promise - and with good reason. It might be a little early yet, though, to totally condemn this move. Under the current system, I pay $15 for a ticket and sit through 10 minutes of ads before the movie I've paid for even starts. That's crappy for me all the way around. But if I had to sit through a Mercury add or two in exchange for seeing a movie for free, or watching an interview with Wong Kar-Wai before 2046, I'd do it in a second. The way this contract sounds, it's almost as if Ford is buying the right to advertise their products to us - giving us something we want in exchange for our time. Personally, I think that sounds like a much better deal for audiences. What do you guys think?
categories Movies, Cinematical