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Movie Cancellation Notices

Cancellation NoticeThe Movie MarkAllow me to propose a crazy idea.  I don’t expect this to be wildly popular with the movie studios, but I think it’s something that all moviegoers can rally around.

When you buy a movie ticket, I think you should also receive a notice of cancellation.  You know what I’m talking about.  If you’ve ever been talked into buying a “student discount” magazine subscription, then I know you’ve thanked the good Lord after seeing that beautiful notice of cancellation arrive in the mail.  I’ll never forget the time several years ago when I let two college girls traipse into my kitchen and proceed to charm me into buying some magazines.

They were poor college gals – so their story went – and all they were trying to do was win a trip to Rome because that’s certainly something they couldn’t afford themselves, being as destitute and poverty stricken as they were.  Then they started talking about how buff I was, but for just $40 I could get a subscription to Muscle & Fitness and be even MORE buff.  Despite the ego boost, I didn’t really want to get the subscription.  But they deceived me so effectively that I was guilted into buying it.

After they left, I was consumed with buyer’s remorse.  Did I really need 24 issues of Muscle & Fitness?  I could leaf through the stupid thing at the bookstore if I was really interested.  Then I did a little research on the company and found out the gals hadn’t exactly been shootin’ straight with me.  What annoyed me the most was the “discount” ended up being negated by the $10 processing fee that was added to the total AFTER I had agreed to the subscription.  I had to find a way to get myself out of this dilemma.

I retrieved my receipt, and that’s when I discovered that most beautiful of creatures – the pink “notice of cancellation” slip.  My eyes hurriedly ran across the thin paper, and my heart beat with joy as I read those sweet words, “You may cancel this transaction, without any penalty or obligation, within three business days from the sales date.”  BOOYA!  It was like water to a man stranded in the desert.  It was like a script calling for overacting to Nic Cage.  It was a beautiful thing to see.  A simple way to correct a mistake that was made without proper consideration.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had this same luxury when buying a movie ticket?  As I mentioned above, I propose that with every movie ticket purchase, you should receive a notice of cancellation.  That way whenever you spend your hard-earned money on a movie that’s less enjoyable than watching Rosie O’Donnell and Sean Penn speak on Foreign Affairs, you can simply fill out the slip and return it to the movie studio who will then send you a refund within ten business days.

Hollywood knows when it’s selling an inferior product.  When a movie rates poorly with test audiences do the producers take a stand and refuse to release a bad movie to the public?  Nope, they try to polish it with just enough professional marketing that you’ll be convinced to see it on opening week.  It’s only fair that we tell the studios, “Hey, I’ll pay you my money when you deliver what I’m expecting… AN ENTERTAINING MOVIE!”

If Hollywood found itself signing a bunch of reimbursement checks, then it might start to rethink some of the rubbish it releases.  Do I want to pay $10 a pop to experience two hours of pain?  No.  But sometimes it’s easy to be fooled by a slickly produced trailer.  Movie wizards have the technology to condense two hours of manure into two minutes of an entertaining trailer.  So I’m sorry Movie Magnates, but I’m taking a stand – airbrushing a movie just enough to convince the public that it’s entertaining is false advertisement, plain and simple.  Deliver what you advertise, Hollywood, or give us our money back.

We’re not asking for much.  Just a little accountability.

Of course, this is just my opinion; you could be wrong.

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