Because there are five Jonah Hex's for every Toy Story 3, the movie-theater industry continues to move past the traditional business model of, you know, charging people to see movies to one that includes charging people to see all kinds of other stuff as well. The new bout of plotting is going down at industry event Cinema Expo, where Arts Alliance Media's Howard Kiedaisch is talking up the revenue-generating tactic, saying: "Digital cinema can help theaters program opera, soccer matches, a lot of things ... People have been really thrilled with the opera we've offered. But opera is not particularly mainstream, so there must be other things that can be even more popular." Wow, he is totally right about there being things more mainstream than opera! So, okay, what else?
Of course, people who show up too early for movies have long been aware of Fathom Events, a service which screens all kinds of random stuff in theaters. In fact, Fathom is the company presenting The Big Four; its upcoming slate also includes Elvis on Tour: 75th Anniversary Celebration, UFC fights, and, yes, a whole crapload of opera. For the record, this is the industry's second recent attempt — after the introduction of the high-class movie theater — at expanding its horizons. To their credit, this one definitely feels less desperate than trying to sell Wagyu burgers at snack stands.
Well, said soccer matches, which along with all kinds of other sporting events, could go down in 3-D on the big screen (although ESPN currently has the lead in that department, with a brand-new 3-D channel). Also, live music, which is already happening — most notably with tomorrow's international broadcast of The Big Four concert featuring Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax live from Bulgaria.