Which theatres will be showing upcoming movies?
April 7, 2005 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Is there some way to find out which movie theatres in a given area are going to be showing a movie that's coming out later this month? Later this year? Or do I have to call theatres individually and ask?

Specifically, I'm trying to arrange a group trip to see Hitchhiker's Guide when it comes out later this month. I'm in the Chicago area, if it makes a difference. There's probably an easy way to go about this, but damned if I know what it is.
posted by Johnny Assay to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
Moviefone lists showtimes and sells tickets for movies on future dates. It looks like it depends on the city, though. They didn't have Hitchhiker's Guide listed yet, but I'm pretty sure I've been able to get tickets there a couple of days before the movie opened.

Also, you could try the web sites of the chains that have theaters in your area.

On OS X, Sherlock looks up future movie times, and there are iCal schedules for movie times, too.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:48 AM on April 7, 2005

Often times the theaters themselves don't know this information until a few weeks prior to the showing, and even then it can change.
posted by alan at 12:06 PM on April 7, 2005

Though it's not very useful in this case, the ones that show the trailers usually show the movie.
posted by smackfu at 12:12 PM on April 7, 2005

Alan is right. The entire system is designed to afford theaters high flexibility in booking, to account for unexpected hits (and bombs). Although who's showing the trailer is a good indicator, it's still very fluid -- sometimes the theater chain will ship trailers to theaters that won't ever show the movie in question (but another theater in the chain will), and sometimes a trailer is required by the studio to be attached to a particular release, even though the theater may not have made any commitment to show the film being previewed.

All of that said, Box Office Mojo's release schedule indicates that Hitchhiker's will open on around 3,000 screens that weekend, so I would guess that every one of your local megamultiplexes will have it.
posted by jjg at 1:59 PM on April 7, 2005

Yahoo gets some advance info, but typically only has one or two movies out more than a week. The Internet Movie Database has release dates by movie, but not by theater.
posted by caddis at 3:00 PM on April 7, 2005

Hey, jjg, thanks for the tip on Box Office Mojo. That is a neat site that I never knew about.
posted by caddis at 3:02 PM on April 7, 2005

alan is right, after working for a movie chain for too long, the final bookings don't happen until shortly before release. very sticky business, movie bookings. did you know in certain cases (big movies, big weekends) up to 90% of a film's ticket revenue goes back to the studios? and you wonder why popcorn is so damn expensive.

also, just because a theater shows the trailer, doesn't mean it plays the movie.

short anecdote: I was selling tickets on a Friday afternoon, a gentleman came up and requested a ticket for a movie we weren't showing. After learning it wasn't playing, he became upset and said, "but the ads said opening in theaters everywhere!"

I got a million of 'em.
posted by killy willy at 3:54 PM on April 7, 2005

(I've got a million stories like that one, that is.)
posted by killy willy at 3:56 PM on April 7, 2005

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