Theaters created intermissions for ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ & the studios are mad

People have been talking about the length of movies these days. Director Alexander Payne recently said “there are too many damn long movies these days,” and he suggested that it was an editing issue. I would go further than that and say that streamers have encouraged self-indulgence from directors, plus the proliferation of “director’s cut” movies have made people believe that movies are supposed to be three-hours-plus. As I said in that Payne post, I rarely go to the movie theater at this point – I love streaming movies so I can orchestrate my own little intermissions if I need a snack break or a bathroom break. Well, you know how Killers of the Flower Moon is three hours and 26 minutes long? Well, various movie theaters have started fashioning their own intermissions so that the audience can stretch their legs and get a snack for ten minutes, then come back and watch the rest of the movie. Apple and Paramount are pissed!!

Martin Scorsese did not include an intermission in his 206-minute epic, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” But that hasn’t stopped a handful of movie theaters around the world from inserting one themselves, with intervals ranging from between six minutes and 15 minutes.

As of Friday morning, two European cinema chains and one independent theater in Amsterdam sold tickets to screenings of “Killers of the Flower Moon” with a built-in break. A spokesperson for UCI Cinemas, an exhibition chain with venues in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Brazil, confirmed that all of its nearly 80 theaters — with the exception of Imax screens in Porta di Roma, Orio, and Campi Bisenzio — had included a “six-minute interval towards the middle of the film.” The Vue, a U.K.-based theater chain, and an Amsterdam cinema called The Movies Haarlemmerdijk also were offering showings with a break, according to their websites.

Domestically, The Lyric, a theater in Fort Collins, Colo., showed the historical drama with an intermission until Oct. 26. However, they did away with the intermission after getting in trouble with Paramount, the film’s distributor, and Apple Original Films, its producer. The companies have been contacting theaters that have violated their contract by splitting up the film and telling them to show “Killers of the Flower Moon” as intended, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation.

To be clear, only a smattering of venues out of the roughly 10,000 globally that are screening “Killers of the Flower Moon” have included an intermission, but it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Thelma Schoonmaker, the editor of the film and longtime collaborator with Scorsese, told The Standard, “I understand that somebody’s running it with an intermission which is not right. That’s a violation so I have to find out about it.”

While Scorsese has not directly addressed the intermission (or lack thereof), he defended the long runtime of “Killers of the Flower Moon” in an interview with the Hindustan Times, saying, “People say it’s three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours.”

[From Variety]

You cannot compare “someone sitting at home and watching five hours of TV” with being stuck in a movie theater for three and a half hours! Longer than that, because people arrive early to find their seats, watch the previews (which are getting longer and longer) and watch all of those f–king commercials BEFORE the previews. Again, when people “binge-watch” something at home, they are actually creating intermissions for themselves to get food and use the bathroom. That’s one of the best things about watching sh-t in the comfort of your home – you can watch something at your own pace, with fried chicken. I will defend Scorsese about almost everything, but this is where I draw the line. Let people have their intermissions, for the love of God. Paramount and Apple need to cut this sh-t out.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, posters & promotional image courtesy of Paramount/Apple.

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