Flunked, Not Expelled: Tickets and Ethics

Expelled William Dembski is complaining about the people who have stated publicly that they would attend a showing of Expelled at a multi-screen theater, buy a ticket for a different movie, then just slide into the theater showing Expelled instead. Bill has a point, as that does deprive the producers of money from their share of the ticket price and also reduces the reported number of seats sold as a measure of performance of the film. I won’t bother to engage in any relativistic stuff about how such ticket purchase shenanigans are less wrong than lying to people to get them to participate in a project.

Myself, if I do go to see the film, I’ll just buy a ticket for it straight up. That’s the right thing to do. I may wait a couple of weeks, though; by all indications, it is pretty transparently propaganda to all but the IDC cheerleading contingent, who would never find fault with it anyway. Of course, I’ll be running a big risk that there will be no theater within a reasonable driving distance showing it after a couple of weeks. I may just have to wait for it to appear on DVD. I’m assuming that would give me a delay of an extra couple of weeks.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

6 thoughts on “Flunked, Not Expelled: Tickets and Ethics

  • 2008/04/20 at 9:39 am

    Typical Dembski chutzpah to complain about his critics breaking the commandment about stealing, while he regularly breaks the one about bearing false witness (& possibly the one about stealing too if the Harvard video story is accurate).

    But really, sometimes the foot-shooting among fellow critics of ID/creationism gets so bad that I almost root for the scammers.

  • 2008/04/20 at 11:20 am

    I’m waiting until the DVD release is in a bargain bin somewhere. From the at best sub-par numbers they’ve been pulling thus far, it probably won’t take long at all for that to happen.

  • 2008/04/20 at 11:37 pm

    Guilty before proven innocent, is that your logic, Frank J? Or is it wishful thinking? Expelled pulled in pretty good numbers for a documentary this past weekend considering it was only in 1052 theaters…I believe it broke the top 10 at over 3 million for the first weekend.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there was or will be a few people who paid for another movie and then sneak into “Expelled”. More than likely, I would assume that those who might have done so, didn’t support the film, but still wanted to view it anyway. At least there is one in this is blog who admitted he paid for a ticket to see the film even though he didn’t like it, most likely he didn’t like before he seen it…

    Let academic freedom reign!

  • 2008/04/21 at 4:38 am

    “Expelled” opened on far more theaters than is typical for a documentary, making “only” 1052 theaters an improper use of “only”.

    “REC” at AtBC notes:

    By the way…I can’t believe the UDers are comparing their mass-market, ads every 5 seconds on Comedy Central, subsidized ticket rollouts to documentaries choosing to premier on one screen (Sundance). Most of the documentaries I’ve heard of premiered on 1-4 screens, but if you click the title and look at ‘wide release” its clear its not that high:

    March of the penguins:
    Opening Weekend: 4 Theaters $137,492
    Wide Release: Opening Weekend: 695 theaters $4,382,340

    Opening Weekend: limited, 1 theaters $68,969
    Opening Weekend: wide: $3,600,179 702 theaters, $5,128 average

    So if you look at ‘wide release’ stats, expelled falls down the list.

    Another statistic that would be of interest is numbers of tickets sold proportional to promotional dollars spent. I suspect that “Expelled” ranks way up there in terms of the latter, though it isn’t at the top in terms of the former.

    One wonders where Michael was when various other abuses of academic freedom were occurring.

  • 2008/04/27 at 6:21 pm

    I went to see it with two of my friends and we bought tickets. When we did do so the guy at the ticket counter said something like “You’re dragging them to see that?”

  • 2008/04/27 at 8:02 pm

    I’m still waiting for next weekend. The movie is leading the pack on making a decline in ticket sales. It has retained all but 11 theaters in its second week, so it may be that the theater in Lansing will still be showing it next week. Otherwise, I expect the DVD to be available shortly.

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