It's not the Battle of Endor, but the Battle of Times Square. Regal's E-Walk 13 is located directly across the street from AMC's Empire 25. Directly. I always thought it was an interesting sight to see. Within a few feet, there are 38 screens! While us New Yorkers are used to this, it must seem pretty crazy to tourists walking down 42nd Street. Two big multiplexes, right across the street from each other.
While Erica and I are pretty loyal to AMC, that's only because we refuse to pay full price. The E-Walk is a nice theater with some great screens and very comfortable seats. But they rarely get our business because they don't have matinee pricing (AMC's $6 pre-Noon tickets are tough to beat) and they have a $1.50 Manhattan surcharge on their bulk tickets. Nonetheless, we find it fascinating to look at which movies are playing at which theater. Because they never, ever play the same film.
Some weeks, when there are two major releases, the AMC will get one and the Regal will get the other. Other times, Regal will get both and AMC gets none. And vice versa. There are times when one theater will get the major releases week after week after week and the other is playing mostly old crap. Sorry, but I find that stuff fascinating.
I have no idea what process is in place and how it is decided who gets what. I can imagine some board room where a representative from each chain pleads their case and begs for this or that film. But that's not how it goes. If anyone knows, I'd love to find out how it works. I'm going to try to keep tabs on who gets what and keep you posted on the major releases. Keep in mind that the Empire has more screens, and that they play way more foreign/independent fare than the E-Walk.
Something else to keep in mind: AMC has the 34th Street 14 half a mile directly South of these theaters, and they play every major release. Which is why you can find Erica and I at that spot a lot, too.
So far this Summer, The Regal E-Walk 13 has gotten Super 8, Bridesmaids and The Hangover Part II, while AMC Empire 25 benefited from Fast Five, Kung Fu Panda II, X-Men, Pirates IV and Thor. This past weekend, Empire got both Mr. Popper's Penguins and Green Lantern, and the E-Walk got zilch.
Empire goes 0-2 with both Cars 2 and Bad Teacher playing the E-Walk. After that, E-Walk scores big with Transformers 3 for the four-day 4th of July weekend. No word yet on which side of the street Larry Crowne will park his scooter that week.