2005_06_artsCinderellaman.jpgIn an effort to help the reported “Hollywood Slump,” AMC Theatres offer full-ticket refunds to moviegoers seeing Cinderella Man, which did rather poorly at the box office. The exhibitors offering Cinderella Man claim their marketing ploy is simply to encourage the public to see “a special picture” says Dick Walsh, film group chairman at AMC: "It's first class up and down, almost certain to be nominated for Academy Awards, and we just wanted to do whatever we could to help." This isn’t the first time for movies’ money-back guarantees, as studios tried such tactics with the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street (latecomers and those "who couldn't afford tickets" demanded the dough) and with 1988's Mystic Pizza. Lately, seems as if every studio or theatre is looking for a quick fix, as “anyone whose name was a derivation of Herbert” received, as the Wall Street Journal notes, sneak-peak preview tickets to Lindsay Lohan’s disaster, whereas Fox offers a “buy-three-get-one-free deal” to boost Star Wars, Episode III.

Well, we’re really rather impressed with studios and theater chains, who opt to boost sagging box-office revenue by employing stale marketing schemes instead of investigating why people prefer their TIVO to overpriced theatres - perhaps because recent movies are simply disappointing or just watered down versions of the original (really, we want our Herbie refund already). Meanwhile, though the number of refunds has been “miniscule,” you can catch Olympic phone-tosser Russell Crowe in his “special picture” at AMC 25 at 234 West 42nd Street.