See, the thing about being the CEO of the largest chain of movie theaters in the country is that when you say things like this…
When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.
… and suggest the time has come for theaters to have special showings of films in which screen-addicted millenial-types can feel free to bury their faces in their glowing phones to text while two characters from comic books wail away on each other on a giant screen for close to three hours is that, well, you run the risk of irritating a few people. New AMC CEO Adam Aron learned just that lesson this week, after he said exactly those things during an interview with Variety and pretty much the entire internet proceeded to rain acid backlash on him and his company for the better part of a day.
Quickly, to Twitter!
In hindsight, we all may have overreacted about this plan, because we saw “teens texting during movies” and went blind with white-hot old person rage. But the thing we missed by doing that is this: AMC’s plan means a fair number of the people — of all ages — who drive moviegoers nuts by playing with their phones will be removed from the general population. They’ll be off in their own awful theater having their own awful moviegoing experience, leaving everyone else free to enjoy movies in darkened, quiet peace. We were looking at this backwards the whole time. It’s actually… it’s actually kind of genius, even if it’s not for the reason AMC intended.
But hey, Corn Flakes were invented by accident, too.