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Kong Skull Island Open Check

Updated on May 21, 2017

Wasn’t that cool?

After that cool trailer, I can tell you that you should stay and watch the Ending Credit Roll, because there is a scene (Epilogue) that sheds some light on the newly re-created digitized King Kong character.

The running joke of There’s my name!

On assignment for an Open check Theatre Audit, I saw this feature presentation 16 times in Weekend#1. After the fifth viewing in a non-linear order, I can tell you that it took me 4 viewings to appreciate the Story and Plot. I have officially seen this film 28 times, albeit in a nonlinear fashion. How many people do you know who’ve done that?

What’s an Open check?

Inquiring minds want to know!

An Open check is whereby the Studio hires an independent third party to audit the theatre’s handling of the Feature presentation. For example, Warner Bros. hires Verites to perform theatre checking services. Verities turns around and hires Independent Contractors such as myself, to perform the theatre checking services for Kong: Skull Island, during its opening weekend.

  • I work via email with my Verites scheduler and via phone call with their Tech Support Line, in case I can’t access my paperwork. Yes, I work a lot with computers.
  • I also work closely with Theatre Management, to perform the Open Check. Theatre management has the right to refuse the Theatre Auditor entrance to their theatre. BTW, I’ve never had a problem with any of my theatres in Colorado or Hawaii.

In Kong: Skull Island, my movie assignment was to check all showtimes and all formats at the Regal Theatres’ Windward Stadium 10-plex. Arriving when the theatre opens its doors (12pm Hawaii Standard Time), I present my Letter of Authorization, which lets me skip not only the Box Office line, but also the Entrance Line, offering me a free pass into all screen numbers. Which means that for the next 12-13 hours, I’m inside the theatre. I observe the audience’s reaction to the PreShow, Rolling Stock Ads-Commercials, Trailers and the Main Feature (Pre Film & Post Film reactions).

This means 8 screen times per day times 2 days. And then, Weekend #2 had 12 showtimes. So, yeah, I’ve seen the film 16 times in opening weekend, and 12 times in weekend #2 = 28 times, guys.

Does this mean that the Auditor gets to see the movie for free?

No, the Auditor is not entitled to see the movie for free, nor any movies in the Complex (4-8-10-16-18 plex). The only exception is when the management offers to let you see the movie for free.

On a sidenote, I’ve never had a problem with any of the theatres, in the years that I’ve been a Theatre Checker. I’ve checked for Carmike Cinemas, Edwards Theatres, Regal Theatre Group and Consolidated Theatres.

Here’s how the Open check really works

I arrive at each screen time about 15 minutes (while the PreShow is playing), and observe the audience reaction to the Rolling Stock Ads-Commercials. Rolling stock ads are the Coca Cola ads, and other promotional items that are shown before the Trailers. Corporate organizations spend money on these advertisements, so don’t get too bored with these ads. One of my friends Josh composes the lyrics for the “Shaquille and Friends” ad. He’s also from Hawaii, and attends movie screenings, to see his work on the Big Screen.

Sidenote #2: In my regular Hubbed Film Reviews, you will find local “Thank You’s” under the Mahalo Plenty heading. Yes, I have friends working in the TV & Film Industry in Hawaii and the Mainland.

I’m counting the number of patrons, who are in attendance for the film, for each screen, in each format. So, if I was to perform this same audit at the 18-plex, I would have to check IMAX 2D, IMAX 3D, RPX and regular digital formats, for each time listed. If another type of format is to be added, the Auditor would need to check this at the theatre.

In addition to counting the people, I’m also ensuring that the theatre is playing the proper Rolling Stock Ads-Commercials, correct Trailer order, and the Feature Film.

  • When the “Welcome to Regal” reel plays, this is a sign to the audience that the Trailers will be playing, after moving through Popcorn and Arches.
  • While the movie trailers are playing, I note the order and audience reaction to each trailer. Depending on which screen number and which format is playing, the trailer order changes on a daily basis. For Kong: Skull Island, there were 8 trailers in the Regular digital screens, and the Real 3D version had 8 trailers, but cut together in a different order.
  • The Feature Presentation starts. Time permitting, I usually stay through the Opening Montage, to ensure that the movie plays properly, and judge the initial audience reaction. If the feature doesn’t play or experiences problems, I then run straight to the management and report it. With fully packed theatres both weekends, issuing Readmission Tickets is probably not wise for the Theatre, nor viable for the Studio.
  • After the Opening Montage ends in this theatre, it’s time to leave Theatre#1, and go to the Theatre#2.
  • Repeat the entire Audit process in Theatre #2. Or #3 or #4, depending on the size of your Movie-plex.

Open checking Part 2

I arrive inside Theatre#1 a few minutes before the Feature is to end and the Ending Credit Roll, to observe Post Film audience reaction. Multi-task and repeat in Theatre #2.

  • In between features, the Auditor gets a break. It’s usually good to let a member of Theatre Management know that you are taking a break and will return for the next showtime, or what is routinely called “The next round,” or “I’ll be back for Round x (said in your best Terminator voice impression).”
  • In between features, there is Paperwork involved. As the Auditor, you are responsible for filling in the hard copy paperwork and getting it signed by a Theatre Manager on a nightly basis, or at the end-of-the-weekend, depending on the nature of your movie assignment.
  • After all Features are done for the evening, it’s time to tally up! All the paperwork needs to be entered online, so that the Studio has the actual numbers. We refer to this as “Going Live” with your numbers. So, at the end of each night, I connect to the Internet and enter the data on-line.

First thing Monday morning, the hard copy paperwork needs to be submitted with your IC invoice, in order to get paid. With the construction of multi-plexes, which Louis B. Mayer probably hadn’t anticipated in 1950s when he was struggling to keep MGM Studios together financially, I was one of a few thousand Auditors, who were submitting simultaneous paperwork. That is the reason behind the double-entry method of paperwork.

  • One set of paperwork goes to the Theatre Metrics Department, while the second set of paperwork goes to Theatre Quality Assurance Department. Somewhere along the line, your IC invoice will be passed in between departments, once your results are accepted.
  • Sometimes the Theatre Auditor will receive a phone call about the results. I’ve never received a phone call in the years I’ve been performing theatre checking services.
  • It's also a good idea to remain friendly with the Accounts Payable Department, as they are the ones receiving your Work Order, and give it the "OK" for a check to be cut. Unlike the latest John Wick movie!
  • The computer makes it easier, since data collection results can be received nationwide and processed faster by the central server. Interestingly enough, the Internet website is the same one from 10 years ago!

Yeah, we made it through a *big* weekend! So, yes, I made part of this Cinematic Film Experience happen!

Sistah, why was this film so momentuous?

Q: If you were to re-start a character throughout history, which one would you do?

A: A human character would probably get old, as well as the actor’s aging process. Nature’s beast is the answer.


After performing my Weekend movie assignment, taking the remainder of Monday off, and seeing Table 19 on Tuesday morning at the 16-plex, the answer became clear. I performed some Movie research on the importance of Kong: Skull Island on Tuesday afternoon. It’s amazing what a Chick Flick will do to clear your mind from the Action-Adventure genre!

The Ending Credit Roll scene from the Feature explained it:

  • There will be other films starring digitized King Kong.
  • Because Toho Films is re-releasing its DVD volumes of King Kong.
  • Which explains the Opening Sequence of the Feature, where two pilots crash land in the middle of an island in the South Pacific, in 1944. Starting the story of Skull Island.

Other Kong resources

Be sure to check out another supplementary material resource, which is the Book Novelization for Kong: Skull Island. After purchasing a copy at my local B&N, I read it on TheBus, and the Prologue explains the Opening Montage in more detail. Which is different than what was shown on-screen. If not, a definite collector’s item!


If you’re trying to find a copy of the movie, made in 1976 and reissued in 1999, starring Jeff Bridges, you’re in no luck. It’s been taken off-the-market, according to my source, meaning that there’s a reissue in the near future. “Off the market” means that the Motion Picture rights holder took it off the market, so it’s “not available” as being sold on the open retail market. My source also let me know that a reissue is normally what follows an “off market” movie.

Through my alternate source network, I actually have a borrowed copy from the other side of the Island, and will be viewing both the 1976 and 2009 versions for this Kong Hub. Luckily, the Neighbor Island copies are still on Kauai and the Big Island, and those copies are circulated lastly, because each Island tries to keep a certain number of copies on one island, unless the request level is high, then the Neighbor Island copies are put into inter-Island circulation.

Sistah, would you have changed anything in the film?

Absolutely not. The feature was Top-notch filmmaking!

Theatre experience was great, audience was very nice, and the experience was unforgettable, as I’m one of the people behind-the-scenes of this momentuous cinematic milestone.

After viewing the film 28 times, non-linearially, there is a real person’s name in the credits that has me waxing poetically: Luke Harrison Ford. Wow! That Retro Rewind feeling.

Mahalo Plenty’s

  • Thank you to my local Librarians for helping me with my King Kong research.
  • Thank you to MovieMan Shane for helping me with trying to find the 1976 version of the film. Hilda, for processing my request and Barrie, for reminding me that the requested item had been received.
  • Thank you to “Uncle” Bill Johnson for being one of the Plasterer Gangbosses on this film, in addition to working on Hawaii Five-0 TV series.
  • Thank you to Chris Wiecking, for working on the Sound for Second Unit. As usual, you are top notch.
  • Thank you to various filming locations on Oahu and Grove Farm (Kauai). It was nice to see newer Ranchland being filmed on the big screen. A true fact: one of my true blood Uncles handles the legal matters for Grove Farm, so this film carries quite an intimate feeling for me, too.

Be sure to catch my Kong: Skull Island film review, to be Hubbed shortly. Until the next one, Pam


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