It happens every time. You go up to the movie concession stand to order the medium soft drink. The smirking cashier blurts out, “25 cents more and you can have this here large,” his hand tapping the 64-ounce container.
Your mind races, calculating how much soda it takes to safely sit through a 90-minute movie.
You know you won’t make it. But DOUBLE the drink for another quarter … man, that’s a deal. The cashier, still smirking, knows your answer.
“Uh, sure,” you say, knowing full well that you’re going to have to make time to evacuate this soda at some point.
Then, midway through the movie, the soda doesn’t like the movie and needs to leave — now.
Chances are, you’ll miss something important.
Dan Florio felt the pain as well. In fact, it hit him in 2005 when he tried to watch King Kong, which lasted nearly three hours, enough to tax a bladder of … well, a very large ape.
“I’ve had a lot of people comment that they won’t get those [large] drinks for that very reason,” Dan told me in 2009.
Dan decided to do something about it. He registered the domain name and hand-crafted a Web site called Runpee.com, which offers times when movie-goers should hit the restroom and not worry about scenes unnecessary to the plot.
For example: In Bruno, 48 minutes in, you have four minutes to take a break while Baby O.J. is taken from Bruno.
Logically, Dan’s effort evolved into a 99-cent iPhone app.
Android users can synch the app (actually, just set the time) with the movie. The app will count down and vibrate at the point when the plot stalls, allowing the user to go to the restroom or get refills at the concession stand. While you’re doing your business, the app will catch you up and you don’t have to run over people to get back to your seat.
How awesome is that?
The Android upgrade also helps those who don’t want to open up their phones and produce the glow that can get you beat up by other movie-goers. Bonus.
With worldwide attention paid to his little Web site, the sky is the limit for Dan, a Web developer living in Orlando.
“It’s really hard to tell where it’s headed,” he said.
Although it’s a part-time gig, Dan is thinking big: Cross-promotions with theater chains … China.
With theater chains, “you know it’s going to increase their soft-drink sales,” Dan said. “That’s where they make their money.”
China? Dan’s working on a Chinese version because “the second-most visitors to the site come from China. They outpace the next 10 countries combined.”
With all the attention, Dan is living the dream.
But it’s also a dream come true for movie-goers, especially those who can’t pass up the value of a large drink.