American cinemagoers must, on average, have very small bladders…or drink copious amounts of soda before or during movies.
How else to explain the success of a US website, RunPee.com, which advises patrons on the exact times to take loo breaks and how long they can attend to their business without missing any good bits.
The site was created by a Florida-based software developer named Dan Florio, who got the idea after sitting through Peter Jackson's 187-minute remake of King Kong in 2005. It must be a hit because Florio intends to offer translations in Spanish, Chinese, French, German and Hindi in November. “Our plan (is) for world domination," he boasts.
RunPee is already available on twitter and Facebook and as an iPhone application, and he's working to extend the service to BlackBerry, Nokia and Windows Mobile. It recommends breaks of 4 - 5 minutes, which I'd have thought is way longer than most folks would need, except in the case of queues in the women's loos or for those with chronic conditions.
As an example of RunPee's, ahem, convenience, the site nominates three times for loo breaks during Inglourious Basterds, starting at the 38-minute mark (“shot changes to a ladder outside a cinema”), followed by similar opportunities at 75 minutes (the scene where Lieutenant Raine complains about a meeting being held in a basement) and at 105 minutes (the cinema owner stands by a circular window and a song starts).
If you go to District 9 yet and feel the urge, take your cue 49 minutes in when the newscaster intones, “The entire world is on the lookout for Wikus,” or after 64 minutes when Wikus goes to the Nigerians to buy guns.
I'd like to think anyone with a normal bladder could sit through the 95 minutes of 500 Days of Summer without needing to dash to the rest room, but the site suggests timely breaks at 40 and 75 minutes.
RunPee calculates that most movies have a first toilet moment about 40 minutes into the action. But beware The Time Traveller's Wife, the saga of the romance between an artist (Rachel McAdams) and a time-travelling librarian (Eric Bana), which opens here in November. It must be intense because the site reckons there's only one "runpee" moment, at 46 minutes, otherwise you'd have to sit cross-legged through the entire 107 minutes.
It makes one wonder how moviegoers managed to cope with the 222-minute epic Gone With the Wind without the benefit of a service like RunPee.