I am a creature of habit. Every Friday, I head to the multiplex. Sometimes it's to fulfill my professional duty as a film critic, sometimes it's to catch up with a movie someone else recommended I see, but most often it's for the pure pleasure of watching a movie on a big screen with an audience.

To decide where and what to see, usually I type "movie: Dallas, TX" into Google. Up until today, that search spec (substitute your city and state or zip code) pulled up an alphabetical list of local movie theaters, with the movies playing at each theater listed alphabetically along with showtimes. It's a very quick, easy, and convenient way to decide where I want to spend my evening. Today, though, I noticed that typing "movie: Dallas, TX" displays the search results in order of "movie popularity."

You can still change the results so they display in order of "theater distance," but it made me wonder how other people decide what movie(s) to watch. I've watched gangs of people head into a theater, asking each other "What is this movie?" Sometimes the bantering goes on while waiting in the ticket line ("what do you want to see?"), sometimes in the lobby after tickets have been purchased. How about you? Do you pick one movie in advance, and then look for the most convenient location and showtime? What if it's sold out, or traffic delays keep you from arriving in time -- do you just wait for the next showing, even if you have to wait two hours? Or do you just head to your favorite theater and pick the best of what's available?