rick, i didn't think you were pointing a finger. and what you are offering in those 4 1/2 hrs is a cultural exprience that only a certain type would show up to. i am one of those who shows up to such things, gladly pays my money to go in, and gladly drops my money at the vendor tables.
since you told us about cinecom, i've been lobbying with a few friends to rent some suvs and make the trip across america.
unfortunately most of my friends are short sighted wimps who have had every speculative bone kicked out of their bodies, and i still have all my speculative bones intact.
on the foreign policy type thing we were talking about:
through history producers who didn't have their eye on the pulse of the public lost dough. the marx brother's best film, DUCK SOUP, was a financial failure, it poked fun at government when rosevelt, and the new deal, and a time of national optemism. AMBERSON's demise can be directly linked to pearl harbor. so at this time with the state of the world, a comedy about a bumbling group of suicide bombers who target an all night grocery store, would not be a wise $30 million investment. (but if you could make it for 10K, you might have a winner.)
so to answer your question before we got into the seating thing. more than some political crap that is 'imposed' on filmmakers, it's something the money guy will be aware of before he parts with his nut. when the nut doesn't come back, he's out of business.
this is probably why so many patriotic films have come out and are being slated. the public is flocking to them i hear. welles' THE STRANGER was a pot boiler. nazis hiding about among americans was a real issue that had the public's attention.
but all this is just my opinion which i have forwarded at no charge. none of it was thought out, or researched in any way.