Each year, Digital Cinema Report presents the Catalyst Award to the best new technology introduced at CinemaCon, the annual convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners. At this year’s show, held April 23-26 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, people from more than seventy countries gathered to discuss the latest issues, trends and technologies in motion picture distribution and exhibition. One technology trend stood out. For many reasons, until now, event cinema has been an exhibition afterthought. That changed this year. This year three of the seven Catalyst Award winners were specifically designed to facilitate event cinema. Event cinema is on the rise.
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Award-winning animation studio Laika has announced that its fifth and most ambitious film to date, Missing Link, will be released in the U.S. next spring. The name, release date and complete cast details were revealed by Laika president and CEO Travis Knight prior to meetings with foreign buyers at the Cannes Film Festival. Annapurna Pictures will distribute Missing Link in the U.S.. AGC International, the sales and distribution division of AGC Studios, is handling international sales.
Vista Entertainment has appointed Till Cussmann senior vice president sales for EMEA and general manager, Europe. He will report to Mischa Kay, managing director of Vista Entertainment Solutions EMEA.
A new Buy Tickets button is now available on Fandango’s Instagram profile, providing movie fans seamless access to show times and ticketing at more than 30,000 screens nationwide. This is in addition to the Shop button, connecting to movie merchandise and ticketing offers, including movie poster and collectible gifts-with-purchase available to Fandango ticket buyers through shopping on Instagram. Fandango ticketing will also roll out on movie-specific Instagram destinations in the coming weeks.
To help colorists, cinematographers and the wider production and post industry understand the opportunities and challenges that high dynamic range and new delivery formats bring, FilmLight is taking intensive and specialist master classes on a world tour. Dates are already set for London (May 15), Mumbai (May 16), Hollywood (June 4) and Seoul (June 7), with more to be added.
20th Century Fox and ScreenX are in advanced discussions to continue their partnership and release new films in the panoramic 270-degree cinema technology format. Following the success of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, 20th Century Fox and ScreenX plan to join forces again in 2018.
Online ticket sales company Fandango has launched an action on the Google Assistant that lets users purchase movie tickets using just their voice. Users can purchase tickets on any compatible device with the Google Assistant, including smart speakers like the Google Home, Android phones, televisions, headphones and more. Fandango ticketing is scheduled to launch on the Google Assistant for iOS devices by the end of the year.
Fathom Events and BritBox will present Harry & Meghan: The Royal Wedding in nearly 200 U.S. cinemas commercial free on May 19 at 10 a.m. local time, through Fathom’s digital broadcast network. Tickets for Harry & Meghan: The Royal Wedding can be purchased at Fathom’s website or participating box offices. BritBox is the subscription service from BBC Studios and ITV.
Abramorama is managing the theatrical release of Straight Into A Storm, the music driven documentary about the band Deer Tick. The film will premiere June 15 in New York at the Roxy Cinema Tribeca.
The Lichtburg, a historic cinema in the center of Essen, houses Germany's largest cinema hall with 1,250 seats. During the 50s and 60s the Lichtburg was one of the most important premiere cinemas of the Federal Republic. Creative people and distributors continue to use the theatre’s unique historic ambience of the cinema for premieres.
Cinematographer Steve Yedlin, ASC will present his work on cinema image quality at this month’s Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers’ Hollywood Section meeting May 16 at the Linwood Dunn Theater. The two-part demonstration, titled On Acquisition and Pipeline for High-Resolution Exhibition, premiered at Camerimage in 2016 and now is widely available online. The SMPTE Hollywood Section event will give attendees the opportunity to view Yedlin’s demonstration in a high-quality theatrical exhibition venue.
AlphaDogs has completed work on the new WWII short film Krieg. Directed and produced by Jeff Fry, Krieg follows the journey of a Waffen-SS officer who chooses to do the right thing while serving on the wrong side of a world at war. His remorse for inaction in the face of murder compels him to risk all in order to protect a wounded enemy airman.
THX has certified more than 200 Cinemark private-label premium large format XD auditoriums in the United States and Latin America. THX announced the new PLF certification program at CinemaCon last week.
In his annual address last week to the CinemaCon 2018 opening day audience, John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, gave a speech laced with familiar, and historically sound, themes: good movies drive people to theatres and good movies need to be seen on the big screen. Yes, there are months when box office numbers are down but those are dramatically offset by months where people of all ages fill the seats for the newest big movie. Yes, there are, and always will be, competition for moviegoers’ time and attention, but nothing will ever replace the big screen experience. Period.
Universal Pictures and The Film Foundation have announced a multi-year partnership to restore a handpicked selection of the studios' classic titles. With this collaboration, Universal will fund the restorations as well as provide research and technical services. Through The Film Foundation, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg will be personally involved in the process contributing their unique artistic expertise and historical knowledge throughout the restoration process. The restored versions will be screened at film festivals and archives around the world. The 2018 restoration slate includes the following:
Fandango announced today that it sold a third of the U.S. opening weekend box office dollars for Avengers: Infinity War, marking one of its largest shares of weekend box office dollars for any movie in Fandango’s 18-year history.
Screenvision Media today launched Corner Stories, a nationwide promotion in time for National Small Business Week. The Corner Stories – created by Screenvision Media’s in-house creative team, 40 Foot Solutions — provides a behind-the-scenes look into small business owners making a difference in their communities. Beginning May 3 local businesses can nominate themselves for the chance to appear in the inaugural Corner Stories segment as part of Screenvision Media’s Front & Center preshow. The winning spot will debut on July 4 and continue to air across the company’s national footprint for the entire month.
AGC International will handle foreign sales for animation studio Laika’s Film Five (working title), currently in production at the studio. The announcement was made today by Laika president and CEO Travis Knight and Stuart Ford, CEO of AGC Studios. Laika just announced Annapurna Pictures as its domestic distributor on the film.
A new survey conducted by Ernst & Young has found that frequent moviegoers are also frequent content streamers. The study also found that non-moviegoers are also less likely to stream content. The survey was reported by the National Association of Theatre Owners during last week’s CinemaCon 2018 convention in Las Vegas.
This past week at CinemaCon 2018 GDC Technology announced GoGoCinema, the company’s first venture into the consumer marketplace. GoGoCinema is the brainchild of Dr. Man-Nang Chong, GDC’s founder and CEO.