The event cinema company Iconic Events announced today that the company has enlisted theatrical circuits representing over 1,000 locations to the expanding network of theaters playing its programming, and that Steve Bunnell has been named chief executive officer. The announcement was made by Iconic Events executive chairman Michael Lambert. Iconic will bring audiences the super middleweight fight between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders on May 8 through a new partnership with DAZN and will bring the rematch of McGregor/Poirer to theaters in the just-announced UFC event on July 10.
Lambert, a longtime owner of movie theaters, formed the company last year along with former Cinemark CEO Tim Warner and several leading media, exhibition, and entertainment industry entrepreneurs with extensive experience in the industry.
"Iconic Events has had an incredible start by securing the rights to UFC fights, live boxing matches, and other highly desirable and marketable content for distribution to our growing network of movie theaters," said Lambert. "Steve Bunnell understands the business like few others. His special vision for expanding live and other content through his relationships and experience on both sides of the theatrical aisle at Cinemark, Universal, Regal, and most recently Alamo Drafthouse, makes him uniquely qualified and perfectly suited to lead Iconic as we broaden our programming and extend into categories including concerts, music videos, live Q and A's for premieres of new movies, cast reunions of classic movies, anime, premiere episodes of beloved series from networks and streamers and even regional and local sports."
"Now, more than ever, theaters need the additional programming choices like those being offered by Iconic. We already have access to over one thousand theaters representing nearly ten thousand screens in the US, with more live-capable theaters being added every day," said Bunnell. "There's enormous potential for growth in this sector of the business in the United States by making this content broadly available to any-and-all exhibitors, and I'm tremendously excited to be leading Iconic's efforts. Putting optionality into the hands of exhibition and giving them more choices for their customers couldn't be more important."
Fueling growth in the Iconic network is a no-strings approach to building long term relationships with partners. "More and more, the multiplex is seen not just as a local theater. It is a community entertainment center and an event destination. We are delighted to have such fantastic response from our community – they understand their customers want more event cinema in their theaters, and more importantly, they understand the upside for their bottom line – especially right now, when every dollar counts," said Bunnell.
Iconic Events has already seen significant success with live UFC events, starting in January with the Connor McGregor/Dustin Poirer fight. The company has quickly grown from just a dozen test locations to over 150 live-event-capable theaters that brought the most recent UFC live event to audiences this past weekend.
Iconic Events www.iconicreleasing.com