Later this week, Cliff Marks is retiring from National CineMedia. His long tenure there dovetails precisely with the adoption of digital cinema technology and he had a hand in many, if not most, of the innovations the new technology has made possible. Marks joined NCM in 2002 as an original member of the company’s leadership team, when it was then the Regal Entertainment Group media subsidiary known as Regal CineMedia Corporation. He was named president of sales and marketing when Regal CineMedia became National CineMedia in 2005 with the addition of AMC and later Cinemark as founding member theatre circuits and was named president of NCM in 2016. Marks was the visionary behind the creation and evolution of NCM’s groundbreaking movie pre-show — the first to combine entertainment content and advertising — turning cinema into not only a powerful sight-sound-and-motion medium, but a key premium video option in today’s fragmented media landscape. Today NCM’s Noovie pre-show is seen by more than 750 million moviegoers a year. Before joining NCM, Marks was a 14-year veteran of ESPN/ABC Sports overseeing its $2 billion sales organization. He currently serves as a director on the executive board of the Screen Advertising World Association and serves on the marketing committee of the International 3D Society. He has also served several terms as president and chairman of the Cinema Advertising Council. I recently interviewed Marks via email about his time at NCM, his plans for the future, and his thoughts on the state of the cinema business. Our conversation started with the earliest days of digital cinema.
New research from cinema advertising company National CineMedia shows that a vast majority of regular moviegoers – 95 percent – miss seeing movies in theatres.
National CineMedia and Screenvision are joining the next phase of Feed our Future, a global cinema ad campaign that shines a light on the United Nations World Food Program’s life-saving work on the frontlines of world hunger. Starting today, the advertisement will be shown on movie screens across the U.S. through November. The Feed our Future campaign is part of a unique partnership between SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association and the WFP, which is the leading humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.
At CinemaCon this week National CineMedia, creators of the Noovie pre-show seen in movie theaters nationwide, unveiled their new movie trivia mobile game Shuffle. Designed as a web app at www.noovie.com/shuffle, Shuffle is a whirlwind collection of card-based movie-trivia mini-games where players must answer questions as quickly as possible to earn points before time runs out. Questions will come fast and furious, and players will be sorting, flinging, and swiping cards at a breakneck pace to accumulate points and earn the best score. Movie fans can test their Hollywood IQ anytime, anywhere, with a fun mix of challenging Shuffle trivia games based on their favorite films.
National CineMedia is pioneering interactive augmented reality gaming in theaters this spring with the launch of Noovie ARcade, a companion app to NCM’s Noovie pre-show and Lobby Entertainment Network. Noovie ARcade is available in the iOS and Android app stores. NCM expects it to be rolled out nationwide this spring on over 20,600 screens in 1,700 theatres across the country including AMC, Cinemark, Regal Entertainment Group, and 49 other regional and local theater chains.
In advance of the December 15 release of Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, National CineMedia is now presenting an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie as part of its revamped preshow Noovies. The content is part of NCM’s Noovie Backlot series. For Steve Ochs, NCM’s senior vice president, marketing and creative, this is all part of his overall effort to re-imagine the preshow experience.
This weekend in more than 20,600 screens in 1,700 U.S. movie theaters National CineMedia will launch its revamped pre-show, Noovie. The Walt Disney Studios has signed on as the premiere studio for new Noovie Backlot segments through June and will offer a unique behind-the-scenes look at upcoming films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, including Coco, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Black Panther, A Wrinkle In Time, Avengers: Infinity War, Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film and The Incredibles 2.
At its sixth annual upfront event at the AMC Lincoln Square movie theater in New York, National CineMedia announced plans to re-imagine its cinema pre-show and launch new digital channels for movie audiences.
National CineMedia has partnered with Twitter and Disney to feature Rogue One trailer assets and fan tweets on NCM's Lobby Entertainment Network of screens strategically located near the box office and other high-traffic lobby locations in select movie theatres nationwide. “This is our way of reimagining the lobby experience,” said NCM president Cliff Marks.
Bow Tie Cinemas has signed on to become National CineMedia’s newest affiliate. Beginning in the first quarter of 2017 Bow Tie’s 43 theaters with 271 screens in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Virginia will become part of America’s Movie Network.