As the international film and cinema community gathers for the Venice International Film Festival, and in the wake of the European Commission’s first European Film Forum exploring the future of cinemas, the Union Internationale des Cinémas/ International Union of Cinemas and the Confédération Internationale des Cinémas d’Art et d’Essai/ International Confederation of Art Cinemas have issued the following statement on the health of the sector and key trends and challenges. The festival is taking place now through September 9.
The Big Picture
A study released today by the movie industry website Slated dramatically illustrates the cinema industry’s continued across-the-board bias against women. The company’s analysis of 1,591 feature films released theatrically on at least one screen in the U.S. between 2010 and 2015 exposes a systemic lack of trust on the part of the film industry when it comes to collaborating with women in the workplace.
Most moviegoers hate waiting in ticket lines. And, according to a recent survey, they also hate slow or worse yet, non-working online ticket services. How much do they hate it? According to the survey, 62 percent of Americans would be disgruntled if they were purchasing movie tickets and the website or app went down, and nearly all (90 percent) agreed that movie ticketing websites and apps should have zero downtime this summer. The survey also revealed which summer blockbusters Americans are the most excited to see. Finding Dory topped the list with 44 percent, followed by the new Star Trek movie (33 percent) and Jason Bourne (32 percent).
Thanks, in part, to digital cinema technology, drive-in theatres are on the rise. According to the United Drive-in Theatre Owners Association, as of this month there are 324 drive-in theatres in the United States, 299 of which are digital, with a total of 595 screens. Though the numbers will likely never be as high as they were in the 1950s when the nation had more than four thousand drive-ins, the association says the drive-in business seems to be on an upswing. Coyote Theatres is a case in point
Over the past decade digital cinema technology has spurred the transformation of movie theatres from the traditional assembly line model – buy your ticket, buy your popcorn and soda, take your seats, watch the movie, and exit – into entertainment centers where people are encouraged to linger and enjoy a variety of activities, enjoy a nice meal and, of course, see a movie. While Santikos Theatres has seen its share of industry firsts its newest venture, opening today, is more than simply a new first. Yes, the Casa Blanca in San Antonio, Texas, is the first all-laser projection movie theatre in the world. But, more than that, it sets a very high standard for what a movie theatre in the 21st century can be.
At a press conference in Los Angeles later this week, executives from the Dubai-based Aries Group will announce their plans to increase the international investment in the Indian film industry and to build 10,000 new 4K-projection multiplexes to serve the country’s burgeoning and entertainment-hungry middle class. If the group is successful, they will address a problem that has long plagued the Indian film industry.
Recently rebranded Screenvision Media has rolled out the Connected Cinema experience, which the company says provides the ultimate canvas for brand storytelling. Through new tech alliances with MovieTickets.com, Timeplay, Shazam, EdisonX and Branded Entertainment Network, Screenvision Media is extending and harnessing the unrivaled impact of cinema’s premium video with the ability to engage with consumers before, during and after their movie-going journey. The announcement was officially made at the company’s Upfront event at the Skylight at Moynihan Station.
Replacing the world’s 35mm projectors with digital ones was the beginning of the digital cinema era, not the end. Now, with the end of the virtual print fee deals in sight, exhibitors are exploring what new technologies they can use to manage theatres, excite moviegoers and grow revenue. As was the case last year, the major technology topics of CinemaCon 2016 were laser projection, theatre sound, and immersive cinema. Leading exhibitors understand that their future success demands that they rethink virtually every aspect of their businesses, and that they must transform their movie theatres into entertainment centers designed to serve their specific communities. The best of them are making great strides to that end and CinemaCon 2016 brimmed with their energy.
Event cinema will take center stage at CinemaCon April 12th at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas when Fathom Events honors BBC Worldwide North America with its Excellence in Event Cinema Award. The award is for their record-breaking success in global event cinema, featuring the Doctor Who series. The award will be presented by Fathom Events CEO, John Rubey, and accepted by BBC Worldwide executive vice president of franchise and digital enterprises, Soumya Sriraman.
One of the hottest topics in Hollywood these days is Napster co-founder Sean Parker’s proposal called Screening Room. When I think of a screening room it looks something like the photograph that’s next to this paragraph. Apparently, when Parker thinks of a screening room, it’s basically my living room with a set-top box in it that I buy from him for $150. With that box I can then pay him $50 to save myself the trouble of driving to the theatre to see a first-run movie. The studios and most film directors are opposed. But a handful of directors and one exhibitor, AMC, reportedly support the idea. Many questions have been raised about the idea but mine is this: why not Netflix?