As tent pole movies and opening weekend box office results increasingly dominate the motion picture business, understanding just who pays to see those movies has never been more important. In a whitepaper released this week, Movio chief executive and co-founder Will Palmer said the realities of a tent pole audience can be quite different from conventional wisdom. In Breaking the Blockbuster Code: Audience Evolution Patterns Revealed, Movio’s data scientists challenged the Hollywood film marketing community to re-think who makes up the opening weekend of a blockbuster film.
The Big Picture
Traveling the world filming a documentary about his former acting students, retired professor John Henry discovers that one of them, Marita Gomsrud, has disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving only a postcard from Salzburg with the words: "Remember our games of hide and seek." Now the film goes from documentary to documystery, as someone else is also searching for Marita, a man from her shaded past who will stop at nothing to find her.
For film producers, an Academy Award can be worth much more than its weight in gold. Based on box office sales over the past five years, winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture averaged $10.3 million in additional box office sales following their victory. In comparison, nominated films that failed to win the Oscar generated an average of $3.9 million in box office receipts following the awards, which is $6.4 million less than their winning counterparts. However, studios, producers and actors need not walk away with any Oscar hardware to achieve massive financial success. While they may not always secure the Oscar, films with relatively smaller budgets benefit from higher profit margins upon nomination. After Room was nominated for Best Picture in the 88th Academy Awards, the number of theaters screening the movie more than quadrupled, increasing from 198 theaters prior to its nomination to 862 after the announcement.
Fandango has acquired Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, including the professional movie critic rating tool, the Tomatometer, from Warner Bros. Entertainment. The addition of Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, along with Fandango’s recent acquisition of on-demand video service, M-Go, will expand the company’s theatrical ticketing business and create the industry’s premier digital network for all things movies.
Along with being one of the most hotly anticipated movies of 2016, The Revenant is also highly likely to carry away a clutch of major prizes during awards season. In addition to key nominations for best film and best acting in a motion picture, the movie has also secured nominations for best cinematography. Little wonder. The work of Mexican DP Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki AMC ASC – working in horrendous cold and using only natural light – has been lauded by the critics as the “consummate cinematic experience.”
It’s an understatement to call Cooke Optics’ chairman and owner Les Zellan a digital cinema pioneer. In 2000 when he first introduced the idea of metadata technology in lens manufacturing, only a small number of people believed that digital cinema technology would ever truly replace film as Hollywood’s production medium of choice. At the time, the American Society of Cinematographers was actively campaigning against the idea of replacing film projectors with what were derisively called video projectors. Much has changed, of course, but Zellan still talks in the wary manner of pioneers who understand that, even though they’ve overcome some challenges, there are still more to face.
Iris, Archimedia’s suite of software applications designed to speed file workflow, can now play Interoperable Master Format complex files. These files are rapidly becoming a preferred format for motion pictures because they dramatically reduce the number of file versions film studios need to send out. Archimedia CEO Mark Gray said, “We are proud to introduce an upgrade to Iris that makes it the world’s first software media player for IMF complex files. Now that IMF is gaining traction in the OTT and video on demand television markets its use is sure to increase.”
M-Go has unveiled a new monthly campaign called Movies that Matter. DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor created the video on demand service to reinforce their commitment to socially relevant films. The campaign will highlight a new film every month, beginning with the debut of the documentary film Imba Means Sing.
Ymagis Group has opened a new, state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos screening room at its Soho offices in central London to serve the UK film industry. Featuring nine luxury seats in a private environment, this new screening facility is acoustically isolated and ideal for quality-control and VIP screenings, daily rushes, color-grading, mastering and corporate activities.
The popular T-Rex Café at Disney Springs, formerly Downtown Disney Marketplace, at Lake Buena Vista, Florida is a monster-sized, Palaeozoic-themed restaurant that bills itself as a Prehistoric Family Adventure. The execution of the theme is extensive and spectacular, and certainly includes enough pre-historic atmosphere to stir the imaginations of dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages. Highlights include a vast and impressive crystal cave that constantly sweeps through a range of intense backlit colors and thickets of cretaceous jungle foliage around smoke-emitting tar pits. All of this provides a backdrop for the stars of the show, the cast of 23 fully-articulated animatronic prehistoric creatures that include such usual dinosaur suspects as tyrannosaurus rex, apatosaurus, triceratops, mastodons, and a woolly mammoth family, together with pteronodons and an 11-metre giant octopus suspended over the bar and the heads of the diners.