Let’s be clear about one thing: there is no such thing as alternative content. People do not leave the comfort of their homes to pay twenty dollars and more to sit in a movie theatre to watch something inferior or alternative. They gladly pay higher ticket prices because they enjoy events targeted at their specific interests. For big screens, great sound and comfortable reclining seats in a room with like-minded people. For the shared experiences of opera, theatre, concerts, sports, and more: a wide and growing range of programs. These aren’t alternatives to anything; these are events that, until only recently, people could never see this way. And let’s be clear about one more thing: Netflix will play a major roll in the future of event cinema.
The Big Picture
Screenvision has announced an innovative interactive advertising campaign that puts the spotlight on Volvo. This first-of-its-kind 90-second advertisement allows moviegoers to directly interact with the content on the big screen by using movement, and is now available in 100 Screenvision theatres.
Arclight Films says pre-sales for the theatrical release of Lost in the Pacific, the first Chinese 3D Sci-Fi action adventure film in English, are strong and is speculating that it could very well be the first Chinese independent Sci-Fi film to receive a same-day release worldwide.
Esteban Sune is the fourth generation of his Argentinian family in the exhibition business. His great grandfather opened the family’s first theatre in 1910 to show silent films. Some eighty years later, the theater concept changed from the big single screen houses to multiplexes and Cinemacenter was born. Sune, the company’s managing director, recently installed his country’s first laser projector – an NEC NC1100L. I spoke with him about that experience and about the exhibition business in general.
One of Hollywood’s most gifted action directors, Antoine Fuqua explores the rarified violence of the boxing ring in his latest film Southpaw, released this month by The Weinstein Company. The director’s visceral boxing imagery is supported by a meticulously crafted soundtrack, created by a team from Sony Pictures Post Production Services led by supervising sound editor Mandell Winter, sound designer David Esparza and re-recording mixers Steve Pederson and Daniel J. Leahy.
HBO has acquired U.S. rights to Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists, directed by Leah Wolchok and produced by Davina Pardo. An offbeat meditation on humor, art and the genius of the single panel, the feature-length documentary debuts December 7 exclusively on HBO, following a limited theatrical run November 20 through December 3 in New York at Lincoln Plaza, in San Francisco at the Roxie Theater, and in Los Angeles.
Preparation for post-production deliverables is often an overwhelming and tedious experience and producer/director Zatella Beatty’s feature length documentary about basketball star Allen Iverson’s rise to fame in the sports world was certainly no exception. Meeting Showtime’s tight deadline on delivery of Iverson wasn’t going to be easy.
Many documentary filmmakers turn to fundraising to finance their films. But not every filmmaker turns to fundraising to support the work of her subject. Producer/director Beth Murphy is using her film, What Tomorrow Brings, about visionary Razia Jan to help raise funds for what will be the first women’s college in rural Afghanistan.
Through most of the 20th century Anheuser Busch dominated the American beer market much the way the major Hollywood studios dominated the motion picture industry. The 21st century has brought changes to both worlds and there are lessons about the movie business to be learned by considering what’s happening with beer.
Every April for the past five years the National Association of Theatre Owners has hosted its annual event CinemaCon at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. In years past conversations about the ongoing transition of movie theatres to digital cinema technology dominated much of the talk at the show. But as the transition comes to its conclusion – at least in North America – the focus has changed. Now that they have digital cinema technology – and all its potential – exhibitors want to know how to maintain their existing customers and ideally add new ones in an increasingly competitive entertainment environment. The ultimate goal is to make movie theatres into entertainment centers filled with things no home theatre could ever provide. The question is how.