Film Journal March 2018

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Film Journal International Exhibition Guide Vol. 121, No. 3 / March 2018

A Film Expo Group Publication

This Issue:

An FJI Special Report

on Ticketing and POS

pgs. 36-47



March 2018


PGS. 48-57

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From the Editor’s Desk

In Focus

Learning About Young Moviegoers

Ticketing Evolution

Recently, the International Cinema Technology

Association held a business session in Los Angeles as part

of their annual program, the L.A. Seminar Series, at the

Universal Hilton Hotel. The program usually attracts 200

to 250 attendees and is geared primarily to the technology

community of the motion picture industry. However, in the

past five years the programming has broadened its focus and

is now attracting film studios and theatrical exhibition.

One program that attracted attention and was favorably

received was a panel of students including a high-school

senior, film students and a 16-year-old student from Europe.

Most of the panel members were between 16 and 23 and

their comments were intriguing. Bear in mind that some of

the findings below are skewed, because each panelist enjoys

going to the movies and has little income and few spare

dollars for entertainment.

▶ Social media is most important in picking out a movie

to attend. Trailers are second, followed by YouTube and peer


▶ The quality of the cinema is important, depending on

the ticket cost. One individual said she would rather see a $5

movie in a plastic chair than a $15 movie in a luxury recliner.

▶ Food service is not important, but the theatre does

serve as a meeting place to network with friends.

▶ Tickets must be affordable for them to consider going

to the movies.

▶ Surprisingly, this group was not in favor of reserved

seating. They indicated that finding a seat is part of the film


▶ Most were not big fans of the pre-show and definitely

liked seeing trailers better.

▶ The panelists like going to the movies with friends

and are not fans of going alone.

▶ Price is most important for tickets and concessions.

▶ As a group, they thought MoviePass is the best deal


▶ 3D doesn’t make a difference, but all loved the 3D

in Avatar.

▶ This group was not interested in theatre service. They

just want to see the movie.

▶ All but one watches pirated movies but said they

would not do so if movies were cheaper.

▶ Several subscribe to Netflix but indicated that if they

could not find the movie, they would pirate it.

The session was eye-opening. But it would have been

even more productive if a few different age groups had been

represented, along with at least one person who does not go

the movies.

The traditional movie theatre box office hasn’t gone away,

but in recent years the industry has seen more and more alternatives

to longstanding face-to-face ticket sales. The ubiquity

of smartphones, the lure of the web, and the public’s comfort

with online transactions have all been factors in the growth of

Internet and mobile movie-ticket purchases. Still, online ticketing

accounts for only 25 percent of overall movie-ticket buys in

North America, compared to a massive 80 percent in China.

But the percentage is growing each year, spurred most

of all by the rise of luxury recliner seating in cinemas and the

public’s urge to reserve those extra-comfy and roomy chairs.

As Joel Davis, VP and chief operating officer at Premiere Cinema

Corp., explains in our FJI exhibitor survey in this issue,

“Patrons are quickly accepting the reserved model due to the

wide acceptance of recliners. It’s the law of supply versus demand,

due to the loss in chair inventory. It created a greater

occupancy and a higher revenue stream for advance tickets

that did not exist before.” Davis reports that since Premiere

converted to recliner seating, his advanced reserved-seating

sales have at least doubled.

No doubt about it, the movie-ticket landscape is changing.

Fandango recently acquired, expanding its

reach to all 40,000 screens across the U.S. Today’s Fandango

is much more than just a ticketing platform; it’s also a source

for information and trailers to encourage “movie discovery,”

in the company’s words. Fandango has also integrated its

ticketing into Apple’s Messages and Facebook’s Messenger

platforms, making group outings easier to coordinate. That

kind of social-media planning is also the raison d’être of Atom

Tickets, a growing app that streamlines the process of planning

a night out at the movies with friends.

Dynamic pricing is another hot trend. In this issue, Andreas

Fuchs talks with Claas Eimer, commercial director of German

circuit UCI Kinowelt, which recently announced it is deploying

Smart Pricer’s airfare-style pricing software in all 23 of its locations

(totaling 203 screens). Leading U.S. circuit Regal Entertainment

Group is also exploring the concept. And just before press

time, Missouri-based circuit B&B Theatres announced a new arrangement

with Dealflicks under which a varied amount of ticket

and concession deals will be available for movies on certain days.

Availability and prices will differ depending on time of day, day of

week, seat availability and other factors.

And let’s not forget the boldest experiment of all: Movie-

Pass, which just lowered its monthly fee from $9.95 to $7.95, if

paid as a yearly subscription bundled with the Fandor streaming

service. Some theatre circuits are embracing the scheme,

which gives the public unlimited access to movies, and others

like AMC Theatres are fighting it. Whatever the ultimate outcome,

this is no longer your parents’ ticketing world.


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MARCH 2018 / VOL. 121, NO.3


A Film Expo Group Publication

Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy

in Thoroughbreds; Eddie Redmayne

(voice of Dug) and Maisie Williams

(voice of Goona) on the set of

Early Man, with director Nick Park;

and Nick Robinson in Love, Simon.

Photos: Claire Folger © 2018 Focus Features / Chris Johnson © 2017 Studiocanal

S.A.S and The British Film Institute / Ben Rothstein © Twentieth Century Fox


Simon Says, Come on Out.. . . . . . . . . 16

Simon is in love, but it’s complicated…

a coming-of-age and coming-out rom-com.

From Russia, with Laughs .. . . . . . . . 18

Satirist Armando Iannucci assembles

stellar ensemble for new political spoof.

Young Bloods.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Teenage girls have murder on their minds

in indie thriller Thoroughbreds.

Cavemation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Nick Park goes paleo with new

animated comedy, Early Man.

A New Vision.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Bud Mayo maintains oversight

of rising theatre circuit.

Kodak Moments .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Eastman Museum’s Dryden Theatre

is about more than just showing movies.


In Focus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Reel News in Review .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Trade Talk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Film Company News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Concessions: Trends .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Concessions: People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Ask the Audience.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

European Update.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Russia in Review.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Asia/Pacific Roundabout. . . . . . . . . . 72

fji examines trends and innovations in ticketing and POS, pgs. 36-47

Dermot Crowley as Kaganovich, Paul Whitehouse as Mikoyan, Steve Buscemi as Khrushchev,

Jeffrey Tambor as Malenkov, and Paul Chahidi as Bulganin in The Death of Stalin.

Exhibition Guide, pgs. 48-57

Nicola Dove / Courtesy of IFC Films. An IFC Films release.


Annihilation.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Black Panther. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

The Death of Stalin.. . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Early Man.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

The 15:17 to Paris.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Fifty Shades Freed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Ismael’s Ghosts.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Nostalgia.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

The Party. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Peter Rabbit .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Submission.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

The Young Karl Marx.. . . . . . . . . . . 64

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Lawsuit Filed Against

Weinstein Company

The office of New York State Attorney

General Eric Schneiderman has filed a lawsuit

against The Weinstein Co., alleging that

company leadership enabled a “years-long

gender-based hostile work environment, a

pattern of quid-pro-quo sexual harassment,

and routine misuse of corporate resources

for unlawful ends.” In particular, wrote

Schneiderman in a statement, the company

failed to protect employees from “pervasive

sexual harassment, intimidation and

discrimination” at the hands of co-chairman

Harvey Weinstein. The lawsuit calls for penalties

of between $500 and $250,000 to be

paid per violation to the state of New York,

plus damages paid to victims and a voiding

of any NDAs that would prohibit women

from speaking out. TWC’s planned sale to

an investor group is now on hold.

Comcast May Bid

for 20th Century Fox

Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox,

reported on in FJI’s January issue, isn’t a sure

thing yet. According to the rumor mill, Comcast

may make a new offer of their own. The

conglomerate made a bid for Fox last year,

only to be turned down in favor of Disney

due to anti-trust concerns. Reports now

indicate that Comcast may wait to see how

the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial shakes

out—it’s slated to begin on March 19—before

potentially making another offer.

Screen Gems

Chief Steps Down

Twenty-eight-year Sony executive Clint

Culpepper has stepped down as the head

of genre-oriented division Screen Gems.

Since being kicked into gear by Culpepper in

1998, Screen Gems has enjoyed successes

with The Exorcism of Emily Rose and the

Underworld and Resident Evil franchises. In

the last several years, however, the label’s

success rate has been shaky; Proud Mary, for

one, failed to crack the $10 million mark

earlier this year. Culpepper was replaced

by Steve Bersch, head of Sony Pictures

Worldwide Acquisitions.

MoviePass Lowers

Prices Again

Last year, MoviePass made news

when it lowered its price to $10 a

month, offering subscribers the chance

to see one movie a day for what in

some markets is less than the price of

one movie ticket. Now they’ve dropped

their monthly price again, this time to

$7.95 with a one-year subscription, with

free access to streaming service Fandor

sweetening the deal. According to Movie-

Pass’ figures, the company is responsible

for five percent of all movie tickets sold

in the United States; though moviegoers

pay MoviePass a flat monthly fee, in most

cases MoviePass pays the entire price of

the ticket to theatres.

Vue Intl. to Expand

Into Saudi Arabia

Two months after Saudi Arabia announced

that it would end its decadeslong

ban on movie theatres, Vue International

has leapt into the new market

with plans for 30 cinemas there. Said Vue

founder Tim Richards, “This is a huge

moment in the history of global cinema

development for the exhibition industry

and we are honored to be partnering

with such a well-regarded and prestigious

operator [real estate group Abdulmohsin

Al Hokair Holding]. We are delighted

to have been chosen to lead in the development

of world-class cinemas and the

big-screen experience in Saudi Arabia.”

Mark Gordon Joins

Entertainment One

Longtime producer Mark Gordon

has joined Entertainment One as their

president and chief content officer for

film, television and digital. Entertainment

One acquired 51 percent of The Mark

Gordon Company in 2015; since then,

the companies have partnered on Murder

on the Orient Express, Molly’s Game and

the upcoming The Nutcracker and the Four

Realms, among other projects. Gordon

will serve alongside Steve Bertram, appointed

president, film, television, and


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Robert Sunshine

President, Film Expo Group

Andrew Sunshine

Executive Editor

Kevin Lally

Associate Editor

Rebecca Pahle

Art Director

Rex Roberts

Senior Account Executive,

Advertising & Sponsorships

Robin Klamfoth

Exhibition/Business Editor

Andreas Fuchs

Concessions Editor

Larry Etter

Far East Bureau

Thomas Schmid

CEO, Film Expo Group

Theo Kingma



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Film Journal International © 2018 by Film

Expo Group, LLC. No part of this publication

may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval

system, or transmitted, in any form or by any

means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,

recording or otherwise, without prior written

permission of the publisher.


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The National Association

of Theatre Owners (NATO)

will honor Alejandro Ramírez

Magaña, chief executive officer

of Cinépolis, with the

2018 NATO Marquee Award

on April 24 during CinemaCon

at Caesars Palace in

Las Vegas. Ramírez is being

singled out by NATO for his

dedication and service to

the motion picture theatre


“As our industry becomes

increasingly global, it

is appropriate that our most

significant award goes to a

truly global exhibitor,” noted

John Fithian, president and

CEO of NATO. “With operations

across four different

continents, Cinépolis brings

moviegoing magic to millions

of guests. On a personal

level, with his commitment as

chairman of the Global Cinema

Federation, Alejandro has

become the leader of a united

global industry.”

Cinépolis is one of the

largest film exhibition companies

in the world, with

operations in Mexico, Brazil,

Spain, India, the United States,

Colombia, Chile, Argentina,

Peru, Guatemala, Honduras,

El Salvador, Costa Rica and

Panamá. The circuit operates

more than 647 theatres (5,313

screens) globally, employing

more than 37,000 people.



The National Association

of Concessionaires (NAC)

announced that Brian Biehn,

executive VP at FUNacho/

Pretzel Haus Bakery, has

been selected as the 2018

Bert Nathan Memorial Award


The Bert Nathan Memorial

Award is given by NAC

each year to an individual

to recognize leadership and

significant accomplishment

in the theatre concessions

industry. The award honors

the late Bert Nathan, a past

president of the Association.

Biehn will be presented the

award during CinemaCon at

the NAC Bert Nathan Reception

scheduled for April 23 at

3:30 p.m. at Caesars Palace in

the Salerno Room.

Biehn became a regional

VP of the North Central

Region in 2005 and served in

that capacity until 2015. He

was named chair of the RVP

Committee in 2011. From

there, Biehn moved to the

NAC Education Committee

and eventually became chair

of that group in 2016. He was

named an at-large member of

the NAC Board of Directors

in 2014 and serves to this day.

Biehn began his

professional career with

General Foods as a sales

representative. He moved to

cinema foodservice in 1994

at ConAgra Brands, selling

Vogel Popcorn and managing

the introduction of Orville

Redenbacher. In 2004, he

joined the team at FUNacho.



Barco, a global leader

in cinema technology, has

partnered with the Film Expo

Group to become the Official

Projection Technology

Partner at CineEurope.

All projection equipment

in the CCIB Auditorium

in Barcelona, Spain will be

supplied by Barco, including

the laser projectors for all

studio product presentations

and screenings during the

June event.

“Having the opportunity

to partner with a technology

giant like Barco at CineEurope

is very exciting for us.

We are confident this continued

partnership will help

the development of cinematic

technologies expand throughout

the region,” said Andrew

Sunshine, president of The

Film Expo Group.

Barco has outfitted more

than 100 all-laser multiplexes

globally and recently created

a strategic partnership with

leading global cinema innovators

to transform cinema.



Celluloid Junkie, leading

online resource dedicated

to the global film and cinema

business, named Dana Moutis

the chair of the selection

and awards committee of

its 2018 “Top Women in

Global Cinema.” The list of

the 50 most influential female

leaders in the global cinema

industry will be published

by Celluloid Junkie on

International Women’s Day

on March 8.

Joining Moutis are Joelle

Soliman and Jan Runge, as

well as CJ’s editorial staff,

with the list to be published

in partnership with Film

Journal International in mid-

April with more in-depth


The annual list was

launched two years ago

to highlight the major role

played by female leaders

in large and small cinema

operations around the world

in an industry that still suffers

from significant gender

imbalance in senior roles.

Moutis is the

communications and

operations manager of

Film Expo Group, which

produces three important

global cinema trade shows,

CineEurope, ShowEast

and CineAsia. Soliman

is the programming and

operations manager for

Film Expo Group. Runge

is an independent advisor

to companies in the

cinema industry as well as

European representative of

the International Cinema

Technology Association.

“I am excited to help

shine a light on the work

of inspiring female industry

leaders who are working to

transform the cinema business,”

said Moutis. “Statistics

show that the cinema industry

is a female-driven business

from a consumer perspective

and it is important that the

highest levels of the industry

represent that data. As we

celebrate the top women

in the industry, it is also imperative

that gender equality

becomes normalized at every

level within the industry.”

Nominations for women

to be included can be sent

to women@celluloidjunkie.

com stating the person’s

name, title, company and a

motivation for her inclusion.



Vista Group International

announced that Kimbal Riley

will take over as Group CEO

from Murray Holdaway.

Holdaway will take up the


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position of chief product

officer for Vista Group, and

will continue in his role as

an executive director on

the Vista Group board. The

change is part of a succession

planning process.

Riley joined Vista Group

four years ago, with the past

two years as CEO of Vista

Entertainment Solutions

(VES), which is responsible

for the largest proportion

of the Group’s revenue.

Under his leadership, VES

has grown its global footprint

by an additional 20 markets,

extending its reach to more

than 80 countries.



Kurt Rieder, executive

VP, Asia-Pacific, at Twentieth

Century Fox International,

will receive this year’s

CinemaCon “Passepartout

Award,” presented annually

to an industry executive who

demonstrates dedication

and commitment to the

international marketplace.

Rieder will be presented with

the honor at CinemaCon’s

International Day Luncheon

on April 23 in Las Vegas.

Based in Singapore,

Rieder joined Fox last June.

He most recently served

as CEO of Mars Cinema

Group, the leading exhibitor

in Turkey. Supported

by a 1,600-person team

controlling over 750 screens

in 32 provinces, he helped his

investors sell Mars to CGV

in 2016.

In 2003, Rieder joined

United International Pictures

as a VP, rising to senior VP.

In 2009, he was named

managing director of Artisan

Gateway, Asia’s leading filmconsulting

firm. He served

as CEO of leading cinema

circuit Golden Village starting

in 2011 before joining Mars

in 2013.



H. Loren Nielsen joined

Xperi Corporation as VP,

content relations and strategy.

Nielsen will serve as

the studio liaison for DTS:X

object-based immersive sound

technology from DTS, a wholly

owned subsidiary of Xperi.

Nielsen will lead the effort,

in collaboration with

content owners, to identify

movie titles that would benefit

from a release in DTS:X

format. She will also engage

with content creators to

develop a comprehensive approach

to their workflow and

distribution needs utilizing

DTS technologies and tools.

Nielsen was cofounder

and president of

Entertainment Technology

Consultants (ETC).



The Event Cinema

Association’s fifth-annual

conference was held in

London on Feb. 7 at the Vue

West End in Leicester Square,

capped by the ECA Box

Office Awards.

“The criteria are

simple,” said Melissa Cogavin,

managing director of the

ECA. “Box Office Awards

are open to ECA distributor

members. 100,000 admissions

wins a bronze medal, 250,000

admissions is a silver award

and 500,000 admissions is a

gold award.”

The winners this year

demonstrate the true

international nature of the

event cinema industry, with

medals going to distributors

Exhibition on Screen and

the Royal Opera House in

the U.K., Nexo from Italy,

Pathé Live from France,

Piece of Magic Entertainment

from the Netherlands, and

a multitude of awards to

Fathom Events in the USA,

including the gold award for

Pokémon The Movie—I Choose

You! U.K. newcomer Trafalgar

Releasing earned a silver

award for “Dave Gilmour

Live in Pompeii,” a music

concert attended by nearly

400,000 fans in cinemas

worldwide. A silver award

also went to Piece of Magic

Entertainment’s “Andre Rieu

Maastricht Concert 2017.”



Screenvision Media

announced the seven

jurors for the Hegarty ACE

(Advertising in Cinema

Excellence) Awards. The

awards celebrate the most

creative campaigns running

in cinema, and will consider

advertisements or content

that launched through

Screenvision Media’s “Front +

Center” cinema program.

The panel of jurors will

be led by Sir John Hegarty,

creative chair in residence

at Screenvision Media,

and will consist of Colleen

DeCourcy, chief creative

officer at Wieden+Kennedy;

Corinna Falusi, CCO and

partner at Mother; David

Droga, creative chairman and

founder at Droga5; David

Lubars, chairman and chief

creative officer at BBDO; and

Scott Donaton, chief content

officer at Digitas.

The grand winner will be

awarded the Hegarty ACE

Award, along with $1 million

in media consideration in

Screenvision Media’s “Front +

Center” cinema program, for

any pro-bono or charitable

causes for June 2018 to June

2019. The winner will be

announced in Cannes in June




Charles S. Cohen,

president and chief executive

of the Cohen Brothers

Realty Corporation, Cohen

Media Group and Cohen Film

Collection, has been named

the new chairman of the

board of New York’s French

Institute Alliance Française

(FIAF). Cohen’s appointment

follows the unexpected death

in December of Robert G.

Wilmers, chairman of FIAF’s

board since 2011.

A prominent real estate

developer and owner, Cohen,

through Cohen Media Group,

has bought and restored

several historic cinemas,

including the Quad Cinema

in Greenwich Village and

the Larchmont Playhouse in

Westchester County. Most

recently, he acquired and will

restore the famed La Pagode

cinema located in the seventh

arrondissement in Paris.

Cohen is the largest

distributor of French films

in North America, and has

produced several acclaimed

French films, including the

Oscar-nominated documentary

Faces Places by Agnès

Varda and the artist J.R.


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Call Me By Your Name’s

Armie Hammer signed on to

star in an untitled thriller from

Under the Shadow director

Babak Anvari. Annapurna

Pictures is co-producing and

will release the film, about

a bartender whose life goes

haywire in a potentially

supernatural way after he

picks up a phone left at a bar.

Annapurna has set a release

date of March 29, 2019.


In advance of its premiere

at this year’s SXSW, IFC

Midnight acquired U.S. and

Canadian theatrical rights to

horror film Wildling. First-timer

Fritz Böhm directed the film,

which co-stars Liv Tyler as a

small-town sheriff who rescues

a woman (The Diary of a Teenage

Girl’s Bel Powley) forced by

the man who raised her (Brad

Dourif) to spend her entire

life in an attic so as to avoid a

child-eating monster known

as the “Wildling.” Upon her

rescue, the woman’s visions

of her childhood boogeyman

return. IFC will release Wildling

theatrically and on VOD on

April 13.


It’s been a good five years

since Sam Raimi has directed

a feature film: Oz the Great

and Powerful, which was, er,

less than well-received. It’s

now looking like the Evil Dead

and Spider-Man director will

make his grand return to the

big screen with Lionsgate’s

The Kingkiller Chronicles, based

on the first book in Patrick

Rothfuss’ classic fantasy series.

Lionsgate plans to create a

whole media universe around

the franchise—movies, TV,

possible stage productions—

with Hamilton creator/star

Lin-Manuel Miranda serving as

creative producer.


Eighteen years after Helen

Hunt, Mel Gibson and director

Nancy Meyers told us What

Women Want, director Adam

Shankman and Paramount are

teaming for the rom-com’s

male counterpart. Taraji P.

Henson will star in What Men

Want, about a sports agent

(Henson) who uses her sudden

ability to hear men’s thoughts

to try to land an important

NBA contract. Shankman

previously directed A Walk to

Remember, Hairspray and Rock

of Ages; additional upcoming

projects include Enchanted

sequel Disenchanted, with Amy

Adams returning. Paramount

will release What Men Want in

theatres on Jan. 11, 2019.


It’s been years now that

Sony has been trying to work

out some sort of revival for the

Men in Black franchise. Finally,

things are coming to fruition:

F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta

Compton, The Fate of the Furious)

is in negotiations with the studio

to helm an untitled MiB spinoff,

on the calendar for May 17,

2019. Written by Iron Man’s Matt

Holloway and Art Marcum, the

film will reportedly focus on

new characters, not Agents J

(Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee




outfit STX Entertainment,

which has had success in the

mid-budget movie market with

such films as Bad Moms, Bad

Moms Christmas, Molly’s Game

and The Bye Bye Man, is teaming

up with China’s Alibaba Pictures

for Steel Soldiers. Robert

Zemeckis is producing the film,

about a Special Forces officer

tasked with training an army

of robot soldiers for a mission

involving the rescue of their

human creator. No director

has yet been confirmed, though

Zemeckis may very well take

the job. STX will release the film

in the U.S. and internationally,

barring China, which falls under

Alibaba’s umbrella.


The Deadpool team—

producer/star Ryan Reynolds

and writers/executive

producers Rhett Reese and Paul

Wernick—signed a three-year

first-look deal that will see the

trio continue to partner with

Deadpool studio 20th Century

Fox. First up under the deal is a

movie based on the board game

Clue, previously adapted into a

1985 cult classic comedy starring

Tim Curry and the late Madeline

Kahn. Rhett and Wernick

will write, with Reynolds coproducing

through his Maximum

Effort shingle.


Selena Gomez has joined

the star-studded cast of Stephen

Gaghan’s (Traffic) Voyage of

Doctor Dolittle, based on Hugh

Lofting’s 1920s book series

about a doctor who can talk

to animals. Robert Downey,

Jr., taking a break from the

superhero beat, will star as

Dolittle, while Gomez, Tom

Holland, Emma Thompson and

Ralph Fiennes will voice various

members of his menagerie.

Michael Sheen and Antonio

Banderas have live-action roles.

Universal has set a release date

of April 12, 2019.

Michelle MacLaren, Emmynominated

for her directing

work on “Breaking Bad,” has

been tapped by Universal to

helm Cowboy Ninja Viking, out

in theatres on June 28, 2019.

In development at the studio

since 2014, the action comedy

is based on a graphic novel

about a government supersoldier

(Chris Pratt) with

three personalities: cowboy,

ninja and…well, you know.

Craig Mazin (Identity Thief, The

Hangover II and III) wrote the

most recent draft of the script.


Warner Animation Group

inked a deal with Dr. Seuss

Enterprises that will see the

animation outfit produce a

series of adaptations of the

works of Dr. Seuss. First in line

is an adaptation of The Cat in

the Hat, previously adapted in a

live-action version by Universal,

with Mike Myers playing the

eponymous feline troublemaker.

Universal currently has an

animated version of Seuss’ The

Grinch Who Stole Christmas in the



Octavia Spencer is going

the horror route with her The

Help director Tate Taylor. The

pair will collaborate—Taylor

directing, Spencer starring—on

Ma for Blumhouse Productions,

which recently scored a bevy

of Oscar nominations for

Get Out. Specifics of the film

and Spencer’s role are being

kept under wraps, though we

do know it’s a horror film/

psychological thriller co-starring

Juliette Lewis and Luke Evans

and will shoot in Mississippi.



Bleecker Street acquired

North American rights to

Leave No Trace, director Debra

Granik’s first narrative feature

since she ushered Jennifer

Lawrence to superstardom

(and an Oscar nomination) with

2010’s Winter’s Bone. Ben Foster

stars in the Sundance-premiering

film, playing a father whose

desire to live “off the grid” with

his young daughter sends them

both on a journey through the

American wilderness.

In addition to Leave No

Trace, Bleecker Street (together

with 30WEST) got their hands


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on Colette, a period drama

starring Keira Knightley. Wash

Westmoreland directed the

film, which tells the true story

of the French novelist who

battled with her husband

(Dominic West) over credit

for her work. Westmoreland,

Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Ida) and

Richard Glatzer (who co-wrote

and-directed Still Alice with

Westmoreland) penned the


New distributor Neon,

which has had success on this

year’s awards season circuit

with I, Tonya, got their hands

on a trio of films out of this

year’s Sundance. The first

of those is writer-director

Reinaldo Marcus Green’s

Monsters and Men, which tells

the story of the police shooting

of an unarmed black man from

three different perspectives.

Anthony Ramos and Jasmine

Cephas Jones (both of Broadway

sensation Hamilton), John

David Washington (“Ballers”),

Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (It Comes

at Night), newcomer Chanté

Adams, Nicole Beharie

(“Sleepy Hollow”), Cara Buono

(“Stranger Things”) and Rob

Morgan (Mudbound) co-star.

Next up for Neon is

writer-director Sam Levinson’s

Assassination Nation, acquired

for $10 million by Neon

and new production outfit

AGBO, founded by filmmaker

brothers Joe and Anthony

Russo. Odessa Young, Suki

Waterhouse, Hari Nef and Abra

star as teenage best friends

in Salem, Massachusetts who

arm themselves and take to

the streets after their sexual

pictures and texts are leaked

online. Joel McHale, Bill

Skarsgård, Anika Noni Rose and

Bella Thorne co-star.

Finally, Neon landed North

American rights to Three

Identical Strangers, Tim Wardle’s

documentary about three

strangers who made headlines in

1980 when they discovered that

they were identical triplets who

had been separated at birth.

Following its debut at

Sundance, Lionsgate and

Roadside Attractions

acquired U.S. rights to the

romantic comedy Juliet,

Naked, directed by “Girls” and

“Divorce” helmer Jesse Peretz.

Rose Byrne stars as a woman

whose long-term boyfriend

(Chris O’Dowd) is obsessed

with an obscure rock musician

(Ethan Hawke). Writers Tamara

Jenkins, Evgenia Peretz, Phil

Alden Robinson and Jim Taylor

adapted Nick Hornby’s novel for

the screen. A summer theatrical

bow is planned.

Daveed Diggs (Broadway’s

Hamilton, Wonder) and Rafael

Casal wrote and star in Carlos

López Estrada’s Blindspotting,

about a pair of friends navigating

the streets of their gentrifying

Oakland neighborhood,

attempting to stay crime-free

for three days until Diggs’

character’s parole is up. Carlos

López Estrada directed the

buddy comedy, which had its

worldwide rights picked by


Magnolia Pictures and

Participant Media picked

up worldwide rights to RBG, a

documentary about Supreme

Court Justice Ruth Bader

Ginsburg that had its premiere

at Sundance. Directed by Julie

Cohen and Betsy West, the

film will be released theatrically

and on VOD by Participant and

Magnolia, with RBG producer

CNN Films handling U.S.

broadcast rights. Participant has

another Ginsburg film due this

year: On the Basis of Sex, starring

Felicity Jones as a young lawyer

version of the legal pioneer.

MoviePass—an appbased

service that allows

moviegoers to buy one movie

ticket per day for a flat monthly

fee—announced at Sundance

their intention to get into the

Weiss and Benioff Join Star Wars

Winter is coming to the Star Wars franchise. D.B.

Weiss and David Benioff, creators of HBO’s “Game

of Thrones,” have been tapped by Disney to write and

produce a new series of Star Wars films. This is separate

from the trilogy to be spearheaded by Rian Johnson,

who wrote and directed last year’s The Last Jedi.

Fast and Furious Eyes David Leitch

The Fast and Furious franchise keeps on racing. David

Leitch, director of John Wick (with Chad Stahelski),

Atomic Blonde and the upcoming Deadpool 2, is reportedly

in the running to direct an untitled Fast and Furious

spinoff. Universal has set a July 26, 2019 release

date for the movie, which will be a team-up film for

the established franchise characters played by Dwayne

Johnson and Jason Statham. Chris Morgan, who’s written

every Fast and Furious film since 2006’s Tokyo Drift,

is on scripting duties.

Tom Hanks Invites the Neighbors

Film’s nicest man will play TV’s nicest man in You Are My

Friend for Sony division TriStar. Tom Hanks has signed on to

don the cardigan of Mr. Rogers for the biopic, to be directed

by Diary of a Teenage Girl helmer Marielle Heller. Micah

Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster penned the script,

which centers on the friendship between Rogers and Tom

Junod, a cynical journalist who experienced a shift in his

worldview after being asked to write a feature on Rogers.

distribution business. Along with

The Orchard, the company has

acquired North American rights

to American Animals, a truecrime

heist thriller from The

Impostor director Bart Layton.

Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan,

Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson,

Ann Dowd and Udo Kier star.

Chloë Sevigny and Kristen

Stewart star in the period drama

Lizzie, based on the true story

of Lizzie Borden. Sevigny plays

Borden, who famously took

an axe to her parents, while

Stewart plays the Borden family

maid who—as Bryce Kass’ script

has it—was Borden’s lover.

Saban Films acquired North

American rights to the film,

which was directed by Craig

William Macneill.

It’s not Sundance without

Sony Pictures Classics.

Sony’s art-house division

picked up worldwide rights

to director Marc Turtletaub’s

Puzzle, starring Kelly Macdonald

as a suburban housewife who

develops an obsession with

jigsaw puzzles. Turtletaub,

whose credits as a producer

include Little Miss Sunshine

and Safety Not Guaranteed,

previously directed 2013’s Gods

Behaving Badly.


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Mrs. Fields Enters

the Cinema Channel

by Larry Etter, Concessions Editor

Film Journal International always

tries to acquaint its readers

with the latest trends in the

industry. This month, we would like

to introduce Mrs. Fields, the queen of

cookies. This notable brand has been

in the retail sector for quite some

time. Now, through the efforts of Taste

of Nature, this delicious concoction of

morsels of chocolate chips and sugary batter

will now be available in mass distribution to

concessionaires across the United States.

I’ll eat one cookie, not a whole box of cookies. But

I still eat the one cookie…sometimes two, or even three. But

not the whole box.—Kate Winslet

Everyone loves cookies! While theatres have the

core segments of soda, popcorn and candy, cookies

are a universal delight when it comes to snacks while

watching movies. Not only do cookies carry a sweet

taste to the mouth, they offer the aroma of freshness and

are warm to the touch. The secret is how to create that

consistency in every cookie baked. Mrs. Fields Cookies

have made that practice a part of their success story.

As theatres grapple with ways to reinvent the

theatre experience, cookies warm and rich in flavor

could become a delectable alternative to the common

selections offered. Mrs. Fields offers those attributes.

Regarded as shelf-stable, individually wrapped for

guaranteed freshness, these can be prepared either at

room temperature or warmed to 110 degrees for that

“down home” impression.

PR Newswire first announced the partnership

between Famous Brand International, the parent

company of Mrs. Fields Cookies, and Taste of Nature,

Inc., a cinema confection broker, in a press release

dated August 28, 2017. Effective January 2018, Mrs.

Fields Cookies are now available through Taste of


Taste of Nature takes on the responsibility for

the manufacturing, sales and distribution of Mrs.

Fields Cookies. The cookies are pre-packaged and

are available in Everyday Chocolate Chip and seasonal

varieties to all cinema circuits across the domestic

markets. Through its partnership with Taste of Nature,

Mrs. Fields is positioned to extend is growth in sales

with the addition of the exhibition channel.

Dustin Lyman, chief executive officer of Famous

Brands, states, “We are delighted to partner with

Taste of Nature in this exciting phase in our company’s

growth. We are confident this collaboration with Taste

of Nature, Inc. will help Mrs. Fields reach an expanded

retailer customer base and we look forward to working

with a proven industry leader with a 25-year track

record of success.”

So what does this mean for Taste of Nature? Scott

Samet, co-president of Taste of Nature, states that Mrs.

Fields extends the Taste of Nature

portfolio with “true diversification.”

While Taste of Nature is known for

its Cookie Dough Bites brand,

Mrs. Fields Cookies enhances the

collection within the company.

Samet adds, “This is absolutely a

terrific fit with Cookie Dough Bites.

This brand allows us to extend the

items we sell within the cinema

channel and creates more space

for us in the retail outlets. Cookie

Dough Bites lovers have been enjoying

our products for over 20 years! Creating

a baked cookie that helps tie the two together seems

like a natural fit and next step for the company.” And

combining Cookie Dough Bites and Mrs. Fields Cookies

brings more visibility to the cookie concept at the

counter point of sale.

Patrick Micalizzi, assistant VP, food and beverage, at

National Amusements/Showcase Cinemas, offers his view

on this new supplement to concession options. “The

addition of Mrs. Fields Cookies to our 1-2-3 Go Box

kids’ pack provides another great snacking option for

our young guests. We are thrilled to partner with Taste

of Nature as their first cinema concessions operator to

offer this delicious treat as part of our everyday lineup.”

Samet notes that the rollout will continue through

the year and expand to the international market as well,

since Mrs. Fields already has multiple stores abroad.

“Our initial intent is to market the cookies internally—

within the theatre lobby spaces with digital content and

P.O.S. materials,” reports Samet. “We will focus on

lobby exposure first.”

Another means of extending the marketing of the

product is through kids’ packs. Samet says that the 1-oz.

size package will be offered to complement kids’ packs

in theatres. “Hopefully, this prominence will precipitate

adult awareness that Mrs. Fields are available in the

larger sizes as well,” Samet observes.

Congratulations to Taste of Nature on bringing the

best of the best in the cookie line to cinemas.

Larry Etter is senior vice president at Malco Theatres

and director of education at the National Association

of Concessionaires.


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This month, Film Journal International recognizes Luis

Ginestra, a true foodservice professional from

Silverspot Cinemas. Luis is food and beverage director

for the growing 57-screen exhibition circuit based

in Central Florida. Currently residing in Florida, he spent

over nine years managing the food and concession operations

for Cines Unidos based in Caracas, Venezuela.

Ginestra has multiple disciplines, but he found his

passion for food and beverage while attending University

of Nueva Esparta Hotel Management School. His career

is founded on the mastery of the restaurant business.

Luis earned his Certified Concession Manager (CCM)

credentials from NAC in 1999 and was the first graduate

of NAC’s Executive Concession Manager (ECM) program.

He has orchestrated multiple CCM certification

classes in Venezuela for the Cine Unidos managers. His

management style is a result of his appreciation of the

hospitality industry. Luis Ginestra represents the next

generation of superstars in cinema foodservice.

Luis was born in Caracas and attended a French established

school at an early age. He decided to continue

his education at a college in Venezuela, where he studied

computer engineering. He soon learned that was not his

forte and developed a fervor for the hospitality industry.

“My first job at age 16 was in the first McDonald’s

opened in Venezuela. I really like the interaction I had

with the customers. I learned I could influence the experience.

I carry that attitude with me still today.” Ginestra

later received his graduate degree from University of

California, San Diego.

Luis will tell you his grandpa was a great influence on

him while growing up. But his professional life was furthered

by his mentor, Jean Paul Coupal. “Jean Paul taught

me to look at things the way the guest sees them first,

before you do anything else. Check out the lightbulbs,

the cleanliness, the table décor, floors and seats. Jean

Paul taught me the rough side of the restaurant business.”

That approach continues in his role at Silverspot:

He sees thing through the eyes of the patron first.

Luis’ first “real job” was a fortunate turn. He was

working as a tour guide to earn extra money when he

received a call from the owners of Food Arts magazine.

They were coming to Venezuela to interview and visit

Jean Paul Coupal and the Samui, an upscale Thai restaurant.

“I would take them to the beaches, the various

cities, the countryside and got to know them pretty well.

After interviewing Jean Paul, they told him about me and

introduced me to him. He hired me right then as the



Luis Ginestra Brings Passion

for Foodservice to Growing Circuit

general manager. I had to open this new restaurant in less

than two weeks,” he chuckles. His experiences at Samui

allowed him to travel to Thailand, where he learned firsthand

the fare and the culture.

He spent the late ’90s working at the Hyatt Regency

San Francisco, where he again expanded his prowess in

food and beverage management and thrived doing what

his range of creativity allowed. His roots were fully in

hospitality. He never thought he would work in the movie

theatre business, but happenstance occurred again.

“I remember I was working for Schlotzky’s deli and

our friends from Coke mentioned to me that Cine Unidos

was looking for experienced F&B managers for their

concessions department at the corporate level. I did not

know what to expect, but I was captivated by the industry

and almost 20 years later my passion hasn’t waned.”

As for his current responsibilities at Silverspot, he

is invigorated by the opportunities to build and develop

a boutique-style cinema experience: “Not so expensive

that everyone cannot enjoy it, but an elevated experience

that will make people want to come back.” His goal is to

“keep the overall presentation of food and beverages in

line with the cool and hip images that represent Silverspot

Cinemas.” He expects to be making big changes in the

menu in 2018. The greatest opportunity lies in trying to

accommodate the culture of “Create Your Own” that appeals

to the younger generations. He intends to offer more

personalized services by incorporating techniques learned

in the hospitality industry. He explains that in-theatre dining

is similar to room service in a hotel; online ticketing is

similar to reserving a hotel room online. Now that alcohol,

craft beers and specialty drinks are available in theatres, it

mirrors lobby bars in hotels as well.

Asked about his favorite movies, Luis says, “There are

just too many great movies to choose just one.” But if he

had to, it would be the entire Star Wars series. He was

influenced tremendously by Verne Harnish’s book Mastering

the Rockefeller Habits, and he invites all his managers

to follow its three key principles: Align with corporate

values, be focused on the task, and know your numbers.

Since Luis has worked or taught in nearly every

South American country, he would like to visit Europe

and explore the French countryside where his ancestry

began. His favorite movie snack is popcorn accompanied

by a glass of wine, while watching a Tom Hanks film. His

enjoys soccer and golf. Luis and his wife Karen have three

children: Isabella, 12, Federico, 10, and Felipe, six.

—Larry Etter



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Ask the Audience is a monthly feature from Film Journal International and National

CineMedia (NCM) that allows you to ask an audience of 5,000 frequent moviegoers,

known as NCM’s Behind the Screens panel, the pressing questions of our industry.

When it comes to finding showtimes

and purchasing tickets, movie audiences

have an almost overwhelming number

of options. From in-person at the box office

to clicking through the latest app, there

are countless ways for an audience member

to begin their movie experience. So which

method is most popular, and how much

competition are you facing from outside

companies? Let’s ask the audience.

First, we’ve got some good news —

47% use their local theatre’s website or

app to find showtimes and other movie

information, such as rating or run time.

That’s encouraging, and a sign that you

should continue to make your digital

presence a priority as you develop your

business, since many people will use it as a

resource if it’s available. Third-party websites

were the second most popular option for

finding showtimes and other information,

with 34% saying they rely on outside

companies. Of those sites, Fandango was

the most commonly used, followed by

IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. Interestingly,

Millennials were 89% more likely to list

Atom Tickets or MoviePass than their

older counterparts. Finally, 12% used

a search engine such as Google to find

the information they were looking for.

When it came time to purchase their tickets,

our panelists revealed they’re still somewhat

traditional and often head to the theatre

in person. 42% purchased them at the

ticket window, and another 12% used the

self-service kiosks in the lobby. Somewhat

unsurprisingly, Millennials were more likely

than older generations to use the kiosks

(got to love that fear of human interaction!).

When asked why they would opt to purchase

in person rather than digitally, 47% of the

respondents said it was because they

wanted to avoid the online convenience

fee. 28% of the community purchased their

tickets online, and another 17% used an app.

As you’d expect, adults 44 and younger

were significantly more likely to use an

app than people older than 55. Among

those who bought the ticket digitally,

we again have good news — 57% used

their theatre’s website, and 55% of those

loyalists say it’s because it allows them to

add to or use loyalty rewards. Of those that

used a third-party site or app, Fandango was

again the most popular platform.

With so many options for researching and

purchasing, it can be difficult to stand out.

But it seems that investing in your digital

presence or partnering with a trusted vendor

who can help to grow your reach would be

worth the return, because many of the

Behind the Screens panelists opt for their

theatre’s website or app when it’s available.

Being able to participate in the audiences’

moviegoing experience all the way from

showtime look-up to rolling credits? That’s

the dream... the very achievable dream.

To submit a question, email with your

name, company, contact information,

and what you would like to ask the

Behind the Screens panel.































































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scn-film-journal-ER-170927-final.indd 1

9/27/17 1:47 PM

Simon Says

Come on Out

Ben Rothstein © Twentieth Century Fox

Nick Robinson, Talitha Bateman,

Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel

star in Love, Simon.

Simon is in love, but it’ s complicated ... he doesn’t

know his anonymous object of affection, and his

classmates don’t know he’s gay by Rebecca Pahle

It may be hard to believe, but in the century-long history of film

there has never once been a teen rom-com with a gay lead released

by a major studio. All that changes on March 16, when

Love, Simon makes its way into theatres from 20th Century Fox.

Adapted by Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker from Becky

Albertalli’s best-selling young-adult novel Simon vs. the Homo

Sapiens Agenda, Love, Simon found its director in Greg Berlanti.

It’s the director’s third film, following The Broken Hearts Club:

A Romantic Comedy (2000) and Life As We Know It (2010).

Between films, Berlanti’s kept busy—though that’s perhaps too

mild a word—as a prolific producer who helped usher in a new

era of superhero TV with “Arrow” and “The Flash.” “Supergirl,”

“Black Lightning,” “Legends of Tomorrow,” “Blindspot” and

“Riverdale” have all borne the Berlanti stamp—and those are just

the shows that are still running.

Suffice it to say, Berlanti wasn’t exactly sitting at home, twiddling

his thumbs, waiting for an offer of work to come in. “For

directing, I only do it when I really know I can stand before anyone—studio

heads, press people, actors, any person—and say, ‘I’m

the person to tell this story… I have to be a part of this,’” he explains.

“I don’t know why that alarm goes off in me when it does on

certain things… For me, it’s so profound to know that this [story]

is going to be the number-one thing I think about, workwise, for

every minute from now until the second it’s on movie screens

around the country, and maybe even beyond.”

The core subject matter of Love, Simon, placed up against such

high-school rom-com classics as The Breakfast Club and Pretty in

Pink, is fairly standard: A teenage lead struggles to achieve selfacceptance

against a backdrop of potential romantic partners and

the ever-shifting sands of high-school friendships. Simon (Nick

Robinson) is obsessed with music, has a family he loves but doesn’t

always connect with, and fits into the Molly Ringwald mold of


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“cool because they don’t know they’re cool.” Love, Simon’s script,

and the book it’s based on, blends comedy, drama and romance in a

way that appealed to Berlanti, who came of age during the august

John Hughes era of teen filmmaking. “There were a lot of movies

like that growing up,” Berlanti notes. “There are fewer now.”

But there’s one major difference between Love, Simon and its

’80s predecessors: Simon just happens to be gay. He strikes up an

anonymous online correspondence with a gay classmate, nicknamed

“Blue.” Problem: Even as their friendship blossoms into

romance, Blue is too scared to tell Simon who he really is. Their relationship

makes Simon question his own decision to hide his true

self from family and friends. Or, as Berlanti puts it, “Who are you

to the world, who are you inside and how do you get those things

to align? You can’t really be happy until

you can be on the outside all the things

you are on the inside.”

For Berlanti, then, himself a gay man,

part of the appeal of Love, Simon was that

“I would have loved to have seen this film

when I was 16 years old. And I would

love to be a part of putting something

there that should be there, but for whatever

reason wasn’t.”

When Berlanti and I spoke, Love, Simon

had already checked off a handful of

screenings, garnering a generally positive

reception from audience members across

the sexuality spectrum. And, not for

nothing, the geographic spectrum as well:

A screening in California was followed

by another in “a very, very, very red state,”

where it tested “just as well, if not a little

better. People there were just as desirous

of something that was emotional and told

from the right place.”

“My own personal belief is that people

are essentially the same and just want to

watch good stories and great acting,” Berlanti argues. “[There have

been] a lot of straight people saying that [Love, Simon] still represents

their high-school experience, even though the lead happens to

be a gay character… [Simon’s narrative] is really specific to the gay

experience, but also universal in that sense of ‘What if I’m not ready

to tell the world who I am, because I don’t know who I am yet?’”

To play Simon, Berlanti had just one choice: Nick Robinson,

who “broke [his] heart in Kings of Summer,” the young actor’s 2013

breakout. A role in Jurassic World followed. “I tried to get him on

TV stuff, but I couldn’t,” Berlanti recalls. “For me, whenever I’m

trying to cast something, I usually find one person that I’m linked

up with, and I feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, this person really captures

and expresses the heart and soul of the character, and now I can’t

imagine anybody else in the part, and I’m screwed if they don’t let

me cast who I want to cast.’”

Happily, both the studio and Robinson concurred with Berlanti’s

casting decision. It was the beginning of setting the tone of

Love, Simon, a particular mix of comedy and poignancy Berlanti

argues only Robinson could have achieved. “The movie could only

be as funny as him,” the director says. “It would only be funny in

the way he’s funny, really. And it could only make you feel as much

as he could. All the colors of the film really start with the lead

actor… [Robinson’s] sense of humor never feels shticky. It always

feels believable. There’s a comfort and a warmth around him that

you see through his eyes, and yet there’s something about him

Director Greg Berlanti

that’s unknowable and a mystery. That’s what people around Simon

are feeling. He had all those things Simon had.”

In years past, one would hear stories about actors shying away

from playing gay characters lest it have a negative impact on their

career. In contrast, Simon’s sexuality was never an issue for Robinson.

“I think it says a lot about him and a lot about where we are

[as a society] that he came in and never talked about the sexuality

of the character,” says Berlanti. “Most of his questions were about

the tone of the piece. ‘Can you make this funny in the way that I

thought the script was funny and emotional in the way I thought

the script was emotional? Can it be both those things but never

feel too broad? Is it going to be human and real and still filmic?’

A lot of ‘How are you going to do this? How are you going to do

that?’… We discussed the heart and soul of

Simon and what his relationships were like

and what it means to be afraid of yourself at

that age. It was so refreshing to me! I kept

thinking, ‘I’ll go there if he wants to go there

and discuss this if he wants to.’ I’ve always

been so impressed with him as a person. He

approaches his job like a real artist.”

With Simon locked in, Berlanti did “a lot

of screen tests” for the other actors, followed

by two weeks of rehearsals, all with the goal of

making sure the cast had the right chemistry.

“We really wanted as much diversity in the film

as possible, too, in the casting of it in addition

to the subject matter it dealt with,” Berlanti

says. “Our country’s more diverse than I think

people realize. Audiences, from my experience,

crave stuff that feels fresh and new.”

On the adult side, there’s Jennifer Garner

and Josh Duhamel as Simon’s parents

and Tony Hale as a well-intentioned—if

more than little awkward—vice principal.

For Simon’s friends, there’s Katherine Langford

(“13 Reasons Why”), Alexandra Shipp

(X-Men: Apocalypse, Tragedy Girls), Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. (Brigsby

Bear), Logan Miller (“The Walking Dead”) and Keiynan Lonsdale

(“The Flash”). Notes Berlanti, “I really did feel like I was working

with a generation of kids who will all do really great and wonderful

things, and 20 years from now we’ll be talking about them the

way we we’re talking about some of the cast of The Broken Hearts

Club”—Berlanti’s first film, a funny, heartfelt rom-com about a

group of gay friends that boasts Timothy Olyphant, Justin Theroux,

Billy Porter and Zach Braff among its cast—“today. They’re all very

special in their own way, independently, and then collectively they

were just terrific.”

The film’s in the can, and one question remains: Will audiences

respond to a teen film with a same-sex romance at its core? If the

film’s quality is an indication, it will. Berlanti himself is optimistic,

citing the aforementioned screening responses and rapturous

reactions from people who have taken to social media to gush

about “what it feels like to even experience the trailer in theatres.”

If all goes well, Love, Simon may be the first major same-sex teen

romance, but it won’t even be close to the last. “There’s been a lot

of great, wonderful LGBTQ content on television” in the last few

years, Berlanti remarks. “But there’s been less in mainstream film.

Hopefully, this will be just the first of a lot of films that include a

lot of stories about people from all walks of life. There will be far

more that people can reflect on, and we don’t have to be the burden

of being the only one out there.”

Ariell Brown


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with laughs


016-035.indd 18

2/12/18 3:17 PM


Armando iannucci


stellar ensemble

for his latest

political spoof

by kevin lally

Nicola Dove. Courtesy of IFC Films. An IFC Films release.

An acclaimed veteran of U.K. television,

Armando Iannucci has advanced his

reputation in recent years with scathing

satires of the political establishment—first with

the BBC series “The Thick of It,” a cheeky look

at Britain’s corridors of power; then its Oscarnominated

2009 feature spinoff In the Loop,

about the fraught relationship between London

and Washington; and finally with HBO’s wildly

successful sendup of D.C., “Veep,” about to

commence its seventh and final season.

But none of these previous efforts has been

quite as savage as The Death of Stalin, Iannucci’s

second feature film, which IFC Films debuts

stateside on March 9. Adapted by Iannucci, David

Schneider and Ian Martin from the graphic novels

by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin, the film is an

uncompromising portrait of the totalitarian fear,

toadying and madness surrounding the reign of

Russian dictator Joseph Stalin and the vicious

jockeying for power that followed his sudden and

ultimately fatal stroke in 1953. With a mixture of

elements that recalls Ernst Lubitsch’s 1942 comic

masterpiece set against the Nazi invasion of Poland,

To Be or Not to Be, it also delivers breathtaking

laughter amidst the terror.

Iannucci agrees that he walked a creative

tightrope in directing and co-writing this blackest

of comedies. “The thing about tightropes is, if you

get to the other side, people are impressed, but

if you make one mistake, you need to call for an

ambulance,” he laughs. “I was aware of that, but I

thought: Well, we’ll just have to work very hard to

make sure we get it right.”

The constant anxiety and paranoia of his onscreen

characters has a connection to the nature of

comedy, he argues. “It’s all about trying to create

anxiety in the audience as well. Comedy does make

you feel slightly anxious, because it’s building up to

something. It’s all about setups and the punch line.

Comedy already trades with anticipation, but it

also takes in: And someone might get shot!”

Some of the wildest moments in The Death of

Stalin that may seem to be inspired comic inventions

are actually based on the historical record. They

include the droll opening scene, in which a radio

producer played by Paddy Considine must frantically

reassemble the orchestra (and find a new conduc-

Steve Buscemi as Khrushchev, Adrian McLoughlin

as Stalin, Jeffrey Tambor as Malenkov, Dermot

Crowley as Kaganovich, and Simon Russell

Beale as Beria in Armando Iannucci’s

The Death of Stalin.


016-035.indd 19

2/12/18 3:17 PM

tor) when Stalin demands a non-existent

recording of the Mozart concerto they’ve

just performed live on-air. Other fun facts:

Stalin really did insist that his subordinates

watch American westerns with him till the

wee hours of the morning. Stalin’s alcoholic

son Vasily really did conceal from his father

the death of the national ice hockey team in

a plane crash, secretly replacing the players.

And Stalin really did lie in a puddle of his

own urine for an entire day following his

stroke because everyone was too afraid to

disturb him.

“It’s that level of absurdity,” Iannucci

notes, “that people are frozen in fear, or

else carrying out the things people want

without even having to bother saying it.

Of course, the irony is that Stalin is killed

by his own terror—he so terrified the

guards about interrupting him that they

didn’t, he so terrified everyone about the

doctors poisoning him that they didn’t

call a doctor, and so on and so on. In the

end he was killed by his own terror, which

has a satisfying comic shape to it as well.”

One of the most striking creative

decisions Iannucci made was to cast an

ensemble of British, Welsh, Scottish,

Irish and American actors and encouraging

them to retain their native accents.

(Ukrainian Olga Kuryenko as a defiant

pianist is the closest to the real thing.)

“It’s a European-funded film for the

English-speaking market. I didn’t want

people putting on accents for the sake

of an accent,” Glasgow-born Iannucci

explains. “When I showed it to the Russian

press, they all said: ‘Thank you for

not using fake Russian accents—actually

we hate that, it just drives us crazy.’ The

thinking is, once you decide it’s going to

be in English, the Kremlin itself was full

of different accents and dialects: Stalin

was from Georgia, Khrushchev was from

the Ukraine. So the way to replicate that

I thought was to have a variety of English

accents in the film: London English,

Northern English, Irish, Scottish and

American. That gave it a sense of people

from different backgrounds, different

strata of society, different classes and

cultures all coming together.”

The sensational ensemble includes

Steve Buscemi as then-minister of

agriculture Nikita Khrushchev, Jeffrey

Tambor as deputy general secretary

Georgy Malenkov, Simon Russell Beale

as minister of home affairs and head of

security forces Lavrentiy Beria, Michael

Palin as foreign secretary Vyacheslav

Molotov, Jason Isaacs as Field Marshal

Georgy Zhukov, Rupert Friend as Vasily

Armando Iannucci

Stalin, and Andrea Riseborough as

Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana.

“The first person I wanted was Simon

Russell Beale for Beria,” Iannucci recalls.

“Simon is very well known in the U.K. as

a stage actor but not really as a film or TV

actor. He’s a great actor as well. I liked

the idea that because we don’t really have

a conception of who or what Beria is, the

audience is seeing an actor about whom

they don’t have a preconceived notion.

Beria is very self-contained and still and

careful with his words and speaks in short

sentences—everything is bottled.”

Beria’s aloof persona is what led the

director to cast Steve Buscemi as Khrushchev.

“You want a contrast to that, you

want someone who’s flamboyant and loud

and talkative and speaks with his hands

and is demonstrative. But also someone

who starts off the film as a clown in pajamas

and becomes the next dictator. Steve

can do all that—he can turn from being

funny to being frightening. It’a great that

we got Steve onboard.”

Beale, a highly regarded Shakespearean

actor, is riveting as Beria, a ruthless,

abusive man who becomes a poignant

figure of sympathy as the film reaches its

climax. “Beria was actually regarded as

a very good employer—everyone in the

security forces said he was very generous

to them, he would always remember their

birthdays and their wives’ birthdays,” Iannucci

observes. “And yet he was not just

the chief torturer but a sadist who would

pick up young girls off the street. It’s a

strange mix. And then politically he goes

from Stalin’s henchman to trying to make

himself a great liberator and reformer.

I kind of like it when not everything is

black and white, and you don’t start the

film going this is the good guy and this

is the bad guy and that’s how it will stay

for the rest of the film. I rather like: OK,

here’s the bad guy, but by the end of the

film you will know more about him and

have slightly more complicated feelings

about him. Similarly with Khrushchev,

as the film progresses you see other aspects

of his life and his personality. In the

end they’re all human beings, they’re all

flawed individuals, and they’ve all been

through terrible things together.”

Iannucci is a big believer in providing

enough rehearsal time to allow his actors

to truly embody their characters. “We

rehearsed chronologically, so everyone got

to know everyone else’s story from beginning

to end. So when they turned up for a

scene, everyone instantly knew where everyone

else was in the story. It reached the

point where when it came to the rather

brutal scene towards the end, I just didn’t

rehearse it. I knew they’d learned the

lines and I said: Just go in there and get

it done in two minutes—the cameras will

be there. And that’s what they did, and it

became this gripping and dramatic moment.

And that was because they had all

grown into each other’s company. That’s

not something you can shoot at the beginning

of the process. It’s a wonderful feeling

when you’re directing that, because

you know that everyone is now absolutely

in the character, and that’s when you can

get them to move off the page and start

trying things out as an ensemble.”

The Death of Stalin recently made

headlines when Russia withdrew its exhibition

license and police halted a screening

at a cinema that dared to show the

film. “I had half expected Russia to be

dubious about the film, so I was pleased

when I heard it got a distributor and was

granted a license,” Iannucci recalls. “I

thought: Well, there we go. The culture

minister said, ‘We don’t have censorship

here, of course we’re going to show it.’

And then just two days before the start of

the release, they took the license away. So

there’s some kind of internal politicking

going on. I don’t quite know where we

are, but I’m hopeful that it will get shown.

What’s been interesting is the support

we’ve had: The Moscow Times published

a huge backing for the film. About the

claim that it insults the Russian people,

they reported that people who went to

see it said, ‘No, it’s terribly respectful to

what actually happened, it’s very honest.

The jokes aren’t about what happened to

the Russian people, the jokes are all on

the politicians.’ So I just hope that maybe

continued on page 26


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2/12/18 3:17 PM

Teenage girls have murder on their

minds in indie thriller Thoroughbreds


Above and at right:

Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy

by Rebecca Pahle

Rich teens are a strange and scary breed in writerdirector

Cory Finley’s debut feature Thoroughbreds,

out March 9 from Focus Features. Garnering

critical acclaim upon its bow at last year’s Sundance,

Thoroughbreds stars Anya Taylor-Joy, breakout star of

Robert Eggers’ The Witch, and Me and Earl and the Dying

Girl’s Olivia Cooke as Lily and Amanda, two onetime best

friends from a wealthy Connecticut suburb. Their friendship

recently rekindled after a scandalous act of violence sent Amanda

to the realm of social pariahs, the girls bond in their discussions

of Lily’s hated stepfather, Mark (Paul Sparks).

Specifically…they should really hire someone to kill him,


A razor-sharp thriller with a deep vein of dark comedy,

Thoroughbreds was partially inspired by Finley’s own conflicted

feelings towards the rich. “I grew up comfortably, but certainly

not in the kind of wealth that the characters have,” he says.

“I always had a handful of friends in high school and middle

school that had these huge, palatial homes, and I definitely have

formative memories of going over and playing their amazing

videogames, and swimming in their pools and just loving the

luxury of that world.” The ease and comfort of wealth appealed

to Finley—as it does—but as he matured he came to “understand

the power dynamics in wealth, and the hidden costs.” You

“never see money change hands” between the super-rich, which

means “you’re unaware of the violence that underpins wealth in

a fundamental way. And I thought it was a rich world to set this

story in—a story all about the lack of empathy and morality.”

The role of dressing Lily, Amanda and their various high-class

confrères went to Alex Bovaird, who between Thoroughbreds and

Andrea Arnold’s American Honey has emerged as one of the most

exciting up-and-coming costume designers working today. Lily’s

wardrobe, in particular, is striking, transitioning as it does from

prim and proper prep couture to something darker and slouchier in

a way that mirrors her psychological journey.

“The progression of costumes through the movie was

something we spent a lot of time on in pre-production, probably

as much time as we did going through the script,” notes Finley.

“Alex came in with an amazing array of choices. She approaches

costuming from a very sociological point of view.” Instagram was

utilized for inspiration regarding the clothing habits of well-todo

teens; beyond that, Finley and Bovaird narrowed down their

options to outfits that “had stylization to them and captured a

little bit of that film noir silhouette.”

Finley’s neo-noir stylings go beyond clothes. For

Thoroughbreds’ director of cinematography, Finley went with Lyle

Vincent, whose work on black-and-white neo-noir A Girl Walks

Home Alone at Night had impressed the director. The pair’s visual


Photos: Claire Folger © 2018 Focus Features

016-035.indd 22

2/12/18 3:17 PM

eference points included such classic noirs

as Strangers on a Train, Double Indemnity

and The Postman Always Rings Twice—“the

great amoral murder-plot movies of the

’40s and ’50s. We talked about the light

and shadow in those. We’re both big fans

of the Coen Brothers and the way Roger

Deakins shoots a lot of their great movies.

And we talked a lot about this great

photographer named Gregory Crewdson,

who does very stylized, suburban noir-ish

images that use a lot of really vivid blues

and yellows and have a very particular

lighting scheme to them.”

Finley’s other points of influence

include David Lynch, for his use of sound

design—an element that “people still

don’t make enough use of” in movies,

Finley argues, and one that Thoroughbreds’

supervising sound editor Gene Park handles particularly well—

and The Shining, for Kubrick’s roving Steadicam shots through the

Overlook Hotel.

Thoroughbreds’ version of the Overlook—one infested not by

the supernatural but the entitled rich—was a McMansion located

south of Boston. “When we were initially doing location scouting,

all the houses that we were looking at were too classy,” Finley

recalls. “We needed something more over the top. And that was

Director Cory Finley

what we found in this house.” The inviting personal touches of the

family that lived there were cleared out, replaced by ostentatious

accouterments that make Thoroughbreds’ primary location feel less

like a home than the world’s gaudiest museum.

Remarkably, the house where Lily, her mother and her

stepfather live manages to feel both cluttered and empty, side

tables adorned with expensive-looking statues placed just-so

simultaneously bearing down on Lily and sucking any feelings

of warmth out of the air. As with the sound design and the

costumes, Thoroughbreds’ set design is quite heightened; in one of

the film’s showcase scenes, Lily and Amanda chat life and death

in a yard dominated by a giant concrete chess set. The goal was for

the house to feel “oppressive,” Finley explains, getting across the

idea that “Lily is both a beneficiary of the privilege that she was

born to and a prisoner of it.”

The pitch-perfect design work put into Thoroughbreds by

Finley and his team results in a film that feels ever so slightly

out of time, which is the sort of film Finley

himself is drawn to: “I love when movies

can feel very of the times they’re made in,

but also have a weird, drifting sense of what

is contemporary.” That sensibility is echoed

by the movies Lily and Amanda are shown

watching: “old, forgotten classic movies on

some extended cable network in the middle of

the night, rather than ‘Desperate Housewives’

or something I would watch.”

The cucumber-cool aesthetic makes

Thoroughbreds’ mordant humor really pop.

Tim, played by the late Anton Yelchin in

one of his final roles, is a twenty-something

wannabe drug kingpin desperate to prove his

wrong-side-of-the-tracks bona fides to Lily

and Amanda. His dramatic pronouncement

that “you don’t know where I come from” is

met by a deadpan Amanda, not missing a beat:


Much of Thoroughbreds’ comedy and its drama—not to

mention its more chilling moments—come from its characters’

dogged attempts to present themselves a certain way. Within the

first 15 minutes, Amanda makes the announcement that “I don’t

have feelings—ever,” a proclamation that’s challenged in small

ways over the course of the film. Lily’s situation is the reverse:

There’s a layer of darkness lingering under her aggressively spitshined

surface. “No one is fully what they’re saying they are,”

Finley notes. “It’s this great trope of teenage movies, like The

Breakfast Club: People trying to figure out what box they fit into.”

Of course, that film’s Bender never considered hiring someone

to murder his father—so in terms of content, at least, you can

more accurately label Thoroughbreds a modern-day Heathers.

American Psycho comes to mind, as well, its characters sharing

with Thoroughbreds’ a love of the presentational. (A further

American Psycho connection: Finley says Amanda’s character

first came into focus when he imagined her as “a kind of junior

capitalist [with] this Ayn Rand element to her,” a sort of teenage

Patrick Bateman sans the obsession with skincare. In one of

the film’s more amusing running jokes, she repeatedly invokes

the memory of her idol, Steve Jobs. “I’ve found that there’s a

particular kind of person that really idolizes Steve Jobs,” Finley

explains. “And I was interested in that voice coming through in a

character who’s talking about murder plots.”)

That interplay between the fronts Lily and Amanda present

to the outside world and who they really are inside—something

that Finley wisely avoids going into in too much cut-and-dried

detail, opting to keep things open to interpretation—makes the

film’s central duo quite the psychologically complex pair. Much

of that can be credited to the performances of Taylor-Joy and

Cooke, who per Finley “were both very good with the technical

work of thinking about how these characters carry themselves and

how they dress and their physicality—their vocal timbre, all that

kind of stuff.” Initially written as a stage play, Thoroughbreds was

always “wordy, by design,” but Taylor-Joy and Cooke’s nuanced

performances—not to mention Finley’s ability to utilize closeups—enabled

the director to chop away at the screenplay. “It’s a

credit to both of their performances that in so many spots I was

able to eliminate lines or whole sections of lines. Because with

something they were doing with silence or a subtext they were

bringing into an earlier line, they made a later line not necessary.

That’s how you know you have good actors.”

© 2017 Maarten de Boer


016-035.indd 23

2/12/18 3:17 PM

Nick Park goes

paleo with new

animated comedy,

‘early man’ by trevor hogg



016-035.indd 24

2/12/18 3:17 PM

Nick Park poses with Eddie

Redmayne (voice of Dug)

and Maisie Williams (voice

of Goona) on the set

of Early Man.

Below, Park and crew

work before a green screen.

Photos Chris Johnson © 2017 Studiocanal S.A.S and The British Film Institute

Little did a stop-frame animation student at the

National Film and Television School in England

know that his graduation project called

A Grand Day Out would launch him into international

stardom, and make a hapless, cheese-loving

inventor and his genius dog cultural icons. “I do

have to pinch myself when I see Wallace and Gromit

on TV every holiday in the U.K.,” admits Nick

Park, who has won four Academy Awards, become

a creative cornerstone at Aardman Animations, and

received a CBE (Commander of the British Empire).

“I remember 20 or 30 years ago with the rise

of CGI, and fantastic films from Pixar and Dream-

Works, we wondered, ‘How long do we have to be

using this old technique?’ Now, it helps us to stand

out against the other films.”

Stop-frame techniques have not changed over

the years for the principal animation.

“With Chicken Run and Curse of the Were-

Rabbit, we shot them on good old stop-frame film

cameras, but now we shoot digitally. It offers a big

safety net. If something goes wrong in the middle

of a three-day shot it doesn’t all get trashed.” Stopframe

and CGI work well together. “We have for a

long time been using digital effects, like any movie

does, whether it’s things that you can’t do with clay,

such as lava, smoke and fire.”

CGI was useful in expanding the prehistoric

landscapes featured in Park’s new Early Man,

where a community of cave dwellers challenge

Bronze Age villagers to a soccer match in an effort

to win back their homeland. “We shot as much as

we could in the studio but didn’t have the space, so

we would often shoot against green screen and put

in the backgrounds afterwards.”

Early Man involved 40 camera crews each

utilizing a Canon EOS-1D X simultaneously to


016-035.indd 25

2/12/18 3:17 PM

shoot 35 to 40 sets with a team of 35 animators

in order to produce five seconds to

a minute worth of footage a week. “This

is when good organization comes in. Clay

animation and stop-frame is a cottage

industry. We had to industrialize but keep

it feeling crafted in a loving way.”

A practical issue is how much of the

character can be made of clay, as it adds

to the animation time. “Even though the

heads of the characters are made of clay,

we have a system where you can unplug

every mouth. Every character has a set of

20 mouths made of clay, so the animator

can still manipulate them.” The technique

helped to keep the style consistent for the

characters and film. “It also makes the

animation quicker to do, because nothing

takes longer than the lip sync.”

For the first time, Park decided to be

the sole director on a feature film project.

“We took our model from DreamWorks

and Disney, which had the two-handed

technique because of the amount of work.

I learned a lot working with Peter Lord on

Chicken Run and Steve Box on Curse of the

Were-Rabbit. But I just wanted to be on the

helm this time and see what that was like.”

During a pitch session, the concept was

described as Gladiator meets Dodgeball. “Or

it’s Braveheart with balls,” laughs Park when

reminded of the cinematic comparison.

“Like a lot of these ideas they start with a

simple sketch or a doodle. I was doodling

the typical caveman with a club hitting a

rock. It made me think of a sport, like baseball.

Then I wondered, ‘What if Stone Age

people invented soccer? What if you have a

bunch of idiotic but loveable cavemen who

are clumsy have to learn a different game

and not fight?’ The whole thing that we call

football [in the U.K.] is so tribal.”

The prologue that depicts an asteroid

wiping out the dinosaurs provided an opportunity

to honor a childhood hero. “I’m

a big fan of Ray Harryhausen and when

I was 11 years old One Million Years B.C.

was my favorite film. I had never seen a

prehistoric underdog sports movie before,

so I got excited about making one. We

have a couple of dinosaurs in the opening

scene called Ray and Harry.”

Character design is an area where Park

likes to keep a hands-on approach. “Even

when we’re writing, I’ll be drawing and

doodling the characters. I will sometimes

mock up a character roughly in clay but

have a whole team of people who make the

stuff properly. I’ll maybe tweak the nose or

something about them.” Lord Nooth (Tom

Hiddleston) was the most difficult to create.

“The cavemen and cavewomen came

around fairly naturally,” Park notes.

Casting was kept in mind during

the design process. “Eddie Redmayne,

Timothy Spall, Maisie Williams and Tom

Hiddleston did a test and we’d animated

the clay model to see if the voice fits.

We would take their voice and, with the

animator, video-record us miming to what

they did and I would be able to point out

what I wanted.”

Park continues, “We spent a lot of time

in the edit suite, but before that I sat for

months with [co-writers] Mark Burton

and John O’Farrell in a room sticking cards

up on a wall. Even after doing the animatic

[storyboards with a rough soundtrack], you

find that there are still problems and go

back to cards to work some things out. It’s

an organic process.”

Sound design is a whole world in itself.

“I’ve worked with Adrian Rhodes since

college to get the right amount of realistic

and cartoon audio. It’s a rich soundtrack.

For example, we have a scene in the stadium

where Dug [Redmayne] creeps in to get

some balls and falls down. It was always

funny visually, but after a few months Adrian

put these sounds of each chair springing

back which made it incredibly real.”

The score was the responsibility of

composers Harry Gregson-Williams and

Tom Howe. “It seems that the music tells

half of the story. You can telegraph things

to the audience in all sorts of ways. It happened

fairly late in the process.

“I was excited to get into a world that

was totally outside the normal world of

Wallace and Gromit or Shaun the Sheep,”

says Park. He saw soccer as an avenue to

incorporate Aardman Animations’ signature

quirky humor into the storytelling.

“One of the biggest challenges was how to

stage a game but make it cinematic. I had

the film Gladiator in my mind a lot of the

time. There’s the big rush and roar of the

crowd, and exciting camera moves.”

A number of underdog sports movies

were watched by the British filmmaker,

with major inspiration drawn from Miracle,

which centers around the U.S. hockey team

defeating the Soviet Union at the Lake

Placid Winter Olympics in 1980. “When

you see soccer on TV, it’s shot from above,

so you can tell which side is which and

who’s where. However, I wanted to get

down, be cinematic and tell story all of the

time. It’s not just back and forth like you’re

watching a tennis match. It was all about

how to execute that game and make it the

most compelling and exciting, but with

gags. I wanted the audience to be rooting

for our guys.”

From Russia… continued from page 20

after the election next month in Russia,

they will come up with a way of releasing

it. The thing is, now everyone in Russia

knows about the film.”

The day before our interview, Variety

announced FilmNation’s financing of Iannucci’s

next feature, The Personal History

of David Copperfield, a new version of the

classic Charles Dickens novel slated to begin

filming in the U.K. in June. Iannucci

and Simon Blackwell wrote the screenplay.

“It will be set in the 1840s, 1850s,

but the language of the book and the psychology

and emotions are so relevant and

contemporary that I want to go in with

that attitude as a director. I want the story

to feel directly relevant and contemporary,

even though the setting will be of that

time. It shouldn’t feel historic—we should

be present at that time, it should feel new.

London at that time was in the industrial

revolution and the capital city of the biggest

empire the world had ever seen, so

it should feel exciting and modern… It

should feel absolutely contemporary rather

than looking through an old filter. Similarly,

the way people speak should feel

natural rather than heightened, not as if

there are quotation marks around everything

they say.”

No doubt, Iannucci’s profile has been

heightened by the Emmy-winning success

of “Veep,” which he left after season four.

“It surprised me,” he says of its reception,

“partly because I thought: Oh, here are

Brits coming into America making fun

of their politics—we’ll be chased home

after the pilot. I didn’t realize that, despite

the rhetoric of Donald Trump and

his supporters, America is actually a very

welcoming country. It welcomes ideas and

ability. A lot of people said you needed

people from outside the two-party divide

to stand back and look at the whole thing

and go, ‘This is chaotic!’ Also, hundreds of

people make so many pilots for American

television and 99 percent of them don’t get

any further. And hundreds of people make

hundreds of TV shows in America and 80

percent of them are taken off air halfway

through. But for us: ‘Oh, we’ve been given

another season!’ In my wildest dreams, I

never thought we’d get to season seven. I

thought we’d be happy if we got this small

niche audience, but to realize it would get

this big audience and get the Emmy several

times, it’s been great and HBO has been

fantastic to work with. And it helps the

next project, because you suddenly realize

actors you really want to work with have

watched ‘Veep’ and are aware of it.”


016-035.indd 26

2/12/18 3:17 PM

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Untitled-1 1

2/6/18 11:19 AM

A New Vision

Bud Mayo Maintains Oversight

of Rising Theatre Circuit

‘It was very exciting to do

by Andreas Fuchs a restart with a bunch

of assets that are all over

the place.” Bud Mayo, chairman of New Vision Theatres (www., is talking about 194 screens at 17 locations

that he and his team of industry veterans and investor partners assembled

in the wake of AMC Entertainment’s March 2016 merger

with Carmike Cinemas. “Some are remodeled and wonderful,

beautiful theatres, and other ones we need to attend to and remodel.

And that’s always fun to do as well, because you get to look at

the audience and at the budget, deciding how to reasonably invest

where the best results will come from, in any one particular place.”

For the 2018 edition of our annual Exhibition Guide, Film

Journal International can count on the ultimate exhibition expert and

consummate elder statesman sharing some enlightening business

insights. Bud Mayo not only facilitated our industry’s transition to

digital cinema by designing the virtual-print-fee model, but also

headed a variety of innovative cinema ventures along the way. In fact,

he pursued his theatrical ambitions with a decidedly “clear view”

of what he wanted moviegoing to be like—creating a DigiPlex of

digital cinema “destinations” being just one of them.

Geographically, New Vision Theatres are different from the early

Clearview Cinemas in the metro New York area. Mayo draws the

comparison to about 25 years ago: “Obviously, we always tried to

take the best assets in the areas that we are operating in.” With New

Vision Theatres located across nine of the United States, “we address

each location as if it were our only theatre. That is a philosophy we

already tried to apply to Clearview, and we have learned from that.

“We bring neighbors to the movies,” he says, quoting the latter

circuit’s onetime tagline. “We are really trying to do the same

thing at New Vision Theatres by nurturing local audiences and by

becoming part of the fabric of the community itself. This allows us

to choose content that fits the audience and to anticipate what we

can do around that program offering.”


016-035.indd 28

2/12/18 3:17 PM

He continues, “Our plan this year is to do reserved seating and

to upgrade seats. We know all about recliners, but the other part of

that is that we intend to obtain liquor licenses—at least wine and

beer—in every location where we can. With that, we also intend

to offer a menu of ‘good’ food. Not in-theatre dining, not gourmet

foods in most cases, but food and beverage choices that complement

a one-stop shop at a reasonable cost for families.”

Costs were certainly reasonable back in 1994, and options on

snack and content much more limited, Mayo recalls. “We did not

have to be as much of a curator of content as we are today. Our

business was to take whatever came down the pike, put it up on

the screen, making moviegoing a family-friendly atmosphere.”

In addition to Clearview Cinemas’ signature fireplaces, “we had a

phone on the concession stand that allowed people to call home,

because there were no cellphones in those days. You could call

your babysitter and call a cab, whatever you needed to do... Our

business has since evolved, and it is much more exciting today than

it was then. Thankfully, we have a great team behind it all, many

of whom were with me at Clearview, Cinedigm and at DigiPlex

Destinations,” Mayo notes, mentioning his other ventures. “They

are allowing me to be a true chairman of the board now, as opposed

to somebody keeping the weeds [away].”

With “many, many years of experience in dealing with a combination

of audiences and demographic data, which is far more available

to us today than it certainly was in the Clearview days,” New

Vision Theatres aims for the best results in each location, Mayo

says. “So, the challenge is different. In some ways it is greater and

in other ways made easier by the availability of information and

content choices that simply were not there before. DigiPlex Destinations

was an evolution, and certainly a major step forward. After

that, all we did was to take some 26 DigiPlex sites and folded them

into Carmike Cinemas. We had a much bigger platform to work

with content, reaching 150 Carmike locations.”

Mayo’s time at Carmike opened another opportunity for him

when AMC Entertainment became interested in those very locations.

“As a member of the senior team at Carmike, I was very

much aware of all the discussions, and really understood that at the

end of that year it was time for me to retire,” he contends. “I was

very happy to be able to do that, to go on a few boards, and at least

keep my finger in the pie of business and try to bring my experience

to the table. And to play a little more golf, which I am terrible

at,” he chuckles. Tennis, sailing and spending time with nine

grandchildren also beckoned Mayo. “There’s a classic ‘Yeah, this is

what I want to do’ phase. But, little by little, conversations started

to come to me about the divestiture of certain theatres. ‘You could

easily assemble a team,’ I was told, ‘and financing would be, for you,

a very easy thing to do.’ All of which was true,” he says. After trying

to resist initially, Mayo admits to changing his mind. “Maybe we’ll

buy a few theatres just to keep some good people employed, and

let’s see where it goes from there.”

The rest is (exhibition) history, as they say. “I was heavily

recruited to put a bid in for the entire package… I was

encouraged actively by AMC and Carmike, and by the

Department of Justice, because of my history and reputation in

the business. All those things told me, ‘Okay, if I can get my

team to sign up for this, and become chairman and not a CEO

of the venture, then why not?’ I will put a package together, get

the right financial backing, and then let’s see if we can pave this

and build from there. It turned out a bit of a rollercoaster, to

be honest. We were on again, off again as a bidder, ultimately

getting back after we thought we had lost the bid.”

Mayo recalls receiving a call in the parking lot after grocery

shopping with his wife. “If we are the only group you talk to from

now on, of course, we will get back in the saddle,” he told the

people on the other end of the call. “We did just that and closed

in April last year. Only to find that we entered four or five of the

worst months the industry had seen in a long time. What a great

way to start! That told us a lot about our financial partners—that

they were big boys, and that they understood what we were going

through in transition to a platform that we had to create from

scratch. After all, we did not have a business in place.”

“We had a bunch of theatres, and we had to scramble,” Mayo

says of the good-news/bad-news scenario that followed. “Putting

a platform together from scratch means you can cherry-pick the

vendors and the choices of software and hardware to do something

that gives you the maximum amount of flexibility in the 21st

century.” Doing just that, “we really started running this business

in September, for the first time as New Vision Theatres.” Some

locations do go back, way back with Bud Mayo, however, such as

the Rialto in Westfield, New Jersey, where corporate headquarters

are located. In a further nod to continuity, New Vision’s accounting

department is based in Columbus, Georgia, near the former

Carmike offices. “Well, all our theatres are my favorites, as they

represent opportunity. Some are performing better. As every circuit,

we have our battleships. Three or four of those, and we expect to

have five or six more theatres that really anybody in the country

would want to own.”

Mayo was able to weigh in on which theatres to acquire during

the bidding process. “We did not take the entire package as it

was presented.” In some cases that may have been a disadvantage,

especially not knowing some of the AMC locations, of which six

ended up with New Vision. “Let’s take each building,” he says of

the process, “and strip it down to exactly what it is. What kind of

product has been successful there? What can we do that would be


016-035.indd 30

2/12/18 3:17 PM

incremental to those theatres? Because some of them did not do

alternative programming at all. Those are the opportunities, and

it means you need to do the work. That is really the secret to any

business, as far as I am concerned: You do the work. You get into

the market, you get to know the audiences—not just for five or

seven miles, but fifteen or twenty miles around each theatre. Who

lives there? What kind of content would they be interested in? And

how do we reach them?”

On the reach of his circuit, Mayo adds. “I know the industry

has evolved to the point where, in many cases and certainly the

big guys, companies are looking at the world and at their circuits

as a global business. New Vision Theatres is very much a regional

business. We look at each one of our regions as a territory that

we address. We have no aspirations about going abroad, but we

certainly see opportunities for further consolidation in the United

States.” On his way to a board meeting in New York City with

his financial partners when we spoke for this article, Mayo had

prepared “a full presentation of not only our results, but also our

plans for the coming year, which are very aggressive.”

Speaking of those partners at The Beekman Group, Mayo

gives credit to managing partner John G. Troiano. “This boutique

private-equity firm is run by the gentleman who started it, who

had some success with the old Sony Loews circuit when he was

working for a larger private-equity firm. John has a pretty good

handle on what this business was all about and has been looking

for an opportunity for years.” Indeed, when the investment in

New Vision Theatres was announced, Troiano commented,

“The Beekman team identified the exhibitor industry as a

stable, attractive segment for reasonably priced out-of-home

entertainment and has evaluated numerous platform opportunities

over the past few years. New Vision represents a compelling

platform given its size, geographic breadth, and the ability to

partner with such a complement of talented operators led by Bud

Mayo and Chuck Goldwater.”

“We certainly kissed a lot of frogs as we interviewed potential

partners,” Mayo says, returning the compliment. “And we found

a prince. John is a good guy. Very, very smart. And the most important

part is that I can get his attention when we need it for our

team. We enjoy being in constant contact with the partners.”

All the team members “are perfect for the job” as well, Mayo

assures. “They are very excited about trying to build this business,

and the opportunities that we can all bring to the table.” As for

his part in the process, Mayo is “looking at the business from 500

feet up, and toward where we are headed, with a focus on strategy

and on tactics, specifically. I am more interested in where the

business can go, what verticals are available to us. How do we make

each show every week better than the week before? What can we

introduce that will make the business even better?”

Speaking like a chairman—and the industry statesman that we

have all come to know—Bud Mayo’s outlook remains optimistic.

“I have great confidence in the team we have in place. They have

been doing this for a long time and they know exactly how to

implement the decisions that they come up with and stay on course

with building a unique circuit that is also capable of growth. We

can access the capital markets very effectively through our partners

at Beekman. I am very excited about what the next three or four,

five years could look like in this business, and how far we can reach

into becoming a very important circuit in this business.”




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Kodak Moments

by Bob Gibbons

On the third floor of his mansion in

Rochester, NY, George Eastman,

founder of Kodak and inventor of motion

picture film, had a screen that pulled down

from the ceiling. He used it to show movies

to friends.

Eastman never had a family of his

own, so when he died in 1932, most of his

wealth went to the University of Rochester,

but he did leave some to “his favorite

niece,” Ellen Dryden. Four years after the

George Eastman Museum was founded in

1947 on the site of his estate, she funded

construction of the Dryden Theatre, a 535-

seat auditorium attached to the museum.

The Dryden Theatre opened to the

public on Wednesday, March 14, 1951,

with a screening of the Jean Renoir silent

classic Nana. Today, the Dryden is the

George Eastman Museum’s main exhibition

space for showcasing its motion

picture collection, prints from the world’s

finest archives, and premieres of select

releases. To date, more than 13,000 titles

have been screened; the theatre attracts

more than 40,000 visitors annually.

Dr. Bruce Barnes, director of the

George Eastman Museum, picks up its

story: “When we were founded,” he says,

“we had only the second department of

film in a museum in the United States. At

that time, there was very little ‘after-market’

for movies; studios would release a film

and it would play in first- and second-run

theatres and then it had no value to them.”

Until 1951, all those old prints were on

nitrate stock.

“The studios had this problem,” Barnes

emphasizes. “The old film was highly flammable

and was difficult and expensive to

take care of; they started disposing of that

nitrate film in a variety of ways. So, there’s

a huge amount of lost film from, particularly,

the early Hollywood years.”

Studios—and even theatres, where

Below, from left: The Dryden’s projection room (housing two Century projectors); the film vault (28,000 titles, 6,000

of which are nitrate prints); and the auditorium, which features a 27-foot-wide screen. “We’re committed to showing

film in its original format,” says assistant collections manager Patrick Tiernan, “ so we have lenses and gates for silent,

classic Hollywood, flat, scope, and we can even play 1:1.8, which was a short-lived ratio between sound and silent movies.”


016-035.indd 32

2/12/18 3:17 PM

A nitrate film strip: “The studios had this problem,” says Dryden director Bruce

Barnes. “The old film was highly flammable and was difficult and expensive to take

care of; they started disposing of that nitrate film in a variety of ways. So, there’s

a huge amount of lost film from, particularly, the early Hollywood years.”





Is About


Than Just



sometimes prints were stranded—began

sending their unwanted negatives and

prints to the George Eastman Museum.

“Today,” adds Jared Case, head of collection

information, research and access,

Moving Image Department, “we have

28,000 titles; about 6,000 of those are

nitrate prints. We have the original nitrate

negatives for Gone with the Wind and The

Wizard of Oz, among many others. But the

ultimate goal of having a motion picture

collection is showing it. It’s about conservation

with a purpose.”

The Dryden shows about 400 different

titles a year—including shorts and features.

Every week, the theatre holds a Monday

matinee for seniors. On Tuesday through

Saturday, they program at 7:30 in the evening.

During the academic year, they tend

to show silent films on Tuesday evening.

The theatre also hosts special events and

several film festivals. All screenings are free

to those 17 years old and younger to encourage

moviegoing among the young.

“When we’re curating,” offers Jurij

Meden, curator of film exhibitions, “we try

to represent the breadth of perspectives

in film history. So, you’ll see silent films,

acknowledged classics, some documentaries

and foreign films. We try to make

our programs interesting and relevant, but

we’re shaping audience’s tastes—not just

catering to their expectations.”

When the Dryden was renovated in

2013, the number of seats was reduced to

500—250 in the balcony, 250 down below—all

padded, with no cupholders. No

food or drink is allowed; the theatre is considered

an exhibition space, free from the


016-035.indd 33

2/12/18 3:17 PM

Bruce Barnes Jurij Meden Jared Case

distraction of crunching popcorn.

The Dryden has another strict policy:

If the movie was made and released on

film—and is available on film—they will

only show it on film. And, Barnes observes:

“Every foot of every film we show is inspected

before it’s projected.”

“We have only one screening per day,”

Meden adds, “but an hour before, we begin

a procedure where we test both projectors

we’ll be using to set the focus and the

sound levels and the framing—so it’s a


The screen is 27 feet wide. Because

they show so many formats, masking is

fully moveable left and right, up and down.

“We have changeover projectors,” explains

Patrick Tiernan, assistant collections manager.

“We’ll put up the first two reels, align

the projectors, move the masking. We’re

committed to showing film in its original

format, so we have lenses and gates for silent,

classic Hollywood, flat, scope, and we

can even play 1:1.8, which was a short-lived

ratio between sound and silent movies.”

The Dryden has two pairs of film projectors

in the booth. “The Century projectors

we use are the same projectors that

were installed when the theatre opened in

1951,” Tiernan explains. “We believe that

if we take care of them, they’ll last another

50 or 100 years. They’re wonderful old

elegant machines; they do what you tell

them to do.”

The second set is Kinotons, German

projectors from the ’90s. They’re needed

to show 16mm prints. Speed converters

attached to all projectors enable them to

show silent prints. The digital projector is

a Barco 2K.

“Every time we screen a film at the

Dryden, we try to put it into context,”

Meden points out. “Every film is introduced—the

director and title and background—but

we always talk about the

particular film print the audience is seeing:

Where did it come from? What is its

condition? Is it polyester or nitrate? Is it


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016-035.indd 34

2/12/18 3:17 PM

scratched? Also, we always remind people

about who our projectionist will be and

which machines we’ll be using.”

“We believe that film is a performing

art,” Barnes reiterates, “and everyone and everything

that’s involved in that performance

is very important. We consider all of that

part of the experience of seeing a film.”

“The audience gets that little bit of

extra knowledge,” adds Spencer Christiano,

chief projectionist. “That might not mean

anything to them the first time they hear

it, but over time they get a course in film


“We show film in the Dryden Theatre

both from our own collection—and

we borrow from other archives,” Barnes

acknowledges. “Less than half of what we

show is from our own collection.”

The Dryden is one of only five theatres

in the United States legally allowed

to show nitrate film. They screen nitrate

prints occasionally throughout the year.

“One of the most exciting things we do

is ‘The Nitrate Picture Show,’ a three-day

film festival we hold the first weekend in

May,” says Barnes. “It’s the only festival of

its kind in the United States and we show

only films on nitrate stock. We show about

nine films in the festival and this year—

May 4 through 6—will be our fourth year.”

“At first, it was nerve-racking projecting

nitrate film,” admits Christiano. “You

hear all of these tales about projectors

bursting into flames and projectionists

running out of the booth on fire. But once

you’ve actually done it for a while, it’s

just like any other projection. I mean, we

treat every print as if it’s the last surviving

print—because in some cases, it is.”

“We use special fire magazines for

showing nitrate,” Tiernan explains.

“They’re closed cabinets on the feed arm

and take-up reel; between them and the

projector are ‘fire rollers’ which cut off oxygen

to the closed magazines. So, when the

projector is operating, everything is pretty

sealed up to minimize the danger.”

“When we project nitrate, we have

three projectionists in the booth at all

times,” Meden notes. “We have one at each

projector to keep an eye on how the print

is tracking; the third projectionist is there

to pay attention to focus because some of

those old prints are warped.”

“For decades, it’s been believed that

nitrate film is something that you keep in

a vault,” Case laments. “These are old films,

but they’ve been taken care of; why not have

them be shown? If we want to know how

people saw and made films in the 1940s, we

should be watching the nitrate films.”

Barnes is proud of the festival. “People

come from around the world because when

you’re watching a nitrate film, there is no

question of its visual superiority. There’s

much more silver in the film, so the blacks

are much blacker, there’s more subtlety in

the color, it’s just a much richer experience.

I’ve seen Casablanca several times, but on

a nitrate print it was absolutely magical; it

was luminescent in ways you just cannot


“The really special thing about nitrate,”

says Meden, “is that a film print seventy or

eighty years old can still be shown—and

look great. That’s something that will never

be true about any of the carriers of digital

images or any of the digital formats.”

With film roots in the past, the Dryden

Theatre looks ahead. “We want to be the

place, the community, that invites people to

see cinema the way it was meant to be seen

and where we can teach people about cinema

to make sure that legacy doesn’t die,”

says Case. “It’s important to us not just to

preserve the film, but also to preserve the



016-035.indd 35

2/12/18 4:55 PM


A Film Journal Int’l overview of innovations and trends

in ticketing and point of sale

Expanded Reach by Rob Rinderman

Fandango Merges with MovieTickets

and Plans More Consumer Innovations

In mid-October 2017, Fandango announced

an agreement to acquire its

longtime rival in the cinema ticketing

space, The transaction

officially closed during the tail end of 2017,

further expanding Fandango’s reach to all

40,000 screens across the entire United


Several significant new exhibitors were

added, including National Amusements and

Cineplex, plus a variety of independently

owned and operated North American

locations. MovieTickets screens also expanded

the organization’s Latin American

reach and into the U.K. for the first time.

Merging with MovieTickets

“What most attracted us to the

acquisition was our organizational goal of

ubiquity,” says Fandango’s president, Paul

Yanover. “The strategy has been to have

complete and comprehensive coverage and

the ability to provide every possible ticket

to anyone that wants to attend a movie

anywhere in the country.

“MovieTickets created and built a

great brand and they covered parts of

the country that we did not due to some

of their exclusive exhibitor relationships.

It all ties to a belief system and our goal

that Fandango has of driving attendance

and creating win-win situations for the

entire industry, including moviegoers

and our exhibition partners.” Fandango’s

majority owner is NBCUniversal, and

Warner Bros. Entertainment holds a

minority stake

According to Yanover, prior to the

MovieTickets merger Fandango successfully

capitalized on the opportunity to grow

faster through corporate investments in

technology and enhanced user experience,

including innovation around mobile,

social-media platforms, voice applications

and related areas. The merger seems to be

working well so far, with all hands on deck

ensuring that full technological and partner

integrations are running smoothly.



Paul Yanover

Complementary Brands

Fandango brands include Rotten Tomatoes,

Flixster, Movieclips, Fandango Rewards,

FanShop and several other cinema-related

assets. “In aggregate, these brands are all

centered around ‘movie discovery.’ In order

to have a positive impact and sell more tickets,

we need to be focused on that process,”

Yanover emphasizes.

“There is a consumer journey that one

goes through toward building interest in seeing

a particular movie. You may have an interest

in a franchise, a genre, a style, an actor or

director, or even a book you read. We believe

the best way to help the entire industry is to

be there at that moment of consumer interest,

driving a set of capabilities into discovery,

planning and purchase. The goal is really to

take an intention to see a film and turn it

into the action of ticket-buying.”

At the time of Fandango’s Flixster

acquisition, it was more intertwined with

the Rotten Tomatoes brand. Management

has been adamant that the two should be

separated and run as very important but

independent supporting properties of the

corporate entity. Rotten Tomatoes is a

core brand for the organization, centered

around discovery. It also happens to be very

popular in the U.K., an international market

Fandango recently added courtesy of

MovieTickets. Flixster, on the other hand,


036-047.indd 36

2/12/18 3:21 PM

is being operated with more of a

focus on ticketing.

Fandango has learned that

the number-one way people plan

movie outings today is through

some type of negotiation via

group text messages. That can

be through actual texting or take

place on some type of organized

social-networking platform. As a

result, the company has put a lot

of thought and effort into how to

successfully and seamlessly embed

Fandango into mobile movie planning


“We have been very tactical

about our implementations that

accomplish this,” states Yanover.

“For example, our ticketing is

integrated into Apple’s Messages

and Facebook’s Messenger platforms. By

design, when people are in a group planning

a movie outing, they can access Fandango

without leaving their text-messaging

conversation. Users can access our app

via Facebook or iMessage with only a few

clicks, where they find movie trailers, posters

and a PayPal option for purchase and


Fandango has also been joining forces

with other payment platforms including

Apple Pay, Google Pay and others. “We are

100-percent aligned with all of our trade

partners,” Yanover emphasizes proudly.


International Expansion

Particularly in Latin America, the

company has been growing proactively via

acquisition in recent years. It purchased

Brazil-based Ingresso in late 2015 and

approximately a year later added Peruvian

ticketing company Cinepapaya to the family.

“In many ways, Ingresso reminds us of

ourselves and the early days of Fandango,”

says Yanover.

The marketplace isn’t as developed in

Brazil yet, but Ingresso is market leader

and Fandango has capitalized by bringing

its technological knowhow, talented team

and a recognizable brand to the region.

The company is presently utilizing Peru as

home base and headquarters for further

overseas expansion, which to date includes

approximately a dozen countries across

Latin America, including Colombia, Bolivia,

Paraguay and Mexico.

Positive trends that bode well for

Fandango in Latin America include longterm

economic growth, expansion of the

middle class and active mobile-phone

usage. There is a large population that

enjoys attending movies and the company

is capitalizing on its wealth of technology

partnerships to further facilitate ongoing

overseas momentum.

Truth and Myth

Historically, the perception was that

during opening weekend and the early

days of a theatrical release, Fandango

ticket purchasers were driven by a sense

of urgency to buy advance admissions

for popular tentpole titles in major cities

when demand runs high and showings

often sell out ahead of time.

According to Yanover, “Although there

is some truth to that, I think that the products

and services we have created, along

with current consumer behavior, have really

habituated people to the desire to use us

for their everyday movie ticket purchases.

As an example, our share of non-opening

weekend tickets is more than 50 percent

of our total tickets sold. This is spreading

across more and more markets and we see

it happening all over the country.”

Fandango’s Future

Fandango is a big believer in the future

of voice-driven AI technology, both on

Group Outings by Rob Rinderman

Atom Tickets Adds New Promotions

to Its Social Movie-Ticketing Service

Atom Tickets is a social movie-ticketing

app that’s been around since

2014. Filmgoers can purchase admissions

for approximately 19,000 North American

cinema screens via the app. National

Amusements’ Showcase Cinemas recently

added its locations to the growing mix,

which already included AMC Theatres and

Regal Cinemas, two of the early investors

in Atom.

It’s free to download via the Apple

App Store, Google Play Store and on the

company’s website, www.atomtickets.

com. In addition to facilitating ticket purchases

via QR codes on Atom-branded

tablets and at in-lobby kiosks, consumers

utilize the app for searching prospective

movie titles.

Cinemagoers can easily invite friends or

family to join them at the theatre via Facebook

or their contact list. Users also have

the option to skip the concessions counter

your phone and in the home. The company

is already integrated with Amazon Alexa

and the Echo Dot device. Consumers can

ask Alexa about buying movie tickets and

purchase them by voice command.

The company is also exploring how

moviegoers can pick their actual seats by

voice and have Alexa remember where

you sat the last time you visited a particular

theatre, among other features. The

end game is to make available information

more useful.

“I think we are still in the early to

middle days of mobile,” Vanover observes,

“and there are some really exciting technologies

that will find themselves into the

total journey on the way to the theatre

and there is a lot more to unlock. We are

very interested in augmented reality, for

instance, and other experiences of moviegoing

related to AR on one’s phone.

“If we do our job well, we make it a

better experience for the consumer by

removing all of the friction from the ticket-buying

process, ultimately driving more

people to take their interest and turn it

into a purchase to attend a movie and create

incremental attendance.”

line by pre-ordering favorite snacks on their

mobile device. One in three customers currently

utilizes the app for this purpose, with

popcorn being the most common purchase.

High Profile Investors

In addition to AMC and Regal, financial

backers include three of the leading

Hollywood studios. According to Atom

Tickets co-founder/chairman Matthew

Bakal, “Working with Lionsgate, Disney

and Twentieth Century Fox Film has

been instrumental in understanding the

needs of the studios (including marketing,

technology and data) so that we can

better deliver meaningful results to them.

We’re helping them to understand movie

consumers and their purchasing behavior.

Our investors are very engaged with us

and often share thoughts on our services

and functionality of our product. They are

also helping drive awareness of Atom.”


036-047.indd 38

2/12/18 3:21 PM

Influential Marketing Partners

The company has been adept at forging

an impressive array of promotions with

high-profile corporate allies. For example,

Atom recently teamed with the Chase Pay

banking app in conjunction with the celebration

of National Popcorn Day on Jan.

19. Movie fans that paid for their tickets

via Chase were treated to a free popcorn

of any size at participating theatre locations.

Regal also got into the action, utilizing

the promotion to herald their circuit’s

recent Cheetos flavor launch.

A noteworthy partnership connected

Atom to “Un-carrier” T-Mobile and

Twentieth Century Fox Film, one of the

company’s aforementioned studio investors.

Pursuant to this promotion, T-Mobile

customers are now eligible to purchase

discounted $4 Tuesday night tickets to five

2018 theatrical tentpole releases.

“T-Mobile Tuesdays” officially kicked

off Jan. 23 with Maze Runner: The Death

Cure, which will be followed later this year

by Red Sparrow, Deadpool 2, Alita: Battle

Angel and Dark Phoenix. Tickets are available

for purchase via the T-Mobile Tuesdays

app and can be redeemed with the Atom

app. As a bonus, customers of the mobile

network can enter to win trips to attend

movie premieres and other

unique experiences, in addition

to receiving access

to movie streaming sneak

peeks courtesy of T-Mobile.

Amazon and Sony also

recently forged an alliance

with Atom, enabling early

ticketing for a special Jumanji:

Welcome to the Jungle

screening offered exclusively

for Amazon’s Prime

members a week before

the movie was widely released.

“Creating this special ticketed movie

moment had never been done before

and Prime members loved the VIP treatment,”

reports Bakal.

Analytics and Technology

“We believe analytics and measurement

are core to what makes us a successful

ticketing provider for customers,

an advertising partner for studios and a

technology provider for exhibitors,” Bakal

declares. “We approach every problem

from a data perspective—problems that

range from testing the performance of

different features to the messages and

creative in our marketing campaigns.

“Lastly, from a technology

perspective, we constantly

monitor and measure

the performance, latency

and availability of the services

that power our app

and website, and our partner


Looking Ahead…

Bakal expects to see a

Atom co-founder faster pace of innovation.

Matthew Bakal Atom is in the process of

exploring technological ticket

innovations. It is working with Regal Cinemas

to pilot dynamic pricing, looking for

the right way to approach ticket prices in

the future.

Exhibitors are in the process of consolidating

and the larger ones are on a

path to become worldwide businesses.

Studios are also consolidating and are

very focused on direct-to-consumer

moviegoer relationships.

“Look for Atom to deepen relationships

with these partners and to grow

additional partnerships so that we can

provide the best consumer experience to

help grow traffic and revenue in the theatrical

window,” Bakal concludes.


036-047.indd 39

2/12/18 3:21 PM


Purchasing Power

Exhibitors Hail a New Age

of Movie Ticketing and POS

In this Film Journal International

survey, five top

exhibitors reflect on the ways

technology has impacted how

their customers purchase

movie tickets and enhanced

the business operations of

cinemas. Moviegoers are more

engaged than ever and seem

to have no reservations about

reserved seating.

Sarah Van Lange

Director, Communications,


Ticketing/POS Technology:

Vista Entertainment Solutions

How have the

advances in ticketing

and POS technology

impacted your operations?

Advances in

ticketing technology

really have

revolutionized the

moviegoing experience

for many of

our guests, particularly

those that

are more comfortable

using technology through our ATKs

[automated ticketing kiosks] in-theatre,

the Cineplex Mobile App and through Mobile ticketing is particularly

popular, as our app is a convenient

one-stop destination for guests to buy

tickets, browse showtimes and theatre

listings, as well as catch up on the latest

movie and entertainment news. Users

can also view trailers and exclusive content,

view box-office results and check

their SCENE loyalty points balance.

From an operations perspective, the

deployment of these technologies—

ATKs in-theatre and the Cineplex Mobile

App—has enabled us to better service

our guests in many ways. For example,

they provide insight into attendance

Sarah Van Lange

numbers at the theatre level in advance,

which means we’re able to bring in

additional staff if required on a particular

evening. Another example would be that

we’re able to reallocate staff from behind

a box office and put them in front of it,

engaging and interacting one-on-one with

our guests. Many of our guests love the

experience of purchasing their ticket at

the theatre and we will continue to offer

it, but advances in ticketing and POS

technology provide others with a choice.

What percentage of your customers

reserve tickets in advance?

Reserved seating is very connected to

film product, so it’s hard to pull a specific

stat around that. What I can tell you that I

think makes a similar point is that the Cineplex

Mobile App was downloaded 17.3

million times and has recorded 918

million app sessions since its launch.

Have you seen a change in

customer engagement thanks to the

web’s role in ticketing and providing

information about the movies you


Absolutely. Year over year,

we’re certainly seeing higher engagement

on the Cineplex Mobile

App and higher visitation to

On the guest services

side, we’re seeing movie lovers

across Canada reaching out to us

more and more through the chat functionality

on our website as opposed to

picking up the phone and calling our call

centre. More and more movie lovers are

online—we’re listening and we’re engaging

with them there.

Joel Davis

VP & Chief




Cinema Corp.


Technology: RTS

(Ready Theatre


Joel Davis

How have the advances in ticketing

and POS technology impacted your


Advance ticketing has definitely

improved the experience for the guest,

from just looking up showtimes to

reserving their favorite seat. Patrons

have access through their cellphones

to movie times through a variety of

sources that tie directly into our POS

to reserve tickets instantly. Proprietary

apps are available for showtimes at

your local theatre company or patrons

can use popular apps for showtimes

like Flixster, Fandango, Movie Tickets

and others. Patrons enjoy the convenience

factor of bypassing the box

office versus the traditional method of

standing in line at the box office.

POS systems have evolved to keep

up with the ever-changing demand of

the cinema business from just being a

register. Online ticketing is just one

of the aspects of its main function.

The POS links to several functions in

a theatre. Just to name a few: time

management, DLP, inventory, analytical

reporting, automated hotline, Rentrak,

digital signage, HVAC comfort settings

for temperature, and smart building

controls. We have gone from the old

days of doing everything manually to

a more automated world that is more


What percentage of your customers

reserve tickets in advance?

Before reserved seating, it was less

than 12 percent on average for highdemand

features; since we converted

to recliner seating, this has created

more of demand for advance tickets.

I would say advance reserved-seating

sales have at least doubled. The old

model is changing and this reserved

ticketing model is quickly becoming

the norm in large to middle markets.

Patrons are quickly accepting the

reserved model due to the wide

acceptance of recliners. It’s the

law of supply versus demand due

to the loss in chair inventory.

It created a greater occupancy

and a higher revenue stream for

advance tickets that did not exist


Have you seen a change in

customer engagement thanks to the

outreach efforts of companies like

Fandango and Atom Tickets?

Companies are now

starting to see the payoff in

infrastructure they invested in


036-047.indd 40

2/12/18 3:21 PM


due to the recent changes in

the large to middle markets to

the recliner reserved-seating

model. On the flip side, smaller

markets have not seen that

much increase.

What’s your current stance on

the Movie Pass scheme?

There’s not enough

information at this time to make

a prediction. I do, however,

believe that anything that puts

patrons in seats and does

not compromise the pricing

structure is a great thing.

Brian Schultz


& Tearlach Hutcheson

Senior Director of Programming,

Studio Movie Grill

Ticketing & POS Technology:

Vista Entertainment Solutions

How have the advances in ticketing

and POS technology impacted your


In the last 15

years I haven’t seen

anything in POS

technology that has

advanced the way we

do business. There

were big advances 15

to 20 years ago, but

advances since then

have been minor.—


What percentage

of your customers

reserve tickets in


Fifty percent.

Have you seen a change in customer

engagement thanks to the outreach efforts

of companies like Fandango and Atom


Fandango, yes. Atom’s market

share isn’t large enough yet to make a


What’s your current stance on the

MoviePass scheme?

If you love movies as much as we

do at SMG, we should all embrace any

outlet that allows for ease of use for

our guests. If MoviePass subscriptions

enable more frequent moviegoing and

exploration of movie content, then

we’re all for it! Our partnerships are

about creating the ability to see more

films more often at the theatre, sitting

in a comfortable seat with immersive

sound on a giant screen, enjoying

quality food, and in the communal

experience only movie theatres can


MoviePass has enhanced our ability

to open hearts and minds by providing

a no-risk vehicle for moviegoers to

sample movies they might not otherwise

see. SMG was amazed to learn that in

some cases, as with Lady Bird, MoviePass

generated a double-digit percentage of

total attendance. We are in the business

of creating the habit of moviegoing and

we are excited to be an early adopter of


Brock Bagby

Executive VP,

B&B Theatres

Ticketing/POS Technology:

Vista Entertainment Systems

How have the advances in ticketing

and POS technology impacted your


Brian Schultz Brock Bagby Chris Johnson

Advance ticket sales and POS

technology have drastically changed

how we do business. An impressive

40 percent of our screens now offer

guests luxury-recliner reserved seating.

This enables a significantly higher

volume of online sales, so we are seeing

many guests arrive with their seats

already reserved. This is helping boxoffice

lines and wait times shorten at

the theatre.

What percentage of your customers

reserve tickets in advance?

In our reserved-seating recliner

towns, we are seeing 30 percent of

customers reserve early. On massive

blockbuster weekends such as Star

Wars, we often see that shoot up into

the 60 percent range.

Have you seen a change in customer

engagement thanks to the web’s role in ticketing

and providing information about the

movies you show?

Yes, customers are now wanting

showtimes more quickly so that they

can reserve their seat. If showtimes

aren’t posted quickly, customers are

frustrated, as they want to have the

option of buying their seat earlier

and earlier.

Chris Johnson, CEO,

Classic Cinemas

Ticketing/POS Technology:

Titan Technologies

How have the advances in ticketing

and POS technology impacted your


They give us the ability to offer

our ticketing inventory through digital

platforms in real time. The dial-up

showtime phone line is dead. Switching

the majority of sales to credit cards

reduces cash handling and fraud. Printat-home

and send-tomobile

help predict

sales. The ability to

do reserved seats and

have a quality loyalty

program are also


What percentage of

your customers reserve

tickets in advance?

It completely

depends on the movie

and the location. Once

a theatre switches to

recliners, the percentage

increases; then it goes up higher with

reserved seats. Essentially, the frequency

of sellouts or getting a good seat at

showtime is the biggest factor. So for

theatres with general seating that rarely

sell out, it’s maybe two to five percent,

Recliners without reserved seating 10 to

25 percent, and recliners with reserved

seating 30-plus percent.

Have you seen a change in customer

engagement thanks to the web’s role in

ticketing and providing information about

the movies you show?

Yes, the guests can watch trailers,

see reviews, audience scores, ticket

availability, and really be more informed

of what is playing and whether they

want to see it.


036-047.indd 42

2/12/18 3:21 PM

Customer Convenience

Ticketing and POS Companies

Showcase Their Latest Innovations

Atom Tickets

Atom Tickets is changing

the way people go to the

movies by creating a more

convenient and more social

moviegoing experience. The

Atom Tickets app has revolutionized

the digital movie

ticketing process for consumers

to seamlessly include

inviting friends (via contact

lists or Facebook) and preordering


In an effort to create special theatrical

experiences that drive box-office attendance,

Atom partners closely with studios.

The company recently teamed up with

Amazon and Sony to enable early ticketing

for a special Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

screening exclusively for Prime members

a week before the movie was released.

Creating this special ticketed movie moment

had never been done before and

Prime members loved the VIP treatment.

Atom Tickets is also focused on

driving moviegoing innovation. One way

Atom is doing this is by partnering with

Regal Cinemas to pilot dynamic pricing,

looking for the right way to approach

ticket prices. (


Compeso is at the cutting edge of

technology, applying big data to the cinema

exhibition business. With products such

as the exceptional ticketing solution Win-

TICKET, exhibitors now have the opportunity

to use their data to increase their revenue.

They are already reaping the benefits

of our fully equipped WinTICKET, which

offers: box office, retail POS, in-theatre

service, cross-center sales, online sales,

mobile admittance, kiosk purchases, loyalty

schemes, marketing tools, film booking and

reporting, TMS interface, smart pricing and

data analysis.

Make your data count! That’s what

we say at Compeso. (


B&B Theatres, the seventh-largest

movie theatre chain in the U.S., and

Dealflicks have launched a mix of fullpriced

tickets and deals across B&B’s 391

screens and 49 theatres. While online

ticketing for all films and showtimes will

be available, a varied amount of ticket

and concession deals will be available for

movies on certain days. Availability and

prices will differ depending on time of


036-047.indd 43

2/12/18 3:21 PM

day, day of week, seat availability

and other factors.

All B&B sales will run through

movieXchange, Vista Group’s

newest ticketing API, ensuring

guaranteed seating and a

seamless in-theatre redemption

experience for the customer.

By compiling the sales and API

inventory data, Dealflicks’ pricing

and inventory can get “smarter”

as time goes on.

Launched in 2012, Dealflicks

has grown to over 500 locations

and raised over $4.2 million in

capital. While Dealflicks’ product

has traditionally been deals,

this new partnership with B&B

Theatres marks the beginning of

Dealflicks’ next phase—dynamic

pricing for all movie tickets.

“Dealflicks has been the number-one

leader in the movie-ticketing deal

space for the past few years,” says Sean

Wycliffe, the CEO and founder of Dealflicks.

“But now, we can be the first and

last stop for moviegoers when they are

looking to see a film.” (



Fandango’s mobile

and social ticketing innovations

serve moviegoers

and exhibitors

with best-in-class

movie information,

trailers and original

content for movie discovery,

and ticketing

to more than 33,000

screens worldwide.

Fandango works closely with technology

partners like Apple, Facebook,

Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Snapchat

and others in building new mobile, social,

AI bot, and voice-recognition tools that

enable moviegoers to discover movies

and buy tickets—or ask Alexa which

movies are playing in nearby theatres.

Fandango ticketing is integrated into

Apple’s Messages platform and Facebook

Messenger, so that when fans are

planning a group movie outing, they can

access Fandango without leaving their

messaging conversation. Fandango has

also incorporated new digital payment

platforms, including Apple Pay, Google

Pay, PayPal, Visa Checkout and Masterpass,

enabling ticket purchases via

debit and credit cards, speeding through

ticketing checkout with just one tap.

Fandango also offers Split Pay, making it

easier to share the bill for tickets with

multiple friends.

Recently, the company added Movie- to its growing suite of ticketing

properties, joining Fandango and

Flixster, as well as Ingresso in Brazil and

Fandango Latin America, enabling the company

to now serve hundreds of millions of

moviegoers worldwide. (

Jack Roe

There was once a ticket system that

was very, very simple.

Paper tickets were easy, but their

reporting rather dismal.

And so arrived the 386 with its RAM

and memory,

Consigning chunking ticket machines

to distant history.

And since then the ticketing companies

have made life even better.

With time clocks and EMV they’ve

changed our lives forever.

And then came

with its graphs and pretty curves

So gone are the days of shared desktops

getting on your nerves.

With film booking and loyalty systems,

websites and mobile apps

They’ve everything you could possibly

need and if not only ask.

Their software products are a candy

store as far as you can see

Where you pick the suites that fill

your seats down in good old Tennessee.

—Alan Roe, CEO, Jack Roe (


In today’s ever-changing cinema POS

environment, theatres are demanding

more from their POS suppliers. Omniterm,

as your true partner, is introducing

the new, compact yet powerful 1.8 Intel

Celeron Quad

Core processor

POS terminal,

the OMNI 7650.

The OMNI 7650

is a fan-less POS

terminal with a


projected capacitive

touch screen. Housed in a beautiful

body, the kiosk has the system performance

and reliability Omniterm customers

have come to expect. The OMNI

7650, combined with the Integra Ticketing

Retrieval software, will help speed the

line of customers waiting to see a movie.


POSitive Cinema

Increase revenues,

enable data

mining and improve

customer satisfaction

by giving customers

the power to control

their cinema-going experience. Introducing

POSitive Cinema’s enhanced mobile

app. Features for your customers include:

▶ Ticketing: Booking and pre-booking

▶ Concessions: Pre-purchase concessions

and in-seat dining

▶ Dine-In: Use their own device to

place and see status of orders

▶ Marketing: Receive app-exclusive


▶ Customer Service: On-demand

customer interaction and support for

in-hall issues

▶ Loyalty: Earn, redeem and view status

of points

▶ Skip the Queue: No need to wait on

line when ordering in advance

▶ Profile: Manage their own customer


Benefits to your cinema include:

▶ New Revenue Generation:

Through cross-selling and up-selling of

movies and concessions. Fully integrated

with POSitive Cinema’s Campaign Management


▶ Savings: Reduce headcount as wait

staff is no longer needed, only runners

▶ Reduce CapEx: Allowing customers


▶ Increased Customer Satisfaction:

Complete control of the cinema-going

experience from before they select the

movie, through to seeing the movie, and

following up on their experience

▶ Data Mining: Track customer activity

before and during the cinema experience


Retriever Solutions

Retriever Software, a leader in

theatre point-of-sale technology, is

expanding our product offerings to

include network and IT services for

theatre exhibitors. Retriever can


036-047.indd 44

2/12/18 3:21 PM

now help with “all-things computer”

in your operation. We maintain LAN

and WAN networks, phone and

surveillance systems, and we can even

support your office desktop computer

hardware. Of course, we continue to

supply ticketing software, digital signage,

websites, mobile apps, film-rental

management and more, making us the

comprehensive solution for technology

in your operation. Hence, we have

updated our name to Retriever Solutions.

Take a sneak peek at our new logo and

look for more exciting updates from us

throughout the year. Contact us for the

solution. (

RTS (Ready Theatre Systems)

Take your theatre to the next level

with Full Service Restaurant Mode, Easy

Bar Tabs, and Graphical Layouts (above

center) with Seat Selection. These features,

and many more, are now available

using the RTS system. (

ticket. International

ticket. International offers inventory

management systems for the leisure

industry and especially for the cinema

industry. All products are fully integrated

and summarized in the product line Dolphin.

550+ successful installations speak

for themselves.

ticket. International’s


encompass box

office, POS systems,

hospitality/restaurant POS, responsive

design and state-of-the-art developing techniques,

digital ticket, Orderman, kiosk systems,

guided tour management and event

management, access control and complex

management systems. Mobile solutions like

Mobile Manager, Mobile Reports, Mobile Entry

Control and Mobile Stock Taking round

out the product portfolio.

The Dolphin product line is a highly

integrated system for ticketing and concession

sales, gastronomy, access control,

online and mobile ticketing. In addition to

the sales modules are extensive management

and reporting modules. Dolphin

offers a central server solution with

three-tier architecture, a central database

(Oracle 12, SAP Sybase SQL), application

server (C++) and web systems (php).

The central server is either located

in the headquarters or in a data center.

For smaller customers, we provide a

safe and cost-effective hosting contract

at our high-security Deutsche Telekom

data center. The integrated software

deployment dramatically reduces the time

required for updates. Dolphin technology

also requires very little bandwidth and

minimal administrative effort.

Finally, the new ticket.@WEB online

solution uses responsive design and state-ofthe-art

developing techniques to unite previously

separate sales channels into a modern,

high-performance and flexible online sales

channel. (





For sales and product information email:




by jack roe


036-047.indd 45

2/12/18 3:21 PM


Get Smart! About Ticketing by Andreas Fuchs

UCI Kinowelt Counts

on Dynamic Pricing

he cinema market in Ger-

is very open to the ‘Tmany

subject of pricing,” says Claas

Eimer, commercial director of UCI

Kinowelt, a leading circuit in the

country and subsidiary of AMC

Entertainment’s United Kingdombased

Odeon Cinemas Group


“And, as an innovative exhibitor,

we are equally open to new ideas

and opportunities.”

As our industry is expanding on everso-new

and differentiating options, ticket

pricing has become the latest frontier,

and possibly one of the greatest points

of debate going forward. With food and

beverage, upgraded seating and a variety of

premium offerings all moving along nicely,

and ticket surcharges growing, attention

is once again focused on how much it all

costs for the consumer. MoviePass and

Dealflicks are making waves, as is every

official announcement of average ticket

prices across North America when issued

by NATO. We also keep hearing doomsday

declarations on declining—or at least

plateauing—attendance numbers.

Addressing Regal Entertainment

Group’s numbers during their third-quarter

earnings call in November, chief executive

officer Amy Miles also broached the subject

of pricing. “With the help of our partner

Atom Tickets, we expect to conduct a

ticket-pricing test in several markets in

early 2018. If an alternative pricing model is

going to be successful, we believe that, one,

it must provide a clear economic benefit

to both exhibitors and our studio partners,

and two, it should provide a compelling value

proposition for our consumers. This test

could be the first step towards a pricing

model that drives incremental revenue in

peak periods and incremental attendance in

non-peak periods. Changes to the historical

pricing structure have often been discussed

but rarely tested in our industry and we

are excited to learn even more about how

pricing changes impact customer behavior.”

The cinema business is entering the

age of dynamic pricing, based on actual

and varying demand, as we know it from

Claas Eimer

UCI Kinowelt Commercial Director

the airline and hospitality industries, to

name but two of the pioneers. As with

all changes and new ideas, exhibitors are

mulling over a variety of options, many of

which are not that new at all in different

countries: pricing according to a film’s

length, popularity and/or budget; based

where you sit inside the auditorium, in

a preferred place or up front, and how

comfortably—all the while allocating

ticket discounts during off-hours and

extending bargain matinee/basement

options. There is even talk about “surge

pricing for movies,” based on the policies

used by ride-sharing services.

For this month’s exclusive roundup

of ticketing technology and services, Film

Journal International had the opportunity

Jens Heinze

UCI Managing Director

to speak with a very early adopter of and

now leader in applying dynamic pricing,

even though UCI Kinowelt’s Claas

Eimer prefers the term smart pricing.

More to that later. UCI Kinowelt is the

first chain to establish a model of ticket

prices changing according to demand and

constantly updated in real time.

Eimer explains how UCI Kinowelt

first connected with Berlin, Germanybased

Smart Pricer, a company that has

enjoyed much success in dynamically

pricing airline and event tickets. “We

were brainstorming about how to come

up with a new and more dynamic pricing

model for cinemas in general, and for

UCI Kinowelt in particular. Already in

2015, we embarked on a pilot phase


036-047.indd 46

2/12/18 3:21 PM

at our Kinowelt Potsdam, in close

collaboration with Smart Pricer. The

results were positive and we added

two more locations in the fall of 2016.

Currently, we offer dynamic pricing in

ten locations and continue to roll out this

offer over the next five months.”

Just this January, the partners confirmed

that Smart Pricer’s airfare-style

pricing software will, in fact, be deployed

to all 23 multiplexes and 203 screens

across the circuit (www.uci-kinowelt.

de). “After observing overproportional

revenue uplifts and good customer acceptance

at our test sites,” Eimer noted

on the occasion, “there is no doubt that

our choice to partner with Smart Pricer

and [POS provider] Compeso [www.] has been the right decision.”

Added Jens Heinze, UCI’s managing

director, “It is a ‘plug and play’ solution

that allows us to set the pricing rules in

the web interface, while the system optimizes

the ‘price mix’ of all shows automatically

based on our settings.”

As Heinze describes the essential mechanics

of price optimization, Smart Pricer’s

“mission is to help cinemas get pricing right,”

the company promises (

com). Before applying its “revolutionary pricing

software” to the cinema space, company

founders and executives Christian Kluge and

Franz Blechschmidt worked in the areas of

airline ticketing and events. Their biggest client

in the latter realm is German Bundesliga

team Hertha BSC. (Whether Smart Pricer

had anything to do with the Berlin soccer

club extending an offer of a lifetime ticket

tattoo could not be established by press

time. Whether that is a smart decision by

the wearer remains to be seen.)

Smart Pricer first uses algorithms to

understand patterns of demand and to

segment customers. External elements

that affect forecasting such as weather

and overall interest are in a beta trial.

The software then adjusts the size and

extent of seating categories to optimize

the “price mix” in real time.

“Guests have the option, both online

and at the cinema, to choose between

different categories of seating and

prices,” Eimer says of the system, which

applies only to assigned seats. The term

“reserved seating’ is not used here, as

many exhibitors in Germany and other

countries still offer a way of securing

seats—making reservations—without

payment in advance. Because seats have

not been purchased in this case, to faciliate

selling all available inventory, unclaimed

reservations and corresponding

seats are released a certain amount of

time before the show begins.

“Auditorium segmentation into

regular and loge seats, as well as VIP

seating at some of our locations, has been

in place before,” Eimer continues. “In

the dynamic model, these catgeories are

differentiated further so that moviegoers

can chose between four or five prices,

including VIP. Dynamic adjusting does

not happen to the ticket prices, but

the number of available tickets in each

category is adjusted automatically.”

This is the reason why Eimer and UCI

prefer to use the term smart pricing.

“In the classic model of dynamic pricing,

as we know it from booking airfare,

the difference is much more dramatic.

With smart pricing, there are always

seats that are cheaper than before. In

the up direction, the top admission price

remains in place, essentially. Thanks

to smart pricing functionality, there

are simply more categories whose

availabilties adjust based on supply and

demand.” In other words, he says, “it is

not more expensive overall but ‘smarter,’

and offers more choices to guests where

they want to sit and at what price.”

How does UCI Kinowelt effectively

communicate both the many already

established and the decidely advanced

newer choices? “We explain all the

options to our guests at the time of their

ticket purchase,” Eimer replies. “All the

different categories are displayed online

along with the corresponding ticket

prices. We installed an additional display

at almost every one of our ticket-selling

stations. They show the auditorium

layout, prices and seating chart with

categories changing in real time. This way,

moviegoers can easily see where they can

sit and at what price.” This has all been

working well, “and we did not launch any

special marketing campaign for smart

pricing,” Eimer assures.

Another possible misconception about

smart pricing is that early buying and

booking yields a discount. Although that

option makes sense as well, by rewarding

fans and frequent moviegoers, it does

take away from the upside with film hits

and those high-demand titles. Discount

days and extending rebates for attending

off-peak showtimes are other instances of

incentivized pricing that the cinema business

has been and still is offering. Not so

with smart pricing, Eimer contends. “There

are no rebates and reductions with smart

pricing. It is more like you can sit better

and cheaper when you book early. After all,

ticket prices remain fixed for each category

of seats. With that, any given special film

does not get more expensive. The number

of seats associated with each category

changes, but not the overall pricing structure.”

So, with smart picing, there is no

need for surge pricing and/or the decidely

negative perception that comes with it—

one of “jacking up tickets” for films that “I,

the moviegoer actually want to see.”

As always, proof is in the numbers, and

Smart Pricer confirms that “cinemas using

our dynamic pricing software experience a

significant revenue increase.” White papers

and other documents issued by Smart

Pricer speak of expected increases in

ticketing revenue, ranging anywhere from

five to ten percent as “moviegoers accept

the price model.”

continued on page 74


036-047.indd 47

2/12/18 3:21 PM




The Exhibition Guide

is FJI’s annual listing

of leading


theatre circuits,

both domestic

and international,


executive rosters

and screen counts.




612 E 6th St.

Austin, TX 78701

(512) 219-7800

Founded: 1997

Theatres: 29

Screens: 216

States: TX, NY, CA, VA, CO, MO,


Founder & CEO: Tim League

CCO: Mike Sherrill

CMO: Christian Parkes

Sr. Dir. of Programming &

Promotions: Sarah Pitre

Sr. Dir. of Mktg.: Chaya Rosenthal

Dir. of First Run Strategy: Kayla Pugh

VP of Partnerships & Events:

Henri Mazza


1401 Don Roser Dr., Bldg. C

Las Cruces, NM 88011

(575) 524-7933

Founded: 1912

Theatres: 18

Screens: 121

States: CO, NM, AZ

Pres. & Co-Owner: Russell Allen

VP & Co-Owner, Concession &

Mktg.: Heather Gandy

VP & Co-Owner, Film Buying:

Asa Allen

VP & Co-Owner, Finance:

Nathan Allen


One AMC Way

11500 Ash St.

Leawood, KS 66211

(913) 213-2000

Founded: 1920

Theatres (Global): 1,000+

Theatres (US): 600+

Screens (Global): 11,000+

Screens (US): 8,100+

States: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT,






CEO & Pres.: Adam M. Aron

EVP & CFO: Craig R. Ramsey

EVP, Operations: John D. McDonald

EVP, Global Development:

Mark A. McDonald

EVP & CMO: Stephen Colanero

EVP Worldwide Programming &

Chief Content Officer:

Elizabeth Frank

SVP, Gen. Counsel & Secretary:

Kevin M. Connor

SVP, HR: Carla Sanders

SVP & Chief Accounting Officer:

Chris A. Cox


P.O. Box 129

Liberty, MO 64069

(816) 407-7469

Founded: 1924

Theatres: 49

Screens: 391

States: FL, IA, KS, MO, MS,OK, TX

Pres. & CEO/Owner:

Robert E. Bagby

Chairman/Owner: Elmer Bills

EVPs: Brock Bagby, Bobbie Bagby,

Brittanie Bagby

VP Finance: Michael Hagan

Exec. Dir. of Operations:

Dan VanOrden

Exec. Dir. of Development &

Construction: Dennis McIntire

Dir. of Design: Jesse Baker

Circuit Operations Mgr.: Tyler Rice

Film Buyers: Brad Bills, Ed Carl


641 Danbury Rd.

Ridgefield, CT 06877

(203) 659-2600

Fax: (203) 659-2601

Founded: 1900

Theatres: 40

Screens: 257

States: CT, MD, VA, CO, NY, NJ

Owners: Charley Moss, Ben Moss

COO: Joseph Masher

CFO: Ron Statile

VP, Operations: Ike Rivera

VP, Food & Beverage & Mktg.:

Jared Milgram

VP, HR: Jenifer Pellegrino

VP, Controller: Robert Schmiedel

VP, IT: John Connelly

VP, Gen. Counsel: Nesa Hassanein

Dir., Construction & Facilities:

Steve Ventor

Dir., Accounts Payable: Patricia Soltis

Sales & Special Events Mgr.:

Joann Horwath

Film Buyer: Frank Martinez

Dir. of Safety & Security:

Jerry Cieremans

Dir. of Audit: Robert Cohen


4321 West Flamingo Rd.

Las Vegas, NV 89103

(702) 507-1520

Fax: (702) 507-1530

Founded: 1990

Theatres: 7

States: CA, NV, AZ, CO

Chairman of the Board:

Johnny Brenden

Pres./CEO: Bruce Coleman

SVP/CFO: Lee Craner

VP, Operations: Walter Eichinger

Special Events & Mktg. Mgr.:

Brian Epling


2121 Celebration Dr. NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49525

(616) 447-4200

Fax: (616) 447-4201

Founded: 1944

Theatres: 12 / Screens: 156

Owner & CEO: John D. Loeks

Pres. & COO: J.D. Loeks

CFO: Nancy Hagan

VP, Operations: Steve Forsythe

Director, Food & Beverage:

Kristin Kent

VP, Facilities & Presentation:

Michelle Felker

VP, Construction: Roger Lubs

Chief Creative Officer: Eric Kuiper

VP, Programming: Ron Van Timmeren

VP, Mktg. & PR: Steve VanWagoner

VP & CTO: Kenneth Baas


PO Box 1200

Springfield, OH 45501

(937) 323-6447

Founded: 1908

Theatres: 3

Screens: 17

CEO/Pres.: Phillip H. Chakeres

Board Chair: Pauline Chakeres

EVP: Valerie Chakeres-Baker

VP: Harry N. Chakeres

Film Buyer: Fred Schweitzer

Gen. Mgr.: Mark. W. Booth


P.O. Box 54100

San Jose, CA 95154

(800) 954-7720

Fax: (408) 580-5000


048-057.indd 48

2/12/18 3:26 PM

Founded: 1966

Theatres: 7

Screens: 47

Pres. & CEO: Paul Gunsky

Twitter, Instagram: @



1220 Fordham Dr.

Virginia Beach, VA 23464

(757) 523-SHOW

Fax: (757) 578-3437

Founded: 1986

Theatres: 5

Screens: 32

CEO: John Walker

Dir. of Operations: Mike Ogden

Mktg. & Events Dir.: Caitlin Walker

Twitter, Instagram: @cinemacafeva



1621 West Division St.

Waite Park, MN 56387

(320) 251-9131

Fax: (320) 251-1003

Founded: 1961

Theatres: 20

Screens: 160

States: IA, MN, NE, WI

Pres.: Robert Ross

VP: Tony Tillemans

Dir., Film Buying: Dwight Gunderson

Corp. Operations Mgr.: Greg Carter

Concessions & Equipment Buyer:

Andrew Bergstrom

Head Booth Technician:

Craig Seidenkranz


P.O. Box 750595

Petaluma, CA 94975

(707) 762-0990

Founded: 1985

Theatres: 15

Screens: 145

States: CA, ID

CEO: David Corkill

Operations Mgr.: Sheri Meehan

Film Buying/Advertising:

Nancy Andrews


3900 Dallas Pkwy., Ste. 500

Plano, TX 75093

(972) 665-1000

Fax: (972) 665-1004

Founded: 1984

Theatres: 507

Screens: 5,746

States: TX, CA, OH, UT, NV, IL, AZ,





Countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile,

Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El

Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,

Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru,


Pres. & CEO: Mark Zoradi

CFO: Sean Gamble

Pres., Cinemark Int’l:

Valmir Fernandes

EVP, Gen. Counsel & Secretary:

Michael Cavalier

EVP, Real Estate: Tom Owens

EVP, Innovation: Robert Carmony

EVP, Purchasing: Walter Hebert

EVP, Global Theatrical Operations:

Steve Zuehlke

SVP, Mktg. & Communications:

James Meredith

SVP, Global Content Planning:

Justin McDaniel


1055 Ch. du Côteau

Terrebonne, QC J6W 5Y8, Canada

(450) 961-2945

Fax: (450) 961-9349

Founded: 1974

Theatres: 10

Screens: 142

Chairman & Owner:

Angelo Guzzo

EVP, COO & Owner:

Vincenzo Guzzo

Sec. & VP, Community Affairs:

Maria Guzzo

VP, Film: Vito Franco

Treasurer: Jose Bruzzese

Dir., Construction:

Mario Quattrociocche

Dir., Operations & Managing:

James Dambreville


1303 Yonge St.

Toronto, ON M4T 2Y9, Canada

(416) 323-6600

Fax: (416) 323-6633

Founded: 2003

Theatres: 163

Screens: 1676

Drive-ins: 1

Pres. & CEO: Ellis Jacob

COO: Dan McGrath

CFO: Gord Nelson

CTO: Jeffrey Kent

EVP, Filmed Entertainment:

Michael Kennedy

Pres., Cineplex Media: Salah Bachir

SVP, HR: Heather Briant

CLO and Exec. VP, Real Estate:

Anne Fitzgerald

SVP, Customer Strategies:

Susan Mandryk

SVP, Exec. VP, Amusement &

Leisure: Paul Nonis

SVP, Corporate Development &

Strategy: George Sautter

Exec. VP & Gen. Mgr., Cineplex

Digital Media: Fabrizio Stanghieri

SVP, Sales, Cineplex Media:

Lori Legault

VP, Design & Construction: Bill Tishler

VP, Event Cinema: Brad LaDouceur

VP, Finance: Susan Campbell

Sr. VP, Exhibition: Kevin Watts

VP, Lease Admin. Richard Wood

VP, Purchasing & Supply Mgmt.:

Ian Shaw

VP, Cineplex Media: Robert Brown

VP, Operations, Eastern Canada &

Gen. Mgr., Quebec: Daniel Seguin

VP, Software Solutions: Decio Silva

VP, IT Infrastructure & POS:

Scott Hughes

VP, Risk Mgmt.: Scott Behnke

VP, Professional Services, Cineplex

Digital Media: Steve Harris

VP, Legal: Thomas Santram

VP, Mktg.: Darren Solomon

VP, Sales, Cineplex Media: John Tsirlis

VP, Communications & Investor

Relations: Pat Marshall

SVP, Digital Commerce:

Christopher Allen

VP, VIP Cinemas: Biagio Di Carlo

VP, Operations, Western Canada:

Jason De Courcy

VP, Talent Development, Total

Compensation: Dessalen Wood

VP, Media Production, Cineplex

Media: Sheila Gregory

VP, Food Service, Merchandising:

Shelley Felice

VP & Gen. Mgr., Player One

Amusement Group: Joe McCullagh

VP, Real Estate: Chris Doulos

VP, US Operations, Player One

Amusement Group: John Kolliniatis

VP & Gen. Mgr., The Rec Room:

David Terry

VP, User Experience & Design:

Deepika Malik

VP, Innovation & Product

Development: Frank Abreu

CEO & Gen. Mgr., WorldGaming:

Wim Stocks


603 Rogers St.

Downers Grove, IL 60515

(630) 968-1600

Founded: 1978

Theatres: 14

Screens: 111

Pres.: Willis Johnson

CEO: Chris Johnson

Corporate Secretary:

Shirley Johnson

Mktg.: Mark Mazrimas



2200 Ashland St.

Ashland, OR 97520

(541) 488-1021

Founded: 1985

Theatres: 18

Screens: 149

States: AK, CA, OR, WA

Exec. Chairman & CEO:

John C. Schweiger

Pres. & COO: Al Lane

VP, Film: Lee Fuchsmann

VP & Controller: Desaree Hall

Dir., Operations: James Sandberg

Dir., Sales, Promotion & Mktg.

Admin.: Kim Neufeld

Dir., HR: Sarah Heiken

Dir., Maintenance: Mark Edwards

Dir., Mktg. & Concessions:

Sean Darrell


8050 Hosbrook Rd., Ste. 203

Cincinnati, OH, 45236

(513) 784-1521

Fax: (513) 784-1554

Founded: 1989

Theatres: 5

States: OH, KY

Owners: Daniel J. Hellbrunn,

Barry A. Kohn

Gen. Mgr.: Aaron Bates

Operations Mgr.: Thomas Sanders


611 River Dr., Ste. 103

Elmwood Park, NJ 07407

(845) 569-8181

Fax: (201) 796-2225

Showtime: (845) 569-0300

Founded: 2012

Theatres: 1 / Screens: 12

Theatre address: 215 Quassaick Ave.,

Rte. 94, New Windsor, NY


Martin S. Kenwood

Mktg. Dir.: Pamela Kenwood


3221 W Big Beaver Rd., Ste. 301

Troy, MI 48084



048-057.indd 49

2/12/18 3:26 PM


Founded: 1997

Theatres: 19

Screens: 222

States: MI, MN, IL

Chairman: Paul Glantz

Partner/Owner: Jon Goldstein

CEO: Anthony LaVerde

CIO: Dave Zylstra

CMO: Melissa Boudreau

COO: Trip Adams

CFO (MI/IL): Dirk Kjolhede

CFO (MN): Christopher Becker

Dir. of HR: Shelby Langenstein

Twitter, Instagram:



7 Central St.

South Easton, MA 02375

(508) 230-7600

Fax: (505) 238-1408

Founded: 1986

Theatres: 7

States: MA, NH, RI, CT

Pres. & CFO: Bill Hanney

Dir. of Motion Picture/Corporate

Relations: Jo-Ann Overstreet

Admin. Asst.: Sue Anagnoston

Booker: Marty Zides

Accountant: CA Associates



55 Cambridge Pkwy., Ste. 200

Cambridge, MA 02142

(617) 844-1751

Fax: (617) 679-0800

Founded: 1996

Theatres: 16

Screens: 124

States: FL, MA, MD, ME, PA, VA, VT

CEO: John J. Crowley Jr.

Pres.: Paul Wenger

VP of Operations: Andrew Poore

Asst. VP of Operations:

Janet Oprendek

Asst. VP of Admin.: Pauline Mickle

Dir. of Mktg. & Social Media:

Susan Silhan

Dir. of Concessions:

Desmond Asberry

Dir. of Cinema Technology:

Dennis Benjamin

Dir. of Engineering: Mike Dyson


1003 W Indiantown Rd., Ste. 210

Jupiter, FL 33458

(561) 776-4747

Fax: (561) 776-2340

Founded: 1921

Theatres: 19

States: FL, GA, NJ, NC, PA, SC,


Emeritus: Al Frank

Pres. & CEO: Bruce Frank

CFO: Robert Reynolds

COO: Bill Herman

SVPs: Joyce Frank, Deborah Frank

EVP: Chris Dugger


1321 Walnut St.

Des Moines, IA 50309

(515) 282-9287

Fax: (515) 282-8310

Founded: 1974

Theatres: 20

Screens: 85

States: IA, NE

Pres. & Treasurer: R.L. Fridley

VP: Brian R. Fridley


15060 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 350

Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

(808) 986-9000

Founded: 1998

Theatres: 11

Screens: 115

States: CA, WA, NV, TX

Pres. & COO: Rafe Cohen

Chairman & CEO: Frank Rimkus

VP Operations: A.J. Witherspoon

VP Film Buyer: Alex Purcell


50 Cinema Ln.

St. Simons Island, GA 31522

(912) 634-5192

Founded: 1991

Theatres: 24

Screens: 254

States: GA, FL, SC, VA

Chairman & CEO:

William J. Stembler

Pres.: Bo Chambliss

CFO: Mike Warren

COO: Jeff Mobley

VP, Film: C.F. “Kip” Smiley Jr.


2080 W State St., Ste.14

New Castle, PA 16101

(724) 658-7761

Fax: (724) 658-9037

Founded: 2005

Theatres: 5

Screens: 47

States: PA, MD

Pres.: Frank Moses

VP: George Moses

Twitter: @gstheaters

Instagram: @goldenstartheaters



4417 Broadmoor Ave. SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49512

(616) 698-7733

Fax: (616) 698-7220

Founded: 1930

Theatres: 31

Screens: 288

States: MI, IN, IL, MO, FL

Pres./Secretary: Robert (Bob)


Treasurer/CFO: Ross Pettinga

COO: Martin Betz

Film Buyer: Jill Ashton

Dir. of Food & Beverage:

Brian Nuffer

Mktg./Creative Director: Kelly Nash

Group Sales Mgr.: Dan Lavengood

CIO: Darren Pitcher

Regional (Support) Mgr.:

Dan Lavengood

Regional (East) Mgr.: Reed Simon

Regional (Central) Mgr.:

Brian Eichstaedt

Regional (West) Mgr.: Heath Thomas

Regional Mgr.: Jeremy Curtis


7511 E McDonald Dr.

Scottsdale, AZ 85250

(480) 627-7777

Fax: (480) 443-0950

Founded: 1933

Theatres: 33

Screens: 501

States: AZ, OK, CO, CA, TX

CEO & Owner: Dan Harkins

Pres. & COO: Mike Bowers

CFO: Greta Newell

SVP: Racheal Wilson

VP: Tyler Cooper

Dir., Construction: Troy Straub

Dir., Engineering: Kirk Griffin

Dir., Facilities: Fred DiNapoli

Dir., Food & Beverage:

Matthew Janiec

Head Film Buyer: Barry Bruno

Dir., HR: Gina Thompson

Dir., IT: Aron Barr

Legal Council: Richard Lustigar

Dir., Mktg.: Whitney Murrey

Dir., Theatre Operations: Dave Meza

Mgr. of Sales: Danielle Betterman


433 Plaza Real, Ste. 335

Boca Raton, FL 33432

(561) 886-3232

Fax: (561) 886-3258

Founded: 2006

Theatres: 16

States: FL, NY, MD, NJ, IL, TX, AZ,


Pres. & CEO: Hamid Hashemi

COO, iPic Theaters: Alex Reid

COO, Tuck Hospitality Group:

Sherry Yard

VP Film: Clark Woods

CFO: Mark Salter

CTO: Tom Holmes

SVP & Gen. Counsel: Paul Safran

VP HR: Donna DeChant

VP Real Estate: Patrick Quinn

VP Technology Group:

Darryl Leversuch

VP Mktg./Advertising: Jim Lee

Twitter, Instagram: @ipictheaters



641 W Lake St., Ste. 305

Chicago, IL 60661

(312) 775-3160

Fax: (312) 258-9943

Founded: 1909

Theatres: 4 / Screens: 64

States: IL, MN, NJ, MA, CA

Chairman & CEO: Tony Kerasotes

Co-Chairman: Dean Kerasotes

COO: Tim Johnson

CFO: Chris Blum

VP of Construction: Mike Policicchio

IT Dir.: Andy Gift

Dir. of Real Estate: Robert Gallivan

Technical Dir.: Fred Walraven

Film Buyer: Jim Weiss



2275 W 190th St., Ste. 201

Torrance, CA 90504

(310) 856-1270

Fax: (310) 856-1299

Founded: 1984

Theatres: 5

Pres.: George Krikorian

VP of Operations: Todd Cummings


11523 Santa Monica Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 478-1041

Fax: (310) 478-4452

Founded: 1938

Theatres: 8 / Screens: 38

Owner & Chairman:

Robert Laemmle

Pres. & Film Buyer:

Gregory Laemmle

VP of Operations: Kevin Gallagher

SVP: Jay Reisbaum


048-057.indd 50

2/12/18 3:26 PM



14505 Bannister Rd. SE, Ste. 100

Calgary, AB T2X 3J3, Canada

(403) 262-4255

Fax: (403) 266-1529

Acquired by Kinepolis Group

Founded: 1965

Theatres: 44

Screens: 310

Provinces: AB, BC, MB, SK, ON, YT

Exec. Chairman: Brian F. McIntosh

Vice Chairman: Neil H. Campbell

CFO: Paul Wigginton

COO: Bill Walker

VP, Film Entertainment:

Kevin Norman

VP, Mktg.: Jack Gardner

VP, Operations: Ryan Dion

VP, Food Services: James Mason

VP, HR: Mary Pitts

Dir., Distributor Relations: Alan Lui


2222 South Barrington Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

(310) 312-2300

Founded: 1974

Theatres: 53

Screens: 255

Markets: 27

States: DC, WA, MO, NY, GA, MA,



CEO & Pres.: Ted Mundorff

CFO: Schuyler Hansen

CAO: Jason Sachs

VP Film: Mabel Tam

SVP, Real Estate & Development:

Michael Fant

VP, Theatre Operations:

Chuck Delagrange

Dir., IT: Jeff Agnone

Dir., Creative & Mktg.: Marilyn Joslyn

Dir., Advertising: Laura Louden



9295 South State St.

Sandy, UT 84070

(801) 304-4505

Fax: (801) 304-4515

Founded: 1999

Theatres: 16

Screens: 182

States: UT, NV

Pres.: Blake Andersen

CEO: Clark Whitworth


5851 Ridgeway Ctr. Pkwy.

Memphis, TN 38120

(901) 761-3480

Fax: (901) 681-2044

Founded: 1915

Theatres: 33

Screens: 354

States: TN, AR, MS, MO, KY, LA

Chairman, Pres. & CEO:

Stephen Lightman

EVPs: Robert Levy, James Tashie

SVP Operations & Construction:

David Tashie

SVP CFO: Robert Harrington

SVP Food Services: Larry Etter

SVP Film & Film Mktg.: Jeff Kaufman

VP: James Lloyd

VP Digital Operations: Wes Lunsford

VP Operations Admin.: Donald Terry

VP Corporate Communications

& HR: Alan Denton

VP & Dir. of Mktg.: Karen Melton

Film Dept. Assts.: Jeff Martin,

Endy Carter

District Mgr., Southern Region:

Andy Brunetz

District Mgr., Western Region:

Michael Huggins

District Mgr., Eastern Region:

Phillip Smith

Dir. of IT: Kiran Hanumaiah

Dir. of Digital Operations:

Jimmy Beckford

Regional Dir. of Digital Operations:

Scott Barden

Website Admin.: John Tashie

Twitter: @malcotheatres

Instagram: @malcotheatres1915


900 E 80th St.

Bloomington, MN 55420

(952) 767-0102

Fax: (952) 767-0103

Founded: 1935

Theatres: 9

Screens: 73

Pres.: Stephen Mann

CFO: Penny Mann Cody


100 E Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 905-1000

Fax: (414) 905-2189

Founded: 1935

Theatres: 68

Screens: 885

States: IL, OH, MN, WI, ND, IA,


Chairman, The Marcus Corporation:

Steve H. Marcus

Pres. & CEO: Gregory S. Marcus

CFO: Doug Neis

Chairman, Pres. & CEO:

Rolando B. Rodriguez

EVPs: Mark Gramz, Jeff Tomachek,

Bill Menke

SVP, Film: Samuel “Sonny” Gourley

VP, Concessions and F&B:

Robert Novak

Chief IT Officer: Kim Lueck

CMO: Ann Stadler

VP, Sales: Clint Wisialowski

VP, Operations: Matt Lee

VP, HR: Barb Gromacki

VP, Real Estate: Katie Falvey


552 Ragland Rd.

Beckley, WV 25801

(304) 255-4036

Fax: (304) 252-0526

Founded: 1979

Theatres: 17

Screens: 161

States: CT, FL, KY, NC, NJ, NY, TN,


COO: James M. Cox

CFO: Cindy Ramsden

Dir., Operations: Harry L. Newman

Dir., Mktg.: Robin P. Shumate

Operations: Rob Thompson



8727 W 3rd St.

Los Angeles, CA 90048

(310) 858-2800

Fax: (310) 858-2860

Founded: 1923

Theatres: 15

Screens: 77

States: CA, CO, ID, UT

Chairman & CEO: Bruce Corwin

Pres.: David Corwin

CFO: Phillip Hermann

SVP, Planning & Development:

Dale Davison

VP, Film & Mktg.: Alan Stokes

VP, Finance & HR: Victoria Uy

Food & Beverage Dir.:

Thanasi Papoulias

Mktg. & Comm. Dir.:

Natalie Eig

Operations Dir.: Kim Tucker


PO Box 427

Elkhart, KS 67950

(620) 697-4802

Founded: 2005

Theatres: 15

Screens: 107

States: AZ, CO, KS, MO, NM, OK, TX

Owners: Kenny Mitchell,

Linda Mitchell, Brian Mitchell,

Rosa Mitchell, Brent Mitchell,

Debra Mitchell, Cory Ramsey,

Kendra Ramsey


41000 Woodward Ave., Ste. 135 E

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

(248) 548-8282

Fax: (248) 548-4706

Founded: 1980

Theatres: 11

Screens: 169

CEO & Founder: Michael R. Mihalich

VP, Film Buying: Candice Mihalich

VP, Operations: Dennis Redmer

Regional Supervisor: Joel Kincaid

Dir. of Mktg.: Robin B. Hansen

Facilities Manager: Tony Penchoff


20653 Keokuk Ave.

Lakeville, MN 55044

(952) 469-2883

Fax: (952) 985-5643

Founded: 1978

Theatres: 8

Screens: 104


846 University Ave.

Norwood, MA 02062

(781) 461-1600

Founded: 1936

Theatres: 79 (29 U.S.)

Screens: 925 (392 U.S.)

Chairman of the Board:

Sumner M. Redstone

Pres.: Shari E. Redstone

EVP: Thaddeus Jankowski

SVP, Operations: Duncan Short

SVP, Film & Event Cinema:

Mark Walukevich

VP, Film: Steve Cooper

SVP, Information Tech. & CIO:

Joseph Mollo

VP, Finance & Admin. & CFO:

Kevin Cardullo

SVP, Food & Beverage: Bill LeClair

VP, Mktg.: Mark Malinowski

VP, Real Estate and US & Int’l

Business & Legal Affairs:

Shawn Sullivan

VP & Gen. Counsel: Paula J. Keough

VP, Compensation & Benefits:

Brenda Monacelli

VP, Construction: Kevin Barry

Asst. VP, Mktg.: Rebecca Stein

Asst. VP, Food & Beverage:

Patrick Micalizzi

Asst. VP, Operations:

Paul Valerio

Asst. VP, Risk Mgmt.:

Roy Murphy

Asst. VP, Information Technology:

Anna Marie Landers

Asst. VP, Film US: Jack Monahan



048-057.indd 51

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314 Comstock

Owosso, MI 48867

(989) 723-0319

Fax: (989) 723-0359

Founded: 1985

Theatres: 23

Screens: 221

States: MI, IN, IL, TN, GA, NC,


Pres.: Jeff Geiger

COO: Mark Henning

CFO/Film Buyer: Shelly Davis

Exec. Officer: Gary Geiger


250 E Broad St.

Westfield, NJ 07090

(908) 396-1360

Founded: 2016

Theatres: 17

Screens: 194

States: NJ, PA, GA, FL, AL, OK, IL,


Chairman: Bud Mayo

Pres.: Chuck Goldwater

SVP, Development: Brett Marks

VP, Finance & Accounting: Jeff Cole

VP, CTO: Jeff Butkovsky

VP, Theatre Operations: Dean Gentile

Controller: Megan Copner

Dir., Theatre Operations:

Tim Keefner

Dir., Cinema Events & Technical

Operations: Gary Green

Mktg.: Colette Weintraub,

Caryn Drake

Twitter: @NVTheatres



120 N Robertson Blvd., 3rd. Fl.

Los Angeles, CA 90048

(310) 657-8420

Founded: 1946

Theatres: 16

States: CA, IL

CEO & Pres.:

Christopher Forman

COO, ArcLight Cinemas:

Nora Dashwood


1191 East Newport Center Dr.,


Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

(954) 320-7112 ext.2560

Founded: 2010

Theatres: 4

Screens: 40

States: VA, FL

CEO: Mike Whalen

Pres.: Mike Wilson

COO: James Herd

VP of Mktg. & Publicity:

Niki Wilson



9111 Cross Park Dr., Ste. E-275

Knoxville, TN 37923

(865) 692-4061

Fax: (865) 692-4065

Founded: 2001

Theatres: 13

Screens: 119

States: AL, VA, FL, TN, NV, NC,


Pres. & CEO: Phil Zacheretti

SVP, Operations: Chris Gehring

VP, Accounting: Cindy Collin

VP, Purchasing: Moya Myers

VP, Operations & Food

& Beverage: Vince Emmons

Dir., HR & Compliance:

Darlene Hunter

Dir., IT: Andrew Cummings

Dir., Film: Nick Zacheretti

Mktg. & Advertising: Alison Station

Special Projects Coordinator:

Teresa Williams


109 W Fourth St.

Big Spring, TX 79720

(432) 267-6450

Fax: (432) 267-9609

Founded: 1985

Theatres: 29

Screens: 312

States: AL, FL, MS, NM, TX, SC

Pres./CEO: Gary Moore

VP/COO: Joel Davis

VP/CFO: Debra Calobreves

Special Ops: Martin Watson

Technical Officer: Larry Delaney

F&B Dir.: Jim Levinson

Admin.: Kathleen Epley

Accounting: Amanda Olson

Film: Tim Patton, Rick Slaughter


231 Cherry Hill Ct.

P.O. Box 1056

Reisterstown, MD 21136

(410) 526-4774

Founded: 1932

Theatres: 10

Screens: 85

States: MD, NC, PA, VA

CEO & Pres.: Scott R. Cohen

CFO/COO/VP: David Phillips


5995 Sepulveda, Ste. 300

Los Angeles, CA 90230

(213) 235-2240

Fax: (213) 235-2229

Founded: 2002

Theatres: 20

Screens: 203

States: CA, HI, NJ, NY, TX, VA, DC

Chairperson, Pres. & CEO:

Ellen Cotter

Pres., Domestic Cinema:

Robert F. Smerling



101 E Blount Ave.

Knoxville, TN 37920

(865) 922-1123

Fax: (865) 922-3188

Founded: 1989

Theatres: 561

Screens: 7,315

States: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO,






Additional locations: Guam,

Saipan, Northern Marina Islands,

American Samoa

CEO: Amy E. Miles

Pres. & COO: Gregory W. Dunn

EVP, CFO & Treasurer:

David H. Ownby

EVP, Secretary & Gen. Counsel:

Peter B. Brandow

SVP, Chief Admin. Officer &

Counsel: Randy Smith

SVP, CIO: Dave Doyle

SVP, CMO: Ken Thewes

SVP, Chief Technical & Theatre

Operations Officer: Rob Del Moro

SVP, Construction: Ronald Kooch

SVP, CCO: Steve Bunnell

SVP, Film Finance: Bob Engel

SVP, Finance: Corey Coggin

SVP, Food Service &

Cinebarre: John Curry

SVP, Real Estate: Todd Boruff


26901 Agoura Rd., Ste. 150

Calabasas, CA 91301

(818) 224-3825

Fax: (818) 224-2173

Founded: 1996

Theatres: 27

Screens: 163

States: CA, NV, AZ

Pres.: Lyndon Golin

VP: Andrew Golin

CFO: Monica Golin

Controller: Jim Ferguson

Box Office & Purchasing Mgr.:

Sally Panteleon

In-Theatre Mktg. Manager:

Angie Haziza

Dir. of Operations: Veronica Moreno

Mktg. & Operations Admin. Mgr.:

Crystal Whittaker

Operations: Dwight Morgan,

Andrew Gualtieri, Tony Tsuruda,

Raymund Cornelio



816 Fourth St.

Santa Rosa, CA 95404

(707) 523-1586

Founded: 1972

Theatres: 11

Screens: 102

Pres. & CEO: Dan Tocchini


4630 N Loop 1604 W, Ste. 501

San Antonio, TX 78249

(210) 496-1300

Founded: 1911

Theatres: 8

Screens: 102

CEO: David Holmes

Twitter: @mysantikos


Churchill Tower, 12400 Coit Rd.,

Ste. 860

Dallas, TX 75251

(214) 751-8180

Theatres: 7

Screens: 73

Theatres Opening in 2018: 2

Pres. & CEO: Kevin Mitchell

CFO: Greg Ellis

COO: Rob Warnes

VP of Programming: AJ Roquevert

VP of Construction & Purchasing:

Chris Cline


150 SE 2nd Ave.

Miami, FL 33131

(609) 703-7903

Founded: 2009

Theatres: 5

Screens: 63

CEO: Francisco Schlotterbeck

Managing Dir.: Gonzalo Ulivi

Chairman: Ilio Uvili


Twitter: @SilverspotFilms

Instagram: @silverspotcinema


048-057.indd 52

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935 Gravier St., Ste. 1200

New Orleans, LA 70112

(504) 297-1133

Fax: (504) 297-1138

Founded: 2002

Theatres: 44 / Screens: 499

States: AL, CO, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS,


Southern Theatres includes the

brands Movie Tavern, Amstar

Cinemas, The Grand Theatres and

The Theatres at Canal Place

CEO: John Caparella

Pres. & COO: Ronald Krueger II

Chairman: George Solomon

CFO: Jim Wood

COO, Movie Tavern: Don Watson

VP of Film: Doug Whitford

VP of Mktg.: Danny DiGiacomo


12404 Park Central Dr., Ste. 400N

Dallas, TX 75251

(972) 388-7888

Fax: (214) 295-9746

Founded: 1998

Theatres: 24 / Screens: 245

States: TX, GA, AZ, IL, IN, NC, FL, CA, PA

CEO/Owner & Founder:

Brian Schultz

CFO: Ted Croft

VP/Gen. Counsel: Jim Gdula

Exec. Chef: Thad Kelley

Senior Dir. of Film:

Tearlach Hutcheson

Senior Dir. of PR & Outreach:

Lynne McQuaker

VP of Finance/Controller:

Karen House

Sr. Dir. of Brand & Creative: Ted Low

Sr. Dir. of Mktg.: Brandon Jones

Dir. of Purchasing: Janet Michels


7611 Fay Ave.

La Jolla, CA 92037

(858) 777-0069

Founded: 2015

Theatres: 7 / Screens: 13


1531 Grand Ave., Ste. B

San Marcos, CA 92078

(760) 798-4093

Fax: (760) 798-4209

Founded: 1999

Theatres: 2

Screens: 19

States: CA, AZ

CEO: Alan Grossberg

Pres. & COO: Adam Saks

VP, Theatrical Mktg.: Julie Bravo

Dir., Finance: Alex Tovar

Dir., HR: Frances Tabor



3601 18th St S., Ste. 104

St. Cloud, MN 56301

(320) 203-1003

Fax: (320) 203-1229

Founded: 1993

Theatres: 19 / Screens: 165

States: AR, CA, IN, MI, MS, NC, NV,


Pres. & CEO: Mike Ross

COO: John Shorba

VP of Theatre Operations: Steve Ross

Development Mgr.: Mike Daniels

Film Buyer: John Zenner

Controller: Carol Bowman


825 Northgate Blvd.

New Albany, IN 47150

(812) 945-4006

Fax: (812) 945-4076

Founded: 1997

Theatres: 5 / Screens: 70

States: MD, OH, KY, NJ, & FL

Owned by Patoka Capitol

CEO: Chance Ragains

VP, Operations: Scott Bagwell



55 Cambridge Pkwy., Ste. 200

Cambridge, MA 02142

(617) 499-2700


Founded: 1985

Theatres: 13 / Screens: 93

States: CT, ME, MA, NH, NY, RI

Pres.: Mark Benvenuto

Regional Dir.: Brad Brown


5181 Brockway Ln.

Fayetteville, NY 13066

Theatres: 11

States: CT, NY





80 Palomino Ln., Ste. 204

Bedford, NH 03110

(603) 622-8879

Fax: (603) 625-5875

Theatres: 8

States: MA, ME, NH





Dardo Rocha 3194

Buenos Aires 1640, Argentina

Theatres: 13



478 George St.

Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

(612) 93 73 66 00

Fax: (612) 9373 6534

Founded: 1913

Theatres: 140

Screens: 1,102

Countries: Australia, Germany,

New Zealand

Event Hospitality & Entertainment

Ltd. CEO: Jane Hastings

Gen. Mgr., Entertainment Australia:

Luke Mackey

Gen. Mgr., Entertainment NZ:

Carmen Switzer


A division of Wanda Cinema Line

Level 50, 680 George St.

Sydney NSW

6100, Australia

(612) 8071-6100

Fax: (612) 8071-6120

Founded: 1908

Theatres: 48

Screens: 405

CEO: Damian Keogh

CFO: Vincent Lloyd

Film Buyer/Programming Mgr.:

Michelle Gater

Operations: Martin Bagley


Level 1, 98 York St.

South Melbourne VIC 3205,


Theatres: 28

Screens: 190

Countries: USA, Australia,

New Zealand

Chairperson, Pres. & CEO:

Ellen Cotter

Managing Dir. at Reading

Entertainment Australia Pty. Ltd.:

Wayne Smith


500 Chapel St.

South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia

61 3 9281 1000

Fax: 61 3 9653 1993

Founded: 1954

Countries: Australia, Singapore, USA

Co-Exec. Chairman & Co-CEO, Exec.

Dirs.: Robert Kirby, Graham Burke

Deputy Chairman: John Kirby

Group Finance Dir.: Julie Raffe

Cinema Exhibition CEO:

Kirk Edwards

Gen. Mgr., Programming:

Gino Munari



Schelde 1, Moutstraat 132-146

Ghent 9000, Belgium

(32) 9 24 1 00 00

Fax: (32) 9 24 1 00 01

Founded: 1997

Theatres: 93 cinema complexes

(50 in Europe & 43 in Canada)

Screens: 814

Seats: >180,000

Countries: Belgium, Netherlands,

France, Spain, Switzerland, Poland,

Luxembourg, Canada

CEOs: Eddy Duquenne, Joost Bert

CFO: Nicolas De Clercq



Founded: 2011

Theatres: 16

Screens: 83


Uberlândia Shopping Center, 2 nd Fl.

Av. João Naves de Ávila, 1331

MG 38408-902, Brazil

Twitter: @cinemaisoficial


745 Rua Sete de Setembro, 6 th Fl.

Porto Alegre-RS 90.010-190, Brazil

55 51 32240877

Theatres: 53


Screens: 250+

Twitter: @Kinoplex



048-057.indd 53

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Part of National Amusements

Rua da Passagem, 123 – Botafogo,

8 th Fl.

Rio de Janeiro 22290-030, Brazil

Founded: 1995

Theatres: 23

Screens: 194



A Cinépolis company

Avenida Presidente Kennedy 5413

Loc. 250 Las Condes

Santiago, Chile


Theatres: 25 /Screens: 148



Founded: 1999

Chairman & Founder: Yu Dong

Twitter: @BonaFilmGroup


Building E No. 7, Beizhan N St.

Xicheng District

Beijing 100044, China

Chairman: Han Sanping



25 Xin Wai St.

Beijing 100088, China

+86 010 6225 9308

Fax: +86 010 6225 8622


No.1, Disheng West Rd., BDA

Beijing, China

(8610) 8712-9423

Fax: (8610) 8712-9260

Theatres: 942 / Screens: 5,631

2017 Attendees: 150 million


Bldg. C, Shanghai Film Square

Xuhui District Caoxibeilu 595

Shanghai 200030, China

0086 21 33391000

Fax: 0086 21 33391001

Pres.: Ren Zhonglun


No. 93 Jianguo Rd.,

Chaoyang District

Beijing 100022, China

+86 10-85588377

Pres., Wanda Cinema Line:

John Zeng

Pres., Wanda Cultural Industry

Group: Zhang Lin



Carrera 13 No. 38-85–Teusaquillo

Bogotá, Colombia

(571) 756-9898

Fax: (57) 1 756 9898

Founded: 1927

Owner: Group Santo Domingo

Pres. & CEO: Munir Falah

Head of Distribution: Pia Barragan

Head of Exhibition: William Torres



Ulica Vice Vukova 6

10000 Zagreb, Croatia

+385 (0) 1 6396 702

Fax: +385 (0) 1 6396 701

Theatres: 18

CEO: Jadranka Islamovic



Mosedalvej 14

Valby 2500, Denmark

70 13 12 11

Theatres: 22

CEO: Asger Flygare Bech-Thomsen


Boulevarden 6, 2nd Fl.

Aalborg 9000, Denmark

+45 96 303 600

CEO: Verner Bach

Gen. Mgr.: Michael Rosenkilde



Av. 9 de Octubre #719 y Boyacá

Guayaquil, Ecudaor

Part of Corporacion El Rosado



8 rue Blaise Pascal

Périgny 17180, France

05 46 44 01 76

Theatres: 47

Screens: 474

Gen. Dir.: Jocelyn Bouyssy



2 rue Lamennais

Paris 75008, France

33 1 71 72 30 90

Founded: 2000

Chairman: Martine Odillard


24 ave. Charles de Gaulle

Neuilly-sur-Seine 92522, France


Theatres: 40

Screens: 422

CEO: Guy Verrecchia



Gewerbemuseumsplatz 3

90403 Nürnberg, Germany

0911/20 666 - 0

Founded: 1995

Owner: Wolfram Weber


Valentinskamp 18

20354 Hamburg, Germay

Owned by Vue Entertainment

Managing Dir.: Carsten Horn


Hofaue 37

42103 Wuppertal, Germany

0202 - 51 57 01 00

Fax: 0202 - 51 57 01 11

Theatres: 90

Managing Dir.: Kim Ludolf Koch


Mühlenbrücke 9

90403 Lübeck, Germany

+49 (0)451/7030-200

Fax: +49 (0)451/7030-299

Founded: 1948

Theatres: 54

Screens: 414

Managing Dir.: Oliver Fock



Wilhelminenstrasse 9

64283 Darmstadt, Germany

+49 (6151) 2978-0

Fax: +49 (6151) 2978-34

Theatres: 17

Screens: 137

Managing Dirs.: Wolfgang Theile,

Gregory Theile, Paul Krüger



Centro Corporativo los Proceres

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

+504 2234-7472

Theatres: 7




1212 Tower 2

18 Harcourt Rd.

Hong Kong Island

(852) 2529-3898

Fax: (852) 2529-5277

Founded: 1987

Hong Kong: 13 locations, 70 screens

China: 48 locations, 355 screens

CEO: Lau Siu Man Tessa



UA Cinemas in Hong Kong;

UA and Studio City Cinemas

in China; UA Galaxy Cinemas

in Macau

23rd Fl., Legend Tower

7 Shing Yip St.

Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

(852) 3104-1789

Fax: (852) 2735 8869

Founded: 1985

Theatres: 20

Screens: 131

IMAX Screens: 9

Countries: Hong Kong, China, Macau

Managing Dir.: Ivan Wong

Advisor: Bob Vallone

Gen. Mgr., Hong Kong & Macau:

Rosa Lin

Acting Gen. Mgr., Hong Kong &

Macau: William Tam

Gen. Mgr., China: Pamela Peng


200 Tai Lin Pai Rd.

Unit 1, 27th Fl., Wyler Centre,

Phase 2

Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong

(852) 2418 8841


Gen. Mgrs.: June Wong, Grace Wong

COO, Intercontinental Group

Holdings Ltd.: Roberto L. Suarez


048-057.indd 54

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801/A, Express Zone, Malad (East)

Mumbai 400 097, India

0771 0097 900

Founded: 2015

Theatres: 155 / Screens: 410

Countries: India, Singapore


3rd Floor, Plot No. 58

Sector 44, Gurgaon, Haryana

122003, India

+91 (124) 438 8521

Founded: 2009

Screens: 265

Wholly owned subsidiary

of Cinépolis

Managing Dir., Cinépolis India:

Javier Sotomayor

Dir. Strategic Initiatives, Cinépolis

India: Devang Sampat

Twitter: @indiacinepolis


Viraj Towers, 5th Fl.,

Western Express Hwy.

Andheri (East),

Mumbai-400 093, India

+91 - 22 4062 69 00

Fax: +91 - 22 4062 69 99

Founded: 1999

Theatres: 122 / Screens: 488

Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat: @


CEO: Alok Tandon


Block A, 4th Fl., Bldg. No. 9

DLF Cybercity, Phase III

Gurgaon, 122002 Haryana, India

0124 - 4708100

Founded: 1997

Theatres: 132

Screens: 612

Chairman & Managing Dir., PVR Ltd.:

Ajay Bijli

Joint Managing Dir.: Sanjeev Kumar

CEO, PVR Cinemas: Gautam Dutta

CFO, PVR Ltd.: Nitin Sood

COO, PVR Cinemas: Rahul Singh

Chief Business Dev. Officer, PVR

Cinemas: Ashawni Handa

CIO, PVR Ltd.: Rajat Tyagi

CEO Int’l Development, PVR Ltd.:

Renaud Palliere


#25, Whites Rd.,

Mamatha Complex, 5th Fl.

Royapettah, Chennai - 600 014, India

Theatres: 7

CEO: Kiran Reddy

Head of Experience: Bhavesh Shah

Dir. of Film Buying & Distribution:

Swaroop Reddy

Business Development Mgr.:

P.V. Ravi Kumar

Twitter: @SPIcinemas




PT. Graha Layar Prima

AIA Central - 26th Fl.

Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 48

Jakarta Selatan 12930, Indonesia

Twitter: @CGV_ID



JL K.H. Wahid Hasyim, No. 96A

Jakarta 10340, Indonesia

62 21 3190 1122

Fax: 62 21 3190 1133

Founded: 1987

Theatres: 167 / Screens: 956

Chairman: Suryo Suherman

Vice Chairman: Harris Lasmana

Pres. & CEO: Hans Gunadi

VP: Arif Suherman


Menara Matahari, 2nd Fl.,

Blvd. Palem Raya #7

Lippo Karawaci

Tangerang 15811, Indonesia

Founded: 2014

CEO: Gerald Dibbayawan



2-3-1 Daiba, Minato-ku

Tokyo 135-0091, Japan

Theatres: 91/ Screens: 772

Operates in Japan under

the brand name Aeon Cinema

Pres. & Representative Dir.:

Nao Kataoka


4-1-1 Togeki Bldg., Tsukiji, Chuo-ku

Tokyo 13 104-0045, Japan


Theatres: 32

Screens: 305

Pres. & CEO: Jay Sakomoto


Yurakucho, Hibiya Chanter 5F

Chiyoda 13 100-8421, Japan


Pres.: Kazuhiko Seta

Dir.: Masayuki Toshima


2-9 Sakuragaokacho Shibuyaku

Tokyo 13 1500031, Japan

Pres. & CEO: Shinzo Kanno


4F Ginzatowa Bldg., 3-10-7

Ginza, Chuo-ku

Tokyo 13 104-0061, Japan

Founded: 2000

Pres.: Yusuke Okada


6F Gate City Osaki East Tower

1-11-2 Osaki

Shinagawa-Ku 141-8609, Japan


Fax: 81-3-5496-1585

Founded: 1999

Theatres: 37

Screens: 347

Pres.: Akihito Watanabe



(Hangangrodong) I’Parkmall 6th

Fl., 55,

Hangang-daero 23-gil, Yongsan-gu,


+82 2 371 6660

Fax: +82 2 371 6530

Founded: 1996

Theatres: 445

Screens: 3,346

Countries: Korea, Turkey, China,

USA, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar

CEO: Jung Seo

Asst. Managing Dir. & CFO:

Sang Mook Hwang

Vice Chairman, CJ Corp:

Miky Lee


4F, Lotte Castle Gold, 269,

Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu

Seoul 11 138-240, Korea

Founded: 1999

CEO: Won Chun Cha


215, Tancheon-ro, Bundang-gu

Seongnam 41 463-839, Korea



Kinepolis Kirchberg: 45 Ave. JF

Kennedy L-1855 Luxembourg

Ciné Utopia: 16 Ave. de la

Faiencerie, L-1510 Luxembourg

Kinepolis Belval: 7 Ave. du

Rock’n’Roll, L-4361 Esch-sur-Alzette

42 95 11 80

Part of Kinepolis Group

Theatres: 3 / Screens: 22

Ntl. Theatre Mgr., Luxembourg:

Christophe Eyssartier

Country Mgr., Box Office Sales &

Mktg.: Stijn Vanspauwen

Twitter: @KinepolisLU



No. 1, Jalan SS 22/19

Damansara Jaya

Petaling Jaya 10 47400, Malaysia

(603) 7806 8888

Fax: (603) 7806 8800

Founded: 1987

Theatres: 45

Screens: 390

Countries: Malaysia, Vietnam

Parent Company:

PPB Group Berhad

Letter Box No. 115

12th Fl., UBN Tower

No. 10 Jalan P Ramlee

50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

CEO: Koh Mei Lee

Gen. Mgr.: Irving Chee


Level 16, Uptown 1, 1, Jalan SS21/58

Damansara Uptown

Petaling Jaya 10 47400, Malaysia

603 7880 2808

Fax: 603 7722 3009/2023

Founded: 2005

Theatres: 27

Screens: 213

CEO: Lim Eng Hee

Dir. of Operations:

Mariam Yazmin El Bacha


Level 6, Menara MAXIS,

Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Kuala Lumpur 50088, Malaysia

603 2381 3535



048-057.indd 55

2/12/18 3:26 PM


Fax: 603 2381 3139

Founded: 1995

Theatres: 34

Screens: 268

CEO: Yeoh Oon Lai



Javier Barros Sierra 540, PH1,

Santa Fe, Álvaro Obregón

Mexico City, Mexico

Founded: 1995


Av. Cumbre de Naciones no. 1200

Morelia MIC 58254, Mexico

+52 443 3226220

Fax: +52 443 3220548

Founded: 1971

Theatres: 647 /

Screens: 5,313

Countries: Mexico, USA (CA & FL),

Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador,

Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Colombia,

Chile, Brazil, India, Spain

Chairman of the Board: Enrique

Ramírez Villalón

CEO: Alejandro Ramírez Magaña

Global COO: Miguel Mier

Dir., Film Programming: Miguel Rivera



Postbus 1824

BV Amersfoort 3800, Netherlands

Part of Vue Cinemas

Founded: 1932


Barbara Strozzilaan 388 1083 HN

Amsterdam, Netherlands

+31 20 575 1751

Founded: 1995

Theatres: 28 / Screens: 210

Managing Dir.: Dertje Meijer

Dir., Operations: Bram van den Broek

Dir., Theatre Programming:

Daniella Koot

Dir., IT: Barry de Bruin

Dir. Facilities: Nico Vertommen

Dir., Commerce: Doron Kurz



Postboks 6153 Postterminalen

5892 Bergen, Norway

55 56 90 50

CEO: Elisabeth Halvorsen

Operations: Hans Øksenvåg

Programming: Stein Sørensen


Filmens Hus, Dronningens gate 16

Postboks 446 Sentrum

0104 Oslo, Norway

22 47 45 00

Managing Dir.: Guttorm Petterson

Dir.: Jorgen Stensland



Av. Paseo de la Republica Cuadra 1

S/N, 4 th Fl.

Lima, Peru


Founded: 1998



4th Level Glorietta 4 Bldg.

Ayala Center

Makati 1224, Philippines

Theatres: 12


11/F Mall of Asia Arena Annex Bldg.

Coral Way cor. J.W. Diokno Blvd.,

Mall of Asia Complex




+48 42 630 36 01

Theatres: 44 / Screens: 241

Gen. Dir.: Tomasz Jagiełło

Managing Dir.: Katarzyna Borkowska

Financial Dir.: Grzegorz Komorowski



Rua Ator António Silva, nº 9

1600-404 Lisbon, Portugal

+351 217 914 800

Theatres: 32



1512 Fernández Juncos Ave.

Santurce, 00909, Puerto Rico

(787) 727-7137

Fax: (787) 728-2274

Founded: 1968

Theatres: 59

Screens: 492

Markets: Puerto Rico, Dominican

Republic, St. Maarten, Trinidad, St.

Thomas, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Antigua,

Aruba, St. Croix, Guyana, Panama,


Pres. & CEO: Robert Carrady

SVP, Real Estate:

Lorraine Carrady Quinn

Managing Dir. Dominican Republic:

Gregory Quinn

Dir., IT, Projection & Sound:

Joel Matos

Dir., Mktg.: Mayra Ramírez

Dir., Expansion & Development:

Ross Astrachan

Dir., Head Film Buyer: Mike


Dir., Film Buyer Dominican

Republic: Michael Carrady

Dir., Puerto Rico Theater

Operations & Concessions:

Audie Serrano

Dir., Dominican Republic Theater

Operations: Zumaya Cordero

Dir., Eastern Caribbean Theaters

Operations & Concessions:

George Borges

Dir., HR: José Rosado

Dir., Real Estate Leasing &

Operations: Frances Lozada

Dir., Finance: José Feliciano

Acquisitions: Jason Quinn



Ul. Vyborg, 16, p. 1

Moscow 125212, Russia

+7 495 933-2841

Fax: +7 495 933-2845


Presnenskaya nab.,

d.6, str. 2, 5th Fl.

Moscow 123317, Russia

+7 812 676 7776

+ 7 495 332 37 88

Founded: 2009

Theatres: 35

Screens: 264


24 ul. Novyy Arbat Moscow

Moscow 121099, Russia

+ 7 (495) 980-88-91

CEO: Nick Hluszko




22 Martin Rd., #03-01

Singapore 239058

65 6337 8181

Fax: 65 6732 2506

Founded: 1935

Theatres: 8

CEO: Meileen Choo


400 Orchard Rd. #16-06

Orchard Towers, Singapore S238875


Fax: +65-62354897

Founded: 1946

Theatres: 1

Screens: 10

Managing Dir.: Goh Min Yen

Exec. Dir.: Bob Goh

Instagram: @wecinemas



3 Temasek Boulevard #03-373

Suntec City Mall, Singapore 038983

+65 6653 8100

Fax: +65 6836 6706

Founded: 1992

Theatres: 12

Screens: 100

CEO: Clara Cheo


Shaw Centre

No. 1 Scotts Rd., 13th & 14th Fls.


+65 6235 2077

Founded: 1924

Theatres: 7

Screens: 57

Dir.: Mark Shaw




PO Box 76461

Wendywood 2144,

South Africa


Theatres: 63

Screens: 464


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Plaza Letamendi, 37 3º 3ª

08008 Barcelona, Spain

Theatres: 13

Screens: 147

Commercial Dir.: Isabel García


C/Rossello I Porcel, 21, 5ª Pl., Edificio


08016 Barcelona, Spain

(34) 93 228 96 00

Fax: (34) 93 425 31 99

Founded: 1968

Part of the Odeon Cinema Group,

owned by AMC Theatres

Theatres: 45

Screens: 530+


Paseo Del Club Deportivo 1, Bloque

11 Bajo Derecha

28223 Pozuelo de Alarcon, Spain

Founded: 1981

A Cinépolis company

Pres./CEO: Ricardo Evole

Country Mgr., Cinépolis Spain,

Yelmo Cines: Fernando Evole

Twitter: @yelmocines



Rue du Petit-Chêne 27

1003 Lausanne, Switzerland

Theatres: 8

Screens: 72

CEO: Thierry Hatier



4F, No.23, Sec.1

ChangAn E Rd.

Taipei, Taiwan

886 2 2536 8986

Theatres: 12

Screens: 104

Owner: Joe Chang


No. 247, Linsen N Rd.

Zhongshan District, Taipei City,

Taiwan 104

(02) 2537-1889

Gen. Mgr.: Willy Liao


320 Taoyuan City, Zhongli District,

Jiuhe 1st St.



Fax: 03-280-5028

Founded: 2002


8th Fl., 3 Sung Jen Rd.

Taipei, Taiwan 110


Fax: 886-2-8780-0627

Founded: 1998

Theatres: 13

Screens: 127

Countries: Taiwan, China

Chairman: Dennis Wu




1839, 1839 / 1-6 Phaholyothin Rd.

Ladyao, Jatuchak Bangkok,

10900, Thailand

Founded: 1995

Theatres: 91

Screens: 601

Chairman of the Board &

Independent Dir.: Somchainuk


Dir. & CEO: Vicha Poolvaraluck

Dir. & Exec. Dirs.: Verawat

Ongvasith, Paradee Poolvaraluck

Dir., Chief Films Officer:

Thanakorn Puriwekin


10-12th FL. MBK Tower

444 Phayathai Rd., Phatumwan

Bangkok, 10330, Thailand

+662 611 7111

Fax: +662 611 7138

Founded: 1999

Theatres: 56

CEO: Suwat Thongrompo

COO: Suvit Thongrompo



Lot D, MovieTowne Blvd., Audrey

Jeffers Hwy.

Port of Spain, Trinidad

62-STARS (78277)

Founded: 2002

Theatres: 3

Screens: 22

Chairman: Derek Chin

Twitter: @movietowne




Dereboyu Cad. Ambarlıdere Yolu

No: 4 Kat: 1

Ortaköy—Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey

0212 978 00 00

Fax: 0212 270 55 58

Founded: 2001

Theatres: 90

Screens: 791

CEO: Ilchun Kim



Cayan Business Center—Barsha

Heights, Dubai

United Arab Emirates

(971) 4 368 8995

Fax: (971) 4 368 8797

Theatres: 15

Screens: 158

Countries: United Arab Emirates,

Qatar, Bahrain

CEO: Debbie Kristiansen

Sales & Mktg. Dir.: Melissa Jarvinen

Twitter, Instagram: @NovoCinemas



United Arab Emirates, Dubai

+971 (0) 4 449 1902,

Fax: +971 (0) 4 449 1918

Managed by Emaar Entertainment

Founded: 2009

Theatres: 2

Twitter: @reelcinemas

Instagram: @ReelCinemas



Power Road Studios, 114 Power Rd.

Chiswick London W4 5PY

Great Britain

(44) 208 987 5000

Fax: (44) 208 742 2998

Founded: 1995

Theatres: 226 / Screens: 2,115

CEO: Mooky Greidinger

Chairman of the Board: Anthony

Herbert Bloom

CFO: Nisan Cohen

Deputy CEO: Israel Greidinger


6th Fl., Lee House

90 Great Bridgewater St.

Manchester M1 5JW, Great Britain

A subsidiary of AMC Entertainment

Holdings, Inc.

Theatres: 244

Screens: 2251

Support Office, London

54 Whitcomb St.

London, WC2H 7DN

United Kingdom

CEO: Mark Way


10 Chiswick Park

566 Chiswick High Rd.

London W4 5XS, Great Britain

0208 396 0100

Founded: 2003

Theatres: 210

Screens: 1,858

Countries: UK, Ireland, Taiwan,

Germany, Denmark, Poland,

Latvia, Lithuania, Italy,


CEO: Tim Richards

Deputy CEO: Alan McNair

COO: Steve Knibbs



Núcleo Ejecutivo La Pirámide,

Nivel Planta Alta, Oficina N°1

1080 Caracas, Venezuela

Founded: 1996


Founded: 1998

Theatres: 27

Screens: Approx. 155

Dir.: John Parra Plaza



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VOL. 121, NO.3


PARAMOUNT/Color/2.35/Dolby Digital/115 Mins./

Rated R

Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez,

Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, Oscar Isaac,

Benedict Wong, David Gyasi.

Directed by Alex Garland.

Screenplay: Alex Garland, based on the novel by Jeff


Produced by Scott Rudin, Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich,

Eli Bush.

Executive producers: Jo Burn, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg,

Don Granger.

Director of photography: Rob Hardy.

Production designer: Mark Digby.

Editor: Barney Pilling.

Visual effects supervisor: Andrew Whitehurst.

Music: Ben Salisbury, Geoff Barrow.

Costume designer: Sammy Sheldon Differ.

Sound designer: Glenn Freemantle.

A Paramount Pictures and Skydance presentation of a

Scott Rudin/DNA Films production.

Kubrickian coolness underscores a journey

by five women into the heart, brain, liver and

spleen of darkness in this harrowing sci-fi horror

film that tangles with the idea of identity.



Garland, who wrote the

screenplays for 28 Days

Later... (2002), Never

Let Me Go (2010) and

Dredd (2012), and both Natalie Portman

wrote and directed Ex

Machina (2014), emerges as a singular visionary

in this science-fiction horror drama, in which a

constant, low-key suspense can erupt into brutally

phantasmagoric metaphors about the core

of who we are. About, even, what we are.

After a meteorite—or something—

crashes into a lighthouse on the Southern U.S.

coast, the area around the site is engulfed

with what the government response team

logically calls “The Shimmer,” an iridescent

field of electromagnetic radiation that is

gradually growing concentrically. It’s already

overrun an evacuated swampland town, and in

a matter of weeks will claim the Area X facility

set up nearby to study it. Drones, animals

and soldiers all have entered The Shimmer to

explore it. Nothing returned except one person,

Sgt. Kane (Oscar Isaac), with no memory

of what went on—and he almost immediately

goes into total organ failure.

His wife, microbiologist and former sevenyear

Army grunt Lena (Natalie Portman),

gets pulled into a last-ditch expedition. Since

soldiers seemed to have had no luck getting

through the overgrown vegetation and sending

back messages, perhaps scientists will fare

better. Lena joins withdrawn, dumpy physicist

Josie Radeck (Tessa Thompson, miles away

from her confident, commanding Valkyrie in

Thor: Ragnarok), anthropologist Cass Sheppard

(Swedish actress Tuva Novotny), paramedic

Anya Thorensen (Gina Rodriguez, star of TV’s

“Jane the Virgin”) and the team’s leader, psychologist

Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh).

Within The Shimmer, time behaves differently,

plant and animal DNA mix and meld like

the stirring of carnival taffy, and the scream

of a dying brain can live on in the cry of a

mutated, bear-like pig. Glass rises from sand.

Identity emerges from nothingness. All of life

exists in a drop of blood. Thank goodness

video cameras still work or we might never

know what happened. We are made up of

cells, the story reminds us, and at what point

do those cells amount to us…to an “I”? What

demarcates all life—plant life, bacteria—from

conscious life? Do we genuinely have identity,

or are we only a conglomeration of nerves

and synapses creating the illusion of it?

Garland, adapting the novel of the same

name by Jeff VanderMeer, creates a world of

stark logic that remains somehow surreal,

and the team’s journey into the heart, brain,

liver and spleen of darkness is magical while

still being rooted in procedure, chain-ofcommand,

maps and tents and meals-readyto-eat.

Also of note is the eerie score by Ben

Salisbury and Geoff Barrow, evoking that of

György Ligeti for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A

Space Odyssey.

Her Oscar nomination for Jackie notwithstanding,

a case can be made that this,

instead, may be Natalie Portman’s finest work

since Black Swan. For all her riveting presence

in any role, she is not an actress of infinite

range. Within her parameters, however,

she is unparalleled in depicting intelligence,

seriousness, emotional rigor and existential

exhaustion. That she also looks startlingly

real as an ex-soldier precisely handling a

high-powered automatic rifle is also a little

shocking, and gives her Lena a dangerous edge

that makes the unfolding events credible and

even thrilling.

I worry that the marketing of Annihilation

may make it seem a popcorn sci-fi adventure,

maybe one adapted from a videogame;

Downsizing was marketed as Honey-I-Shrunk-

Matt-Damon fun when in fact it was a soberminded

satire, and audiences expecting one

thing were disappointed in getting something

very different. Annihilation is tough—there are

firefights and gore—but it’s also subtle and

thoughtful. It’d make a good double feature

with 2016’s Arrival.

—Frank Lovece


WALT DISNEY-MARVEL/Color/2.35/Dolby Atmos,

Auro 11.1 & Datasat/134 Mins./Rated PG-13

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita

Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya,

Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forest

Whitaker, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, John Kani.

Directed by Ryan Coogler

Screenplay: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole, based on the

comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Produced by Kevin Feige, David J. Grant.

Executive producers: Victoria Alonso, Jeffrey Chernov,

Louis D’Esposito, Stan Lee, Nate Moore.

Director of photography: Rachel Morrison.

Production designer: Hannah Beachler.

Editors: Debbie Berman, Michael P. Shawver.

Music: Ludwig Göransson.

Costume designer: Ruth E. Carter.

Visual effects supervisors: Geoffrey Baumann, Doug


A Marvel Studios presentation.

Black Panther succeeds where other

superhero movies fail.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe tacks

another movie onto its hot streak with Black

Panther—a triumph for the MCU and for superhero

filmmaking as a whole. Hell, go ahead

and call it a triumph in general. Moviegoers

most likely will; with its combination of action,

comedy, a much-loved cast and a strain

of intelligence often missing from big-budget

blockbusters, this first solo outing from one

of Marvel’s top-tier superheroes is poised to

bring in a boatload of money.

Chadwick Boseman, first introduced in Captain

America: Civil War, returns as Prince T’Challa,

who following the death of his father (John

Kani) assumes two roles: those of the king and

superpowered protector—known as the Black

Panther—of the African nation of Wakanda,

which keeps its riches hidden from the outside

world under the guise of being a Third World

country. Like recent Marvel successes Guardians

of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Thor: Ragnarok, Black

Panther feels somewhat insular; though the


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action does occasionally venture outside of

Wakanda, writer-director Ryan Coogler for the

most part keeps things centered on Wakandan

world-building and the new characters he’s

tasked with introducing: stern Okoye (Danai

Gurira), T’Challa’s lead bodyguard; tech-savvy

Shuri (Letitia Wright, a standout), who needles

T’Challa as only a little sister can; and local

leaders W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) and M’Baku

(Winston Duke) among them. A few references

aside, Coogler keeps intrusions from the rest of

the MCU at a minimum. The result is a movie

that feels like a movie, as opposed to—as the

lesser entries in the MCU sometimes are—a

mere puzzle piece in ongoing #franchise #brand


Not to harsh on the MCU too much—the

odd misstep aside, franchise ringmaster Kevin

Feige has cracked the code for reliably turning

out solid, entertaining blockbusters—but

Black Panther shows up its predecessors

by effortlessly clearing hurdles that others

have stumbled over. To start with: Despite

a run-time of 132 minutes, Black Panther

doesn’t leave you with a nagging sense of this

could’ve been 20 minutes shorter. Or: The love

interest—spy Nakia, played by Oscar-winner

Lupita Nyong’o—actually feels like a fully

fleshed-out character; to even refer to her as

the “love interst” feels specious.

Or, take this example: The MCU has

made a habit of enlisting talented actors to do

nothing much of anything in supporting roles.

(Remember Michael Stuhlbarg and Rachel

McAdams in Doctor Strange? Bobby Cannavale in

Ant-Man? Julie Delpy in Avengers: Age of Ultron?)

The cast list Coogler’s working with is large,

but everyone gets their moment. The film feels

more like an ensemble piece than Black Panther,

And Then a Whole Bunch of Other People. That’s

because Coogler’s script, though certainly

boasting as much action as you’d expect a

superhero movie to (a car chase through the

streets of Busan stands up quite well), focuses

on relationships more than spectacle. By the

time the requisite climactic battle scene hits,

you’ve become invested enough in the characters

that it works, even if the action falls a bit

on the generic side.

Black Panther succeeds at being emotionally

resonant in a way a lot of Marvel movies—a

lot of blockbusters, period—don’t. With Creed

and Fruitvale Station, Coogler has proven adept

at tugging at moviegoers’ heartstrings, and

he doesn’t let up just because he’s in a bigger

playground. Not to do go deep into spoilery

territory, but Michael B. Jordan’s villain—Erik

Killmonger, wannabe usuper to T’Challa’s

throne—is the most complex, most intelligently

written, most relatable, just plain best villain the

MCU has ever had. (Yes, that includes Loki.)

Shot through his storyline, and those of the

other characters, are issues of race, responsibility

and political activism. There’s nothing wrong

with a superhero movie being just entertaining,

but Black Panther is entertaining and smart

in a way that earmarks it as the product of

Coogler’s distinct vision. —Rebecca Pahle


IFC FILMS/Color/1.85/107 Mins./Rated R

Cast: Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Jeffrey Tambor,

Michael Palin, Jason Isaacs, Andrea Riseborough,

Rupert Friend, Olga Kurylenko, Paddy Considine, Paul

Whitehouse, Adrian McLoughlin, Dermot Crowley, Paul

Chahidi, Diana Quick, Karl Johnson, Jonathan Aris.

Directed by Armando Iannucci.

Screenplay: Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian

Martin, Fabien Nury, based on the graphic novels by

Nury, Thierry Robin.

Additional material: Peter Fellows.

Produced by Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun, Nicolas Duval

Adassovsky, Kevin Loader.

Executive producer: Jean-Christophe Colson.

Co-producers: André Logie, Gaetan David.

Director of photography: Zac Nicholson.

Production designer: Cristina Casali.

Editor: Peter Lambert.

Music: Christopher Willis.

Costume designer: Suzie Harman.

A Quad and Main Journey production, in co-production

with Gaumont, France 3 Cinema, La Compagnie

Cinematographique, Panache Prods., AFPI.

“Veep” creator Armando Iannucci makes

dark, delicious comedy out of the chaos and

calculation surrounding the demise of Russian

dictator Joseph Stalin.

Not since Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be

has there been a movie satire as audacious as

Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin. You’ll

recall that Lubitsch’s bold 1942 masterpiece

found hilarity amidst the travails of a Polish

acting troupe during the Nazi occupation of

their country. The Death of Stalin, set in the

1953 Soviet Union, isn’t topically nervy like

that, but it has the same brazen mix of comedy

and terror—the comedy coming out of

the absurdity of the totalitarian mindset.

Iannucci first gained notice as the creator

of the British comedy series “The Thick of It,”

about political spin doctors, which spun off

to the witty feature film In The Loop. Then he

created “Veep,” the acclaimed, Emmy-winning

HBO comedy series about Washington

politics. For his second feature, he’s imagined

the savage political infighting that ensued

with the demise of longtime dictator Joseph

Stalin—and savage is truly the apt description.

Iannucci doesn’t soft-pedal the extreme, arbitrary

cruelty of the era, which may lead some

to wonder what scenes of sudden execution

are doing in an ostensible comedy. It’s a valid

argument, but those moments accentuate the

insanity of the climate in which its vain central

characters plot to undermine one another.

The tone is set in the opening scene,

inspired by real events: a radio broadcast of a

classical-music concert. The radio producer

(Paddy Considine) receives a phone call from

Stalin himself demanding delivery of a recording

of the concert: Trouble is, the concert

wasn’t recorded, and the producer must hastily

reassemble the orchestra and the audience

for an encore performance, and replace the

conductor who has just been knocked unconscious

from a silly accident. When Stalin issues

an order, everyone quakes.

That also applies to the high officials

surrounding him, who are often subjected to

mandatory late-night viewings of American

westerns. When Stalin suffers a debilitating

stroke, he’s found the next morning lying

in a puddle of his urine because no one had

the nerve to enter his office. The dictator

eventually dies, partly because all the reputable

physicians in Moscow have been either

imprisoned or executed. Then the jockeying

for power begins, most notably by Beria,

the calculating and acid-tongued head of the

security forces, played with wicked wit by the

great British stage actor Simon Russell Beale.

Iannucci has playfully assembled an

ensemble of British and American actors

speaking in their native accents; the casting

of Steve Buscemi as Nikita Khrushchev may

seem incongruous at first, but his comically

calibrated exasperation and fury pay big

dividends. The irresistible cast also includes

Jeffrey Tambor as befuddled, self-absorbed

deputy general secretary Malenkov; “Monty

Python” alum Michael Palin as dithering

foreign secretary Molotov; a hilarious Jason

Isaacs as uber-macho Field Marshal Zhukov; a

manic Rupert Friend as Stalin’s paranoid, idiot

son Vasily, and Andrea Riseborough as Stalin’s

assertive but naïve daughter Svetlana.

Adapted from the graphic novels by Fabien

Nury and Thierry Robin, the screenplay by

Iannucci, David Schneider and Ian Martin is filled

with droll one-liners, vicious asides and zany

pieces of business befitting a political environment

gone mad. Iannucci’s trademark creative

profanity never seemed more appropriate.

Laced with fear and dread throughout, this

comedy of scheming vipers goes extremely

dark toward the end. And ultimately, its bleak

but bracing portrait of naked self-interest masquerading

as governance seems oddly timely,

despite the historical context. —Kevin Lally



Rated R

Cast: Timothy Spall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia

Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer,

Cillian Murphy.

Written and directed by Sally Potter.

Produced by Kurban Kassam, Christopher Sheppard.

Executive producers: John Giwa-Amu, Robert Halmi, Jr.,

Jim Reeve.

Director of photography: Aleksei Rodionov.

Production designer: Carlos Conti.

Editors: Emilie Orsini, Anders Refn.

Costume designer: Jane Petrie.

A Roadside Attractions presentation of an Adventure Pictures

production, in association with Oxwich Media.

British art-house legend Sally Potter turns

to black comedy, with a dryly wicked take

on upper-class privilege and middle-aged


Sally Potter’s The Party is like an invitation to

a classic Woody Allen comedy. Not the early

funny ones, though. The later, dark ones.

It’s shot in black-and-white and scored to


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old records. It features a small cast populated

with very good actors (all undoubtedly working

for a fraction of their usual quote). It’s full

of self-involved, privileged characters and set

in the sort of home most popcorn munchers

can only dream of. And it’s very bright, and

very bitter.

That part, at least, isn’t surprising to a

real Potter fan. The fabulously idiosyncratic,

fiercely independent British director started

turning out films in 1969, while simultaneously

turning her back on conventional storytelling.

Her career reached a sort of zenith with

1992’s Orlando. A perfect politically forward

storm, it combined avant-garde direction with

a gender-shifting story from Virginia Woolf

and a shimmering, early performance from the

already elusive Tilda Swinton.

Recently, Potter has made more accessible

works, including 2000’s period romance The

Man Who Cried, with Johnny Depp, and 2012’s

Ginger & Rosa, a female-friendship drama

set during the Ban-the-Bomb ’60s. The Party

brings us up to the present day, stripping away

any historical or artistic distractions. There is

one set, and seven characters. The camerawork

is handheld, and the story largely takes

place in real time.

It begins with Janet, a 60-ish politician,

hosting a small get-together at her London

townhouse to celebrate her opposition-party

appointment as Shadow Minister for Health.

Her husband, Bill, seems to be already drunk,

and unaccountably depressed, but soon the

guests arrive—the snarky April and her lifecoach

lover Gottfried, Martha and her wife

Jinny (thrilled with the recent news that IVF

treatments have resulted in potential triplets).

Meanwhile, Tom, an agitated banker, comes

sans wife but with a pocket full of cocaine, and

a secret he’s desperate to spill.

The stage is set for a comedy of ill manners,

as the champagne is popped and old

resentments uncorked, and the cast is almost

uniformly superb. The effortlessly regal Kristin

Scott Thomas shines as the always-in-command

Janet, while Timothy Spall quickly grabs

our concern as her moody husband. Cherry

Jones and Emily Mortimer sparkle as a nicely

mismatched pair, too—Mortimer’s girlish

Jinny bubbling along while Jones’ Martha talks

ponderously about her studies in “Domestic

Labor Gender Differentiation in American

Utopianism.” And although Cillian Murphy

over-emotes a bit as Tom—he acts as if he’s

playing another Christopher Nolan villain—

Bruno Ganz is a sweetly annoying presence as

the blissfully disconnected Gottfried, an aging

New Ager who seems in constant search of a

drumming circle.

Best, though is Patricia Clarkson as April,

a leftier-than-thou radical who sneers at

Martha’s lesbianism, Gottfried’s optimism and

Janet’s idealism. Everything is a pose, to her,

another distraction from the “real” struggle,

and every sincerely stated belief just another

hot-air balloon waiting to be pricked. It’s a

great role and Clarkson clearly loves playing it,

although Potter seems to have fallen a bit too

much in love with April, too—the screenplay

gives her all the best jokes (just as Allen’s old

scripts routinely gave him all the punch lines).

Like Allen’s films, too, Potter’s The Party

can feel a bit exclusionary, a gag we’re not

quite in on. There isn’t a person of color in

the cast, or even anyone under 40, and no one

seems to worry about money; several characters

don’t seem to work at all, and the few

academics on hand are, of course, comfortably

tenured. For some moviegoers, Potter’s latest

will feel nearly as remote as her early experimental

shorts, a slightly chilly exercise more

interested in positions than people.

But it is undeniably fast, and wickedly

witty—and in the midst of the February

doldrums as bracing and perhaps as necessary

as a generous shot of gin. This is one

“Party” worth going to.

—Stephen Whitty


GREAT POINT MEDIA/Color/2.35/106 Mins/

Not Rated

Cast: Stanley Tucci, Addison Timlin, Kyra Sedgwick,

Janeane Garofalo, Peter Gallagher, Ritchie Coster,

Jessica Hecht.

Directed by Richard Levine.

Screenplay: Richard Levine, based on the novel Blue

Angel by Francine Prose.

Produced by Jared Ian Goldman, Wren Arthur.

Executive producers: Robert Halmi, Jr., Jim Reeve.

Director of photography: Hillary Spera.

Production designer: Sara K. White.

Editor: Jennifer Lee.

Music: Jeff Russo.

Costume designer: Mirren Gordon-Crozier.

A Mighty Engine, Olive Films and Ospringe Media production.

Wonder Boys meets The Human Stain in this

lightly amusing riff on Blue Angel in which a

frustrated literature professor is energized

by the attentions, literary and otherwise, of a

young student.

The scenery that

greets viewers at

the start of Richard

Levine’s Submission is

that of pretty much

every movie ever set

on a college campus: Stanley Tucci

fall colors, sun-dappled

quad, stately brick buildings, and all the

bourgeois trappings of cosseted small-town

intelligentsia. The narration running over the

montage has more vinegar to it, as Professor

Ted Swenson (Stanley Tucci) grumbles about

being trapped in this “isolated and inbred”

sanctuary of intellectual mediocrity. What follows

is unfortunately more in keeping with the

visuals then the dialogue.

Swenson’s biting commentary sprawls

over into the writing class that he would utterly

despise teaching if not for the presence

of Angela Argo (Addison Timlin). She is in possession

of two characteristics lacked by her

classmates: talent and perception. Angela is a

canteen of cool water slaking the thirst of his

writer’s block. It also helps when she tells him

Phoenix Time, his acclaimed first novel which

he’s been trying to follow up for a decade, “is

like my favorite book in the universe.” When

she asks him ever so meekly to read the first

chapter of her pile of “pages in search of a

novel,” he of course accepts. More chapters

follow, mixing an overwrought analogy about

eggs with heated passages about a young

woman having an affair with an older man.

Then the phone calls begin.

Swenson doesn’t just miss the freight train

that’s about to blast his life into smithereens,

he steers right into it. He blithely ignores every

warning sign, from the background on Angela

provided by unimpressed fellow teacher

Magda Moynahan (Janeane Garofalo, a bright

and too-brief presence) to Angela’s alternately

sycophantic and demanding attitude. Because

that serene overconfidence is packaged by

Tucci, who can deliver easygoing charm with

less effort than almost any other working

actor, Swenson reads as far less insufferable

than he should be. For a time, Swenson’s good

humor with his highly accommodating wife

Sherrie (Kyra Sedgwick) and low-key rebelling

against school politics and lazy students

almost masks the enormity of what he’s about

to demolish.

Levine adapted Submission from Francine

Prose’s 2000 novel Blue Angel. A rollicking satire

of academic pretensions and stultifying political

correctness, Prose’s book took its name

and inspiration from Josef von Sternberg’s

1930 melodrama in which seductress Marlene

Dietrich brings professor Emil Jannings to

utter ruin. Levine’s adaptation works well with

the spine of Prose’s book, the puffed-up fool

dashing toward his doom and the ice-cold

femme fatale coating her web in flattery. But

the story is about more than the snapping

together of a cleverly laid trap. Nearly all of

Prose’s satire on male vanity and the muddy

tangles of sexual-harassment politics is cleaved

away, with only the odd reference to “safe

spaces” trying to keep the movie relevant.

That’s probably for the best. Cleanly

written and brightly acted, Submission is an effectively

delivered comedy on artistic conceit

that probably would have buckled under the

weight of more subtext. But it’s hard not to

wish, especially in the final scenes where

Swenson deals with the fallout of his catastrophically

bad decision, that the consequences

could have had at least a dash of the

pain that great novels are written about and

Swenson thought he was risking everything


—Chris Barsanti


UNIVERSAL/Color/2.35/Dolby Digital/105 Mins./

Rated R

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Arielle

Kebbel, Marcia Gay Harden, Rita Ora, Tyler Hoechlin,

Luke Grimes.

Directed by James Foley.


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Screenplay: Niall Leonard, based on the novel by E.L. James.

Produced by Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Marcus


Director of photography: John Schwartzman.

Production designer: Nelson Coates.

Editors: David S. Clark, Richard Francis-Bruce.

Music: Danny Elfman.

Costume designer: Shay Cunliffe.

A Universal Pictures presentation of a Michael De

Luca production, in association with Perfect World


A saga of sadomasochistic romance reaches

its end, in a well-produced, poorly acted

and thoroughly unnecessary installment.

Dakota Johnson posing and pouting as Anastasia

Steele, like some naughty sorority sister.

Eric Johnson sneering as the nefarious Jack

Hyde, his eyes as red as a rat’s. Jamie Dornan

as a puppyish Christian Grey, sitting down at

a grand piano and launching into “Maybe I’m


Quick, quick, what’s my safe word again?

Unfortunately, there’s no escaping the

pain of Fifty Shades Freed, the definitely anticlimactic

finish to an S&M saga that began by

bringing out the whips and chains, and now

ends only by pulling out some pretty photography

and clichés. What once began with

promises to get nasty now ends by threatening

to bore us to death.

The porny publishing phenomenon began

as amateur “Twilight” fan-fiction—what if

Edward and Bella really let their hair down?—

but eventually morphed from an online hobby

into an actual, best-selling novel. The film adaptation

debuted in 2015 and two years later

the movie version of the sequel, Fifty Shades

Darker, followed it to the screen.

The first picture, at least, kept things

simple, concentrating on the sex between

naïve Anastasia and domineering Christian.

The second, though, started amping up the

melodrama, like an abusive woman from Christian’s

past and Anastasia’s nefarious ex-boss,

the evil Hyde. (As you can see, corny character

names are one of this saga’s specialties.)

By this go-round, though, all that’s left

is the soap opera. In fact, the whole thing

feels a little bit like a very special episode of

“The Young and the Restless,” dragged out to

feature-movie length and with the detergent

commercials replaced by soft-focus sex.

Plush production values help distract

from some of the padding. After a brief

wedding sequence, the young marrieds fly

off for a travelogue-worthy honeymoon in

Paris; midway through the film, there’s a trip

to a luxe sky lodge (where Dornan unveils

his Paul McCartney tribute). Private planes,

snazzy cars and designer dresses all make

their appearance, too. There’s also plenty of

not particularly involving plotting, including a

woman from Christian’s past and an adulterous

architect, while Hyde returns for more

improbable villainy.

That this film, like the last sequel, arrives

courtesy of James Foley—the auteur who

once gave us the prickly After Dark, My Sweet,

the teen-noir Fear and the classic, corrosive

Glengarry Glen Ross—remains a little surprising,

but if this is a job for hire, the producers

certainly got their money’s worth. The film

is prettily photographed by John Schwartzman

and the pop that covers the soundtrack,

wall to wall, is sure to provide a few hits. The

whole thing will probably please the franchise’s

hard-core soft-core fans, right down to

the favorite-moment flashbacks that unspool

before the final credits.

But none of the actors makes any impression.

Johnson, whose gaucherie was once

refreshing, has lapsed into sullen immaturity;

Dornan never rises above male-model posing.

(Although that both of them can be so constantly

naked and consistently boring is a sort

of achievement in itself.) Eric Johnson chews

a lot of indigestible scenery as the loathsome

villain and the rest of the large supporting cast

is completely wasted—including Oscar-winner

Marcia Gay Harden, reduced to two quick

scenes as Christian’s mom.

And so, torturously, it all goes on and on,

beating a dead horse. Really, what was that

safe word again?

How about: Enough.

—Stephen Whitty


WARNER BROS./Color/2.35/Dolby Digital/94 Mins./

Rated PG-13

Cast: Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Judy

Greer, Jenna Fischer, William Jennings, Bryce Gheisar,

Paul-Mikél Williams, Thomas Lennon, P.J. Byrne, Tony

Hale, Ray Corasani.

Directed by Clint Eastwood.

Screenplay: Dorothy Blyskal, based on the book by

Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and

Jeffrey E. Stern.

Produced by Clint Eastwood, Tim Moore, Kristina Rivera,

Jessica Meier.

Executive producer: David Berman.

Director of photography: Tom Stern.

Production designer: Kevin Ishioka.

Editor: Blu Murray.

Music: Christian Jacob.

Sound designers: Bryan O. Watkins, Kevin R.W. Murray.

A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, in association with

Village Roadshow Pictures, of a Malpaso production,

in association with Access Entertainment and Dune


Three friends help prevent a terrorist

attack on a train. No-frills account from

director Clint Eastwood with the real-life

heroes as stars.

When they stopped

a terrorist attack

onboard a high-speed

train to Paris, Spencer

Stone, Alek Skarlatos

and Anthony Sadler

won acclaim around Spencer Stone

the world. A bestselling

book followed. When Clint Eastwood

decided to turn the incident into a movie, he

took the unusual step of casting the three

friends as themselves.

Like the book, Dorothy Blyskal’s screenplay

opens up the story, going back to the

trio’s childhood in Sacramento, Calif. All three

are troublemakers at school. Spencer underachieves

in college before failing at several Air

Force positions. Alek goes from community

college to the Oregon National Guard, ending

up in Afghanistan.

Working with his longtime cinematographer

Tom Stern, Eastwood shoots these

scenes with customary efficiency, refusing for

the most part to pump up emotions. As a result,

The 15:17 to Paris can seem dry at times,

with long stretches devoted to military training

or to scenes that have no obvious payoff.

Eastwood begins the movie with glimpses

of Ayoub (Ray Corasani), the terrorist

who brought guns and hundreds of rounds

of ammunition aboard the Paris-bound train.

Later the story will occasionally flash forward

from a school scene to an incident on

the train. Sometimes the connections are

obvious, like the history teacher who asks

his students if they would know what to do

in an emergency.

At other times the shifts feel contrived,

an expedient way to remind viewers that the

scenes they are watching will eventually get

somewhere, mean something. Throw in Spencer’s

obsession with guns and strong religious

beliefs, and The 15:17 could easily be passed

off as red meat for right-wingers.

But look again. Who are these heroes?

They are kids who were bullied, who came

from broken homes, poorly educated, not

too smart to begin with. They are the ugly

Americans touring Europe, the ones with

selfie sticks and sweatpants, the ones who

don’t understand the language or the history

of the places they are visiting. They’re loud,

they drink too much, and they pray.

What the movie points out is that if we

want to call them heroes, this is who they are.

If you think what they do and say isn’t exciting

enough, this is still the story they lived, the

story they wanted to tell. Eastwood asks us to

see beyond our prejudices and embrace lives

that seem so different from ours.

The attack itself, shot aboard a moving

train, is a model of taut, focused filmmaking.

Eastwood and editor Blu Murray cut out all

the flab, fashioning a sequence of textbook


The 15:17 ends with the heroes receiving

the Legion of Honor from French President

François Hollande (a combination of real and

recreated footage), then enjoying a parade in

Sacramento, Eastwood choosing not to examine

the complications the three subsequently


As actors, Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler

look comfortable and believable, although

without the obvious star power to suggest

future film roles. (Their performances aren’t

unprecedented—Congressional Medal of

Honor winner Audie Murphy played himself in

1955’s To Hell and Back.) What Eastwood has

done, with his customary skill, is show us why

we should care about them. —Daniel Eagan


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COLUMBIA PICTURES/Color/2.35/Dolby Atmos &

DTS:X/93 Mins./Rated PG

Cast: James Corden (voice), Rose Byrne, Domhnall

Gleeson, Sam Neill, Daisy Ridley (voice), Elizabeth

Debicki (voice), Margot Robbie (voice), Marianne Jean-

Baptiste, Sia (voice), Colin Moody (voice).

Directed by Will Gluck.

Screenplay: Rob Lieber, Will Gluck, based on characters

created by Beatrix Potter.

Produced by Will Gluck, Zareh Nalbandian.

Executive producers: Doug Belgrad, Jodi Hildebrand,

Catherine Bishop, Susan Bolsover, Emma Topping,

Rob Lieber, Jason Lust, Jonathan Hludzinski.

Director of photography: Peter Menzies.

Production designer: Roger Ford.

Editors: Christian Gazal, Jonathan Tappin.

Music: Dominic Lewis.

Animation director: Rob Coleman.

Visual effects supervisor: Will Reichelt.

Costume designer: Lizzie Gardiner.

A Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation

presentation, in association with 2.0 Entertainment,

of an Animal Logic Entertainment and Olive Bridge

Entertainment production.

The charm of Beatrix Potter’s beloved

bunny is buried in a cacophonous movie.

It is an unequivocally bad sign when, a halfhour

into a movie made for children, a child

can be heard to say, “I don’t like this movie.”

No amount of shushing from his mother could

erase the echo of these words. A grownup

critic feeling particularly curmudgeonly is one

thing—but when the intended audience voices

its displeasure, you know there is a problem.

The titular hero of Peter Rabbit is an

animated bunny based on the popular

children’s-book character from Beatrix

Potter. He is, as the film’s marketing loudly

proclaims, “a rebel.” He likes to dash into

the garden of mean old Mr. McGregor, even

though—or perhaps because—his father

met his end at McGregor’s hands, which then

swiftly gave him over to Mrs. McGregor, who

baked the patriarch into a pie. Peter’s mother

has also passed away, but Peter, his three

sisters and his cousin, Benjamin, have found a

substitute mother figure in the kindly human

Bea (Rose Byrne).

Things are looking particularly sunny

when old Mr. McGregor suffers a heart attack

and is carted away in “an ice-cream truck

with lights,” but soon McGregor’s persnickety

great-nephew Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson,

who, like Byrne, is really too good for this)

arrives. Thomas is not only intent on keeping

the rabbits from his garden, but, even more

galling, on wooing Bea. Fight between rabbit

and redhead ensues.

It isn’t that Peter Rabbit, from Easy A

director Will Gluck and his co-writer Rob

Lieber (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible,

No Good, Very Bad Day), is poorly made. It is

sleek and swift and has a partying vibe due in

large part to a soundtrack of ultra-contemporary

pop songs, the majority of which I’m

not sure we will still be listening to a decade

hence. The animation is excellent: You can

see the individual bristles of the rabbits’ fur,

and their running is wonderfully uncanny.

Both the voice work and live-action talent

are top-notch: In addition to Gleeson and

Byrne, we have Gleeson’s Goodbye Christopher

Robin co-star Margot Robbie as the narrator

and the voice of the bunny Flopsy, as well

as Daisy Ridley as the voice of Cotton-Tail,

Elizabeth Debicki as the voice of Mopsy,

“Broadchurch”’s Marianne Jean-Baptiste as

Thomas’ former boss, and James Corden as

the voice of Peter. The story gets going directly

from the opening sequence. No scenes

are wasted; nothing drags the tale down.

The trouble is the tone of the film.

Between the narration (“In a story like

this…”) and the jocular, winking dialogue of

the rabbits (“That’s my character flaw!”),

there are enough meta-asides to border

on cynicism. Peter is very loud and very

brash and all-around exhausting. He, like

the movie, does have a heart, and the film

tries to espouse a moral, showing how both

Peter’s and Thomas’ revenge ploys lead to

unhappiness. But the balance seems to be

off. There is too much wham-bam shtick and

far too much winking to the audience. It is

exceedingly loud, exceedingly fast, so that

the impression of noise is great…of substance,

in comparison, small. We are taken

out of the story too many times to enjoy

it. What worked 17 years ago when Shrek

was released no longer charms, or else the

meta-comedy fails in Peter Rabbit because

the movie takes this approach to such an

extreme. What sincerity there is simply

cannot compete with the cacophony of

wrecking-ball action sequences and fourthwall

destruction that surrounds it.

Which is too bad, because the Beatrix

Potter books are terrific, and you just

know that somewhere in the world there

is an unsolicited screenplay that does her

characters justice. For this Peter Rabbit,

character is regrettably beside the point.

—Anna Storm


MAGNOLIA PICTURES/Color/2.35/114 Mins./Rated R

Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Marion Cotillard, Charlotte

Gainsbourg, Louis Garrel, Alba Rohrwacher, László

Szabó, Hippolyte Girardot.

Directed by Arnaud Desplechin.

Written by Arnaud Desplechin, Léa Mysius, Julie Peyr.

Produced by Pascal Caucheteux.

Executive producers: Oury Milshtein, Frantz Richard.

Director of photography: Irina Lubtchansky.

Production designer: Toma Baqueni.

Editor: Laurence Briaud.

Music: Grégoire Hetzel, Mike Kourtzer.

A Why Not Prods. and France 2 Cinéma production, with

the participation of Canal Plus, Cine Plus and France


In French with English subtitles.

Arnaud Desplechin’s movies-within-amovie

Gallic star vehicle (Cotillard! Amalric!

Gainsbourg!) shuffles moods nearly as often

as the manic director whose past threatens to

destroy his present.

If a person who had just seen Arnaud Desplechin’s

Ismael’s Ghosts were asked, “Did you

like the movie?” they could be tempted to

respond, “Which one?” There is the romance

between an acting-out director and the woman

who calms him; the seemingly dead person

who comes back to life, the other filmmaker

losing his mind; the spy story being filmed by

the first director; the biographical backstory

to that story; and so on. The movie’s restless

spirit slides and leaps from closely observed

romantic drama to glass-shattering melodrama

to bug-out farce and back again. About the

only thing missing here is a music number.

The polestar in Desplechin’s swirl of story

is Ismael (Mathieu Amalric), a director in the

middle of shooting an espionage thriller. We

start inside Ismael’s movie, a crisply shot

flurry establishing the larger-than-life legend

of charming and polylingual “diplomat” Ivan

Dedalus (Louis Garrel), who everyone assumes

is actually a spy. Disappointingly, we are

wrenched out of that intoxicating fabulist’s

world and thrown into the more mundane

turbulence of Ismael’s life. Haunted by the

memory of his wife Carlotta, who went

missing and was declared dead two decades

before, Ismael has found some solace in the

arms of an astrophysicist, Sylvia (Charlotte

Gainsbourg). (Their meet-cute is handled in

a flashback where the offhand and self-aware

comedy of one of their exchanges—she asks

“You sleep with your actresses?” and he replies

jovially, “Of course!”—can’t help but feel

sour in the post-Harvey Weinstein era.)

But although Sylvia acts as a balm to

Ismael’s restive spirit, demons lurk. In the

middle of the night, Ismael is summoned to

the apartment of Carlotta’s father Henri

(László Szabó). A decorated filmmaker who

has never recovered from his daughter’s

death, Henri now rages about anything and

everything, his nightmare-chased spirit a hint

of the mania that would be waiting for Ismael

down the road were Sylvia not in his arms.

They’re a great match. Amalric is puckish

as ever, his eyes occasionally glinting with a

threat of true madness that serves as a perfect

foil to Gainsbourg’s solid directness.

But then, Desplechin detonates the landmine

buried just under the movie’s surface.

Carlotta, or at least a woman claiming to be

her, returns in the form of Marion Cotillard.

Wandering into a relaxing respite for Sylvia

and Ismael at his beach home—as in most

French movies about the creative class, easy

access to gorgeous real estate is a given—

Carlotta explains away her disappearance

with a frank flatness that recalls an ex-cult

member and asks for a place to crash. This

sends the newly shattered Ismael into another

whiskey-soaked and nightmare-plagued tailspin

that leaves Sylvia to decide whether it’s

worth hanging around to put the pieces back

together again.

Ismael’s Ghosts finds a worthwhile story of

ghostly l’amour fou in this uneven love triangle

where nobody is certain about what they want.


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As the exasperated paragon of normalcy, Sylvia

is left with the least to do while Carlotta and

Ismael rake over the embers of their relationship.

Cotillard’s fascinatingly inscrutable take on

the ephemeral Carlotta is the most engaging of

the three performances. Her blasé nature hints

at great secrets to be divulged, a madness to

match Ismael’s, or both.

Before Desplechin gets even close to that

moment, though, he spins the movie off into

tangential subplots, flashbacks, and further

scenes from Ismael’s Ivan spy movie. These amplify

the tone of a story that had settled into a

quieter place after the initial chaos of Carlotta’s

return. Some of the segments have a worthwhile

energy, especially the further adventures

of Ivan—a worthwhile movie on its own—and

the unexpected slapstick furor of the storyline

where Ismael’s producer Zwy (Hippolyte

Girardot) desperately tries to bring the crazed

filmmaker back to his stalled project. But the

shuffling of mood and style without enough of

a guiding principle saps the movie of its momentum.

It also cheapens the borderline-tragic

material featuring Henri and wastes Szabó’s

furiously committed performance.

As a quasi-comedy about an artist chasing

his own tail, Ismael’s Ghosts eventually falls

prey to many of the same tendencies it initially

appeared to be satirizing. —Chris Barsanti


BLEECKER STREET/Color/2.35/114 Mins./Rated R

Cast: Jon Hamm, Ellen Burstyn, Catherine Keener, Bruce

Dern, Nick Offerman, John Ortiz, James Le Gros, Amber

Tamblyn, Annalise Basso, Mikey Madison, Jennifer

Mudge, Patton Oswalt, Chris Marquette.

Directed by Mark Pellington.

Written by Alex Ross Perry.

Produced by Tom Gorai, Mark Pellington, Josh Baraun.

Executive producers: O’Shea Read, Alex Ross Perry, Jim


Co-producer: Bobbi Sue Luther.

Director of photography: Matt Sakatani Roe.

Production designer: Paul L. Jackson.

Editor: Arndt-Wulf Peemöller

Music: Laurent Eyquem.

Costume designer: Laura Precon.

A Bleecker Street presentation of a Pellington/Gorai


This curious and dull think-piece of an

anthology movie strings together stories on

the theme of objects and the memories they

trigger without ever finding the right tone.

When Susan Sontag wrote that

photography “converts the whole world

into a cemetery,” she could have easily

expanded that to include just about any

personal possession. Everything we own,

from a favorite album from adolescence

to a souvenir spoon from that visit to the

Grand Canyon, stands ready as a potential

repository of some memory of us after

we are gone. That prehistoric sense of

possessions being imbued with some kind

of animist spirit is shot all through Mark

Pellington’s dramaturgical flatline of a

curiosity-piece movie about nostalgia, stuff,

and the things (in all sense of the word) that

we leave behind.

Nostalgia begins as the misadventures of

the preternaturally even-keeled Dan (John

Ortiz). An abnormally empathetic insurance

agent who seems to have seen it all, Dan acts

as point person for the company whenever

people make claims about either insuring

their valuables or wondering why they

haven’t gotten paid yet. The first assignment

of his that we see has Dan going to the

house of an old man (Bruce Dern) to assess

whether everything looks kosher before

the appraiser shows up. It’s not the most

auspicious of beginnings, with a tiresome

debate racketing around subjects such as “Is

anything worth anything?” and Ortiz’s serene

unflappability banging up against Dern’s usual

glint of teeth-grinding irritation.

Suggesting nothing so much as the pilot

episode of a new hour-long CBS drama

about a mild-mannered insurance agent,

Dan goes off to his next assignment. Helen

(Ellen Burstyn) is a widow whose house just

burned down. She is first seen wandering in

the ashes, talking to Dan about the horrible

drama of the moment where you have

to “decide what you take from a burning

building.” Grief-stricken, almost as though

she had lost her husband again, Helen lives

in a kind of fog where each piece she finds

triggers another poignant memory. “These

are the remainders of our lives,” she narrates

in one of many such arch pronouncements in

Alex Ross Perry’s script. “What is the value

of anything?” she asks in another all-tooobvious


For the second half of Nostalgia, the task

of symbolic significance is handed off none

too neatly to Will (Jon Hamm), a Las Vegas

dealer in pricey memorabilia, who agrees to

take a look at the key item in Ellen’s limited

stash of fire-surviving objects, an autographed

baseball hit by Ted Williams that had been

among her husband’s family heirlooms. This

leads to more rumination on the nature of

things, especially after Will flies home to

help his sister (Catherine Keener) clean out

their childhood home following their parents’

decision to downsize and move to Florida.

This part of the movie hits with slightly

more force, in part because of a surprise

tragedy that leaves a father trying to

figure out how to find things to display at

the funeral when his dead daughter kept

everything important on her computer.

But Pellington—who has transitioned

unfortunately from a helmer of visually

striking and oddball thrillers like Arlington

Road and The Mothman Prophecies to this

brand of unaffecting drama—shoots

everything with such unremarkable cool blue

detachment that nothing happening onscreen

has much of an impact.

Nostalgia doesn’t turn the world into a

cemetery. But it doesn’t exactly make it into

a lively place, either. —Chris Barsanti


THE ORCHARD/Color/2.35/Dolby Digital/118 Mins./

Rated R

Cast: August Diehl, Stefan Konarske, Vicky Krieps,

Olivier Gourmet, Michael Brandner, Alexander Scheer,

Hannah Steele, Ivan Franek, Niels Bruno Schmidt.

Directed by Raoul Peck.

Screenplay: Pascal Bonitzer, Raoul Peck.

Produced by Nicolas Blanc, Rémi Grellety, Robert

Guédiguian, Raoul Peck.

Director of photography: Kolja Brandt.

Production designer: Benoît Barouh.

Editor: Frédérique Broos.

Music: Alexei Aigui

Costume designer: Paule Mangenot.

An AGAT Films and Cie, Velvet Film, Rohfilm GmbH and

Artémis Prods. production.

In French, German and English.

Oscar-nominated director Raoul Peck

delivers an intellectually engaging, if not

terribly exciting, biography of Marx and his

cronies launching a movement.

A compelling portrayal

of the fruitful

meeting of great

minds, the multilingual

biographical drama

The Young Karl Marx

plots a wordy course August Diehl

through the origins

of Marx and co-writer Friedrich Engels’

seminal political pamphlet Manifesto of the

Communist Party.

The outspoken philosopher and

journalist Marx (August Diehl), a German

Jew, resides in 1840s Paris with his wife

Jenny (Vicky Krieps), a loyal believer in her

husband’s theories on labor and society.

Born of an aristocratic family in the couple’s

hometown of Trier, Jenny is happy to forgo

the trappings of wealth, and any relationship

with her kin, to stand by her middle-class

husband’s struggle for the poor and working

class. “Happiness requires rebellion,” she


Deemed arrogant by his colleagues, Marx

generally lives up to his principles and Jenny’s

faith in his vision. He’s more than willing to

spend a few nights in a Prussian jail to stand

against censorship and defend his subversive,

antimonarchist articles and essays. Marx’s

writing gains him some notoriety among

Europe’s great thinkers of the day, and he and

Jenny’s growing family gets by, barely, on his

sporadic writer’s income, supplemented by

the generosity of friends. But no friend can

come to their aid when they’re brusquely

exiled from France, along with several other

rabble-rousers of their political cohort.

Landing in Brussels, Marx crosses paths

with fellow twenty-something iconoclast

Friedrich “Freddie” Engels (Stefan Konarske),

the German son of a factory owner.

Presented on a parallel story track destined

to collide with Marx’s, Engels moonlights

from his desk job at his father’s textile mill

in Manchester, England, to study the union

activism of workers like Mary Burns (Hannah


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Steele), an Irish-born proto-Norma Rae who

raises hell with management at the mill over

the treatment of child labor.

Freddie tracks Mary down in the city’s

Irish slum, where he hopes to find subjects

for his treatise on living conditions of the

working class in Manchester and Leeds. In a

similar fashion, he hunts down Marx, whom

he recalls meeting at a salon hosted by the

famed writer and artist Bettina von Arnim.

The film, directed by Raoul Peck

(I Am Not Your Negro), spends much of

its first hour flagrantly name-dropping

prominent figures within, and opposed to,

Marx and Engel’s fast-evolving movement.

Even a well-informed viewer might need

several addenda of footnotes to tell all

the historical players apart. Ultimately,

whether one is well-versed in the works

of Hegelians, Anarchists or Communists,

or none of the above, the film shuffles

names and faces into fairly uncomplicated

categories of those who agree with Marx

and those who don’t. Those who don’t

usually are summarily put in their place with

some withering polemic delivered by Marx

or his proxies, Engels and Jenny.

Diehl, Krieps and Konarske each find a

credible, dynamic approach to playing the

lead trio’s impenetrable idealism. Diehl’s

Marx is confident but not incapable of

expressing vulnerability. He smokes cheap

cigars, makes love, cuddles with his wife, and

in his own words is no anarchist, even if he’s

determined to upset the world order. Krieps,

building on her recent fine performance in

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread,

essays an enthralling version here, too, of

devotion guided by intelligence, not just


Pictured as young rhetorical warriors

ready to mount a revolution wielding the

pen or the sword, Marx and Engels, and

to some degree Jenny, gather an aura of

romance and righteousness that can come

off as propagandistic. Engels woos Marx

into philosophical and political partnership

by praising the wild-haired writer as “the

greatest materialist thinker of our time.

You’re a genius.” The movie appears to

support the sentiment.

And any actual romance in the story

inspires mixed results: While Marx and

Jenny are like soul mates, the coupling of

Freddie and Mary feels like a complete

afterthought. Depicting period pleasures is

not this film’s priority, as could be inferred

from the dour palette of browns and

grays and lengthy, complex debates about

capital and Communism. Rather, The Young

Karl Marx endeavors to characterize the

committed visionary behind an era-defining

worldview, and it succeeds by depicting

how the power of his thinking—influenced

by Engels and anarchists like Bakunin

and Proudhon, among others—led to a

manifesto that moved all of civilization.

—André Hereford


LIONSGATE/Color/1.85/Dolby Atmos & DTS: X/

85 Mins./Rated PG

Voice Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie

Williams, Timothy Spall, Miriam Margolyes, Richard

Ayoade, Mark Williams, Rob Brydon, Nick Park.

Directed by Nick Park.

Screenplay: Mark Burton, James Higginson.

Story: Nick Park, John O’Farrell.

Produced by Richard Beek, Peter Lord, Carla Shelley,

David Sproxton, Nick Park.

Executive producers: Alicia Gold, Ron Halpern, Didier

Lupfer, Danny Perkins, Ben Roberts, Natascha


Cinematography: Dave Alex Riddett, Charles Copping, Paul

Smith, Peter Sorg.

Art directors: Richard Edmunds, Matt Perry.

Editor: Sim Evan-Jones.

Music: Harry Gregson-Williams, Tom Howe.

A Summit Entertainment, StudioCanal, BFI and Aardman

Animations presentation.

The very, very B.C. Early Man welcomes

you to a wonderfully ditzy world of sports as

played in the Neo-Pleistocene era by plasticine


Should you require a

cartoon-feature recap

of this year’s Super

Bowl upset where the

flawed and unexciting

Philadelphia Eagles

sent the puffed-up and Rob Brydon and

mighty New England Tom Hiddleston

Patriots to the showers

without their usual win, you might check out

the football melee in Early Man where the

Brutes go head-to-head with Real Bronzio.

The Brutes are the dirty underdogs

you’re to root for—a mangy little colony of

Stone Age stragglers which civilization ran

off and left to their own meager devices. The

elite, neo-epochal Bronze Age colonizers

who invaded their domain and usurped their

era are represented by the swaggering,

assured Real Bronzio, a team led by a vain,

hair-flowing, lantern-jawed hunk patterned

after you-know-who.

The game is pretty high-stakes as these

Age collisions go: If the Stoners win, the

Bronze invaders will leave and there will be

peace in the valley; if the interlopers win,

the Stoners will become mine minions of the

conquering football champs.

Throwing the match further off-kilter

is the fact that the Brutes missed football

practice in its entirety. All this is written on

the walls in hieroglyphics: A row of cavemen

mooning each other translates as this

happened “many, many moons ago.”

Dug, who captains these underdogs and

is boyishly voiced by Oscar-winner Eddie

Redmayne, refuses to be intimidated by the

warning on the wall. He assembles a ragtag

team from his fellow hunters-and-gatherers

to rise to the challenge. Coached and cheerled

by Goona (Maisie Williams of “Game

of Thrones”), a pot-peddler and athletic

feminist barred from the sport by her gender,

they sally forth in their silly fashion. The

M.V.P. and game-changer, however, turns out

to be the film’s Gromit substitute, Hognob, a

saber-toothed wild-boar sidekick who hangs

with Dug.

As if he didn’t have enough to do in his

solo directing debut, Nick Park grunts and

growls out this porcine beastie as well. In

addition, Aardman Animations’ star writerproducer

conjured this Flintstone-y slice of

prehistory, then passed it on to scripters

Mark Burton and James Higginson to punt

and pun across the finish line.

The Bronze new-agers have some

hilarious heavies, most prominently Lord

Nooth, who ruthlessly misrules the kingdom

of Queen Oofeefa. Miriam Margolyes weighs

in deliciously and imperiously as Her Majesty,

but her thunder (and everybody else’s) is

stolen by Tom Hiddleston’s Nooth, who

speaks in a fractured French rarely heard

outside of a Monty Python flick. He has

trouble making himself understood. Once,

when his guards capture Dug, he orders

them, “Take him away and kill him—slowly.”

The next shot is the guards marching Dug

away in slow-mo. “No no no,” Nooth

amends, “Take him away at a normal pace—

and then kill him!”

Another happy invention is a message

parrot transporting info from queen to

Nooth and back again. He’s mouthed off by

Rob Brydon, who dutifully repeats rude and

inappropriate reactions to the messages,

much to Nooth’s shamed chagrin.

One passing note: What the British

call football will reach American eyes as

soccer. That game was accidentally invented,

according to this film, when a red-hot meteor

fragment landed in a caveman village and they

started kicking it around to one another.

Early Man wears well the many

technological advances that have been made

in claymation and stop-motion photography

during the 28 years that Park and his Bristol

elves have toiled in animation. It makes a real

nice paleontological clambake.

—Harry Haun

For the Latest Reviews


058-069.indd 65

2/12/18 3:30 PM



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Listing includes release date (TBA=To Be Announced), film title, cast or director, and technical information: C=Cinemascope • D=Dolby •

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058-069.indd 66

2/13/18 10:45 AM


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SABAN FILMS (310) 203-5850

3/9 The Forgiven

Forest Whitaker, Eric Bana

115 mins

TBA True Crimes

Jim Carrey

TBA Lizzie

Kristen Stewart, Chloë Sevigny

105 mins/R

TBA The Yellow Birds

Alden Ehrenreich


(310) 860-3100

3/16 Sweet Country

Dir. Warwick Thornton

110 mins

3/16 Allure

Evan Rachel Wood

105 mins

2018 Submergence

James McAvoy, Alicia Vikander,

Dir. Wim Wenders

112 mins

SONY (310) 244-4000 /

(212) 833-8500

Now Peter Rabbit

Voice of James Corden

C/Atmos-DTS:X/93 mins/PG

Now Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart

C/Atmos-Auro-DTS:X/119 mins/


3/28 Paul, Apostle of Christ

Jim Caviezel

6/15 SuperFly

Jason Mitchell

7/13 Hotel Transylvania 3:

Summer Vacation [3D]

Voice of Adam Sandler

8/3 The Equalizer 2

Denzel Washington

8/17 White Boy Rick

Matthew McConaughey

8/24 Slender Man

Joey King

9/14 Alpha

Kodi Smit-McPhee

9/21 Goosebumps: Horrorland

Jack Black, Dir. Rob Letterman

10/5 Venom

Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams

12/14 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Dirs. Bob Persichetti,

Peter Ramsey

12/21 Holmes & Watson

Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly

5/17/19 Untitled Men in Black Spinoff

6/7/19 Charlie’s Angels

Dir. Elizabeth Banks

8/9/19 Untitled Charles Manson Film

Dir. Quentin Tarantino

11/8/19 James Bond 25

5/8/20 Barbie

Anne Hathaway

11/6/20 Vivo

Dir. Kirk De Micco

TBA Doc Savage

Dwayne Johnson

TBA Uncharted

Tom Holland, Dir. Shawn Levy

TBA The Bringing [ID]

Michael Peña

TBA Mulan

Dir. Alex Graves

TBA 21 Jump Street Spinoff

Scr. Rodney Rothman

TBA Dark Matter [ID]

Dir. Roland Emmerich

TBA Marian [ID]

Margot Robbie

TBA Inner City

Denzel Washington,

TBA Son of Shaolin

Dir. Rick Famuyiwa

TBA Bad Boys for Life

Will Smith

TBA Morbius the Living Vampire

TBA You Are My Friend

Tom Hanks

TBA Burial Rites [Tri-Star]

Jennifer Lawrence


(212) 833-8833

Now Loveless

Dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev

127 mins/R

Now A Fantastic Woman

Dir. Sebastián Lelio

C/104 mins/R

Now Call Me By Your Name

Armie Hammer,

Timothée Chalamet

DD/131 mins/R

Now Film Stars Don’t Die

in Liverpool

Annette Bening, Jamie Bell

C/105 mins/R

3/2 Foxtrot

Dir. Samuel Maoz

113 mins

3/9 The Leisure Seeker

Helen Mirren,

Donald Sutherland

C/111 mins/R

3/23 Final Portrait

Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer

90 Mins

4/13 The Rider

Brady Jandreau, Dir. Chloé Zhao

104 mins

May The Seagull

Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan


June Boundaries

Christopher Plummer, Vera Farmiga

TBA The Wife

Glenn Close

TBA Maria Callas: In Her Own Words

Dir. Tom Volf

TBA Puzzle

Kelly Macdonald

103 mins

STRAND RELEASING (310) 395-5002

Now Have a Nice Day

Dir. Jian Liu

77 mins

Now Souvenir

Isabelle Huppert

90 mins

3/23 The Workshop

Dir. Laurent Cantet

113 mins

STX ENTERTAINMENT (310) 742-2300

Now Den of Thieves

Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber

C/140 mins/R

Now Molly’s Game

Jessica Chastain,

Dir. Aaron Sorkin

C/140 mins

3/9 Gringo [Amazon Studios]

Joel Edgerton, Charlize Theron

110 mins/R

6/1 Adrift

Baltasar Kormákur

6/29 I Feel Pretty

Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams

1/25 Untitled STX Action/Thriller

5/10/19 Ugly Dolls

Dir. Robert Rodriguez

TBA The Irishman [Netflix]

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino

Dir. Martin Scorsese

TBA Kursk

Colin Firth

TBA Second Act

Jennifer Lopez

TBA Steel Soldiers

Prod. Robert Zemeckis


(213) 277-2211 / (212) 261-2500

Now Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Dir. Wes Ball

C/Atmos-Auro/142 mins/PG-13

Now The Greatest Showman

Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson

C/DD/105 mins/PG

Now The Post

Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks,

Dir. Steven Spielberg

115 mins/PG-13

Now Ferdinand [3D]

Dir. Carlos Saldanha

C/Atmos-DTS:X/106 mins/PG

3/2 Red Sparrow

Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton

C/Atmos/139 mins/R

3/16 Love, Simon

Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner

C/109 mins/PG-13

5/18 Deadpool 2

Ryan Reynolds

7/20 Alita: Battle Angel

Dir. Robert Rodriguez

8/3 Predator

Dir. Shane Black

9/14 The Darkest Minds

Amandla Stenberg

11/2 X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Sophie Turner, Jessica Chastain

12/25/18 Bohemian Rhapsody [ID]

Rami Malek, Dir. Bryan Singer

2/22/19 The New Mutants

Dir. Josh Boone

6/7/19 Gambit

Channing Tatum

7/17/20 Bob’s Burgers

12/18/20 Avatar 2

Dir. James Cameron

3/5/21 Foster [working title]


12/17/21 Avatar 3 [ID]

Dir. James Cameron

12/20/24 Avatar 4 [ID]

Dir. James Cameron

12/19/25 Avatar 5 [ID]

Dir. James Cameron

TBA Escape from New York [ID]

TBA Anubis [3D] [ID]


TBA More Soul Food [ID]

Scr. George Tillman Jr.

TBA The Little Mermaid [ID]

Dir. Rebecca Thomas


058-069.indd 68

2/13/18 10:45 AM
















The Case Against 8 [ID]

Dir. Marielle Heller

Women in Business [ID]

Emma Stone

Madagascar 4 [3D]

Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives

& 40 Thieves

[DreamWorks] [3D]

Dir. Chris Miller

The Absolutely True Diary

of a Part-Time Indian [ID]

Hugh Jackman


Kristen Stewart

The Hate U Give

Amandla Stenberg

Fear Street

Dir. Leigh Janiak

The Wishing Spell

Chris Colfer


Dirs. Phil Lord, Chris Miller


Ryan Reynolds


Ryan Reynolds

Goldie Vance [ID]

Dir. Rashida Jones

Turtles All the Way Down [ID]

Death on the Nile

Kenneth Branagh

UNIVERSAL (818) 777-1000 /

(212) 759-7500

Now Fifty Shades Freed

Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan

C/DD/105 mins/R

Now Insidious: The Last Key

Lin Shaye

C/103 mins/PG-13

Now Pitch Perfect 3

Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson

DD/93 mins/PG-13

3/23 Pacific Rim: Uprising [3D]

Dir. Steven S. DeKnight

4/6 Blockers

Leslie Mann, John Cena

5/11 Breaking In

Gabrielle Union

6/22 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard

Dir. J.A. Bayona

7/4 The First Purge

Dir. Gerard McMurray

7/13 Skyscraper

Dwayne Johnson

7/20 Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Meryl Streep, Lily James

9/21 The House with a Clock

in Its Walls

Cate Blanchett

9/28 Night School

Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish

10/12 First Man

Ryan Gosling, Dir. Damien Chazelle

11/9 The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Dir. Fede Alvarez

11/9 Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch [3D]

Voice of Benedict Cumberbatch

11/21 The Women of Marwen

Steve Carell

1/18 Glass

Dir. M. Night Shyamalan

3/1/19 How to Train Your Dragon 3 [3D]

Dir. Dean DeBlois

3/15/19 Untitled Jordan Peele Project

4/12/19 Voyage of Doctor Dolittle

Robert Downey Jr.

5/10/19 Detective Pikachu

Ryan Reynolds

6/7/19 The Secret Life of Pets 2

Dir. Chris Renaud

6/28/19 Cowboy Ninja Viking

Chris Pratt

7/26/19 Fast and Furious Spinoff

Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham

9/6/19 Untitled Blumhouse

Productions Project

12/20/19 Wicked

Dir. Stephen Daldry

4/10/20 Fast & Furious 9

Vin Diesel

4/17/20 Trolls 2

4/17/20 Untitled Universal Event Film

7/3/20 Minions 2

9/18/20 The Croods 2

12/25/20 Sing 2

4/2/21 Fast & Furious 10

9/17/21 Spooky Jack

TBA Extinction

Michael Peña











The Invisible Man

Johnny Depp

Red Notice

Dwayne Johnson

Mama 2 [ID]

Dirs. Dennis Widmyer, Kevin Kolsch

Bad Blood [ID]

Jennifer Lawrence, Dir. Adam McKay

Curious George

Dir. Andrew Adamson


Dirs. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Untitled Bermuda Triangle Movie

Dir. Sam Esmail

Bride of Frankenstein

Dir. Bill Condon

The Paper Bag Princess [ID]

Dir. Elizabeth Banks

The Temp

Tiffany Haddish [ID]


(424) 238-4455

Now Golden Exits

Dir. Alex Ross Perry

94 mins/R

3/9 Sheep & Wolves

Dirs. Andrey Galat, Maxim Volkov

April 10x10

Kelly Reilly, Luke Evans

TBA In Darkness

Natalie Dormer

WALT DISNEY (818) 560-1000

Now Black Panther

Chadwick Boseman,

Dir. Ryan Coogler

D/Atmos-Auro-DTS/134 mins/


Now Star Wars: The Last Jedi [3D]

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega,

Dir. Rian Johnson

C/Atmos-DTS:X/152 mins/PG-13

Now Coco [Pixar] [3D]

Dirs. Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina

C/Atmos/109 mins/PG

Now Thor: Ragnarok [3D]

Chris Hemsworth, Dir. Taika Waititi

C/Atmos/130 mins/PG-13

3/9 A Wrinkle in Time

Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine

Dir. Ava DuVernay

C/Atmos/Rated PG

4/6 Magic Camp

Adam Devine, Jeffrey Tambor

5/4 Avengers: Infinity War [3D]

Dir. Joe Russo, Anthony Russo

5/25 Solo: A Star Wars Story [3D]

Alden Ehrenreich,

Dir. Ron Howard

6/15 The Incredibles 2 [Pixar]

Dir. Brad Bird

7/6 Ant-Man and the Wasp

Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly

8/3 Christopher Robin

Ewan McGregor

11/2 The Nutcracker

and the Four Realms

Dir. Lasse Hallström

11/21 Ralph Breaks the Internet

Dirs. Phil Johnston, Rich Moore

12/25 Mary Poppins Returns

Emily Blunt, Dir. Rob Marshall

5/3/19 Untitled Avengers Movie [3D]

Dir. Joe Russo, Anthony Russo

3/8/19 Captain Marvel [3D]

Brie Larson, Jude Law

3/29/19 Dumbo

Colin Farrell, Eva Green

Dir. Tim Burton

5/24/19 Aladdin

Dir. Guy Ritchie

6/21/19 Toy Story 4 [Pixar] [3D]

Dir. John Lasseter

8/9/19 Artemis Fowl

Dir. Kenneth Branagh

12/20/19 Star Wars: Episode IX

Dir. J.J. Abrams

7/10/20 Indiana Jones 5

Harrison Ford, Dir. Steven Spielberg

7/19/19 The Lion King

Donald Glover, Beyoncé,

Dir. Jon Favreau

11/8/19 Nicole

11/25/20 Gigantic [Pixar] [3D]

Dirs. Nathan Greno, Meg LeFauve

TBA Mulan

Liu Yifei, Dir. Niki Caro

TBA Captain Nemo [ID]

Dir. James Mangold

TBA Cruella

Emma Stone, Dir. Alex Timbers

TBA The Rocketeers [ID]

Prod. Ron Howard

TBA Splash [ID]

Channing Tatum, Jillian Bell

TBA Jungle Book 2

Dir. Jon Favreau

TBA Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Scr. Erin Cressida Wilson

TBA Oliver Twist [ID]

Dir. Thomas Kail

TBA Dashing through the Snow [ID]

Kevin Hart

TBA Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Dir. James Gunn

TBA Jungle Cruise

Dwayne Johnson

TBA Prince Charming

Scr. Stephen Chbosky

TBA The Merlin Saga

Ridley Scott


(818) 954-6000 / (212) 636-5100

Now The 15:17 to Paris

Dir. Clint Eastwood

C/DD/94 mins/PG-13

Now Paddington 2

Dir. Paul King

C/Atmos/103 mins/PG

Now Detective Chinatown 2

Dir. Chen Sicheng

Now 12 Strong

Chris Hemsworth

C/Atmos/129 mins/R

2/23 Game Night

Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman

100 mins/R

3/16 Tomb Raider [MGM]

Alicia Vikander, Dominic West


3/29 Ready Player One

Dir. Steven Spielberg


4/20 Rampage

Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris

5/11 Life of the Party [New Line]

Melissa McCarthy, Dir. Ben Falcone

6/8 Ocean’s 8

Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett

6/15 Tag

Rashida Jones

7/13 The Nun

Dir. Corin Hardy

7/27 Teen Titans Go!

Voice of Will Arnett

8/10 The Meg

Jason Statham

8/17 Crazy Rich Asians

Constance Wu

9/7 Untitled New Line Horror Film

9/14 Smallfoot

Voice of Channing Tatum

10/5 A Star Is Born

Dir. Bradley Cooper

10/19 The Jungle Book [3D]

Dir. Andy Serkis

11/16 Fantastic Beasts:

The Crimes of Grindelwald

Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law

12/21 Aquaman

Jason Momoa, Dir. James Wan

2/8 The LEGO Movie Sequel [3D]

Dir. Rob Schrab

2/14 Isn’t It Romantic

Priyanka Chopra

3/22/19 Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Millie Bobby Brown

4/5/19 Shazam!

Zachary Levi

5/24/19 Minecraft: The Movie

Dir. Rob McElhenney

6/14/19 Shaft

Samuel L. Jackson

9/6/19 It Sequel

Dir. Andy Muschietti

10/11/19 The Goldfinch

Ansel Elgort

11/01/19 Wonder Woman 2

Gal Gadot

1/17/20 Untitled WB Event Film

4/3/20 Cyborg [ID]

Ray Fisher

5/15/20 New Scooby-Doo Feature

Dir. Tony Cervone

5/22/20 Godzilla vs. Kong

Dir. Adam Wingard

6/5/20 Untitled DC Film

7/24/20 Green Lantern Corps

Scr. David Goyer, Justin Rhodes

1/15/21 Untitled WB Event Film

2/12/21 Untitled WB Event Film

5/21/21 Untitled WB Event Film

TBA The Stand [ID]

Dir. Josh Boone

TBA San Andreas 2 [New Line]

Dwayne Johnson,

Dir. Brad Peyton

TBA The Batman

Ben Affleck, Dir. Matt Reeves

TBA Justice League Dark

TBA Gotham City Sirens

Margot Robbie,

Dir. David Ayer

TBA Queen of the Air [ID]

Margot Robbie

TBA Untitled Willy Wonka Movie [ID]

Scr. Simon Rich

TBA Little Shop of Horrors Remake

Dir. Greg Berlanti

TBA Father Daughter Time

Dir. Gavin O’Connor

TBA Black Adam

Dwayne Johnson

TBA Nightwing

Dir. Chris McKay

TBA Live Die Repeat and Repeat

Dir. Doug Liman

TBA Batgirl

Dir. Joss Whedon

TBA The Jetsons

Dir. Conrad Vernon

TBA The Billion Brick Race

Dir. Jorge Gutierrez

TBA Pulse

Scr. Jessie Nickson-Lopez

TBA Super-Intelligence

Prod. Melissa McCarthy

TBA The Conjuring 3

Prod. James Wan

TBA Margie Claus

Melissa McCarthy

TBA Sweet Tooth

Dir. Nico van den Brink

TBA The Kitchen

Tiffany Haddish

TBA Just Mercy

Dir. Destin Cretton

THE WEINSTEIN CO. (646) 862-3400

TBA The War with Grandpa

Dir. Tim Hill

TBA The Upside

Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart

TBA Richard Pryor:

Is It Something I Said? [ID]

Mike Epps, Dir. Lee Daniels

TBA Hotel Mumbai

Dev Patel, Armie Hammer

TBA The Six Billion Dollar Man [ID]

Mark Wahlberg, Dir. Peter Berg

TBA The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara

Mark Rylance, Dir. Steven Spielberg

WELL GO USA (972) 265-4317

Now Detective K:

Secret of the Living Dead

Dir. Kim Suk-Yoon

Now The Monkey King 3

Aaron Kwok

2/23 Operation Red Sea

Dir. Dante Lam

3/23 The Endless

Dirs. Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

112 mins

2018 Ip Man: Cheung Tin Chi

Yuen Woo Ping


058-069.indd 69

2/13/18 10:45 AM


by Andreas Fuchs

FJI Exhibition / Business Editor



While a huge array of global

cinema offerings are listed on the

menu of the 68th annual Internationale

Filmfestspiele Berlin (www., the festival’s “Culinary

Cinema” sidebar this year is

serving nine documentaries and

one feature film under the motto

of “Life is Delicate.” According to

programmers, these offerings focus

“on the relationship between

food, culture and politics.” Explains

festival director Dieter Kosslick,

“When it comes to cultural and

political matters, sensitive decisions

have to be made all the time.

It’s like in a kitchen, where it’s also

tricky to make, at the very least,

something edible and, at the very

best, something delicate.”

Walking a decidedly delicate

balance between one’s truly

German guts and the fact that

the Berlinale coined the theme as

“Life is Delicate” in English, this

columnist believes the intended

wordplay does not quite work.

In German, “delikat” means both

subtle and fragile, as well as “delicious,”

when it comes to food.

Ready for some delicatessen,


Either way, the 12th edition

of this culinary film feast does

indeed provide some tasty offerings.

Following the screenings,

an assembly of top chefs will

take their turns in the Gropius

Spiegelrestaurant serving menus

inspired by the films. One of

Andreas Fuchs also runs the Vassar

Theatre in Vassar, MI.

them, 20-year-old “culinary

prodigy” Flynn McGarry, is already

the subject of his very own

documentary. According to the

Berlinale, “He is looking forward

to the premiere of his film and to

cooking in the Culinary Cinema’s

kitchen.” Also on McGarry’s

agenda is cooking with schoolchildren

during “Youth Food

Cinema” day, Feb, 22, in collaboration

with Engagement Global

and the German Federal Ministry

for Economic Cooperation and

Development. Guten appetit!



Also during the Berlinale,

the European Film Market (EFM)

extended its EFM Horizon section

to five days (Feb. 16-20, That

bodes well for the workshop

and presentation series, just one

year after its launch. After all,

EFM Horizon focuses on nothing

short of “the future of film

business and pioneering developments

in the media and entertainment

worlds,” organizers

note. And plenty of future there

is. For the 2018 edition, some of

the “hot new themes” are artificial

intelligence, virtual reality,

blockchain (a database that runs

cryptocurrencies) and diversity in

the film industry.

In addition to such digital

innovations and current developments

in technology, horizons will

be widened on “the storytelling

of tomorrow and ideas for new

business models and strategies.” As

always, EFM Startups will be bringing

“the film industry into contact with

original and lateral thinkers in the

creative industries and technology

scene.” Ten startups from Berlin and

Europe as well as two from Canada,

the focus country at the EFM2018,

have already been selected.

With virtual reality in the

marketplace, the “VR Cinema

at Marriott” was added to the

lineup of screening locations,

including mainstream movie and

art houses.



The legendary designers at

Munich, Germany-based Arnold

& Richter Cine Technik (ARRI)

unveiled a complete large-format

camera and lens system. ALEXA

LF is based on a 4K version

of the ALEXA sensor, that is

“slightly bigger than full frame”

and records native 4K on different

formats, including uncompressed,

unencrypted ARRIRAW

up to 150 fps. The resulting 4448

x 3096 image “doesn’t just add

definition,” explained the company’s

product manager for camera

systems, Marc Shipman-Mueller,

“it creates a whole new look—

one that is truly immersive, with

a three-dimensional feel.”

The Academy of Motion Picture

Arts and Sciences has recognized

ARRI’s engineers and their

contributions to the industry

with 19 Scientific and Technical

Awards. For more information,




The Cinerama Restoration

Team is on tour again, screening

a variety of three-panel Cinerama

process triptych motion

pictures from its legacy library

at events in New York City (“To

Save and Project,” Museum of

Modern Art), Amsterdam, the

Netherlands (EYE Filmmuseum)

and Paris, France (“Toute la memoire

du monde,” Cinématheque

Française). During these special

presentations, Dave Strohmaier,

chief restorationist, and producer

Randy Gitsch, who have overseen

the digital remastering and

recombination of these pictures,

present a historical backstory

and restoration demonstration.

A standalone screening of

Windjammer: The Voyage of the

Christian Radich is slated for the

“Ultimate Screen” at Colosseum

Kino in Oslo, Norway, where

the Norwegian-American “Cinemiracle”

co-production originally

premiered in 1958. Check out the

trailer at



The global cinema technology

network CTC (

announced the

appointments of Sarah Lewthwaite,

managing director and

senior VP, EMEA, at Movio, and

Sandie Caffelle, sales and marketing

manager at Jack Roe, to its

board of governors.

Delighted to welcome both

women to the team, CTC’s

president Richard Mitchell noted:

“Whilst traditionally CTC has

focused on technological developments

within the auditorium,

technology has spread rapidly

throughout the cinema estate

from ticketing through to pointof-sale,

loyalty programs, digital

signage and interactive experiences.”

With the appointments,

CTC can count on their “significant

knowledge and expertise” in

those areas.

Before joining the leading

global marketing data-analytics

company, Lewthwaite was

marketing VP at Cineplex Entertainment

in Canada. As one

of Celluloid Junkies’ “50 Top

Women in Cinema 2017,” she

also received mentoring under

UNICs Women’s Cinema Leadership

Scheme. Caffelle has been

at turnkey cinema IT systems


070-074.indd 70

2/12/18 3:33 PM

y Vladislav Vorotnikov

FJI Russia Correspondent


provider Jack Roe for over 26

years. She is widely respected,

Mitchell added, “for delivering

tailored solutions to exhibitors

and supporting these with outstanding

customer service.”

In time for CinemaCon,

CTC will also be naming further

governors and be announcing

its new advisory council. The

15 people have been chosen

“to help provide steering and

support on key focus areas and

future outputs for the organization,”

making sure these are

aligned to the objectives of the

industry. For further information

on CTC including membership

opportunities, e-mail



Belgium-based Kinepolis

Group announced the first two

new projects since acquiring

Landmark Cinemas Canada last

December (

The company

reached an agreement with

Magic Lantern Theatres to take

over and complete their Brighton

Marketplace development

in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, by

June this year. At the same time,

Landmark Cinemas announced

a real estate partnership to

open a premium movie theatre

at CF Market Mall in Calgary,

Alberta. The latter will feature

five auditoriums and luxury

recliner power seating by spring

of 2019; the Brighton site will

have seven with premium recliner


European and Canadian

holdings combined, Kinepolis

Group now operates 93 cinemas

(43 of which it owns) in eight

countries, with a total of 814

screens and more than 180,000

seats (



The federal government of Russia was accused of

biased actions against foreign films after the Culture

Ministry tried to postpone the premiere of Paddington

2 by two weeks.

The Ministry ruled to delay the screening license

for the movie one day before it was slated to be

released on cinema screens, with no official explanation

except obscure wording that “there was another

movie scheduled to be released on the same date.”

In fact, Jan. 18—the original date when Paddington 2

was scheduled to appear on big screens—was also the

premiere date for five other movies in Russia. But the

Russian cinema business has no doubt that it was the

historical action film The Scythian, produced by local major

STB, that the Culture Ministry cared so much about.

The Scythian is the kind of patriotic film the Culture

Ministry is very proud of. The move was clearly

aimed to remove a dangerous competitor from the

schedule and bolster the box office for a movie of

Russian origin produced with state money.

This hasn’t been confirmed officially although,

commenting on the scandal around Paddington 2, Ministry

head Vladimir Medinsky claimed that he “doesn’t

give a darn about Hollywood movies” and that it’s

only Russian movies he looks after.

The Association of Russian Cinema Owners, in turn,

blamed the Ministry for an “unprecedented overreach”

in the domestic cinema market. Russian cinemas reportedly

had to repay around US$12,000 to viewers who

had purchased the tickets for Paddington 2.

However, just like in the movie, the bear triumphed,

as on the wave of the scandal the Ministry

had no choice but to reschedule the film for Jan. 20.



Two Russian actresses have made controversial

statements expressing sympathy toward Harvey Weinstein

and other men accused of sexual harassment in


Speaking to the local press, popular Russian actress

Lubov Tolkalina said that, in her opinion, sexual harassment

is a “wonderful thing, for real” and that harassment

is the “exact reason why men exist in the world.” Tolkalina

also suggested that women making allegations

against Weinstein “acted not in a girl’s way,” adding

that “if an actress eventually gets a role, it doesn’t

matter how it happened.” Another Russian actress,

Agniya Kuznetsova, suggested that to avoid sexual

harassment, actresses “should not act like prostitutes.”

Based on these statements, Russian social-media

users have created series of Internet memes, jokingly

suggesting Weinstein “urgently flee to Russia, where

his attitude would meet the full understanding of

some particular women.”

The majority of Russian actors are bothered by the

sexual-harassment scandal. Alexander Nevsky, speaking

to The Hollywood Reporter, said he felt really sad he

hadn’t punched Weinstein “in his freaking face” when he

met him in the United States. Irina Bezrukova revealed

that she once was subjected to sexual harassment by a

Russian film director, but she quickly solved the problem

by “punching that guy in his face.”



Russian film directors are enhancing their efforts

to bring their movies to foreign markets, seeking recognition

if not commercial success.

Fedor Bondarchuk managed to bring his sci-fi

blockbuster Attraction, with a storyline about an alien

invasion of downtown Moscow, to 3D IMAX screens

in the U.K. Attraction is considered one of the most

commercially successful Russian movies of 2017, and

although its makers don’t expect to see huge box

office overseas, the fact that it made it to foreign

markets is considered a first step on the way to international

acknowledgement of the Russian cinema

industry, according to Bondarchuk.

It is also likely that Russia will be able to arrange

successful international promotion for the sports drama

Going Vertical, the new all-time box-office champion

in Russia, with $33.4 million tallied in only three weeks.

The movie, however, was made with the money

allocated by the Cinema Fund, an organization controlled

by the Culture Ministry, and foreign viewers

may notice some patriotic colors in the script. Going

Vertical focuses on the victory of the Soviet basketball

team at the 1972 Munich Olympics, where the U.S.

team was defeated for the first time in 36 years. Giving

the current political situation, the contest between

Russians and Americans has attracted Russian viewers,

but the patriotic theme would hardly intrigue anyone

abroad, according to Russian pundits.

Another movie shot in Russia with clear political

content is Crimea, which has received only negative reviews

from foreign viewers. Although Attraction at first

glance seems to be a different kind of film, the review

from The Times also found it packed with elements of

propaganda. Which leads to a reasonable question—is

this the kind of recognition Russian directors really

want to achieve internationally?


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by Thomas Schmid

FJI Far East Bureau



The Busan International Film

Festival (BIFF) appointed Lee

Yong-kwan, a former festival

director, as its new board chairman

during a special organizing

committee assembly held on Jan.

31. During the same meeting, Jay

Jeon, the former deputy director,

was appointed as new festival


Lee Yong-kwan is one of

BIFF’s founding members and

previously held the positions of

program director and deputy

director. He later became festival

director but had to step down in

2016 because of political pressure

caused by the 2014 screening of

the documentary film The Truth

Shall Not Sink with Sewol (a.k.a.

Diving Bell). Back then, the city

government had demanded the

screening be cancelled because

of the film’s harsh criticism of

authorities over their handling

of a ferry disaster that had cost

hundreds of lives, but Lee defied

the order.

Lee has also worked as a

professor of the Department of

Theatre and Film at Kyungsung

University in Busan, as director

of Cinematheque Busan and as

dean of the Graduate School of

Art at Chung-Ang University in

Seoul. He is currently dean of the

Im Kwon Taek College of Film

and Media Arts of Busan’s Dongseo


Jeon, meanwhile, also is a

BIFF founding member and used

to be director of the Asian Film

Market and BIFF deputy director.

The festival board last December

formed a committee to seek

replacements for former chairman

Kim Dong-ho and festival

director Kang Soo-youn, both of

whom had resigned in tandem

right after last year’s festival,

leaving BIFF pretty much rudderless

for almost four months. As

new chairman, Lee is to serve a

term of four years, while Jeon

will serve as festival director for

the next three years.




India’s Supreme Court in

early January reversed an order

that the country’s national anthem

must be played in every

cinema before a film screening—a

ruling order that the court itself

had given in 2016. The reversal

apparently came in response to

a government request to reconsider

the controversial edict.

While prior to 2016 the governments

of all 29 individual Indian

states could decide if the anthem

should be played in cinemas and

whether audiences must stand

or not during the playing, it only

became nationwide law in 2016.

But the ruling had triggered much

opposition among film fans and

even led to a string of arrests

and even physical assaults against

individuals who refused to stand

for the anthem. For example, in

2014 a man in Kerala state was

arrested and charged with sedition

for refusing to stand. Last

year, a group of moviegoers were

forcefully removed from a cinema

hall in Mumbai for remaining

seated; and in October 2017 a

handicapped man was beaten by

fellow audience members because

he “refused” to stand up. The

Indian government has reportedly

requested the Supreme Court

to reverse its ruling until a panel

is formed to study the issue and

decide on further procedure.

At CineAsia, attendees will get the chance to hear about

the current trends and new state-of-the-art technologies

in the motion picture industry. Nowhere else in Asia can you accomplish

as much in a short period of time to sustain, and help grow,

your business in the year to come. Join your cinema exhibition,

distribution, and motion picture industry colleagues to network;

and see product presentations and screenings of major Hollywood

films soon to be released in Asia. Attendees will also get

the opportunity to visit the Trade Show where you will find the latest

equipment, products, and technologies to help make your theatre

a must-attend destination. CineAsia will take place at the Hong Kong

Convention & Exhibition Centre on December 11-13, 2018.



Hardline Hindu groups in

northern India violently clashed

with police and threatened moviegoers

after controversial Bollywood

romantic fantasy drama

Padmaavat opened across the

country on Jan. 25. According to

local newspaper reports, several

buses carrying advertisements for

the film were pelted with rocks,

while outraged mobs allegedly

also attacked and vandalized a

number of theatres that screened

the movie. A cinema owner in Uttar

Pradesh state and at least one

film fan were physically assaulted,

reports said.

But trouble over Padmaavat


070-074.indd 72

2/12/18 3:33 PM

y David Pearce

FJI Australia / New Zealand Correspondent


had been brewing for some time

already. Even when the film was

still in production, Hindu hardliners

protested against its release

because they deemed it disrespectful

for depicting a “forbidden

romance” between a Hindu

queen, Padmavati, and a Muslim

ruler, Alauddin Khijli, played by

Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone

and Ranveer Singh, respectively.

Although both the figure

of Queen Padmavati and the

storyline of the 16th-century epic

poem “Padmaavat” in which she

appears are entirely fictional, the

Queen nevertheless is revered as

a deity by the Hindu Rajput caste.

Following rumors, the Rajput

caste organization last year alleged

that the movie contained

a controversial scene in which

the Muslim ruler dreams about

an intimate tryst with the Hindu

queen. However, director Sanjay

Leela Bhansali has always

consistently denied that such a

“dream sequence” existed in his

film. It was only late last year that

India’s film censorship body, the

Central Board of Film Certification

(CBFC), finally cleared the

film’s release. While no cuts were

ordered, the CBFC nevertheless

recommended a change of the

film title from the original Padmavati

to the current Padmaavat,

apparently in an effort to take the

focus off the female character and

placate Hindu protesters. Director

Bhansali obviously complied,

although it seems not to have

done him any good. But despite

the threat of violence—and perhaps

in defiance of it—Padmaavat

still opened in around 5,000

theatres across the vast country,

although many cinemas especially

in the north also said that they

will not screen it, for the sake of

safeguarding their properties and

customers alike.

For feedback and inquiries,

contact Thomas at thomas.schmid@

The move to digital projection at cinemas has

led to a rise in the number of films released.

In Australia, an average of more than 12 films

were released every week to cinemas in 2017, with

the total number of films screened for the year

at 651. This means that it is harder than ever for

a single film to get noticed and perform to its full

potential. Despite more films being released, box

office dropped in both Australia and New Zealand

in 2017. The Kiwi box office total dropped from

NZ$207 million in 2016 to NZ$190 million last year.

Australia recorded a 4.6% drop from A$1.259 billion

down to A$1.201 billion at the box office.

Top Australian film for the year was Lion, with a

total local box office of A$29.5 million. Despite total

box office dropping, the result for Australian films

was a major improvement. In 2016, local films only

took 1.9% of total box office. Led by Lion plus Red

Dog: True Blue, Jasper Jones, Dance Academy and more,

the local take jumped in 2017 to 4.1% of the total

cinema takings. The increase in films released for the

year has led to an increase in older patrons, a trend

that has also been noted in the U.S. and U.K.

The new Kiwi film Broken opened at number one at

the NZ box office on Feb. 1. An independent film, it focuses

on a gang member who straightens out his life and

concentrates on raising his daughter. When the daughter

is killed by a rival gang, he must make some major life

decisions. Written and directed by Tarry Mortlock and

based on a true story, the film stars Wayne Hapi and an

impressive cast of amateur actors.

A major new retail and hotel development

is planned for the outskirts of New Plymouth in

the north island of New Zealand. The complex,

which has yet to get council approval, will house a

six-screen cinema and a 75-room hotel, plus food

outlets and retail stores.

Caloundra, on Australia’s Sunshine Coast in

Queensland, is set to get a new six-screen cinema

complex as part of the expansion of Stockland’s

Caloundra Shopping Centre. Included in the new

development will also be a tavern, a range of

specialty retail stores and extra parking.

We have reported on a large number of

new cinemas in Australia in the last year. This is

expected to increase the number of screens in

Australia by 10 to 15%, and a similar increase is

expected in New Zealand. Let’s hope that the box

office rebounds this year, or many complexes will

be facing a drop in revenue.

Send your Australia/New Zealand news to David

Pearce at


070-074.indd 73

2/12/18 3:33 PM


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Get Smart! continued from page 47

Even before beginning to work with five exhibitors, Smart Pricer

spent time analyzing the market specifics in Germany and moviegoers’

willingness to pay. In the country’s capital, Smart Pricer found

CineStar CUBIX (

to have the largest price spread of nearly 200 percent

to see the same film in the same theatre—ranging from €6.50 to

€13.30—depending on day of the week, seat quality and the booking

channel a customer chooses.

Smart Pricer goes on to predict that “recent pricing innovations

that are likely to spread throughout the German market over the

coming years are discounts for online purchases, bundling of ticket

and concession sales, installation of premium seats, offering up to

four price categories for the same show and switching to truedemand-based

dynamic pricing.” While “various price surcharges

and discounts give customers more choice in what they are willing

to pay,” company research further suggests “not all techniques are

beneficial to customers and exhibitors.”

UCI Kinowelt, for one, has observed a higher utilization of online

ticketing. “This behavior is based on several external factors as

well,” Eimer elaborates, “of which smart pricing is one of them.” As

for revenue development, he remains upbeat. “The effects on our

average ticket price cannot be fully determined yet and they vary

by location. Overall, however, we do see and expect a generally

positive impact on the average ticket price. We do need some more

time to analyze and evaluate all the details.”

Another vital element to the success has already been fully

established. “The integration with our POS system from Compeso

was indeed a key to the successful implementation of smart pricing.

Changing did require a lot of work and investments. Our collaboration

did work very smoothly, so that we have a solid basis for the

rollout. Manual adjustments to the system at the cinema level were

reduced to virtually none, and that was one of the main criteria

to begin our coverage across the country.” Smart Pricer adds that

while its optimization software has been integrated with several

POS offers, even without such integration the effort merely involves

“five to ten minutes per day for daily price updates done by the

local theatre or central pricing team.”

While Eimer says UCI Kinowelt is now concentrating on the

operational aspects of the ongoing rollout, he is still excited about

seeing the results come in. And, of course, there is always more to

get excited about. “For us, smart pricing represents a new model in

our general pricing tools. We see other offerings, such as subscriptions

and discounted days, as independent from smart pricing. Our

UCI Unlimited Card has been successully established for guests to

watch all films at a flat monthy rate. And we still maintain that offer

for film fans who are very loyal.”

No matter how many pricing opportunities and options are

available and still to come, Claas Eimer knows that growing revenue

and attendance is not about the ticket price alone. “In our

view, general reductions do not have the potential to significantly

change the marketplace for moviegoing. For that to happen, the

guest experience needs to continue to improve. We have to

upgrade our cinemas and make them even more modern and

attractive. Going forward, UCI Kinowelt will continue to deploy

premium concepts such as IMAX and our very own iSens [www.] or UCI Luxe brands. Very soon, we will

open the first UCI Luxe Kino in Germany, fully equipped with

recliner seating. Just like smart pricing, this will be something

entirely new in Germany.”

Smart move, all around.

Postmaster: Please send address changes to: Film Journal International, P.O. Box 215, Congers, NY 10920-0215.

Canadian Publication Mail Agreement #41450540. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: MSI, P.O. Box 2600, Mississauga, On L4T OA8.

070-074.indd 74

2/12/18 3:33 PM

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