Film Journal November 2018

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

<strong>Film</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> International ShowEast Edition Vol. 121, No. 11 / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

ShowEast Issue<br />


<strong>November</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

Nov18_Cover.indd 1<br />

10/8/18 10:16 AM

004-008.indd 2<br />

10/8/18 10:17 AM

004-008.indd 3<br />

10/8/18 10:17 AM

A Time of Transition<br />

Over the last 39 years, it has been easy to come<br />

up with topics for the editorials in <strong>Film</strong> <strong>Journal</strong><br />

International because of our knowledge of the industry<br />

as well as all of the changes we have witnessed. This<br />

editorial is not as easy to pen and is bittersweet, as<br />

the next issue of <strong>Film</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> International will be our<br />

last. After 84 years in business, FJI will no longer<br />

be published each month, as the magazine is being<br />

merged with the publication BoxOffice. Mort Sunshine,<br />

publisher and editor for more than 29 years and my<br />

dad, is probably rolling over in his grave with this<br />

news, but knowing that this will benefit the industry<br />

might have made it easier to accept.<br />

There is certainly a need for a trade press that is<br />

dedicated to the exhibition community, and with the<br />

combined resources of BoxOffice and FJI, BoxOffice<br />

parent company Webedia will be able to deliver more<br />

information on a regular basis to both big and small<br />

cinema owners.<br />

It’s been a privilege to be the publisher of <strong>Film</strong> <strong>Journal</strong><br />

International for the past 39 years. We have covered the<br />

news and witnessed just about everything during this<br />

period, and we still believe that a movie shown on a big<br />

screen in a theatre is the only way to see a feature. And<br />

we are encouraged that the industry in <strong>2018</strong> has a chance<br />

to break the all-time box-office record for a single year.<br />

The past 39 years have been a lot of fun. We have<br />

seen extraordinary changes, everything from xenon<br />

bulbs, multiplexes, stadium seating, digital cinema,<br />

immersive sound and lasers to dine-in theatres. It’s been<br />

a remarkable evolution, but the one thing that remains<br />

the same is that good content always lights the way.<br />

We have seen numerous independents come and<br />

go, but the stalwarts remain strong and continue to<br />

release hit films. Sony Pictures Classics, Fox Searchlight<br />

and Focus Features remain at the top of the class in<br />

the specialty arena. Giants of exhibition like Salah<br />

Hassanein, Sumner Redstone, Bernard Myerson and<br />

Ted Mann helped create and led this great industry, but<br />

today companies like Cineworld/Regal, Wanda/AMC,<br />

Cinemark, Cinépolis and CJ CGV dominate exhibition.<br />

The industry has changed so much with digital and<br />

lasers and the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and<br />

Google. It is difficult to imagine what the industry will<br />

look like in ten years.<br />

I have followed in the footsteps of Mort and my<br />

brother Jerry, who both had the honor of heading<br />

up this publication, and I truly feel that we have been<br />

fair, reasonable and trustworthy with what we have<br />

published.<br />

In turning over the reins to BoxOffice, we are<br />

confident that Julien Marcel and his team will carry on<br />

the great tradition of reporting the news in a professional<br />

manner. Together with Andrew Sunshine, we will<br />

continue to manage and run CineEurope, CineAsia and<br />

ShowEast. We will continue to do what we do best—<br />

promote the motion picture industry honorably around<br />

the globe.<br />

We extend our best wishes to Julien and his<br />

associates at BoxOffice and this new and expanded<br />

From the Editor’s Desk<br />

In Focus<br />

endeavor. We are delighted that Kevin Lally, our executive<br />

editor, will be going over to BoxOffice along with Rebecca<br />

Pahle, his associate editor.<br />

So as we close this chapter, inevitably a new one begins.<br />

Andrew and I will be as visible as ever with our three<br />

major events—and don’t be surprised if you see some new<br />

things in the years ahead. We’ve grown up in the business<br />

and have a great affinity for the people we work with in all<br />

parts of the globe. They are intelligent and generous and<br />

make it easy to love this industry.<br />

Heading to Miami Beach<br />

ShowEast always stages at this time of the year, when<br />

we have a good idea of how the industry is doing and can<br />

ultimately project the year’s box office. Summer receipts<br />

were up 12% over 2017 and total box office for the year<br />

(currently 9% better) could maintain that level.<br />

Theatres are being built and refurbished and lots of<br />

equipment is being sold. Coupled with the upswing in<br />

box office, the industry has a lot to be happy about and<br />

it’s certainly a good time to travel to Miami Beach to see<br />

what’s happening in the industry, network with friends<br />

and associates and see some great films. There are some<br />

very exciting things happening at ShowEast in <strong>2018</strong>. The<br />

highlights include the honorees, both domestic and from<br />

Latin America, the tradeshow with many new technologies,<br />

outdoor roundtable seminars, the Hall of Fame inductees<br />

and, of course, the films.<br />

What is bittersweet is that this will probably be the<br />

last convention that 20th Century Fox will attend. Fox<br />

has been around since 1935 and has had such great hits<br />

as The Grapes of Wrath, Titanic, Avatar, Star Wars, Hidden<br />

Figures, The Devil Wears Prada, Die Hard and so many<br />

more. With their acquisition by Disney, we envision that<br />

the distribution, marketing and production teams will be<br />

absorbed into the mouse house. We can only guess what<br />

other acquisitions and mergers are being considered for<br />

the near future.<br />

Fox and Chris Aronson have been an integral part of<br />

ShowEast for many years and it is always great to have<br />

Chris onboard. This year, Chris is receiving the Salah M.<br />

Hassanein Humanitarian Award. Although he is not as<br />

flamboyant in Miami Beach as he is in Las Vegas, we can<br />

expect something special this year, as he tells us that<br />

surprises are in order. We wish him well in any future<br />

endeavors.<br />

Please see our special section on ShowEast in this<br />

edition. Enjoy the show! <br />

4 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

004-008.indd 4<br />

10/9/18 2:56 PM

the know-how to wow<br />

Barco Laser projection<br />

The expertise to deliver a cinema experience that delights and excites.<br />

The knowledge to produce superior image quality, time and time again.<br />

The experience to guarantee uptime and system performance.<br />

The talent to develop cost-effective and future-proof laser projectors.<br />

The prowess to offer flexible financing options that fit your solution.<br />

The passion to create the largest portfolio in the industry.<br />

The dedication to perfection for the thousands of laser projectors we’ve installed.<br />

Be wowed at www.cinionic.com

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / VOL. 121, NO. 11<br />

FJI introduces<br />

The Legacy Series,<br />

profiles of top<br />

families in cinema<br />

exhibition,<br />

pgs. 72-75.<br />



Steve McQueen directs Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki<br />

and Viola Davis in Widows, pg. 28.<br />

Merrick Morton © <strong>2018</strong> Twentieth Century Fox<br />


A Word from Your Sponsor. . . . . . 56<br />

Lending support to industry shows<br />

has lasting benefits.<br />

Changing Landscape.. . . . . . . . . . . . 60<br />

The global economy impacts M&A<br />

activity in film exhibition.<br />

A New Shade of Green.. . . . . . . . . . 62<br />

Cinemas prioritize eco-friendliness.<br />

Deep Dive .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64<br />

Movio’s Weekend Insights provides<br />

detailed audience intl.<br />

Emerging Technologies. . . . . . . . . . 66<br />

Innovation in cinema is far from over.<br />

Spider-Girl .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24<br />

Claire Foy takes on the role of hacker<br />

Lisbeth Salander in Sony reboot<br />

of the Millennium franchise.<br />

#We Four.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28<br />

Steve McQueen directs heist thriller<br />

about widows who take fate into their<br />

own hands.<br />

Net Value.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32<br />

Ralph and Vanellope discover a wi-fi<br />

router that leads them on a new digital<br />

adventure.<br />

Boy Erased, Boy Embraced.. . . . . . . 36<br />

Joel Edgerton directs searing drama<br />

about gay conversion therapy.<br />

Speaking Out.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40<br />

A teenager witnesses a police shooting<br />

and comes forward in The Hate U Give.<br />

Big Sky Story.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44<br />

Paul Dano makes his directorial debut<br />

with critically acclaimed Wildlife.<br />

Blythe Danner, Hillary Swank, pg. 48<br />

Lost and Found.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48<br />

A daughter returns to her childhood<br />

home to help her brother and father<br />

come to terms with her ailing mother.<br />

Celluloid Junkie’s Top Women in Global Cinema, pgs. 52-54<br />

Profiles of Vilma Benitez of Bardan Cinema, and Elizabeth Frank of AMC Theatres.<br />

Bleecker Street<br />

Around the Hub .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68<br />

Exhibitors benefit from centralization.<br />

Making Moviegoing Memorable.. . . 70<br />

Display solutions elevate the theatre<br />

experience.<br />


In Focus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4<br />

Reel News in Review .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8<br />

Trade Talk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10<br />

<strong>Film</strong> Company News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14<br />

Concessions: Trends .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18<br />

Concessions: People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20<br />

Ask the Audience.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22<br />

Buying and Booking Guide . . . . . . . . . . 118<br />

Calendar of Feature Releases.. . . . . . . . 130<br />

European Update.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134<br />

Russia in Review.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135<br />

Asia/Pacific Roundabout. . . . . . . . . . . . 136<br />

Advertisers’ Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138<br />


WIth just two more months<br />

left in the year, there are<br />

still a ton of movies to get<br />

out and see, from big-budget<br />

actioners to foreign indies,<br />

pages 76-89.<br />

© <strong>2018</strong> Disney<br />

FJI’s preview of the <strong>2018</strong> edition of the Miami Beach<br />

show includes interviews with honorees Neil Campbell,<br />

Chris Aronson, Miguel Rivera, Robert Carrady and a<br />

preview of the tradeshow, pgs. 90-117.<br />

004-008.indd 6<br />

10/9/18 2:56 PM

REEL<br />

NEWS<br />


<br />

825 Eighth Ave., 29th Floor<br />

New York, NY 10019<br />

Tele: (212) 493-4097<br />

AMC Secures<br />

$600 Mil. Investment<br />

AMC Entertainment Holdings has entered<br />

into an agreement with private-equity firm<br />

Silver Lake, a leading technology investor.<br />

Per AMC’s official announcement, they have<br />

“issued $600 million senior unsecured convertible<br />

notes due 2024.” A portion of the<br />

proceeds from these notes has been used to<br />

buy back a group of shares from Dalian Wanda<br />

Group, AMC’s lead investor. Said AMC’s CEO<br />

Adam Aron, “We are very excited to welcome<br />

a new, highly sophisticated investor with a<br />

great track record of success. Silver Lake<br />

believes in the inherent value of AMC now,<br />

and in the likelihood of AMC’s success going<br />

forward resulting from our global leadership<br />

position and our proven growth strategies.”<br />

U.S. Imports<br />

Struggle in China<br />

A keynote speech by box-office analyst<br />

Rance Pow at the fifth annual U.S.-China<br />

<strong>Film</strong> & Television Industry Expo painted a<br />

somewhat bleak picture of the future of Hollywood’s<br />

position in the massive Chinese<br />

market. “On a year-to-date basis, Chineselanguage<br />

films are outperforming, while imports<br />

are underperforming,” Pow explained.<br />

Ticket sales for U.S. imports during the first<br />

three quarters of <strong>2018</strong> were down to $1.64<br />

million, compared to $2.17 billion over the<br />

equivalent period last year. The success of<br />

local titles, however, means China’s total <strong>2018</strong><br />

box office is up nearly 14% to date.<br />

Tom Rothman<br />

Re-Ups with Sony<br />

Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures<br />

Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group,<br />

signed a new contract that carries his involvement<br />

with the studio through several<br />

more years. Rothman, who took over for<br />

Amy Pascal in 2015, oversaw Sony’s transition<br />

from a bleak 2016—a year which saw a $719<br />

million loss for the studio—to a profitable<br />

2017 boosted by the success of such films<br />

as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Spider-<br />

Man: Homecoming.<br />

Entertainment Studios<br />

Launches Int’l Division<br />

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios<br />

Motion Pictures is launching an international<br />

sales and distribution division, to be<br />

appropriately titled Entertainment Studios<br />

Motion Pictures International. The division<br />

will work together with <strong>Film</strong>Nation Entertainment<br />

to handle the international releases<br />

of titles to which Entertainment Studios<br />

has worldwide rights. Upcoming Entertainment<br />

Studios Motion Pictures releases<br />

include 47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter,<br />

the sequel to their surprise 2017 hit 47<br />

Meters Down. Said Allen, “As we continue to<br />

distribute content across an ever-increasing<br />

number of domestic and global broadcast<br />

television, network television, theatrical and<br />

digital platforms, it is only natural for us<br />

to incorporate worldwide movie distribution<br />

into our overall content distribution<br />

strategy going forward, and <strong>Film</strong>Nation<br />

Entertainment is the perfect partner for us<br />

to achieve this goal.”<br />

China Cracks Down<br />

On Online Ticket Subsidies<br />

Regulators of China’s film market are<br />

reportedly preparing to crack down on<br />

one of the country’s more controversial<br />

exhibition practices. The practice relates<br />

to online ticket sales, which accounts for<br />

over 90% of all ticket sales in the country.<br />

Specifically, online ticketing services (and,<br />

later, producers and distributors themselves)<br />

have a habit of subsidizing openingweekend<br />

movie ticket costs, bringing prices<br />

down to rock bottom and artificially<br />

inflating films’ box-office take. Regulators<br />

plan to crack down on this practice as<br />

well as put a cap on the ticketing services’<br />

service charges.<br />

Subscriptions: 1-877-496-5246 • filmjournal.com/subscribe • subscriptions@filmjournal.com<br />

Editorial inquiries: kevin.lally@filmjournal.com • Ad inquiries: robin.klamfoth@filmexpos.com<br />

Reprint inquiries: fji@wrightsmedia.com • 1-877-652-5295<br />

Publisher/Editor<br />

Robert Sunshine<br />

President, <strong>Film</strong> Expo Group<br />

Andrew Sunshine<br />

Executive Editor<br />

Kevin Lally<br />

Associate Editor<br />

Rebecca Pahle<br />

Art Director<br />

Rex Roberts<br />

Senior Account Executive,<br />

Advertising & Sponsorships<br />

Robin Klamfoth<br />

Exhibition/Business Editor<br />

Andreas Fuchs<br />

Concessions Editor<br />

Larry Etter<br />

Far East Bureau<br />

Thomas Schmid<br />

CEO, <strong>Film</strong> Expo Group<br />

Theo Kingma<br />


Visit www.filmjournal.com<br />

for breaking industry news,<br />

FJI’s Screener blog and reviews<br />

Like us on Facebook<br />

www.facebook.com/<br />

filmjournalinternational<br />

Follow us on Twitter<br />

@film_journal<br />

for updates on our latest content<br />

<strong>Film</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> International © <strong>2018</strong> by <strong>Film</strong><br />

Expo Group, LLC. No part of this publication<br />

may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval<br />

system, or transmitted, in any form or by any<br />

means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,<br />

recording or otherwise, without prior written<br />

permission of the publisher.<br />

8 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

004-008.indd 8<br />

10/9/18 2:56 PM

CHRI4699_RealLaser_FJ_Ad_May-18_Final_HR.pdf 1 5/18/18 2:57 PM<br />

Real|laser<br />

Affordable RGB pure laser<br />

projection has arrived.<br />

Enhanced contrast | Explosive color<br />

All-in-one | Longest-lasting<br />

© <strong>2018</strong> Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. All rights reserved.<br />





Fu Ruoqing, deputy director<br />

of the China <strong>Film</strong> Producers’<br />

Association and deputy<br />

director of the Beijing <strong>Film</strong><br />

Academy, will receive the<br />

“Distributor of the Year”<br />

Award at CineAsia <strong>2018</strong> on<br />

Dec. 13 at the Grand Hyatt in<br />

Hong Kong.<br />

Ruoqing has served as<br />

general manager of China<br />

<strong>Film</strong> Equipment Co., Ltd,<br />

deputy general manager of<br />

China <strong>Film</strong> Group, General<br />

Manager of State Production<br />

Base of China <strong>Film</strong> Group,<br />

and VP of China <strong>Film</strong> Co. Ltd.<br />

and currently serves as chairman<br />

of Huaxia <strong>Film</strong> Distribution<br />

Co. Ltd.<br />

CineAsia will also honor<br />

film producer Bill Kong, president<br />

of Edko <strong>Film</strong>s Ltd., with<br />

the “Icon Award.” Kong leads<br />

one of the top film distribution,<br />

production and exhibition<br />

companies in Asia. He is also<br />

one of the most successful<br />

film producers in Asia, with<br />

credits that include Crouching<br />

Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero,<br />

House of Flying Daggers and the<br />

Monster Hunt series.<br />



EclairGame, the new<br />

eSports-based entertainment<br />

solution for cinemas, and Belgian<br />

public broadcaster RTBF<br />

announced the signing of an<br />

agreement for ten eSportsbased<br />

Ciné Sessions cinema<br />

events, in partnership with<br />

the Kinepolis cinema chain.<br />

Premiering on Sept. 27<br />

and held weekly from 7-11<br />

p.m. through Dec. 6, the ten<br />

Ciné Sessions events branded<br />

under RTBF’s new urban playground<br />

“Tarmac” take place<br />

ICTA president Alan Roe (l) presents the annual<br />

Teddy Award to Cinionic, accepted by Joe DeMeo, director<br />

of sales. Kobe Bone of Rodney Award winner<br />

Tri-State Theatre Supply looks on.<br />

at the Kinepolis Brussels<br />

complex. They are hosted by<br />

popular gaming personalities<br />

Sunny, Tahiti and Mr Quaraté,<br />

and live-streamed on the<br />

Tarmac’s official Twitch channel,<br />

Tarmacbe, as part of its<br />

Thursday evening “Que Le<br />

Stream” show, aka #QLS.<br />

Open to players across Belgium,<br />

the Tarmac Ciné Sessions<br />

are expected to attract<br />

up to 150 players per event,<br />


REACHES 400,000<br />

AMC Theatres announced<br />

that its AMC Stubs A-List has<br />

crossed more than 400,000<br />

enrolled members. AMC Stubs<br />

A-List rewards guests with<br />

up to three movies per week,<br />

all for $19.95 (plus tax) per<br />

month. Through A-List, members<br />

can enjoy every available<br />

showtime, at every AMC location,<br />

in every format—including<br />

IMAX at AMC, Dolby Cinema<br />

at AMC, RealD 3D, Prime<br />

at AMC and BigD.<br />



CGR Cinemas has chosen<br />

Christie as its exclusive laser<br />

projection partner as it moves<br />

to convert all 700 of its theatres<br />

to RGB pure laser technology.<br />

In a landmark agreement<br />

that sees CGR becoming<br />

the largest investor in Christie<br />

RealLaser systems in the<br />

world today, 200 CGR Classic<br />

auditoriums will be redeveloped<br />

for Christie RealLaser<br />

over the next two years.<br />

The initiative complements<br />

CGR’s successful ICE<br />

(Immersive Cinema Experience)<br />

theatres, which also utilize<br />

RGB pure laser systems.<br />

The first 100 projectors will<br />

be installed in 2019, with the<br />

remaining 100 projectors to<br />

arrive in 2020.<br />



The Society of Motion<br />

Picture and Television Engineers<br />

(SMPTE) announced<br />

the publication of new SMPTE<br />

ST 2098 standards for immersive<br />

audio. The Society<br />

has published ST 2098-1:<strong>2018</strong>,<br />

Immersive Audio Metadata; ST<br />

2098-2:<strong>2018</strong>, Immersive Audio<br />

Bitstream Specification; and ST<br />

2098-5:<strong>2018</strong>, D-Cinema Immersive<br />

Audio Channels and<br />

Soundfield Groups.<br />

Brian Vessa, founding chair<br />

of SMPTE’s Technology Committee<br />

on Cinema Sound Systems<br />

(TC-25CSS) and executive<br />

director of digital audio<br />

mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment,<br />

said, “By supporting<br />

delivery of a standardized<br />

immersive audio bitstream<br />

within a single interoperable<br />

digital cinema package, the<br />

new SMPTE immersive audio<br />

standards simplify distribution<br />

while ensuring that cinemas<br />

can confidently play out immersive<br />

audio on their choice<br />

of compliant immersive sound<br />

systems.”<br />



Alamo Drafthouse Cinema<br />

announced that construction<br />

is underway on Alamo<br />

Drafthouse Los Angeles, and<br />

that the company will break<br />

ground next month on their<br />

first location in Manhattan.<br />

Alamo Drafthouse Los Angeles<br />

is an 11-screen theatre located<br />

in downtown urban center<br />

The Bloc, set to open in the<br />

second quarter of 2019. Alamo<br />

Drafthouse Lower Manhattan<br />

is a 12-screen location in the<br />

Financial District at 28 Liberty,<br />

and is expected to open in the<br />

third quarter of 2019.<br />



The Wisconsin Department<br />

of Workforce Develop-<br />

10 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

008-022.indd 10<br />

10/9/18 2:58 PM

Ingest a full length motion picture DCP in the time it takes to play a Trailer? The new QSC CMS-5000 is<br />

a next-generation cinema media server that features reliable onboard solid-state storage, dual HDMI 2.0<br />

ports for alternate content, and a 10Gb Ethernet port for exceptionally fast DCP ingest – up to 10 times faster<br />

than other servers. Best of all, the CMS-5000 interfaces directly with Q-SYS, QSC’s network platform for<br />

integrated sound, picture, and control.<br />

It’s capable of JPEG 2000 DCI content playback at 2k or 4k 2D up to 60 frames per second, and 4k 3D up<br />

to 30 frames per second. The CMS-5000 also supports immersive audio formats DTS:X (renders up to 64<br />

channels) and bitstream transmission of Dolby ® Atmos ® .<br />

As part of the Q-SYS ecosystem, the CMS-5000 appears in Q-SYS Designer software as a Q-SYS<br />

component, providing full system interconnection, audio channel routing, status monitoring, and control.<br />

The CMS-5000 sets a new standard for cinema media server performance and functionality.<br />

©<strong>2018</strong> QSC, LLC all rights reserved. QSC, Q-SYS and the QSC logo are registered trademarks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Offce and other countries. Dolby and Dolby Atmos are registered trademarks of Dolby<br />

Laboratories. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. 1046<br />

1046_filmjornal_CMS_5000_awardsjournal_8.5x10.875.indd 1<br />

7/11/18 2:10 PM


continued<br />

ment (DWD) presented a<br />

<strong>2018</strong> “Exemplary Employer<br />

Award” to The Marcus Corporation<br />

in honor of the<br />

company’s commitment to<br />

recruit and hire individuals<br />

with disabilities. The honor is<br />

awarded annually during National<br />

Disability Employment<br />

Awareness Month to select<br />

companies in each of the 11<br />

workforce development areas<br />

of the state.<br />

Accepting the award<br />

was Rolando B. Rodriguez,<br />

executive VP of The Marcus<br />

Corporation and chairman,<br />

president and CEO of Marcus<br />

Theatres.<br />



Metropolitan Theatres<br />

launched a free loyalty program<br />

called “M Rewards.”<br />

Guest benefits include earning<br />

points on every qualifying<br />

dollar spent, receiving<br />

M Rewards dollars to spend<br />

on movie tickets, concessions<br />

and bar service, a<br />

free medium popcorn upon<br />

registration, a free refill on<br />

large popcorn and large soda<br />

purchases, and a free medium<br />

popcorn on their M Rewards<br />

anniversary. Additionally,<br />

members will receive access<br />

to exclusive offers, screenings<br />

and more.<br />



Greg Cozine was named<br />

VP, Eastern sales, at cinemaadvertising<br />

company Spotlight<br />

Cinema Networks. He will be<br />

responsible for selling onscreen<br />

and off-screen programs<br />

to national marketers<br />

across Spotlight’s luxury and<br />

art-house cinema network.<br />

Cozine joins Spotlight<br />

from National CineMedia,<br />

where he worked for<br />

nearly five years successfully<br />

negotiating the sale of premium<br />

video ad campaigns and<br />

branded entertainment to<br />

leading national advertisers.<br />



CJ 4DPLEX and Cineplex<br />

announced a new agreement<br />

that will bring the 4DX<br />

experience to as many as 13<br />

additional Cineplex locations<br />

across Canada over the coming<br />

years. The companies<br />

opened Canada’s first 4D<br />

auditorium at Cineplex Cinemas<br />

Yonge-Dundas and VIP<br />

in downtown Toronto, Ontario,<br />

in 2016. CJ 4DPLEX’s<br />

4D technology enhances the<br />

onscreen visuals of blockbuster<br />

films through special<br />

effects including motionsynchronized<br />

seats, wind, fog,<br />

rain, lightning, snow, bubble,<br />

vibration and scents.<br />



MediaMation, Inc. (MMI)<br />

announced that the United<br />

States Patent and Trademark<br />

Office has issued U.S. Patent<br />

10,076,712, entitled “Systems<br />

and methods for fluid delivery<br />

in seat systems.” The special<br />

armrests have the capability<br />

to emit wind, air, water blasts<br />

and scent effects on cue to<br />

MMI’s 4D motion EFX seat<br />

programming. This innovation<br />

essentially replaces the need<br />

for setting up a network of<br />

fans throughout the theatre<br />

that would traditionally serve<br />

the purpose of helping create<br />

these effects.<br />



Major Cineplex will<br />

receive the “Cinionic Technology<br />

Innovator of the<br />

Year” Award at CineAsia<br />

in Hong Kong. Under Vicha<br />

Poolvaraluk’s leadership,<br />

Major Cineplex became the<br />

first exhibitor in the world to<br />

install ScreenX outside of the<br />

CGV network, Thailand’s first<br />

IMAX cinema in Southeast<br />

Asia in 1998, and the third<br />

cinema operator worldwide<br />

to install 4DX.<br />


AD USES MX4D<br />

Leading cinema-advertising<br />

company Screenvision<br />

Media teamed up with Xbox<br />

for the national debut of two<br />

new cinema ads that utilize<br />

immersive MX4D technology<br />

in select theatres. The Xbox<br />

advertisements are running<br />

in select MX4D technologyenabled<br />

theatres through<br />

Nov. 1.<br />



Vista Group International<br />

company Vista Entertainment<br />

Solutions (Vista Cinema)<br />

and Vivendi’s CanalOlympia<br />

signed an agreement to roll<br />

out Vista Cinema’s Veezi<br />

across all their cinema<br />

venues. Veezi, utilized by<br />

cinemas in 27 countries, is<br />

Vista Cinema’s SaaS cinema<br />

management solution for<br />

independent cinemas.<br />

Currently operating<br />

nine venues across seven<br />

countries, CanalOlympia<br />

is the leading network of<br />

cinema and live-performance<br />

venues in Africa.<br />



John Trafford-Owen<br />

joined RealD Inc. as managing<br />

director of Europe, Middle<br />

East, Africa and Russia<br />

(EMEAR). Based out of RealD<br />

Europe’s headquarters<br />

in the U.K., Trafford-Owen<br />

will be responsible for overseeing<br />

sales and marketing<br />

of all EMEAR territories and<br />

reports directly to Travis<br />

Reid, chief operating officer<br />

of RealD.<br />

Trafford-Owen has<br />

worked in exhibition and distribution<br />

for over 25 years.<br />

Most recently at Gower<br />

Street Analytics, he previously<br />

served as head of theatrical<br />

distribution, U.K. and<br />

Ireland, for StudioCanal.<br />



NAGRA, leading independent<br />

provider of content<br />

protection and multiscreen<br />

television systems, announced<br />

a world first in digital cinema<br />

with the successful use of<br />

cloud technology and HEVC<br />

compression with myCinema,<br />

a cloud-based Content<br />

as a Service (CaaS) that brings<br />

together content creators,<br />

cinema owners, and movie<br />

lovers.<br />

Emagine Entertainment,<br />

a U.S. movie theatre circuit<br />

and myCinema exhibition<br />

licensee, collaborated in the<br />

deployment of the NAGRA<br />

technology at its Royal Oak<br />

Cinema in Detroit with<br />

the presentation of the<br />

first-run movie Ideal Home,<br />

starring Paul Rudd and<br />

Steve Coogan, earlier this<br />

summer. <br />

12 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

008-022.indd 12<br />

10/9/18 2:58 PM


A24<br />

A24 stays in the high-class<br />

horror game with the acquisition<br />

of North American<br />

rights to In Fabric, from The<br />

Duke of Burgundy director<br />

Peter Strickland. Marianne<br />

Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires,<br />

Leo Bill, Julian Barrett, Steve<br />

Oram and Gwendoline Christie<br />

star in the thriller, about<br />

a cursed dress that passes<br />

from person to unlucky person.<br />

A24 will release In Fabric<br />

theatrically in 2019.<br />

Following its debut at the<br />

Toronto International <strong>Film</strong><br />

Festival, the fact-based drama<br />

Skin has been picked up for<br />

North American distribution<br />

by A24. Jamie Bell stars as a<br />

young man, raised by skinheads,<br />

who turns his back on<br />

the racist group he grew up<br />

with. The film was written,<br />

directed and produced by<br />

Guy Nattiv and co-stars Vera<br />

Farmiga, Danielle MacDonald,<br />

Mike Colter and Bill Camp.<br />


Charlize Theron, Naomi<br />

Watts, Kate McKinnon,<br />

Margot Robbie, Allison Janney<br />

and John Lithgow are<br />

set to star in a yet-untitled<br />

film from director Jay Roach<br />

(Austin Powers, Trumbo).<br />

Charles Randolph, an Oscar<br />

winner for co-writing The<br />

Cary Fukunaga Takes Over<br />

Bond Franchise<br />

Cary Fukunaga has replaced Danny Boyle as the director<br />

of MGM’s upcoming James Bond film, the 25 th in<br />

the franchise. Boyle, taking over from Skyfall and Spectre’s<br />

Sam Mendes, left earlier this year due to “creative differences.”<br />

Fukunaga, whose credits include “True Detective,”<br />

Jane Eyre and Beasts of No Nation, will be the franchise’s<br />

first American director. The yet-untitled film will likely be<br />

the last for star Daniel Craig.<br />

Cynthia Erivo to Play Harriet Tubman<br />

At long last, Harriet Tubman is getting her own movie.<br />

Tony winner Cynthia Erivo (Broadway’s The Color Purple,<br />

the upcoming Widows) will star in Harriet, acting alongside<br />

fellow Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton), Janelle<br />

Monáe (Hidden Figures, Moonlight) and Billy Lynn’s Long<br />

Halftime Walk star Joe Alwyn. Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou)<br />

helms and co-writes (with Remember the Titans’ Gregory<br />

Allen Howard) for Focus Features.<br />

Jon Stewart Re-teams with Steve Carell<br />

Former “The Daily Show” collaborators Jon Stewart<br />

and Steve Carell are teaming up for the political<br />

satire Irresistible, to be produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B<br />

production banner. Stewart came up with the story and<br />

will direct, with Carell in early talks to star. Stewart has<br />

one feature film, 2014’s Rosewater, under his belt already.<br />

Big Short, penned the script,<br />

which centers on a group of<br />

women working at Fox News,<br />

specifically their efforts to<br />

bring to light the culture of<br />

sexual harassment fostered<br />

by (now former) CEO Roger<br />

Ailes. Theron and Watts play<br />

Megyn Kelly and Gretchen<br />

Carlson, respectively, with<br />

Lithgow as Ailes.<br />

DISNEY<br />

Chloé Zhao, whose coming-of-age<br />

drama The Rider<br />

was one of the most critically<br />

acclaimed indies to come out<br />

of last year’s festival circuit,<br />

has landed a larger directing<br />

gig in the form of Marvel’s<br />

The Eternals. Kevin Feige, the<br />

mastermind behind the Marvel<br />

Cinematic Universe, will<br />

co-produce the film, which<br />

is based on a run of comics<br />

about a group of super-powerful<br />

cosmic beings. Zhao has<br />

been in the ring with Marvel<br />

before, having been considered<br />

to direct their Black<br />

Widow standalone film before<br />

the gig went instead to Cate<br />

Shortland.<br />


Focus has announced a<br />

Sept. 20, 2019 release for<br />

their feature-film version of<br />

the popular British TV series<br />

“Downton Abbey.” The show,<br />

which ran from 2010 to 2015<br />

and scooped up a handful of<br />

Emmys in that time, boasted<br />

Dame Maggie Smith, Dan<br />

Stevens (who left midway<br />

through the show’s run),<br />

Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth<br />

McGovern among its large<br />

ensemble cast. The film will<br />

be set after the show’s conclusion<br />

and will add new castmembers<br />

Imelda Staunton,<br />

Geraldine James, Simon Jones<br />

and more to the show’s mainstays.<br />

Michael Engler, who<br />

directed much of the show,<br />

directs a script from “Downton”<br />

creator Julian Fellowes.<br />

Chloë Grace Moretz stars<br />

in Greta, a thriller about a<br />

young woman who befriends<br />

a lonely widow (Isabelle<br />

Huppert), only for their relationship<br />

to go in a disturbing<br />

direction. Only to be expected,<br />

as the film is written<br />

and directed by Neil Jordan<br />

(The Crying Game, Byzantium).<br />

Maika Monroe also stars in<br />

the pic, which was acquired<br />

by Focus Features following<br />

its debut at the Toronto International<br />

<strong>Film</strong> Festival.<br />


Recent Oscar winner<br />

Guillermo Del Toro serves<br />

as a co-producer on Antlers,<br />

a horror thriller from Crazy<br />

Heart and Black Mass director<br />

Scott Cooper. Keri Russell<br />

and Jesse Plemons star as<br />

a pair of siblings who come<br />

into contact with a student<br />

(Jeremy T. Thomas) hiding a<br />

dangerous secret. Graham<br />

Greene and Rory Cochrane<br />

also star in the film, which<br />

was co-written by Nick Antosca<br />

and Henry Chaisson and<br />

based on Antosca’s short.<br />


Elisabeth Moss stars in<br />

director Alex Ross Perry’s<br />

(Listen Up Philip and Queen of<br />

Earth, also featuring Moss)<br />

Her Smell, acquired for theatrical<br />

distribution by Gunpowder<br />

& Sky. Moss plays<br />

Becky, a one-time riot-grrl<br />

rocker who struggles with<br />

sobriety and the waning<br />

spotlight. Cara Delevingne,<br />

Dan Stevens, Agyness Deyn<br />

and Amber Heard co-star. A<br />

theatrical release is planned<br />

for 2019.<br />

14 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

008-022.indd 14<br />

10/9/18 2:59 PM

Time to replace your<br />

Series 1 projector?<br />

Upgrade to a new level.<br />

Experience the benefits of Laser.<br />

NEC offers you the best projection technology in its class - from small screens to<br />

premium large format (PLF) theaters - and all sizes in between! NEC offers a<br />

complete solution for the best overall cinema experience. From lobby signage,<br />

video walls, bar and concession screens, NEC offers the widest portfolio of digital<br />

cinema projectors, dvLED screens, commercial and professional LCD screens for<br />

concessions and signage, a diverse line of multimedia projectors, and integrated<br />

screen solutions to meet your needs. No other manufacturer can offer a portfolio as<br />

complete as NEC Display Solutions.<br />

Save on<br />

operating<br />

costs while<br />

delivering an<br />

exceptional<br />

visual<br />

experience<br />

with Laser!<br />

NEC Display Solutions. Full theater solutions with you in mind.<br />

bortiz@necdisplay.com 630.467.4327


continued<br />


IFC Midnight acquired<br />

U.S. distribution rights to<br />

The Wind, a western/horror<br />

hybrid directed by Emma<br />

Tammi and written by Teresa<br />

Sutherland. Insidious: The Last<br />

Keys’ Caitlin Gerard stars as a<br />

woman whose isolation in the<br />

plains of the late 1800s drives<br />

her towards insanity. A 2019<br />

release is planned.<br />

NEON<br />

Neon acquired North<br />

American rights to The Biggest<br />

Little Farm from director<br />

John Chester. Chester stars<br />

in the documentary, along<br />

with his wife Molly; the film<br />

centers on their eight-year<br />

quest to create their own<br />

slice of farmland utopia.<br />

Another TIFF acquisition<br />

for Neon is Wild Rose, from<br />

up-and-coming director Tom<br />

Harper. Jessie Buckley (Beast,<br />

“War and Peace”) stars as a<br />

young Scottish woman who<br />

dreams of country-music<br />

stardom in Nashville. Julie<br />

Walters and Sophie Okonedo<br />

co-star. Taylor is also<br />

slated to direct the historical<br />

drama The Aeronauts, starring<br />

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity<br />

Jones.<br />


The Orchard acquired<br />

North American distribution<br />

rights to Hurley, slated<br />

for theatrical release early<br />

next year. Directed by Derek<br />

Dodge, the documentary<br />

tells the story of Hurley Haywood,<br />

a racecar driver who<br />

hid his homosexuality due<br />

to the macho atmosphere of<br />

the ’70s racing scene. Patrick<br />

Dempsey, a racing aficionado<br />

himself, executive produces<br />

along with Dodge.<br />


Loser no longer. Sophia<br />

Lillis, one of the young stars of<br />

Andy Muschietti’s It, has been<br />

tapped to star in a new version<br />

of the fairytale “Hansel<br />

and Gretel”—titled Gretel and<br />

Hansel this time around—for<br />

Orion Pictures. The film will be<br />

directed by Osgood Perkins,<br />

formerly of The Blackcoat’s<br />

Daughter and I Am the Pretty<br />

Thing That Lives in the House,<br />

and co-written by Perkins and<br />

Rob Hayes. Lillis will be returning<br />

as Losers’ Club member<br />

Beverly March in Muschietti’s It:<br />

Chapter 2, out next September<br />

from Warner Bros.<br />


Screen Media acquired<br />

North American rights to<br />

Luz, from German writerdirector<br />

Tilman Singer. The<br />

slow-burn supernatural thriller<br />

stars Luana Velis as the<br />

eponymous Luz, a taxi driver<br />

whose life is caught up with<br />

that of a mysterious demon.<br />

SONY<br />

Mexican superstar Eugenio<br />

Derbez is attached to star<br />

in The Three Tenors, a comedy<br />

from a story by producer<br />

Patrick Aiello. As indicated by<br />

the title, Derbez will play an<br />

opera singer. Little else about<br />

the film is known, and a director<br />

is yet to be hired. Derbez<br />

starred in the 2013 surprise<br />

hit Instructions Not Included,<br />

which earned just shy of $100<br />

million worldwide.<br />


Ryan Reynolds plays a<br />

bank teller who realizes he’s<br />

a background character in a<br />

videogame in Free Guy, a sci-fi<br />

action comedy from Shawn<br />

Levy, director of Real Steel<br />

and the Night at the Museum<br />

movies. The script, penned<br />

by Matt Lieberman of the<br />

upcoming Addams Family and<br />

Scooby Doo reboots, was<br />

picked up by 20th Century<br />

Fox several years ago. Levy,<br />

himself a prolific producer,<br />

will co-produce along with<br />

Reynolds and others.<br />


Malcolm D. Lee is turning<br />

to the world of early hip-hop<br />

with the comedy Real Talk<br />

for Universal. The central<br />

character in the film—yet to<br />

be cast—is the member of<br />

a once-influential rap group<br />

who, years later, attempts to<br />

reunite with his old partners.<br />

Radha Bank (“She’s Gotta<br />

Have It,” “Empire”) is the<br />

writer. Universal previously<br />

collaborated with Lee for this<br />

year’s Night School and the<br />

enormously successful Girls<br />

Trip, which earned $140 million<br />

worldwide in 2017.<br />

“Game of Thrones” star<br />

Emilia Clarke and Crazy Rich<br />

Asians’ Henry Golding will<br />

lock lips in the London-set<br />

holiday romance Last Christmas<br />

for Universal. The film<br />

reunites Golding with his A<br />

Simple Favor director Paul<br />

Feig, who directs and coproduces.<br />


Warner Bros. subsidiary<br />

New Line has come out of<br />

top of the bidding war for the<br />

English-language remake rights<br />

to South Korean zombie hit<br />

Train to Busan. Originally starring<br />

Gong Yoo and Ma Dongseok,<br />

the film—directed by<br />

Yeon Sang-ho—is about a father<br />

taking his young daughter<br />

on a train ride to visit his estranged<br />

ex-wife…and then the<br />

zombie apocalypse happens.<br />

James Wan, director of such<br />

films as Aquaman, Insidious and<br />

The Conjuring, will co-produce<br />

along with Gary Dauberman,<br />

one of the writers on Warner<br />

Bros.’ horror hit It.<br />

Eddie Murphy’s about to<br />

get grumpy. The comedian is<br />

reportedly in talks to star in a<br />

remake of Grumpy Old Men for<br />

director Tim Story. The original<br />

film, released in 1993, starred<br />

Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon<br />

as longtime friendly rivals<br />

whose relationship is tested<br />

by the arrival of an attractive<br />

neighbor (Ann-Margret). Murphy’s<br />

co-star is yet to be cast.<br />

James Wan, who directed<br />

the first two films in New<br />

Line’s Conjuring franchise, is<br />

dialing back to a producer-only<br />

role for number three. Stepping<br />

into Wan’s shoes will be director<br />

Michael Chaves, who previously<br />

helmed the Wan-produced<br />

horror outing The Curse<br />

of La Llorona, out from New<br />

Line on April 19 of next year.<br />

David Leslie Johnson, a writer<br />

on The Conjuring 2 and Wan’s<br />

upcoming superhero debut<br />

Aquaman, will pen The Conjuring<br />

3’s script, with stars Patrick<br />

Wilson and Vera Farmiga also<br />

confirmed to return.<br />


Well Go USA acquired<br />

North American rights to the<br />

sci-fi thriller Jonathan, directed<br />

by first-time feature helmer<br />

Bill Oliver. Ansel Elgort (Baby<br />

Driver) stars as a pair of brothers<br />

inhabiting the same body.<br />

Their time-share agreement<br />

erodes when both men fall for<br />

the same woman (Suki Waterhouse).<br />

Patricia Clarkson also<br />

stars. Well Go will release the<br />

film in theatres and on demand<br />

on Nov. 16. <br />

16 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

008-022.indd 16<br />

10/9/18 2:59 PM


The only cinema advertising company dedicated to<br />

serving Luxury & Art House theatres.<br />








Contact Ronnie Ycong | Ronnie@SpotlightCinemaNetworks.com<br />

310-405-1478<br />

Untitled-1 1<br />

6/20/18 2:45 PM


TRENDS<br />


We’ve Come a Long Way, Bambinos<br />

by Larry Etter, Concessions Editor<br />

Twenty-five years ago, pizza began to make a splash<br />

in concessions operations at cinemas. It was determined<br />

that moviegoers love pizzas as a snack<br />

alternative. The cost of building a pizza almost matched<br />

the profitability of sodas and candy; therefore, it met the<br />

cost-of-goods criteria for cinemas. Over time, the pizza<br />

category has seen a plethora of modifications to fit the<br />

cinema objectives of speed, entertainment and convenience.<br />

Today we are seeing a revolution in the way pizzas<br />

are prepared and served.<br />

The affordable microwaveable single-serve pizza<br />

could offer a representative product with little expense<br />

and a speedy “bake” time. The advantages were preconstructed<br />

pizzas, consistent cost, little if any waste,<br />

and cooking as needed in under two minutes. Next, we<br />

were introduced to the “Turbo Chef,” which would take<br />

a frozen pre-engineered pizza and bake it in under three<br />

minutes to embody the quality and likeness of the local<br />

pizzeria. Not to be satisfied, some aficionados began<br />

making scratch pizzas, using dough balls for the crust, authentic<br />

pizza sauce, aged cheese and elevated ingredients<br />

to meet the standards of competitive pizza diners. What<br />

this industry realized is that every time a food category is<br />

introduced in cinemas, patrons’ expectations are so modest<br />

that poor quality is acceptable—until conventional<br />

likenesses raise their game. So the theatre channel had to<br />

improve its offerings to meet or exceed patrons’ higher<br />

expectations.<br />

Today, cinemas are in a new pizza culture where microwaveable<br />

pizzas are no longer suitable. While the vector<br />

ovens offering three different types of cooking methods—<br />

infrared, microwave and conventional heat—still exist, it is<br />

possible this method is leaving the arena of pizza production.<br />

There are now advanced means of baking pizzas being<br />

tapped for the unique styles that cinemas employ.<br />

The right oven makes a considerable difference to<br />

individuals with a passion for pizza. One of the first sloggers<br />

was the stone deck oven. Baker’s Pride has been the<br />

primary manufacturer of this style of oven. These ovens<br />

delivered a consistent, well-baked pizza—until the baker<br />

<strong>2018</strong> SHOWEAST HALL OF FAME CLASS<br />




Thank you for your outstanding contribution<br />

and service to the motion picture industry.<br />

18 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

008-022.indd 18<br />

10/9/18 2:59 PM

allowed for blackened meal and uneven temperatures applied to<br />

the ingredients. The oven is the most important asset for making<br />

the ultimate pie. The objective is to have every pizza taste<br />

exactly the way it should. In other words: How can we produce<br />

consistent pizza every day on every request?<br />

Basic deck ovens are conventional and make a delicious<br />

pizza, but should be used in locations that experience low to<br />

moderate business. Deck ovens are very good for multiple size<br />

pies, single serve or 18-inch pies that be divided and served by<br />

the slice. These ovens can support various types of pizzas, such<br />

as par-baked dough, pre-made or handcrafted crust. Deck ovens<br />

will bake thin-crusted pizzas evenly and will support the thicker<br />

crust as well. They generally bake at 450º to 650º F depending<br />

on the recipes developed. The advances in these types of stonebed<br />

ovens now make heat distribution more reliable, which leads<br />

to more consistent results.<br />

Impinger ovens, also known as conveyor ovens, are characteristically<br />

used for the highest volume. The impinged-style oven<br />

operates with a conveyor that moves the pizza under heat, as<br />

jets of hot air blanket the pizza. The critical piece to conveyor<br />

ovens and their performance is the number of columnating<br />

panels in the unit. Columnating panels provide coverage and distribution.<br />

When programing the settings, there are three basic<br />

points: speed of the conveyor that times the heat allowed, bottom<br />

heat temperature and top heat temperature. The user must<br />

consider how much heat to apply to the bottom/crust and how<br />

much heat is applied to the top. Based on preference and the<br />

speed of the conveyor, these components should be tested regularly<br />

to maintain consistency. The process and settings will block<br />

the jets of air, which can allow, for example, 100% open on the<br />

bottom heat and maybe 50% open on the top. This will deliver<br />

a firm crust and a soft topping. If the operator desires a softer<br />

crust with a crispy topping and golden-browned cheese, the bot-<br />

tom jets would be at 50% and the top jets at 75%.<br />

Hearth ovens are very entertaining and offer a “show and<br />

tell” type production. These ovens convey a specific ambience<br />

and feel that sell pizza. Hearths represent a homemade, straightfrom-the-oven<br />

appeal that guests love. Like other ovens, hearths<br />

can bake bread, sandwiches, calzones and vegetables; therefore,<br />

they can be multi-use ovens. Hearth ovens can also use various<br />

types of fuel: gas, wood, charcoal, electricity or a combination.<br />

These ovens can reach temperatures of 600º F, which speeds up<br />

the baking time, yet also requires skilled personnel to watch the<br />

pizza constantly. The tradeoff for the glamour of hearth ovens is<br />

that they usually cost over $30,000, require specific installation<br />

at about one-third the unit cost, and then a specific grease-rated<br />

venting system with specialized makeup air since they generate<br />

so much heat. These ovens are best utilized when there are a<br />

limited number of pizza options, as they are only capable of baking<br />

in one way. Hearth ovens also require more maintenance<br />

and a regular cleaning schedule.<br />

The fact is, ingredients and recipes will dictate what kind of<br />

oven one should employ. Some pizza makers like a heavy dough,<br />

others a light flatbread. What type of cheese will you use: mozzarella<br />

with skim milk or whole milk? Will the cheese be grated<br />

or sliced? How much water is in the sauce itself? Is it made with<br />

fresh crushed tomatoes, or will you use a branded commodity<br />

sauce? Will the pizzas be baked on screens, pans or flat on the<br />

deck? In simple terms, do your homework. Create the recipes<br />

for the pizza you want to serve; then scour the marketplace for<br />

equipment that will serve those ingredients best.<br />

Larry Etter is senior vice president at Malco Theatres<br />

and director of education at the National Association of<br />

Concessionaires.<br />

JUNE 2017 / FILMJOURNAL.COM 19<br />

008-022.indd 19<br />

10/9/18 2:59 PM


PEOPLE<br />


Roberta Correa Guides Cinemark’s<br />

F&B in Latin America<br />

This month it is a pleasure to introduce to our international<br />

readers a Latin American superstar:<br />

Roberta Correa, who is in her 18th year serving as<br />

the VP of food and beverage at Cinemark International.<br />

Born in Natal, Brazil, and raised in Rio de Janeiro,<br />

Correa today resides in São Paulo. She has become a<br />

visionary for Cinemark International and leads the entire<br />

Latin American team as a developer of talented managers,<br />

overseeing foodservice in 15 countries.<br />

Correa’s father was a member of the Brazilian Air<br />

Force; hence she traveled with her family often in her<br />

early years. She earned her first degree in electrical engineering<br />

from Pontifica Universidade Católica, followed by<br />

a Master’s degree in production engineering, and worked<br />

as an engineer at Embraer, an airline enterprise<br />

“My father was a pilot in the Brazilian Air Force,” she<br />

remembers. “It was so much fun, as he would always take<br />

us for rides in his plane since he had to earn flying time.<br />

My brother, sister and I always loved being with my father<br />

in his planes. My dad was a huge influence in my life, so<br />

professional and educated in aeronautics. I think this is<br />

why I wanted to be an engineer.”<br />

After working for a local brewing company building<br />

and constructing new facilities, Roberta approached her<br />

supervisor about finding other employment since she had<br />

just had her first child—she wanted something a little<br />

less stressful. She was elated when he suggested a job in<br />

the cinema industry. “My boss was very kind and referred<br />

me to Cinemark. I was so happy,” she recalls. “It seemed<br />

like an excellent idea to work [in] the entertainment business<br />

and help make the world a happier place.”<br />

Correa began her employment at Cinemark in 2000,<br />

when they operated seven locations in Brazil. “My first<br />

interview was with Maria Angles, the vice president of<br />

food and beverage at Cinemark, who presided over the<br />

international concessions operations. Maria was very special<br />

and became my mentor. I cannot thank her enough.”<br />

Through her tenure, the number of locations has<br />

grown to over 85 cinemas in Brazil alone. After Angles<br />

left her position at Cinemark, Correa was chosen to<br />

guide the Latin America concessions operations. Currently,<br />

she oversees food and beverage for 201 Latin<br />

American cinemas. In <strong>November</strong>, Cinemark will open<br />

its first self-serve concession operation in Costa Rica. “I<br />

am so proud of how we can improve our offerings to the<br />

Latin American communities. This will be a big step for<br />

us, not only for Cinemark International, but for all the<br />

people in Costa Rica.” This endeavor may become the<br />

model for future developments.<br />

As for the future of foodservice in the Latin American<br />

countries, “I believe we must listen to the customers and<br />

provide the provincial snacks and beverages that meet<br />

local preferences,” she contends. “Each country has distinctive<br />

fare and I think we should deliver those unique<br />

snacks to our patrons.” She admits she cannot do it alone.<br />

“I try to give a lot of autonomy to each country head. So I<br />

develop very clear guidelines for each F&B model/project<br />

that Cinemark offers; this includes looking for trends, recommended<br />

presentations, training and product mix.”<br />

Correa believes her success stems from multiple styles<br />

of management. “I think I am a prognosticator in that I<br />

attempt to foresee the future, yet I try to be a sculptor<br />

in forming plans. I know I am an engineer, since we build<br />

paths to reach the intended goals.” She also enjoys developing<br />

her team’s individual aptitudes. She admits sometimes<br />

she has to be a magician to bring it all together.<br />

“Our great challenge will always be training [our] staff.<br />

We know that technology has changed a lot the way we<br />

sell tickets and popcorn, but it cannot replace the service<br />

provided by a well-trained staff when accommodating the<br />

guest or delivering their order. Service is the DNA of our<br />

business.” In a time when most operators are dealing with<br />

the challenges of bigger menus, adult beverages and intheatre<br />

dining, she believes service to the guest will always<br />

be the number-one goal.<br />

Roberta enjoys telling a story about her children’s visit<br />

to her workplace. “I had to take the boys to work with<br />

me one day—after all, they want to see why Mommy goes<br />

to the office. I let them see the paraphernalia and things<br />

while I worked on my computer. At the end of the day,<br />

the youngest asked the oldest, ‘So what does mommy do?’<br />

The eldest responded, ‘She makes popcorn on her computer.’”<br />

Ah, if only it were that simple.<br />

Roberta confesses that while she tries to maintain a<br />

healthy diet, she does enjoy popcorn (with lemon pepper<br />

topping) and candy at the movies. And not a small amount,<br />

“only the biggest sizes,” she laughs. When she is not at the<br />

movies, she enjoys tennis, swimming in the ocean and running—she<br />

competes in at least one half-marathon each year.<br />

She also affirms that she will watch E.T. anytime it appears<br />

onscreen. Her favorite actor of all time is Robert De Niro.<br />

Roberta Correa has engineered a terrific career and<br />

shares her life with her two sons, Miguel, 18, and Rafael, 16.<br />

—Larry Etter<br />

20 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

008-022.indd 20<br />

10/9/18 2:59 PM


SLIDER ®<br />

SINCE 1921<br />





*Time News Feed, Time Inc., January 14, 2014<br />

White Castle Food Products, LLC<br />

555 West Goodale Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215<br />

614-228-5781 | wcfp@whitecastle.com<br />

Timothy Carroll<br />

614-559-2453 | carrollt@whitecastle.com<br />

Contact us to ask about digital images and signage!<br />

©<strong>2018</strong> WHITE CASTLE MANAGEMENT CO.



Ask the Audience is a monthly feature from <strong>Film</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> International<br />

and National CineMedia (NCM) that allows you to ask an audience of<br />

5,000 frequent moviegoers, known as NCM’s Behind the Screens panel,<br />

the pressing questions of our industry.<br />

We all fall victim to our customers<br />

leading busy lives—and heading to<br />

the movies isn’t always at the top of<br />

their priority lists. It’s impossible to<br />

measure how much potential ticket and<br />

concessions revenue has been lost to an<br />

“Eh, I don’t really feel like going to the<br />

movies anymore” mentality. But what<br />

causes people to change their minds?<br />

Have advance ticket sales helped to<br />

combat this conundrum? That’s what<br />

one of our readers asked us to explore.<br />

Time to ask the audience.<br />

36% of the Behind the Screens panelists<br />

responded that they will always follow<br />

through with seeing a movie in the<br />

theatre once they’ve decided they’re<br />

interested in watching it, and another<br />

52% will usually make sure they make it to<br />

the theatre. Only 6% said that they would<br />

back out if they had purchased their<br />

ticket in advance. And the good news<br />

is that the panelists frequently buy their<br />

ticket ahead of time. For theatres with<br />

reserved seating, 50% bought their ticket<br />

at least a day in advance. That number<br />

was much smaller for those without<br />

reserved seating, with only 18% leaving<br />

at least 24 hours between the purchase<br />

and the movie. Logically, if there’s no<br />

reserved seating, the customers are<br />

going to get to the theatre earlier to get<br />

a good seat, so they can just grab their<br />

ticket at the box office. To get the best<br />

seats in a reserved seating auditorium,<br />

it makes sense that the customers<br />

would want to get their tickets as early<br />

as possible. In fact, 78% said the reason<br />

they purchase tickets ahead of time is to<br />

get a good seat.<br />

Blockbusters are the other big driver for<br />

advance ticket sales. 50% of the panelists<br />

buy tickets for blockbusters at least a day<br />

in advance, including 20% who make the<br />

purchase at least a week ahead of the<br />

big premiere. And 65% say their main<br />

incentive for an advance purchase is to<br />

grab a ticket before they sell out.<br />

When asked what the main deterrent<br />

was if they planned to go to the movies<br />

but didn’t end up making it, 68% said<br />

that something more important comes<br />

up, and 29% said they lose interest<br />

in the movie. For example, they were<br />

perhaps intrigued by the trailer, but were<br />

dissuaded by negative reviews closer<br />

to the release date. 22% added that<br />

when the time comes, they don’t have<br />

the energy to head out to the theatre—<br />

they’d prefer to relax at home. When we<br />

asked the Behind the Screens panel what<br />

their local theatre could do to convince<br />

them to attend when they’re on the<br />

fence, the answer was clear—deals and<br />

discounts. 57% wanted more ticket deals,<br />

48% asked for concessions discounts,<br />

and 45% requested reward perks.<br />

It’s impossible to always get customers<br />

to follow through on their moviegoing<br />

plans, but by incentivizing advance<br />

ticket purchases, as well as offering<br />

competitive promotions that make the<br />

customer feel like they’re getting a good<br />

value at your theatre, we can do our best<br />

to counteract the disregard of even the<br />

best laid plans.<br />

To submit a question, email<br />

AskTheAudience@ncm.com with<br />

your name, company, contact<br />

information, and what you would like<br />

to ask the Behind the Screens panel.<br />

31%<br />




X<br />

51%<br />



19%<br />

67%<br />









22 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

008-022.indd 22<br />

10/9/18 2:59 PM

For every stage of a film,<br />

comScore has a solution.<br />

Real-time demographic and<br />

Audience Measurement<br />

psychographic information<br />

Theater Effciency Solutions<br />

Exhibitor inventory and setlement management<br />

Box Offce<br />

Real-time geographic<br />

distinction<br />

Booking & Buying Sofware<br />

For distribution and exhibition<br />

Strategic Forecasting<br />

Long lead insight into upcoming films<br />

Comprehensive industry solutions for film<br />

exhibitors and distributors across the globe.<br />

comscore.com • learnmore@comscore.com

SPiDER-GiRL<br />

Claire Foy takes on the role of hacker Lisbeth Salander<br />

in Sony’s reboot of the Millennium franchise<br />

by Stephen Whitty<br />

Is the world ready for “a feminist<br />

Batman”?<br />

That’s how director Fede Alvarez<br />

describes his new heroine, anyway—and<br />

personally, he thinks her appearance is long<br />

overdue.<br />

Audiences will soon get to decide for<br />

themselves when they see the Uruguayan<br />

filmmaker’s most ambitious project yet,<br />

Sony’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web. A fresh<br />

take on the Nordic noir series, it stars Claire<br />

Foy (“The Crown”) as cyber-vigilante<br />

Lisbeth Salander—and her take-noprisoners<br />

rage feels particularly made for<br />

this newly empowering time.<br />

“Honestly, I think the things these books<br />

represent have always been relevant,” says<br />

Alvarez, 40. “We actually had our script<br />

ready before the #MeToo movement really<br />

happened. But there’s definitely something<br />

in the zeitgeist, the collective consciousness—people<br />

are finally listening to women’s<br />

struggles—and in this movie we wanted<br />

to take care of things in a different way.”<br />

So, developing this story—which features<br />

righteous justice, masked assassins, a stolen<br />

weapons program and an old family tragedy—meant<br />

having Lisbeth take the lead.<br />

Nadja Klier © <strong>2018</strong> CTMG. All Rights Reserved.<br />

024-075.indd 24<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 25<br />

024-075.indd 25<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

“This is the first movie that’s really about her,” Alvarez says.<br />

“The other stories, it’s the reporter Blomkvist who’s your way<br />

in. Lisbeth shows up, and tags along and becomes part of his<br />

story but it’s never really her story—he has the big arc, you stay<br />

in his head. This time, though, he falls into her story—it’s really<br />

about her. You get into her head and you see the story through<br />

her eyes. And so you get to know her in a way you didn’t before.”<br />

It’s an all-new cast, with Foy now the third actress to<br />

play the role, after Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara. The<br />

iconography and attitude of the character remain the same,<br />

however. Lisbeth’s fond of punkish black leather, piercings,<br />

tattoos and computer hacking. She’s coolly contained, sexually<br />

liberated, physically fit and fearless—in one of the film’s most<br />

stunning scenes, she races her motorcycle across a barely frozen<br />

lake, as the ice begins to crack beneath her.<br />

Director Fede Alvarez<br />

She never hesitates. And the film mirrors Lisbeth’s calm<br />

confidence throughout by refusing to leer at her, or treat her as<br />

some sort of kick-butt sex object.<br />

“That was the thing, and Claire was the main guardian of<br />

that,” Alvarez says. “We were careful never to exploit her that<br />

way, to pretty her up, to put on too much makeup. She gets<br />

in fights, she gets messed up, and that’s how it’s presented. I<br />

mean, in the Bourne movies, Matt Damon doesn’t always look<br />

amazing, you know? And that was the idea here—to be fair to<br />

Lisbeth. Not to just reduce her to this sexy character in tight<br />

pants.”<br />

The result is a film that fully fits into the “Dragon Tattoo”<br />

universe, yet bears the personal stamp of its new director.<br />

“This was the chance to work on a much bigger canvas, but<br />

like any of my other movies, I had full creative control,” he says<br />

happily. “I came in, and there was an amazing draft, but then I<br />

was allowed to write a script and empower the aspects that felt<br />

relevant to me, to explore the themes—shame, and secrets, very<br />

basically—that felt important to me. The secrets we keep—it’s<br />

never because we’re proud of them, you now. And you hold<br />

them inside and you become a victim of that, until you finally<br />

confront it, and try to atone for it. Those are the sort of stories I<br />

gravitate to.”<br />

And that’s a personal approach that, he says, the “Dragon<br />

Tattoo” series has always made room for.<br />

“The original Swedish films—these were not run-of-the-mill<br />

movies done by some studio,” he notes. “The last film—I mean,<br />

David Fincher is not just some director for hire. I know studios,<br />

Nadja Klier © <strong>2018</strong> CTMG. All Rights Reserved.<br />

they can be such big machines. And I knew, going into this,<br />

fans would be watching me very carefully, too. But I thought,<br />

this is a good problem in a way because, before you even do it,<br />

it means you’re doing something that people care about. And in<br />

the end, I still made the film I wanted.”<br />

It’s definitely a film with its own striking visuals. The palette<br />

is gloomy and monochromatic—black and white and grey. The<br />

interiors are often empty and inhuman—bare floors, cement<br />

walls, rows of fluorescent lights.<br />

“The visual style is there to empower the story, and the story<br />

is all about the mood,” Alvarez explains. “Every shot, every<br />

angle, you’re trying to get the audience to feel unsettled, to<br />

not ever let them feel cozy and warm. And the coldness of the<br />

environment, the control—that is another aspect of it, because<br />

you wonder, what is hidden inside? What happens when you<br />

crack that egg open? That is when the deep secrets come spilling<br />

out. It is this very cold world. But inside, something is on fire.<br />

And that is Lisbeth, completely.”<br />

It’s no secret this is a hugely important project for Alvarez.<br />

He loved movies from the start (“E.T. was the first movie I saw,<br />

but my mother says the first movie I heard was Jaws, because she<br />

went to see it when she was pregnant with me!”). He then began<br />

making them as a kid, starting with a friend’s video camera and<br />

crude stop-motion animation. Eventually he moved on to doing<br />

commercials, and music-videos.<br />

Finally, nearly ten years ago, Alvarez went out and shot<br />

“Panic Attack,” five frantic minutes of pretty Montevideo<br />

crumbling under an alien invasion. When he uploaded it to<br />

YouTube, he had no idea what would happen.<br />

“What did that even mean, ‘YouTube movie’?” he asks.<br />

“The channel didn’t really have original content then, it was all<br />

cats, and kids doing stupid things. But this little film, with no<br />

promotion, people liked it, passed it around. It was something<br />

new and it had millions of views overnight.”<br />

That viral sensation led to that first studio deal, and two<br />

successful genre films, Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe. But,<br />

Alvarez acknowledges, although shooting The Girl in the Spider’s<br />

Web really didn’t feel any different, the stakes are higher. As are<br />

the fans’ expectations.<br />

“When I was a child, watching Cronenberg’s The Fly, I<br />

remember my father going, ‘The original was way better,’”<br />

Alvarez says with a laugh. “Really? I didn’t know there was an<br />

original. But, I mean, there were people who didn’t know Evil<br />

Dead was a remake, either. They just liked it. Just like I’d known<br />

I loved the movie I was watching.”<br />

“So, of course,” he adds, “I know people will compare<br />

Spider’s Web to the films that came before. But this is not a<br />

remake. It’s not even really a sequel; it’s a reinterpretation.<br />

People will say: Why would you do it? Why is it necessary?<br />

Because that’s how you keep it alive. Lisbeth, she’s more<br />

relevant today than ever, and the world needs to see her again<br />

and hear her out.”<br />

And Alvarez can’t wait to give them that chance.<br />

“I know how demanding audiences are. Every time they go<br />

into a theatre, they hope a movie touches them. I know I sit<br />

down, the logo comes on, and it doesn’t matter what I’ve heard,<br />

I just hope, maybe this is going to be the one. This is a movie<br />

which will change me. It’s like looking for love, every date<br />

you’re saying, maybe this is the one where I’ll fall in love again.<br />

But in the end, with movies, all that really matters is—is it good<br />

or is it bad? Either it’s great, or it sucks. And I believe this one<br />

is great.” <br />

26 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 26<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM




When it comes to concessions,<br />

it comes from Cretors.<br />

Only Cretors combines five generations of industry leadership with more than<br />

130 years of forward-thinking innovations. Backed by our industrial manufacturing<br />

R&D for global snack food giants, we bring revolutionary products to the<br />

concessions marketplace, time and again. Whether it’s an industry-changing<br />

safety feature, a long-sought-after option or a customizable machine made<br />

for the way you sell anywhere in the world, there’s no limit to our ingenuity.<br />

Made in America, loved world-round!<br />

Contact Shelly Olesen at 847.616.6901 or visit www.cretors.com

y trevor hogg<br />

Growing up in England, filmmaker<br />

Steve McQueen found himself<br />

drawn to a six-part BBC miniseries<br />

called “Widows” created by Lynda<br />

La Plante, who would go on<br />

to produce “Prime Suspect”<br />

with Helen Mirren. His fascination<br />

with the story about four<br />

women deciding to stage a heist<br />

planned by their deceased husbands<br />

persisted over the next 35 years.<br />

“They were being judged by<br />

their appearances and believed to<br />

be incapable,” recalls McQueen, the<br />

day after the world premiere of his<br />

version of Widows at the 43rd Toronto<br />

International <strong>Film</strong> Festival. “I was<br />

being judged the same way going to<br />

school in London. It stuck with me. I<br />

didn’t know at 13 years old that I would<br />

be a filmmaker. I wanted to take this<br />

narrative and steep it within the social<br />

reality of Chicago.”<br />

The original premise intrigued<br />

McQueen. “I loved how grief can compel<br />

you into being reckless. I asked a friend<br />

Steve McQUeen<br />

directs heist<br />

thriller about<br />

widows who<br />

Take fate<br />

into their<br />

own hands<br />

#WE<br />

28 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 28<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

of mine whose mother died, ‘How did it<br />

make you feel?’ She said, ‘Reckless.’”<br />

Exploration of cruelty and resilience<br />

can be found in McQueen’s Hunger,<br />

Shame and Oscar winner 12 Years a<br />

Slave. “What I wanted to do was run<br />

the gauntlet of the human condition in<br />

a situation where we can see ourselves<br />

onscreen. Yes, there is a kind of<br />

endurance. Yes, there is some kind of<br />

hardship. But these four women are not<br />

superheroes; they’re human with all of<br />

their frailties and faults.”<br />

It was important to find a co-writer<br />

with the right dynamic. “It had to be<br />

a female voice,” notes producer Iain<br />

Canning, who was involved in making<br />

Hunger and Shame. “Gillian Flynn [Gone<br />

Girl] is the best in the business in that<br />

sense; she has such a proven track record<br />

of doing extraordinary thrillers, suspense<br />

and surprises. That was the key first<br />

relationship to get right.”<br />

There was no doubt that the Windy<br />

City situated on Lake Michigan was<br />

the best place to set and shoot Fox’s<br />

cinematic adaptation. “I had my first<br />

museum show in Chicago,” recalls<br />

McQueen. “While I was there, my<br />

then-girlfriend, now-wife Bianca<br />

Stigter went to the Democratic National<br />

Convention [also being held in Chicago]<br />

as a journalist. Chicago was always<br />

interesting as far as art and politics<br />

right from the beginning 22 years ago.<br />

I wanted to place this fiction into a<br />

heightened Western contemporary city<br />

and that for me was Chicago.”<br />

A crime noir classic directed by Roman<br />

Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson<br />

was thematically influential. “What I love<br />

From Left: Viola Davis, Michelle<br />

Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and<br />

Cynthia Erivo in Widows.<br />

FOUR<br />

Photos: Merrick Morton © <strong>2018</strong> 20th Century Fox <strong>Film</strong> Corp.<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 29<br />

024-075.indd 29<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

about Chinatown is the whole idea that<br />

everyone is in on it. “If you go to Chicago<br />

and talk to the FBI, the police, private<br />

investigators, people in the underworld,<br />

gang members and clergymen, you realize<br />

that there’s this whole matrix. You know<br />

what is the catchphrase for Chicago? It’s<br />

‘I’ve got a guy.’”<br />

Intercutting moments from the<br />

personal lives of the spouses with the<br />

failed heist was part of the original plan<br />

for the opening sequence. “I’m British,<br />

so what happens is that you always try<br />

to stretch a pound,” McQueen explains.<br />

“But within economics you get invention.<br />

Your train leaves the station, but you<br />

stop at other stations along the way. It’s<br />

so economical and also thrilling. You’re<br />

picking up things as you move along. It’s<br />

beautiful. I wanted you to get an idea of<br />

what the relationships were like between<br />

these women and their partners. It<br />

ends with an explosion and they’re now<br />

widowed.”<br />

Subtext was an important element of<br />

the opening narrative. “There’s a little<br />

moment where Harry Rawlings [Liam<br />

Neeson] is playing with Veronica [Viola<br />

Davis] and leans forward,” remarks<br />

editor Joe Walker, who joined the<br />

project immediately after completing<br />

Blade Runner 2049. “It alludes to the<br />

violence that’s inside those relationships,<br />

even though they’re having breakfast or<br />

getting up in the morning.”<br />

A signature scene is a continuous<br />

two-and-a-half-minute shot that follows<br />

local politician Jack Mulligan (Colin<br />

Farrell) and his assistant Siobhan (Molly<br />

Kunz) as they leave a poor neighborhood<br />

in a car with tinted glass windows, have<br />

a heated conversation, and return to his<br />

mansion; it’s captured entirely outside of<br />

the moving vehicle with the actors being<br />

heard, not seen. “I loved the idea. It’s like<br />

good radio. I grew up in England with<br />

the BBC and radio. What happens is as<br />

an audience member you listen more.<br />

You’re in there. There are so many things<br />

going on in one shot. The public and the<br />

private. The landscape. The issue that<br />

Jack has with his father [Robert Duvall].<br />

The shift from poor to rich. The only<br />

time Jack’s assistant speaks is behind<br />

closed doors; that’s who she really is as<br />

opposed to how she presents herself,<br />

which is often the case in politics and<br />

with people in high positions of power.”<br />

Violence is not glamourized. “It’s<br />

steeped in reality,” notes McQueen. “For<br />

example, Jatemme Manning [Daniel<br />

Kaluuya] is a soldier in the sense that he<br />

Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall in Widows.<br />

works for his brother Jamal [Brian Tyree<br />

Henry], who has an enterprise. He kills<br />

people sometimes and is numb to the violence,<br />

as so many black men are in Chicago.<br />

Jatemme doesn’t even participate in his<br />

last act of violence because he is so bored<br />

of it. He’d rather watch TV. His other acts<br />

of violence are perverse because he’s trying<br />

to make it interesting for himself.”<br />

A cinematic technique has been<br />

developed between McQueen and his<br />

longtime cinematographer, Sean Bobbitt.<br />

“Steve and I have discovered over the<br />

years that by using a long continuous shot<br />

in association with violence, it takes you<br />

away from the conscious idea that you’re<br />

watching a movie,” Bobbitt observes. “If<br />

you don’t put a cut in, then you have no<br />

escape, so the violence compounds itself<br />

to great dramatic effect.”<br />

McQueen has put together a stellar<br />

cast that includes Oscar winner Viola Davis,<br />

Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki<br />

and Cynthia Erivo as the titular widows,<br />

along with the aforementioned Farrell,<br />

Duvall, Neeson, Henry and Kaluuya. “Colin<br />

Farrell is a great artist,” enthuses Mc-<br />

Queen. “Liam Neeson is a great thespian.<br />

Viola Davis is a Marlon Brando. There’s a<br />

fearlessness, depth and familiarity. People<br />

love Daniel Kaluuya because whatever he<br />

does, he tells you the truth.”<br />

Scheduling the actors was tricky but<br />

not impossible. “It provided a wonderful<br />

atmosphere, because you had the core<br />

widows who were there for the majority of<br />

the time, and Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson<br />

or Jacki Weaver would come in for their<br />

sections of the shoot and bring a whole<br />

new energy with them,” notes Canning.<br />

“Sometimes the challenge can be keeping<br />

the same group of people enthused and<br />

energized through a whole shoot.”<br />

Improvisation was allowed. “Oh my<br />

god,” remarks McQueen. “All of the<br />

time. Virtually all of scenes between<br />

Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell were<br />

improvised. It was beautiful. You know<br />

what it is? It’s like music. You write the<br />

melody and harmony, but within that<br />

they can improvise. I don’t care what you<br />

do. You can knock yourself out.”<br />

The music metaphor carries over<br />

to cinematographer Bobbitt and editor<br />

Walker, as both of them have worked<br />

on all four movies by the resident of<br />

Amsterdam. “It’s like a band. You come<br />

together every three or four years to<br />

make an album. It’s intense. But you<br />

understand that as a unit you do things<br />

exceptionally.”<br />

“I talked to [composer] Hans<br />

Zimmer early on,” recalls McQueen.<br />

“I asked him, ‘What does heartbreak<br />

sound like?’ Hans was also a teaboy on<br />

the ‘Widows’ TV show, so he understood<br />

what Widows was about. How do you<br />

balance the dramatic with the action?<br />

The only time when you can smell a city<br />

is through the sound. That was one of the<br />

pleasures of spending a lot of time trying<br />

to get a realism and also a surrealism,<br />

because realism doesn’t sometimes bring<br />

the truth. The idea of perspective and<br />

space within sound was important.”<br />

Production designer Adam<br />

Stockhausen (The Grand Budapest<br />

Hotel) found and dressed 60 locations<br />

in Chicago. “That’s why it looks real,”<br />

McQueen notes. “One has to embrace<br />

the environment. I don’t bring my stencil<br />

into a situation and go, ‘I want it like<br />

this.’ The environment has to tell you<br />

what it wants.” <br />

Photos: Merrick Morton © <strong>2018</strong> 20th Century Fox <strong>Film</strong> Corp.<br />

30 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 30<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Ralph and Vanellope discover a wi-fi router<br />

that leads them on a new digital adventure<br />

© <strong>2018</strong> Disney. All Rights Reserved.<br />


by Daniel Eagan<br />

Opening Nov. 21, the Disney Animation<br />

release Ralph Breaks the Internet<br />

continues the stories of the characters<br />

in Wreck-It Ralph. John C. Reilly returns<br />

as the voice of Ralph, this time helping his<br />

friend Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) save her<br />

Sugar Rush arcade game.<br />

In fact the whole arcade where Ralph,<br />

Vanellope and their friends live is in jeopardy,<br />

losing customers to streaming and<br />

online gaming. Ralph believes their troubles<br />

all stem from the Internet, and going there<br />

is the only way he thinks he can solve their<br />

problems.<br />

Directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston<br />

met with <strong>Film</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> International in<br />

Disney’s New York offices. Johnston also<br />

wrote the screenplay with Pamela Ribon.<br />

Joining Moore and Johnston was Josie<br />

Trinidad, head of story.<br />

<strong>Film</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> International: I was going<br />

to ask how you expanded the story and world<br />

from the original movie, but one look at the<br />

footage and it’s very apparent that this is a<br />

much larger project.<br />

Phil Johnston: It was really complicated<br />

when we first started talking about it.<br />

“They’re going to go to the Internet? That’s<br />

a great idea!”<br />

Josie Trinidad: But what is the Internet?<br />

Johnston: What does it look like? How<br />

does it work? How will they function? How<br />

do people get around? What does a website<br />

look like? What is the Internet, really?<br />

This is the biggest film in the history of<br />

Disney Animation in terms of the number<br />

of characters, locations, and us three knuckleheads<br />

never did intend for that to happen.<br />

FJI: Your vision of the Internet is filled<br />

with brand names, just as your cast is filled<br />

with characters from other movies and studios.<br />

Were there copyright issues?<br />

Johnston: Copyright law says we don’t<br />

Ralph ( John C. Reilly) and fellow<br />

misfit Vanellope (Sarah Silverman)<br />

venture to the internet.<br />

have to ask permission to use a sign or<br />

brand name. So in our Internet, you see<br />

the Google building, you see Amazon and<br />

all kinds of other things. There are probably<br />

80,000 brands in the movie in the<br />

background. We didn’t ask their permission,<br />

we just did it, which is totally legal under<br />

copyright law.<br />

But most of our story takes place in<br />

BuzzzTube, which we created, Slaughter<br />

Race, which we created, KnowsMore.com,<br />

which we created.<br />

Moore: When it gets into characters,<br />

you can show McDonald’s, but you can’t<br />

show Ronald McDonald. That’s trademark<br />

infringement. Another studio could show<br />

Disney, but if they have Mickey Mouse as<br />

a character, that’s where you need to ask<br />

permission.<br />

32 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 32<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

FJI: Can you talk about the writing process?<br />

Johnston: I wrote a draft of this about<br />

three and a half years ago. Then Josie was<br />

working on Zootopia, and I joined that for<br />

the last year or so. Then I re-read my draft<br />

and thought, “This kind of sucks,” threw it<br />

out, started a new draft, and we did a table<br />

read of that in 2015.<br />

FJI: In projects like these there always seem<br />

to be dead ends and false starts.<br />

Moore: Oh, they always do. This was<br />

not one that kind of went for a while and<br />

then hit a point, okay, reset. This was more,<br />

let’s try that, no let’s try that, no let’s try this<br />

one, no. It was more kind of feeling our way<br />

through the ideas.<br />

We make the film internally. Each of<br />

those screenings is a very simple version of<br />

the movie, hand-drawn animatics married<br />

to a temp soundtrack. No actors, it’s us playing<br />

all of the parts. The reason is we can put<br />

it up and actually see it and take the best of<br />

what’s there and move on to the next version.<br />

For this film, it felt like several different<br />

versions of the movie were made. When<br />

we got to about the fifth one, that’s around<br />

the time we really started to hone the story.<br />

FJI: What wasn’t working?<br />

Trinidad: Thankfully, we were able to<br />

learn from each of those versions. For example,<br />

here’s the Vanellope version, she’s more<br />

the protagonist. The next one maybe it’s<br />

Ralph’s journey, or maybe it’s a two-hander.<br />

So by that fifth screening, we were able to,<br />

not combine them so much, but learn which<br />

path to take.<br />

Moore: I would say it was a way to test<br />

the thematics of the film, try different<br />

themes. Does Ralph think that the Internet<br />

is his enemy? There was an early version<br />

where he wanted to destroy it because<br />

he thought it was threatening his way of<br />

life in the arcade.<br />

But we realized, nope, that’s not right.<br />

Our process lets us make a version of the<br />

movie, watch it in real time, kind of dissect<br />

it—see what’s working and what’s not<br />

working. Or do we even like it?<br />

FJI: Is the Internet good or bad?<br />

Johnston: I think it’s a little of both, and<br />

I think that’s the most interesting thing<br />

about the movie. Similar to Zootopia, that<br />

city, we’re not judging one way or the other.<br />

It’s beautiful on one hand, but then when<br />

you get in close you find dirty spots and<br />

places where things are a little bit ugly.<br />

The Internet is a place where right this<br />

minute you could go take a course at MIT,<br />

or you could go to 4Chan and find some<br />

troll selling viruses. You have beauty and<br />

hideous ugliness existing in the same plane.<br />

We’re interested in exploring the grey area<br />

in between.<br />

This is a place where Vanellope goes<br />

and finds this online racing game that for<br />

her is a dream, it’s everything she ever could<br />

Ralph directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore with head of story Josie Trinidad.<br />

have hoped for. Ralph, on the other hand,<br />

is trolled and bullied in an online comment<br />

room, and will end up going to the Dark<br />

Net to get a virus.<br />

Moore: As we said with Zootopia, the<br />

goal of that movie was not to say the character<br />

Judy Hopps is solving racism. Because<br />

it’s a little more complicated than that. She’s<br />

experiencing racism herself, and she’s committing<br />

it herself. Then we get to see how<br />

does this individual rise above it. It’s kind of<br />

the same with Ralph in his journey through<br />

the Internet. For us, that’s much better than<br />

trying to preach to an audience: “Do not<br />

troll people! Do not be racist!”<br />

FJI: I’m fascinated by an animation process<br />

where nothing is actually finished until the<br />

very last moment.<br />

Trinidad: What we always say in animation<br />

is the story’s never finished, you just<br />

run out of time. Because I’m so familiar<br />

with the boarding part of it, I can never see<br />

beyond that. I always have that vision where,<br />

oh, I wish we could fix that, I get swept into<br />

that temp track from before. Little things,<br />

the minutiae, rather than seeing the overall<br />

picture. That’s the beauty of working with<br />

these guys, they’re seeing the whole thing.<br />

FJI: How does the voice cast affect the animation?<br />

Johnston: John C. Reilly is a masterful<br />

improviser, as is Sarah Silverman. Taraji P.<br />

Henson turned out to be a fantastic improviser,<br />

really quick on her feet. And Jack Mc-<br />

Brayer and Jane Lynch are awesome.<br />

What we try to do, obviously there’s a<br />

script, there’s a story, there are scenes that<br />

need to be very focused. But we try to allow<br />

them room to play. We never say no, stick<br />

to what’s on the page. We get what’s on the<br />

page, but if they find something, we’ll use<br />

that. Often they find magic if they’re riffing<br />

off one another.<br />

As Rich often says, animation is the<br />

least spontaneous process, it’s frame-byframe,<br />

one at a time.<br />

Moore: But you need it to look spontaneous.<br />

Johnston: You need it to look and feel<br />

and sound that way. I think allowing improvisation<br />

when the actors are together is a<br />

great way of bringing spontaneity, to make<br />

the film feel more like life.<br />

FJI: So you’re not really sure what the<br />

movie looks like until the very end.<br />

Moore: We live with it in a state of<br />

kind of “in progress.” It doesn’t start to<br />

congeal until the last six months of the<br />

production process. You are taking things<br />

on blind faith, believing this is going<br />

to look great when it’s finished and put<br />

together, the lighting is right and the<br />

effects are put in, when it’s the production<br />

soundtrack and not something temporary.<br />

But somehow it always does get done.<br />

And I’m always surprised.<br />

FJI: How did advances in technology affect<br />

this?<br />

Johnston: The complexity, the level of<br />

detail, this is the biggest animated film ever<br />

made. There are literally millions of characters<br />

and buildings, and netizens, and hair<br />

moving, none of which could have been accomplished<br />

six years ago. This movie could<br />

not have been done six years ago.<br />

Moore: Not at this level. And I think that<br />

can be attributed to the Hyperion rendering<br />

software they developed right before Big<br />

Hero 6. Here, we wanted the Internet to feel<br />

like the biggest city that’s ever been realized<br />

in animation. Hyperion made that possible.<br />

Very little of it is mapping. We still do<br />

mapping in animated films. Very few of the<br />

shots have any set extensions or mappings<br />

because we are capable now of building a<br />

set of immense proportions. So if you zoom<br />

in to any area of the set, it would be crystalclear,<br />

you can see the expressions on the<br />

extras’ faces, you can see the texture on their<br />

clothing. This was something that we couldn’t<br />

have done when we were doing Zootopia. Or<br />

even when we started this film. <br />

34 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 34<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

THE U<br />


You can depend on LTI xenon lamps to provide the highest<br />

quality cinema experience for your customers. LTI lamps<br />

deliver consistent, reliable performance in all digital cinema<br />

projectors. LTI’s LongPlay lamps deliver up to 50% longer life<br />

without compromise in screen brightness. The world’s leading<br />

cinema circuits rely every day on LTI lamps.<br />


Boy<br />

Erased,<br />

Boy<br />

Embraced<br />

Joel Edgerton Directs Searing Drama<br />

Joel Edgerton’s acting career has been on a steady rise since<br />

he appeared as Luke Skywalker’s uncle in 2002’s Star Wars:<br />

Episode II: Attack of the Clones. He was the shoe factory<br />

heir in Kinky Boots, one of the Melbourne criminals in the<br />

acclaimed Animal Kingdom, Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s<br />

The Great Gatsby, Ramses in Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and<br />

Kings, tainted FBI agent John Connolly in Scott Cooper’s<br />

Black Mass, Richard Loving of the groundbreaking interracial<br />

couple in Loving, and Jennifer Lawrence’s CIA mark in this<br />

year’s Red Sparrow.<br />

Quite a resume, but the ambitious New South Wales native<br />

is also on a notable parallel track as a filmmaker. His feature<br />

directing debut, The Gift (2015), was a box-office hit—a<br />

chilling suspense tale he wrote and in which he co-starred as<br />

a mysterious figure from Jason Bateman’s high-school past.<br />

His second feature, Focus Features’ Boy Erased, which recently<br />

debuted at the Telluride and Toronto <strong>Film</strong> Festivals, is chilling<br />

in a different way. Edgerton’s screenplay is based on the 2016<br />

memoir by Garrard Conley, who recounted his experience<br />

of being sent to the Memphis gay-conversion facility “Love<br />

in Action” after coming out to his Baptist parents at age 19.<br />

Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea, Lady Bird) plays the boy,<br />

here named Jared Eamons, opposite Australian Oscar winners<br />

Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe as his anguished parents.<br />

Interviewed at the Toronto Fest, the very genial Edgerton<br />

says there’s a direct line between his role in Loving (for which<br />

he earned a Golden Globe nomination) and his involvement<br />

with Boy Erased. “Loving made me realize how much I get<br />

taken by stories of injustice,” he confides. “When I was a kid,<br />

I was terrified of things that were limitations of freedom, like<br />

being abducted or going to prison or going to war. When I<br />

was in my young religious Catholic phase, these were things<br />

I would pray about and have nightmares about. As I grew up<br />

and became a film actor and filmmaker, I loved breaking-outof-prison<br />

stories. I read the book because of what I’d heard<br />

about conversion therapy. I went in there with a little bit of<br />

36 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 36<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Photos © <strong>2018</strong> UNERASED FILM, INC. / A Focus Feature release.<br />

Above, Joel Edgerton directs and acts<br />

in Boy Erased.<br />

Far left, Nicole Kidman and Russell<br />

Crowe.<br />

Left, Théodore Pellerin and Lucas<br />

Hedges.<br />

about Gay Conversion Therapy by Kevin Lally<br />

salaciousness, and what I found was something much deeper<br />

and rich and more upsetting—this question of how would you<br />

feel and what would you do if the people you love the most<br />

and hold the most stock in, your parents, told you there was<br />

something wrong with you and withdrew their love from you,<br />

which is what his father [a preacher] does in many ways.”<br />

Edgerton himself appears in the film as Victor Sykes,<br />

director and head therapist at the gay-conversion “refuge,”<br />

based on John Smid, who eventually resigned, publicly<br />

apologized for the harm he caused and is now married to<br />

a man. ‘I’ve met John Smid,” Edgerton says, “and reading<br />

Garrard’s book it struck me that (a) Garrard wasn’t<br />

demonizing anybody. He really depicted this sense that<br />

everybody was there to try to help. I started to create a parallel<br />

analogy to drug addiction. Imagine if your beliefs, apart<br />

from the fear-of-God aspect, meant that when you found out<br />

that your son or your daughter was gay, you’d been told by<br />

the church it was a choice…that their behaviors were out of<br />

control based on deficiencies in them—imagine that a parent<br />

looked at that as something it was necessary to correct, a<br />

problem to be solved. That’s sort of similar to a parent going,<br />

‘I have a son who’s addicted to heroin and I’m going to send<br />

him to rehab and cross my fingers that it works. I’m helping<br />

them.’ And Sykes, the therapist—they’re in the position of<br />

wonderful responsibility to hold kids’ hands and bring them<br />

closer back to God. That to me is terrifying, because if those<br />

people have the conviction of belief that it’s possible to change<br />

your sexuality, and deep inside yourself you’re going, ‘I’m<br />

not feeling any different,’ it makes you feel worse and worse<br />

and worse. And to have your parents tell you or agree with<br />

someone else that you’re misshapen or broken, I think that<br />

would be the most unsettling thing in the world. What’s less<br />

unsettling to me, even though it’s diabolical, is a facility that<br />

would take parents’ money, wave them off at the gate, and then<br />

go inside and start hooking them up to electric shocks. There<br />

are those places, by the way—it’s just that Garrard’s story<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 37<br />

024-075.indd 37<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

wasn’t that story. The ‘We’re here to help’ thing has a weird<br />

Stepford Wives kind of unsettling nature to it.”<br />

Edgerton notes that the release of his film will be<br />

accompanied by a podcast, and he’s happy that this year has<br />

brought another successful film about conversion therapy, The<br />

Miseducation of Cameron Post. “All of these things are going<br />

to be good information for young kids to remind them, ‘Hey,<br />

listen, the rest of the world knows you’re not broken, and all<br />

these smart people are making projects that are letting you<br />

know we stand on the other side of things. We say that you’re<br />

OK, we say that you’re born the way you are and you should<br />

embrace it, and everybody else should fucking embrace you too.’<br />

A kid came up to me at Telluride, a volunteer, and he said, ‘If<br />

only this film had been around when I was 15 years old.’ That’s<br />

one thing. The other thing is just opening the minds of parents.<br />

If they can come and watch Russell and Nicole depict two real<br />

people who went from A to B, A being devastated and shocked<br />

and threatened by the sexuality of their son, to realizing the<br />

damage that they’ve caused and the misinformation they<br />

had, and in their own different ways evolved to a place of<br />

acceptance…<br />

“The father’s still on his way, he’s on that journey. The mother<br />

will be in Toronto today, she’s all behind the movie, she’s a<br />

champion to her son and she’s a role model to other mothers<br />

who are about to be or in the middle of or have gone through a<br />

similar situation… The thing about parents I discovered in this<br />

movie that I hadn’t really thought about, but now it makes perfect<br />

sense, is that if you have a gay son or gay daughter, a queer<br />

son or daughter of anything that’s outside the sense that a kid<br />

should grow up to be straight, the parents have to come out too,<br />

or they feel like the children are a reflection of them. My mom,<br />

anytime I did anything silly or dumb or weird or dressed weird,<br />

she’d get so upset. And my father would say, ‘Marianne, if he<br />

wants to do what he does, it has nothing to do with you. You’re<br />

just his parent.’ It’s a massive thing that parents attach their<br />

identity to their children’s identity and their sexuality.”<br />

Edgerton reflects on the evolution of Garrard Conley’s<br />

mother Martha, played so movingly by Kidman. “It’s a mouse<br />

that ends up with a lion’s roar. She is under the thumb, she is<br />

a quiet participant in everyone else’s agenda. But a mother’s<br />

intuition is so deep and strong that when you go against the<br />

grain of that, it’s quite evident for people. Martha just went:<br />

I’m not going to stand for this, I’m not going to be a silent<br />

participant in my son’s demise. And now she’s got such strength<br />

to her, in such a small frame—she’s such a fragile-looking<br />

woman. It’s cool. And that’s a better strength to me—it’s like<br />

someone with skinny arms winning at arm-wrestling.<br />

“I’m not sure when Garrard’s father will see the film, but<br />

he knows about it. Rightfully so, he’s nervous about his representation.<br />

I sat opposite him in Arkansas and I’d written<br />

a couple of drafts, and he urged me: I want you to paint me<br />

honestly—meaning, he doesn’t want to be painted as a hero in<br />

the movie, because that would be dishonest. Because he’s still<br />

on that journey. Also, he has his congregation to think about.<br />

He’s kind of in the middle between his son and this congregation<br />

he’s running. He said, ‘I just want you to paint me how<br />

I am,’ and I said, ‘I’m going to paint you as somebody who’s<br />

trying, but not yet succeeding.’ And he said, ‘Well, that’s about<br />

right.’ He’s a tough guy, like Russell—that’s why I cast Russell.<br />

You see a photo of him and you go: OK, I know why Russell is<br />

in this. He sat opposite me and we were talking about all sorts<br />

of stuff, and I wanted to steer the conversation towards the<br />

story of the film, and he just burst into tears. He was pointing<br />

at Garrard, who was sifting through family photos with my<br />

assistant Michael, and he said, ‘This whole thing has got me<br />

licked.’ And this hulking man is just sobbing at the table. And<br />

you don’t do that if there’s not a lot of love there. He’s trying<br />

to compute and put it all together, and I think it’s a wrestle<br />

for him. I don’t expect him to come to the movie easily, and I<br />

know that finding out that Russell was going to play him made<br />

him a little more scared than if it was some little independent<br />

film that would come and go and disappear. Nicole and Russell’s<br />

involvement I think made him take a step back and go:<br />

Oof! OK. But he never once tried to talk Garrard out of it. He<br />

embraced me, he wishes me well, he invited me to his church.<br />

I heard his point of view, and so did Russell. My kind of quiet<br />

agenda for the film is that he will see it and it will push him<br />

closer to his son. And not further away from his congregation,<br />

but closer to his congregation in bending further so that<br />

he can also bend other minds. People put a lot of stock in a<br />

preacher—in certain communities they’re kind of a rock star.”<br />

At the center of Boy Erased, of course, is rising star Lucas<br />

Hedges, who delivers a subtle and powerful performance. “Peter<br />

Hedges [Lucas’ father] directed me in 2011 in Atlanta in The<br />

Odd Life of Timothy Green,” Edgerton recalls. “Lucas was like 14<br />

and we would play basketball and hang out. He just landed at<br />

the end of that shoot his first acting job, in Moonrise Kingdom.<br />

I’d written him a little congratulatory note with a P.S.:<br />

‘Whatever you do, don’t grow up and start stealing my jobs.’ So<br />

it was kind of cool to read this book and go: Wow, I think he<br />

would be really great for this. There’s a stillness, a sensitivity,<br />

he’s super-intelligent. There’s a certain everyman quality to him,<br />

a beautiful ordinary nature. Audiences really can identify with<br />

someone like him.<br />

“I think he beautifully handled his discussion about his<br />

sexuality in an article recently. It was never really a conversation<br />

I had with him—it was a conversation Garrard and he had,<br />

because they spent a lot of time together. But there was<br />

definitely a question for me about who do I cast in that role and<br />

how do I represent right—there was something that felt right<br />

about him and I’m very proud of him.”<br />

When we spoke in Toronto, Edgerton had just recently<br />

wrapped shooting on Netflix’s The King, an adaptation of<br />

Shakespeare’s Henry IV and Henry V he wrote with director<br />

David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) and in which he plays<br />

Falstaff opposite Ben Mendelsohn and Timothée Chalamet as<br />

the two Henrys.<br />

“It went incredibly well, very smooth shoot,” Edgerton (also<br />

a producer) reports. “Adam Arkapaw shot it, just some epic<br />

stuff. The fact that David and I sat in Lombok mapping out the<br />

Battle of Agincourt in the sand like two grownup kids, and six<br />

years later we’re in a field in Budapest and in castles in London<br />

with all these extras and people in armor and eighty horses…we<br />

were kind of pinching ourselves, because getting to play on that<br />

scale thanks to Netflix was awesome.”<br />

Edgerton plans to continue splitting his time between acting<br />

and directing. “I’d really love to keep directing movies. But I<br />

gotta be in love with something completely before I embark on<br />

it, which is what happened with Boy Erased. I’m just waiting<br />

for the next thing to really get under my skin. And I want to<br />

pivot—I’d love to do something different, maybe a comedy or<br />

something outside the box. Definitely love suspense, though, so<br />

one day I‘ll go back to doing something to really unnerve an<br />

audience.” <br />

38 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 38<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM


SHOWEAST <strong>2018</strong>

Speaking Out<br />

A teenager witnesses<br />

a police shooting and comes<br />

forward in The Hate U Give<br />

by Anna Storm<br />

40 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 40<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter<br />

has just arrived at a party in her<br />

impoverished neighborhood of<br />

Garden Heights feeling terrifically out<br />

of place. She’s been dragged there by the<br />

fiery Kenya, her half-brother’s half-sister.<br />

(Their brother, Seven, and Starr share<br />

a father, while Seven and Kenya share<br />

a mother.) Starr and Kenya are not kin,<br />

but in Angie Thomas’ bestselling novel<br />

The Hate U Give, and in the experience<br />

of George Tillman, Jr., the man who<br />

directed the adaptation that Fox released<br />

on Oct. 5, “family” is an expansive word.<br />

One of the most important there is.<br />

But soon enough, not-quite-sister<br />

Kenya is leaving Starr to fend for herself.<br />

Starr knows some of the others at the<br />

party, but most of them she wouldn’t call<br />

friends, necessarily. There’s a figurative<br />

distance between them informed by a<br />

highly literal one: For the past few years,<br />

Starr has been attending the private<br />

school Williamson in a posh and predominantly<br />

white neighborhood several<br />

miles and worlds away from Garden<br />

Heights. Until a childhood friend plucks<br />

her from the wall she’s veritably hugging,<br />

Starr hangs back.<br />

“I really liked the first scene in the<br />

book when Starr goes into the party<br />

and she says, ‘I don’t really know if it’s<br />

enough for me to be at this party.’ ‘Am<br />

I enough? Am I black enough?’ is really<br />

the subtext of the scene,” says Tillman<br />

over the phone. “And then we see her<br />

later going into Williamson and the<br />

white world. And I just thought, you<br />

know, we’d never seen a movie with<br />

code-switching,” the term he uses to<br />

describe the way Starr tries to act more<br />

“black” among her African-American<br />

friends and more “white” among her<br />

white friends, “or a project that deals<br />

with an African-American character who<br />

has to deal with that.”<br />

The director of the classic Soul Food<br />

(which he also wrote, based on his own<br />

family experiences), as well as Men of<br />

Honor, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister<br />

and Pete and Notorious, knows a thing<br />

or two about code-switching, parties<br />

and what is signified by the guest lists.<br />

“There were only a few of us [African-<br />

American directors] in 1997, ’96, when<br />

I first started,” he remembers. “There<br />

were rumors or things that said black,<br />

African-American movies don’t travel<br />

overseas. So that was always the stigma.”<br />

He remembers a tacitly segregated world:<br />

“It was always like black Hollywood or<br />

white Hollywood. Or there’s African-<br />

American parties in the business, or<br />

there’s the white parties.” Just like Starr,<br />

Tillman felt “it was always like a codeswitching<br />

as a director in terms of how<br />

to make other people feel very comfortable.<br />

Just [in] the last ten years, six, seven<br />

years, we’ve had more African-American<br />

directors, women directors and African-<br />

American women, more show-runners.<br />

And now we’re telling our stories and I<br />

feel really good that The Hate U Give is in<br />

the middle of all this.”<br />

Hate is a story that is unafraid to<br />

place itself in the middle of tragic and<br />

controversial headline events. The<br />

childhood friend who arrives to rescue<br />

Starr at the party is the attractive,<br />

dimply Khalil (Algee Smith in the film),<br />

with whom Starr used to play Harry<br />

Potter when they were kids. A kid no<br />

longer, Khalil’s been “keeping busy”<br />

selling drugs. The two fall easily into<br />

their old patter, and when gunshots<br />

at the party ring out and scatter the<br />

revelers, they enjoy a ride home together<br />

that’s cozy, even rom-com sweet, until<br />

it’s cut short by a white police officer who<br />

pulls Khalil over for a minor offense.<br />

The encounter between a mouthy Khalil<br />

and an increasingly righteous officer<br />

escalates, until Khalil is told to stand<br />

outside his car while the officer examines<br />

his papers inside his patroller. Defying<br />

the officer’s instructions to remain still,<br />

Khalil reaches inside the driver’s seat for<br />

his hairbrush…and the panicked officer,<br />

mistaking the brush for a weapon, fires.<br />

Several times. Khalil falls.<br />

Distraught, confused, afraid and progressively<br />

angry, it’s up to Starr (a gifted<br />

Amandla Stenberg) as the sole witness<br />

to Khalil’s murder to speak for him. But<br />

with the menacing drug lord (Anthony<br />

Mackie) who worked as Khalil’s boss<br />

threatening her to keep silent, not to<br />

mention Starr’s own anxieties about how<br />

the students at Williamson—including<br />

her white boyfriend—will perceive her if<br />

she does speak out, standing up for her<br />

friend is a fraught choice with no easy<br />

outcome.<br />

“Obviously, I just felt it was very<br />

timely with the police brutality,” says<br />

George Tillman, Jr. directs Amandla<br />

Stenberg in The Hate U Give.<br />

Photos: Erika Doss © 20th Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 41<br />

024-075.indd 41<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Tillman of the narrative. He doesn’t<br />

need to mention the names of African-<br />

American men, women and children<br />

whose deaths following confrontations<br />

with policemen have inflamed and<br />

divided the nation for those names to<br />

hover between us: Tamir Rice. Philando<br />

Castile. Eric Garner. Sandra Bland. Yet<br />

Tillman’s interest in the story derived<br />

from its ultimate, if hard-won, positivity.<br />

“But the story of a girl finding her voice<br />

and finding who she is at the end of the<br />

day really just attracted me from the very<br />

beginning.”<br />

As cast and crew worked their way<br />

through the difficult choices Starr navigates,<br />

on set “the tone was very responsible…<br />

Everyone who was there was very<br />

committed, we knew there was a responsibility<br />

to tell this story that was very timely,<br />

so we had a dedication to that.” With<br />

heavy sequences often stretching over<br />

several days—Khalil’s shooting took two<br />

days to film, while the climactic protest in<br />

his name at the end of the movie lasted for<br />

five—it was important, helpful, that the<br />

main players who portrayed Starr’s family<br />

indeed “were a family.” And, just as any<br />

family does, it had its cut-ups.<br />

“In between takes, Regina Hall<br />

[who plays Starr’s mother] and Anthony<br />

Mackie, these guys were veterans, so we<br />

were able to break and have fun between<br />

takes.” He mimics Hall’s ribbing with a<br />

laugh: “’Oh, George, I got your camera<br />

angle over here!’” Says the director, “And<br />

Anthony Mackie’s the same way.” They<br />

were lucky to secure Mackie, whose<br />

commitment to the project was such he<br />

took eight or nine days off from shooting<br />

one of the Marvel films in which he plays<br />

the superhero Falcon to embody The Hate<br />

U Give’s violent drug lord, King. “He can<br />

turn it on and off,” says Tillman of the<br />

actor’s joshing. “And this was really just<br />

a blessing, because we were doing very<br />

emotional scenes.”<br />

As the center—heart, soul and<br />

expressive face—of those scenes, the<br />

19-year-old Stenberg, who was a senior in<br />

high school when she was cast, brought<br />

a level of dedication that impressed her<br />

seasoned director. “On the set, I like to do<br />

a lot of takes. I like to try a lot of different<br />

things. And she was there, always<br />

committed, always…was prepared, and<br />

there was just a really good relationship in<br />

terms of how we worked together.” Brace<br />

for a doozy of a compliment comparing<br />

the up-and-comer to one of The Greats:<br />

“And that relationship was just something<br />

that I learned working with De Niro on<br />

Men of Honor. It becomes a partnership.<br />

Not an actor working for you: It becomes<br />

a partnership.”<br />

What the actor who is best known<br />

for playing the much-loved Rue from<br />

The Hunger Games brought to the role of<br />

Starr was more than just a willingness to<br />

collaborate, however. Her talent and her<br />

skills were complemented by deeply personal<br />

experiences. Like Starr, Stenberg<br />

grew up in an impoverished neighborhood—South<br />

Los Angeles, in her case.<br />

Like Starr, Stenberg went to school in<br />

an upper-class enclave: in L.A.’s Westside.<br />

“So a lot of these things in terms<br />

of details, what she felt growing up in<br />

Englewood and going to a white private<br />

school, some of these behaviors, how she<br />

speaks to students in the white private<br />

school, and her fears and her pain, all<br />

that [were] what I endorsed and loved<br />

for her to bring to the role,” says Tillman<br />

of the generous input into her character<br />

Stenberg enjoyed.<br />

It was just that sort of insight which<br />

the actor brought to her conversations<br />

with The Hate U Give’s screenwriter, the<br />

late Audrey Wells, as well. Stenberg, Tillman<br />

and author Thomas all spoke with<br />

Wells as she worked on and polished<br />

the script. Tillman says there was never<br />

any hesitation about bringing on a white<br />

woman to adapt the novel. (Wells’ credits<br />

include Tarzan and Under the Tuscan Sun,<br />

among others.) Like his actors, “Audrey<br />

was very committed to the role from the<br />

beginning.” Plus, “with me being there<br />

and developing the material and the script<br />

with Audrey day-to-day, and a lot of that<br />

was with Angie there,” he felt confident in<br />

what they were producing. He mentions<br />

that Tina Maybry, a “great young African-<br />

American writer and director” (of USA’s<br />

“Queen of the South” fame) also wrote a<br />

draft. “So between us and Angie, we were<br />

in a really great place adapting the book.”<br />

Tillman was himself able to bring<br />

some Starr-like understanding to the<br />

project. “I was able to move in a better<br />

educational system than some of my<br />

cousins who lived in the inner city,” he<br />

remembers of his childhood. He credits<br />

his father with instilling in him a respect<br />

for education, “which was always sort<br />

of key,” and a sense of its importance.<br />

“I was actually moved to a white public<br />

school that was maybe 60 or 70 percent<br />

white. I was exposed to different things.”<br />

Anyone who has seen his Soul Food<br />

must respond with a knowing nod to<br />

hear the director explain, “I came from a<br />

very strong family background.” Recalls<br />

Tillman, “We had a working-class family,”<br />

though sometimes they were “middle-class.”<br />

He admits, “We had a lot of<br />

ups and downs, but we always had hope.<br />

And I had family members who were in<br />

prison and went through the system, just<br />

like Mav,” Starr’s father, played by Russell<br />

Hornsby (Fences) in the film. And<br />

those family members “gave us ‘the talk.’”<br />

That “talk’” is the same one Mav<br />

gives in flashback to a young Starr and<br />

Seven and his then-infant son Sekani in<br />

the opening scene of the film. It consists<br />

of a series of instructions for how to act<br />

when a policeman pulls you over—a scenario<br />

that is treated not as a hypothetical,<br />

but as an inevitability. It serves Starr<br />

well the night Khalil is murdered: she<br />

puts her hands on the dash, where the<br />

officer can see them. And she does what<br />

he says. In fact, to say it served her well<br />

is perhaps a gross understatement; it may<br />

have saved her life.<br />

Although Tillman was never made<br />

to memorize the Black Panther’s 10<br />

Point Program as Mav insists his<br />

children do, he does remember being<br />

“in the car with one of my cousins, and<br />

the police officer would stop right by,<br />

and [my cousin] would be like, ‘Look<br />

straight ahead…keep your hands out,<br />

act not suspicious, just be yourself.’ And<br />

explaining where the police came from<br />

in history, in terms of slave patrol. And<br />

all that was just from cousins and family<br />

members. Or my father just telling me<br />

how to conduct myself in public around<br />

police officers.” These moments stayed<br />

with him. “All that was just drilled in<br />

me as a young boy when I was growing<br />

up and it was there for me when I<br />

started making The Hate U Give.”<br />

Midway through the film, Starr<br />

sits on her living-room floor, scrolling<br />

through her Tumblr. From her page<br />

stare the faces of Eric Garner, Sandra<br />

Bland and Emmett Till, who, as a<br />

15-year-old boy in 1955, was savagely<br />

murdered for allegedly whistling at a<br />

white woman—although in a 2007 interview<br />

that woman admitted to making<br />

up her accusation. Emmett’s mother<br />

insisted on an open-casket funeral. She<br />

left her son lying viewable to the public<br />

for five days in order to “let the world<br />

see what has happened, because there is<br />

no way I could describe this.”<br />

The camera lingers on Emmett’s<br />

face, brutalized beyond recognition. It<br />

remains in the frame while Starr reads<br />

a message her white friend Hailey (a<br />

great Sabrina Carpenter) has posted<br />

42 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 42<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

underneath it—a reply to the effect of<br />

“OMG, really Starr???” And it remains<br />

in the frame when Starr turns away<br />

from her computer to read a text.<br />

“I felt as a young boy growing<br />

up, it was always Emmett Till,” says<br />

the director. His father was from<br />

Mississippi, where Till was murdered,<br />

and Tillman spent time in Chicago,<br />

where Till was from. “I always wanted<br />

to do that film, the Emmett Till story.<br />

I’ve always felt really connected to it. So<br />

the idea of Hailey not looking at it the<br />

same way as someone who’s African-<br />

American would was very important.”<br />

In order to clear the images for this<br />

scene, “I had to call up the families of<br />

Eric Garner and Sandra Bland. And just<br />

speaking to their families and being one<br />

person removed from these individuals,<br />

and hearing in their voice a sense of<br />

pain and a sense of hope and a sense<br />

of support to use their pictures in the<br />

film, all of that was important for me in<br />

this moment. And these are people who<br />

were victims and people who I feel like<br />

we were honoring in the film.”<br />

To hear the director speak, his film<br />

fundamentally dramatizes the effects<br />

of a broken system. The story’s title is<br />

a nod to Tupac Shakur’s THUG LIFE<br />

tattoo and philosophy: “The Hate U<br />

Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone.”<br />

Meaning, as Khalil explains to Starr<br />

just minutes before he is killed, the<br />

hatred society feeds African-American<br />

children comes back to bite it when<br />

those children grow up to “wild out.”<br />

“So you look at the system, and why<br />

racism and why the drugs and why this<br />

in our neighborhood: It’s because the<br />

system is designed to keep us there,”<br />

Tillman lays it out bluntly.<br />

But just as Starr finds the voice to<br />

speak for her friend by the end of the<br />

film, the film’s director finds a stirring<br />

current amid the weightiness of its<br />

themes. “It’s so amazing,” he marvels,<br />

“we look at Tupac, his philosophy from<br />

’93, ’94, is still here, it’s very prevalent,<br />

it’s very relevant… When you look at<br />

that philosopher, you know, that’s really<br />

what Tupac really was, he was much<br />

more than an artist.” He admires “the<br />

technical side of being a hip-hop artist”<br />

that the Notorious B.I.G., the subject<br />

of Tillman’s 2009 biopic Notorious,<br />

demonstrated, and refuses to say<br />

outright which of the rappers that once<br />

bitterly divided fans he prefers. “Isn’t<br />

it great we can look back in history” at<br />

both of them, he muses, mentioning as<br />

well the nice circularity of Mackie, who<br />

played Tupac in Notorious, having a role<br />

in this film inspired by Tupac’s words.<br />

What the director will not hedge<br />

about are his hopes for what viewers will<br />

take away from The Hate U Give. The<br />

last thing he mentions before hanging<br />

up is a scene that occurs the morning<br />

after Khalil’s shooting. Starr’s family<br />

is sitting around the breakfast table:<br />

Mom, Dad, Seven, and younger brother<br />

Sekani, who is now around six or seven.<br />

Starr’s father reminds her that he named<br />

her Starr because, as Tillman explains,<br />

“she’s the light in the darkness.” Her<br />

father and her mother and Seven are<br />

concerned for her. The tone is serious;<br />

the air itself seems breakable. And then<br />

Sekani acts the consummate me-first<br />

little brother and steals a piece of bacon<br />

from her plate. “And the family laughs.<br />

I think that represents the movie more<br />

than anything. It’s that, no matter how<br />

bad, how tough things get, the family<br />

has hope.” <br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 43<br />

024-075.indd 43<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Paul Dano makes his directorial debut with this critically<br />

acclaimed adaptation of a Richard Ford novel<br />

Courtesy of IFC <strong>Film</strong>s.<br />

Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenha al star in Wildlife.<br />

Big Sky Story<br />

by Anna Storm<br />

Acclaimed actor Paul Dano is discussing<br />

in characteristically thoughtful tones<br />

what he learned directing his first feature<br />

film, the accomplished adaptation of the 1990 Richard Ford novel, Wildlife.<br />

“On a budget and on a certain schedule, not everything is going to go according<br />

to the plan. And from that, sometimes, some really great stuff blossoms, [but]<br />

it’s so hard to trust that. So I think the biggest thing I took away was really trusting<br />

the process.”<br />

A brief digression: As many basketball fans are wont to know, the phrase<br />

“Trust the process” was made famous several years ago by the then-general<br />

manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. Sam Hinkie’s “process” was controversial: He<br />

purposefully tanked games in order to rebuild the failing team he had inherited<br />

and turn it into a stronger outfit. Although that might sound strange to someone<br />

who counts herself a greater fan of sports movies than she is of sports, the<br />

44 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 44<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

overarching idea behind the credo “Trust the process” is fairly<br />

comprehensible: its notion of prizing patience and maintaining<br />

faith in a long-range vision.<br />

I do not know if Dano is a sports fan. We have not made it<br />

there in our conversation, nor do we ever arrive. I have no idea<br />

if he is aware of Hinkie, the 76ers, or if he puts stock in selfsabotage<br />

as a means of ascendance. But, boy, does the newly<br />

minted director and screenwriter (a credit he shares on Wildlife<br />

with his partner, the writer/actress Zoe Kazan) believe in<br />

“trusting the process.” In the fundamental things that apply to<br />

the uphill-mountainous worlds of film and sports both: trusting<br />

your abilities and to perseverance to see you through inevitable,<br />

unavoidable challenges on a road to success lined with<br />

spectators. Trusting, with patience and with faith, in yourself<br />

to the process you have set in motion.<br />

The first challenge Dano faced with Wildlife arrived before<br />

he had much of an idea of there being a process to ignite. He<br />

read and loved the novel by Richard Ford. The book charts<br />

the unraveling of a family in 1960 Montana. When dad Jerry<br />

(Jake Gyllenhaal in the film) loses his job as a golf-course<br />

groundskeeper, he leaves his wife Jeanette (a firecracker Carey<br />

Mulligan) and son Joe (Ed Oxenbould of Alexander and the<br />

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) to join a group of<br />

volunteers battling wildfires up in the mountains. Faced with<br />

new freedom and not nearly enough money, Jeanette goes<br />

off the rails and into another, richer man’s arms, forcing our<br />

protagonist Joe to grow up quickly.<br />

The book struck several personal chords for Dano, who is<br />

best known for disappearing inside critically heralded roles<br />

like those in Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood, 12 Years<br />

a Slave and Love & Mercy, to name a few. In his Director’s<br />

Statement, he admits to growing up in a home like the one<br />

depicted in Wildlife, where there was “an extraordinary<br />

amount of love” but “also incredible turbulence.” When asked<br />

to expand upon this thought, Dano is understandably cagey<br />

and distant, although, to credit his professionalism, neither<br />

defensive nor resistant. Always he speaks measuredly, often<br />

pausing for several beats after he is asked a question. “I think<br />

the first thing I was struck by when I read it was Jeanette’s<br />

character,” he muses. “The feeling of discovering that your<br />

parents are people. And that they’re flawed people.” In fact, all<br />

three of the central characters “felt like me, like people I knew.<br />

They reminded me of my family, and I think I just wanted to<br />

try to understand a little better.”<br />

But the challenge was, Dano wasn’t sure if the story—<br />

emotionally resonant but, like many novels, resonant with<br />

its protagonist’s interior reflections—was right for the visual<br />

medium of the movies.<br />

“I spent about a year daydreaming about it. Probably reread<br />

the book several times and kind of just kept turning<br />

it over in my head.” The questions that stumped him were:<br />

“Could I do it, and why would I do it, and, you know, is there<br />

really a film here?”<br />

His patient ruminations paid off. “Eventually I thought<br />

of the final scene of the film and the final image,” which gave<br />

him the confidence to move forward. You can see which scene<br />

he is talking about if you watch the IFC movie’s teaser trailer:<br />

Mulligan and Gyllenhaal sitting against a blue dropcloth, staring<br />

into the camera, she with a sad and cracking determination<br />

to keep it together, he with a more vacant melancholia. In the<br />

film, it’s photography-apprentice Joe who takes this portrait of<br />

his family. But in the book, this scene never happens.<br />

It was Wildlife’s author, Richard Ford, who encouraged<br />

Dano to deviate from his text. The second challenge the director<br />

faced was optioning the novel—although that hurdle, to<br />

his delighted surprise, would prove the easiest to surmount.<br />

“I’m grateful to you for your interest in my book,” wrote<br />

Ford to Dano in an e-mail, “but I should also say this—in<br />

hopes of actually encouraging you: My book is my book; your<br />

picture—were you to make it—is your picture. Your moviemaker’s<br />

fidelity to my novel is of no great concern to me... Establish<br />

your own values, means, goal; leave the book behind so<br />

it doesn’t get in the way—and where it’s safest.”<br />

“That was a great sense of permission from somebody who<br />

you admire,” remembers Dano. “If I could have asked for him<br />

to say anything, it would have been something like that.”<br />

A smooth process, by all accounts, then, was Widlife the<br />

picture, in the beginning.<br />

And then Dano picked up a pen.<br />

For Challenge No. 3, The Writing (not to be confused with<br />

“The Reaping,” although a sense of horror-movie anxiety is<br />

not out of place here), Dano enlisted the help of his partner,<br />

Kazan.<br />

What was that dynamic between the couple like? One<br />

wants pryingly to know.<br />

“The initial conversations were probably more of a fight<br />

than anything,” Dano reveals with uncharacteristic alacrity.<br />

First he wrote a draft on his own that Kazan tore apart. That<br />

earliest attempt was “more about the image,” Dano admits.<br />

“And I didn’t write in screenplay format… I sort of wanted to<br />

write from a very naïve place, just to get the guts of it out on<br />

the page.” After he showed it to, and fought with, Kazan, “she<br />

was like, ‘I see what you’re trying to do, why don’t you just let<br />

me do a pass?’ And I said, ‘Great.’ I was so devastated—no, I<br />

mean, I wanted her help.”<br />

Kazan pulled Dano’s collection of images together into<br />

a dramatic structure. And then the real work, fueled by that<br />

patience and that faith which were already defining Dano’s<br />

methodology, began. For a few years the duo passed the script<br />

back and forth. “If she was acting in a film, I might do a pass<br />

on the script, you know, we’d talk about it; or if I was away, we<br />

would talk about it, and then she would do a pass.”<br />

In his 2016 resignation letter from The 76ers, Hinkie reflected:<br />

“This story underscores what our players, particularly<br />

our best players, are in greatest need of—time.” If you were<br />

to substitute the word “scripts” for “players,” this quote might<br />

well have come from Dano himself. The filmmaker agrees<br />

“that time was a great virtue for the [writing] process. Because<br />

in all the other parts of the process, time is such a precious<br />

commodity. Like, you don’t have time. Once you’re paying<br />

people,” he clarifies, mentioning the film’s small budget.<br />

With Challenge No. 4—the Technical Challenge, you<br />

might call it, or pre-production—Dano, a veteran of the movies<br />

as an actor, was surprised as a director by just how “technical,<br />

logistical, so much about money and schedule” it all was.<br />

It became useful for him to remind himself that “even when<br />

you’re making a budgetary decision, you’re making a film. It’s<br />

gonna impact what you put in front of the camera.”<br />

It’s here he mentions how hard it is to trust to “great stuff”<br />

blossoming beneath budgetary and scheduling constraints. But<br />

his faith in the process would soon be roundly, even uncannily,<br />

justified.<br />

“So the film takes place in Montana,” Dano recounts,<br />

“but we could only afford to shoot four days in Montana.” The<br />

46 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 46<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

production moved on to Oklahoma, for a sound technical,<br />

logistical, monetary and scheduling reason—namely, “they<br />

have a really great tax incentive there.<br />

“We found a town [in Oklahoma] that had a lot of period<br />

vibes to it still. And we ended up finding a house that was<br />

one of the last locations we found, which was the scariest<br />

thing, because so much of the film takes place there [inside<br />

the family’s home.] And it ended up being some guy’s house<br />

from the late ’50s, who took care of the grounds at a golf<br />

course.” Some guy, that is, who had had the same job that Jake<br />

Gyllenhaal’s character, Jerry, has at the beginning of the film,<br />

and during the same era. This real-life Jerry whom Dano and<br />

his crew discovered “was blind and he had a lot of stuff from<br />

the ’60s still in his house.” As “bummed” as Dano was to forgo<br />

capturing more of the “beautiful” and “lonely” landscape of<br />

Montana, having now come out the other end, “I can’t imagine<br />

doing it any other way.”<br />

Nor could he imagine working with any other DP for this,<br />

Challenge No. 5: The Shooting. Prior to filming, Dano was<br />

given a list of 300 working cinematographers by an agent at<br />

WME. He chatted with many of them, but it was Diego Garcia<br />

(Neon Bull), who happened to speak the poorest English<br />

of the bunch but “the closest dramatic language to me,” who<br />

stood out.<br />

“Watching his stuff it was clear how it just felt like [there<br />

was] a great sensitivity to his frames. And also a great sense<br />

of composition, which was something that was really, really<br />

important for this film.” Indeed, the compositions in Wildlife<br />

are precise, delicate, at times exquisite in their formal arrangements<br />

and in their restraint. Garcia “also just felt immediately<br />

that sense of camera, cinematography, that was in the writing”<br />

and that had survived from Dano’s first “naïve” draft through<br />

Kazan’s restructurings.<br />

Such a sympathetic grasp of what Dano meant was crucial,<br />

for Dano was in thrall to the idea of portraiture, to paintings<br />

that “peel back the layers of what you see at first.” Hence his<br />

decision to deviate from the novel and have Joe photograph his<br />

family at the end, as well as to arrange his own frames with a<br />

painterly eye. True to Ford’s advice, this is very much Dano’s<br />

version of Wildlife, the way he both visually and thematically<br />

processes emotions on display—a process that also appears to<br />

be very much about catharsis, if not self-revelation.<br />

“Ultimately I think I’m most aligned with the kid, Joe,”<br />

the filmmaker says. It was through the character of Joe that<br />

Ford in his book captured “the way I would have, and still deal<br />

with, situations and struggles…this kid, rather than rebelling<br />

or acting out, he was kind of trying to hold the whole thing<br />

together. Like, trying not to let things get too far in the wrong<br />

direction. And that’s just kind of who I am, probably.”<br />

Dano had worked as an actor alongside Gyllenhaal before<br />

(in Prisoners; they also both appear in Okja, although never<br />

together), and Mulligan he deservedly raves about: She was “so<br />

all-in” and “such a wonderful collaborator… I was surprised<br />

how much she trusted me as a first-time filmmaker.” But Oxenbould<br />

was something else.<br />

“I started acting around his age,” explains Dano, who<br />

made his onscreen debut at 14 in a 1998 episode of The Disney<br />

Channel show “Smart Guy.” “I really felt it was important<br />

to me to make him a collaborator.” He describes the patient<br />

line of questioning he would put to Oxenbould: “Ed, what do<br />

you think? How do you feel? Does it feel true to you? Do you<br />

want another take?” But “Ed didn’t need” more takes or his<br />

director’s kid gloves. “We were so excited when we cast him,<br />

because we were like, ‘The kid’s a real actor’… He wasn’t just<br />

using natural abilities as a kid; he’s an actor.”<br />

It’s tempting to speculate Dano was so excited by his lead<br />

actor because of the sympatico understanding he shared with<br />

this teen showing up to prove his mettle on-set each day. It<br />

doesn’t seem too far off the mark to reflect—to use Dano’s own<br />

phrasing—if you were to peel back the layers of Oxenbould’s<br />

performance, you might find that behind the native Australian<br />

boy you see at first is Dano himself. Exposed, through the<br />

filmmaker’s decisions of framing and direction, in a way that<br />

starring in his own film, with the mannerisms of a character to<br />

hide behind, never could have left him.<br />

What is certain is that Dano would still be immersed in<br />

Challenge No. 6: The Edit, if given the chance. Of the editing<br />

bay he says: “If somebody had allowed me to, if we had the<br />

money, I would probably be in there for another year, just trying<br />

to move four frames somewhere. I mean, it’s an obsessive<br />

line of work.”<br />

Not to mention the fact one can never be certain what will<br />

happen once the picture closes. Inadvertently, I myself present<br />

Dano with another iteration of his process’ final and still<br />

ongoing challenge: The Reception. I wonder aloud if the “sort<br />

of distance” I think is evident in his highly aesthetic film was<br />

intentional, part of the “weight of myth or nostalgia” with<br />

which he has just said he wanted to imbue the movie.<br />

Pause for reflection.<br />

“I think—no. I don’t think so. For me, I don’t think<br />

distance was part of the vocabulary.” Dano then lists those<br />

factors that could have contributed to my misperception: how<br />

he wanted the characters to speak for themselves, without<br />

novelistic voiceover; how “the feeling of the camera” was<br />

partially inspired by (static) painting; how he wanted the<br />

movie to rely on the image and the cut to move things forward.<br />

“I think if it was a film that had push-ins on big moments, it<br />

would end up, for me, feeling a bit reductive.”<br />

In other words—the words of the nameless woman in T.S.<br />

Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” seem the most<br />

appropriate here—That is not what I meant at all; that is not it,<br />

at all. His patience has yet to wear.<br />

“We talk a lot about process—not outcome—and trying<br />

to consistently take all the best information you can and<br />

consistently make good decisions,” said the reliably analogous<br />

Hinkie when he was hired in May of 2013. “Sometimes they<br />

work and sometimes they don’t, but you reevaluate them all.”<br />

Despite journalists who might blunder in their readings,<br />

the outcome for Wildlife has been unanimously positive: As<br />

of this writing, the film stands at a ripe 100% on Rotten<br />

Tomatoes. And yet the point, it seems, is not only to focus on,<br />

but to find something galvanizing in the process of decisionmaking<br />

as you work towards the outcome; otherwise, every<br />

stage is a challenge to be got through, rather than met. Dano<br />

appears to understand this. “You are choosing the colors and<br />

the texture and the feeling of the house,” he says of being a<br />

director. “It’s so fun.”<br />

He is already reevaluating and thinking about his follow-up<br />

effort. He “couldn’t care less” if he made another adaptation or<br />

filmed an original story, so long as it’s “something to be inspired<br />

by.” Something worth his considerable patience and faith.<br />

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to say next time, ‘OK: This is gonna<br />

work, somehow.’ The first time it’s like: ‘Is this gonna work?’<br />

And it’s scary not to know.” <br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 47<br />

024-075.indd 47<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Courtesy Bleecker Street<br />

A daughter returns to her childhood home to help her brother and father<br />

come to terms with her ailing mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s<br />

lost and found<br />

by Harry Haun <br />

What Elizabeth Chomko had before What They Had was a<br />

string of 16 under-distinguished film appearances—bits in<br />

indies or guest-shots-that-sometimes-swelled-to-recurring-roles<br />

in TV series—but running alongside this newbie actress was a<br />

writer trying to get out, followed quickly if not simultaneously by<br />

a director.<br />

Both emerged in a dazzling double-debut via this domestic<br />

drama from Bleecker Street that drew warm receptions at its U.S.<br />

premiere at Sundance as well as its international one in Toronto.<br />

“My love, really, was theatre,” Chomko confesses. “I went to<br />

school for theatre and philosophy and played a bunch of regional<br />

theatres in D.C. where I went to school. That’s how I learned to<br />

story-tell—through acting—but I was always a writer. My family<br />

moved around a lot when I was a kid, and my journal became<br />

my confidant.”<br />

Pages from that journal inform What They Had. Chomko lived<br />

it before she wrote it, which is why her characters come over so<br />

accessible and identifiable and life-sized.<br />

“The whole film is really a meditation on everything I know<br />

about love and where I learned it—from my parents’ relationship<br />

and my grandparents’ relationship, what was different, what was<br />

similar. They had different ways of communicating love.”<br />

Chomko and her two sisters did not grow up cinephiles, but<br />

their mother put them in front of films that had female storylines,<br />

“not for any political reason, but because that was the stuff<br />

she related to. I watched Anne of Green Gables and Julie Andrews<br />

musicals and Norma Rae—but what I really grew up doing was<br />

reading novels. It’s a difficult art form to bring into the cinema.<br />

Elizabeth Chomko (above right) wrote and directed What<br />

They Had, starring Blythe Danner and Hilary Swank (left)<br />

and Michael Shannon and Robert Forster.<br />

You have so much more real estate with a novel. That sort of interwoven<br />

storytelling was a big influence on writing this film.”<br />

Her specific inspiration came from observing her grandmother<br />

lose her memories—a tragedy that went into overdrive<br />

after her grandfather’s death in 2010. She herself died only three<br />

months ago, without ever seeing the film. “She had a 17-year<br />

battle with Alzheimer’s and, at the end, was quite debilitated by<br />

it and in no frame of mind to process what she saw. But I think<br />

she’d have been pleased with it. Her brothers were. My favorite<br />

moment so far was getting my uncles’ reaction after they saw it<br />

at Sundance. They said, ‘You couldn’t have given us a better gift.’<br />

That’s when I realized what a film our memories are. Without<br />

our memories, what are we? Just living in the present without any<br />

context, and I didn’t want to take my memories for granted.”<br />

Some of her authentic past punctuates her picture, in fact.<br />

The rickety remains of her family’s home movies are sprinkled<br />

throughout. “I went out with a Super 8 camera myself and shot<br />

a bit, but all the archival footage is my grandfather’s. He was<br />

quite a documentarian. I don’t think he knew how intuitive he<br />

was with the camera, but he really found his moments with it.<br />

He had all this beautiful footage I always thought was so stunning,<br />

and I wanted to use it—in keeping with the themes and<br />

visual true-line of a film about memory. These flashes of the past<br />

and nostalgia certainly inspired me to make the movie. I was<br />

honored to be able to include them.”<br />

Such familiarity with the home turf gave Chomko the extra edge<br />

48 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 48<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM


to<br />


ShowEast<br />

Hall of Fame Inductee<br />


and so much more from<br />


Cooked Perfect®<br />

Chicken Chunks<br />

RollerBites®<br />

Buffalo Chicken<br />

Eisenberg®<br />

Gourmet Beef Frank<br />

Cooked Perfect®<br />

Meatballs in a Cup<br />

Cooked Perfect®<br />

Chicken Bites<br />

Deliver a flavor experience that’s unrivaled in the entertainment industry. From the best-selling frank in theaters,<br />

to our award-winning chicken chunks 1 , #1 brand of meatballs in retail 2 and roller grill items, we make food fun!<br />

www.HomeMarketFoods.com | info@homemarketfoods.com | 800.367.8325<br />

1 Voted <strong>2018</strong> Product of the Year by the Consumer Survey of Product Innovation 2 IRI, Latest 52 Weeks Ending 2/25/18<br />

©<strong>2018</strong> Home Market Foods, Inc. 140 Morgan Drive, Norwood, MA 02062-5013

and authority that most first-time-out writer-directors are denied.<br />

There’s an unerring ring of truth about what is said and how the cast<br />

connects with those words. So confident is she as a screenwriter, she<br />

doesn’t always need words to make intimate scenes work.<br />

Two marriages come to an end in the movie without us hearing<br />

one word. And the film’s final fillip (which leaves us smiling) silently<br />

tells us why a turkey crosses the road (basically, the same reason a<br />

chicken, with much less fuss ’n’ feathers, does).<br />

“Turkey” is the pet name that passes between two elderly lovebirds,<br />

Burt and Ruth (Robert Forster and Blythe Danner, both<br />

in award-courting performances). As age creeps over him and<br />

Alzheimer’s over her, it’s their one true constant—but she can still<br />

identify her husband of four or five decades as her “boyfriend,” so<br />

there’s hope.<br />

The story starts on Christmas Eve, but it’s not a midnight clear.<br />

The momentarily unattended Danner blithely slips out into a blinding<br />

Chicago blizzard, forcing a family reunion whether they like it or<br />

not—and they don’t like it because it means deciding where they can<br />

safely stash Mama. There are a variety of views on this.<br />

Bridget (Hilary Swank), the daughter who fled to the West<br />

Coast, comes in with her college-age daughter, Emma (Taissa<br />

Farmiga)—who’s in an emotional freefall of her own—while<br />

Nicky (Michael Shannon), the son who dutifully stayed behind,<br />

comes from across town where he serves his prize-winning<br />

Manhattans in a bar he owns.<br />

Casting kudo: Swank and Shannon actually do look like they<br />

could be Forster’s issue, and the blunt head-butting that follows<br />

has an unmistakable familial reality to it.<br />

Not only was Swank the first to sign up for the film, she decided<br />

to extend her duties to help produce it as well. “Hilary really<br />

was an inspiring muse and pushed her character that extra 20<br />

percent to make her a real, tangible human being,” says Chomko.<br />

“I’d worked hard on the script to develop the characters as<br />

much as I could. Then, once I had my cast, I rewrote it to make<br />

magic out of the people that they were. The casting was perfect—<br />

thankfully!—because we had just 22 shooting days in Chicago, with<br />

no time to prepare or rehearse. It all suddenly came together, and<br />

we just went for it. Everyone was utterly committed to making it<br />

happen and getting it done.<br />

“I did encourage them to go off on their own. I let the camera<br />

roll and allowed them all to take their parts and run with it. They<br />

could change words, say it in their own way or improv. I wanted that<br />

almost Cassavetes-like overlapping of dialogue that happens when<br />

you’re with family. What I’m proudest of is how they really do seem<br />

like family—and for that I can’t take a lot of credit. They are the ones<br />

who did that.”<br />

What Chomko can take credit for is providing every member<br />

of the family with a full plate of conflict and angst. “People ask<br />

me which character in the film is me. In a way, they all are, I’m<br />

always working out some wound of my own with everybody.<br />

“With Hilary’s character, I can really relate to her sense of being<br />

a caregiver and wanting to please people. I think maybe that’s<br />

something women trouble about, and I’m hard on myself about<br />

that. Michael’s character is that voice of reason in my head that<br />

we all have. He’s that guy who forces everybody to reckon with<br />

the truth. What’s more, he’s almost always right, so, in effect, he<br />

prompts all of them to grow and see their own flaws. In a way, this<br />

is a kind of coming of age for all of them.”<br />

The kids are all right, but the real takeaway of this film comes<br />

from the parents in the supporting ranks, from Danner and Forster<br />

deep in the throes of life’s “badly written third act.” She has her<br />

dotty moments—answering a stapler instead of a phone or proudly<br />

announcing at dinner that she’s pregnant—but, toward the end in<br />

her last scene with Swank, Chomko allows her a moment of heartbreaking<br />

lucidity.<br />

If you think you’ve seen this Robert Forster before, you probably<br />

have. Chomko cast him right out of Alexander Payne’s The<br />

Descendants, where he played a short-fused, old-fashioned grandfather<br />

who bops a smart-mouthed teenager in the face. Burt in<br />

What They Had is a double-downed edition of that—a constantly<br />

charging engine for the film as well as the family, battling his offspring<br />

over his wife’s uncertain future.<br />

“I love the tone Alexander Payne found in that film,” Chomko<br />

admits. “He beautifully walked that line between hilarity and heartbreak,<br />

and Robert’s performance of a traditionally minded patriarch<br />

was funny and still had gravity. He was someone I wanted to see a<br />

whole movie about, so I made one. He was so in line with Burt.”<br />

Right now, the one-time actress is enjoying the film-festival<br />

fruits of her labors. “I really did the whole process—<br />

the writing and rewriting and learning how to be a filmmaker. All<br />

the other stuff that came from that—Sundance and Toronto—is<br />

really icing. For me, it was about the doing of it. Every part of it<br />

was a joy, in and of itself.<br />

Having given her own family tree a substantial shaking, Chomko<br />

is next branching out into a true story that’s not hers. She is adapting<br />

the memoir of the daughter of Jordan Belfort (a.k.a. The Wolf of Wall<br />

Street), telling how his conviction for white-collar crime impacted,<br />

and pretty much wrecked, the lives of his whole family.<br />

“The films I’m connected to, the stories I want to tell and be part<br />

of telling, all feel personal in some way—regardless of how actual<br />

and reflective of my life they are,” she says. “I don’t know how to connect<br />

unless it is something that I’m working out.” <br />

50 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 50<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM


C elluloid J unkie’s T op W omen in G lobal C inema<br />

The Integrator<br />

Vilma Benitez Celebrates Four Decades at Bardan Cinema<br />

by Rob Rinderman<br />

In celebration of Celluloid Junkie’s third<br />

annual survey of its “Top 50 Women in<br />

Global Cinema,” we spoke with Bardan<br />

Cinema’s CEO, Vilma Benitez, who is<br />

listed as number 31 in CJ’s ranking.<br />

“I feel humbled and deeply honored to<br />

be in such good company,” she admits. “The<br />

diversity of our industry is so much of what<br />

makes it such a wonderful ecosystem to be<br />

a part of and I am glad to see that being<br />

celebrated.”<br />

Benitez has been the international service<br />

provider’s chief executive for the past<br />

11 years, first joining the organization way<br />

back in the late 1970s—an impressive fourdecade<br />

run.<br />

By way of a quick introduction for<br />

those who may be a little less familiar with<br />

the company, Bardan is a leading cinema<br />

systems integrator in Latin America and<br />

the Caribbean, with an increasing presence<br />

in the U.S. market.<br />

According to Benitez, “For three<br />

generations we have worked intimately<br />

with our customers and vendors to<br />

continuously nurture and develop the entertainment<br />

industry in our region. As the<br />

landscape has changed, we have helped<br />

our market to adapt in new technologies<br />

and modes of operation while focusing on<br />

traditional, high-touch customer service as<br />

a guiding principle.”<br />

Among those new technologies they are<br />

emphasizing and capitalizing upon is the<br />

growing popularity of laser projection. Recently,<br />

Bardan has noted tremendous positive<br />

momentum continuing to build behind laserilluminated<br />

projectors, Benitez confirms.<br />

More full laser complexes (cinemas<br />

where all of a facility’s auditoriums are<br />

outfitted with either laser phosphor or<br />

RGB laser projectors) have been opening in<br />

South and Central American countries such<br />

as Chile, Peru, El Salvador and Colombia,<br />

as well as in downtown Miami, just a stone’s<br />

Vilma Benitez, Bardan Intl.<br />

throw from the company’s Florida offices.<br />

“Not only are moviegoers beginning<br />

to take note of difference in image quality<br />

that RGB laser projectors provide,” Benitez<br />

affirms, “but exhibitors are now more intrigued<br />

than ever by the benefits an all-laser<br />

complex can afford them, from both an operational<br />

cost and maintenance perspective.”<br />

Provided a system is properly designed<br />

for a customer’s specific needs, the total cost<br />

of ownership (TCO) can be very compelling<br />

when compared to Xenon-illuminated<br />

projectors, especially when combined with<br />

special warranty packages, such as the ones<br />

Bardan offers to its international clientele.<br />

In the coming months, the company<br />

plans to make some “exciting” announcements<br />

related to new cinema projection<br />

system product offerings, so 2019 promises<br />

to be an even stronger year ahead for laser,<br />

Benitez predicts.<br />

Bardan’s technical arm—D-CinemaNOC—features<br />

a highly skilled team of<br />

technicians that are available on-demand<br />

and ready to provide a wide range of services<br />

to theatrical exhibitors. These include<br />

proactive equipment monitoring, remote<br />

support and onsite maintenance, system<br />

design and staff training.<br />

“With over 40 years in the cinema business,<br />

we know that we are an industry built<br />

on relationships, and at Bardan those relationships<br />

are paramount,” Benitez states.<br />

“Though the times have changed, our<br />

core focus has always remained the same<br />

since the company’s inception: to provide<br />

our customers with the right products and<br />

the best service experience possible.<br />

“We get to know our clients well, so that<br />

when we design a system for them, we know<br />

it is going to work for them from the very<br />

beginning and we follow through on that<br />

investment through the life of the products.<br />

We curate our list of vendors deliberately<br />

and thoughtfully, working with like-minded<br />

companies who understand the value of reliability<br />

and strong post-sale support.”<br />

According to its corporate website<br />

(www.bardaninternational.com), Bardan’s<br />

robust roster of industry partners includes<br />

Figueras, Strong/MDI, Dolby Atmos, Philips<br />

Lighting International, Cinionic/Barco<br />

Laser, Klipsch, Severtson Screens, Arts Alliance<br />

Media, DepthQ, APC by Schneider<br />

Electric, Dell and Cisco.<br />

The Bardan team has grown dramatically<br />

over the years and the organization continues<br />

to expand its local presence throughout<br />

the regions it operates in to better serve<br />

customers. Says Benitez, “As the industry<br />

has evolved technologically, we have served<br />

as advisors to our clientele, helping them<br />

make the investments worth making and<br />

avoid the risks not worth taking.”<br />

She continues, “We have leveraged<br />

continued on page 138<br />

52 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 52<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

C elluloid J unkie’s T op W omen in G lobal C inema<br />

A-List Executive<br />

Elizabeth Frank Oversees Programming at AMC<br />

by Rebecca Pahle<br />

moviegoing experience is<br />

better than it ever has been,”<br />

‘The<br />

explains Elizabeth Frank,<br />

executive VP and chief content and<br />

programming officer at AMC Theatres.<br />

Technology is improving, luxury seating<br />

is on the rise and moviegoers who want<br />

to plop down their $8.97 to see a movie<br />

(2017’s average ticket price, calculated<br />

by NATO) have more food and beverage<br />

options to take advantage of than ever<br />

before.<br />

“Moviegoing,” notes Frank, “has<br />

always been the most affordable [form<br />

of entertainment]”—a more financially<br />

reasonable option than taking the family<br />

out to a sports event or live theatre. No<br />

doubt about it, <strong>2018</strong> is a good year for<br />

the movies—and a good year for AMC,<br />

North America’s largest exhibitor. And<br />

part of that is because of Frank, justly<br />

named #2 on Celluloid Junkie’s <strong>2018</strong><br />

list of the “Top 50 Women in Global<br />

Cinema.” “It is a great honor to be<br />

recognized with so many talented and<br />

committed executives,” Frank says.<br />

Frank is approaching her decade<br />

mark at AMC, having joined the<br />

company in 2010 as senior VP, strategy<br />

and strategic partnerships, a role she<br />

held until assuming her current position<br />

in 2012. Her first job, she explains, was<br />

“working for an independent distributor.<br />

For many years I worked on the content<br />

side of the industry. I was excited to join<br />

AMC to build stronger strategic and<br />

operational connections between content<br />

and consumers through exhibition/<br />

distribution partnerships.”<br />

During Frank’s time at AMC, the<br />

company has been through a lot of<br />

changes. Chinese behemoth Wanda <strong>Film</strong><br />

became their lead investor. AMC’s international<br />

acquisitions include Odeon/<br />

Elizabeth Frank, AMC Theatres (USA)<br />

UCI and Nordic Cinemas, and they’ve<br />

moved into the Saudi Arabian market.<br />

More recently, AMC got into the<br />

burgeoning subscription-service market<br />

with A-List, which lets subscribers<br />

enjoy three movies per month at AMC<br />

theatres on top of their already-existing<br />

AMC Stubs benefits. “Consumer<br />

response to AMC Stubs A-List has been<br />

very enthusiastic,” Frank says of this<br />

“high-value program,” which recently<br />

hit 400,000 members. “In the first few<br />

months of program operation, we’re<br />

seeing A-List members significantly<br />

increase their moviegoing frequency and<br />

bring more friends and family to the<br />

theatre as well.”<br />

Expansion—whether of physical<br />

theatres or of services at already<br />

existing locations—is in the air for this<br />

moviegoing institution. For now, Frank<br />

says, AMC is going to be doubling<br />

down less on expanding to new markets<br />

(they’re already “the largest exhibitor in<br />

the world, with market-leading positions<br />

in both North America and EMEA”)<br />

than enhancing their existing theatres;<br />

it’s there that Frank sees AMC’s<br />

“strongest growth potential.”<br />

“AMC is updating theatre interiors<br />

and introducing premium moviegoing<br />

formats, expanding food and beverage<br />

offerings and installing customer<br />

amenities and conveniences,” she says.<br />

“These improvements are attracting<br />

greater audiences across the United<br />

States and Europe.” In the United<br />

States alone, “AMC entertains over a<br />

quarter-billion people each year, drawing<br />

audiences of all ages, ethnicities,<br />

interests and affinities.”<br />

Frank herself loves a good comedy:<br />

“Sharing the laughs with an audience<br />

makes the movie all the funnier.” It’s that<br />

shared experience that makes going to<br />

the movies so great—and what makes the<br />

theatrical industry, and AMC itself, such<br />

a vital part of the lives of so many. <br />

54 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 54<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

A Word<br />

from Your<br />

Sponsor<br />

Lending Support to Industry Shows<br />

Has Lasting Benefits by Bob Gibbons<br />

Through the years, the<br />

major cinema shows have<br />

changed their names and<br />

locations; they’ve grown larger<br />

and more elaborate, attracting<br />

new participants, introducing<br />

new ideas, encouraging new<br />

thinking—and helping to<br />

unveil and advance the power<br />

of digital technology in an<br />

industry refreshing, reshaping<br />

and realigning itself for the<br />

future.<br />

All of that has made the<br />

shows more vital than ever to<br />

those who are serious about<br />

succeeding and growing in<br />

this business. Four principal<br />

shows—CinemaCon,<br />

CineEurope, ShowEast, and<br />

CineAsia—anchor the year; at<br />

each, sponsors help provide<br />

reasons for attendance. Here,<br />

four industry leaders talk<br />

about what they do at the<br />

shows—and why.<br />

Bob Raposo (Head of<br />

Cinema, Sony Electronics):<br />

We use trade shows for<br />

several purposes. We use<br />

them to get meetings<br />

with key customers and<br />

prospective customers<br />

around the world—so<br />

they’re gathering places<br />

for us. We also use them<br />

as a tool to gain industry<br />

knowledge—to find out<br />

what else is going on in<br />

the industry. And we use<br />

them as vehicles to demonstrate our latest<br />

products, our latest innovations.<br />

Jelle Deconinck (Communications<br />

Director, Cinionic):<br />

The shows allow us<br />

to communicate and<br />

demonstrate the passion<br />

we have for cinema; they<br />

allow everyone to see the<br />

quality of the big picture<br />

we’re delivering. Those<br />

are the moments when<br />

we can show what we’ve<br />

promised and meet with<br />

the customers and other<br />

partners who help drive<br />

our vision.<br />

Bob Raposo<br />

Jelle Deconinck<br />

Tony Adamson<br />

(Senior Vice President,<br />

Strategic Planning, GDC<br />

Technology): And there’s<br />

not a better place to find<br />

so many customers. We’ll<br />

have hundreds of formal<br />

meetings at CinemaCon.<br />

And then, there is always<br />

the “hallway meeting”;<br />

we’ve found it’s a good idea<br />

to walk the hallways when<br />

we can—because we often<br />

run into somebody who<br />

wants to get together for coffee or a drink,<br />

and that sometimes turns into a beneficial<br />

conversation.<br />

Steve Ochs (Senior Vice<br />

President, Brand & Content<br />

Development, NCM):<br />

We want to be where the<br />

exhibitors are—to continue<br />

the conversations that are<br />

fundamental to success in<br />

our industry. It’s the right<br />

place for us to integrate our<br />

big ideas into what’s going<br />

on—and in a way that adds<br />

seamless entertainment<br />

and value to those in the<br />

audience.<br />

56 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 56<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Raposo: Our goal<br />

is to create impact. The<br />

sponsorships packages<br />

we choose are those that<br />

align with what we need<br />

to accomplish, where we<br />

need to create impact as<br />

a company today. If we<br />

need to communicate<br />

a big message that has<br />

importance for the whole<br />

industry, we look at<br />

something that provides<br />

the opportunity to deliver<br />

a presentation to all attendees at the<br />

convention.<br />

Deconinck: The size, scope, scale and<br />

purpose of the show determine what<br />

we do and how. But, it’s important for<br />

us to bring a comprehensive story to<br />

exhibitors, to explain to them that, with<br />

all the changes happening in the cinema<br />

landscape, we can guide them to make<br />

good choices for the future. And this year,<br />

Barco launched a new brand, Cinionic,<br />

so it was important to introduce that<br />

brand—and to get our message across that<br />

we are taking this major step because we<br />

believe it’s needed at this moment in time.<br />

Tony Adamson<br />

Raposo: I think your<br />

sponsorships have to be<br />

responsible to your brand,<br />

wherever it fits in its brand<br />

cycle today. We’re very particular.<br />

We want to make sure<br />

our sponsorship enables us to<br />

get the right message to the<br />

right audience where they’ll<br />

listen to the message. We prefer<br />

a sponsorship that gives us<br />

an opportunity to speak.<br />

Deconinck: We are often<br />

part of panel discussions<br />

where we share our observations about<br />

what is happening today—<br />

and our vision of what<br />

we see happening in the<br />

future—so exhibitors can<br />

see how to react to those<br />

trends we believe are<br />

coming.<br />

Raposo: A panel<br />

discussion is a good<br />

opportunity to collaborate<br />

with peers and competitors<br />

on a specific message to<br />

a very targeted audience<br />

that’s interested in that<br />

Steve Ochs<br />

subject matter. But I think that sometimes<br />

panels lack a moderator who will<br />

challenge people on the panel, someone<br />

who can take the panel in directions that<br />

are relevant to the panelists, the audience<br />

and the industry today.<br />

Adamson: We prefer to sponsor an<br />

event that offers a speaking opportunity.<br />

At CinemaCon, we’ve been the<br />

co-sponsor of the Amazon Studios luncheon<br />

for the last three years. It’s a great<br />

opportunity for [GDC founder, chairman<br />

and CEO] Dr. Chong to speak to<br />

the audience because we know it’s going<br />

to be a well-attended event. We often<br />

consider sponsoring food<br />

functions, especially at<br />

the four major shows.<br />

Raposo: There are three<br />

reasons to sponsor a meal.<br />

You can do it to build a<br />

relationship with whoever<br />

is running the particular<br />

event. Secondly, you can<br />

sponsor the meal to give<br />

you access to people you<br />

might not otherwise have<br />

access to. Or, the third<br />

reason is that it gives you<br />





For sales and product information email: sales@jackroe.com<br />

www.jackroe.com<br />

internet<br />

ticketing<br />

.com<br />

by jack roe<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 57<br />

024-075.indd 57<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

an opportunity to speak, to convey your<br />

message to a specific—and sometimes<br />

very large—group.<br />

Ochs: But we just don’t buy<br />

sponsorship packages off the shelf. We<br />

may buy elements of packages, but we<br />

try to craft each of our participations<br />

or integrations in coordination with<br />

the organizers who run each of the<br />

conventions. One of the things we like to<br />

do is to really integrate into the events, to<br />

find creative ways for NCM’s products to<br />

be part of the larger show events and add<br />

value for the attendees.<br />

Deconinck: It’s always important to<br />

consider who is visiting the show and<br />

what partnerships make sense. For us, we<br />

don’t just consider the short term, we also<br />

look at the long term, to see where the<br />

possibilities are and what are the interests<br />

of those attending the show.<br />

Adamson: Developing a show strategy<br />

starts with understanding the market,<br />

understanding your products and how<br />

they meet the needs of customers in a<br />

particular area, and then aligning your<br />

strategy—and your budget—for each<br />

show with those understandings.<br />

Ochs: The fact that shows are getting<br />

bigger and tougher to break through<br />

the noise and clutter just speaks more<br />

to the point that we want to be an<br />

integral and seamless part of the show.<br />

So, things like our “Ask the Audience”<br />

presentation, things like our CEO giving<br />

audiences a view on what’s trending<br />

in Millennial moviegoing, things like<br />

creating a customized pre-show for use<br />

before “The State of the Industry” event<br />

at CinemaCon—those are the sorts of<br />

things that enable us to integrate NCM<br />

into the show itself.<br />

Deconinck: At CineEurope this year,<br />

we sponsored a networking event in the<br />

evening; it was very successful because<br />

of its timing. During the day, a lot of<br />

people we want to talk to have a very<br />

busy schedule; it’s difficult to find a moment<br />

to connect with them. Organizing<br />

our event in the evening was a key opportunity<br />

for us.<br />

Adamson: Tradeshow positioning of<br />

our booth is one of the most important<br />

factors for GDC; we always want to be<br />

front and center, if that’s possible. From<br />

a booth-design perspective, we lay out<br />

our booth in zones—to best showcase our<br />

solutions available worldwide, and those<br />

developed for the specific region.<br />

Ochs: We don’t usually have a booth<br />

on the tradeshow floor, but as we become<br />

more of a consumer-facing company<br />

with our digital products, such as Noovie<br />

Arcade, we may start to think about<br />

having more of a tradeshow presence.<br />

Raposo: Someone who doesn’t<br />

understand our industry may struggle<br />

with the question of why you’d spend<br />

this amount of money at a tradeshow. We<br />

evaluate the price of being there against<br />

the price of not being there. The industry<br />

we’re in is very unique. It’s a very small<br />

community and you’re either a member<br />

or you’re not. And if you want to be<br />

taken seriously as a member, you have to<br />

participate. Tradeshow investments are<br />

one “price of admission.”<br />

Deconinck: But measuring is also<br />

important. We consider how many of our<br />

key customers attend those shows—and<br />

whom do we see? We also measure the<br />

success of our participation in the show<br />

by what we learned: what trends are<br />

happening, what is taking place in studios<br />

that will impact the business, what we<br />

have we learned from our customers and<br />

their expectations for the future. All of<br />

those are reasons why we believe we need<br />

to be a part of the show.<br />

Ochs: I don’t know if you can really<br />

ever draw a straight line between “show<br />

participation” and “sales,” because so<br />

many of these relationships are longerterm;<br />

we really value the relationships that<br />

can be created at these events.<br />

Adamson: It’s also a great opportunity<br />

to bring in your customers one-on-one,<br />

show them what’s new, and thank them<br />

for their business. Dr. Chong attends<br />

CinemaCon and CineAsia and I know<br />

our customers consider it a special<br />

opportunity to meet the founder of our<br />

company.<br />

Deconinck: Shows are also a learning<br />

experience. Every day, we have earlymorning<br />

briefings with our sales and<br />

marketing teams to share what we’ve<br />

learned—while it’s still fresh. And we try<br />

to make sure that everyone on our team<br />

knows what we’ve told our customers;<br />

we’re a global company and we need to<br />

speak consistently. When we return from<br />

the show, we also share our learning with<br />

our people who couldn’t attend.<br />

Raposo: And then we begin planning<br />

for next year. But planning gets serious<br />

during the budgeting process—to be<br />

sure we’ll have the money to accomplish<br />

what we need to. For me, there are two<br />

aspects to a sponsorship: There’s writing<br />

the check and there’s activation against<br />

that check. If you don’t have the resources<br />

and the ability to activate against your<br />

sponsorship, you may be disappointed.<br />

Ochs: You have to think holistically<br />

when you are engaging in a sponsorship.<br />

Adamson: It’s important to display<br />

your messaging at various touchpoints<br />

around the venue. You want your branding<br />

around every corner. Heavy exposure<br />

shows leadership in the industry; it<br />

shows that you care about the industry,<br />

that you support the industry, that you’re<br />

here to stay.<br />

Raposo: For what we pay for any<br />

sponsorship, we allocate at least double<br />

that for our activation expenses to create<br />

impact.<br />

Ochs: One of the best pieces of advice<br />

I’ve ever had is: Always think about how<br />

you can add value to the partnerships<br />

you’re going into. You can write a check<br />

for a sponsorship, but even better is<br />

everyone having gotten a lot out of<br />

what you did—and associating you with<br />

delivering that value.<br />

Adamson: Even if you’re not a major<br />

sponsor, it’s a good idea to know the<br />

organizers because you may not be able to<br />

sponsor a major luncheon, but they may<br />

bring you some ideas you’ve never thought<br />

of that could really make a difference to<br />

your business.<br />

Raposo: Talk to the show organizers<br />

and tell them: “This is where I am; this<br />

is what I want to accomplish. What do<br />

you have that could help me to accomplish<br />

this?” They’ve done this for a long<br />

time and they can help put together<br />

something that helps you reach the people<br />

you need to reach with the impact<br />

you need to have.<br />

Deconinck: Being at shows and events<br />

is about knowing each other, it’s about<br />

listening to each other, learning from each<br />

other, sharing experiences and finding solutions<br />

that make long-term sense. Shows<br />

provide moments in time when we can<br />

meet each other, enjoy each other’s company<br />

and strengthen our relationships.<br />

Ochs: We’re all part of the entertainment<br />

community. We’re involved as a<br />

sponsor because we believe that our ability<br />

to do things at the level we love—and<br />

with the passion we have for the movies—is<br />

going to pay off in the long run.<br />

Adamson: Because finally, the trade<br />

show is a great opportunity for us to show<br />

customers that the innovations we provide<br />

enable them to show motion pictures<br />

under the best possible conditions—and<br />

to bring added value to their audience.<br />

We help them to deliver on the promise<br />

and the potential of digital cinema; we<br />

help them to keep their theatres viable for<br />

the future. <br />

58 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 58<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Let your silver screen<br />

shine with St. Jude kids<br />

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ® is leading the way the<br />

world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and<br />

other life-threatening diseases. But we can’t do it without you.<br />

By donating pre-show advertising to screen the annual St. Jude<br />

Thanks and Giving ® movie trailer, you can support our lifesaving<br />

mission: Finding cures. Saving children. ® The generosity of you<br />

and your patrons helps ensure that families never receive a bill<br />

from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food—because<br />

all a family should worry about is helping their child live.<br />

St. Jude patients<br />

Felicity and Axel<br />

For more information, please email chance.weaver@stjude.org or visit stjude.org/theaters<br />

NEW STRAND Theatre<br />

West Liberty, Iowa<br />

Over 100 Years of Entertainment<br />

©<strong>2018</strong> ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (37302)<br />

9/24/18 11:09 AM

Changing<br />

Landscape<br />

The Global Economy Impacts<br />

M&A Activity in <strong>Film</strong> Exhibition by EFA Partners<br />

The past several years have seen unprecedented<br />

changes in the business<br />

world, with much of that spawned<br />

from technological advances and the growing<br />

dynamics of social media. Each country’s<br />

economic outlook is becoming more<br />

and more intertwined with the rest of the<br />

world. This has resulted in companies seeking<br />

an increased global reach.<br />

This outlook has transformed many industries,<br />

including film exhibition. The industry<br />

that was once dominated by the Hollywood<br />

studios and the North American box<br />

office has now entered a new era. International<br />

box office is growing at a record pace,<br />

with 2017 at $29 billion, up from $24 billion<br />

five years earlier in 2012. This is over two<br />

and a half times North American box office<br />

of $11 billion, only modestly up from $10.8<br />

billion in 2012. The number of international<br />

screens has also grown, primarily fueled by<br />

China, which increased its screens in the past<br />

ten years from about 5,000 to almost 49,000.<br />

This surpassed the total of the North American<br />

market, which has about 43,000.<br />

The film exhibition industry has found it<br />

necessary to transform itself with the digital<br />

age. Almost all screens in North America<br />

and worldwide are now digital. The advent of<br />

digital projection has reduced the costs associated<br />

with movie delivery, while also providing<br />

for benefits such as 3D movies, increased<br />

alternative content, more dynamic sound,<br />

motion seating, laser projection, and more efficient<br />

auditorium usage. However, the digital<br />

age has also provided increased theatre competition<br />

from movie-streaming services such<br />

as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and others. This<br />

has forced film exhibitors to be innovative<br />

with enhanced services and amenities such<br />

as luxury recliner seating, enhanced food<br />

options, beer, wine and cocktails, in-theatre<br />

dining, and even adding attractions such as<br />

bowling and laser tag.<br />

All of the above has culminated in<br />

much consolidation within the film exhibition<br />

sector in the past few years, resulting<br />

in an increase in theatre values. Certain<br />

companies worldwide are seeking to expand<br />

their business platforms, while others are<br />

electing to sell rather than invest in theatre<br />

upgrades.<br />

M&A Activity<br />

The film exhibition sector has recently<br />

seen major consolidation globally. Up until<br />

recently, most consolidation had been regional,<br />

such as various acquisitions in the<br />

U.S. or companies such as Odeon and Vue<br />

acquiring companies throughout Europe.<br />

This changed dramatically with Dalian<br />

Wanda entering the market. In less than<br />

three years, it acquired AMC in the U.S.<br />

and Hoyts in Australia; subsequently, AMC<br />

acquired Carmike, Odeon/UCI and Nordic.<br />

Following a similar path to growth, U.K.<br />

operator Cineworld acquired Regal Entertainment,<br />

making it one of the industry’s<br />

largest companies.<br />

Wanda and Cineworld are not alone in<br />

the pursuit of establishing an international<br />

platform. Others have expanded into North<br />

America, such as European exhibitor Kinepolis<br />

acquiring Landmark Cinemas in Canada,<br />

Mexico’s CMX acquiring Cobb Theatres<br />

in the U.S., and Mexico’s Cinepolis acquiring<br />

certain U.S. theatres from Bow Tie Cinemas<br />

and from Krikorian Premier Theatres.<br />

In the U.S., various exhibitors have<br />

grabbed market share by acquiring theatre<br />

circuits that are complementary to their<br />

existing theatre portfolio.<br />

Motivation of Acquirers<br />

Larger exhibitors are continuously seeking<br />

ways to increase shareholder value via<br />

growth, whether from building new theatres,<br />

upgrading existing theatres, acquisitions,<br />

or some combination thereof.<br />

While organic growth or upgrades can<br />

result in significant returns on capital over<br />

the long term, acquisitions can result in nearterm<br />

increases in revenue and profitability.<br />

Wanda has demonstrated this with its various<br />

acquisitions, as it quickly gained market<br />

share in countries where it previously had<br />

little or no presence. More recently, Wanda<br />

has curtailed its growth due to the cash constraints<br />

associated with growing so quickly.<br />

Larger exhibitors with an established<br />

corporate infrastructure have an advantage,<br />

as they can acquire theatres based upon a<br />

multiple of theatre level cash flow without<br />

absorbing duplicative corporate overhead.<br />

Acquisitions can also take place when exhibitors<br />

want to venture into new theatre platforms.<br />

This was demonstrated when Southern<br />

Theatres acquired Movie Tavern to delve into<br />

the increasing popularity of in-theatre dining.<br />

Motivation of Sellers<br />

The motivation of sellers varies greatly<br />

depending on the outlook of ownership.<br />

Smaller exhibitors may not have easy access<br />

to the capital necessary to upgrade and stay<br />

competitive in their markets.<br />

Also, owners of theatres that are operated<br />

by older generations may not have the inclination<br />

to go through an extensive upgrade<br />

project, as the payback can be long for investments<br />

in luxury seating and other amenities.<br />

Another primary factor is the current<br />

market. Traditionally, film exhibition companies<br />

have sold in the range of six times<br />

60 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 60<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

the net theatre-level cash flow. The multiple<br />

varies depending upon the size of the theatre<br />

portfolio, capital expenditure needs, and the<br />

economic outlook for the theatres’ markets.<br />

While these factors all still play an important<br />

role in acquisition pricing, cash flow<br />

multiples for larger circuits are now as high<br />

as eight times, and potentially higher for<br />

exhibitors with diversified revenue sources<br />

such as in-theatre dining. These increases are<br />

primarily due to new entrants in the industry<br />

paying a premium to gain market share.<br />

On the other hand, many exhibitors are<br />

currently focused on deploying capital for their<br />

theatre upgrades and so are reluctant to sell<br />

until they see the benefits of the upgrades that<br />

will in turn increase their overall circuit value.<br />

Real Estate<br />

As exhibitors explore strategic options,<br />

those that own their theatres’ real estate<br />

have an alternative to selling the business by<br />

instead only selling the real estate. This can<br />

be accomplished via a sale/leaseback transaction<br />

that can provide owners with significant<br />

funds but also allow them to continue<br />

operating their theatres.<br />

Exhibitors of all sizes have completed<br />

sale/leasebacks including large exhibitors<br />

such as AMC and Regal, and mid-sized exhibitors<br />

such as Georgia Theatre Company,<br />

Krikorian Premier Theatres, Muller Family<br />

Theatres and many others.<br />

As compared to a mortgage in which<br />

banks typically lend 60 to 70% of property<br />

value and the funds must be used for the<br />

business, a typical sale/leaseback provider<br />

will buy the property at full value and the<br />

proceeds can be used for ownership dividends,<br />

capital expenditures or other needs.<br />

Typical lease terms are 15 to 20 years with<br />

several extension options. In most cases, the<br />

providers of this type of financial instrument<br />

require the rent to be about half of the cash<br />

flow generated by the theatre.<br />

There are certain financial companies<br />

that have a focus on theatre sale/leasebacks,<br />

and more have recently entered the market.<br />

All understand the increasing value of theatre<br />

properties in good markets.<br />

Conclusion<br />

The global economy and the digital age<br />

have brought significant change to many<br />

industries, including film exhibition. While<br />

the industry has grown, as demonstrated by<br />

the increased number of theatres and rising<br />

box office, theatre owners have needed to<br />

be innovative to compete against streaming<br />

services. This has resulted in opportunities<br />

for both buyers and sellers in the sector.<br />

Many companies feel that acquisitions are<br />

the quickest route to gain market share, while<br />

others want to sell to take advantage of increasing<br />

business values rather than investing<br />

capital for upgrades. While this trend may<br />

slow down, M&A activity could remain very<br />

prevalent during the next several years as<br />

both potential buyers and sellers explore an<br />

ever-changing business environment.<br />

EFA Partners is a boutique financial<br />

advisory firm that provides investmentbanking<br />

services focused on M&A and<br />

arranging capital for entertainment, media<br />

and technology companies. <br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 61<br />

024-075.indd 61<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

A New Shade<br />

of Green<br />

Cinemas Make Eco-friendliness a Priority<br />

by Tom Bert, Senior Product Manager, Barco n.v.<br />

In our recent series of articles on the<br />

future and trends of the cinema market,<br />

the common denominator was the<br />

growing maturity around going digital.<br />

While exhibitors started adopting digitalprojection<br />

technology 15 years ago, true<br />

fully digital workflows have been generally<br />

lagging. As a projector manufacturer, we<br />

experience the changing mindset every<br />

day based on the types of questions we get<br />

from our customers. Where initially these<br />

centered on performance metrics (“How<br />

much light does it generate?”), we now see<br />

a focus change to operational efficiencies<br />

(“How can I best integrate and automate my<br />

cinema workflow?”). Part of this conversation<br />

is the aspect of energy efficiency and ecofriendliness:<br />

Having the most lumens is<br />

no longer front of mind, but, linked to the<br />

broader TCO focus, power consumption and<br />

ecological footprint come into play. Is “green”<br />

the new “white” in cinema? And what does it<br />

take to design and operate a green projector?<br />

That is the topic of this article.<br />

The world around us<br />

Green product design and ecological<br />

awareness is not something new. Many<br />

markets outside cinema already have<br />

gone through complete maturation in<br />

this domain, often driven by government<br />

regulation. Let’s zoom in on an initiative<br />

that comes very close to the cinema<br />

market: the Directive of the European<br />

Parliament and of the Council with regard<br />

to eco-design requirements for standby,<br />

networked standby and off-mode electric<br />

power consumption of electrical and electronic<br />

household and office equipment 1 .<br />

This directive stipulates—amongst other<br />

things—an “Off mode power” of 0.3W<br />

and “Standby power” of 0.5W. “Networked<br />

standby” is specified at 2W. Being active<br />

in a world where 6kW lamps have been<br />

considered normal for many years and<br />

10kW flagship laser projection systems<br />

have been deployed for a few years, these<br />

wattage numbers sound frighteningly low.<br />

The good news is that this directive does<br />

not enforce its rules on cinema projectors;<br />

it explicitly mentions “excluding projectors<br />

with mechanisms for exchanging the lenses<br />

with others with different focal length.”<br />

The “bad” news is that it impacts almost all<br />

other electrical appliances in our everyday<br />

life…and will actively do so by 2020.<br />

This European legislation is not the<br />

only change happening. The Chinese government<br />

is also putting in place similar<br />

green rules. As part of the United Nations<br />

Framework Convention on Climate<br />

Change (“the Paris Agreement”), other<br />

countries and governments will take action<br />

from 2020 onwards. The writing is on the<br />

wall that these regulations will impact a<br />

broader scope of products in the future, including<br />

cinema equipment and projectors.<br />

What the market thinks of it<br />

Cinemark, one of the world’s leading<br />

exhibitors, has been proactive in engaging<br />

in energy-efficiency projects to ensure that<br />

new and existing theatres meet their energy<br />

goals. When they were recognized with<br />

the Built Environment award in 2015, they<br />

stated: “As we continue to be diligent and<br />

proactive with our environmental projects,<br />

Cinemark’s energy savings will continue to<br />

rise as we work toward reducing our environmental<br />

footprint.” 2 That year, through<br />

its environmental sustainability program,<br />

Reel Green, they saved 41,570,375 kWh<br />

and $4.4 million through facility energy<br />

efficiency upgrades.<br />

In a <strong>2018</strong> interview with Cinema Technology,<br />

3 Kathryn Pritchard, group chief<br />

people officer at The Odeon Group, stated:<br />

“Odeon has a major Corporate Social<br />

Responsibility strategy across all of its 14<br />

territories, targeting three important promises:<br />

to become more inclusive through<br />

‘Our Incredible Differences’ program,<br />

to reduce our carbon footprint, and to<br />

contribute more in our communities.” An<br />

example given was electricity consumption<br />

reduction by nearly 14%. Odeon was also<br />

rewarded the Carbon Trust Standard for<br />

Carbon, thanks to a 14.8% reduction in<br />

CO 2<br />

footprint.<br />

There are clearly benefits to gain from<br />

going green. Cost savings due to lower<br />

energy consumption and waste is an attractive<br />

one. The numbers mentioned in<br />

the examples above show that the savings<br />

can be significant. The added brand value<br />

is as important, but harder to quantify. As<br />

consumers are confronted with more green<br />

initiatives in the world around them, moviegoers<br />

will also look for those efforts when<br />

choosing which cinema to visit. As an<br />

exhibitor, it is no longer a topic that can be<br />

ignored. The good news is that taking steps<br />

in the right direction is not difficult: In the<br />

next paragraph, we will explain how Barco<br />

helps as a projector manufacturer<br />

The green projector<br />

Introducing energy savings and stepping<br />

up ecological operations is of course<br />

not only a matter of the projector. Material<br />

re-use (in concessions) and building<br />

management are as important to consider.<br />

Barco has an online white paper that talks<br />

about HVAC for lamp and laser cinema<br />

projectors and how to optimize this for<br />

continued on page 65<br />

62 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 62<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Deep Dive<br />

Movio’s Weekend Insights Provides<br />

Detailed Audience Intel by Rob Rinderman<br />

Movio CEO Will Palmer<br />

With its recent debut of Weekend<br />

Insights (WI), Movio—<br />

the global, cinema-centric<br />

and marketing data analytics-based<br />

organization—is now focused on providing<br />

a weekly window each Monday into<br />

cinemagoing audience composition for the<br />

previous weekend.<br />

Through its proprietary deep-learning<br />

AI algorithms, the company continually<br />

crunches the wealth of information it<br />

collects via theatrical exhibitor loyalty<br />

programs and online ticket-sales platforms<br />

based on purchases made by hundreds of<br />

thousands of moviegoers across the U.S.<br />

The audience is broken down by gender<br />

into three broad demographic segments:<br />

Millennials, Gen X and 50+. Weekend<br />

Insights also highlights which specific<br />

audience segments’ attendance was up,<br />

down or underserved. The most recent<br />

version of WI is always accessible via<br />

movio.co/resources/weekend-insights.<br />

According to CEO Will Palmer,<br />

“Movio’s mission is to connect all<br />

moviegoers to their ideal movie.” The<br />

company has created two products<br />

designed to help achieve that purpose.<br />

Movio Cinema is connected to POS<br />

(Point of Sale) and loyalty programs of<br />

leading worldwide cinema chains and<br />

profiles every moviegoer, allowing Movio’s<br />

partners in exhibition to send personalized,<br />

relevant communications to them.<br />

The second product, Movio Media,<br />

provides studios with access to an<br />

aggregated and anonymized set of U.S.<br />

moviegoers. This allows analytical teams<br />

the ability to analyze the ideal audience and<br />

connect with them via digital advertising.<br />

The WI publication is designed to provide<br />

the media and other industry bodies<br />

with insight into who (by demographic categories)<br />

made up the past weekend’s cinemagoing<br />

audience, offering up valuable intelligence<br />

beyond simply calculating industry<br />

box-office grosses for individual titles.<br />

“Our primary objective is to help the<br />

industry understand which audiences were<br />

well served by the films in theatre, every<br />

weekend,” says Palmer. “The goal here is<br />

help film programmers and those dating<br />

the films to look at the audience dynamics<br />

rather than purely box-office performance,<br />

to ensure all audiences are served as best<br />

as possible every weekend.” According<br />

to Palmer, Weekend Insights starts the<br />

conversation about audiences and how<br />

they were catered to on a regular basis. It is<br />

Movio’s hope that as the industry becomes<br />

more aware of each film’s audience<br />

composition, this valuable intelligence<br />

will help drive a change in approach in an<br />

effort to have something in the theatre that<br />

appeals to everyone, every day.<br />

Palmer observes, “By providing this<br />

high-level, easy-to-digest window into<br />

who attended what film, the narrative<br />

starts to evolve and the approach to<br />

marketing and programming may well<br />

change.”<br />

Weekend Insights also offers the film<br />

industry valuable feedback as to the success<br />

of their overall and specific marketing<br />

efforts in reaching their desired audience,<br />

or perhaps bringing into the theatre an<br />

unexpected audience. Let’s look at a recent<br />

example from summer <strong>2018</strong>, a period in<br />

which the box office was widely seen as<br />

achieving significantly more success than<br />

in the prior year. According to Movio, the<br />

data identifies a couple of high-level factors<br />

for the year-over-year outperformance.<br />

First was record-breaking performances<br />

by Avengers: Infinity War and Incredibles 2,<br />

combined with a very strong performance<br />

by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. While<br />

Avengers wasn’t technically a summer<br />

movie, its strong holdover meant that it<br />

made in excess of $400 million after the<br />

first of May, so it no doubt contributed to<br />

the sense that more people were going to<br />

the movies during the summertime.<br />

A couple of other releases—The Meg<br />

and Crazy Rich Asians—outperformed<br />

expectations and also generated some<br />

excitement in August, which was lacking<br />

in the prior summer. We may see this<br />

reverse in September, according to Palmer<br />

(note: we spoke to him when the month<br />

was more than half over), as there isn’t<br />

anything comparable to It. Although The<br />

Nun brought in a lot of horror fans, the<br />

movie didn’t have the almost blockbusterlike<br />

audience that Stephen King’s It drew<br />

in 2017.<br />

Drilling down and looking deeper<br />

at changes in attendance between this<br />

64 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 64<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

summer and last (Movio calculates an<br />

attendance rise of roughly 15% in <strong>2018</strong>),<br />

the overall increase was largely driven<br />

by a rise in women’s attendance (>20%).<br />

Interestingly, this doesn’t appear to be<br />

the result of a large number of films<br />

targeted specifically at women—perhaps<br />

this summer’s films were simply less<br />

focused on the male audience.<br />

Child attendance rose approximately<br />

7%, although there actually wasn’t that<br />

much quality content aimed at children<br />

in the summer of <strong>2018</strong>. Incredibles 2<br />

accounted for in excess of 25% of all<br />

child attendance over the summer, with<br />

Hotel Transylvania 3 at 12%, followed by<br />

the Jurassic and Marvel films.<br />

While Weekend Insights is<br />

essentially a backward-looking service,<br />

we asked Palmer to look into his<br />

(and Movio’s) crystal ball and make<br />

some prognostications about the<br />

upcoming holiday period—between<br />

Thanksgiving and Christmas—which<br />

is typically a big contributor to a full<br />

year’s success at the box office. Below<br />

is his response.<br />

Thanksgiving looks like an<br />

interesting weekend this year, with<br />

something for everyone:<br />

▶Ralph Breaks the Internet for<br />

families.<br />

▶Second weekend of Fantastic<br />

Beasts for blockbuster fans—it will<br />

be interesting if we see a lot of repeat<br />

viewings, as frequent moviegoers that<br />

went on opening weekend come back<br />

with their families/friends.<br />

▶Creed 2 and the second weekend<br />

of Widows for Mature Action fans.<br />

▶Second Act for those Comedy/<br />

Romance fans.<br />

▶Instant Family (second week) for<br />

fans of all-ages comedy.<br />

Christmas is somewhat less<br />

interesting:<br />

▶Mary Poppins Returns will<br />

dominate with families and older<br />

moviegoers.<br />

▶The competition between<br />

Aquaman and Bumblebee for the<br />

sci-fi/blockbuster audience will be<br />

fierce. It’s notable that the majority<br />

of the top-grossing films for the past<br />

few years have been part of existing<br />

franchises. This competition will<br />

presumably also affect the second<br />

weekend for Mortal Engines, which<br />

will probably drop significantly from<br />

week one, and may also pull males<br />

under 50 away from Will Ferrell’s<br />

Holmes and Watson. <br />

A New Shade continued from page 62<br />

performance, lifetime and TCO. 4 In this<br />

article, we will zoom in specifically on the<br />

digital cinema projector and how it can<br />

contribute.<br />

1. Electro-optical efficiency: This metric<br />

quantifies how efficient a projector is in creating<br />

light-out-of-the-lens from electricityout-of-the-wall.<br />

The transition from lampto<br />

laser-based projectors has introduced a<br />

major step forward here, with efficiencies<br />

that are more than double compared to the<br />

equivalent lamp model. Looking, for example,<br />

at a popular mainstream 20,000-<br />

lumens cinema projector, the lamp model<br />

consumed around 5.2kW. The equivalent<br />

(form-fit-function compatible) laser-based<br />

model only requires 2.8kW. At a typical<br />

electricity cost of $0.15 per kWh and 4,000<br />

operational hours per year, this yields (not<br />

even taking into account the cost of lamp<br />

swaps) a $1,440 cost saving per year. When<br />

you start scaling that to a multiplex, across a<br />

complete chain, the impact is massive.<br />

2. We did an analysis of what the consequences<br />

for the European cinema market<br />

could be. Taking into account the screen<br />

size mix in Europe—and hence the mix<br />

between high, medium and low-brightness<br />

projectors—and the screening hours, we<br />

found that a mind-blowing 700GWh is<br />

consumed per year by European cinema<br />

projectors! Yes, that is Giga Watt hours! If<br />

we would replace every lamp-based cinema<br />

projector with its equivalent laser-illuminated<br />

version, this number would drop by<br />

150GWh. That is the equivalent production<br />

of a small nuclear power plant in one<br />

month! Note that if we did the same for the<br />

worldwide cinema market, results would be<br />

between three to five times higher!<br />

3. Eco mode: In the calculation above,<br />

we zoomed in on the 4,000 hours per year<br />

that a typical cinema projector is running<br />

and actually screening movies. This is an average<br />

that does not take into account what<br />

the projector is doing in between screenings.<br />

What happens overnight (between<br />

the last screening of the day and the next<br />

screening of the following morning) varies:<br />

Either the complete setup is shut off (there<br />

are exhibitors that close down after the last<br />

screening by turning off the main power)<br />

or the electronics are kept running. The<br />

latter case is typically to allow for backend<br />

processes such as ingests or updates to happen<br />

overnight. What happens in between<br />

screenings (between the first and the last of<br />

the day) also varies: Either the light source<br />

stays on (advised for lamps when the break<br />

is short—lamps need time to cool down and<br />

can show wear from each strike) or is shut<br />

off (no problem with laser light sources,<br />

independent of the duration of the break).<br />

In any case, the projector electronics typically<br />

stays on. When looking at the power<br />

consumption of a projector with only its<br />

electronics on, you are looking at a 300W-<br />

500W number. Even in what is defined as<br />

“sleep mode,” such a system hardly gets below<br />

10W. If we look back at the below 1W<br />

numbers that are being imposed by regulations<br />

on other electronic devices, there is a<br />

big gap to cross.<br />

4. Reusable modules: Of a different type<br />

and often overlooked is the ability to reuse<br />

certain modules on the projector as part of<br />

its scheduled maintenance cycle. The two<br />

most obvious ones are air filters and cooling<br />

liquid. Barco projectors all have reusable<br />

air filters: The service technician can easily<br />

blow, vacuum and/or rinse these out and put<br />

the same module back in the projector. This<br />

is not only the most eco-efficient approach;<br />

feedback from customers with a mixed<br />

installed base confirms that it is also the<br />

most cost-efficient. The same applies to the<br />

internal cooling liquid: Where older designs<br />

required a regular refill or replacement of<br />

cooling liquid, it is today perfectly possible<br />

to design a projector to run its entire lifetime<br />

without worrying about that.<br />

Conclusion<br />

Looking at the evolving trends around<br />

and inside the cinema market, there is a<br />

growing importance of energy-efficient and<br />

eco-friendly product design. This not only<br />

yields potential cost savings for exhibitors,<br />

but also an opportunity to take it along in<br />

their branding. Consisting of many contributors,<br />

“running green” can be impacted<br />

significantly by a proper projector selection.<br />

Things like wall-plug efficiency, eco-mode<br />

power consumption and reusability of modules<br />

are enablers that exist today. However,<br />

looking at where the bar is being placed in<br />

other markets, cinema will have to step up<br />

as well. As an exhibitor, you should reach<br />

out to your equipment suppliers and not<br />

only talk about the green colors onscreen,<br />

but also about how they can help support<br />

your green value proposition.<br />

1<br />

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/<br />

LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:285:0<br />

010:0035:en:PDF<br />

2<br />

www.ase.org/news/six-star-energyefficiency-award-winners-behonored-alliance-save-energy<br />

3<br />

www.cinematech.today/index.<br />

php/<strong>2018</strong>/08/24/the-september-<br />

<strong>2018</strong>-edition-of-ctm-is-now-online<br />

4<br />

www.cinionic.com/news/cinionic-barcohvac-white-paper<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 65<br />

024-075.indd 65<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Emerging<br />

Technologies<br />

Innovation in the Cinema Is Far from Over<br />

by Adam MacDonald, Regional Sales Head, Sony Digital Cinema<br />

Over a century on from the<br />

Lumière brothers inventing the<br />

cinematic experience, the world<br />

of film continues to innovate.<br />

The digitization of cinema has not<br />

only shifted the projection environment<br />

but created a landscape characterized by<br />

impressive technological evolution. While<br />

advancements in the areas of 4K and HDR<br />

are continuing to evolve the viewing experience<br />

today, there are also cutting-edge<br />

technologies emerging that will set the<br />

stage for the further future of cinema.<br />

Ultra High Definition<br />

We’re living in the age of 4K. Consumer<br />

adoption has accelerated, in some<br />

cases faster than the move from standard<br />

definition to high definition, to the extent<br />

that 100 million 4K TVs are expected to<br />

be sold globally in <strong>2018</strong> alone.<br />

When it comes to the audience experience,<br />

the benefits of 4K in the theatre<br />

can’t be understated. Pixilation is a risk in<br />

cinemas, particularly for those sitting at<br />

the front of an auditorium, and the distraction<br />

created by jagged edges or blur simply<br />

won’t cut it for today’s viewers who have<br />

come to demand crystal-clear, lifelike images.<br />

Indeed, in some European markets,<br />

81% of viewers have stated they would<br />

prioritize 4K film screenings over 2K.<br />

Currently, around one-third of cinemas<br />

in the U.K. are 4K-capable. It’s a strong<br />

start, but as cinemas compete to retain<br />

their rightful place as the ultimate moviewatching<br />

destination, engage audiences<br />

and differentiate their content, 4K capabilities<br />

could be just the ticket they need to<br />

future-proof their business.<br />

…and beyond<br />

While 4K adoption is paramount to<br />

meeting and exceeding audience expectations<br />

around image quality, it’s not the only<br />

ingredient in the recipe for an incredible<br />

visual experience. High Dynamic Range<br />

(HDR) technology provides vivid, lifelike<br />

colors, closing the gap between the range<br />

of colors the human eye and the screen can<br />

reproduce and detect. On top of this, great<br />

contrast ratio—the ability to display deep<br />

blacks—is essential to lifelike pictures.<br />

This is all particularly pertinent today.<br />

As the move to digital took place well over<br />

a decade ago, and cinemas migrated to 2K<br />

digital projection in the decade following,<br />

many exhibitors are understandably now<br />

looking at what comes next. The current<br />

era will not necessarily be defined by novel<br />

experiences—such as 3D—but on refining<br />

the most important element of cinema—<br />

the image. By arming themselves with today’s<br />

leading 4K, HDR-capable projection<br />

technology, exhibitors will be set for years<br />

to come.<br />

The cinemas of tomorrow<br />

Across the industry, laser projection<br />

will continue to grow in popularity thanks<br />

to its combination of incredible picture<br />

quality, ease of maintenance and longlasting<br />

lifespan. Yet with screen technology<br />

constantly evolving, we’re also seeing a<br />

diversification of the types of screens entering<br />

the cinema environment.<br />

Crystal LED is one emerging technology<br />

that offers a scalable solution while<br />

having incredible color reproduction, and<br />

in some cases near 180-degree viewing<br />

angles. As the Premium Large Format sector<br />

continues to grow, new forms of screen<br />

technology, such as Sony’s Crystal LED,<br />

will become a further option for those<br />

looking to offer the largest, most immersive<br />

Premium Large Format screens.<br />

Beyond the image itself, we can expect<br />

to see experimentation with technologies<br />

such as augmented reality. By allowing<br />

viewers to interact with the big screen<br />

through their smartphones using gamification,<br />

for example, some cinemas are exploring<br />

the potential for AR applications to<br />

alter the cinema experience. Others, meanwhile,<br />

are placing screens on every wall of<br />

the cinema, filling the viewer’s peripheral<br />

vision, or offering “4D” experiences incorporating<br />

movement and physical feedback<br />

into cinema chairs.<br />

Where do we go from here?<br />

Screen technology is just one important<br />

factor when it comes to the future of<br />

the cinema. Operators must also consider<br />

high-definition formats for audio and<br />

immersive sound, expand and differentiate<br />

their content and find new ways to<br />

generate exciting new revenue possibilities<br />

through diversifying the use of their space.<br />

In short, cinemas need to keep reinventing<br />

themselves as high-end entertainment destinations<br />

in their own right.<br />

While the cinematic experience may<br />

have progressed a staggering amount from<br />

when the Lumière brothers hand-cranked<br />

the first minute-long short films to an audience<br />

in Paris, the days of cinematic innovation<br />

are far from over—and the time for<br />

cinema owners to look ahead is now!<br />

For more information, go to pro.<br />

sony/4K-cinema-projectors. <br />

66 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 66<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM


ExcEllEnt contEnt<br />

& lIVE EVEnts<br />

iN YouR ThEaTRE<br />

sporting events<br />

• Broadway • movies • ConCerts<br />

Untitled-1 1<br />

10/5/18 3:48 PM

Around<br />

the Hub<br />

How Exhibitors Benefit from Centralization<br />

by Danny Jeremiah, Head of Cinema Products, Arts Alliance Media<br />

Humans organize our activities<br />

around hubs. In fact, it’s one of the<br />

most powerful tools at our disposal.<br />

Gathering people, goods or data around a<br />

hub enables efficiencies that would be otherwise<br />

unachievable, and it is this kind of<br />

cooperative organization that has made our<br />

species so successful. It’s the reason we have<br />

cities, schools, offices and airports, to name<br />

just a few examples.<br />

The benefits of centralizing on a process<br />

or organizational level are apparent in most<br />

cases: economies of scale, head office visibility<br />

and control, and reduction in human<br />

error. There are fewer examples of centralization<br />

on an industry level, because of<br />

the complexity of aligning companies that<br />

might otherwise be competitors, but the<br />

stories of those that managed to get it right<br />

are powerful.<br />

Consider airports. The air-travel industry<br />

has developed routes centered around<br />

hubs across the world like London, Dubai<br />

and New York. Because of these hubs, you<br />

can reach practically any commercial airport<br />

in the world from any other with at most a<br />

couple of layovers.<br />

But imagine a world where each airport<br />

could only get you to a handful of others. A<br />

world where an airline built their own proprietary<br />

radar system, which only integrated<br />

with one particular air-traffic-control program,<br />

which was only installed at airports in<br />

the region. To get from one side of the world<br />

to the other, you would be looking at dozens<br />

of changes and days of wasted time hopping<br />

between services, all because suppliers<br />

couldn’t decide on any collective standards.<br />

Airlines, local governments and manufacturers<br />

all foresaw that possible future,<br />

and realized it wasn’t workable. They must<br />

have set aside some of their own agendas<br />

and processes to devise a solution that<br />

worked for them and their customers.<br />

Deciding to centralize operations around<br />

hubs was key to ensuring their operating<br />

standards were compatible, and would<br />

remain so as they evolved.<br />

And yet, up to this point the cinema<br />

industry has had mixed success in applying<br />

this logic. The DCI standardization<br />

was a triumph in quality assurance and<br />

interoperability, but the core mechanics<br />

behind putting a movie onscreen today<br />

are still technically complex, often manual<br />

processes conducted in isolation by<br />

separate parties.<br />

If we do think about centralizing, it is<br />

still on a process or organizational level,<br />

such as with exhibitors managing their<br />

playlists from the head office. In reality,<br />

however, the worldwide network of digital<br />

technology we have installed in over<br />

160,000 screens has already opened up the<br />

possibility of industry-level centralization<br />

around new “hubs.” These hubs could form<br />

around many of those multi-party tasks I<br />

mentioned before: the creation and delivery<br />

of KDMs (Key Delivery Messages), preshow<br />

ads, trailers, etc.<br />

Arts Alliance Media, for example, has<br />

been serving as a hub that connects our<br />

existing Screenwriter Theatre Management<br />

System (TMS) customers and Deluxe<br />

Technicolor Digital Cinema (DTDC), in<br />

order to facilitate fully automated KDM<br />

delivery. By connecting two completely<br />

separate parts of the industry via the cloud,<br />

we have provided them both the results<br />

they wanted: DTDC now gets proof of<br />

delivery for their KDMs, and the exhibitors<br />

don’t have to worry about managing those<br />

KDMs, because they simply appear directly<br />

on their screen servers.<br />

We are starting to see what we can<br />

achieve when we collaborate, but automating<br />

all the background processes that put<br />

a film onscreen is really only the tip of the<br />

iceberg. Creating hubs of data and building<br />

ecosystems that foster connections<br />

across the industry would provide everyone<br />

involved with invaluable insights. It isn’t<br />

as much about forcing transparency as it is<br />

about parsing the data that’s already available.<br />

For example, there is something of a<br />

black hole when it comes to identifying who<br />

has viewed a particular trailer. This is because,<br />

traditionally, both the playback data<br />

and exhibitor ticket sales or loyalty program<br />

data you need to cross-reference are stored<br />

at site level in impenetrable logs on playback<br />

servers and other internal systems.<br />

By pulling those logs from the servers,<br />

centrally processing them and making that<br />

playback data available, exhibitors would<br />

be able to drive decision-making in much<br />

the same way that online providers such<br />

as Netflix can. They could grow revenue<br />

by introducing more intelligent audience<br />

targeting, and perhaps even create new revenue<br />

streams by offering distributors or advertisers<br />

better reporting. Distributors and<br />

advertisers could then, in turn, predict audience<br />

tastes more accurately and serve them,<br />

thereby providing exhibitors with an uplift<br />

in ticket sales and audience satisfaction.<br />

Once we reach a critical mass of big data,<br />

it’s rendered analyzable, which means the<br />

industry can turn that data into information<br />

and act on the insight it presents. By bringing<br />

disparate data sources together in central<br />

hubs and, more importantly, acting on the<br />

insights, we can give audiences the experiences<br />

they want, when they want them, and<br />

ultimately keep them coming back. <br />

68 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 68<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM


10-13 DEC<br />



10-13 DECEMBER <strong>2018</strong> — CINEASIA.COM<br />


Untitled-1 1<br />

10/9/18 3:37 PM

Making<br />

Moviegoing<br />

Memorable<br />

Display Solutions Elevate<br />

the Theatre Experience by Rich McPherson<br />

To meet the expectations of today’s<br />

moviegoers, exhibitors are adopting<br />

a wide range of digital display<br />

solutions to create unforgettable experiences<br />

for their customers. From the first<br />

touchpoint outside the theatre, through<br />

the lobby, concession and entertainment<br />

areas, and into the auditorium itself, digital<br />

display solutions are elevating the entire<br />

theatre experience.<br />

Direct-view LED displays installed<br />

outside a theatre are an effective way to<br />

grab the attention of passersby. These<br />

cutting-edge displays provide bright,<br />

high-contrast and crystal-clear images.<br />

With many pixel spacing options available,<br />

the optimum display resolution can be<br />

achieved regardless of viewing distance.<br />

They’re perfect for presenting movie<br />

trailers and other video content to attract<br />

new customers and build excitement for<br />

moviegoers entering the theatre.<br />

Creating an exciting experience<br />

as customers enter the theatre should<br />

ultimately result in greater customer<br />

satisfaction and increased sales. Whether<br />

a customer purchases their ticket via a<br />

theatre representative or using the latest<br />

technology (a kiosk with an incorporated<br />

touch-enabled desktop monitor for selfticketing),<br />

that first contact should be<br />

given high precedence for the complete<br />

moviegoing experience.<br />

In lobbies, large-format displays<br />

can provide customers with real-time<br />

information about movie times and show<br />

trailers and other video content to promote<br />

current and upcoming movies. They’re a<br />

cost-effective alternative to print posters,<br />

and by entertaining customers they<br />

help reduce perceived wait times. With<br />

the addition of touch-enabled overlays,<br />

digital screens can engage customers with<br />

interactive movie posters and other types<br />

of entertainment content.<br />

Some exhibitors are also using<br />

projectors in their lobbies to display videos<br />

and other content onto empty walls,<br />

screens or even floors. This content can<br />

create an exciting or soothing mood in<br />

waiting areas.<br />

Digital displays have also found a<br />

home in concession areas. Digital menu<br />

boards provide clearer information and<br />

vibrant images to entice moviegoers to<br />

buy concession offerings. They also allow<br />

instant updates to reflect changes in menu<br />

items, different time-of-day selections and<br />

promotions. For smaller-scale signage in<br />

concession areas, desktop displays are a<br />

perfect solution. Not only do digital signs<br />

boost revenue by persuading customers<br />

to add a snack, beverage or meal to their<br />

ticket purchase, they enrich the customer’s<br />

experience during their stay.<br />

Beyond the concession stand, largeformat<br />

displays and projectors can display<br />

images and content in bar and dining areas.<br />

For example, parents can watch a sporting<br />

event in the theatre’s bar while their kids<br />

are enjoying the latest Pixar feature in an<br />

auditorium.<br />

Exhibitors have another customerengagement<br />

opportunity as moviegoers<br />

make their way to auditoriums. By<br />

transforming empty walls into an<br />

experience, digital signage and projectors<br />

in corridors can create an appropriate<br />

ambiance as customers enter and leave an<br />

auditorium. For example, they can display<br />

dynamic content for an action film or a<br />

sedate presentation for a somber drama.<br />

Inside auditoriums, projectors have<br />

always been the keystone of the theatre<br />

experience. To create the type of viewing<br />

experience that modern moviegoers<br />

expect, a theatre should have an up-todate<br />

cinema projector that offers high<br />

brightness, crisp imaging and a superior<br />

color gamut.<br />

New-generation laser cinema<br />

projectors have mostly replaced traditional<br />

lamp-based projectors: More than 95<br />

percent of cinema screens worldwide now<br />

use laser projectors. Several factors have<br />

contributed to the widespread adoption of<br />

laser technology. Laser projectors increase<br />

viewer engagement by providing vibrant<br />

images and incredible brightness levels<br />

that last longer than lamp-based projectors.<br />

Some of these projectors support 3D, live<br />

continued on page 138<br />

70 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 70<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

KDM errors causing<br />

another headache?<br />

Relieve all that pain by connecting your cinema to the Cloud, and watch<br />

your KDMs simply appear on the right screen server. Arts Alliance Media<br />

is offering all of our Screenwriter TMS customers fully automated KDM<br />

delivery, for free!<br />

We’re collaborating with Deluxe Technicolor<br />

Digital Cinema to deliver KDMs directly from<br />

their systems to your cinemas’ equipment<br />

through the Cloud.<br />

Not a Screenwriter customer?<br />

Don’t worry! Our next generation KDM<br />

management solution will soon be available<br />

to all cinemas and will be able to handle titles<br />

managed by all providers.<br />

Find out how you can benefit at<br />

www.artsalliancemedia.com/KDM<br />

@ArtsAllianceM<br />

ArtsAllianceMedia<br />

hello@artsalliancemedia.com<br />

Untitled-1 1<br />

9/24/18 10:25 AM


In association with the<br />

Will Rogers Motion Picture<br />

Pioneers Foundation, <strong>Film</strong><br />

<strong>Journal</strong> International<br />

launches a “Legacy”<br />

series saluting pioneering<br />

families in motion picture<br />

exhibition. Our first profiles<br />

are the Marcuses of Marcus<br />

Theatres and the Bagbys<br />

of B&B Theatres.<br />

‘Change<br />

Is the Only<br />

Constant’<br />

Marcus Theatres Passes<br />

Down Wisdom Through<br />

Three Generations<br />

by Rebecca Pahle<br />

For three generations, the Marcus<br />

family has been bringing movie<br />

magic to the Midwest. Launched in<br />

1935 as a single theatre in a former<br />

department store in Ripon, Wisconsin,<br />

over the decades Marcus Theatres has<br />

ballooned into one of the largest chains<br />

in North America. They go beyond<br />

movies, too, with hotels and foodservice<br />

both having fallen under the Marcus<br />

Corporation’s banner. (Now, The<br />

Marcus Corporation has two divisions: Marcus Theatres and Marcus Hotels<br />

and Resorts.) And the company is thriving; in 2016, Marcus purchased the<br />

Wehrenberg chain, bringing their screen count close to the 900 mark.<br />

What has made Marcus Theatres so successful? It’ s a question that<br />

defies a simple, succinct answer. But in speaking with Greg Marcus, CEO<br />

of The Marcus Corporation and grandson of founder Ben Marcus, one word<br />

comes up that gives us a key as to how Marcus has been pleasing moviegoers<br />

for 85 years: “continuity.”<br />

Continuity, that is, between the three generations of Marcuses who have<br />

guided their family business through the better part of a century, with all its<br />

attendant technological (like the rise of digital cinema) and social (the move<br />

towards an all-inclusive movie experience) shifts.<br />

Marcus Theatres’ “foundation [was] laid down by my grandfather<br />

and perpetuated by my father [Steve Marcus],” Greg explains. “It’s about<br />

learning those family philosophies.” A key philosophy—perhaps the key<br />

philosophy of Marcus Theatres, and one certainly understood by Ben<br />

Marcus when he founded that first theatre in 1935—is that “change is the<br />

only constant.”<br />

It was a big change in the way people consumed media—namely, the<br />

introduction of television—that led Ben Marcus to extend to the restaurant<br />

and hotel industries. “He felt the need to have diversity in his businesses,”<br />

Steve Marcus says of his father. “But over time, I think he became more<br />

confident that the movie business was here to stay, as long as you kept it<br />

current and stayed one step ahead of the sheriff, if you will.”<br />

Marcus Theatres has definitely<br />

stayed one step ahead of the sheriff<br />

when it comes to dine-in. It didn’t<br />

hurt that, since the ’50s, The<br />

Marcus Corporation has had its<br />

fingers in the restaurant business.<br />

In 1958, Ben Marcus opened the<br />

first Marc’s Big Boy restaurant in<br />

Milwaukee; by 1970, there were 21<br />

additional locations. Marcus was<br />

also an early partner with this little<br />

up-and-coming business called<br />

Kentucky Fried Chicken. Greg<br />

himself entered the family business<br />

back in 1992 from the real estate<br />

angle, with some of the properties<br />

he oversaw belonging to Marcus’<br />

restaurant concerns.<br />

Given The Marcus<br />

Corporation’s background in<br />

foodservice and its “change is the<br />

only constant” mentality, it’s no<br />

surprise that they made their first<br />

foray into dine-in theatres a full<br />

decade ago; Greg Marcus justly<br />

credits Rolando Rodriguez, CEO<br />

of Marcus Theatres since 2013,<br />

with much of the success there.<br />

Marcus Theatres’ early and<br />

continued success with dine-in<br />

brings us to yet another of Ben<br />

Marcus’ philosophies that have<br />

served not just him but his son and<br />

grandson so well. “He had a handy<br />

theory, which is: ‘It’s OK to make<br />

mistakes, but keep them small,’”<br />

says Greg. Try new things, but be<br />

responsible about it. To that end,<br />

Ben and Celia Marcus and, below,<br />

Ben and Steve Marcus at the<br />

Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.<br />

72 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 72<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Marcus Theatres’ entire dine-in enterprise started in a single theatre. “We thought,<br />

‘Food and beverage is going to be important. Let’s try it out,’” says Greg. “So we tried<br />

it out in one theatre. One at a time. And we went from there.” Now, Marcus Theatres<br />

boasts an entire lineup of in-theatre dining options across its dozens of locations,<br />

ranging from the ’50s diner-inspired Reel Sizzle (currently in place at Brookfield,<br />

Wisconsin’s Majestic Cinema) to the Big Screen Bistro in-theatre dining experience<br />

to the more relaxing Take Five Lounge.<br />

Greg Marcus describes himself as “so fortunate,” both to have had Ben Marcus<br />

in his life—the founder of The Marcus Corporation passed away in 2000 at the<br />

age of 89—and to have worked so closely with Steve, who served as The Marcus<br />

Corporation’s CEO from 1988 until Greg took on the role in 2010. “I look at my<br />

dad, and I see a man who brought professional management to our business, hired<br />

smart people and let them do their job,” Greg says. “I try to do that. The idea of<br />

maintaining our balance sheet, the importance of a sound financial structure, the<br />

importance of your people—I hear that from my dad. He heard that from his dad.<br />

These things transcend generations.”<br />

“Every meal, you talk about the business,” Greg says—a common experience<br />

for family businesses. Theatres weren’t the only facet of that business, of course, but<br />

for Greg it was the most compelling component. (If he hadn’t gone into the family<br />

business, he guesses that he would have ended up a movie producer.)<br />

“With my own kids, it’s much easier for them to understand their involvement<br />

in the movie theatre business than the hotel business,” he explains. “When you’re<br />

really little, you to the movies and you can see, ‘OK, this is what we do. I get it.’ As<br />

opposed to going to a hotel: ‘This is what we do.’ ‘What do we do?’” As for whether<br />

we’ll be looking at a fourth generation of Marcuses in the theatre business, Greg<br />

stresses that, though working with his own father is “something I’m appreciative of<br />

every day,” his children’s career choices are entirely their own decision.<br />

It all comes back to that one word: continuity. Marcus Theatres wouldn’t be what<br />

it is today without its founding principles, established by Ben Marcus and reinforced<br />

through decades of shared experience. “It’s been a family ethic, all the things that<br />

I’ve been telling you about the way we look at our business,” says Marcus. “Making<br />

sure we maintain a strong balance sheet. Remembering that people are our most<br />

important asset. We are a people business. It’s remembering that, again, change is the<br />

only constant.<br />

“If you’re open to change and you’re talking about what that is, or what it’s going<br />

to be, then you’re going to be able to take advantage of it. Or make sure it doesn’t<br />

take advantage of you!” <br />

The Bills<br />

and Bagby<br />

Story<br />

B&B Theatres<br />

Is a Family Affair<br />

by Kevin Lally<br />

family tree would be helpful in tracing the<br />

A colorful history of B&B Theatres, whose<br />

roots go back nearly a century to 1924. It was<br />

then that Elmer Bills, Sr. bought the Lyric<br />

Theatre in Salisbury, Missouri, and founded<br />

Bills Theatres. His future wife, Johnnie, was a<br />

piano accompanist there for silent movies.<br />

Ben and Celia with Walt Disney.<br />

In 1936, Bills hired ten-year-old Sterling<br />

Bagby as a concession clerk. Sterling grew up,<br />

fought in World War II and later married his<br />

ticket seller, Pauline. Together, they launched<br />

the Bagby Traveling Picture Show and drove<br />

across rural Missouri with their films, projection<br />

equipment, seats and snack bar, screening<br />

movies in barns, schools and parks. Eventually,<br />

the company transformed into a Kansas circuit<br />

of indoor and drive-in theatres.<br />

Meanwhile, in something of a family tradition,<br />

Elmer and Johnnie’s son, Elmer Bills,<br />

Jr., met his wife-to-be, Amy, when both were<br />

13 and she was working behind the counter<br />

selling popcorn. After Elmer Jr.’s graduation<br />

from the University of Missouri in 1959, he<br />

and Amy joined his parents as second-generation<br />

partners in the business.<br />

On January 1, 1980, the Bills and Bagby<br />

families formally merged their two theatre<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 73<br />

024-075.indd 73<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

companies into B&B Theatres (for Bills and<br />

Bagby, of course). At the same time, Sterling<br />

and Pauline’s son Bob married Elmer<br />

Jr. and Amy’s daughter Bridget, uniting the<br />

families on a personal level as well.<br />

Bob Bagby became president of B&B<br />

Theatres in 1980, and he and Bridget<br />

have grown the company from a small, regional,<br />

17-screen circuit to what is now the<br />

seventh-largest circuit in the United States,<br />

currently operating about 50 locations and<br />

more than 400 screens. Married for 39<br />

years, Bob and Bridget have three children,<br />

Bobbie, Brittanie and Brock, who are all<br />

executive vice presidents at B&B Theatres,<br />

representing the circuit’s fourth generation.<br />

Of that second generation, Sterling Bagby<br />

died in October 2000, his wife Pauline died<br />

earlier this year, and Elmer Bills, Jr. and his<br />

wife Amy both passed away just this summer.<br />

As Bobbie Bagley Ford wistfully notes,<br />

Elmer Jr. “was very involved in the industry<br />

and the company and read all the reports<br />

and was bugging us literally the day before<br />

he passed away. It was kind of sudden and<br />

surprising, and it’s been a big adjustment.”<br />

With dad Bob at the helm, Bobbie<br />

handles marketing, Brock oversees programming<br />

and business development, and<br />

Brittanie Bagby Baker handles business<br />

affairs, acting as a liaison between different<br />

departments.<br />

Pitching in at the theatres at a very<br />

young age is a family tradition: Bob was<br />

working behind the concession counter at<br />

age five, and Bobbie claims she was selling<br />

popcorn at nine months!<br />

“Most of my weekends as a kid were<br />

spent loading up and visiting theatres, making<br />

the rounds,” Bobbie recalls. “We had<br />

a motor home and we’d drive around our<br />

circuit—at the time it was only like 17 locations.<br />

We would try to hit all of them over<br />

a two-month period, and I would go in and<br />

count seats and we would watch whatever<br />

kids’ movie was playing. It was such a part<br />

of my weekend, being in movie theatres.”<br />

She continues, “What I learned from<br />

my parents, and my grandparents, who were<br />

very involved in my childhood, is that you<br />

work hard and play hard as a family. We<br />

would sit around the dinner table with my<br />

grandparents, who we would have dinner<br />

with many times a week. And my parents<br />

didn’t shelter the business from us—we<br />

were very aware of the ups and downs and<br />

HR things and all kinds of stuff from an<br />

early age. They thought it was important<br />

that we know what was going on. My parents<br />

and grandparents worked very hard,<br />

and they also took time to play, because<br />

ultimately family comes first.”<br />

Bob<br />

Bobbie<br />

Brock<br />

Brittanie<br />

Another essential lesson: “Integrity<br />

was always the most important thing and<br />

still is,” Bobbie asserts. “We don’t cheat<br />

the studios, we don’t cheat our vendors, we<br />

pay people on time as much as we possibly<br />

can… There are times we could make a deal,<br />

we could build against somebody, we could<br />

do something against our conscience…<br />

A good example of that is when we purchased<br />

Dickinson Theatres [in 2014]. My<br />

dad was literally lying awake at night, very<br />

concerned about laying people off. And he<br />

worked and worked and worked to not do<br />

that. We found a job for everybody in the<br />

corporate office. And managers, for that<br />

matter—we didn’t lay off a single person.<br />

Integrity and taking care of people is ultimately<br />

the most important thing.”<br />

In this magazine two years ago, Bob<br />

Bagby recalled that his father-in-law, Elmer<br />

Jr., “was the conservative voice, and taught<br />

me that we didn’t need to do every deal and<br />

that if the numbers don’t work, there will be<br />

‘another one around the corner.’” His father<br />

Sterling, on the other hand, “instilled in me<br />

a desire to aggressively pursue calculated<br />

expansion of the company.”<br />

“There was a lot of back-and-forth<br />

between fast expansion and conservative<br />

growth,” Bob noted, but rather than being<br />

at loggerheads, Elmer and Sterling were “a<br />

great team.”<br />

Meanwhile, the lesson Brock Bagby<br />

took from his grandparents, Elmer and<br />

Sterling, was that “everything will come in<br />

time, and if it doesn’t work out, there will<br />

always be another opportunity around the<br />

corner.”<br />

In recent years, B&B Theatres has truly<br />

become one of the cutting-edge domestic<br />

theatre circuits: It was one of the first to<br />

go all-digital and it recently unveiled the<br />

world’s largest panoramic ScreenX screen at<br />

its new flagship Liberty 12 complex in Liberty,<br />

Missouri. (The Liberty 12 even features<br />

Johnnie’s Jazz Bar, named after the company’s<br />

founding matriarch, with live music<br />

seven nights a week and the original piano<br />

Johnnie played in the silent-movie days.)<br />

Bobbie recalls B&B’s decision to transform<br />

for a new era. “Six or seven years ago,<br />

we sat down as a family and Dad said, ‘OK,<br />

what do you want to do? Do you want to<br />

get out, or we going to forge ahead and<br />

grow?’ We had deep conversations about it,<br />

and decided that we were in it and we were<br />

going to grow the company. One of the advantages<br />

of being a family business and being<br />

so heavily involved in the weeds as well<br />

as the higher-up operations is that we make<br />

decisions quickly. We want to be innovative<br />

and we’re always looking for the new thing,<br />

74 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

024-075.indd 74<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

and we can be mobile. So when we want to<br />

try something, we can jump on it—we don’t<br />

have to go to a board. Our operations team<br />

gets called in to talk about how it’s going<br />

to work, and we make it happen pretty fast.<br />

Being innovative and figuring out ways to<br />

make our locations entertainment venues is<br />

really important.”<br />

As the company’s marketing executive,<br />

“A lot of my job is making sure people pick<br />

a B&B theatre, but also getting them to stay<br />

longer and make it an experience,” Bobbie<br />

says. “We’ve always taken the ‘project picture’<br />

approach, but I think being a showman<br />

is more alive and well than ever before. Creating<br />

events at our theatres has become a<br />

bigger deal. We used to do coloring contests<br />

and stuff like that, and that’s still prevalent,<br />

but now we’re doing major marketing campaigns<br />

to create an event. For First Man, we<br />

literally sent a B&B gift card and miniature<br />

figurines into the stratosphere. For Jurassic<br />

World, we had blowup dinosaur costumes in<br />

all 50 locations.”<br />

Bobbie marvels that “all six of us, the<br />

three children and their spouses, are all heavily<br />

involved in the company, which is not<br />

what we ever intended, but I think they get<br />

the bug and want in. It’s a fun industry! It’s<br />

hard not to get involved on some level. We<br />

try really hard on Christmas Day: OK, no<br />

talking about work. But we’re all so passionate<br />

and excited about what we’re doing…”<br />

So, will there be a fifth generation overseeing<br />

B&B Theatres? Bobbie laughs. “The<br />

oldest grandkid is mine—she’s five and a<br />

half. She’s convinced that my dad, who she<br />

calls Baba, is going to build a theatre here<br />

in Los Angeles [where Bobbie is based],<br />

and Dad said to her, ‘Well, Fiona, it’s really<br />

expensive to build in L.A.’ And she put up<br />

a lemonade stand and said, ‘This is to build<br />

Baba’s movie theatre.’ So you never know,<br />

she might just take over! Mom and Dad<br />

have six grandkids and they all love movies<br />

already, so we’ll see. But no pressure: They’re<br />

certainly welcome to branch out, and they’re<br />

also welcome [here].”<br />

For Bobbie Bagby Ford, “family” has a<br />

broad definition. “While my family is superimportant<br />

and we all work really hard, we<br />

have some employees who are absolutely<br />

family to us as well, people who have been<br />

with us twenty, thirty, forty years. Dan Van<br />

Orden, for instance, who has been around<br />

since I was born. Mike Hagan, our VP of<br />

finance, who started at 16 and worked his<br />

way up. Most of our corporate office are<br />

people who started as entry-level employees<br />

and moved their way up. We try really hard<br />

to cultivate that culture, that family feeling.<br />

We can’t do it by ourselves.” <br />

Bagby family portraits<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 75<br />

024-075.indd 75<br />

10/9/18 3:10 PM

Happy Holidays<br />

by Rebecca Pahle<br />

With just two more months left in the<br />

year, there are still a ton of movies<br />

to get out and see. From big-budget<br />

actioners to smaller and foreign indies,<br />

movie theatres have you covered in <strong>2018</strong>.<br />


Pictured: Claire Foy<br />

Director: Fede Alvarez<br />

COLUMBIA / NOV. 9<br />


Director: Travis Knight<br />

PARAMOUNT / DEC. 21<br />

Photos and art courtesy studios and distributors. All rights reserved.<br />

076-089.indd 76<br />

10/9/18 3:15 PM

at the Movies <strong>2018</strong><br />



Directors: Bob Persichetti,<br />

Peter Ramsey<br />

COLUMBIA / DEC. 14<br />

CREED II<br />

Pictured:<br />

Michael B. Jordan,<br />

Tessa Thompson<br />

MGM / NOV. 21<br />



Pictured: Eddie Redmayne<br />

Director: David Yates<br />

WARNER BROS. / NOV. 16<br />



Directors: Phil Johnston,<br />

Rich Moore<br />


<strong>November</strong> Highlights<br />

Mag-ni-fi-coooooooo. Rami Malek (“Mr Robot.”) plays the late, great Queens front man<br />

Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. The script, by The Theory of Everything and Darkest<br />

Hour’s Anthony McCarten, focuses on the years leading up to Queen’s famed appearance at<br />

the 1985 Live Aid concert. (Fox; Nov. 2)<br />

One of Lucas Hedges’ two awards-season starring roles is in the Joel Edgerton-directed Boy<br />

Erased, about a teenage boy forced into gay conversion therapy by his conservative parents<br />

(Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe). Joel Edgerton (The Gift) directs. (Focus Features; Nov. 2)<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 77<br />

076-089.indd 77<br />

10/9/18 3:15 PM


Pictured: Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley<br />

Directors: Lasse Hallström, Joe Johnston<br />

DISNEY / NOV. 2<br />


Pictured: Rami Malek<br />

Director: Bryan Singer<br />

20 TH CENTURY FOX / NOV. 2<br />


Pictured: Nicole Kidman, Lucas Hedges<br />

Director: Joel Edgerton<br />


A woman (Tiffany Haddish)<br />

recently released from prison vows<br />

to take revenge on the man who<br />

catfished her straitlaced sister (Tika<br />

Sumpter) in Tyler Perry’s Nobody’s<br />

Fool. Whoopi Goldberg, Omari<br />

Hardwick and Missi Pyle co-star.<br />

(Paramount; Nov. 2)<br />

Disney updates holiday classic<br />

The Nutcracker with Lasse Hallström<br />

and Joe Johnston’s The Nutcracker<br />

and the Four Realms, starring<br />

Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley,<br />

Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren.<br />

In this version of the tale, a young<br />

girl (Foy) must save the mystical<br />

fantasy world created by her late<br />

mother from a wannabe dictator<br />

(Mirren). (Disney; Nov. 2)<br />

Master of tone Luca Guadagnino<br />

puts his own spin on Dario<br />

Argento’s horror classic Suspiria,<br />

about an aspiring dancer who joins<br />

a world-renowned dance company,<br />

only to discover some rather<br />

shady—and bloody—things going<br />

on underneath the surface. Dakota<br />

Johnson and Tilda Swinton star.<br />

(Amazon; Nov. 2)<br />

Hugh Jackman stars in Jason<br />

Reitman’s political drama The Front<br />

Runner, based on the downfall of<br />

presidential candidate Gary Hart,<br />

whose political career imploded<br />

when evidence of his extramarital<br />

affair was made public. Vera Farmiga<br />

and J.K. Simmons co-star. (Columbia<br />

Pictures; Nov. 7)<br />

Don’t Breathe’s Fede Alvarez<br />

directs Claire Foy, Sylvia Hoeks,<br />

Lakeith Stanfield and Sverrir<br />

Gudnason in The Girl in the<br />

Spider’s Web. The film is based<br />

on the fourth book in the Stieg<br />

Larsson-created Millennium series,<br />

which began with the twice-adapted<br />

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.<br />

(Columbia Pictures; Nov. 9)<br />

78 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

076-089.indd 78<br />

10/9/18 3:15 PM

Benedict Cumberbatch takes<br />

over from Boris Karloff and Mike<br />

Meyers in voicing the title character<br />

of The Grinch, based on the classic<br />

children’s book by Dr. Seuss. The<br />

film is the latest from Illumination<br />

Entertainment, which has also<br />

brought the Despicable Me movies,<br />

Sing and The Secret Life of Pets to the<br />

big screen. (Universal; Nov. 9)<br />

A college-bound teenager (Tony<br />

Revolori) and an aimless mechanic<br />

(Jason Mantzoukas) go on a road<br />

trip across the American West in<br />

director Hannah Fidell’s The Long<br />

Dumb Road. (Universal; Nov. 9)<br />

Chris Pine plays the 14th-century<br />

Scottish king Robert the Bruce in the<br />

historical epic Outlaw King, which<br />

reunites the actor with his Hell or<br />

High Water director David Mackenzie.<br />

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Florence<br />

Pugh co-star. (Netflix; Nov. 9)<br />

J.J. Abrams produces World<br />

War II drama Overlord, about two<br />

American paratroopers caught behind<br />

enemy lines in the aftermath of<br />

D-Day. There they discover, not just<br />

German soldiers, but the monstrous<br />

results of secret Nazi experiments.<br />

Wyatt Russell, Pilou Asbæk and Bokeem<br />

Woodbine star. (Paramount;<br />

Nov. 9)<br />

Joel and Ethan Coen return to<br />

the world of westerns for The<br />

Ballad of Buster Scruggs, an<br />

anthology film starring Tim Blake<br />

Nelson (as the eponymous Buster),<br />

Zoe Kazan, James Franco, Liam<br />

Neeson, Brendan Gleeson and<br />

more. (Netflix; Nov. 16)<br />

Eddie Redmayne returns to the<br />

Harry Potter universe in Fantastic<br />

Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,<br />

the first of a planned four<br />

sequels to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts<br />

and Where to Find Them. That film’s<br />

director, David Yates, returns for<br />

Crimes of Grindelwald, as do actors<br />

Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler,<br />

Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller and Johnny<br />

Depp. (Warner Bros.; Nov. 16)<br />

A couple (Rose Byrne and Mark<br />

Wahlberg) become foster parents<br />

to three siblings who prove more<br />

of a handful than they anticipated<br />

in Sean Anders’ comedy Instant<br />

Family. (Paramount; Nov. 16)<br />

Steve McQueen directs one hell<br />

of a cast—including Viola Davis,<br />

Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Michelle<br />

Rodriguez, Robert Duvall, Daniel<br />

Kaluuya, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia<br />

Erivo—in Widows, about four<br />

women who turn to a life outside<br />

the law after the deaths of their<br />

criminal husbands. (Fox; Nov. 16)<br />

Michael B. Jordan suits up for<br />

the second time as boxer Adonis<br />

Untitled-1 1<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 79<br />

9/28/18 3:03 PM<br />

076-089.indd 79<br />

10/9/18 3:15 PM


Pictured: Hugh Jackman<br />

Director: Jason Reitman<br />

COLUMBIA / NOV. 7<br />

Johnson in Creed II, with Sylvester<br />

Stallone once again playing mentor<br />

Rocky Balboa. This time around,<br />

Creed Jr. fights the progeny of Ivan<br />

Drago, who killed Creed Sr. in the<br />

ring in Rocky IV. (MGM; Nov. 21)<br />

Peter Farrelly directs Viggo<br />

Mortensen, Mahershala Ali and<br />

Linda Cardellini in ’60s-set drama<br />

Green Book, about a working-class,<br />

Italian-American man (Mortensen)<br />

who drives a famed African-<br />

American concert pianist (Ali) on<br />

his tour through the Deep South.<br />

(Universal; Nov. 21)<br />

Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly)<br />

and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman)<br />

explore the wilds of the World<br />

Wide Web when a router gets<br />

installed in their video arcade in<br />

Wreck-It-Ralph sequel Ralph Breaks<br />

the Internet. (Disney; Nov. 21)<br />

Kingsman star Taron Egerton<br />

becomes the latest actor to play the<br />

Prince of Thieves in “Peaky Blinders”<br />

director Otto Bathurst’s Robin<br />

Hood, co-starring Ben Mendelsohn,<br />

Jamie Foxx, Eve Hewson and Jamie<br />

Dornan. (Lionsgate; Nov. 21)<br />

A man (Steve Carrel) copes with<br />

the traumatic aftermath of a brutal<br />

attack by inventing an elaborate<br />

fantasy world in Robert Zemeckis’<br />

Welcome to Marwen. (Universal;<br />

Dec. 21)<br />

Yorgos Lanthimos directs Olivia<br />

Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma<br />

Stone in historical drama The Favourite.<br />

Colman dons the crown of<br />

18th-century British monarch Queen<br />

Anne, whose attentions are fought<br />

over by a longtime friend and advisor<br />

(Weisz) and a new servant girl<br />

(Stone). (Fox Searchlight; Nov. 23)<br />

Director Barry Jenkins follows<br />

up his Oscar-winning Moonlight<br />

with If Beale Street Could Talk, an<br />

adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974<br />

novel about a pregnant woman’s<br />


Directors: Yarrow Cheney,<br />

Scott Mosier<br />

UNIVERSAL / NOV. 9<br />

(KiKi Layne) attempts to prove her<br />

fiancé (Stephan James) innocent of<br />

a crime before her child is born.<br />

Regina King co-stars. (Annapurna;<br />

Nov. 30)<br />

Also in <strong>November</strong><br />

A white, middle-class college<br />

student (Calum Worthy) enters the<br />

world of underground rap battles in<br />

Bodied, from music-video director<br />

Joseph Kahn. (Neon; Nov. 2)<br />

Murderball’s Dana Adam<br />

Shapiro directs the documentary<br />

Daughters of the Sexual<br />

Revolution, about the founding—<br />

80 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

076-089.indd 80<br />

10/9/18 3:15 PM

WIDOWS<br />

Pictured: Viola Davis<br />

Director: Steve McQueen<br />

20 TH CENTURY FOX / NOV. 16<br />


Pictured: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne<br />

Director: Sean Anders<br />

PARAMOUNT / NOV. 16<br />

and cultural impact—of the Dallas<br />

Cowboys cheerleaders. (Nov. 2)<br />

A couple grieves over the death<br />

of their infant child just 57 hours<br />

after its birth in Patrick Wang’s<br />

The Grief of Others, based on the<br />

novel by Leah Hager Cohen. (In the<br />

Family; Nov. 2)<br />

Red Army director Gabe Polsky<br />

helms the documentary In Search<br />

of Greatness, which examines the<br />

phenomena of genius through the<br />

lens of some of the greatest athletes<br />

of all time. (Art of Sport; Nov. 2)<br />

At long (long, long) last,<br />

audiences will get to see The Other<br />

Side of the Wind, the final film<br />

from Orson Welles. John Huston<br />

stars as a Welles-esque director<br />

who returns from years of semiretirement<br />

in Europe to complete<br />

an ambitious final film. Peter<br />

Bogdanovich, Welles’ friend and<br />

protégé who worked for decades to<br />

see the film completed and released,<br />

co-stars. (Netflix; Nov. 2)<br />

Rosamund Pike plays celebrated<br />

28-29 AUG’18 | MUMBAI<br />

presented by<br />


On Galalite screens, every movie<br />

is a fantasy-filled masterpiece.<br />

By reinventing imagination, we reinvent<br />

benchmarks in cinema screen technologies.<br />

info@galalitescreens.com | www.galalitescreens.com<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 81<br />

076-089.indd 81<br />

10/9/18 3:15 PM


Pictured: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali<br />

Director: Peter Farrelly<br />

UNIVERSAL / NOV. 21<br />

CREED II<br />

Pictured: Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan<br />

Director: Steven Caple Jr.<br />


war correspondent Marie Colvin,<br />

who died in 2012 while covering<br />

the Syrian civil war, in Matthew<br />

Heineman’s A Private War. Jamie<br />

Dornan and Stanley Tucci co-star.<br />

(Aviron; Nov. 2)<br />

Kim Sung-hoon directs the Korean<br />

historical fantasy epic Rampant,<br />

about a dissolute prince (Hyun Bin)<br />

who must step up and save his kingdom<br />

from a horde of undead monsters.<br />

(Well Go USA; Nov. 2)<br />

Directors Margarthe von Trotta,<br />

Felix Moeller and Bettina Böhler<br />

explore the life and legacy of one<br />

of film history’s most renowned<br />

directors in Searching for Ingmar<br />

Bergman. (Oscilloscope; Nov. 2)<br />

A group of students unexpectedly<br />

cause a rift in the space-time<br />

continuum while looking for their<br />

missing mentor in the sci-fi adventure<br />

Time Trap. (Paladin; Nov. 2)<br />

Brooklyn-based performance<br />

artist Narcissister directs and stars<br />

in Narcissister Organ Player, in<br />

which she examines her mother’s<br />

illness and death. (<strong>Film</strong> Movement;<br />

Nov. 7)<br />

Lorenzo Ferro stars in the crime<br />

drama El Angel, based on the true<br />

story of a baby-faced thief and killer<br />

who became the longest-serving<br />

criminal in Argentina’s history. (The<br />

Orchard; Nov. 9)<br />

Sarah Jessica Parker plays a<br />


Pictured: Taron Egerton<br />

Director: Otto Bathurst<br />

LIONSGATE / NOV. 21<br />

singer/songwriter forced to<br />

reevaluate her life over the course<br />

of a single day in director Fabien<br />

Constant’s drama Here and Now.<br />

Common, Renée Zellweger, Simon<br />

Baker and Jacqueline Bisset co-star.<br />

(AMBI Distribution; Nov. 9)<br />

A college student (Jessica<br />

Barden) opts to avoid relationships<br />

with men her own age in favor of<br />

being a sugar baby to older men in<br />

Carly Stone’s The New Romantic.<br />

(The Orchard; Nov. 9)<br />

A millionaire speedboat enthusiast<br />

(John Travolta) gets himself tied<br />

up with the mob in the fact-based<br />

Speed Kills. (Saban <strong>Film</strong>s; Nov. 9)<br />

Alessandro Nivola, Julianne<br />

Nicholson, and Johnny Knoxville<br />

star in first-time feature director<br />

Jaron Albertin’s Weightless, about<br />

a loner suddenly confronted with<br />

caring for his young child. (Paladin;<br />

Nov. 9)<br />

Zoe Renee and Simone Missick<br />

star in Nijla Mumin’s Jinn, about a<br />

teenage girl’s struggle to find her<br />

own identity after her mother<br />

converts to Islam. (Orion Classics;<br />

Nov. 15)<br />

Couple Eva (Oona Chaplin)<br />

and Kat (Natalia Tena) struggle<br />

with the question of whether to<br />

82 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

076-089.indd 82<br />

10/9/18 3:16 PM


Pictured: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman<br />

Director: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore<br />


have a child by one of their best<br />

friends (David Verdaguer) in Carlos<br />

Marquet-Marcet’s Anchor and<br />

Hope. Geraldine Chaplin co-stars.<br />

(Wolfe; Nov. 16)<br />

Willem Dafoe leads a stacked<br />

cast in The Diving Bell and the<br />

Butterfly director Julian Schnabel’s<br />

At Eternity’s Gate, about the<br />

later years of artist Vincent Van<br />

Gogh. Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen,<br />

Rupert Friend, Mathieu Amalric and<br />

Emmanuelle Seigner co-star. (CBS<br />

<strong>Film</strong>s; Nov. 16)<br />

A young man (Charlie Plummer)<br />

begins to suspect that his father<br />

(Dylan McDermott)—a community<br />

leader respected by all—may be<br />

a serial killer responsible for the<br />

brutal murders of ten women in<br />

The Clovehitch Killer. (IFC <strong>Film</strong>s;<br />

Nov. 16)<br />

A patients’-rights lawyer (Hilary<br />

Swank) has her life changed by an<br />

offbeat psychiatric patient (Helena<br />

Bonham-Carter) in Bille August’s 55<br />

Steps. (Sony Pictures Wolrdwide<br />

Acquisitions; Nov. 16)<br />

A small town tries to keep their<br />

beloved stock-car racing track open<br />

despite pressure from developers<br />

in Michael Dweck’s documentary<br />

The Last Race. (Magnolia Pictures;<br />

Nov. 16)<br />

Jennifer Lopez returns to the<br />

world of the rom-com in Second<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 83<br />

076-089.indd 83<br />

10/9/18 3:16 PM


Pictured: Emma Stone<br />

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos<br />


Act, playing a former big-box retail<br />

employee who reinvents herself<br />

as a high-flying business executive.<br />

Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”) and<br />

Vanessa Hudgens co-star. (STX<br />

Entertainment; Nov. 21)<br />

Alba August and Nico, 1988 lead<br />

Trine Dyrholm star in Danish director<br />

Pernille Fischer Christensen’s<br />

Becoming Astrid, about the creator<br />

of iconic children’s character Pippi<br />

Longstocking. (Music Box <strong>Film</strong>s;<br />

Nov. 23)<br />

Japanese director Hirokazu<br />

Kore-eda is here to pummel your<br />

emotions yet again with Shoplifters,<br />

about a tight-knit family of<br />

thieves who adopt an abandoned<br />

girl they find on the street. (Magnolia;<br />

Nov. 23)<br />

Ella Hunt plays the title role<br />


Pictured: Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges<br />

Director: Peter Hedges<br />



Pictured: KiKi Layne, Stephan James<br />

Director: Barry Jenkins<br />

ANNAPURNA / DEC. 30<br />

84 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

076-089.indd 84<br />

10/9/18 3:16 PM


Pictured: Ian Hart, Jack Lowden,<br />

Saoirse Ronan, James McArdle<br />

Director: Josie Rourke<br />


in John McPhail’s Anna and the<br />

Apocalypse, the world’s first (and<br />

only) Scottish zombie apocalypse<br />

Christmas musical. (Orion; Nov. 30)<br />

A miniature horse (voiced<br />

by Josh Hutcherson) attempts<br />

to secure a coveted spot as one<br />

of Santa’s team in the animated<br />

holiday offering Elliot: The Littlest<br />

Reindeer. (ScreenMedia; Nov. 30)<br />

A spoiled young boy resentful of<br />

his new baby sister meets an older<br />

version of that same sister from the<br />

future in time-travel drama Mirai,<br />

from anime auteur Mamoru Hosoda<br />

(Summer Wars). (GKids; Nov. 30)<br />

Hao Wu directs People’s<br />

Republic of Desire, a documentary<br />


Integrated Digital Signage,<br />

Concession Signs, Lobby &<br />

Directional Signs, Custom Graphics<br />

MOBILE APP &<br />


Web Management, Website<br />

Design and Programming,<br />

Online Ticket Purchasing,<br />

Mobile App Development,<br />

Mobile Ticketing Sales<br />


Online Ticket Sales with Theatre Branded Interface<br />

Your Complete Theatre<br />

Management Solution<br />

Starts Here!<br />



Touch Screen Ticketing,<br />

Concession Point-of-Sale,<br />

Two-in-One Terminals, Kiosk Sales<br />

& Redemptions, Assigned Seating<br />



Show Scheduling, Inventory,<br />

Cash Control, Remote Access,<br />

Labor Management,<br />

Real-Time Corporate Reports<br />



Gift Cards, Virtual Gift Card<br />

Sales, Customer Rewards<br />

888-988-4470 Sales<br />


Automatically Calculate Weekly <strong>Film</strong> Rental, Create<br />

Payment Vouchers, Settle <strong>Film</strong>s & Manage Credits<br />

NETWORK &<br />


Network Support, Hardware<br />

Monitoring, Phone & Surveillance<br />

System Support, ISP Monitoring,<br />

Security & Antivirus<br />

RetrieverSolutionsInc.com<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 85<br />

076-089.indd 85<br />

10/9/18 3:16 PM

about Internet live-streaming<br />

culture in China. (Nov. 30)<br />

Director Cameron Yates<br />

documents preteen chef-turnedmedia<br />

sensation Flynn McGarry in<br />

Chef Flynn. (<strong>November</strong>)<br />

December Highlights<br />

Peter Hedges (Pieces of April)<br />

directs his son Lucas (Manchester<br />

by the Sea) in Oscar hopeful<br />

Ben Is Back, about a troubled<br />

youth who returns to the home<br />

of his mother (Julia Roberts) on<br />

Christmas morning, with potentially<br />

devastating consequences.<br />

(Roadside Attractions; Dec. 7)<br />

Saoirse Ronan stars in historical<br />

drama Mary Queen of Scots,<br />

playing the doomed Queen who<br />

unsuccessfully attempted to<br />

overthrow her cousin, Queen<br />

Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie). Guy<br />

Pearce and Gemma Chan co-star.<br />

(Focus Features; Dec. 7)<br />

It Follows writer-director David<br />

Robert Mitchell turns to A24 for<br />

his follow-up Under the Silver<br />

Lake. Andrew Garfield stars in the<br />

revisionist noir as Sam, a rootless,<br />

unemployed man attempting to<br />

untangle a conspiracy that he hopes<br />

will lead to the location of the<br />

mysterious woman (Riley Keogh)<br />

he’s obsessed with. (A24; Dec. 7)<br />

Peter Jackson produced and cowrote<br />

Mortal Engines, a futuristic<br />

dystopia tale set in a world where<br />

cities have transformed into giant<br />

machines that roll around the<br />

wasteland gobbling each other up.<br />

Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo<br />

Weaving and Stephen Lang star.<br />

(Universal; Dec. 14)<br />

Clint Eastwood directs and stars<br />

in The Mule, playing a man offered<br />

some respite from his dire financial<br />

circumstances... by transporting<br />

illegal drugs. Bradley Cooper, Taissa<br />


Pictured: Hugo Weaving<br />

Director: Christian Rivers<br />

UNIVERSAL / DEC. 14<br />


Pictured: Hailee Steinfeld<br />

Director: Travis Knight<br />

PARAMOUNT / DEC. 21<br />


Pictured: Jason Momoa<br />

Director: James Wan<br />

WARNER BROS. / DEC. 21<br />

86 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

076-089.indd 86<br />

10/9/18 3:16 PM

Farmiga and Michael Peña co-star.<br />

(Warner Bros.; Dec. 14)<br />

The Spider-Man franchise gets<br />

an animated twist in Spider-Man:<br />

Into the Spider-Verse, which brings<br />

together an assortment of Spider-<br />

Men from parallel universes. Dope’s<br />

Shameik Moore voices fan-favorite<br />

Spider-Man Miles Morales, while<br />

Jake Johnson voices OG Spidey<br />

Peter Parker and Hailee Steinfeld<br />

lends her pipes to Gwen Stacy, aka<br />

“Spider-Gwen.” (Columbia Pictures;<br />

Dec. 14)<br />

Christian Bale packs on a few<br />

pounds and loses a few hair follicles<br />

to play former Vice President<br />

Dick Cheney in Vice, from The Big<br />

Short writer-director Adam McKay.<br />

Amy Adams undergoes a physical<br />

transformation of her own to play<br />

Lynne Cheney, while Steve Carell,<br />

Sam Rockwell and Tyler Perry play<br />

other political notables of the<br />

George W. Bush era. (Annapurna;<br />

Dec. 14)<br />

Jason Momoa can talk to the<br />

fishes in the DC Comics adaptation<br />

Aquaman. Set prior to Justice<br />

League, here Aquaman—aka Arthur<br />

Curry—must fight his half-brother<br />

Orm (Patrick Wilson) for control of<br />


Pictured: Emily Blunt<br />

Director: Rob Marshall<br />

DISNEY / DEC. 19<br />

the underwater kingdom of Atlantis.<br />

Nicole Kidman and Amber Heard<br />

co-star. (Warner Bros.; Dec. 21)<br />

Travis Knight (Kubo and the<br />

Four Strings) directs 1980s-set<br />

Transformers spin-off Bumblebee,<br />

starring Hailee Steinfeld as the<br />

young friend of the eponymous<br />

Autobot. John Cena co-stars, with<br />


Even with import tax, our prices<br />

beat the competition.<br />


SOUND<br />

Stage speakers, subwoofer, surround speakers,<br />

amplifiers, rack and digital audio processors.<br />

Starting at $5,000<br />


Works with every movie through<br />

sound channels.<br />

WE SHIP<br />


Stetson Snell • stetsonsnell@enparaudio.com •505.615.2913<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 87<br />

076-089.indd 87<br />

10/9/18 3:16 PM

Justin Theroux and Angela Bassett<br />

providing the voices of other<br />

Transformers. (Paramount; Dec. 21)<br />

Ida’s Pawel Pawlikowski won<br />

the Best Director award at Cannes<br />

<strong>2018</strong> for Cold War, a love story<br />

set in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin,<br />

Paris and Yugoslavia. Tomasz Kot and<br />

Joanna Kulig star. (Amazon; Dec. 21)<br />

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly<br />

unite for the third time—after Step<br />

Brothers and Talladega Nights: The<br />

Ballad of Ricky Bobby—for Holmes<br />

and Watson, a comic take on<br />


Pictured: Steve Carell<br />

Director: Robert Zemeckis<br />

UNIVERSAL / DEC. 21<br />

Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories of<br />

Sherlock Holmes. Kelly Macdonald,<br />

Ralph Fiennes and Rebecca Hall costar,<br />

with Etan Cohen (Get Hard) in<br />

the director’s chair. (Sony; Dec. 21)<br />

Emily Blunt steps into Julie<br />

Andrews’ hat and teeny, tiny bow-tie<br />

in Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel<br />

to director Robert Stevenson’s<br />

1964 classic. This time around, Mary<br />

returns to London to help a grown<br />

Jane (Emily Mortimer) and Michael<br />

Banks (Ben Whishaw), as well as<br />

Michael’s three children. Colin Firth,<br />

Meryl Streep, Lin-Manuel Miranda<br />

and Julie Walters co-star. (Disney;<br />

Dec. 25)<br />

Felicity Jones plays Ruth Bader<br />

Ginsburg in On the Basis of<br />

Sex, about the early years of the<br />

trailblazing Supreme Court Justice.<br />

Armie Hammer stars as Ginsburg’s<br />

husband Marty, with Mimi Leder<br />

(Deep Impact, “The Leftovers”)<br />

directing. (Focus Features; Dec. 25)<br />

Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly<br />

play comedy legends Stan Laurel and<br />

Oliver Hardy—here, embarking on<br />

a theatre tour that the duo hoped<br />

would restart their careers—in<br />

Jon S. Baird’s Stan & Ollie. (Sony<br />

Pictures Classics; December)<br />

Also in December<br />

Sebastián Silva (The Maid) directs<br />

Jason Mitchell, Christopher Abbott,<br />

Caleb Landry Jones, Michael Cera<br />

and Reg E. Cathey in Tyrel, about<br />

a black man (Mitchell) attending<br />

a wild weekend party otherwise<br />

populated exclusively by white bros.<br />

(Magnolia; Dec. 5)<br />


Pictured: Felicity Jones<br />

Director: Mimi Leder<br />


88 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

076-089.indd 88<br />

10/9/18 3:16 PM


Pictured: John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell<br />

Director: Etan Cohen<br />


Ron Perlman stars as a Mossad<br />

agent-turned-hitman trying to<br />

turn his life around in Michael<br />

Caton-Jones’ Asher. (Momentum<br />

Pictures; Dec. 7)<br />

Four young Jews hide in plain<br />

sight in World War II-era Berlin<br />

in the documentary/narrative<br />

hybrid The Invisibles, from<br />

director Claus Räfle. (Greenwich<br />

Entertainment; Dec. 7)<br />

Actress Karen Gillan (“Doctor<br />

Who,” the Guardians of the Galaxy<br />

movies) makes her directorial<br />

debut with The Party’s Just<br />

Beginning, about a young woman<br />

(Gillan) grieving her best friend’s<br />

suicide. Lee Pace, Matthew Beard<br />

and Paul Higgins co-star. (Dec. 7)<br />

A psychopath (Christopher<br />

Abbott), not wanting to succumb<br />

to the urge to hurt his infant<br />

daughter, makes a plan to kill a sex<br />

worker (Mia Wasikowska) instead<br />

in Nicolas Pesce’s dark comedy<br />

Piercing. (Universal Pictures<br />

Content Group; Dec. 7)<br />

A family attempts to survive in<br />

a post-apocalyptic world where<br />

humanity has been beset by a<br />

species of monsters endowed<br />

with acute hearing in The Silence.<br />

Kiernan Shipka, John Corbett<br />

and Stanley Tucci co-star. (Global<br />

Road; Dec. 7)<br />

Director Gene Graham<br />

examines contemporary black<br />

culture through the community of<br />

exotic dancing in the documentary<br />

This One’s for the Ladies. (Neon;<br />

Dec. 7)<br />

Nadine Labaki directs the<br />

modern-day fable Capernaum,<br />

about a Lebanese boy (nonprofessional<br />

actor Zain Al Rafeea)<br />

who sues his parents for the crime<br />

of giving birth to him. (Sony Pictures<br />

Classics; Dec. 14)<br />

Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan<br />

stars in Zero, a romantic drama<br />

about a vertically challenged man<br />

whose life is changed when he<br />

meets a superstar actress (Katrina<br />

Kaif). (Red Chillies, Dec. 21)<br />

WINTER<br />

Legendary filmmaker Hayao<br />

Miyazaki gets the documentary<br />

treatment in Never-Ending Man:<br />

Hayao Miyazaki. Kaku Arakawa’s<br />

tribute follows the director of<br />

Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke<br />

and more as he attempts to make<br />

his first CGI project. (GKIDS;<br />

Winter)<br />

Release dates are subject to change.<br />

Photos courtesy of studios and distributors. All<br />

rights reserved.<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 89<br />

076-089.indd 89<br />

10/9/18 3:16 PM

Miami Beach Welcomes<br />

The Cinema Community<br />

New technologies, new business strategies, new<br />

films—they’re all on the agenda as ShowEast<br />

kicks off its 32nd annual edition Oct. 22-25<br />

at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Florida.<br />

This year’s event for motion picture exhibitors<br />

will include screenings of six major movie releases:<br />

Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet (Oct. 23 at 4<br />

p.m.); Paramount Pictures’ comedy Instant Family,<br />

starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne (Oct.<br />

24 at 4 p.m.); Roadside Attractions’ drama Ben<br />

Is Back, starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges<br />

(Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m.); STX Entertainment’s<br />

romantic comedy Second Act, with Jennifer Lopez,<br />

Milo Ventimiglia and Vanessa Hudgens (Oct. 25 at<br />

3 p.m.), plus new offerings from 20th Century Fox<br />

and Warner Bros.<br />

The Opening Ceremony keynote address will<br />

be delivered by Dr. Radesh Palakurthi, dean at the<br />

University of Memphis’ Kemmons Wilson School<br />

of Hospitality and Resort Management, detailing<br />

a recent research study on which aspects of the<br />

cinema experience moviegoers are willing to pay<br />

extra for. Later that day, Loews Hotels chairman<br />

and CEO Jonathan Tisch will share his insights on<br />

what makes an exceptional customer experience.<br />

Monday afternoon roundtables on the<br />

Americana Lawn will include a session on using<br />

technology to market films and drive attendance,<br />

with executives from National Amusements,<br />

Cinépolis, Fandango and Atom Tickets, and FJI<br />

concessions editor and Malco Theatres VP Larry<br />

Etter discussing hot new cinema menu items.<br />

Exhibitors will get a clearer sense of what’s<br />

coming to their screens on Tuesday morning<br />

when Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Lionsgate,<br />

Roadside Attractions, Universal Pictures, Walt<br />

90 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-111.indd 90<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM

October 22-25<br />

<strong>2018</strong><br />

Disney Pictures, Annapurna Pictures,<br />

Aviron Pictures and Trafalgar Releasing<br />

all offer previews of their latest fare.<br />

The session also includes a demo of the<br />

ScreenX panoramic format.<br />

The Wednesday morning session<br />

focuses on technology: the latest<br />

innovations from Christie, Cinionic,<br />

Dolby, GDC Technology, Samsung<br />

Electronics and Webedia.<br />

Thursday’s programming commences<br />

with NCM sharing insights from its<br />

“Ask the Audience” surveys (a monthly<br />

FJI feature), followed by the Fox<br />

screening and the always heartwarming<br />

ShowEast Hall of Fame Induction<br />

Ceremony. This year’s class includes<br />

Belton Clark, Larry Etter, Bill Lewis,<br />

Janet Murray, Paul Rogers, Bill<br />

Thompson and the late Harry Whitson.<br />

As always, ShowEast also includes<br />

special international programming on<br />

opening day, and a very active tradeshow.<br />

The festivities conclude with the<br />

ShowEast awards and an after-party<br />

sponsored by Coca-Cola and Cinionic.<br />

This year’s deserving honorees are<br />

Landmark Cinemas’ Neil Campbell,<br />

Fox’s Chris Aronson, Entertainment<br />

Studios Motion Pictures’ Mark Borde,<br />

Alamo Drafthouse’s Tim League, and<br />

innovator ScreenX.<br />

Among the films screening at ShowEast <strong>2018</strong>: Ralph Breaks the Internet.<br />

090-111.indd 91<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM


A REGION IN TRANSITIONby David Hancock<br />

Latin American Cinema Admissions Outpace Screen Growth<br />

Latin America as a continent has been<br />

through several years of recession, but<br />

thankfully a more positive economy is<br />

now being experienced in many of the<br />

region’s countries. However, during these<br />

years and before, the cinema sector has grown<br />

as the older screen infrastructure has been<br />

transformed into a modern cinema realm.<br />

In the seven largest Central and Latin<br />

American countries that IHS Markit’s Cinema<br />

Intelligence tracks (Argentina, Brazil,<br />

Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela),<br />

the number of screens rose by 42.7% between<br />

2008 and 2017 to reach nearly 13,500,<br />

of which 50% are in Mexico and 24% are in<br />

Brazil. Therefore, 7.8% of the world’s screens<br />

are to be found in the continent.<br />

As for admissions, these countries accounted<br />

for 9.4% of the world’s admissions<br />

in 2017, and the growth rate of admissions<br />

grew by 91.9% between 2008 and 2017,<br />

almost doubling. This is significantly faster<br />

growth than the rise in screen numbers.<br />

Of these admissions, Mexico accounts for<br />

46.4% and Brazil for 24.9% of the total.<br />

Across the region, average admissions per<br />

head sit at 1.4 (also the same as the global average).<br />

However, there is a wide range in this<br />

metric, with Mexicans visiting the cinema an<br />

average of 2.4 times a year, down to Venezuelans<br />

at 0.6 times a year. Brazil, also a potentially<br />

huge market, has an average of 0.9 a year,<br />

which suggests that the “180-million-plus<br />

population” market has some space to grow.<br />

The continent continues to produce talent<br />

that feeds into the global film industry<br />

and produce globally visible films. <strong>Film</strong> production<br />

is behind some of the local enthusiasm<br />

for cinema. While Mexico and Brazil<br />

may be the big beasts in terms of box office,<br />

Argentina leads the way in production volume,<br />

with 181 features produced in 2017<br />

compared to 162 for Mexico. However, high<br />

production volumes don’t always translate<br />

into high levels of domestic market share, a<br />

deep-seated issue in Latin America.<br />

The high number of films being produced<br />

is of use at an industrial level and provides an<br />

opportunity for talent to emerge and develop,<br />

but it doesn’t necessarily translate into box<br />

office. In 2017, for example, Argentina took a<br />

13% market share, which is respectable, but for<br />

the number of films produced compares unfavorably<br />

with many countries in other parts of<br />

the world. Only two local films attracted over<br />

one million admissions in 2017 (Mama Se<br />

Fue De Viaje and El Fútbol o Yo). According to<br />

local research group Ultracine, admissions for<br />

local films in Argentina fell from 6.89 million<br />

in 2016 to 6.21 million last year, out of a total<br />

47.6 million.<br />

Likewise, according to local film data<br />

and research specialist <strong>Film</strong>e B in Brazil<br />

“national production has been releasing an<br />

average of 150 films a year, but only a few<br />

stand out at the box office.”<br />

However, the continent has led the way<br />

with cross-territory exhibition. U.S. circuit<br />

Cinemark operates 1,398 screens across<br />

the region in nearly 200 sites and in 15<br />

countries and has been present for well over<br />

20 years. Mexican chain Cinépolis has also<br />

spread wider than its domestic market, being<br />

present in 13 other countries including<br />

India and the USA, and has become one of<br />

the driver companies behind global consolidation<br />

and growth. National Amusements<br />

has circuits in both Argentina and Brazil.<br />

The continent is also picking up on the<br />

technology bug being experienced elsewhere.<br />

An example is immersive motion seating<br />

specialist D-Box, which extended a pan-continental<br />

deal with Cinemark in June this year,<br />

bringing the D-Box total in the region to 126<br />

auditoria. 4D specialist 4DX has a deal with<br />

Cinépolis that is helping grow its footprint<br />

in the region, and especially Mexico. Rival<br />

4D outfit MX4D (MediaMation) opened a<br />

manufacturing plant in Brazil in 2017 and is<br />

also present in a number of countries. In fact,<br />

while Latin America accounts for 7.8% of the<br />

world’s screens, some 13.8% of 4D installs<br />

have been made in the continent.<br />

On the PLF side, the continent’s exhibitors<br />

have embraced the concept of<br />

own-brand PLF screens and the continent<br />

accounts for 18.3% of the world’s exhibitorbranded<br />

PLF screens. Conversely, globally<br />

branded PLF (such as IMAX and Dolby<br />

Cinema) has had less luck in the region to<br />

date, as only 2.1% of the global total of this<br />

type are based in the continent’s cinemas.<br />

David Hancock is research director, film<br />

and cinema, at IHS Markit.<br />

92 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-111.indd 92<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM

FILM CONVENTION & EXPO <strong>2018</strong> / LOEWS MIAMI BEACH<br />


Study Reveals Which Attributes Influences Moviegoing Decisions<br />

Radesh Palakurthi, Ph.D., MBA<br />

Recently, a research forum was<br />

conducted by the University<br />

of Memphis on behalf of the<br />

National Association of Concessionaires<br />

that focused on the<br />

movie theatre attributes that patrons<br />

consider when choosing a cinema. The<br />

ten attributes considered in the study<br />

included: Movie Excitement Level<br />

(very to not at all), Theatre Proximity<br />

(distance in miles), Convenience of<br />

Showtime (very to not at all), Movie<br />

Ticket Price ($5.50 to $13.50), Theatre<br />

Food and Beverage Options (regular<br />

concession items, extended menus, adult<br />

options and dine-in options), Seating<br />

Options (reticulating rockers, oversized<br />

seating and recliners), Reserved Seating<br />

(required, not required), Food Ordering<br />

Options (Typical: in-person order<br />

and pick-up; Pager: in-person order,<br />

pager pick-up; Partial: in-person order,<br />

delivery to seat, and Electronic: order<br />

from seat, delivery to seat), Number<br />

of Screens at Theatre (single screen,<br />

2-7 screens, 8-16 screens, 16+ screens),<br />

and Theatre Location (suburban, mall,<br />

downtown and entertainment district).<br />

The basic thesis was that patrons<br />

often make tradeoffs among the<br />

attribute levels before making a final<br />

decision about which theatre to visit.<br />

The study was aimed at analyzing<br />

such tradeoffs and to understand the<br />

decision-making models of the patrons.<br />

Conjoint Analysis was used to evaluate<br />

the utilities (perceived benefits) for each<br />

of the attributes included in the study.<br />

A total of over 22,000 movie theatre<br />

profiles were evaluated in this study.<br />

Attribute Importance Results:<br />

Aggregate results show that patrons’<br />

excitement level about seeing a movie<br />

drives one-third (33%) of the decision<br />

Figure 1: Top three attributes account for about 70% of moviegoing decisions.<br />

in choosing a movie theatre location;<br />

patrons are willing to discount many<br />

other attributes if they are very excited<br />

to see a movie (e.g., driving long<br />

distances or not having the expected<br />

food options at the theatre). Figure 1<br />

shows the relative importance of all<br />

the attributes. Movie ticket price and<br />

showtime convenience are the next two<br />

most important attributes, accounting<br />

for 23% and 16% of the decision,<br />

respectively. The top three attributes<br />

together account for almost 70% of the<br />

decision for choosing a movie theatre.<br />

Interestingly, in spite of the recent<br />

emphasis in the industry, food and<br />

beverage-related attributes do not seem<br />

continued on page 100<br />

Figure 2: A surge-pricing strategy might be a prudent option for popular movies.<br />

94 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-111.indd 94<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM


Proudly Supports<br />

ShowEast <strong>2018</strong><br />

and Congratulates All of Ľis Year’s Honorees<br />

including our very own<br />

Janet Murray<br />

201ƻ ShowEast Hall of Fame Inductee<br />

International Exhibitor of the Year<br />

Miguel Rivera<br />

Cinépolis<br />

Technology Innovator Award<br />

ScreenX<br />

International Star of the Year<br />

Ana Claudia<br />

Talancón<br />

International Distributor of the Year<br />

Jorge Liceiji<br />

New Century <strong>Film</strong>s<br />

Dan Fellman Show “E” Award<br />

Neil Campbell<br />

Landmark Cinemas Canada<br />

Award of Recognition<br />

Robert Carrady<br />

Caribbean Cinemas<br />

Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Award<br />

Chris Aronson<br />

20th Century Fox<br />

Bingham Ray Spirit Award<br />

Tim League<br />

Alamo Draĭhouse<br />

Al Shapiro Distinguished Service Award<br />

Mark Borde<br />

Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures<br />

comScore’s Latin American Box Office Achievement Award<br />

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International’s<br />

Avengers: Infinity War<br />


Class of 201ƻ<br />

Larry Eijer Bill Lewis Janet Murray Paul Rogers Bill Ľompson Belton Clark Harry Whitson*<br />

*Posthumously<br />

www.sonypicturesreleasing.com<br />

©201ƻ Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.<br />

All Rights Reserved.

FILM CONVENTION & EXPO <strong>2018</strong> / LOEWS MIAMI BEACH<br />


Landmark’s Neil Campbell Accepts Show ‘E’ Accolades<br />

Andreas Fuchs<br />

is about as good as it can get.”<br />

Neil Campbell, vice chairman<br />

at Landmark Cinemas Canada<br />

and this year’s recipient of the<br />

‘This<br />

Dan Fellman Show ‘E’ Award, is<br />

grateful to his industry colleagues. “We<br />

do not get an Academy Award. So, I am<br />

thinking this is as close to the Academy<br />

Awards as our industry has. Fellow exhibitors<br />

are giving me this award. And that<br />

is where I have set my whole career, in the<br />

movie theatre business.”<br />

About the distribution legend in<br />

whose name he will be honored at<br />

ShowEast <strong>2018</strong> for “unequaled achievements,<br />

accomplishments and dedication to<br />

the industry,” Campbell adds: “I do know<br />

Dan, and I have worked with him. He has<br />

been at Warner Bros. for so long… I think<br />

we have a good friendship.”<br />

Friendships in business are rare, and<br />

hard to maintain, especially when looking<br />

back at 44 years in theatrical exhibition<br />

and distribution. Campbell reflects on<br />

the achievements of Fellman and Warner<br />

Bros. “that stuck with me,” one related to<br />

another industry honor. “Every year they<br />

publish the tribute book for the Motion<br />

Picture Pioneer of the Year. Dan’s was<br />

the only one I ever saw that had three<br />

different Presidents—Presidents of the<br />

United States—included and giving him<br />

a full page. This guy travels quite a bit, I<br />

thought, and in quite the circle of influence.<br />

I was really impressed by that.”<br />

As for Warner Bros., “They have always<br />

been the number-one company. They<br />

did more promotional contests, they were<br />

always out there working—doing what<br />

they needed to do as a distributor to get<br />

the public to attend their films… I got<br />

like four or five television sets from them,”<br />

he chuckles, praising their showmanship.<br />

“It was just an absolutely natural to work<br />

with Warner Bros. and getting an award<br />

named after Dan makes perfect sense.”<br />

“Anybody who knows me knows that I<br />

love doing promotions,” Campbell elaborates.<br />

“Someone always said, ‘What are<br />

you talking about [with] promotions? You<br />

know, you don’t have a big budget.’ To<br />

which I responded, ‘For Blazing Saddles,<br />

I had a one-horse parade down Main<br />

Street.’ You know, you can make anything<br />

out of anything when it comes to promotions.”<br />

Saddles blazing down Main Street<br />

did indeed have a lasting influence on<br />

Campbell. “Barry Meyers, the film buyer<br />

for my very first theatre, really inspired<br />

me. ‘You know kid, you’re a go-getter,’<br />

he told me. ‘That’s great. But never ever<br />

hold over a movie in a town that small.’<br />

Of course, I thought, that is bullshit and<br />

that’s when I really got into doing promotions.<br />

And Blazing Saddles was the first<br />

movie I ever held over.”<br />

That happened at the Soo Theatre in<br />

Weyburn, Saskatchewan, in 1974, when<br />

Campbell first got involved with the<br />

movie business. “I married the popcorn<br />

girl who worked at our small-town singlescreen<br />

theatre,” he says about meeting<br />

Louise Campbell, who is celebrating her<br />

50th year in the business—with a certificate<br />

from the Motion Picture Pioneers<br />

of Canada—and their 46th anniversary.<br />

“Everybody knows her. Everybody loves<br />

her and way more than me. And I agree,<br />

she is a bunch nicer,” he confirms. By the<br />

time Campbell finished university, he was<br />

working at a bank. “Louise’s old boss was<br />

at Landmark by then. He invited us for<br />

dinner and…the next thing, you know, I<br />

stopped being a banker and I was in the<br />

movie business.” Continuously operated<br />

by Landmark until last <strong>November</strong>, the<br />

Soo Theatre, Campbell admits, “is just too<br />

small for a company of our size to carry.”<br />

Another business decision was the<br />

December 2017 sale of Landmark Cinemas<br />

to Belgium’s Kinepolis Group. (For<br />

additional details, see our July interview.)<br />

“At the end of the day, it was the right<br />

thing to do for our company.” Campbell<br />

adds that he had known Kinepolis as<br />

“really great” operators for several years.<br />

“They too have been in business for a long<br />

time and they understand how it works,<br />

why it works. Kinepolis puts the customer<br />

first. This is what we do every day and it is<br />

also their model. Aligning of the companies<br />

was easy, like matching brother and<br />

brother.”<br />

Without the sibling rivalry. “It’s been<br />

very, very good,” he assures, and exciting.<br />

“The most exciting event,” however, came<br />

when Campbell and business partner<br />

Brian McIntosh bought Landmark Cinemas<br />

of Canada Inc. in 2007. Landmark’s<br />

biggest growth occurred in 2012, with<br />

three new theatres plus fully digitizing<br />

the circuit, he proudly recalls. “And then<br />

continued on page 100<br />

96 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-111.indd 96<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM

Congratulations<br />

Neil Campbell<br />

on the Dan Fellman Show “E” Award<br />

ShowEast <strong>2018</strong>, Miami

FILM CONVENTION & EXPO <strong>2018</strong> / LOEWS MIAMI BEACH<br />


Chris Aronson Receives Humanitarian Honors<br />

‘I<br />

define a humanitarian as someone<br />

who gives back by donating<br />

time, energy and money for the<br />

betterment of human beings.”<br />

Chris Aronson, president,<br />

domestic distribution, for Twentieth<br />

Century Fox <strong>Film</strong>, not only gets to the<br />

heart of the matter, but proves himself<br />

a living example in his philanthropic<br />

endeavors for our industry.<br />

Says Robert Sunshine, chairman<br />

of the <strong>Film</strong> Expo Group, “We are<br />

extremely pleased to honor Chris with<br />

the Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian<br />

Award at ShowEast <strong>2018</strong>. Having<br />

worked together on the Will Rogers<br />

Motion Pictures Pioneer Foundation, I<br />

have seen first-hand his commitment to<br />

giving back. We could not have found a<br />

more exceptional individual to recognize<br />

at this year’s show.”<br />

Equally so, Aronson worked<br />

alongside Salah Hassanein when he first<br />

joined Will Rogers. “It is a fitting honor<br />

that this award is named after Salah, as<br />

he is a great humanitarian.” Aronson<br />

also mentions the late Tom Sherak as a<br />

guiding force. “I would like to thank all<br />

the people I have met in our industry<br />

who have tirelessly given back, not only<br />

within our industry, but outside it as<br />

well. When it comes to philanthropy,<br />

Salah and Tom have always inspired<br />

me to find ways to give more. Also, the<br />

people who have dedicated their lives to<br />

running charities have always inspired<br />

me to do more. Their selflessness and<br />

dedication to their causes are truly<br />

inspirational.”<br />

“Two of my favorite causes are the<br />

Motion Picture Pioneers Fund and The<br />

Lollipop Theater Network,” he declares,<br />

having served them for 20 and 10 years,<br />

respectively. “These two organizations<br />

are doing tremendous work for both<br />

adults and children, respectively. The<br />

true reward is visiting a person, or a<br />

facility, that has been the beneficiary of<br />

your charity’s endeavors and witnessing<br />

first-hand how financial support can<br />

positively affect those less fortunate or<br />

afflicted.”<br />

Aronson brings up further examples.<br />

“Whether it be visiting a NICU<br />

[Neonatal, Intensive Care Unit] and<br />

seeing the infants and amazing doctors,<br />

nurses and staff who work there; or<br />

experiencing the look on a child’s face<br />

when they are watching a first-run movie<br />

in their hospital room and a star of<br />

the movie visits—it has all been pretty<br />

special and inspirational. Imagine being<br />

with The Greatest Showman himself,<br />

Hugh Jackman, walking into the<br />

UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and<br />

surprising everyone there with a visit. It<br />

brought such joy, not only to the children<br />

Andreas Fuchs<br />

who were ill, but to their families who<br />

are all under a tremendous amount of<br />

stress. Witnessing that moment, and<br />

seeing the joy it brought, meant the<br />

world to me.”<br />

Witnessing more than 30 years of<br />

our industry—and actively shaping it in<br />

the process—Aronson has seen much<br />

and drawn his conclusions too. “The<br />

current state of the cinema industry is<br />

seemingly healthy on the surface, but<br />

if we look a little deeper, we see some<br />

cracks and fissures. Population has<br />

increased, but cinema attendance has<br />

shown a downward trend. We are in a<br />

very competitive environment when it<br />

comes to entertainment choices. Content<br />

creators must provide compelling<br />

content. Exhibitors must create an<br />

inviting experience for moviegoers.”<br />

While that is certainly happening, he<br />

is still concerned. “I am worried about<br />

our ability as an industry to increase<br />

attendance, as trends in exhibition seem<br />

to be leaning toward reduced capacity<br />

with luxury seating and higher prices.<br />

We need to ensure moviegoing remains<br />

affordable to all. I would like to see<br />

distribution and exhibition businesses<br />

work together to create a more symbiotic<br />

relationship.”<br />

As someone who has also spent close<br />

to a decade on the popcorn side, Aronson<br />

has “not only learned how that business<br />

works.” With positions at Rentrak<br />

Corporation, MGM Distribution<br />

Company, Destination <strong>Film</strong>s and<br />

Columbia Pictures, among several<br />

others, before heading to Fox in 2005,<br />

“I also learned how differently various<br />

studios operated. This afforded me the<br />

opportunity to take the best practices<br />

approach of all…to create the most<br />

successful businesses possible.”<br />

continued on page 100<br />

98 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-111.indd 98<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM


SHOWEAST <strong>2018</strong><br />


Aronson continued from page 98<br />

A self-proclaimed “purist” of popcorn<br />

and water, who considers “an aisle seat<br />

in the center section prime real estate,”<br />

Aronson has plenty of good moviegoing<br />

memories. “One of my favorite movie<br />

theatres was the Jack London Cinema<br />

in Oakland, California, because it was<br />

a one-of-a-kind theatre at that time and<br />

truly reinvigorated moviegoing in that<br />

area. Another was Pearl Highlands on<br />

Oahu, Hawaii, for the same reason. It<br />

was the first new theatre in that area in<br />

years and truly illustrated how to reenergize<br />

moviegoers.” Whereas both<br />

were built by Signature Theatres, his list<br />

of favorites from the past “would have<br />

to include the Empire Theater, which<br />

was my neighborhood theatre from<br />

my childhood, and the Fox Theatre on<br />

Market Street in San Francisco. Three of<br />

the earliest movies I recall are How the<br />

West Was Won, Grand Prix and The Scalp<br />

Hunters.” His all-time best include The<br />

Godfather and The Godfather Part II.<br />

Naturally, Aronson “can think of<br />

many exciting events in my career,”<br />

when we asked for more. “From my<br />

first day on the job at Universal in San<br />

Francisco to distributing Dirty Dancing,<br />

to my employment being greenlit at<br />

Twentieth Century Fox, and everything<br />

in between. What other industry gives<br />

one the opportunity to go to Mars with<br />

Matt Damon? To go back in time with<br />

The Greatest Showman, Hugh Jackman?<br />

To hang out with spies, comedians,<br />

aliens and superheroes? It is all quite<br />

wonderful, because this is a wonderful<br />

business. But the most exciting event<br />

is always the promise of the event that<br />

comes next!”<br />

Although Aronson and his team have<br />

quite the lineup coming up, the biggest<br />

promise might be bigger than anything<br />

ever before. “The Disney acquisition of<br />

Fox,” he says, “is occurring in a period<br />

of rapid change in our industry. It is<br />

imperative we embrace change, not fight<br />

it. If the industry works together, it will<br />

become even more vibrant and have an<br />

even brighter future.”<br />

As someone who strives for “honesty,<br />

integrity and a sense of fairness, both<br />

personally and professionally,” Chris<br />

Aronson makes that very future his key<br />

message to share. “It is important for<br />

all of us to work collaboratively for the<br />

future success of our industry. We also<br />

need to continue to give back—not just<br />

to our industry colleagues, but to anyone<br />

in need.” <br />

Campbell continued from page 96<br />

in 2013, Empire Theatres, the numbertwo<br />

company in Canada, came up for sale,<br />

and we were successful again…tripling in<br />

size in one day.”<br />

“I never had anything that was scary,”<br />

Campbell laughs at our suggestion. “No,<br />

I do not feel that we ever had anything<br />

that we were not in control of. The only<br />

thing that was scary was the movie Thirteen<br />

Ghosts. And I played it for matinees<br />

and it used to scare the hell out of all the<br />

kids in town. I loved it and think scaring<br />

kids is a good thing,” he chuckles. “Kids<br />

remember it forever. I still run into former<br />

customers and they remember this like it<br />

was yesterday.”<br />

Campbell also remembers “praying for<br />

the Greyhound bus to come in on time<br />

and to have my film onboard.” In those<br />

days of 35mm film, cans were loaded<br />

Thursday nights and Friday mornings,<br />

and transferred at the major bus depots,<br />

hopefully onto the right bus. “Every<br />

Friday was a nightmare day. We did not<br />

go out for lunch. We did not dare to do<br />

anything. Because the phone would start<br />

to ring, ‘I don’t have my film.’ No one<br />

wanted to run in there, because we had<br />

sold tickets, and say, ‘Can you give me<br />

half an hour?’ The film is supposed to be<br />

here, but the bus is running late.”<br />

<strong>Film</strong> supply remains a concern for<br />

Campbell, albeit not from a delivery<br />

standpoint. “I am very concerned over<br />

the [studio] mergers, because we are<br />

going to end up with less films than we<br />

have right now. I believe in more films<br />

to make this business bigger. The more<br />

you can offer, the better the rewards are<br />

going to be.” In addition to quantity and<br />

quality of product, he feels our business<br />

needs “a wider variety, whether family<br />

movies, an art picture or action film. We<br />

have customers who come every week<br />

and if I only have a new movie to offer to<br />

them, they do not like it… We are trying<br />

to be the one place for everybody to visit.<br />

And if you give the public what it wants,<br />

then that is success.”<br />

“My goal is for people to enjoy coming<br />

to the movies,” Neil Campbell says,<br />

sharing his mission as an exhibitor. “I<br />

want them to think about moviegoing as<br />

the premier out-of-home entertainment<br />

experience, and the cheapest. The way<br />

that movie theatres are being built today,<br />

it has never been better going to the<br />

movies… It is the best moviegoing time<br />

ever because the product is perfect every<br />

time we put it onscreen. That makes me<br />

very proud.” <br />

Consumers continued from page 94<br />

to be critical in the decision to choose<br />

a movie theatre, although they do<br />

show the ability to positively impact<br />

the overall revenue at a theatre.<br />

Effect of Movie Excitement Level:<br />

This research shows that there<br />

is approximately a 125% increase<br />

in moviegoers’ perceived utility<br />

(satisfaction or benefit) when they<br />

are indifferent to seeing a movie<br />

compared to a movie that they are very<br />

excited to see. This increase in utility<br />

is translated into theatre traffic, as is<br />

evidenced by the box-office sales of<br />

more popular movies.<br />

The increase in utility also results<br />

in moviegoers’ willingness to pay<br />

more for a movie ticket based on how<br />

excited they are to see the movie. This<br />

research shows that moviegoers are<br />

willing to pay up to $12.64 premium<br />

on a ticket price for a movie they are<br />

“very excited” to see compared to a<br />

movie that they are “not at all excited”<br />

to see. Figure 2 shows the premium<br />

amounts in ticket prices that patrons<br />

are willing to pay based on their relative<br />

excitement levels to see the movie.<br />

The results do seem to suggest that a<br />

surge-pricing strategy might be a prudent<br />

option for popular movies.<br />

The perceived utility relationships<br />

and the associated marginal dollar<br />

amounts in ticket prices that moviegoers<br />

are willing to pay for enjoying<br />

different options of theatre attribute<br />

levels (e.g., food ordering at concessions<br />

vs. order and delivery at seat;<br />

near vs. faraway theatres; recliner<br />

seats vs. reticulating rockers, etc.) are<br />

presented in a full report that will be<br />

available at ShowEast <strong>2018</strong>. It is hoped<br />

that a fuller understanding of the<br />

subtle interplay between the theatre<br />

attributes and their levels will allow<br />

theatre owners and operators to make<br />

better decisions about the products and<br />

services that they should offer in order<br />

to increase traffic and revenues.<br />

Radesh Palakurthi, Ph.D., MBA, is<br />

a professor and Dean, I.H.G. Chair of<br />

Excellence, The Kemmons Wilson School<br />

of Hospitality and Resort Management<br />

at the University of Memphis. He<br />

will deliver two keynote addresses at<br />

ShowEast: “How Do Movie Theatre<br />

Attributes Influence a Patron’s Choice?”<br />

and “How to Determine the ROI of<br />

Attributes in Cinemas.”<br />

100 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-111.indd 100<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM

FILM CONVENTION & EXPO <strong>2018</strong> / LOEWS MIAMI BEACH<br />


Miguel Rivera Programs for Cinépolis’ Many Territories<br />

Doris Toumarkine<br />

In the great Hollywood tradition of<br />

surprise endings, we’ll wait till the close<br />

of this article to reveal the movie that<br />

Cinépolis VP of global programming<br />

Miguel Rivera, this year’s ShowEast<br />

“International Exhibitor of the Year” Award<br />

winner, names as his all-time favorite. First,<br />

the setting, background and some narrative<br />

for so impressive a career high.<br />

Reporting to the chain’s global chief operating<br />

officer Miguel Mier, Rivera is based<br />

in Mexico City (Cinépolis is headquartered<br />

in Morelia, about 200 miles west), so he can<br />

“be close to Mexico’s distributors” and because<br />

of his frequent air travel. “I travel a lot<br />

to all our offices in the 14 countries where<br />

we operate and I oversee our programming<br />

teams,” he explains.<br />

It’s a lot of travel. Cinépolis’ theatres are<br />

worldwide and number about 647 but are<br />

mainly concentrated in Mexico, where the<br />

company was founded in 1971. “Mexico<br />

is our biggest, most lucrative territory and<br />

where we’ve been in business for more than<br />

45 years.”<br />

The company went international about<br />

15 years ago and now has a footprint<br />

stretching to Brazil, Spain, India, the U.S.,<br />

Argentina, Chile and places in between.<br />

Rivera describes his job as “supervisor of<br />

the programming teams, assuring that our<br />

weekly content offerings are aligned with<br />

reactions we expect from our audiences. So<br />

it’s helpful to be in so many territories, because<br />

that [the staggered release schedules]<br />

allows us to often gather information early<br />

on how films perform. Also critical to my<br />

work are the relationships we have either<br />

on the regional or global level with studios,<br />

not just Hollywood but with all the regional<br />

and locals distributors we deal with.”<br />

He also oversees supervision of alternative<br />

content, which, as with other circuits,<br />

Rivera clarifies as “programs with content<br />

that’s attractive during off-hours of demand<br />

like weekdays or early on weekends. This is<br />

mostly niche content and we’ve been successful<br />

with all sorts—from anime to opera<br />

to sports reruns to the classics.”<br />

Additionally in his purview are Cinépolis’s<br />

film distribution initiatives, which<br />

he describes as “a distribution operation in<br />

Mexico and Central America for mostly<br />

documentaries that couldn’t find other distribution.<br />

We started working as a distributor<br />

for them and realized we could be quite<br />

successful with this. We began the effort in<br />

2015 in Mexico with mostly Mexican films<br />

and expanded it to Central America.”<br />

Rivera also keeps a close eye on amenities<br />

related to presentations like 4D and<br />

maintains relationships with companies like<br />

IMAX (Cinépolis has about 15 screens) and<br />

with Korean exhibitor, distribution and tech<br />

giant CJ CGV.<br />

But for the vast majority of its more<br />

than 5,000 screens across 14 territories,<br />

Rivera says, Cinépolis programs both studio<br />

and art-house films. “We look at all<br />

that’s available for our market. Most of our<br />

theatres are in shopping centers and urban<br />

areas, so families and couples are important<br />

to consider. But art-house films also work<br />

well for us.”<br />

Rivera is also involved in the circuit’s<br />

ongoing digital deployment, anti-piracy<br />

initiatives and its film festival exhibition<br />

partnerships. (In New York, for instance,<br />

Cinépolis participates in the Tribeca <strong>Film</strong><br />

Festival with its Chelsea multiplex.) Festival<br />

participation is important, he believes,<br />

because “festivals are integral to programming,<br />

not just because of the obviously<br />

commercial films they might offer, but for<br />

those less so that keep us very much aware<br />

of the more sophisticated audiences who are<br />

out there.”<br />

Cinépolis itself has festival roots: In<br />

Morelia, the beautiful colonial city where<br />

the chain is headquartered, it began its own<br />

festival 16 years ago, which “influenced<br />

our decision to work further with festivals,<br />

including our involvement with Tribeca and<br />

at Cannes,” where Morelia has a presence at<br />

the Fest’s important Critics Week sidebar.<br />

As for the wide spectrum of markets<br />

Rivera covers, he says predicting how films<br />

will perform is a tricky business everywhere.<br />

“Every now and then there are interesting<br />

surprises in every territory, but Mexico, of<br />

course, may be easiest for us. Yet no territory<br />

or even film is really predictable. We<br />

knew Disney’s Coco would be successful in<br />

Mexico, but never imagined how great this<br />

success would be.”<br />

He does, however, cite some telling<br />

clues. “In the case of Coco, it’s a film about<br />

family and that so often works; also, the film<br />

really captured the spirit of our ‘Day of the<br />

Dead’ tradition and I believe that was key.”<br />

In the art-house realm, he mentions<br />

continued on page 105<br />

102 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-111.indd 102<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM

cinepolis-FJ-180928-final.pdf 1 9/28/18 11:41 AM<br />

C<br />

M<br />

Y<br />

CM<br />

MY<br />

CY<br />

CMY<br />


FILM CONVENTION & EXPO <strong>2018</strong> / LOEWS MIAMI BEACH<br />


Robert Carrady Triumphs After a Tough Year<br />

Kevin Lally<br />

Robert Carrady, president of Caribbean<br />

Cinemas, will receive a welldeserved<br />

“Award of Recognition” at<br />

ShowEast on Oct. 22.<br />

“ShowEast is thrilled to be able to<br />

honor Robert Carrady for his leadership<br />

in making the Caribbean a prosperous region<br />

for the moviegoing experience,” says<br />

Andrew Sunshine, president of the <strong>Film</strong><br />

Expo Group, which manages ShowEast.<br />

“We would also like to take this opportunity<br />

to honor him for his integral role in<br />

rebuilding the cinema industry in Puerto<br />

Rico after the hurricanes in 2017.”<br />

Caribbean Cinemas, the largest theatre<br />

circuit in the Caribbean with 557<br />

screens and 66 locations in 14 territories,<br />

has made a remarkable comeback following<br />

the devastating blows of Hurricanes<br />

Maria and Irma 13 months ago. When we<br />

first spoke with Carrady back in March,<br />

16% of Puerto Rico was still without<br />

power. “The first weekend after the hurricane,”<br />

he noted, “we had 33 theatres<br />

closed—all 31 in Puerto Rico, plus our<br />

theatres in Saint Thomas and Saint Martin,<br />

which had closed two weeks before<br />

Maria because of Hurricane Irma.”<br />

By December of last year, all of<br />

Carrady’s Puerto Rican locations had<br />

reopened; Saint Thomas was back in<br />

operation in February, and Saint Martin<br />

this past summer. Meanwhile, the circuit<br />

forged ahead with plans for new venues:<br />

A brand-new 11-plex in the San Juan<br />

area with IMAX, a 4DX screen, a CXC<br />

premium-large-format auditorium and a<br />

full bar debuts on Nov. 1, and the first allrecliner<br />

theatre in Puerto Rico will open<br />

for Christmas in San Juan. Caribbean<br />

also opened a four-plex in the Dominican<br />

Republic this past July.<br />

“The bigger news,” Carrady reports,<br />

“is that in June we closed on a 61-screen<br />

circuit in Bolivia: Cine Center. That was<br />

spearheaded in large part by my nephews,<br />

Jason and Gregory Quinn. It’s a market<br />

that’s not saturated with the big boys, Cinépolis<br />

and Cinemark, so we saw it as an<br />

opportunity. What’s nice about the circuit<br />

is that it has a national presence—it has<br />

a location in the three major cities of the<br />

country, and it has three more theatres in<br />

smaller markets. We like the layout, and<br />

they’re big theatres—one’s an 18-plex, another<br />

is a 14-plex, and there’s a 10-plex.”<br />

Back on his legacy Caribbean turf,<br />

Carrady says every new location he builds<br />

will have a CXC premium auditorium.<br />

He estimates that the circuit will have<br />

24 new screens in four locations in 2019,<br />

including Puerto Rico, the Dominican<br />

Republic and Aruba. “And we’re looking<br />

to upgrade with remodels, but it’s been<br />

a really hectic 12 months between<br />

rebuilding and reopening and these two<br />

new theatres that were already online.<br />

As soon as we finish them, we have two<br />

theatres in particular in Puerto Rico we<br />

are looking to totally remodel.”<br />

Carrady notes, “We’re somewhat<br />

fortunate that we’ve dodged any type<br />

of repeat of last year in terms of the<br />

weather.” Still, “on a picture-by-picture<br />

basis, attendance is lower, because there is<br />

less population. But we continue to keep<br />

our admission prices affordable, for those<br />

who want to enjoy the social big-screen<br />

experience.”<br />

He’s happy to report that both Crazy<br />

Rich Asians and The Meg overperformed<br />

this summer, and other summer hits<br />

for Caribbean included Incredibles 2,<br />

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Hotel<br />

Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. He<br />

also notes that his customers often opt<br />

for premium formats for the blockbuster<br />

releases, “which is a good sign considering<br />

that the economy is challenged. Our 4DX<br />

location does very well and we’re looking<br />

forward to opening a second one in the<br />

new theatre.”<br />

Intriguingly, the Caribbean Cinemas<br />

circuit includes three Fine Arts art houses<br />

totaling 17 screens, two in Puerto Rico<br />

(where the first one debuted in 1986) and<br />

one in Santo Domingo.<br />

“They continue to have a great following,”<br />

Carrady says, but he has no plans to<br />

open new Fine Arts venues. “As independent<br />

cinema continues to be challenged<br />

trying to make it to the theatre platform<br />

versus direct to Netflix, one has to be cautious<br />

in that area,” he explains.<br />

Still, the Fine Arts locations provide<br />

a welcoming and successful home for<br />

local independent productions, along<br />

104 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-111.indd 104<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM

with Spanish comedies like Señor, Dame<br />

Paciencia that “continue to soar” for the<br />

circuit. Carrady names three Puerto<br />

Rican films that performed very well<br />

at his venues: the comedy Sanky Panky<br />

3; 1950, a drama that ran for 16 weeks,<br />

based on the true story of a Puerto Rican<br />

who shot up the U.S. Congress; and<br />

Héctor the Father, which earned $1.5 for<br />

this fact-based tale of a rapper and drug<br />

dealer turned evangelist. “These films<br />

bring in people who don’t normally go<br />

out to the movies,” he observes. In this<br />

fraught year, he finds, escapist movies<br />

have done especially well. “No one came<br />

to see a documentary on the hurricane<br />

that we played.”<br />

Carrady is especially grateful to his<br />

many employees who’ve proved their<br />

mettle in a troubled time for the region.<br />

“It’s been an unbelievable year. The<br />

enthusiasm, the passion, the dedication to<br />

our theatres has been fantastic. Our team<br />

loves the business and they love giving it<br />

100 percent week after week, and I think<br />

that’s why we were able to do everything<br />

we did this year… It’s amazing how the<br />

human condition just rises to the occasion<br />

when you have to. You just do what you<br />

gotta do.” <br />

Rivera continued from page 102<br />

how well the emotionally strong French hit<br />

The Intouchables worked, as did Presumed<br />

Guilty, the 2011 Emmy-winning documentary<br />

that Cinépolis distributed about the<br />

justice system. It did the festival circuit, built<br />

an audience and was a hit.<br />

Asked about programming challenges for<br />

audiences across so many different markets,<br />

Rivera responds, “Hollywood has that figured<br />

out quite well and maybe Disney does the<br />

best, in the sense that they have the strongest<br />

superhero franchises and the audiences for<br />

them in every territory. Horror is another<br />

strong genre, especially in Latin America;<br />

the response to horror is great and has grown<br />

over time as an audience favorite.”<br />

Depending on the need, Cinépolis<br />

shows both subtitled and dubbed films. “We<br />

do ask distributors to provide both, so we<br />

can program each version depending on demand.<br />

Sometimes the theatres like dubbed<br />

and others the subtitled versions.”<br />

Like the entire exhibition community,<br />

Rivera keeps an eye on getting audiences<br />

to theatres and making sure they return.<br />

“We’ve been successful with our VIP format,<br />

reclining seats and with our in-theatre<br />

food and beverage offerings. Our luxury<br />

theatres work well and we keep refining the<br />

model because we plan to export them to<br />

other territories.”<br />

As an example, he cites Manhattan’s<br />

Chelsea-area Cinépolis multiplex. “Our<br />

first plans with the multiplex were to create<br />

a luxury theatre there, but these things<br />

are challenging in Manhattan. But we are<br />

revisiting this opportunity because the concept<br />

works and our patrons, once they can<br />

enjoy the luxury experience, don’t want to<br />

go back.”<br />

What is certain is that Rivera brings a<br />

lot of experience to his job. He joined Cinépolis<br />

in 2005 as strategic planning director,<br />

then served as director of film programming<br />

for Mexico from 2009 to 2015 before<br />

stepping into his current position. Prior<br />

to Cinépolis, he worked at the Mexican<br />

Embassy with the Organization for Economic<br />

Cooperation and Development in<br />

Paris, France, as an analyst for the Technical<br />

Secretariat of the Social Cabinet in the<br />

Executive Office of the President of Mexico,<br />

and as a financial consultant with McKinsey<br />

and Co. He earned a B.S. in Economics<br />

from ITAM and a Master’s in Public Policy<br />

from the Kennedy School of Government<br />

at Harvard University. While at Cambridge,<br />

he became familiar with the city’s iconic<br />

Brattle Theatre art house. <br />

090-111.indd 105<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM

FILM CONVENTION & EXPO <strong>2018</strong> / LOEWS MIAMI BEACH<br />

<strong>2018</strong> HONOREES<br />

ShowEast Salutes This Year’s High Achievers<br />

Mark Borde<br />

Mark Borde<br />

Al Shapiro Distinguished<br />

Service Award<br />

Mark Borde, president of theatrical<br />

distribution at Entertainment Studios<br />

Motion Pictures, will receive this year’s<br />

ShowEast “Al Shapiro Distinguished<br />

Service Award.”<br />

Each year, the Al Shapiro<br />

Distinguished Service Award honors<br />

a person who represents the ideals and<br />

standards that the late Al Shapiro set<br />

during his distinguished career. The award<br />

epitomizes his dedication and concern<br />

for the betterment of people within the<br />

motion picture industry.<br />

Borde’s reputation as a leading<br />

independent motion picture distributor<br />

began with his family business over 44<br />

years ago. His father, the late Seymour<br />

Borde, started their distribution company<br />

in 1962 as Seymour Borde and Associates.<br />

It quickly became the number-one<br />

independent feature film theatrical<br />

distribution company on the West Coast.<br />

After his father retired, Borde kept<br />

Borde <strong>Film</strong>s and soon created Legacy<br />

Releasing. He sold Legacy to Independent<br />

Artists, and thereafter became president<br />

Tim League<br />

of theatrical distribution for Keystone<br />

Entertainment. Borde then created<br />

Innovation <strong>Film</strong> Group and after meeting<br />

his soon-to-be partner for decades (the<br />

late Susan Jackson), they created Freestyle<br />

Releasing in 2004 and broke new ground<br />

with the creation of “service deals.”<br />

In 2015, Freestyle Releasing was<br />

acquired by Entertainment Studios, Byron<br />

Allen’s multi-platform, global media<br />

company. Borde has also produced nine<br />

successful feature films under his own<br />

banner. Through Entertainment Studios<br />

Motion Pictures, he is an executive<br />

producer of Love Stinks, 47 Meters Down,<br />

Hostiles, Chappaquiddick, The Hurricane<br />

Heist and the upcoming Keanu Reeves scifi<br />

thriller Replicas.<br />

Tim League<br />

Bingham Ray Spirit Award<br />

Tim League, founder and CEO of<br />

Alamo Drafthouse, will be honored with<br />

this year’s “Bingham Ray Spirit Award” at<br />

ShowEast.<br />

The Bingham Ray Spirit Award was<br />

established in 2012 in honor of the late<br />

Bingham Ray, one of the most beloved<br />

people in the independent film world.<br />

Each year, the award is bestowed upon<br />

an individual who has shown exemplary<br />

foresight and creativity in the world of<br />

independent film.<br />

After a two-year stint at Shell Oil in<br />

Bakersfield, California, League left the<br />

engineering profession and opened up<br />

his first movie theatre, the Tejon Theater,<br />

with his wife Karrie. When the Tejon<br />

closed after a short run in 1995, the couple<br />

loaded a truck with 200 seats, a projector,<br />

screen and speakers and headed to Austin,<br />

Texas. In 1997, they founded Alamo<br />

Drafthouse. Today there are 36 Alamo<br />

Drafthouse locations in 10 states, with<br />

eight more scheduled to open in the next<br />

year. As CEO, League remains committed<br />

to providing creative programming,<br />

marketing support for independent film<br />

and a zero-tolerance policy for disruption<br />

during the theatre experience.<br />

League also co-founded Fantastic Fest,<br />

the largest genre film festival in the United<br />

States, and Neon, the new U.S. distributor<br />

whose releases include Ingrid Goes West and<br />

I, Tonya.<br />

Jorge Licetti<br />

International Distributor<br />

of the Year<br />

Jorge Licetti, founder and CEO of<br />

New Century <strong>Film</strong>s, will receive this year’s<br />

ShowEast “International Distributor of the<br />

Year” Award.<br />

A Business graduate from the<br />

University of Texas at El Paso, Licetti<br />

began his career as general manager for the<br />

Warner-Fox office in Peru in 1999. After<br />

five years in Lima, he moved to Santiago<br />

to be the general manager of the Warner-<br />

Fox office in Chile for another five years.<br />

106 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-111.indd 106<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM

member of the National <strong>Film</strong> Council in<br />

Peru and as president of the <strong>Film</strong> Board in<br />

both Peru and Chile.<br />

Past recipients of the award include<br />

Diamond <strong>Film</strong>s, Marcio Fraccaroli of<br />

Paris <strong>Film</strong>es, Pedro Rodriguez of IDC,<br />

and Martin Iraola of Walt Disney Studios<br />

Motion Pictures.<br />

Jorge Licetti<br />

In 2009, Licetti returned to Peru and<br />

founded New Century <strong>Film</strong>s, a licensee for<br />

both Warner Bros. Pictures and Twentieth<br />

Century Fox.<br />

New Century <strong>Film</strong>s has established<br />

itself as the number-one distributor<br />

in Peru for nine consecutive years. The<br />

company has also been a strong supporter<br />

of local productions, having released the<br />

five biggest Peruvian films of all time.<br />

During his 19-year career, Licetti has<br />

always served Warner Bros. Pictures<br />

and Twentieth Century Fox. He has<br />

also distributed for New Line Cinema,<br />

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and DreamWorks<br />

Animation. Licetti has also served as<br />

Ana Claudia Talancón<br />

International Star<br />

of the Year Award<br />

Ana Claudia Talancón will receive<br />

this year’s “International Star of the Year”<br />

Award at ShowEast.<br />

Talancón has participated in Mexican<br />

box-office hits such as El Crimen del Padre<br />

Amaro, Matando Cabos, Fast Food Nation,<br />

Love In the Time of Cholera, One Missed<br />

Call and Arráncame La Vida. She was also<br />

in American Curious, and will appear in<br />

the film Perfectos Desconocidos, a remake<br />

of a successful Italian picture, directed<br />

by Manolo Caro and sharing credits with<br />

Manuel García Rulfo, Miguel Rodarte<br />

and Cecilia Suárez. She was also a<br />

producer of the TV series “Soy Tu Fan”<br />

(seasons 1 & 2).<br />

Talancón was nominated as “Best<br />

Actress” for her roles in El Cometa and<br />

El Crimen Del Padre Amaro at the Ariel<br />

Awards, the Mexican Academy Awards.<br />

She also won the Canacine Award<br />

and the “Diosa de Plata” Award in the<br />

category of Best Actress for the film<br />

Arráncame la Vida.<br />

Talancón has also participated in select<br />

campaigns such as Ciel for The Coca-Cola<br />

Company. National Geographic chose her<br />

to embark on a journey through the history<br />

of Mexico and host the show “Destinos:<br />

Xcaret.” She also was the host of the<br />

culinary reality show “Top Chef Mexico”<br />

for the first two seasons. <br />

Congratulations<br />

<strong>2018</strong> ShowEast Winners<br />

Bingham Ray Spirit Award<br />

Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse<br />

Al Shapiro Distinguished Service Award<br />

Mark Borde, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures<br />

Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Award<br />

Chris Aronson, 20th Century Fox<br />

Dan Fellman Show “E” Award<br />

Neil Campbell, Landmark Cinemas Canada<br />

Technology Innovator Award<br />

ScreenX<br />

ShowEast Hall of Fame Class of <strong>2018</strong><br />

Larry Etter • Bill Lewis • Janet Murray • Paul Rogers<br />

Bill Thompson • Harry Whitson<br />

From your friends at Marcus Theatres Corporation<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 107<br />

090-111.indd 107<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM


Contact Erica Lopez at (323) 954-0820 for<br />

information on how your theatre can join<br />

more than 700 other locations throughout<br />

the country in supporting U.S. Variety’s<br />

signature fundraiser, the Gold Heart Pin<br />

Campaign, starting December <strong>2018</strong>. Pins<br />

are given to moviegoers for a minimum<br />

donation of $3.00 each to raise funds that<br />

help us provide life-changing mobility<br />

devices, life-saving hospital equipment,<br />

and life-enriching experiences to children<br />

who are disabled and disadvantaged. Extra<br />

special thanks to The Walt Disney Studios<br />

for sponsoring this year’s campaign.<br />



108 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-110.indd 108<br />

10/10/18 7:59 AM

FILM CONVENTION & EXPO <strong>2018</strong> / LOEWS MIAMI BEACH<br />

ALWAYS EVOLVING by The Coca-Cola Company<br />

Coca-Cola Adapts to Changing Consumer Tastes<br />

At The Coca-Cola Company,<br />

we’re committed to creating<br />

refreshing and rewarding movie<br />

moments that make the customer<br />

the star of the show. That’s why<br />

we’re excited to once again join the<br />

leaders and the best of the film industry<br />

at ShowEast <strong>2018</strong>. We look forward to<br />

spending time together enjoying the<br />

Miami sunshine and learning about the<br />

latest in theatre trends, technologies<br />

and services. Throughout this exciting<br />

film convention, we want to continue<br />

to strengthen our industry partnerships<br />

and create new relationships that will<br />

help us perpetuate the magic of the<br />

moviegoing experience.<br />

The movie industry is changing,<br />

and so is The Coca-Cola Company.<br />

More than ever, we’re transforming<br />

our business to become a total beverage<br />

company. This means we’re continually<br />

evolving our offerings to reflect peoples’<br />

June 17-20, 2019<br />

changing tastes, needs and desire for<br />

more information. For example, we’re<br />

working to reduce sugar in more than<br />

500 products around the world. We’re<br />

building brands in emerging categories,<br />

and next year we’re planning a blockbuster<br />

flavor expansion that will surprise<br />

and delight moviegoers with unexpected<br />

moments of refreshment and happiness.<br />

The key to driving this new strategy forward<br />

is a more agile operating structure<br />

that takes intelligent risks and generates<br />

quicker action.<br />

This new focus enables us to better<br />

provide moviegoers with the drinks they<br />

desire, helping to create magical moments<br />

at the theatre. After all, moviegoers<br />

already get to choose their movie,<br />

their snacks and their seats. Now,<br />

they’ll have even more refreshment options,<br />

underscoring our commitment to<br />

choice and allowing us to continuously<br />

bring new consumers into our brand<br />

family.<br />

Our journey to become a total beverage<br />

company is strengthened by the partnership<br />

with and power of our cinema<br />

partners. Together, we share the belief<br />

that the best place to enjoy a film is in a<br />

movie theatre—with an ice-cold Coca-<br />

Cola beverage and buttery, hot popcorn<br />

in hand. So, we will continue to focus<br />

our resources on this great industry. We<br />

will work closely with theatre owners<br />

and operators to garner insights, utilize<br />

space and collaborate on technology<br />

advancements to discover new and innovative<br />

opportunities. Our long-term<br />

commitment to the industry supports our<br />

shared vision of refreshing the moviegoing<br />

experience around the world.<br />

We are honored to have the best<br />

cinema partners in the world, and we<br />

are excited about the future and our<br />

ability to reshape it together. So, here’s<br />

to a future of innovation, customercentricity<br />

and making the theatre a<br />

must-visit destination. We look forward<br />

to celebrating our shared success and<br />

planning for future opportunities at<br />

ShowEast <strong>2018</strong>. <br />

110 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

090-111.indd 110<br />

10/9/18 3:24 PM


TIM<br />

LEAGUE<br />


<strong>2018</strong> Bingham Ray<br />

Spirit Award Recipient<br />

Share a<br />

at the movies<br />

with...<br />

Tim<br />

©<strong>2018</strong> The Coca-Cola Company.<br />

Untitled-1 1<br />

9/26/18 12:12 PM

FILM CONVENTION & EXPO <strong>2018</strong> / LOEWS MIAMI BEACH<br />


FJI’s Preview of the ShowEast EXPO<br />

Adaptive Technologies Group<br />

LED display prices are falling and in<br />

use everywhere. Exhibitors are exploring<br />

advantages to installing Direct View Cinema<br />

LED in place of traditional projector/<br />

screen technology. Hi-Res LED panels<br />

deliver a mind-blowing visual experience<br />

and require an equally amazing precision<br />

framing system to display them. Adaptive<br />

Technologies Group has produced such<br />

precision-engineered LED framing systems<br />

for years.<br />

Introducing Adaptive’s GridMaster<br />

LED video wall frames, an easy-to-install<br />

precision framing system that provides<br />

service access, accommodates loudspeakers<br />

and is made specifically for Direct View<br />

cinema auditoriums. GridMaster accommodates<br />

any LED tile and in any configuration,<br />

providing a crystal-clear Direct<br />

View picture. Learn more at ShowEast<br />

booth 206. (adapttechgroup.com)<br />

Camatic Seating<br />

The Valencia Front Pivot cinema<br />

recliner offers the ultimate in comfort.<br />

It combines the benefits of the Valencia<br />

Low Line with the added ability to independently<br />

pivot the whole recliner from a<br />

front pivot point. To maintain optimal ergonomics<br />

of back and seat which does not<br />

alter during the recliner cycle. The reclined<br />

envelope is standard at 1470mm (58”), but<br />

this can vary with project requirements.<br />

Features include lowline seat height,<br />

heavy-duty recliner mechanisms, heavyduty<br />

foot extension, and safety footrest,<br />

removing any chance of entrapment injury.<br />

The range of upholstery details includes<br />

stitch options and two standard back<br />

upholstery finishes, with a range of faux,<br />

leather and fabrics, Seat, back covers and<br />

arm pads are removable, and the chair<br />

offers easy access for under-seat cleaning.<br />

Visit Camatic Seating at booth 301. (camatic.com)<br />

CES Plus/Cielo<br />

Cielo unveils version 5.8 Automation,<br />

by far the most ambitious release of the<br />

Internet of Things (IoT) platform. Cielo<br />

Rescue automation will save a failed show<br />

for you by going through a series of automated<br />

functions along with a series of<br />

checks and balances to make lost shows a<br />

thing of the past. Cielo is in over 11,000<br />

screens worldwide and integrated on over<br />

20,000 devices and growing. See a demo at<br />

ShowEast Poinciana suite 1. (ces.plus)<br />

Christie Digital Systems<br />

With the Christie CP2315-RGB and<br />

CP2320-RGB, you can offer customers<br />

a level of image quality not possible anywhere<br />

else. By combining 2K resolution,<br />

an expanded color gamut, and contrast<br />

ratio of 3000:1 (ANSI contrast of 1000:1)<br />

that far exceeds the DCI specification, the<br />

CP2315-RGB and CP2320-RGB reveal a<br />

whole new depth of detail.<br />

The affordable 2K cinema projectors<br />

with Christie RealLaser are here. With<br />

Christie RealLaser you benefit from more<br />

than 30,000 hours of optimal performance<br />

before dropping to 80% original brightness.<br />

Featuring all-new patented sealed<br />

optical path, Christie RealLaser provides<br />

unmatched long-term stability and reliability.<br />

Visit Christie at booth 110 and Poinciana<br />

2. (christiedigital.com)<br />

Cinionic<br />

Cinionic introduces Barco High<br />

Contrast Laser projectors, which deliver<br />

stunning images on smaller screens. Based<br />

on Barco’s Smart Laser platform, these<br />

models are highly efficient and costeffective,<br />

overcoming typical challenges<br />

of creating high-contrast movie images<br />

for smaller screens. An excellent value<br />

proposition for exhibitors, they feature<br />

consistent laser image quality, native<br />

112 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

112-117.indd 112<br />

10/9/18 3:28 PM

4K resolution, enhanced ANSI and<br />

native contrast, proven DLP technology,<br />

and long lifetime. The Barco DP4K-<br />

13BLPHC (11,500 lumens) is ideally<br />

suited to small- to mid-size screens and<br />

the Barco DP4K-18BLPHC (16,000<br />

lumens) is designed for mid-size screens.<br />

Learn more at ShowEast at Loews Hotel<br />

Level 3 MR Periwinkle. (cinionic.com)<br />

The 16- and 24-channel configurations<br />

now support Dolby Atmos®, Dolby<br />

Audio 5.1/7.1 via analog inputs, provide<br />

internal crossovers, and include enhanced<br />

power handling for lower-impedance<br />

loudspeakers. Come see it in the Venus<br />

meeting room! (dolby.com/cinema-pro)<br />

C. Cretors & Company<br />

Say goodbye to dried-out pizza!<br />

C. Cretors and Company’s pizza warmer<br />

(at right), constructed from heavy-duty<br />

#304 stainless steel, offers consistent product<br />

warming and humidification. The programmable<br />

digital-control maintains desired<br />

temperature and humidity levels while<br />

the recirculating air system keeps product<br />

fresh. An indicator light alerts the operator<br />

to low water levels. The base of the cabinet<br />

holds a removable, slide-out water tray with<br />

splash-guard that provides six to eight hours<br />

of humidification with three quarts of water.<br />

A separate clean-out tray catches crumbs<br />

for easy cleanup. The removable rotating<br />

rack with automatic shut-off holds up to<br />

four 14” pizzas. And the best part is, all this<br />

plugs into a standard 15-amp outlet. Visit<br />

Cretors at booth 207. (cretors.com)<br />

Dolby<br />

The advanced, high-density design<br />

of the Dolby multichannel amplifier can<br />

replace up to 16 stereo amplifiers, using<br />

less space and producing less heat, to lower<br />

your overall costs. With less equipment to<br />

install, power and maintain, you get a simpler<br />

and more efficient installation. Available<br />

in three configurations, 16, 24<br />

or 32 channels.<br />

Encore Performance Seating<br />

Encore Performance Seating worked<br />

with a customer to develop an innovative<br />

product aimed at filling the front-row seats<br />

in theatres. The Snuggle Lounger is the<br />

perfect option for the front row, offering<br />

a special, intimate moviegoing experience.<br />

Pair this great loveseat option with an ottoman<br />

to provide your guests with comfort,<br />

while filling the front row. The addition<br />

of a fixed or removable table helps drive<br />

revenue growth for theatres to support in-<br />

Digital Media Solutions at One Source !<br />

Miami & Atlanta . Peru . Russia . Bahrain . Beirut . London<br />

Projectors:<br />

Century<br />

Simplex<br />

Kinoton<br />

Cinemeccanica<br />

Consoles:<br />

Xenon 2-3-4 KW<br />

Christie<br />

Big Sky<br />

Strong<br />

DTS 70mm Readers<br />


1998 N.E. 150th Street North Miami, Florida 33181<br />

Phone: (305) 573 7339 Fax: (305) 573 8101<br />

Web: www.myiceco.com Email: iceco@aol.com<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 113<br />

112-117.indd 113<br />

10/9/18 3:28 PM

seat dining. Encore offers various options,<br />

sources the finest materials, and provides a<br />

comprehensive warranty with exceptional<br />

customer service and ongoing support. Try<br />

out the Snuggle Lounger at booth 410.<br />

(encore.palliser.com)<br />

EOMAC<br />

Let us help bring your vision to life<br />

with the inclusion of wood light boxes<br />

within your theatre! These additions are<br />

perfect for your dining space, entranceways<br />

and hallways, as well as inside your auditorium.<br />

This is the perfect way to add the<br />

beauty and elegance of wood in a unique<br />

and completely customizable design.<br />

For more information, come by and see<br />

EOMAC at booth 211. (eomac.com)<br />

First Class Seating<br />

A Movie and Massage: Going to the<br />

movies can now feel like a trip to the spa.<br />

New massage and heat options take Bliss’<br />

comfort to the next level. Moviegoers can<br />

indulge in luxurious comfort with eight<br />

massage zones in the seat and back and<br />

four modes of control. Add heat to the<br />

seat, recline and snuggle in.<br />

Bliss’ inherent design replaces the<br />

ubiquitous scissor mechanism with two<br />

kinematic motors. Users feel uninterrupted<br />

body support during recline, a sense<br />

that they are floating, defying gravity yet<br />

perfectly balanced while keeping their<br />

eyes aligned with the screen. Bliss Zero<br />

from First Class Seating: more Blissful.<br />

Experience Bliss at booth 405. (firstclass<br />

seating.com)<br />

Flexound Augmented Audio<br />

Flexound Augmented Audio combines<br />

high-quality audio with physical<br />

vibration, creating a unique immersive<br />

experience. It adds high value to your cinema<br />

offering and can easily be integrated<br />

into a range of seats.<br />

The proven technology is already in use<br />

in selected pilot cinemas to a great response<br />

from both operators and audiences.<br />

Flexound Augmented Audio is also available<br />

for auditoriums, museums, live theatre,<br />

concert arenas and any other venue with a<br />

seated audience. Visit Flexound at booth<br />

107. (flexound.com)<br />

GDC Technology<br />

Save thousands when you replace<br />

your cinema servers with GDC SR-1000<br />

Standalone IMB. TM SR-1000 is a digital<br />

cinema media server designed for nearzero<br />

maintenance and minimal total cost<br />

of ownership:<br />

▶ With CineCache TM (built-in cache<br />

memory), content playback can be performed<br />

without local HDD storage.<br />

▶ Ultra Storage technology enables the<br />

playback of over 1,000 movies when combined<br />

with Cinema Automation CA2.0<br />

▶ Seamless integration with series 1, 2<br />

and 3 projectors including Barco, Christie<br />

and NEC ensures reliable and secure content<br />

delivery<br />

To find out more about GDC’s limited-time<br />

offer, visit then at Triton Meeting<br />

Room, 3rd level, during ShowEast <strong>2018</strong> or<br />

contact us-sales@gdc-tech.com.<br />

Gold Medal Products<br />

Introducing the Hot Diggity Pro Series!<br />

(above right) Grill up hot dogs with professional<br />

style and unbeatable performance.<br />

This stainless-steel roller grill series from<br />

Gold Medal comes in three sizes: compact,<br />

standard,and large. Features include:<br />

▶ Convenient foot spacers for flat or<br />

angled presentation;<br />

▶ Improved seal between roller and<br />

cabinet;<br />

▶ Heat and serve with 10 rollers<br />

divided into front and rear heat zones<br />

▶ Front or rear counter serving;<br />

▶ Stainless-steel drip tray making<br />

cleanup easy;<br />

▶ Option to add food shields and bun<br />

cabinets to complete your setup.<br />

For all your concession needs, rely on<br />

Gold Medal to deliver snacks, smiles and<br />

success. Visit them at booth 300. (gmpopcorn.com)<br />

HONY3D<br />

Based on the HONY3D-T triplebeam<br />

3D system, HONY3D-T-Laser is<br />

optimized for RGB laser light sources and<br />

effectively improves the horizontal colorstripe<br />

problem. At the same time, it inherits<br />

the high efficiency, low crosstalk and<br />

excellent color reproduction of HONY3D-<br />

T for perfect image alignment and picture<br />

clarity and long-term image stability. This<br />

high-efficiency 3D solution optimizes the<br />

compatibility of RGB lasers to effectively<br />

solve the problem of horizontal crosshatch<br />

stripes for RGB laser, 6P and 9P<br />

laser projectors. Learn more at booth 215.<br />

(hony3d.com)<br />

Inorca Seating<br />

The sensory overload in a front row is<br />

exactly what makes the zone so appealing,<br />

so why not make it more comfortable?<br />

114 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

112-117.indd 114<br />

10/9/18 3:28 PM

Increased sales, better sightlines, appealing<br />

love-seat configurations, design and<br />

comfort are the strengths of Inorca’s latest<br />

releases. Features include deluxe upholstery<br />

with the widest selection of stitching designs,<br />

lightened numbering and lettering,<br />

exchangeable embroidered numbers, privacy<br />

panels and much more. Visit Inorca at<br />

booth 310. (inorca.com)<br />

Irwin Seating Company<br />

Irwin Seating Company, leader in<br />

seating solutions for the cinema industry,<br />

is pleased to showcase ZG4 (above), the<br />

latest Spectrum Recliner Luxury model.<br />

This version features a new seat module<br />

that offers exceptional comfort with a deep<br />

cushioned ride. This seat works in conjunction<br />

with a new proprietary recliner<br />

mechanism for smooth motion. Early<br />

screenings of ZG4 have led to rave reviews<br />

as patrons find their optimum personalized<br />

comfort and viewing position. Spectrum<br />

ZG4 provides more recline than previous<br />

models, enhanced comfort and unmatched<br />

operational imperatives only offered by<br />

Irwin Seating. For additional information,<br />

call (866) 464-7946 or stop by ShowEast<br />

booth 210. (irwinseating.com)<br />

Jack Roe USA<br />

Following three years of extensive development<br />

and the completion of JACRO’s<br />

purchase of cinemawebsites.com, JACRO<br />

launches its new look and fully responsive<br />

cinema websites at Showeast <strong>2018</strong>! Visit<br />

booth 400 on the tradeshow floor and see<br />

how easily you can be up and running with<br />

an all-inclusive cinema IT package, boasting<br />

a full-featured film booking and rental<br />

module, a new customer-facing website,<br />

native Android and iPhone apps, and easily<br />

accessible and meaningful online data, all<br />

protected online with another industryfirst<br />

from cinema’s most innovative PoS<br />

provider, two-factor authentication. <strong>Film</strong><br />

bookers love TaPoS—visit booth 400 to<br />

find out why. (jackroe.com)<br />

Mars Wrigley Confectionery<br />

M&M’s® is bringing back a Peanut<br />

Flavor Vote with a new and engaging<br />

theme: “Around the World with M&M’s.”<br />

New flavor choices are English Toffee<br />

Peanut, Mexican<br />

Jalapeño Peanut and<br />

Thai Coconut Peanut.<br />

Leverage the Flavor<br />

Vote with an international<br />

theme to drive<br />

cultural relevancy<br />

with Millennials, since<br />

Millennials are regularly on the search for<br />

the next big thing and view global flavors<br />

as must-try items. Voters have a chance to<br />

win a trip. Flavor Vote 2016 grew the core<br />

by 4%, and 3.4% of vote volume came from<br />

new chocolate buyers. Learn more at booth<br />

201. (mars.com)<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 115<br />

112-117.indd 115<br />

10/9/18 3:28 PM

Mobiliario<br />

The most advanced technology and<br />

comfort merged in one seat: Dreamer<br />

Rocker combines the excellence of our<br />

rocker devices and the gorgeous comfort<br />

of a luxury recliner, making the investment<br />

much lower while still keeping the look<br />

of your theatre as beautiful as having full<br />

recliner seats in house.<br />

Built tough! The prime quality steel<br />

and wood frames give Dreamer a long life<br />

and will keep your investment secure. Try<br />

out the Dreamer Rocker at booth 202.<br />

(mobiliarioseating.com)<br />

myCinema<br />

Launched by NAGRA in <strong>2018</strong>, my-<br />

Cinema is an innovative new solution,<br />

providing an online marketplace that<br />

brings together content creators, cinema<br />

owners and movie lovers. The myCinema<br />

team at NAGRA continues to assemble<br />

a large selection of content: live music,<br />

Broadway, e-sports events, opera, ballet,<br />

sporting events, as well as classic and independent<br />

films from a variety of genres.<br />

We are assembling a growing library of<br />

diverse and outstanding entertainment<br />

content that will appeal uniquely to local<br />

fandoms and diverse niche communities.<br />

Learn more about taking control of your<br />

cinema and programing your screens more<br />

proactively at www.mycinema.live, or visit<br />

NAGRA at the Boardroom meeting room.<br />

Omniterm Data Technology<br />

Omni Usher Point is a new mobile<br />

application designed to streamline the<br />

verification process of online<br />

ticket purchases. It’s the<br />

next step in providing your<br />

customers with a method of<br />

bypassing box-office lines<br />

and presenting their online<br />

purchases directly at the<br />

Usher Stand. The application<br />

utilizes standard Android<br />

devices and provides<br />

theatre personnel with visual and audio<br />

feedback during the retrieval and verification<br />

process. This solution provides the<br />

ideal environment for theatres wishing to<br />

reduce or eliminate the paper-ticket entry<br />

method. For customers who still want the<br />

tickets(s) printed, the app prints to a fullsize<br />

Bluetooth printer. See Usher Point at<br />

booth 307. (omniterm.com)<br />

POSitive Cinema<br />

POSitive Cinema<br />

is proud to introduce<br />

to you our brand new<br />

Cinema Assistant<br />

App. We designed<br />

this solution as a<br />

tool for optimizing<br />

work and improving<br />

productivity in your<br />

cinema circuit.<br />

Cinema Assistant<br />

App will help you<br />

in following areas: Ticketing, Ticket<br />

Control, Dine-In and Restaurant Ordering.<br />

Thanks to this app, your employees<br />

have a new way to sell and check tickets,<br />

concessions, restaurant products and all<br />

services available, all at the palm of their<br />

hand. Cinema Assistant App offers efficiency<br />

and customer-service improvement<br />

at every possible step. Learn more at booth<br />

404. (positivecinema.com)<br />

QSC<br />

The QSC CMS-5000 (below) is a<br />

next-generation cinema media server that<br />

features onboard, solid-state storage, exceptionally<br />

fast high-speed DCP ingest,<br />

dual HDMI 2.0 ports for alternate content,<br />

and native support for Q-SYS, QSC’s<br />

network platform for integrated sound,<br />

picture, and control. It is capable of JPEG<br />

2000 DCI content playback at 2k 2D up<br />

to 60 frames per second, and 4k 3D up to<br />

30 frames per second. The CMS-5000 also<br />

supports DTS:X (64 channels) and Atmos<br />

immersive sound formats.<br />

As part of the Q-SYS ecosystem, the<br />

CMS-5000 in Q-SYS Designer software<br />

appears as a component, providing<br />

full system interconnection, audio<br />

channel routing, status monitoring, and<br />

control. See the CMS-5000 at booth 311.<br />

(qsc.com/cinema)<br />

Ready Theatre Systems<br />

The most cost-effective hardware option<br />

yet, the SP 5514 (above) is designed<br />

to optimize workflow with a sleek, small<br />

footprint. The unit will arrive at your location<br />

with RTS installed and configured<br />

to your server. Contact our sales department<br />

for pricing and ordering information<br />

at (865) 212-9703 or visit ShowEast booth<br />

509. (rts-solutions.com)<br />

Severtson Corp.<br />

Severtson’s new SēVision 3D GX-<br />

WA projection coating technology can be<br />

folded like all Severtson high-performance<br />

and SAT-4K screens, even for silver-coated<br />

screens that previously would be difficult or<br />

impossible to fold without damage. This allows<br />

it to be transported in a smaller crate<br />

and at a fraction of the cost worldwide. The<br />

GX-WA coating provides the benefits of<br />

standard SēVision 3D GX coatings, but<br />

offers increased uniformity and brightness<br />

typically seen more often on 2D white<br />

screens. It is also engineered specifically to<br />

increase the viewing angle over standard<br />

silver screens while also reducing hotspotting.<br />

Learn more at booth 214. (severtsonscreens.com)<br />

116 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

112-117.indd 116<br />

10/9/18 3:28 PM

TFX Products<br />

TFX Clean Sweep is a key-switchactivated<br />

wireless controller solution<br />

offering the lowest-cost option for<br />

implementing “all open” and “all close”<br />

features in recliner chairs. TFX Clean<br />

Sweep can easily be retrofitted to any<br />

recliners via a five-pin motor connection<br />

and is very simple to operate. The TFX<br />

Clean Sweep functions on the reliable<br />

433 MHz signal and can be paired with<br />

over 1,000 chairs via one remote. Each<br />

unit comes paired, making installation<br />

quick and easy. See Clean Sweep at<br />

booth 402. (tfxproducts.com)<br />

ShowEast EXPO’s new two-day format has been developed to<br />

bring exhibitors face to face with clients at all social events throughout<br />

the week, not only on the EXPO floor.<br />

The ShowEast EXPO experience offers delegates a glance at the<br />

latest and most cutting-edge technologies, entertainment, services,<br />

comforts and conveniences to make their theatres a must-attend<br />

destination.<br />

Attract new business and highlight your brand with EXPO<br />

booths, meeting rooms, sponsorships, advertising and signage opportunities—you<br />

name it, we will work with you to make it happen!<br />

VIP Cinema Seating<br />

Intelligent design takes the next logical<br />

step in VIP’s newest innovations involving<br />

smart technology and modular design<br />

options. The company that pioneered the<br />

concept of luxury cinema seating now leads<br />

the way with new customization options,<br />

ensuring not only the utmost comfort and<br />

convenience for cinema-goers but also<br />

maximum exhibitor profitability. Three<br />

new series lines—the Avalon, Bravo and<br />

Matrix series—allow exhibitors to select<br />

their most strategic level of investment,<br />

while offering seating that innovates even<br />

beyond luxurious comfort. Come see us at<br />

ShowEast booth 501 or visit www.vipcinemaseating.com.<br />



Monday, Oct. 22 : SET UP<br />

Tuesday, Oct 23: 10:30am–3:30pm<br />

Wednesday, Oct 24: 10:00am–4:00pm<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> / FILMJOURNAL.COM 117<br />

112-117.indd 117<br />

10/9/18 3:28 PM



VOL. 121, NO.11<br />


COLUMBIA/Color/1.85/113 Mins./Rated R<br />

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Alfred<br />

Molina, Mamoudou Athie, Josh Brener, Bill Burr, Oliver<br />

Cooper, Chris Coy, Kaitlyn Dever, Tommy Dewey,<br />

Molly Ephraim, Spencer Garrett, Ari Graynor, Toby<br />

Huss, Mike Judge, Alex Karpovsky, Jennifer Landon,<br />

John Bedford Lloyd, Mark O’Brien, Sara Paxton, Kevin<br />

Pollak, Steve Zissis.<br />

Directed by Jason Reitman.<br />

Screenplay: Matt Bai, Jay Cason, Jason Reitman, based on<br />

the book All the Truth Is Out by Matt Bai.<br />

Produced by Helen Estabrook, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason<br />

Reitman.<br />

Executive producers: Matt Bai, Michael Beugg, Jason<br />

Blumenfeld, Edward Carpezzi, Jay Carson, Jason Cloth,<br />

Chris Conover, David Gendron, Ali Jazayeri, Steven<br />

Thibault.<br />

Director of photography: Eric Steelberg.<br />

Production designer: Steven Saklad.<br />

Editor: Stefan Grube.<br />

Music: Rob Simonsen.<br />

Visual effects supervisor: Chris LeDoux.<br />

A Columbia Pictures presentation of a Bron Studios and<br />

Creative Wealth Media Finance production, in association<br />

with Right of Way <strong>Film</strong>s.<br />

Hugh Jackman stars as a Presidential<br />

candidate racing toward disaster.<br />

If you want to know why current politics are<br />

the way they are—with candidates’ characters<br />

discussed more than their policies, and<br />

political reporters competing with gossip<br />

columnists—director Jason Reitman asks you<br />

look back to 1988.<br />

That’s when Sen. Gary Hart was already<br />

The Front Runner in the soon-to-start Presidential<br />

campaign—and saw his easy path to<br />

the Democratic nomination, and probable<br />

Election Day win, derailed by endless gossip<br />

about extramarital escapades.<br />

Was that a good thing? Should a politician’s<br />

private life stay private? Or is the fact<br />

that a person may have lied in one thing proof<br />

that they’ll lie in another? Those are topics<br />

worth debating. You probably already have<br />

your opinions. Reitman has his.<br />

But The Front Runner works hard to accommodate<br />

all points of view.<br />

It doesn’t “prove” that Hart and Donna<br />

Rice slept together (although it’s clear Hart’s<br />

wife doesn’t doubt it). And while it certainly<br />

doesn’t applaud the journalists who chased<br />

after him, it wonders just what that old gentlemen’s<br />

agreement—whatever happens on the<br />

campaign trail, stays on the campaign trail—<br />

said about the way women were disrespected<br />

and dismissed.<br />

Whatever your views on all this, expect<br />

to see The Front Runner thoroughly respect<br />

and challenge them.<br />

Also expect to see a compelling, carefully<br />

detailed, thoughtfully constructed political<br />

drama that’s both a portrait of one individual,<br />

whose intellect and idealism sometimes seem<br />

thwarted by his own stubbornness and ego,<br />

and of a system that appears almost designed<br />

to bring out the worst in everyone. (Not<br />

surprisingly, Reitman has said his movie model<br />

for this was The Candidate.)<br />

His film focuses on three weeks in the<br />

Hart campaign with—an outside-the-box<br />

choice—Hugh Jackman as the candidate. It’s<br />

smart casting, actually, and sets up an interesting<br />

dynamic. Jackman’s been best known—<br />

whether onstage or in his various Wolverine<br />

appearances—as a man who’s bursting with<br />

honest emotion. Here he’s playing, except for<br />

a few telling scenes, someone who refuses to<br />

give anything away. It creates an intriguing,<br />

almost palpable tension.<br />

He’s well-partnered by a fiery J.K. Simmons<br />

as his loyal but frustrated campaign<br />

manager and a heartbreaking Vera Farmiga<br />

as his long-suffering wife. Sara Paxton gives<br />

Donna Rice more human consideration than<br />

anyone did back then, while Molly Ephraim<br />

plays a campaign staffer with some conflicted<br />

feelings about the very male lens all this is<br />

seen through.<br />

If the casting goes awry at all, it’s when<br />

Reitman brings in Alfred Molina as Ben Bradlee.<br />

Not that Molina isn’t a good actor, but<br />

casting him as the lean and elegant Bradlee is a<br />

bit like bringing in Oliver Platt to play William<br />

F. Buckley.<br />

And, even as audiences are taking a few<br />

minutes to figure out that that is, indeed, who<br />

Molina is supposed to be, other complications<br />

crowd the scene. Along with The Candidate,<br />

Reitman seems to have been inspired by Robert<br />

Altman, and many scenes are overstuffed<br />

with unidentified characters, all talking over<br />

one another and referring to people we still<br />

haven’t met. For the first ten minutes, it’s hard<br />

to find your feet.<br />

But then the story begins to unfold and<br />

deepen.<br />

Hart’s early disgust with even the regular<br />

requirements of a political campaign—attending<br />

a big barbecue, posing for a People cover—<br />

begins to betray a certain dangerous sense<br />

of self-importance. The rush to get the story<br />

(on the journalists’ end) and to suppress it (on<br />

the campaign’s) leaves broken friendships and<br />

ruined reputations in its wake.<br />

The film’s very narrow focus leaves some<br />

things off the screen. There’s no mention of<br />

the famous National Enquirer photo—which<br />

came out later—of Rice sitting on Hart’s lap<br />

while the yacht Monkey Business bobbed in the<br />

background. Or of Hart’s attempt, after withdrawing,<br />

to re-enter the campaign months<br />

later (before being roundly trounced).<br />

But there’s a lot here as it is.<br />

Certainly Hart’s ideas—on the environment,<br />

on the economy, on education—are<br />

powerful (and would be forward-thinking,<br />

even today). But if he was as arrogant, or<br />

simply as careless, as the newspaper stories<br />

suggested, wouldn’t that have made it difficult<br />

to turn those policies into law? And if the<br />

journalists hadn’t investigated his personal life,<br />

or had kept news back from their readers,<br />

would that have been more, or less, ethical<br />

than digging deep?<br />

The Front Runner, rightfully, doesn’t provide<br />

any answers to those questions. But it does<br />

ask them—and demands we do, too.<br />

—Stephen Whitty<br />


FOX SEARCHLIGHT/Color/2.35/106 Mins./Rated R<br />

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells,<br />

Jane Curtin, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Spinella,<br />

Ben Falcone, Gregory Korostishevsky.<br />

Directed by Marielle Heller.<br />

Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty, based on the<br />

book by Lee Israel.<br />

Produced by Anne Carey, Amy Nauiokas, David Yarnell.<br />

Executive producers: Jawal Nga, Pamela Hirsch, Bob<br />

Balaban.<br />

Director of photography: Brandon Trost.<br />

Production designer: Stephen Carter.<br />

Editor: Anne McCabe.<br />

Music: Nate Heller.<br />

Costume designer: Arjun Bhasin.<br />

A Fox Searchlight Pictures presentation, in association with<br />

TSG Entertainment, of an Archer Gray production.<br />

Terrific biopic about writer Lee Israel, a<br />

forger/thief and thoroughly unfashionable<br />

anti-heroine, brilliantly played by Melissa<br />

McCarthy.<br />

In Marielle Heller’s original—indeed, extraordinary—biopic<br />

Can You Ever Forgive Me?,<br />

writer Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy in a stunning<br />

performance) is a disheveled, middle-aged<br />

118 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

118-133.indd 118<br />

10/10/18 10:39 AM

alcoholic lesbian barely existing in an Upper<br />

West Side apartment overflowing with flies<br />

and reeking of cat excrement. Her days are<br />

frittered away drinking solo in empty bars. She<br />

is an unapologetic misanthrope, foul-mouthed,<br />

mean-spirited and totally alone, short of her<br />

aging cat, Jersey, whom she loves deeply.<br />

The formerly successful celebrity biographer<br />

(who penned best-sellers on Tallulah<br />

Bankhead and Dorothy Kilgallen) has fallen<br />

on hard times and discovers a way to make<br />

a living as a literary thief/forger. Intellectual<br />

larceny feels damn good. It’s her “Fuck<br />

you!” to the world, with an added third<br />

finger to all her detractors and naysayers.<br />

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (terrible title) is an<br />

unexpected, profound portrayal of a new<br />

woman onscreen. The dowdy, 50-plus, brainy<br />

anti-heroine has arrived.<br />

Loosely inspired by Israel’s readable memoir,<br />

the story is set in the early 1990s. AIDS<br />

is raging and self-marketing—admittedly in a<br />

pre-social-media environment—is the name<br />

of the game, though Israel, devoid of social<br />

fakery skills, refuses to, or perhaps can’t, play<br />

it and has thus become a pariah in media circles.<br />

Her last book was a critical/commercial<br />

disaster and her most recent pitch—penning<br />

a biography of vaudeville star Fanny Brice—is<br />

dated beyond redemption.<br />

Her agent Marjorie (a crisply efficient<br />

Jane Curtin, who’s aged well) does not return<br />

her calls; the only way Israel can get through<br />

to her is to mimic Nora Ephron’s voice, at<br />

which point Marjorie is immediately available.<br />

Ephron accused Israel of harassment and the<br />

court served her with a cease-and-desist<br />

order. The film offers a telling bird’s-eye view<br />

of the publishing world. Credit must go to<br />

screenwriters Nicole Holofcener and Jeff<br />

Whitty.<br />

Early on, we see Israel proofreading copy<br />

at a law firm on the graveyard shift while<br />

drinking alcohol at her desk. She is fired and in<br />

the next scene trudges her way home through<br />

desolate pre-dawn streets. Throughout, the<br />

urban landscape, with silhouettes of bridges<br />

and skyscrapers and garish lights of all-night<br />

bars (hokey though it may be), serves as an<br />

evocative visual motif. Cinematographer Brandon<br />

Trost nails it.<br />

In the wake of the job debacle, Israel<br />

crashes a party at Marjorie’s well-appointed<br />

Central Park West apartment, awash in smug<br />

literary types, where Israel loudly confronts<br />

her rep, pockets food and steals a guest’s<br />

pricey coat before leaving in a mood that combines<br />

high dungeon, fear at being caught, and<br />

triumph when she’s not. She writes that her<br />

life was defined by relentless anxiety. Heller,<br />

whose previous film was Diary of a Teenage<br />

Girl (a dark rite-of-passage story marking an<br />

impressive debut), forges a world that is closing<br />

in on our protagonist—even though her<br />

troubles are largely of her own making.<br />

The turning point comes as Israel, months<br />

behind on her rent, needs medical care for<br />

her beloved Jersey. The clinic refuses to treat<br />

the ailing animal unless Israel coughs up at<br />

least half the money she already owes for past<br />

medical services. And she just doesn’t have it.<br />

Failing to generate much money on the<br />

sale of her old books—contending with<br />

supercilious dealers is an exercise in humiliation<br />

and futility—Israel steals a Fanny Brice<br />

letter from some unnamed research center<br />

and offers it to a literary/autograph memorabilia<br />

broker. The broker is interested but says<br />

he’d pay even more if there were some juicy<br />

material in the correspondence. The seed has<br />

been planted.<br />

Well-versed in literary voices—from<br />

Dorothy Parker to Noel Coward to Lillian<br />

Hellman and beyond—Israel launches her<br />

new business, acquiring, forging and embellishing<br />

missives, adding commentary in various<br />

inimitable styles. She’s brilliant at it. In fact,<br />

“Can you ever forgive me?,” a phrase she<br />

attributed to Dorothy Parker (who never said<br />

it), embodies Parker’s ironic, slightly sarcastic<br />

tone. Israel creates respondents to whom<br />

the letters are addressed and gossips about<br />

various characters, some real, others not. She<br />

grows increasingly brazen with each sale and<br />

manages to successfully hawk more than 400<br />

pieces during her two-year crime spree.<br />

No spoiler here. But in life—and fiction—<br />

nothing lasts forever. Predictably enough,<br />

when her work finally fails to be authenticated,<br />

she is tracked down by the FBI and arrested.<br />

Israel avoids jail time by pleading guilty,<br />

landing a real job as an editor at Scholastic<br />

magazine, doing community service of some<br />

sort (not clear what) and agreeing to go to AA<br />

(which she never does).<br />

The movie is layered in its exploration of<br />

a solitary, at times anonymous life, and the<br />

empowerment that comes not with sharing<br />

but rather secrecy. Israel reaches out to a<br />

bookseller (Dolly Wells) and her ex-lover<br />

Elaine (Anna Deveare Smith, delivering, as<br />

always, a solid performance) appears briefly,<br />

but Israel is a one-woman show. Her only real<br />

companion (besides her cat) is Jack Hock (a<br />

brilliant performance by Richard E. Grant), a<br />

hustler, grifter and drinking buddy who has<br />

screwed his way through much of Manhattan’s<br />

gay community, unprotected and indiscriminate.<br />

Grant’s Jack (aka “Jacket”), a decaying<br />

fop, is charming yet abrasive, manipulative yet<br />

innocent, and always reckless.<br />

Their relationship presents a special<br />

camaraderie between a gay man and lesbian<br />

in an era that predates any loudly touted<br />

LGBTQ political bonding. “Woke” had not yet<br />

entered the vocabulary. The fact that neither<br />

protagonist is youthful is yet another of the<br />

film’s newsworthy facets. Jack died of AIDS in<br />

the ’90s, and Israel passed in 2014.<br />

McCarthy is, of course, best known for<br />

her coarsely comic turn in Bridesmaids (for<br />

which she received an Oscar nomination) and<br />

other broad-stroked comedies, from Spy to<br />

The Boss to Tammy, along with her TV stints<br />

on “Mike & Molly” and “Saturday Night Live,”<br />

where she perfected an uncanny Sean Spicer<br />

sendup. She showed her dramatic chops in<br />

St. Vincent, playing an introspective, sensitive<br />

single mother opposite Bill Murray. Still, that<br />

performance could not anticipate how fearlessly<br />

and credibly she inhabits Lee Israel.<br />

And McCarthy has found the right creative<br />

partner in Heller, who treads unchartered<br />

territory with a character like Israel:<br />

unfashionable, unfamiliar and unappealing<br />

to most viewers. Not to overstate the case,<br />

but the heavily distaff creative team—including<br />

many of its producers—has dared to<br />

celebrate a woman who in all likelihood never<br />

felt a rush of sisterhood in her life.<br />

—Simi Horwitz<br />


IFC FILMS/Color/2.35/Dolby Digital/104 Mins./<br />

Rated PG-13<br />

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould, Jake Gyllenhaal,<br />

Bill Camp, Darryl Cox.<br />

Directed by Paul Dano.<br />

Screenplay: Paul Dano. Zoe Kazan, based on the novel<br />

by Richard Ford.<br />

Produced by Alex Saks, Oren Moverman, Riva Marker,<br />

Ann Ruark, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano.<br />

Executive producers: Zoe Kazan, Ted Deiker, Eddie Deiker,<br />

Eddie Vaisman.<br />

Director of photography: Diego García.<br />

Production designer: Akin McKenzie.<br />

Editors: Matt Hannam, Louise Ford.<br />

Music supervisor: Susan Jacobs.<br />

Costume designer: Amanda Ford.<br />

A Magic Child/Sight Unseen/Ninestories production.<br />

Indie star Paul Dano makes an impressive<br />

directorial bow with this adaptation Richard<br />

Ford’s 1990 novel about a lower-middle-class<br />

family about to be torn apart.<br />

It’s not so surprising that Paul Dano, who has<br />

consistently impressed as a featured actor in<br />

acclaimed indies like Love & Mercy, 12 Years<br />

a Slave, There Will Be Blood and Little Miss<br />

Sunshine, would know how to handle matters<br />

behind the camera. But Wildlife, a slowsimmering<br />

but ultimately explosive work, still<br />

surprises. That Dano coaxes so much viewer<br />

attention to a seemingly unremarkable nuclear<br />

family in a bland, rural town where no tourist<br />

would venture is key.<br />

Much credit for this superb adaptation<br />

goes to Dano’s interest in details (the characters’<br />

unease, the ‘60s design, the pacing) and<br />

the authenticity brought by his savvy casting<br />

of Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal as the<br />

husband and wife, Bill Camp as a gentle wild<br />

card and, in his breakthrough, Ed Oxenbould<br />

as the couple’s teenage son. Wildlife is a gem<br />

that, like the forest fire that sets the story in<br />

motion, should ignite good word of mouth.<br />

Jeanette and Jerry Brinson (Mulligan<br />

and Gyllenhaal) are a couple newly arrived<br />

in Great Falls, Montana, where Jerry takes<br />

a job as a maintenance worker at a golf<br />

course. Jeanette continues as the caring kind<br />

of housewife and mother that the placid<br />

1950s codified, while 15-year-old son Joe<br />

(Oxenbould) adjusts to his new school. But<br />

the family’s hopes for a place where they can<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong> FILMJOURNAL.COM 119<br />

118-133.indd 119<br />

10/10/18 10:39 AM

finally settle are shaken when mild-mannered,<br />

accommodating Jerry is fired because his boss<br />

(incorrectly) thought him too chatty with a<br />

club member. Jerry struggles to find work,<br />

as does Jeanette, who grows increasingly<br />

concerned about their security.<br />

Joe senses the growing unease building<br />

in his parents’ marriage. A keen and discrete<br />

observer, much unfolds from his point of view.<br />

Matters take a sharp turn when Jerry goes<br />

off to join a crew fighting a forest fire some<br />

distance way at the Canadian border and<br />

Jeanette, left alone, lands work as a swimming<br />

instructor at the local Y. While their marriage<br />

was never perfect, Jeanette grows restless<br />

without a mate. It’s also through Joe’s eyes<br />

that we watch a relationship blossom between<br />

Jeanette and Warren Miller (Bill Camp), a<br />

wealthy widower and her former student at<br />

the Y. Meanwhile, Joe lands a part-time job as<br />

assistant to the local photographer. Much ensues<br />

as the lives of all four make unexpected<br />

swerves.<br />

Nowhere as deep an examination of the<br />

institution of marriage as Ingmar Bergman’s<br />

dead-serious Scenes from a Marriage or as<br />

vicious and cringe-inducing as Danny DeVito’s<br />

darkly comic The War of the Roses, Dano’s<br />

take, by way of novelist Richard Ford (The<br />

Sportswriter, Independence Day), is to let matters<br />

build, driven on the undercurrents of<br />

human nature.<br />

Some minor gripes aside (e.g., rather<br />

abrupt shifts in both Jeanette’s and Jerry’s<br />

characters and an extreme action questionably<br />

addressed), Wildlife offers a fresh<br />

glimpse of lower-class anomie and the<br />

rhythms of life in a simpler time and place.<br />

—Doris Toumarkine<br />


AMAZON STUDIOS/Color/1.85/Dolby Atmos/<br />

153 Mins./Rated R<br />

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Lutz<br />

Ebersdorf, Angela Winkler, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ingrid<br />

Caven, Elena Fokina, Sylvie Testud, Renée Soutendijk,<br />

Christine Leboutte, Malgosia Bela, Fabrzia Sacchi,<br />

Jessica Harper.<br />

Directed by Luca Guadagnino.<br />

Screenplay: David Kajganich, based on the original<br />

screenplay by Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi.<br />

Produced by Gabriele Moratti, William Sherak, Silvia Venturini<br />

Fendi, Francesco Melzi d’Eril, Luca Guadagnino,<br />

David Kajganich, Marco Morabito, Bradley J. Fischer.<br />

Executive producers: Kimberly Steward, Lauren Beck,<br />

Josh Godfrey, Stella Savino, James Vanderbilt, Roberto<br />

Manni, Natalie Galazka, Massimiliano Violante, Carlo<br />

Antonelli.<br />

Director of photography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom.<br />

Production designer: Inbal Weinberg.<br />

Editor: Walter Fasano.<br />

Music: Thom Yorke.<br />

Costume designer: Giulia Piersanti.<br />

Choreography: Damien Jalet.<br />

A Frenesy <strong>Film</strong> Company, Videa Spa, Mythology Entertainment,<br />

First Sun and Memo <strong>Film</strong>s production, in<br />

association with Dario Argento and Claudio Argento.<br />

Luca Guadagnini’s remake of Suspiria puts<br />

a grim, gory spin on the story of a naive<br />

American dance student trapped in a world<br />

of witches.<br />

1977: Fresh-faced Iowan Susie Bannion<br />

(Dakota Johnson) was raised within a repressive,<br />

rural Mennonite community, where<br />

she found personal freedom in studying dance.<br />

Being invited to join the prestigious, Berlinbased<br />

Markos Dance Company is a dream<br />

come true, an opportunity to both expand<br />

her professional credentials and further her<br />

personal rebellion against a strict, religious<br />

upbringing.<br />

To be sure, divided Berlin is no Garden<br />

of Eden. News reports about Baader-Meinhof<br />

drone in the background, and the Berlin<br />

Wall lies no more than a few yards from<br />

the entrance to the school, presided over<br />

by icy Madame Blanc and the authoritarian<br />

faculty. Even Blanc’s renowned dance, “Volk,”<br />

choreographed three decades earlier amid<br />

the ruins of post-WWII Germany and now<br />

being revived, is a daily reminder that art and<br />

beauty are often born of chaos and pain.<br />

But Susie is excited to be surrounded<br />

by strong, passionate women in a vibrant<br />

city far from the home where girls dressed<br />

like 19th-century housemaids spent their<br />

days praying and doing farmwork. If only the<br />

circumstances weren’t so unsettling. Why<br />

did dancer Patricia (Chloë Grace Moretz,<br />

in a tiny role) disappear after hinting to her<br />

psychiatrist, Dr. Jozef Klemperer, about<br />

wicked goings-on? The police are still looking<br />

for her, despite rumors she may have joined a<br />

revolutionary faction. Why did Olga, another<br />

dancer, exit abruptly? And what are the<br />

teachers laughing about as they eat dinner<br />

together at the staff table, exchanging knowing<br />

glances and smug smiles?<br />

The reputation of Dario Argento’s Suspiria<br />

is such that anyone with even a passing<br />

interest in the horror genre either already<br />

knows or can make a pretty good guess as<br />

to the general nature of what’s wrong at the<br />

Markos Dance Academy. Guadagnino (of<br />

2017’s award-winning Call Me By Your Name)<br />

doesn’t mimic the unforgettable candycolored<br />

look of Argento’s original—widely<br />

considered one of his best films and certainly<br />

his most popular. In fact, he goes to the opposite<br />

extreme. This Suspiria is all sickly browns<br />

and greys, shadowed corridors that alternate<br />

with the brightly lit rehearsal rooms and their<br />

mirrored walls.<br />

It’s a smart reimagining, but not a particularly<br />

compelling one, which is the problem<br />

overall. It’s well cast—especially Tilda Swinton<br />

as both Madame Blanc and the elderly Dr. Klemperer<br />

(an open secret since the film began<br />

screening)—and contains at least one haven’tseen-that-before<br />

scene, which is no mean feat<br />

in <strong>2018</strong>. It’s both thoughtful and suitably grisly<br />

and has its own aesthetic, though the score by<br />

Thom Yorke of Radiohead has nowhere near<br />

the impact of the Goblin original.<br />

Overall, it’s hard to imagine Guadagnino’s<br />

version having the staying power of Argento’s,<br />

which continues to find new admirers four<br />

decades after its initial release. That Suspiria is<br />

sui generis, utterly absorbing and aggressively<br />

ageless—it, too, is supposed to take place in<br />

Germany, but looks like a stained-glass fairytale<br />

come to life. This one is an intelligent,<br />

well-made film with some standout moments,<br />

like the bone-cracking end of one rebellious<br />

dancer in an empty, brilliantly lit studio. It’s<br />

one for the “most horrifying moments” montage,<br />

but not for the ages.<br />

—Maitland McDonagh<br />


SONY PICTURES CLASSICS/Color/2.35/Dolby<br />

Digital/104 Mins./Rated R<br />

Cast: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Edwin<br />

Thomas, Emily Watson, Béatrice Dalle, Ronald Pickup,<br />

Tom Wilkinson, Benjamin Voisin, John Standing, Anna<br />

Chancellor.<br />

Written and directed by Rupert Everett.<br />

Produced by Sébastien Delloye, Philipp Kreuzer, Jörg<br />

Schulze.<br />

Director of photography: John Conroy.<br />

Production designer: Brian Morris.<br />

Editor: Nicolas Gaster.<br />

Music: Gabriel Yared.<br />

Costume designers: Maurizio Millenotti, Giovanni<br />

Casalnuovo.<br />

A Maze Pictures and A Entre Chien Et Loup production,<br />

in association with BBC <strong>Film</strong>s and Lionsgate UK.<br />

In English, French and Italian.<br />

Lavishly produced yet intimate, this compelling<br />

portrait of wit Oscar Wilde during his<br />

final, tragic decade gives debuting director<br />

and writer/star Rupert Everett a trifecta<br />

career high.<br />

Late 19th-century Irish-British literary<br />

sensation and bon vivant Oscar Wilde was<br />

Victorian England’s most famous victim of<br />

anti-homosexual laws. The Happy Prince<br />

focuses not on his grand years, but on his<br />

terrible decade of decline, when his sentence<br />

for “gross indecency” meant two years of<br />

incarceration and hard labor. But as depicted<br />

here, it was Wilde’s own often-foolish selfindulgence<br />

and tendency to self-destruct that<br />

helped mightily in the story of his downfall.<br />

Rupert Everett (Dance with a Stranger,<br />

The Madness of King George, My Best Friend’s<br />

Wedding) brings all this alive to stunning,<br />

awards-worthy effect as auteur working both<br />

sides of the camera. In his hands, The Happy<br />

Prince, far from the depressing journey it<br />

could have been, becomes a visually stunning,<br />

riveting foray into a great mind, unforgettable<br />

personality and iconic victim of both<br />

shameful intolerance and his own nature.<br />

Art-house audiences ever hungry for beautifully<br />

packaged, authentic characters and wellobserved<br />

turn-of-the-century production<br />

design get it here.<br />

As a giant of literary history, Wilde is<br />

known for his poetry, children’s stories (including<br />

“The Happy Prince,” which Everett’s<br />

Wilde reads here at appropriate intervals),<br />

plays (The Importance of Being Earnest, An<br />

Ideal Husband), a classic novel (The Picture of<br />

Dorian Gray) and “De Profundis,” his famous<br />

long letter written while incarcerated.<br />

Before his French exile, he was also a<br />

120 FILMJOURNAL.COM / NOVEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

118-133.indd 120<br />

10/10/18 10:39 AM

much-sought-after lecturer who even toured<br />

America (the lighter 1997 Wilde, starring<br />

Stephen Fry, includes this episode). At his<br />

peak, Wilde was the sensation of London<br />

and beyond, as brief flashbacks convey. Later,<br />

as scandal unfolds, we see an impoverished<br />

Wilde discreetly begging the elegant upperclass<br />

Mrs. Arbuthnott (Anna Chancellor)<br />

for money after a chance street encounter.<br />

Humiliation quickly follows, foreshadowing<br />

the harder times to come.<br />

The story’s chronology is somewhat<br />

scattershot, but the timeline is arranged poetically.<br />

It never confuses the pre-1890 good<br />

days with the years of growing hardship that<br />

follow. The late ’90s finds Wilde arriving in<br />

northern France under a pseudonym to begin<br />

a new life away from the scorn of his native<br />

country. He’s fluent in French (and Italian, as<br />

Everett himself is), loves the country and is<br />

optimistic about his future there. “I’m really<br />

ready to return to life,” he tells his devoted<br />

literary executor and former lover Robbie<br />

Ross (Edwin Thomas), on hand in France to<br />

greet and help settle him in. Ross still carries<br />

a torch for Wilde, and his rivals for Wilde’s<br />

favor are soon to arrive.<br />

Managing on a small allowance from<br />

estranged wife Constance (Oscar nominee<br />

Emily Watson), Wilde settles into a lovely<br />

seaside hotel in Normandy. Another dear but<br />

more cautious friend, Reggie Turner (Colin<br />

Firth), arrives, and all goes well until Wilde<br />

overspends with too many lavish meals and<br />

too much absinthe and champagne. But it’s<br />

a letter from his younger former lover Lord<br />

Alfred “Bosie” Douglas (a quite pretty Colin<br />

Morgan) that precipitates big problems. First<br />

Wilde impressively rips it up in front of his<br />

friends; they know how toxic the relationship<br />

was. Bosie’s aristocratic father, outraged at<br />

the relationship, slandered Wilde, who foolishly<br />

sued the man. It backfired, sending Wilde,<br />

with accusations of “indecent behavior,”<br />

to trial, conviction, two years’ imprisonment,<br />

near-poverty and total disgrace. Hence, his<br />

eventual flight to France.<br />

But Wilde secretly pieces Bo