Boxoffice - June 2019

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$6.95 / / JUNE 2019

CINEEUROPE

2019

FULL COVERAGE OF UNIC’S

ANNUAL CONVENTION

10 YEARS

OF D-BOX

THE MOTION SEATING

COMPANY CELEBRATES

ITS FIRST DECADE

IN CINEMA

SUMMER

MOVIES

INTERVIEWS WITH THE

FILMMAKERS BEHIND

TOY STORY 4, YESTERDAY,

AND CRAWL

FUTURE

PROJECTION

INTERVIEW WITH CINIONIC

CEO WIM BUYENS

BRIE LARSON STARS IN

DISNEY’S CAPTAIN MARVEL

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THEATRE OWNERS


Barcelona is a destination I associate with the month of

June. And this year’s CineEurope is particularly special for our

magazine. For the first time since merging with Film Journal

International, Boxoffice will be available at the Barcelona

convention center as the official publication of CineEurope, organized

by the Film Expo Group. To mark that occasion, we’ve

included our usual event coverage, which looks at every angle

of UNIC’s annual convention. CineEurope is a great opportunity

to see the progress that the cinema industry has made in a

number of countries—established and emerging markets alike.

This year’s edition of CineEurope will include a focus on expanding

the roles and opportunities of women in the industry.

As a reflection of that commitment, this issue of Boxoffice includes the first

in a series of interviews with some of the most influential women in our industry,

an effort spearheaded by our associate editor, Rebecca Pahle.

Boxoffice will be celebrating another milestone at this year’s CineEurope: the

launch of shared branding elements with our sister publication, Boxoffice

France. It is the culmination of years of work between our editorial teams in

Paris and New York, two distinct publications with a shared editorial vision

under a unified brand. I encourage you to pick up a copy; it’s a good read, even

if your French is a little bit rusty.

Julien Marcel

Chief Executive Officer

Boxoffice Media / Webedia Movies Pro

2 JUNE 2019


2019 VOL. 155 NO. 6

HELLO 2

TRADE TALK 8

EXECUTIVE SUITE 24

UNIC and NATO: Most excellent partners!

MEMBER NEWS 26

Family Time in the First State: NATO staff

hit the road to visit member locations

CHARITY SPOTLIGHT 30

INDIE FOCUS 32

Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the

Art Institute of Chicago

CONFERENCE RECAP 36

A merry time in Maryland: Mid-Atlantic NATO’s

Cinema Show & Tell changes its location,

keeps its quality

GUEST COLUMN 64

Piracy went from geeky to easy. What’s next?:

The MPA’s antipiracy efforts are a global effort

CHECKING IN WITH CINIONIC 84

Wim Buyens talks laser past, present, and future

THE ART AND SCIENCE

OF MOVIE MARKETING 88

Facebook provides insights into what really

influences people’s choices

WELCOME TO CINEEUROPE 38

by Laura Houlgatte Abbott, CEO, UNIC

BEYOND THE CONTINENT 39

CineEurope continues to expand its international profile

CINEEUROPE 2019 INTERNATIONAL

EXHIBITOR OF THE YEAR 41

CineEurope honors Blitz-CineStar as 2019’s International Exhibitor of the Year

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR 43

Kudos to Paramount’s Mary Daily and Mark Viane

A CHAMPION FOR SWEDISH CINEMAS 46

UNIC to honor exhibitors’ association chair Peter Fornstam

NEW PRODUCTS 49

The latest exhibition products and services

CINEEUROPE GOLD AWARDS 82

CineEurope honors its second batch of Gold Award winners

Women in Cinema

66

BOXOFFICE PULSE 100

Pixar at the box office

TIMECODE 118

Part 6 of 12 of our deep dive into the

Boxoffice archives

50 YEARS OF FILM AT

LINCOLN CENTER 120

The Film Society of Lincoln Center rebrands

as it looks into the future

INVESTOR RELATIONS 122

SOCIAL MEDIA 124

EVENT CINEMA CALENDAR 126

ON SCREEN 128

BOOKING GUIDE 136

MARKETPLACE 144

Paying it Forward

LAURA HOULGATTE ABBOTT

INSPIRES AS

UNIC’S CEO

Balkan Star

BLITZ-CINESTAR CEO

JADRANKA ISLAMOVIC KEEPS

THINGS RUNNING

PLUS Alison Cornwell, CFO, Vue International; Dee Vassili, Executive Director Group

HR, Vue International; Grainne Peat, Policy Executive & Managing Director, Event

Cinema Association; Kathryn Pritchard, Group Chief People Officer & Director of

Strategic Programs, ODEON Group; Carol Welch, Managing Director, ODEON Group

Cinemas; Susanna Hermida Barbato, Executive Board Member, NOS Audiovisuals

Boxoffice has served as the official publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) since 2007. As part of this partnership, Boxoffice is proud to feature exclusive columns

from NATO while retaining full editorial freedom throughout its pages. As such, the views expressed in Boxoffice, except for columns signed by NATO executives, reflect neither a stance nor an

endorsement from the National Association of Theatre Owners.

4 JUNE 2019


TOY STORY 4

YESTERDAY

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Go Fourth

WOODY, BUZZ LIGHTYEAR, AND

THE GANG RETURN IN DISNEY/

PIXAR’S TOY STORY 4

96

Re-Meet The Beatles

DANNY BOYLE AND RICHARD

CURTIS’S YESTERDAY IMAGINES A

WORLD WITHOUT THE FAB FOUR

106

A Moving Experience

D-BOX CELEBRATES 10 YEARS IN THE

CINEMA BUSINESS

102

INSURANCE COVERAGE

C O M P A N I E S

P R I C E

CRAWL

MIDSOMMAR & KUNG FURY 2

Champing at the Bit

ALEXANDRE AJA’S CRAWL

FLOODS INTO THEATERS

THIS SUMMER

112

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OVER WITH MIDSOMMAR AND

KUNG FURY 2

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EDITED BY LAURA SILVER

BOXOFFICE MEDIA

CEO

Julien Marcel

SVP CONTENT STRATEGY

Daniel Loria

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Kenneth James Bacon

SHOWEAST TO HONOR DAVID

LINDE WITH BINGHAM RAY

SPIRIT AWARD

>> David Linde (pictured), CEO of

Participant Media, will be honored with

ShowEast’s 2019 Bingham Ray Spirit

Award at the convention’s Final Night

Awards Ceremony on October 17, 2019,

at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

The Bingham Ray Spirit Award was

established in 2012 in honor of the late

Bingham Ray, one of the most beloved

people in the independent film world.

Each year, the award is given to an

individual who has “shown exemplary

foresight and creativity in the world of

independent film.”

Participant Media is a global media

company dedicated to entertainment

that inspires individuals to engage in

positive social change. Linde is responsible

for leading the company’s overall

strategy, content creation, advocacy,

operations, strategic investments, and

acquisitions.

Linde helped lead Participant Media

toward a historic year recently, receiving

17 Academy Award nominations—the

most ever for the company—resulting

in wins for Best Picture (Green Book), as

well as Best Director and Best Foreign

Language Film (both for Roma). Other

noteworthy films from Participant include

Oscar winner for Best Documentary

Feature An Inconvenient Truth and

Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language

Film A Fantastic Woman.

Linde’s background spans production

and global distribution; he has built

multiple companies from the ground

up. In the past, he served as chairman of

Universal Pictures and was co-founder

of specialty film studio Focus Features,

formed from Universal’s acquisition of

the independent production company

Good Machine, of which he was a partner.

Ray and Linde collaborated closely

during that time, when Ray was a principal

of October Films and Linde served as

president of Good Machine International,

which represented overseas markets

for all of October Films’ productions.

Linde currently serves on the board

of governors of the Academy of Motion

Picture Arts and Sciences, the board of

directors of Film Independent, and the

board of trustees of New Roads School.

METROCINEMAS TO OUTFIT

MULTIPLEX WITH CHRISTIE

PROJECTORS AND AUDIO

>> Honduran cinema chain Metrocinemas

has chosen Christie RGB pure laser

projectors and Christie Vive Audio for

its new Metrocinemas Megamall multiplex.

The multiplex is set to be the first

in Central America equipped entirely

with RGB laser projectors.

Located in the largest shopping

center in San Pedro Sula, the industrial

capital of Honduras, it will be the country’s

most modern multiplex.

Metrocinemas’ 30 screens throughout

the country are all equipped with

the brand’s xenon projectors. “We have

VP ADVERTISING

Susan Uhrlass

SENIOR ADVISOR

Andrew Sunshine

BOXOFFICE ® MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Daniel Loria

EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Kevin Lally

MANAGING EDITOR

Laura Silver

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Rebecca Pahle

CONTRIBUTORS

Laura Houlgatte Abbott

David Binet

Karen Durham

Alex Edghill

John Fithian

Stan McCoy

Jesse Rifkin

Rob Rinderman

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Ally Bacon

BOXOFFICEPRO.COM

CHIEF ANALYST

Shawn Robbins

ANALYSTS

Alex Edghill

Chris Eggertsen

Jesse Rifkin

DATABASE MANAGEMENT

Diogo Busato

ADVERTISING

VP, ADVERTISING

Susan Uhrlass

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susan@boxoffice.com

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BOXOFFICE ® (ISSN 0006-8527), Volume 155, Number 6, June

2019. BOXOFFICE ® is published monthly by Boxoffice Media,

LLC, 63 Copps Hill Road, Ridgefield, CT USA 06877, USA.

corporate@boxoffice.com. www.boxoffice.com. Basic annual

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8 JUNE 2019


always relied on Christie for its cutting-edge

technology and for the brand’s

well-deserved reputation as the industry’s

undisputed leader,” said Raul Agüero,

Metrocinemas’ commercial manager.

He added, “Metrocinemas are pioneers

in Honduras in the introduction

of new technology, as was the case with

digital projection and 3-D. And that’s

why we also wanted to be the first in the

country to offer RGB laser technology

and to give our audiences the best possible

projection and brightness. We always

strive to be the best.”

Every screen in the new multiplex

will be equipped with the Christie Vive

Audio cinema sound system. “Although

this is our first experience with Vive Audio,

we are 100 percent confident that it

will give us the best dynamic and enveloping

sound available,” said Agüero.

Metrocinemas also installed three

Christie RGB laser projectors in its

Santa Rosa de Copan multiplex, the first

cinema complex in this western Honduras

city, and is introducing Christie

Vive Audio in its VIP Theater in Cines

América, a six-screen complex in Tegucigalpa,

the capital city of Honduras.

TMPC is the integrator for Metrocinemas

and will supply and install the

Christie hardware. “Metrocinemas has always

been at the forefront in introducing

new technology in its cinema theaters and

in giving its audiences the best possible

experience,” said Jaime Sánchez from

TMPC. “That is why we are proud to be

taking part in this project.”

B&B OPENS NEW MX4D

THEATER IN KANSAS

>> B&B Theatres has opened another

MX4D theater system, bringing the

theater chain’s total to six.

“Our continued partnership with

MediaMation (MMI) proves our belief

in MX4D,” says Brock Bagby, executive

vice president of B&B Theatres. Situated

on the Kansas/Missouri state line, Overland

Park is the second-biggest city in

Kansas, with nearly 200,000 residents.

The theater also has the ability to draw

from the nearby Kansas City metropolitan

area, which boasts almost 500,000.

The state-of-the-art seats for all

locations feature a full range of motion

and effects to enhance Hollywood’s latest

releases. Moving beyond standard 3-D,

they use MMI’s newly patented EFX

armrest. Additional atmospheric effects

include wind, fog, rain, and strobes.

MMI’s MX4D Motion EFX Theatres

were introduced to B&B audiences in

Shawnee and Lee’s Summit, Kansas, in

mid-2017. By the end of last year, the

special effects and motion seat theaters

shattered attendance records. Recent

and upcoming releases include Disney’s

live-action Aladdin, Godzilla: King of the

Monsters and Men in Black: International

from Warner Brothers, and Universal’s

The Secret Life of Pets 2.

JUNE 2019

9


IDINA MENZEL PERFORMS

AT THE SCREENVISION

MEDIA UPFRONT

SCREENVISION UNVEILS NEW TOOLS AND

INITIATIVES AT 2019 UPFRONT

>> Screenvision Media touted the emotional impact and

multifaceted reach of cinema advertising at the company’s upfront

event at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. Joined

by actors Vince Vaughn and Hilary Swank, the company

announced new products, tools, and campaigns to define,

measure, and maximize cinema advertising’s reach.

In addition to once again offering advertisers its “10 Pack”

option in 2020, the company plans to further enhance,

demonstrate, and measure the reach of cinema advertising

with its new Smart Network. This data-enabled digital component

of the “Front + Center” pre-show enhances program

targeting, digital retargeting, and attribution in a way that

goes beyond behavioral data to include transactional data. By

identifying members of the moviegoing audience, the digital

movie pixel compiles rich, actionable data and can measure

how specific movies drove purchases for select advertisers.

Smart Network “gives us the ability to better quantify and

measure the ROI of cinema advertising, giving our partners

a clear and proven look at how their advertisements drive

transactions,” said Katy Loria, chief revenue officer at Screenvision

Media.

The company also announced new initiatives to promote

the inclusion and meaningful representation of women on

the big screen, in particular a partnership with the Geena

Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s

University, in which the partners will work with studios at the

earliest scripting stages to ensure gender equality in onscreen

representation. The company will introduce a new GD-IQ

certification package in their Front + Center pre-show, where

Davis will introduce a special look at upcoming films that

receive GD-IQ certification.

Screenvision Media has also aligned with the Association

of National Advertisers’ (ANA) “SeeHer” movement, an industry

initiative on gender equality in media and advertising.

SeeHer evaluates brand ads and assigns GEM scores based on

accurate portrayals of women and girls. In conjunction with

SeeHer, Screenvision Media will create a #SeeHer film trailer

package, allowing brands’ ads to target films aligned with

their products.

“We are proud to strengthen our commitment to ensuring

women are fully represented both behind and in front of the

camera,” said Christine Martino, executive vice president of ad

sales at Screenvision Media. “By using GD-IQ and GEM as

tools to evaluate the films and advertisements we work with, we

are honored to help shine a spotlight on this issue and work to

improve both portrayals and presence of women in cinema.”

10 JUNE 2019


ATOM TICKETS PARTNERS WITH TICKETÓN

TO BETTER REACH HISPANIC MARKET

>> Ticketón, a ticketing company geared toward the U.S. Hispanic

market, announced that it has partnered with Atom Tickets

to power movie ticketing on its site. Ticketón currently sells hundreds

of thousands of tickets to live entertainment events across

the country, with over 200 active events at any time. Offering

movie tickets aligns with its core audience interests and complements

the company’s existing line-up of live events, which includes

sports and music concerts. According to the Motion Picture Association

of America, Latinos represent 18 percent of the total U.S.

population and overindex for moviegoing, comprising 24 percent

of frequent moviegoers. Latino audiences also have the highest rate

of moviegoing among ethnic groups in the U.S.

Fernando Orvañanos, partner at Ticketón, said: “Partnering

with Atom is a very important step to the continued growth of

our service offering. We aim to be the leading one-stop shop for

the growing Hispanic entertainment seekers in the United States.

Our consumers will now be able to find their live events and theatrical

options at a single location and under the Ticketón brand,

which has gained the trust of that community.”

To buy movie tickets, customers visit ticketon.com and select

the movies tab on the home page. The new movie section displays

current and upcoming movie releases with details provided

in both English and Spanish. Visitors can select movie, theater,

and show time. They’re then redirected to Atom for purchasing

the tickets. Ticket information will be sent to them via email. At

the theater, users skip the box office lines and go directly to the

ticket attendants, where they scan a QR code on their phone to

redeem their order.

CJ CGV TO OPEN THEATER IN SAN FRANCISCO

>> CJ CGV announced that it will open its third U.S. location

in San Francisco, California, in early 2020. Strategically located

near the Civic Center and Union Square, one of the most visited

tourist attractions in the nation, the new theater will feature 14

screens and 2,217 seats.

4DX enhances the on-screen visuals through synchronized

motion seats and environmental effects such as wind, rain, snow,

fog, and lightning. 4DX is currently available in 631 auditoriums

across 63 countries. ScreenX expands select key scenes of feature

films to the left- and right-side walls. As of April 2019, ScreenX

is available in 205 screens in 18 countries around the world.

CJ CGV is retrofitting and transforming an existing theater

to include the brand’s unique concept, design, and technologies.

The new facility will show primarily Hollywood blockbusters,

paired with a wide range of foreign films and alternative content,

serving diversity and dynamic cultures within the region.

JUNE 2019

11


TRADE TALK

MALCO ANNOUNCES

COLLIERVILLE CINEMA GRILL

EXPANSION

>> Memphis-based Malco Theatres announced

plans to add on to the recently

renovated Collierville Cinema Grill in

Collierville, Tennessee.

The new auditorium will house the

Malco-branded large-format MXT “Extreme”

Theatre, the second location after

the successful March debut at the Malco

Powerhouse Cinema. The state-of-theart

auditorium will include 275 luxury

recliner seats with reserved seating, a

70-foot screen with laser projection, and

Dolby Atmos sound.

The theater recently underwent a

renovation to convert all 16 auditoriums

to reserved luxury recliner seating, a full

lobby upgrade with a sleek, modern design,

and the addition of a gourmet grill

menu with full bar.

”We are thrilled how the MXT

concept turned out at the Powerhouse

Cinema,” said David Tashie, president

and COO, “and will be adding this

amenity to our Collierville, Tennessee;

Jonesboro, Arkansas; Tupelo, Mississippi;

and Owensboro, Kentucky, locations.”

Construction is expected to be complete

in time for the release of Star Wars:

The Rise of Skywalker.

Memphis, Tennessee–based Malco

Theatres is a fourth-generation family-owned-and-operated

business that

celebrated its 100th anniversary in

2015. Malco Theatres operates over

350 screens at 34 locations across the

mid-South, as well as bowling and family-entertainment

centers in Louisiana

and Mississippi. Recently completed

renovations include the Collierville

Cinema Grill, Stage Cinema Grill, and

Tupelo Commons Cinema Grill. Current

projects include those in Jonesboro,

Arkansas; Owensboro, Kentucky; Ridgeland,

Mississippi; and more locations

to be announced.

CINEMARK ANNOUNCES NEW TWO-TIERED LOYALTY

PROGRAM

>> Cinemark Holdings Inc. announced the official nationwide launch

of its upgraded loyalty program: Cinemark Movie Rewards.

Cinemark Movie Rewards is a two-tiered loyalty program that gives

members one point for every one dollar spent at Cinemark. Members

can redeem points for a variety of rewards including movie tickets, concession

deals, and movie swag. Members can join for free as a Movie

Fan member, or upgrade to Movie Club for a monthly subscription

fee. The creation of Cinemark Movie Rewards was fueled by extensive

consumer research.

“Cinemark created Cinemark Movie Rewards to not only meet the

needs of our customers but exceed them by providing a user-friendly

program that’s effortless to manage, personalize, and access,” said Mark

Zoradi, CEO, Cinemark.

Cinemark Movie Rewards combines Cinemark Connections, Cinemark’s

existing free loyalty program, and Movie Club, the monthly

membership program, under one umbrella, giving loyalty members the

chance to choose between two tiers—Movie Fan and Movie Club.

Movie Fan, the free tier, offers members one point for every one dollar

spent to redeem for free tickets, concession items, and collectible movie

swag. Additionally, members receive exclusive access to specialty screenings

and more, all with no upfront cost. Movie Club, the premium tier,

has a monthly fee of $8.99 (or $9.99 in California, Oregon, Washington,

and Alaska), and in addition to all Movie Fan benefits, members receive

one ticket per month, member pricing on additional tickets, a 20 percent

discount on all concessions every visit, and the ability to reserve seats

with no online fees. All unused tickets roll over each month and can be

used any time with no expiration for active members.

All current Cinemark Connections and Movie Club members, as well

as their accumulated loyalty points to date, will be transferred to Cinemark

Movie Rewards.

14 JUNE 2019


HOLLYWOOD ESPORTS

TO USE DOLBY ATMOS

SOUND

>> Hollywood Esports, with

its MX4D Motion and Special

Effects Esports Theatres, will

include Dolby Atmos in its

design.

Based on MediaMation’s

MX4D motion and special

effects technology, the Hollywood Esports MX4D Theatres

bring motion seats, wind, rain, fog, lightning, and other

special effects into the spectator experience. “When a tank

blows up in a World of Tanks competition, the effects are so

dynamic that the spectators go wild,” said Robert Laity, CEO

of Hollywood Esports. “With Dolby Atmos incorporated into

our design, gamers and spectators will soon be able to enjoy

immersive sound quality for select game titles. We plan to

incorporate Dolby Atmos in the Hollywood Esports MX4D

Theatre we are building in San Diego at the Theatre Box.”

Theatre Box will soon be the second location to feature

the unique cinema design of Hollywood Esports, launched

by TCL Chinese Theatres in partnership with MediaMation

and Wilshire Consulting. The

Hollywood Esports theater will

enable Theatre Box to convert

an auditorium from “cinema

mode” to “esports mode” in

under an hour, allowing for the

showing of MX4D films and

hosting of esports tournaments

and events. Both the MX4D

films and esports events will

include Dolby Atmos as part of the experience.

“By developing and managing tournaments and events

that are scalable across locations, we can create a network of

MX4D Esports Theatres to engage in city rivalries that appeal

to the gaming community,” said Laity. “The gaming and

esports events are complementary to the MX4D motion and

special effects film business, as periods of lower demand for

movies are perfect for hosting gaming and esports events to

maximize attendance and revenue potential. The addition of

Dolby Atmos to our Hollywood Esports Theatres will make

the experience even wilder. We plan to add Dolby Atmos to

our flagship location at the TCL Chinese Theatre and incorporate

Dolby Atmos as part of all future locations we build.”

JUNE 2019

15


TRADE TALK

HARKINS WILL EXPAND TO

ARIZONA AND COLORADO

>> Harkins Theatres recently announced

the company’s expansion plans in Arizona

and Colorado, with two new 12-screen

multiplexes coming to Laveen, Arizona,

and Northglenn, Colorado. Both new theaters

will showcase state-of-the-art digital

projection and sound, luxury amenities,

and elevated concessions offerings. With

the addition of the new theaters, Harkins

will operate 36 locations and 539 screens

in five states. Founded in 1933, Harkins

is the largest independently owned movie

exhibitor in the country.

“There is nothing we love more

than entertaining our guests,” said Dan

Harkins, owner and executive chairman

of Harkins Theatres. “We are overjoyed

when we have the opportunity to share

our programs and amenities with new

friends and look forward to becoming

part of the Laveen and Northglenn

communities.”

The new theaters will feature Harkins’

latest innovations and amenities, including

Harkins’ premium large-format

auditorium, the CINÉ1. This auditorium

will boast plush leather reclining

Ultimate Lounger seats, Dolby Atmos

3-D object-based sound, and signature

gold waterfall drapes that will unveil

each performance.

Theater highlights will include:

• CINÉ1 Auditorium featuring Dolby

Atmos 3D object-based sound

• Harkins Ultimate Lounger seats in all

auditorium

• Reserved seating in all auditoriums

• Paperless, mobile ticketing

• In-lobby bar featuring wine and beer,

including local craft favorite

• State-of-the-art laser projection and

digital sound in all auditoriums

• Wall-to-wall curved screens

• Gourmet concessions stand with

expanded dining menu and traditional

snack bar favorites.

Groundbreaking dates have not yet

been announced. Harkins anticipates

opening both new theaters in 2020.

CINEMARK TO OPEN 12-SCREEN

IN MAINE

>> Cinemark Holdings Inc. and Waterstone

Properties Group have announced

they are building a state-of-the-art,

12-screen theater in the mixed-use

development Rock Row, in Westbrook,

Maine, in the greater Portland area. The

new Cinemark location is scheduled to

open spring 2021.

All 12 auditoriums will have reserved

seating featuring Cinemark’s Luxury

Loungers, which are electric-powered,

plush, oversized recliners with footrests,

cup holders, and heat-controlled seats.

The multiplex will also feature an XD

auditorium with an immersive wall-towall

screen and enhanced sound system.

“We are excited to be a part of Rock

Row, a unique and dynamic real estate

project, and to open our first Maine

theater location,” said Mark Zoradi,

Cinemark CEO. “Our brand-new Cinemark

theater will be the entertainment

anchor to this impressive mixed-use lifestyle

center, providing an extraordinary

entertainment experience for Westbrook

and Portland, as well as a regional draw

for southern Maine and northern New

Hampshire.”

In addition to the Cinemark theater,

this 100-acre mixed-use destination

will include over one million square

feet of commercial, residential, and

hospitality space. Highlights of Rock

Row include a beer and food hall, a

Market Basket grocery store, a medical

and wellness campus, 750 apartments,

and an 8,200-capacity concert venue.

Rock Row will also feature walking,

biking, and running trails interconnected

around the former quarry,

which will feature interactive light and

water displays.

KINEPOLIS TO OPEN

LANDMARK THEATER IN

EDMONTON

>> Landmark Cinemas Canada will

bring its premium recliner seating

moviegoing experience to the Grove on

17, in the southeast Edmonton neighborhood

of Tamarack. Construction is

scheduled to begin in August 2019, with

completion in early summer 2020.

All eight of the theater’s auditoriums

feature Landmark’s luxury recliner seating

in a full-stadium configuration. The

new eight-screen theater will also include

Barco Laser Projection from Cinionic.

“We are thrilled to bring the Landmark

luxury recliner moviegoing

experience to the Grove on 17 and are

confident that movie lovers in Tamarack

and the surrounding areas will make this

their moviegoing destination,” said Eddy

Duquenne, CEO of Kinepolis Group.

“Serving as the entertainment destination

for the Grove on 17, Landmark’s

premium moviegoing experience

reinforces our commitment to deliver

a unique experience to the residents of

Tamarack and region, making the Grove

on 17 a premier shopping destination,”

said Blair Forster, president, Forster Harvard

Development Corp.

Kinepolis Group acquired Landmark

Cinemas, the second-biggest cinema

operator in Canada, operating 45 movie

theaters of various sizes, in December

2017. Three new Landmark cinemas

were opened in 2018 (St. Albert,

Saskatoon, and Fort McMurray). Two

more are scheduled to open in 2019, in

Regina and Calgary Market Mall.

Construction of Landmark’s new,

premium recliner movie theater at CF

Market Mall in Calgary commenced on

April 23. The grand opening is scheduled

for December 2019.

ATOM TICKETS STRIKES DEAL

WITH CINEMARK

>> Atom Tickets, the social movie-ticketing

platform, announced today it has

partnered with Cinemark to expand its

national theater footprint. Cinemark is

the third largest national exhibitor in the

U.S. and adds more than 4,500 screens

at 340 locations to the Atom Tickets

network, which now covers over 26,000

screens. The Cinemark deal brings

16 JUNE 2019


TRADE TALK

increased screen count to key markets

such as Dallas, Houston, San Francisco,

Sacramento, and Denver.

The company expects to have Cinemark

locations live on the Atom app and

website by mid-summer. Movie fans will

be able to book tickets through Atom for

any Cinemark location while enjoying

the benefits of Atom’s social-ticketing

platform, including reserving seats in

advance of any movie for themselves and

their guests; inviting friends via contacts;

quickly checking in for movies using a

mobile device; and eliminating the need

for paper tickets.

“We’re thrilled to have Cinemark as

our newest exhibitor partner to satisfy

the significant consumer demand for this

chain of theaters on the Atom platform.

We know this partnership will deliver an

even better user experience when hundreds

of Cinemark locations appear in the Atom

app,” said Matthew Bakal, chairman and

co-founder of Atom Tickets. “Cinemark

is an innovative leader in the exhibition

industry, and we’re excited to partner with

them to grow their audience and attract

more guests with digital ticketing.”

“Our first priority is to make purchasing

tickets as seamless as possible for our

guests,” said Mark Zoradi, CEO, Cinemark.

“Through our partnership with

Atom Tickets, Cinemark’s customers will

now have even more opportunities to easily

access tickets to every must-see movie.”

In the two years since its national

launch, Atom Tickets now has:

• 6 million monthly unique visitors to

Atom Tickets (app and web) with 80%

of its web audience unduplicated from

another leading movie ticketing site

(Comscore, April 2019)

• Over 60 leading exhibitors on its platform,

including seven of the top 10 U.S.

exhibitors.

Cinemark joins a list of Atom Tickets

theater partners that includes AMC Theatres,

Regal Cinemas, Harkins Theatres,

National Amusements’ Showcase Cinemas,

CMX Cinemas, Landmark Cinemas

of Canada, Studio Movie Grill, Malco

Theatres, Landmark Theatres, ArcLight

Cinemas, and Larry H. Miller Megaplex

Theatres, among others.

NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS’

SHOWCASE CINEMAS TEAM

TO RECEIVE SHOWEAST’S DAN

FELLMAN AWARD

>> Mark Walukevich, senior VP of film

and event cinema worldwide; Duncan

Short, senior VP of operations; and Bill

LeClair, senior VP of food and beverage

at National Amusements, will receive

this year’s Dan Fellman Show “E” Award

at ShowEast. The three

individuals will accept the

honor during the final night

awards ceremony hosted by

The Coca-Cola Company on

Thursday, October 17, at the

Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

The Dan Fellman Show “E”

the practice of barring, thus opening

up the market for continued expansion

of the multiplex concept. In that same

year, Walukevich was promoted to VP of

international film. He continued to lead

the company’s international expansion in

Chile, Argentina, Russia, and Brazil. He

was promoted to senior VP of international

film in 2012. Most recently, his title was

changed to highlight his ever-expanding

role with National Amusements.

Short joined National Amusements in

1987 as the company’s first international

employee. He initially trained at Showcase

Cinemas Warwick before

returning home to open the

company’s first U.K. location

in Nottingham in June 1988.

Short continued to oversee

international operations from

the U.K. until 1998, when he

transferred to the corporate

Award, formerly known as the

home office outside Boston.

MARK WALUKEVICH

Show “E” award, was renamed

He was soon promoted to

in 2015 to honor longtime

director of operations, international

theaters, continuing his

Warner Bros. distribution chief

Dan Fellman and to celebrate

involvement in the expansion

his impressive 38-year career.

of the circuit in the U.S. and

Each year the award is presented

to an industry member

overseen the operations of all

Russia. Since 2015, Short has

or company in honor of their

National Amusements cinemas

achievements, dedication, and

across the world, uniting the

longevity in the industry.

company’s territories under

BILL LECLAIR

“We are extremely honored

one operational strategy. In

to present National Amusements

with this award at ShowEast this nior VP of operations, continuing to lead

2016, he was promoted to se-

year,” said Andrew Sunshine, president of all the company’s theatrical operations.

the Film Expo Group, which coordinates LeClair’s 39-year history with National

ShowEast. “For over 80 years, National Amusements began in 1977, when he

Amusements has been a leader in the joined the company as an usher. In 1989,

industry led by Mark Walukevich, Duncan he joined the operations department

Short, and Bill LeClair. We congratulate as director, overseeing more than 100

them on this award.”

indoor theater locations, drive-ins, and

Walukevich began as an advertising flea markets. In 1997, LeClair was asked

assistant in 1980 with National Amusements

before moving into the film book-

beverage team to help develop alternative

to join the rapidly expanding food and

ing department. In 1988, he became the and luxury dining options, including

company’s head film buyer in the U.K., in-seat dining and alcohol service. Today

where he played an integral part in the he oversees the operations of all F&B

Showcase brand international expansion. business in four countries representing

He spearheaded negotiations to eliminate more than 925 screens.

18 JUNE 2019


TRADE TALK

BOW TIE’S JOE MASHER TO

RECEIVE SHOWEAST’S AL SHAPIRO

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

>> Joe Masher, chief operating officer of Bow Tie

Cinemas, will receive ShowEast’s 2019 Al Shapiro

Distinguished Service Award on Thursday, October

17, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

Each year, the Al Shapiro Distinguished Service

Award honors a person who represents the ideals

and standards that the late Al Shapiro set during his

distinguished career. The award salutes their dedication

and concern for people within the motion

picture industry.

“We could not have chosen a more deserving

individual to recognize with this year’s Al Shapiro

Award,” said Andrew Sunshine, president of the

Film Expo Group, which manages ShowEast. “Joe

is a well-respected leader, and his dedication to the

film industry is to be commended and celebrated.”

Born in Albany, New York, Masher started his

career at age 11 as the “rewind boy” at a summer

resort that had a 35-millimeter carbon arc projection

system. In 1990, he was transferred to Binghamton,

New York, where he was responsible for five “hard

tops” and one “drive-in” theater for Loews. In 1994,

he relocated to New York City to open Loews’ new

showplace, the Lincoln Square 12, which featured the

first Imax auditorium in a commercial theater. Later,

he opened the Kips Bay 15 for Loews.

In 2000, Masher joined Clearview Cinemas

as a division manager, responsible for northern

New Jersey, Westchester and Rockland counties,

and Connecticut, and created the company’s first

training program for floor staff. In 2004, he left

Clearview Cinemas and joined Bow Tie Cinemas

as chief operating officer. As COO of Bow Tie, he

oversaw Bow Tie’s acquisition of Crown Theatres

in 2006 and Clearview Cinemas in 2013. Bow

Tie also built several high-profile locations in

Richmond and Reston, Virginia, and three sites in

upstate New York.

Masher serves as treasurer of national NATO

and sits on the Government Relations Committee

and the Political Action Committee for that

organization. Since 2013, he has been president of

NATO of New York State and is a registered New

York State lobbyist. He’s rallied on behalf of theaters

for important issues such as predictive scheduling,

soda cup size regulations, and alcohol in theaters

legislation. He also serves as vice president of CATO

(Connecticut Association of Theater Owners).

22 JUNE 2019


EXECUTIVE SUITE

BY JOHN FITHIAN, NATO PRESIDENT & CEO

UNIC AND NATO

MOST EXCELLENT PARTNERS!

>> I am excited to be back in Barcelona for CineEurope 2019 and to work

with our partners at the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC). UNIC represents

motion picture exhibitors and their national trade bodies in 37

European territories. As the two largest international associations representing

the interests of exhibitors, UNIC and NATO collaborate closely on a daily

basis on a broad spectrum of issues. Though we don’t say it nearly enough,

it’s good to have great friends and colleagues pulling together in pursuit of

common goals.

CineEurope serves as the

official convention of UNIC,

and the event organizers and

UNIC leaders together put

on a great show. Andrew

Sunshine and his team at

the Film Expo Group bring

expertise and passion to their

organization of the event. At

the same time, Phil Clapp,

Laura Houlgatte Abbott, and

the other leaders of UNIC maximize the

opportunity CineEurope affords them

to raise important themes and discuss

current topics as they guide European

operators into the future.

As we gather once more in the Catalonian

paradise, it may be appropriate

to recount some of the myriad ways that

UNIC and NATO partner together. Here

is a brief snapshot:

with GCF Executive Committee

chairman Alejandro

Ramírez Magaña and his

team at Cinépolis, the UNIC

and NATO teams provide

the staffing support for this

important endeavor.

Preserving a Robust and Exclusive

Theatrical Window

JOHN FITHIAN

For both the European

members of UNIC and the North American

members of NATO, preservation of

a robust and exclusive theatrical window

constitutes a fundamental priority.

Though business decisions regarding the

competitive terms of movie distribution

must be made by individual companies

according to their own policies, UNIC

and NATO work together in a general

campaign in support of theatrical

exclusivity. We collect data and educate

Uniting Exhibition around the

our respective members, enabling them

World through the Global Cinema to prioritize this important issue in their

Federation (GCF)

own businesses.

Two years ago here at CineEurope,

UNIC and NATO and 10 leading exhibition

companies announced the formation Cinema Technologies

Sharing Ideas about the Future of

of the Global Cinema Federation. The NATO and UNIC both maintain

GCF serves to educate exhibitors globally active member committees to analyze

and to advocate on their behalf. The GCF and discuss cinema technologies. The two

offers exhibitors their first truly global committees work closely together and

and united voice at an important time of occasionally issue mutual statements on

opportunities and challenges. Working technological matters of concern. In this

way, exhibitors in two important territories

can stay up to speed on the latest

developments and have a say in the future

of their business.

Fighting Movie Theft

Movie theft (“piracy”) costs global

exhibition billions of dollars annually.

NATO, UNIC, and the GCF have thus

made the fight to reduce theft a global

priority. We work together with our

distribution partners to track incidents

of movie recording in cinemas and to

train staff to prevent such theft. We lobby

governments for laws to better constrain

movie theft. And we share best practices

from one territory to the next.

Serving Patrons with Disabilities

Many exhibitors and some of their

local governments have focused recently

on ways to expand access to patrons with

disabilities. UNIC and NATO work with

distributors, technology providers, and

advocates for people with disabilities to

develop better access. At the same time,

the trade bodies also work with governments

to support laws that might grow

access in ways that don’t damage the

underlying business.

Advocating for a Fairer Music

Licensing System

Exhibitors around the world spend

hundreds of millions of dollars annually

to license the music contained in the

movies they exhibit. Third-party collecting

societies impose costly fees on exhibitors

who really have no ability to choose

the music in movies. UNIC, NATO, and

the GCF are working to compare practices

from around the world and shed some

light on the methods of the collecting

societies, in the hopes that future fee rates

might be more reasonable.

We look forward to discussing these

and other key topics during the week

at CineEurope. For those readers lucky

enough to attend this important conference,

have a great show!

24 JUNE 2019


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MEMBER NEWS

BY DAVID BINET, DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP, NATO

FAMILY TIME IN THE FIRST STATE

NATO STAFF HIT THE ROAD TO VISIT MEMBER LOCATIONS

ATLANTIC MANAGEMENT LTD. (DBA MOVIES AT MIDWAY)

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

www.moviesatmidway.com

Tiffany Derrickson, Vice President

Visit Date: Sunday, February 17, 2019

Movie:

They Shall Not Grow Old

Concessions: Small popcorn, Reese’s Pieces, Aquafina water

>> One advantage of living on the East Coast is

that many fun travel destinations are within a day’s

drive, which helps with planning and logistics. I

had never visited Rehoboth Beach, so I set out to

visit the beaches of lower Delaware over a brisk

President’s Day weekend. Although the boardwalk

and small-town scenery retain their pleasant

attractiveness in winter, the movies are a nice (and

warm) indoor activity.

The Movies at Midway, a 13-screen complex,

stands out among a long line of strip mall stores

and restaurants on the highway leading into Rehoboth

Beach. The façade includes the company’s

distinctive cresting-waves logo, as well as multiple

digital screens with movie posters and show times.

The Movies at Midway is a third-generation cinema

company, the only one in the state of Delaware.

William Derrickson began operating cinemas

in 1941 and passed his knowledge on to his son

Richard, who then passed that knowledge on to his

daughter Tiffany.

We met Joy, the assistant manager on duty that

day, in the cinema lobby. She took time before a

busy changeover (The Lego Movie 2 opened that

weekend) and showed us the Cube, their premium

large-screen auditorium with recliner seats.

Our screening was in another auditorium, so we

thanked Joy for her hospitality and made our way

to the concessions stand. A distinctive feature

of this cinema is that the concessions stand is

cash-only. Yes, you can purchase tickets on-site and

online with a credit card, but the food is cardless

(although that will change this fall). This was a minor

shock to our city habits, but the advantage was

26 JUNE 2019


MEMBER NEWS

What do you appreciate the most about

your customers?

The thing we appreciate most about our customers

is their loyalty. Our staff is on a first-name

basis with many of our regular customers. The

staff knows the concessions order for many of the

loyal customers before they even order. We are

a small town, and we like to know our customers.

Our regular patrons come to the theater to

see a movie and we treat them like family while

they are there.

ALL IN THE FAMILY

Richard Derrickson and his

daughter Tiffany

affordable concessions for everyone, as evidenced

by the ubiquity of popcorn, soda, and candy purchases

that day.

Following our visit, Tiffany Derrickson was

gracious enough to share some background about

the family business:

What attracted you to the cinema industry—

how did you start?

I guess, just like my father, I was born into the

cinema industry. One of my earliest childhood

memories is from when I was about 3 and sitting

on the floor in a sold-out auditorium watching

American Graffiti while I waited for my dad, who

was probably working. I remember seeing Jaws

when I was 7, and my favorite T-shirt that summer

had an iron-on decal of Jaws. When I turned 12,

I started working at the movies, tearing tickets

for my summer job. From there, I worked my

way up to concessions, then box office, and then

the projection booth. (Yes, I know how to run

35-millimeter film … I miss the days of being able

to actually see what is going wrong.) I worked at

the cinema during summers throughout college.

After college, I left to pursue a career with my

teaching degree. I returned to the theater in 2008

as I was starting a family of my own. I am proud

to say my 8-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter

already know how to help at the concessions stand

and clean auditoriums! I hope that one day they

will continue to pass on the love of cinema and the

movie industry to their children.

How have three generations in the family business

affected the company culture?

Family is the culture of the company at The

Movies at Midway after three generations. We also

believe it is important to be actively involved in your

community and support the people who support

you. For over 20 years, we have partnered with the

local school for autistic children and open our doors

every morning as a job-training site. The Movies at

Midway recently collaborated with our local hospital

to raise money to build an outpatient surgery

building by giving proceeds from our “I Believe in

Beebe” popcorn bucket campaign. As a family-run

business, I support other small businesses in the area

whenever possible. I am also very fortunate to have

an amazing staff, and some of them have worked at

the theater for 15 or 20 years. My main projectionist

has worked at the theater since he was 17 years old,

and he is in his 60s now! The Movies at Midway is

part of an incredible community, and we treat each

other like family at the theater.

What is your biggest challenge with the cinema?

(Does anything keep you up at night?)

Currently the biggest challenge to running a

cinema is the film-rental fees. The film fees keep

going up and remain at high rates for the entire engagement

of the film. When the movie studios raise

film-rental fees, they are making it harder and harder

for small-town independently run theaters to stay in

business. We have all the cost and lots of overhead

just to put their movie up on our screens with no

guarantees that people will pay to come see it.

What is your favorite movie, and what concessions

would you have while watching it?

My father’s favorite movie is The Sting with just

popcorn and a drink. My favorite movie—I have

so many favorites from different decades that picking

one is hard … I am picking two old favorites:

The Apple Dumpling Gang and Raiders of the Lost

Ark with popcorn, soda, and Raisinets.

28 JUNE 2019


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

TO ADD EVENTS IN AN UPCOMING ISSUE, PLEASE SEND ANNOUNCEMENTS TO INFO@BOXOFFICE.COM

PHOTO: DANIEL RHONE

DISNEY PARTNERS WITH THE MAKE-A-WISH

FOUNDATION FOR THE #FRIENDLIKEME

CHALLENGE

>> In advance of the release of Aladdin, Disney has partnered

with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for the #FriendLikeMe

Challenge. Supported by Disney and Aladdin star Will Smith,

the challenge prompted social media users to share their answer

to the question: “If you were the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin and

had the chance to grant three heartfelt wishes for someone, who

would you share them with?” Between April 29 and May 24,

Disney donated $5—up to a total of $1 million—to the Make-

A-Wish Foundation for every public Facebook or Instagram post

containing the #FriendLikeMe hashtag.

“The release of Aladdin presents an authentic opportunity to

connect the film’s powerful theme of wish-granting to the wonderful

work Make-A-Wish does in support of children dealing

with serious illnesses around the world,” said Elissa Margolis,

senior vice president, enterprise social responsibility, for The Walt

Disney Company. “Wishes are all about hope, and we’re so glad

to be able to continue our work with Make-A-Wish and invite

fans to join us in helping grant more wishes that will bring hope

into the lives of deserving kids and their families.”

Since 1980, Disney and Make-A-Wish have helped grant

life-changing wishes for more than 130,000 children with critical

illnesses around the world. Today, one out of every two wishes

granted in the U.S. is a Disney wish.

Michel Rudolphie, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish

International, added: “By participating in the challenge, members

of the global community can do their part to bring the

life-changing impact of a wish to more children. We are grateful

to Disney and Will Smith for joining us on this journey to transform

the lives of more children, families, volunteers, supporters,

medical professionals, and entire communities worldwide.”

LOLLIPOP THEATER NETWORK

CELEBRATES ITS THIRD

ANNUAL SUPERHERO WALK

>> The streets of Beverly Hills were

flooded with hundreds of Lollipop Theater

Network supporters donning bright

red superhero capes in celebration of the

third annual Lollipop Superhero Walk

on April 28, 2019.

Just prior to the walk, eight outpatients

from Los Angeles–area hospitals

revealed their inner superhero, complete with one-of-a-kind

costumes designed by members of the Costume Designers Guild.

As the superheroes made their grand entrance at 100 North

Crescent Drive, each was surprised with a full-size movie poster

featuring his or her alter ego.

Said the mother of superhero “Golden Fly,” one of the eight

heroes honored at this year’s walk: “We had so much fun yesterday!

Everything was amazing. I honestly cried

at the part where [Lollipop] showed

Pedro’s poster. I am extremely grateful for

where we are at this very moment and

for the Lollipop Theater Network.”

In addition to its annual Superhero

Walk, the Lollipop Theater Network

brings the magic of the movies to

hospitalized children. The generous

sponsors responsible for making the

2019 Superhero Walk possible include:

Film Expo Group, New Line Cinema,

Samsung, Dolby, Eugenetek Corp., Red Crown Productions,

Christie Digital, Sony Pictures, Cinemark, Stampede Global, and

Jerry Leigh.

PHOTO: BRIAN BOWEN SMITH; POSTER DESIGN: VOX + ASSOCIATES

PHOTO: BRIAN BOWEN SMITH; POSTER DESIGN: VOX + ASSOCIATES

30 JUNE 2019


Thanks to Stein’s Home & Garden and its many

partners, Variety Wisconsin was pleased to present

adorable sisters Anna & Ivy Cosgrove with brandnew

adaptive hand bicycles during the Stein’s

Grand Re-opening Event in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

back row Lynn Hawkins (CFO at Stein’s Garden & Home); Pamela Mattox; Anna and Ivy’s

mother, Jennifer Cosgrove; Matt Hall; Nancy Major, CEO of Variety Wisconsin; Brent Emery;

Samantha Bentley; Miranda Zwieg; Norman Brooks; Preston Cosgrove (the girls’ father);

Robert Young (president & CEO of Stein’s Garden & Home). front row Anna Cosgrove, Alley

Faith (103.7 KISS FM), Ivy Cosgrove

UPCOMING EVENTS

VARIETY – THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF DETROIT

MONDAY, JUNE 17 / BIRMINGHAM, MI

On June 17, the 30th annual Variety Kovan Golf Classic will take place at the

Birmingham Country Club. Proceeds from the event support Variety Detroit’s

six core programs, which provide assistance to underserved children with cognitive

and/or physical challenges or who are victims of disadvantage, poverty, or

natural disaster. Additional information can be found at:

www.facebook.com/events/948064232066797/

Variety Detroit’s Hearts & Stars 2019 took place on

May 4 at the Townsend Hotel. Rosalie and Joe Vicari

(below) were honored for their extraordinary commitment

to children in need. Presenting sponsor of

Hearts & Stars was Lincoln of Troy; co-chairs for the

event were Variety board members Rhonda Sabatini

and Laurie Fischgrund (above.)

VARIETY – THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF NORTHERN

CALIFORNIA

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19 / SAN FRANCISCO, CA

The Variety Gold Heart Relay will take place Wednesday, June 19, from 10 a.m.

to 2 p.m. in the East Garden of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens. This

fun and unique event helps to promote inclusive riding for all ability levels.

Corporate teams of 10 will take turns riding stationary bikes to help raise funds

for Variety – the Children’s Charity of Northern California’s Freedom program,

which helps children with disabilities to get custom-built adaptive bicycles and

low-income children to receive their first bikes. The Variety Gold Heart Relay is

“geared” toward raising funds so that kids can be kids. Open to riders of all abilities,

this event brings companies together to provide much-needed equipment

to kids who need it most! Visit www.varietync.org/relay for info on sponsorship,

volunteer, registration, and more.

JUNE 2019

31


INDIE FOCUS

b r o u g h t t o y o u b y

Gene Siskel Film Center of the

School of the Art Institute

of Chicago

BY KAREN DURHAM

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF

PUBLIC RELATIONS

AND MARKETING

– CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 –

32 JUNE 2019


INDIE FOCUS

SCREENS: 2

CAPACITY: 196 (Theater 1)

63 (Theater 2)

HISTORY

The Gene Siskel Film Center was

established in 1972 and started programming

to the public in 1973. Films

were screened in Fullerton Hall at the

Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) and

later in the School of the Art Institute

of Chicago (SAIC) Auditorium before

moving to our current home at 164

North State Street in June 2001. While

AIC managed Fullerton Hall and SAIC

managed the auditorium, when we

moved to our own dedicated facility, we

gained autonomy, first operating at five

days a week and then offering a full seven-day

slate of programming. As a result

of our autonomy and seven-day-a-week

schedule, our programming directors

established relationships with studios

which, at the time, meant access to

higher-quality exhibition copies (as opposed

to educational distributors, which

have a reputation for having exhibition

copies that aren’t well-maintained). We

have our own staff and budget but share

our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status with

both AIC and SAIC. While we are part

of both an art-school and an art-museum

community, that does not guarantee

a built-in audience.

COMMUNITY

Our core audience is composed of

cinephiles, but who attends screenings

can vary significantly in one day

depending on what’s being shown. We

attract special interest groups through

such films as documentaries; local

Europeans and the well-traveled set

when we present our Chicago European

Union Film Festival; Chicago’s black

community when we host our Black

Harvest Film Festival (BHFF) and

Black Harvest Presents movies (films

shown in the spirit of BHFF during

nonfestival months); and have growing

audience segments coming from the

LGBTQ and Latinx communities. We

also attract a cultural audience due to

the number of visual art, music, and

dance documentaries presented.

PROGRAMMING

Our programming is well thought

out in terms of attracting not only

cinephiles but the cultural community as

well, since we show films related to the

performing and visual arts and we’re part

of an art museum and an art school and

our downtown location means there are

people who either work or live nearby

to access museums, music, and other

performing arts or come downtown for

that purpose. We stand apart due to the

fact that we have over 200 guest artist

appearances annually and celebrate the

work of independent and international

filmmakers with 1,500–1,600 screenings

every year. We have become a hub and

created a sense of community and cohesion

for the local filmmaking community,

which used to be rather fragmented.

Such programs that exemplify our ongoing

showcasing of local work include

34 JUNE 2019


the annual Black Harvest Film Festival;

the Cortadito program part of Panorama

Latinx, a short film showcase of work by

local Latinx directors that was inaugurated

in September 2018; and the inclusion

of locally produced films in our monthly

programming calendar.

A RECORD YEAR

2018 was a record year in attendance

for the Gene Siskel Film Center. We

enjoyed success with our two biggest film

festivals, the Black Harvest Film Festival

(every August) and the Chicago European

Union Film Festival (every March) and

are growing audiences with Asian American

Showcase and the Chicago Palestine

Film Festival, both partnership endeavors

presented every April. These festivals—

especially Black Harvest—bring in a

number of patrons who may not come

here otherwise (though we’re now trying

to engage them to become regulars) and

filmmakers, which means added publicity

and more audience engagement.

Premieres of the biopic Tom of

Finland and Kartemquin Films’ All

the Queen’s Horses contributed to our

highest-grossing January ever. Other art

house premieres such as The Animation

Show of Shows, Science Fair, and

Kusama: Infinity did well due to robust

promotional partnerships as we were

targeting special interest audiences for

these programs.

Locally directed films, like the

documentaries The Area and Academy

Award–nominated Minding the Gap and

narrative features Mercury in Retrograde

and Rogers Park, with filmmakers in person

at most of the screenings, resulted in

sold-out and capacity shows. We pride

ourselves on having over 200 guest artist

appearances every year.

A best performing title can also mean

a landmark occasion such as having the

likes of Argentinian director Lucrecia

Martel, who appeared in person with her

highly anticipated feature Zama, her first

film in nine years.

We also benefit from the second-run

business—such titles in 2018 included

My Friend Dahmer, Loving Vincent, Faces

Places, Free Solo, and Tea with the Dames.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Popcorn is obviously a perennial favorite

as well as tea and coffee (although

it also depends on the weather, which

can vary vastly in Chicago). Candies

such as the traditional Twizzlers and the

German-made Ritter Sport sell especially

well. Noting that we were one of the

first cinemas in Chicago to serve alcohol

(now most of them do), we do sell a fair

amount of wine, which has an edge over

beer (both imports and exports as well as

craft beers are offered). We try to cover

all our options and especially pay attention

to the season/time of the year.

GRASSROOTS MARKETING

When our steadfast advocates (such

as our Black Harvest Community

Council, in existence since 2003) step

up to promote such programs as Black

Harvest, we see how their knowledge of

Chicago’s black community translates

into higher box office sales, engaged

audiences at Q&As, and repeat customers

(and increased membership sales).

We also have great success when we

work with filmmakers who have a robust

outreach infrastructure in place (such

as Kartemquin Films) and distributors

who hire grassroots marketing firms and

regional publicists.

CINEMA ADVERTISING

The biggest impact of on-screen

advertising is the revenue Spotlight Cinema

Networks generates for us. The additional

revenue per year goes right into

general operating expenses, which contributes

to the Gene Siskel Film Center

being able to present a year-round

curated film program. Because we can’t

solely rely on grants, donations, ticket

sales, and membership revenues, we are

truly grateful for this opportunity and

would definitely recommend Spotlight

Cinema Networks to any for-profit or

nonprofit art house cinema.

JUNE 2019

35


CONFERENCE RECAP

BY REBECCA PAHLE

A MERRY TIME IN MARYLAND

MID-ATLANTIC NATO’S CINEMA SHOW & TELL

CHANGES ITS LOCATION, KEEPS ITS QUALITY

>> This year marked a change for Cinema Show

& Tell, the annual convention of the Mid-Atlantic

NATO. For the first time, the show skipped a bit

north from its usual venue in Virginia to the Live!

Casino and Hotel in Hanover, Maryland. The

venue might have been different, but the show—

taking place over a day and a half on May 15 and

16—gave attendees the same quality experience

they’ve come to expect.

Mid-Atlantic NATO caters mostly to exhibition

professionals throughout Virginia, Maryland,

and the District of Columbia, including

international circuits—Regal and Cinemark

locations, for example, were well represented at

this year’s show—regional exhibitors, and independent

outfits.

In prior years, executive director Doug Murdoch

explains, the logistics of the show meant that

attendees would have to shuttle back and forth between

Cinema Show & Tell’s event space, partner

theater, and hotel, with all-important networking

carried out in whatever nooks and crannies people

could find.

This spread-out footprint hasn’t impeded

Cinema Show & Tell’s ability to build a reputation

as one of the premier regional trade shows.

At the scholarship awards luncheon that closed

out the show, NATO president and CEO John

Fithian feted Mid-Atlantic NATO as “one of the

better conferences in the country,” in part because

Mid-Atlantic NATO has “a tremendous regional

leader in Doug Murdoch.”

Still—the new venue has only helped Cinema

Show & Tell do what it does best: facilitate relationships

between professionals from all corners

of this industry, whether they’re theater managers,

vendors, or studio representatives. Taking place as

it does on the heels of CinemaCon, Mid-Atlantic

NATO provides a necessary opportunity for its

attendees to have leisurely one-on-one conversations

that can lead to concrete deals. With the

move to the Live! Hotel & Casino, those conversations

were able to take place a few floors down

from attendees’ hotel rooms, late into the night,

no shuttles required.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The “latenight

deal-making” portion of any show comes

after its programming, which in Cinema Show

& Tell’s case included information on a number

of issues affecting the exhibition industry. Late

Monday morning, NATO’s director of government

relations Esther Baruh led a wide-ranging

presentation that covered everything from music

licensing (check out Fithian’s piece in our May

issue for details about how changes in that area

can affect your theater’s bottom line) to minimum

wage increases to regulations on predictable scheduling

and paid leave.

These issues, Baruh noted, are holdovers from

previous years. The wheels of government do not

turn quickly. But two new issues got stage time as

well: the increasing pressure from advocacy groups

to ban single-use plastics and a proposed “automation

tax.” The latter hasn’t gathered the amount of

steam that the plastic ban has, but it’s potentially

very significant for the industry, proposing as it

does a tax on businesses that (for example) install

ticketing kiosks when they would have otherwise

hired employees. None of these proposed regulatory

changes is cut-and-dried. None of them has

a simple solution. And that’s why gatherings like

Cinema Show & Tell, where people from the exhibition

industry can gather and share experiences

and proposed solutions, are so essential.

Other topics addressed at this year’s Cinema

Show & Tell were accessibility regulations and the

Cinema Buying Alliance, the latter a component

of the Independent Cinema Alliance (ICA), which

36 JUNE 2019


hosted an indies-only session. From there, it was

on to the trade show, where everyone from theater

managers to NATO officials and major vendors

could have discussions about their shared needs

and how to meet them over the coming year.

Said Danny Martinez of augmented-reality app

Fuze Viewer, one of Cinema Show & Tell’s vendors

and sponsors, “We met a lot of new theater

owners. The experience was amazing. It was very

well put-together. … My takeaway is that it’s a

very tight-knit group and to be invited to be part

of it was very exciting.”

(It may not be the most glamorous compliment,

but Martinez’s observation about Cinema

Show & Tell being “well put-together” echoes

one of the most common sentiments expressed by

attendees this year. To paraphrase: “Wow, everything’s

running on time.”)

When attendees weren’t gathering relevant info

during presentations, chatting with trade show

vendors, or networking at one of the Live! Casino

and Hotel’s bars, they were over at the Cinemark

Egyptian 24 and HD theater—which, incidentally,

is right next door to the Live!, just a few minutes’

walk away. It was there that attendees got to

check out two screenings (Amazon Studios’ Late

Night and Sony’s Brightburn), presentations from

studio partners, and a series of “speed dating”

(Murdoch’s term) presentations from Fuze Viewer;

“Ask the Audience” survey findings from National

CineMedia; GDC Technology introducing their

new series of media servers; and advice from the

Federal Trade Commission on how to combat

cybersecurity threats. Those who got there early

could lounge in one of the Cinemark Egyptian

recliners while watching National CineMedia’s

Noovie pre-show.

Cinema Show & Tell closed out on Thursday

with the aforementioned scholarship luncheon,

where 14 young employees of Mid-Atlantic

NATO member theaters were given college scholarships

ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Though

suffused with Cinema Show & Tell’s trademark

congeniality, the luncheon had its bittersweet

elements, too. Two individuals key to Mid-Atlantic

NATO—Betty Cohen, wife of the late R/C

Theatres founder Irwin R. Cohen, and Regal

Cinemas’ Lee Milstead, Cinema Show & Tell’s

long-standing “official photographer”—had passed

away during the previous year. To honor them,

Mid-Atlantic NATO introduced the Lee Milstead

Memorial Scholarship and altered the Irwin R.

Memorial Scholarship to include Betty.

The Mid-Atlantic NATO family continues

to grow; in the general membership meeting

on Wednesday morning, Ted Pedras (emeritus),

David Phillips of R/C Theaters, Rick Novak of

Royal Cinemas, and Jennifer Abney of Cinemark

were officially named new or returning members

of the board.

With all the goody bags given out and the

hotel rooms turned over to other visitors, Murdoch

reflected on another year’s Cinema Show &

Tell: “Everybody said they loved it. They loved the

location. I’ve already heard from several vendors

that have asked about the dates for next year and

stated that they can’t wait to come back. I’ve had a

lot of very positive reactions.”

JUNE 2019

37


welcome to

by Laura Houlgatte Abbott, Chief Executive Officer, UNIC

>> I’m delighted to welcome you all

once again to the beautiful city of Barcelona

for this year’s edition of our annual

convention—the biggest of its kind in

Europe. CineEurope is one of the key

events in the international calendar of

what is becoming an increasingly global

industry. As a result, while our main

focus remains with the European cinema

sector, now more than ever we find

ourselves addressing topics of relevance

not just to Europe but also to colleagues

worldwide—as reflected in our dynamic

2019 program.

Looking back, 2018 was yet another

great year for European cinemagoing,

marking the fourth consecutive year that

cinemas across UNIC territories welcomed

over 1.25 billion admissions. On

top of this, there is certainly no time like

the present to celebrate the cinemagoing

experience thanks to the success of Avengers:

Endgame and the impressive calendar

of upcoming releases throughout the rest

of the year.

For us, there is no better place to

showcase European cinemagoing than

CineEurope. The convention embodies

everything that makes the European

cinema industry unique and explores the

latest trends and developments in the

big-screen experience, highlighting the

growth and prosperity of the sector and

its continued value for audiences. And

this edition will be no exception.

This year, we will kick off with a

session on Emerging Global Markets,

which promises to provide fascinating

insights into the industry in the contrasting

territories of South Africa and

Serbia. We can then look forward to

an executive roundtable welcoming

high-level panelists from across the

industry and a European Commission

session, exploring as yet “untapped”

audiences. Later on in the week, our

friends at Coca-Cola will explore the

possibilities of digital retail and the

industry’s efforts toward harnessing its

appetite for innovation in sustainability.

A selection of focus sessions on the

trade show floor will cover a broad range

of subject matter, including premium experiences,

direct-view displays, and other

technological developments. Speaking of

innovation, don’t forget to spend some

time on our trade show floor itself, to

discover the latest in sound, image, seats,

and concessions! The pursuit of innovative

solutions also forms an integral part

of a discussion to follow in our Thursday

session on accessibility. And, when we

talk about safeguarding the future from a

more industry-focused perspective, there

are few bigger threats than piracy—a

topic that we will explore in our Wednesday

session.

We’re of course delighted to again

bring you the widest and best possible

range of film content from our valued

European and U.S. studio partners

UniFrance, Studiocanal, Warner Bros.

Pictures International, Universal Pictures

International, STX International, Sony

Pictures Releasing International, Walt

Disney Studios Motion Pictures International,

and Paramount Pictures International.

This week will see no fewer than

six exclusive slate presentations and four

fantastic films, including the first-ever

slate presentation for Event Cinema in

the main auditorium.

And don’t forget to join us for our

awards ceremony on Thursday to congratulate

all our 2019 awardees!

During the week, UNIC will also

continue its efforts toward developing

the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership

Programme—our pioneering mentoring

scheme for women in cinema exhibition—to

reflect not only the ongoing

need for more gender balance both onand

off-screen but also the tremendous

support that the initiative has received so

far across the sector.

None of this would be possible without

the dedication, commitment, and

work of all our partners and colleagues.

Here, special thanks must go to our partners

at the Film Expo Group–our strong

relationship is key to the show’s success.

I’m also particularly pleased to be

continuing our partnership with the

European Commission, which reflects

our commitment to engaging in dialogue

with the European institutions on the

benefits of a vibrant cinemagoing culture

in Europe.

Huge thanks of course to our colleagues

in distribution for giving us

amazing content year on year, as well as

our sponsors and industry partners—your

continued trust and support is invaluable.

And last but certainly not least, thank

you to all our attendees for participating

in our show. I’m very much looking forward

to catching up during the week!

38 JUNE 2019


BEYOND THE

CONTINENT

CINEEUROPE CONTINUES TO

EXPAND ITS INTERNATIONAL

PROFILE

by Kevin Lally

“It’s not just a European event anymore.”

Andrew Sunshine, president of the Film Expo

Group, is talking about CineEurope, the official

convention of the International Union of Cinemas

(UNIC), which opens its 28th edition on June 17

at the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona

in Barcelona, Spain.

“The show has really grown in stature over the

last five to 10 years,” Sunshine continues. “You

hear it at CinemaCon all the time: It’s a global

industry. And if you look at where we’re positioned

within the global market, our international shows,

CineEurope and CineAsia, represent a lot more of

the box office than just North America. Cinema-

Con is branded as a global show, but CineEurope

has also taken on a whole new role.”

At press time, delegates from 67 countries were

planning to attend the show, including from places

as far away as Japan, Malaysia, and Brazil.

Still, CineEurope maintains its status as the

key annual event for European cinema owners.

“Just as NATO supports CinemaCon, having

UNIC as our partner, bringing their members in,

is what really helps drive our show,” Sunshine says.

“UNIC now represents 37 countries. The challenge

within Europe is that you have 37 countries that

all have different languages. All can potentially

have different rollout dates, different marketing

materials in multiple languages, censorship in some

markets. One of the presidents of distribution

said to me just the other day that his international

team, in his opinion, works 10 times as hard as the

domestic distribution team. It’s a unique challenge.

Having UNIC there being able to bring everybody

together is the most important thing for us.”

CineEurope this year is bringing in a programming

concept from CineAsia, with sessions on

emerging markets. The Monday morning schedule

will kick off with a “Focus on South Africa,” presented

by Aboobaker “AB” Moosa, CEO of South

African circuit Avalon Group, followed by a “Focus

on Serbia” with Christof Papousek, chief financial

officer of Serbian exhibitor Cineplexx. Sunshine

expects these sessions

examining breakout markets

to become an annual

CineEurope tradition. “I

think it’s important to

have these countries talk

about what’s happening

there and maybe share

some information with

other people.”

The busy Monday

morning agenda will also

include a roundtable

with three leading executives—Universal

Pictures

International distribution

president Duncan Clark,

Cinépolis CEO Alejandro

Ramírez Magaña,

and Vue Entertainment

CEO Tim Richards—

moderated by Boxoffice

and Webedia Movies Pro CEO Julien Marcel.

Then, Lucía Recalde, head of the European Commission’s

Creative Europe Media unit, moderates a

panel exploring how theaters can attract the large

segment of the European population that never

goes out to the cinema.

Other focus sessions take place on the trade

show floor, a CineEurope tradition that began a

few years ago. “We made it bigger last year, and

we can accommodate up to 400 people,” Sunshine

notes. “We do programming there now Tuesday,

Wednesday, and Thursday. I think that helps drive

people to the trade show and keeps people invested

in the different technologies that are happening.”

Topics this year include premium cinemagoing

experiences, customer insights, film theft, accessibility,

movies on demand in private cinemas, and

“creating the ultimate viewing experience.”

Along with the educational component, “these

shows are all about product,” Sunshine says. “We

get tremendous support from all of the studios

when it comes to product. I don’t know if it’s

because it’s the international market, but we have

all the studios coming back and doing product

presentations again this year or screening a movie.”

Film screenings announced at press time were

Universal Pictures’ comedy-fantasy Yesterday, about

a world without The Beatles, and Warner Bros.’

horror sequel Annabelle Comes Home. Sony and

Disney will also be screening major titles. Cinionic

ANDREW SUNSHINE

JUNE 2019 39


WE CAN WORK IT OUT

Universal will be hosting

a special screening of its

Beatles fantasy, Yesterday.

is the show’s projection partner, and the booth will

house six projectors, including two laser setups.

Sunshine adds, “We’re doing something special

for the first time in the big theater with the

Event Cinema Association. We’ve been working

with their new executive director, Grainne Peat,

a wonderful lady. Europe is very, very strong

for alternative content in theaters, so the ECA

is going to have companies like Trafalgar and

Fathom and their other members present their

upcoming product.”

For the second year, CineEurope will be

presenting special Gold Awards, inspired by

ShowEast’s long-running Hall of Fame awards.

“The Hall of Fame was created to recognize people

in our industry, not only top executives, but also

some of the under-the-radar people,” Sunshine explains.

“The European version started as a program

to thank those who helped us launch Cinema Expo

over 25 years ago. That was successful, and then

the idea came basically to create a hall of fame.

But we decided to call it the Gold Awards, The

concept is to recognize and salute the person who’s

dedicated their life to this industry and would

never be recognized in

another fashion. All

of UNIC’s country

associations submit

recommendations, and

then UNIC and their

committee make the

final selections. This is

something that they’ll

be able to cherish—

they get their moment

in the sun. We expect

it to be even more

successful this year,

just by the number of

names that were added

to the list of potential

people.” Details on this

year’s winners may be

found on page 82.

Sponsored by The

Coca-Cola Company,

the CineEurope

awards program on

Thursday, June 20,

will also honor Disney

and Marvel’s Avengers:

Infinity War with the Comscore European Box

Office Achievement Award, and Peter Fornstam,

managing director of Nordic circuit Svenska Bio

and chairman of the Swedish Exhibitors’ Association,

with the UNIC Achievement Award.

International Exhibitor of the Year honors go to pioneering

Croatia-based circuit Blitz-CineStar, to be

accepted by founder Hrvoje Krstulovic and CEO

Jadranka Islamovic. And Mark Viane, president

of international theatrical distribution, and Mary

Daily, co-president, worldwide marketing and

distribution at Paramount Pictures, will accept the

International Distributor of the Year Award.

“We always want to recognize executives who

are doing good things for their studio,” Sunshine

says. “Mark and Mary have worked very, very

closely with Jim Gianopulos to put together what’s

going to be a tremendous new slate of films.

They’re excited as hell about what they’ve got

coming forward the rest of this year and beyond.

They’re going to do a 90-minute product presentation.

We’re recognizing them for their contributions

to the industry, not only going forward, but

for what they’ve done in the past.”

40 JUNE 2019


CINEEUROPE

2019

INTERNATIONAL

EXHIBITOR OF

THE YEAR

CINEEUROPE HONORS

BLITZ-CINESTAR AS 2019’S

INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITOR

OF THE YEAR

by Rebecca Pahle

>> Blitz-CineStar, the biggest exhibition chain in

the Balkans, has its roots in a completely different

corner of the film industry. As a 20-something

in 1992, eventual Blitz-CineStar founder and

member of the board Hrvoje Krstulovic kicked off

his career by establishing a video rental chain. That

segued into Blitz Film and Video Distribution,

which is still in operation as “an important market

leader in Croatia and the countries of the former

Yugoslavia,” Krstulovic explains. The distributor

“has established excellent relationships with the

world’s leading film content providers,” both independents

and major studios in the United States

and Europe.

Krstulovic’s background in distribution made

it easier for him to establish the Blitz-CineStar in

2003; very soon afterward, it became “the largest

exhibition company in the former Yugoslavia.”

Easier, but not easy. Krstulovic admits that the theatrical-exhibition

landscape when Blitz-CineStar

came onto the scene was “poor,” beset by a “lack

of investments in cinemas and a constant drop in

cinema admissions.”

Fifteen years later, things are different. CineStar

boasts 23 multiplexes with a combined total of

nearly 23,000 seats throughout Croatia, Bosnia

and Herzegovina, and Serbia. “Admissions,” Krstulovic

notes, “are on the constant increase.” Box office,

too, is on the rise; depending on the country,

Blitz-CineStar’s box office take increased from 10

to 15 percent in 2018, with the highest-grossing

titles of that year being Bohemian Rhapsody, Avengers:

Infinity War, and A Star Is Born.

Krstulovic admits that there are still challenges

unique to the Balkan market, specifically “the relatively

lower standard in comparison to developed

markets, which leads to lower ticket prices with the

same level of investment; negative migrations from

our region to more developed countries; and the

fact that our territory is quite fragmented, consisting

of several countries with different languages,

laws, taxes, habits, and even religions.”

Despite these challenges, Blitz-CineStar has

over a relatively short period of time built itself up

to provide premium experiences to its moviegoers.

It’s for this and other reasons that Blitz-CineStar

has been named the International Exhibitor of the

Year at this year’s CineEurope.

Blitz-CineStar’s motto is “Five Star Cinemas.”

That five-star mentality, Krstulovic explains, means

“providing each visitor the best value for their

money through first-class service” as well as offering

“the best selection of films in technologically

superior cinemas with the most comfortable seats.

We believe that the cinema is and should remain

the best place to watch a film.”

Blitz-CineStar’s first multiplex, the CineStar

Zagreb, opened in 2003; with 13 screens and

2,940 seats, it’s still the largest multiplex in the former

Yugoslavia. Last year, Blitz-CineStar received

ICTA’s New Build Cinema of the Year award for

the CineStar 4DX Mall of Split in Zagreb, Croatia.

The successes of these theaters, Krstulovic notes,

only spur the chain to expand its level of quality

moving forward. To that end, Blitz-CineStar

opened the CineStar Banja Luka in Bosnia and

Herzegovina earlier this year. Its next project is a

multiplex at Belgrade’s Ada Mall, set to open later

in 2019. “We expect a lot from this site, which

is going to be the most beautiful state-of-the-art

cinema in Serbia. It will have a 4DX screen, a bar,

and birthday party rooms. The concept has been

HRVOJE KRSTULOVIC

JUNE 2019 41


proven to make our cinemas into favorite entertainment

destinations,” says Krstulovic.

Over the 15 years that Blitz-CineStar has been in

operation, the chain has put a lot of effort into building

up experiences that serve different slices of its audience.

There’s the Kids Cinema, with a playground and a slide.

Different loyalty program tiers cater to students and seniors.

Explains CEO Jadranka Islamovic, those two groups

“are more vulnerable economically, so we have been able to

approach them with specially tailored offers. The student

card is very popular, while the senior card is reasonably

well accepted.” With the latter group, “there are faithful

audiences who tend to see more special events and domestic

productions.”

Blitz-CineStar goes the VIP route with its Gold Class

theater concept; these, explains Islamovic, “are special

theaters with a separate reception area and a lounge bar

for Gold Class visitors only. We offer a complete night

out, with a film, dinner, drinks, and high-level food and

beverage service available throughout the screening. This

project upgraded our overall service level by [catering to]

visitors with a more solid personal income who look for

more luxury.”

Blitz-CineStar took the luxury concept to the next

level with the launch of the Kaptol Boutique Cinema in

Zagreb, Croatia. At the time the Kaptol Boutique opened,

Blitz-CineStar was already running three cinemas in

Zagreb. While citizens of Zagreb had movie options, “none

of them offered the boutique cinema concept—a cinema

where you can talk about the film and exchange impressions

in a nice atmosphere, having drinks and listening

to great, often live, music,” says Krstulovic. That lack

prompted Blitz-CineStar to “create something that we had

never done before. We took over an existing cinema site

and, rather than just continuing the business, we decided

to shut it down for complete reconstruction and refurbishing.

We sacrificed one of the existing six halls to build the

Wow bar, while the remaining five halls were completely

refurbished in such a way that each one of them has a

unique interior design.”

Blitz-CineStar’s strategy going forward involves a mix of

new-build theaters and refurbishment. “We believe there is

still room for expansion in the Balkan market,” Krstulovic

says. Croatia is “already well-saturated,” though not entirely

so—the chain is currently developing another cinema

in Zagreb. “We believe there is still room for premium

cinemas in the other countries in the Balkan region.”

Across the board, “we constantly invest in projection technology

in order to keep up with the worldwide trends in

the industry. We are happy to say that we believe that our

standard of technology, experience offered, and design can

match any of the best international exhibitors.”

42 JUNE 2019


CINEEUROPE 2019

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR

OF THE YEAR

MARK VIANE

PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL THEATRICAL

DISTRIBUTION, PARAMOUNT PICTURES

MARY DAILY

CO-PRESIDENT, WORLDWIDE

MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION,

PARAMOUNT PICTURES

BY KEVIN LALLY

Paramount Pictures was revitalized in 2018 with

the success of Mission: Impossible—Fallout (the

biggest film in that long-running franchise),

Bumblebee, and the sleeper horror hit A Quiet

Place. In all, the studio generated $1.1 billion at

the box office last year.

>> Key to that success were Mark Viane, Paramount’s

president of international theatrical distribution,

and Mary Daily, co-president, worldwide

marketing and distribution, who will be honored

with the International Distributor of the Year

award at CineEurope.

Viane joined Paramount in 2007 as senior

VP of theatrical distribution for Europe, Middle

East, and Africa (EMEA). He was subsequently

promoted to roles as senior VP, theatrical distribution,

Asia-Pacific and Latin America, and

co-president, international theatrical distribution

and marketing.

Daily joined Paramount Pictures in 2017 as

president of international theatrical marketing and

worldwide home media entertainment after nine

years at 20th Century Fox. In her current role, she

is responsible for the design, development, and

implementation of all elements of marketing.

Paramount’s 2019 slate includes the high-energy

Elton John biopic Rocketman, Terminator:

Dark Fate, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, and

Ang Lee’s groundbreaking Gemini Man. Coming

up in 2020 are Tiffany Haddish and Rose

Byrne in Limited Partners, Sonic the Hedgehog, the

John Cena action comedy Playing with Fire, and

sequels to Top Gun, Coming to America, A Quiet

Place, and G.I. Joe.

Viane and Daily spoke to Boxoffice about

their proudest accomplishments and what’s in store

at this legendary studio.

Mark, how has the business changed since you

joined Paramount in 2007?

Mark Viane: I initially started with United

International Pictures in 1996, when box office

split between international and domestic was

roughly one-to-one. The international marketplace

has grown significantly since then, now

representing close to 70 percent of worldwide

MARY DAILY

MARK VIANE

JUNE 2019

43


DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR

BEHIND THE SCENES

Director Ang Lee with Will

Smith on the set of the

upcoming Gemini Man

box office. International is now a crucial driving

force on decision making rather than the afterthought

it once was.

Mary, the same question for you: What industry

changes have you noted since you arrived at

Fox in 2008?

Mary Daily: In the past ten years, there has

been a huge proliferation of content and more

consumer entertainment choice than ever before.

As such, delivering consumers a true theatrical

experience has become increasingly important and

a key differentiator for our business.

What are your proudest accomplishments

at Paramount?

Viane: I was very proud to be a part of the team

when Paramount Pictures International was the

first studio ever to break the $3 billion box office

threshold in 2011. And I continue to be proud to

work with the very professional and talented team

we have in place around the world.

Daily: I feel very proud to be part of the

Paramount team. This is one of the oldest movie

studios, with an incredible storied past and in my

mind a great future ahead. I am really happy to

play a part in shaping the future together with my

amazing colleagues around the world.

What films are you

most gratified to

have worked on?

Daily: Our slate

is so diverse that each

movie brings with it

different challenges

and opportunities

which are really

energizing. As a huge

music fan, the most recent

highlight has been

working on Rocketman.

The movie delivers a

truly unique theatrical

experience. A real

audio/visual spectacle.

It’s a very special movie

in so many ways.

Viane: There are so

many films that I have

been proud to work

on, but last year I was

incredibly proud to work on A Quiet Place and

turn the film into a major box office success along

with the filmmakers. It was such a unique film

with very little dialogue, yet it was so effective in its

storytelling. We believed in this film from conception

and now we are making a sequel. Recently, I

was also very proud to have worked on Rocketman.

Now that there’s one less major in the

marketplace, what kind of impact does that

have on Paramount?

Daily: With our increasing slate, I think we

are well placed to take advantage of the increased

growth in interest and appetite for movies around

the world.

Viane: It makes our partnership with exhibition

ever more important, so we can ensure that each

and every market is well served with great movies.

Which territories are experiencing the most

rapid growth?

Daily: China continues to be a major growth

market along with Indonesia and Vietnam. We

also see future growth opportunities within Asia in

markets like Cambodia and Myanmar.

Viane: The Middle East is also a market that

has steady growth, but the real box office opportunity

is in Saudi Arabia.

44 JUNE 2019


What are the biggest challenges of overseeing

so many territories?

Daily: Ensuring that you understand the cultural

nuances and needs of the territories. It is not

one size fits all, and being able to adapt campaigns

to ensure the movies resonate in each market takes

time at every level. We are committed to maximizing

each of our releases with attentiveness to

different territories’ various needs.

Viane: To add to that, managing your time

effectively and efficiently is always a challenge, as we

strive to give every market and team member the

time and energy they deserve. Every market is incredibly

important to the company—and our films.

Tell me about Paramount chairman Jim

Gianopulos and his leadership.

Daily: This is my third time working for Jim

and that’s no coincidence. He is super-smart and

has great instincts, not to mention the energy

of a 25-year-old! His leadership style is direct

and inclusive and you learn from him every day.

And he is a really good person—not a given in

this industry.

Viane: This is my first time working for Jim,

and I have never been more excited to work with

such an energetic and knowledgeable leader. Jim

embodies the best characteristics of a great boss

and fully supports and cares for the people within

the organization. Under his leadership, the studio

is back on a path of greatness.

Which of your upcoming films are you most

excited about? Is there a film that’s going to

surprise people?

Viane: With Paramount’s slate having increased

dramatically for 2020, we are very excited about

Ang Lee’s Gemini Man starring Will Smith, Sonic

the Hedgehog, the A Quiet Place sequel directed

by John Krasinksi and starring Emily Blunt, The

SpongeBob SquarePants movie (20th anniversary),

and of course Top Gun starring Tom Cruise,

among others.

Daily: Honestly, I am really excited about the

diversity of our overall slate. We have movies that

are broad in appeal to a wide audience, alongside

movies that are made for specific audiences.

Do you expect to explore more legacy titles like

Top Gun and Coming to America?

Daily: Paramount has one of the richest

catalogues of any studio; that combined with the

studio’s approach to working across the Viacom

network opens up endless opportunities. Obviously,

we look at every potential project on a case-bycase

basis and evaluate the needs and desires of

the marketplace in assessing what audiences will

respond to. Even in these early stages, the response

to and chatter around the Top Gun and Coming to

America sequels reinforce audience enthusiasm for

these properties. So certainly looking forward, we’ll

continue to explore which legacy titles might be

ripe for a reprisal.

What efforts are you making to bring diversity

to your slate?

Daily: While fostering diversity is an ongoing

undertaking, recently our efforts have included

the formation of a Content Creation Council in

partnership with Viacom’s Global Inclusion Advisory

Committee. The Council aims to promote

diversity from the pre-greenlighting process and

requires productions to complete a plan designed

to enhance access and opportunities for historically

underrepresented groups in the industry.

What are your feelings about the overall health

of theatrical film in this new streaming era?

Viane: The theatrical film market isn’t only

alive and well, it’s actually thriving. The industry is

coming off a record box office take worldwide, and

we see no signs of a slowdown. Going to the movie

theater is the best way to experience a film, as the

audience becomes fully immersed in the world on

the screen. Streaming a film in your home or on

your mobile device is such a different experience

than watching a film in a theater. Cinemas today

are creating the best moviegoing experience ever, as

the proliferation of the premium large formats has

really raised the bar for incredible entertainment.

Daily: Since the beginning of cinema, every

time there is a new format or major development

in the industry, there are always concerns over the

health of theatrical film. While there is a proliferation

of content and options, there is still nothing

like the communal experience of cinema, which

has delighted audiences for over 100 years. The

ever-increasing role of technology in our everyday

lives makes the cinematic experience more valuable

than ever: It is a true opportunity for audiences to

unplug and give their full attention to the storytelling

experience.

JUNE 2019

45


2019 UNIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

A Champion for

Swedish Cinemas

UNIC TO HONOR EXHIBITORS’ ASSOCIATION CHAIR PETER FORNSTAM

BY KEVIN LALLY

46 JUNE 2019


Peter Fornstam is a leading force in Swedish theatrical exhibition, as founder and managing director of

the country’s second-largest circuit, Svenska Bio, and chairman of the Swedish Exhibitors’ Association. But he’s

disarmingly humble about being honored with the 2019 UNIC Achievement Award, given by the International Union

of Cinemas in recognition of outstanding dedication and service to the European cinema industry.

“You always feel: What did they give

it to me for?” Fornstam says. “But I feel

honored. I’m sure that my grandfather

and my father are smiling from somewhere

way up.”

Fornstam represents the third generation

of a venerable exhibition family. His

grandfather Karl entered the business in

1914. “I heard that he traveled around

with a projector, and from that he built up

a chain of movie theaters. My father joined

him in the late ’40s, and later they had a

small distribution company. And I came to

work with them in the mid-’70s.”

He notes, “My grandpa had the

pleasure of being part of an industry

when the growth there was pre-television.

My father took over the business

when television hit big, and I took

over when home entertainment hit

the industry.”

Fornstam’s father, Gosta, “was very

good at programming theaters,” he

recalls. “And I learned from him to be

hands-on, to be involved with details.”

Fornstam founded the current incarnation

of the family business, Svenska

Bio, together with the Bonnier Group

(now Filmstaden) in 1987. The circuit

today operates 200 screens in Sweden and

Finland, plus screens in Denmark under

the Biografkompaniet banner.

The idea behind the founding of

Svenska Bio, Fornstam says, “was to be

a mom-and-pop operation, closer to the

action rather than this big multiplex. We

dealt with small and midsize markets

where we felt that a more close-to-themarket

approach would be good business,

and we were right. There were a lot of

opportunities with smaller markets that

didn’t perform, which we could buy

cheaply because they were underperform-

ing. We could fix them and change them

and build them up. We started in five

markets with 10 single screens. Now we’re

operating in 47 markets with 200 screens.

I guess we were right on that hunch.”

Fornstam is upbeat about the state of

exhibition in Scandinavia. “I think we’re

pretty healthy. The difference with smaller

territories is that we’re dependent very

much on the studios being stable, but

also having local production on a good

level. In smaller territories, we are much

more dependent on local production. If

local production is combined with studio

stability and good output, then we have a

great year. The ups and downs mirror the

U.S., but we can balance that with good

local productions. Finland, for example,

has had a couple of very good years,

because they had studio movies combined

with good, strong local films. But Sweden

has been lagging behind for a couple of

years on local productions, and we see the

effects of that.”

Fornstam reports that last year in

Finland, 25 percent of box office went to

local productions, while in Sweden the

local production share was only 17 percent.

“We should be somewhere between

20 and 30,” he opines. “In Finland the

year before last, it was 31 percent.”

He explains the discrepancy: “In

smaller territories, local productions are

very dependent on subsidies from the

local film institutes. Depending on their

approach to the films they subsidize, I

think that is reflected in the box office.

In Finland, for example, they really want

to make sure that the film has a wide

appeal. In Sweden, they have a different

approach, and that hurts the box office.

Sweden has no tax rebates. Finland has

tax rebates. All those things are very

important for the health of the industry.

I heard an expression when I was

in Las Vegas [for CinemaCon] that

the health of the exhibition business

is determined by the health of the local

productions. I agree with that.”

Fornstam notes that “we are very

spread out in Sweden. We have two very

good art houses in Stockholm, while our

Empire theater in Copenhagen has a

somewhat broader audience. But in the

rest of the theaters where we operate, if

you have a local hit that works, normally

that’s where the audience is. The key cities

are normally 80 percent of the total market,

but when you come to the local films,

those numbers change. The audience for

local films is much bigger around the

country than in key cities. If you really

want to help the industry and help the

smaller markets, make good local movies.”

The Svenska Bio chair calls his

relationships with the American studios

“excellent. We just had a managers meeting.

Every year we bring the managers

together and have a two-day program.

JUNE 2019

47


UNIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

And this year, Disney’s MD flew down

and did a presentation. The chemistry

with the MDs varies, but overall we have

a very good relationship.”

One notable recent American success

in Sweden was A Star Is Born. “It did

750,000 admissions—that’s a big number.”

He has very high hopes for the next

Star Wars chapter (“Sweden has always

been a big Star Wars territory”) and the

upcoming James Bond movie.

As chair of the Swedish Exhibitors’

Association, Fornstam says his greatest

current challenge is a recent change in the

VAT policy affecting cinema tickets. He

explains the history: “For 53 years, we had

a deal where when you went to the movies,

10 percent of the movie ticket went to

the Swedish Film Institute. That money

was then recycled back into film production.

Six percent was paid as a culture tax,

like a VAT, treating the movie theater as if

you went to the opera or another cultural

activity. Now, only 10 million people live

in Sweden and we have about 800 screens

in total, so the screen average per citizen is

pretty high, much higher than the rest of

Europe. That means we have many small

screens that show movies just a couple of

days a week. I’m not talking about my

circuit; I’m talking as an industry. The deal

done in 1963 was if you showed movies

fewer than five times a week, you didn’t

have to pay 10 percent to the Swedish

Film Institute, you only had to pay the 6

percent culture tax.”

Then, he recounts, “the minister of

culture eight months into office canceled

this deal. The way this was calculated, the

margin of change for the bigger circuits,

although the money was big, was 3 or 4

percent. My circuit or Filmstaden, the

biggest circuit, could deal with those

issues by cutting costs. We could handle

that change. But the smallest movie

houses, they went from 6 percent to 25

percent. Those are theaters where the

margins are tiny to start with—historically,

those theaters were created before

television came into the market. They

were hanging on, they were already

having problems surviving. When this

happened, that became a big problem

for them. We are the only territory in all

of Europe where we have a different tax

on moviegoing. Wherever you look in

Europe, taxing a movie ticket is the same

as all other culture institutions.”

Fornstam notes, “All of those theaters

that got hurt the worst, I don’t have any of

them. So when I went out to plead their

case, nobody could say that I spoke for my

own circuit. My credibility was never an

issue. It was a shock to the industry and it’s

been painful. The call I had before yours

was with the Swedish Film Institute. They

NO SURPRISE HERE

The highest grossing movie in Sweden

in 2018? Mamma Mia! Here We

Go Again, earning $6 million more

than Avengers: Infinity War

are now going to hire a person whose job

it is to try to understand the financial consequences

for those theaters. I have small

members who are struggling, and one of

my worries is that these second-generation

exhibitors who have an emotional

[connection to their theaters], when they

give up, nobody’s going to replace them.

The big cities are always going to be fine.

But once [these smaller theaters] go out

of business, they’ll stay out of business.

There’s been a lot of damage done, and I

don’t think the minister of culture, who’s

no longer the minister, understood the

consequences of what she did.

“I will never give up this fight,” Fornstam

declares, “because it’s a bad decision.

The consequences of this decision are that

smaller theaters have a hard time surviving

and the Swedish Film Institute has less

money at its disposal than before they

made this change. So there are no winners,

there are only losers. If we get the right

government that understands this, then

we have a shot for change. Especially since

we’re living in a world where everyone

says: ‘Why should the bigger cities just

get bigger? Is there anything that we can

do to reverse that?’ I think having a movie

theater is a good way of staying where

you are. It’s a typical political issue where

the politicians think: I’m going to do

something nobody has dared to do. Well,

maybe there was a reason.”

Meanwhile, Svenska Bio continues to

grow. Fornstam expects to open between

five and 10 new screens in Sweden this

year and about the same number next year

in both Sweden and Finland. Like so many

of today’s exhibitors, he’s installing VIP

recliner seats with double armrests and

extra legroom in select screens, and adding

laser projectors in some theaters.

In a few weeks, Svenska Bio will be

opening its first in-cinema dining theater

in the city of Nyköping. “In the lobby

area, we have a restaurant already established

called Pinchos. It’s an app restaurant.

You choose your table with the app,

you order your food with the app and go

to pick up your food and drinks, and you

pay with the app. We now have our first

luxury theater with recliners only, where

you can eat during the movie and order

with an app.”

Fornstam will receive his UNIC award

at CineEurope in Barcelona, Spain,

on June 20. As Phil Clapp, president

of UNIC, stated, “We are delighted to

recognize Peter’s extraordinary career in

European exhibition, as well as his key role

in making Svenska Bio a pioneer in enhancing

the cinemagoing experience. This

award recognizes in particular Peter’s considerable

contribution to developing both

the Swedish and wider European cinema

sectors through his work as chairman of

the Swedish Exhibitors’ Association. On

behalf of the entire UNIC board, I thank

him for his tremendous support as UNIC

has evolved in recent years.”

48 JUNE 2019


ARTS ALLIANCE MEDIA

PRODUCER CIRCUIT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

>> Arts Alliance Media’s Producer Circuit Management System

(CMS) empowers exhibitor head offices with visibility and control

over every screen in their circuit. Connect your theater management

system to AAM’s innovative cloud-based CMS to easily diagnose

and resolve common issues like schedule conflicts, missing

KDMs, and failed content transfers from any device with an

internet connection, even on mobile. Providing real-time playback

monitoring, drag-and-drop centralized playlist building,

and automated KDM delivery all from one intuitive interface,

Producer helps cinemas save time and minimize human error.

Get your demo at booth 601 and find out how you could schedule thousands of

shows in seconds.

BOOTH: 601 / www.artsalliancemedia.com

ATOM SEATING

>> Spaces and Between’s seating brand, Atom Seating, brings innovations to

their VIP recliners. Standard features include:

• Weight sensor mechanism, which allows the recliner to open only when a

person is sitting on it, and close if no one is

occupying the seat

• Wireless chargers for compatible phones

• Two cleaning options: remote open/close

mechanism and lift-up mechanism

• Heat pads for a cozy experience

on a cold day

• Numerous upholstery material

and design options

• Variety of table tops, cup holders, and

control options

• Daisy chain power connectivity option

• Five years quality assurance and warranty

BOOTH: 812 / www.spacesandbetween.com

CHRISTIE

CP2309-RGB PROJECTOR

>> The Christie CP2309-RGB is an entry-level CineLife series 2K cinema projector

featuring RealLaser illumination technology that gives exhibitors

the latest in solid-state cinema projection at a cost of

ownership comparable to xenon. Without an external chiller,

this compact, all-in-chassis RGB pure laser projector outputs

8,500 nominal DCI lumens with a contrast of 2000:1 for easy

installation in smaller-screen mainstream cinemas. Christie’s

RealLaser provides a long-lasting, stable light source for over

30,000 hours of optimal brightness on-screen and is fully sealed

for zero dust ingress, making it extremely simple to maintain. It

also delivers impeccable image performance with more color and

more contrast for an ultrarealistic picture that improves the audience experience.

SUITE D / www.christiedigital.com

JUNE 2019

49


NEW PRODUCTS

CINEMECCANICA

LUCILLA

Lucilla is a brand-new RGB laser lamp specifically designed to replace the traditional

xenon bulbs on digital cinema projectors and be affordable. With a power

from 8,000 up to 30,000 lumens—scalable for all screen sizes—and 30,000 lifetime

hours, it is meant to improve projection quality and reduce operating costs.

Lucilla allows energy savings up to 50 percent in comparison with the equivalent

xenon lamp; it is designed to be fitted inside the projector (maintaining the

original projector footprint) in very few and fast installation steps. Two years of

standard warranty are included, while an extension up to seven years is available

as an option on both Lucilla and projector.

BOOTH: 527 / www.cinemeccanica.eu

CINIONIC

BARCO SERIES 4 PLATFORM

The Barco Series 4 platform provides outstanding 4K RGB laser

image quality powered by Barco Active Image Management (AIM)

technology, a future-proof design that’s 4K 120fps-capable and ready

for Barco immersive sound and HDR. It is ultra-low maintenance, as

well as industry-leading Barco EcoPure energy efficiency. Explore the

all-new Barco Series 4 projectors from Cinionic at CineEurope.

BOOTH: MR 125 / www.cinionic.com

CJ 4DPLEX

4DX WITH SCREENX

4DX provides moviegoers with an immersive, multisensory experience, allowing

the audience to connect with movies through motion, vibration, water, wind,

snow, lightning, scents, and other special effects that enhance the

visuals on-screen. Each 4DX auditorium incorporates motion-based

seating synchronized with more than 20 different effects, maximizing

the feeling of immersion within the movie, beyond the limits

of audio and video. More than 650 Hollywood and local titles have

been screened in 4DX.

ScreenX is the world’s first multiprojection system used within a

theater setting, marking it as the most visually immersive theater

experience of CJ 4DPLEX. ScreenX allows moviegoers to go beyond

the frame of the movie screen by utilizing the left and right walls of

the theater, creating an immersive, panoramic, 270-degree viewing

experience.

Together “4DX with ScreenX” creates a remarkable, one-of-a-kind

experience and a natural convergence of two technologies that is

rapidly spreading around the world and growing in popularity. The

cutting-edge format made Fast Company’s list of The World’s Most

Innovative Companies in Live Events for 2019 and won the Silver

Edison Award in Media, Visual Communications & Entertainment

in 2018. As of May 2019, “4DX with ScreenX” has been installed in five screens

around the world, including two screens in South Korea, two in France, and one

in China. Mexico and Japan’s first “4DX with ScreenX” will open later this year.

BOOTH: MR 122 / www.cj4dplex.com

50 JUNE 2019


DESTINY SEATING

LYNX SLIDER LUXURY SEAT & KIDDIES SEAT

Destiny Seating is launching a variety of innovative cinema seat designs at

CineEurope. The Lynx Slider seat is a luxury VIP model that offers luxurious comfort

with a smooth backrest and corresponding seat sliding, either with manual or

power adjustment. The Lynx Slider offers the same comfort level as regular recliners

but requires regular-size tread spacings with a center-to-center dimension of

665/675mm. Upholstery is available in the finest grades of soft genuine leathers,

conforming to BS5852 Crib 5 fire regulation specification, and PU and fabric color/

specifications of your choice.

Today, specific cinema halls are dedicated to kids’ cinemas, with regular seats

in the back rows for parents’ supervision/viewing. This concept is currently yielding

high ticket sales in complexes that have taken the plunge. The highly durable

Destiny Kiddies cinema seat offers exceptional comfort and adequate sight line

dimensions for children and is fitted with nylon injection molded cup holders,

incorporating easily identifiable seat numbers. Upholstery is available in a variety

of vinyl PU colors.

Destiny Seating will also be introducing its innovative Tempur Foam concept at

the show.

BOOTH 701 / www.destinyseating.com

DK AUDIO

AX5 CINEMA SPEAKER

DK Audio’s AX5 is an extra-small surround high-end cinema speaker designed

to reproduce surround channels within a 3-D immersive system. AX5 is equipped

with a low/medium-frequency 5-inch (12.7 cm) loudspeaker and a 1-inch Ferrite

high-frequency driver.

The use of a coaxial loudspeaker reduces as much as possible the height of

the enclosure and enables a wide, circular, and homogeneous

directivity, near 95 degrees.

The AX5 can be augmented with DK

Audio’s extra-thin bass reinforcement

modules: R212 (17 cm depth), R15 (34.5 cm

depth), or R18EXP (34 cm depth). This

versatile speaker comes with three

different enclosures to cover all possible

common surround configurations

with its included wall-mount bracket.

Musicality, precision and dynamics are

merged with excellent performance in

a tiny form-factor enclosure. This allows DK Audio’s

AX5 to easily reproduce the most sophisticated and constraining

soundtracks with studio audio quality. Its design and ergonomy fit with

immersive 3-D audio whitepapers and thus offer a minimal height under

ceiling, whatever the vertical inclination. AX5 has been designed to fit in any

immersive system in small rooms, whatever the distance between the walls

or ceiling and the seats. It can be used under balconies in large theaters or

in any small room configuration (Dolby Atmos mixing room, premium home

cinemas, etc.).

BOOTH: 217 / www.dkaudio.fr

JUNE 2019

51


NEW PRODUCTS

DOLBY

DOLBY CINEMA PROCESSOR CP950

The award-winning Dolby Cinema Processor CP950 is the newest

innovation in Dolby’s lineage of

cinema processors. It’s designed

with more of the capabilities

you want—and less of those you

don’t—in a flexible, modular,

cost-efficient solution. The CP950

supports their most seamless

means of installing Dolby 5.1 and 7.1 surround and includes

an expansion slot for future upgradability to Dolby Atmos (check with

your local sales rep) to deliver the most memorable and creatively accurate

sound experience for your guests. Shipping August 1, 2019.

SUITE B / www.dolby.com

EUROGROUP UK

THE ROSE CHAIR

The wing chair began its long ancestry during the 1600s in England. It was

originally invented as a comfortable chair option that would prevent drafts in

old manor houses from reaching the upper parts of the body, or to protect

against the blistering heat of the large open fireplaces that were very popular in

the 1600s and 1700s. In Britain, wing chairs were thought of as essential for a

comfortable living room or parlor. Victorian writers describing scenes of idealized

family life round a blazing hearth often mentioned a fireside chair.

Infinity Seating by EuroGroup UK brings this warm and homey seating to the

cinema auditorium with their version of the wing chair, the Rose. The design is

customizable, from its dimensions to the fabrics.

BOOTH: 113 / www.eurogroup.co.uk

EZCARAY INTERNACIONAL

Ezcaray Internacional presents at CineEurope a new range of reclinable VIP

seats. Ergonomics, comfort, quality, and resistance, combined with the possibility

of manufacturing in different sizes, mean that their offer can be adapted to

different spaces and combinations. Check out new models Doze

and Zero.

BOOTH 635 / www.ezcarayinternacional.com

FLEXOUND AUGMENTED AUDIO

Flexound Augmented Audio combines high-quality

audio with physical vibration, creating a unique

immersive experience. The patented technology complements

current cinema sound systems and is easily integrated

into a wide range of seats. The technology offers equal sound

quality in every seat independent of seat location. It also improves

the clarity of dialogue and enables lower sound volumes

in the theater. Augmented audio requires no wearable accessories.

BOOTH: 722 / www.flexound.com

52 JUNE 2019


NEW PRODUCTS

GDC TECHNOLOGY

SR-5400 & SR-6400C STANDALONE IMB

In April 2019, GDC expanded its SR Series Standalone IMB product line to

include the SR-5400 and SR-

6400C, revolutionary media

servers designed for advanced

cinema imagery. The series

won the Catalyst Award for

Best New Technology of CinemaCon

2019 for its ultra-reliability

and innovative FAST

(Flexible Architecture Stable

Technology) engineering design

featuring the world’s highest bitrate and frame rate.

The advanced embedded power electronics used in medical and military

products makes enhanced capabilities possible. The SR-5400 Series is capable of

playing DCP content in 4K 3D and 4K@60fps and is compatible with the next-gen

DLP Cinema projectors from Barco, Christie, and NEC. SR-6400C is capable of

groundbreaking playback at 4K 3-D and 4K@120fps and is compatible with the

new Christie projector featuring RealLaser illumination and CineLife+. SR-6400C

can also play back 4K@240 fps in 3-D mode with the Cinity Cinema System.

BOOTH: MR131 / www.gdc-tech.com

GOLD MEDAL PRODUCTS

The best self-serve solution for popcorn is here! The ReadyServe

popcorn dispenser can transform the way you serve popcorn. Consider

why a self-serve model may be the best option for you:

1. Cut down on long lines. Long lines deter customers, meaning

you lose potential sales. But a self-serve popcorn machine gives

guests the convenience of a grab-and-go snack.

2. Save on labor. Minimize labor by allowing customers to

serve themselves. Your staff will be able to attend to other

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3. Increase customer satisfaction. Customers will appreciate the

ability to purchase freshly popped popcorn.

4. Give guests an experience they can’t find at competitors. A

popcorn dispenser is an experience that guests will enjoy.

5. Receive benefits that managers will appreciate. Popcorn

brings many advantages, including low costs, minimal labor, and

attractive profit margins.

The ReadyServe is an impressive popcorn display cabinet that

offers key benefits to operators. Created for cinemas, the unit

features a 48-inch base with a dual auger system, allowing two

customers to fill their cups or bags at once. Simply fill the cabinet

with popcorn, then individuals can dispense the popcorn using a

convenient push-button system. It also includes an integrated butter topping

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in concession equipment and supplies, for more details at 513-769-7676 or info@

gmpopcorn.com.

BOOTH: 500 / www.gmpopcorn.com

54 JUNE 2019


NEW PRODUCTS

FLEXOUND AUGMENTED

AUDIO

Flexound Augmented Audio

combines high-quality audio with

physical vibration, creating a unique

immersive experience. The patented

technology complements current

cinema sound systems and is easily

integrated into a wide range of seats.

The technology offers equal sound

quality in every seat independent of

seat location. It also improves the

clarity of dialogue and enables lower

sound volumes in the theater. Augmented

audio requires no wearable

accessories.

BOOTH: 722 / www.flexound.com

JIMMY

PRODUCTS

Jimmy Products

is a family business

with more than 70

years of expertise.

Popcorn professionals

since 1992, they make

high-quality popcorn

under the brand

name JIMMY’s. Jimmy

Products is constantly

innovating its range of

ready-to-eat popcorn,

nachos, and fresh sauces, adding new flavors and innovations. They support

their customers in increasing their turnover and improving their return.

Jimmy believes you can consume popcorn anywhere but only experience this

at the cinema. The perfect partner!

BOOTH 801 / www.jimmys.eu

LUMMA AUDIOVISUAL ENGINEERING

4D E-MOTION

Lumma offers comprehensive and skilled services

for 4D E-Motion’s worldwide implementation: study of

feasibility, overhaul of existing auditoriums, development,

production, installation, support, and maintenance. Lumma’s

synchronization department, based in Los Angeles, works

closely with Hollywood studios to program some of their

most impressive titles.

4D E-Motion offers high performance and either a full

retrofit or gradual incorporation of special effects. It is compatible

with all formats and does not require a special DCP.

It also offers immediate access from any smart device in real

time and is compatible with most projection systems.

BOOTH: 743 / www.4DEmotion.com

POSITIVE CINEMA

POSitive Cinema is focused on serving the needs of small and medium-sized

cinema chains worldwide. It is a complete, fully integrated, scalable, and user-friendly

cinema management software. The POSitive Cinema Solution is a

comprehensive offering that serves a wide range of needs at an optimal price.

Functionality includes ticketing, concessions, restaurant, dine-in, online, mobile,

kiosk, digital signage, loyalty, vouchers and gift cards, dashboards and analytics,

cash management, group sales, HQ and cinema level management, and more.

POSitive version 2.0 has a redesigned architecture based on Microsoft SQL 2017,

which provides optimal performance, low system requirements, and minimal

system maintenance, resulting in less complexity and reduced costs. Requests for

software changes can be delivered quickly, easily and inexpensively.

BOOTH: 622 / www.posit\ivecinema.com

56 JUNE 2019


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4 D M O T I O N E F X S E AT S

& I M M E R S I V E C I N E M A


NEW PRODUCTS

PULZ ELECTRONICS

AD21300 2 CHANNEL POWER AMPLIFIER

Pulz’s AD21300 2 Channel Power Amplifier is designed and built for applications

where sonic transparency and robust high-power output capability are the

prime criteria.

Built around an oversized classic

toroidal power supply and ultra-linear

Class AB output stage, AD21300 packs

3500W of continuously deliverable clean

audio in a 2U chassis. This is made possible

by the innovative Dynamic Power

Tracking (DPT) controller, which fluidly

adjusts the power supply rails to track the signal. As a result, unwanted power

dissipation in the output stages is minimized by almost 80 percent. The amplifier

remains relatively cool even when driving the most demanding low-impedance

subwoofer loads. This approach is superior to the standard SMPS-based power

supplies, which are prone to failures and compromise the sonic purity due to

interference. All the components used in the Pulz AD21300 are of the highest

standard and from the most reputed manufacturers.

Channel-independent soft clipping, level indicators, sensitivity selection,

protection, and high CMRR balanced input stages are additional useful features

that make Pulz AD21300 outperform the standard amplifiers currently available.

It features high-efficiency DPT technology, a premium heavy-duty toroidal

transformer, highly sensitive CMRR balanced input stage, ultra-low-load output

capacity and channel-independent power with signal and clip LEDs.

BOOTH: 727 / www.pulz.co.in

QSC

DPA-Q SERIES AMPLIFIERS

The new DPA-Q Series amplifiers are four- and eight-channel network amplifiers

uniting the QSC legacy of robust power amplifiers, advancements in high-efficiency

output devices and native network transport, and the control and monitoring capabilities

of the Q-SYS ecosystem. DPA-Q Series amplifiers are fully native components

of the Q-SYS audio, video, and control (AV&C) ecosystem. Like all Q-SYS peripherals,

DPA-Q Series amplifiers offer simple drag-and-drop integration into a Q-SYS design,

enabling network routing, advanced processing (including Intrinsic Correction

custom voicings for QSC loudspeakers), and control. This expedites the installation

process and provides superior system performance.

BOOTH: 629 / www.qsc.com/cinema

ROMUS/GRADUS

ELAF 5150 LED STAIR NOSING

Romus/Gradus is a worldwide leader in LED lighting systems, with international

references in the cinema industry. They manufacture and provide LED

stair nosings, aisle and floor trim lighting, wall lighting, row indicators, mats,

and cover strips.

The new ELAF 5150 is preassembled LED stair nosing with or without integrated

row indicator, boasting low voltage and low consumption continuity effect.

BOOTH: 515 / www.romus.fr

58 JUNE 2019


NEW PRODUCTS

STEPGUARD BY

LIGHT TAPE

The StepGuard system was methodically developed for

Light Tape after years of field testing. It allows the manufacturer

to not only make the profile but also the light source, resulting

in a complete egress lighting solution of tremendous value.

Light Tape, a non-LED, bulb-free illuminating membrane,

has over a decade of performance in aerospace and automotive

industries, known for demanding reliability and durability

in the toughest application environments. StepGuard comes

made to measure, ready to plug and play, and can be installed

directly to raw step edges or over existing carpet. There is no

need to prepare the surface. Power can be remotely located

with only one supply to illuminate an entire theater.

Light Tape itself is heavy-load capable and vibration and

impact resistant. The StepGuard System adds a layer of

protective armor, allowing it to resist the most extreme conditions

expected with modern high-footfall multiplex cinemas. Light Tape also

uses 40 percent less power than traditional LEDs at equal brightness. Unlike

LEDs, the Light Tape illuminating membrane is designed to never get hot. It

will operate for more than 40,000 hours in extreme temperatures. It provides

a uniform illumination source with no need for diffusion, and most importantly

it throws no light reflection from steps onto the cinema screen.

BOOTH: 817 / www.lighttape.com

TF CREATION-VELTO

SENSITIVE BY VELTO

TF Creation, specialist in certified fire-retardant fabrics, introduces its new

range: Sensitive by Velto. This line of coating fabrics comes in two collections

coordinated with the Velto range: Impala (14 colors) and Oryx (8 colors).

Advantages include:

Durability: Martindale is greater than 100,000

Elasticity: Knitted support allows flexibility

Security: Their range is flame-retardant NF P 92503: M2, CA # 117, BS 5852

(Crib 5)

Sensitive by Velto, the luxury touch for your seats.

BOOTH 313 / www.velto.fr

TICKET.INTERNATIONAL

DOLPHIN.X VERSION 10

Ticket System & Solutions rereleases its Dolphin.X Version 10, a new generation

of ticketing software that points the way toward browser application. The

new version is remodeled, simpler to use, and more user-friendly. It also includes

new features. This browser-based application has a view in dashboard execution.

With the Dolphin, patrons can order concessions from their seats with one click

and pay on the spot. The digital signage synchronizes videos and images across

multiple monitors. The online booking from Ticket.International has been fully

integrated as a voucher shop.

BOOTH: 222 / www.ticket-international.com

60 JUNE 2019


NEW PRODUCTS

USHIO

LUMINITY

Ushio continues their drive to bring

xenon back to the forefront of cinema

technology by releasing the LU-series

of digital projector lamps, compatible

with leading manufacturers such as

Barco and NEC. New lamp models

are DXL-30BAF/LU, DXL-40BAF/LU,

DXL-60SN/LU, and DXL-65BA/L(U). The

new DXL-30BAF/LU takes the operational

warranty for a Luminity lamp to

2,200 hours. Luminity benefits from

longer life, fewer required lamp replacements,

and significantly reduced

operating costs. Luminity (LU-series)

lamps boast an extended warranty of

up to 500 additional hours.

BOOTH: 117

www.ushio.eu

VISTA GROUP

VISTA HORIZON

Vista Horizon is the next-level real-time

business intelligence experience

that is here to deliver real-time

operational data insights that enable

cinemas to make informed decisions

faster. Horizon’s three main components—Stream,

Store, and Discover—

together unveil the full landscape of

possibilities within your data. Stream

data around a circuit in real time

for insights and flash reporting that

responds to the moment, finding

trends as they unfold and reacting to

them now, not retrospectively. Store

full (treasure) troves of operational

and activity data safe and sound and

in full detail in the cloud. Discover the

possibilities with clear and practical

dashboards and self-service analysis

tools to dive deep into the insights

your data can hold—then use them

to build better business outcomes.

BOOTH: 101

www.vistagroup.co

WEBEDIA MOVIES PRO

BOOST, a division of Webedia Movie Pro, is a suite of

high-performance online ticketing products that helps

connect moviegoers and exhibitors directly, especially

when finding show times and purchasing tickets. BOOST

premium and innovative turnkey digital solutions

include: websites, mobile applications, CRM, voice A.I.

integration, and online ticketing solutions for thousands

of exhibitors worldwide. In 2018, BOOST products generated

over half a billion dollars in box office revenue for

theater exhibitors.

TICKETING SOLUTIONS

Bringing show times and ticketing services to the forefront of

search engines. Through visibility on Google, Bing, IMDb, and Facebook,

they help you reclaim your third-party customers and drive online

revenue with in-house ticketing platforms.

WEBSITE ADVANTAGES

Through fully branded websites, they create exclusive consumer experiences to

drive moviegoer traffic, fan engagement, and most importantly online revenue.

MOBILE APP

Creating movie ticket sales on the go! They help exhibitors directly

market to their core customers through immersive experiences,

innovative AMP ticketing, food and beverages, and loyalty

programs.

SMART EMAIL BLASTS

Easy-to-use communication tool creates turnkey newsletters and announcements,

with highly targeted lists, automated show times, and movie facts.

BOOTH: M219 / www.webediamoviespro.com

62 JUNE 2019


GUEST COLUMN

BY STAN MCCOY, PRESIDENT AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, MPA EMEA

PIRACY WENT FROM GEEKY TO EASY.

WHAT’S NEXT? THE MPA’S ANTIPIRACY EFFORTS

ARE A GLOBAL EFFORT

>> Innovation is everywhere in film and

television—on the screens of CineEurope

and in the digital technology that enables

cutting-edge production and distribution.

Unfortunately, while the makers

innovate, so do the takers. In the last 15

years, piracy went from geeky to easy.

Transmission technologies improved with

the advent of streaming, and delivery via

new apps and devices bridged the divide

between the PC and the living room.

Today’s piracy has become a very

different type of organized crime: more

sophisticated, tech intensive, very elusive,

and massive in scale. Where will it go

next? Increasingly, industry antipiracy

efforts are bending the trajectory from

geeky, to easy, to … broken.

Try accessing a pirate site in much of

the EU, and you’ll find ISPs redirecting

the top ones to something like Denmark’s

“share with care” campaign, inviting

users to buy cinema tickets or sign up for

legit streaming services. Try looking for

alternatives on a search engine and you’re

more likely than ever to get malware

and clickbait sites posing as pirates. Are

64 JUNE 2019


you feeling lucky? Sign up for a “dodgy box”—an

IPTV device loaded with pirate apps—and you’ll

risk finding that you’ve just subscribed to a doorstop.

When the pirate app store gets taken down,

or the service blocked, as happened to TVaddons,

Filmspeler, and still happens to dozens more every

week, your box becomes dead weight—unless

you’ve got the time and tech savvy to fix it yourself.

Much of this pirate frustration comes courtesy

of the Motion Picture Association and a wider

industry partnership, the Alliance for Creativity

and Entertainment. Recently, for example, ACE

reached a settlement that put the infringing hardware

and service provider Dragon Box out of business

in the U.S. Around the same time, on

the other side of the world, ACE helped

Thai law enforcement to shutter multiple

online piracy sites. ACE is modern antipiracy

innovation at its best: global and

flexible, using an innovative mix of civil

and criminal enforcement.

Meanwhile, audiences find the genuine

experience is better than ever, both in cinemas

and online. It needs to be: Consumers

demand it, and piracy unfortunately

remains a big threat.

A pair of studies from Carnegie Mellon

University (2014 and 2016) showed

that, on average, prerelease movie piracy

results in a 19 percent reduction in box

office revenue relative to what would have

occurred if piracy were only available

after the movie’s release. If piracy could

be eliminated from the theatrical window,

then box office revenues would increase by

14 to 15 percent.

Dodgy boxes also take a bite out of our

industry. According to a 2017 Sandevine

study, which examined all forms of subscription

TV piracy, 6.5 percent of North

American households are accessing known

subscription television piracy services.

Almost 95 percent of TV piracy is driven

by purpose-built set-top boxes.

In the U.K., nearly five million adults

currently have access to platforms such

as illegal Kodi boxes, Amazon Fire TV

Chipped Sticks, and illegal streaming apps

on smartphones and tablets, according to

a 2017 YouGov survey. The government

estimates that more than one million

illicit streaming devices have been sold in

the U.K. in the last two years.

Complicating this threat is a range of

new technologies that pirates are seeking

to add to their self-enrichment arsenal,

including cryptocurrencies and artificial

intelligence.

The emerging threats point to a

continuing need to work together. Piracy

ain’t broke yet. But it can become a lot less

attractive if we keep on putting as much

innovation into fighting it as cyber-criminals

put into building it.

Q: What is the key to

fighting piracy, and how can

exhibitors contribute?

A: Fighting piracy today requires

a multifaceted approach

including the “three E’s”:

enforcement, education, and

exciting legal offer. Exhibitors

have a key role in each.

Of course, every exhibitor

knows the value of an exciting

cinematic experience. And

exhibitors widely support

enforcement against, and prevention

of, illegal camcording,

which remains heavy in some

markets (notably Russia) and a

constant threat elsewhere.

Data confirms that exhibitors

also have a key role to

play in supporting consumer

education campaigns: According

to the MPA’s THEME

(Theatrical and Home Entertainment

Market Environment)

report released in March 2019,

frequent moviegoers are more

likely to belong to younger age

brackets and own key technology

products, especially video

streaming devices. Sixty-two

percent of those who own

streaming devices are also

frequent moviegoers.

Showing campaigns such

as the I Make Movies videos

on the big screen, as exhibitors

in Ireland have recently

done, gives those education

campaigns a big boost.

I Make Movies features the

many people who form the

long list of “closing credits”

and showcases their individual

stories, putting a face on the

victims of piracy.

JUNE 2019

65


TOP WOMEN

IN GLOBAL

EXHIBITION 2019

EDITED BY REBECCA PAHLE

PAYING IT

FORWARD

LAURA HOULGATTE

ABBOTT INSPIRES AS

UNIC’S CEO

by Rebecca Pahle

>> As the CEO of UNIC, the largest

international trade body in cinema,

Laura Houlgatte Abbott has a lot to

juggle. Representing the needs of UNIC’s

37 member companies (soon to be

38—“Hopefully we manage to get Cyprus

on board”) requires legal knowledge,

political acumen, and an ability to operate

within the cultural arena. It requires a

gift for listening to and collaborating with

people who often have different backgrounds

and needs. On the more trivial

side of things, it requires an ability to stay

on top of member countries’ various time

zones, which Houlgatte Abbott admits is

something of a challenge—“It does my

head in most of the time. What do I say?

‘Good morning’? ‘Good evening’?”

Time zones aside—Houlgatte Abbott

has more than earned her place on this

year’s list of Top Women in Global

Exhibition, published by Boxoffice in

conjunction with Celluloid Junkie.

Houlgatte Abbott’s educational background—and

the seed of her eventual

role with UNIC—is in political science,

which in her native country of France is

an area of study that encompasses more

than it does in the U.S.: “You study

economics, you study history, you study

languages, you study law.” All subjects, of

course, that come in handy if you’re running

an international trade body, which

at the time Houlgatte Abbott had no

intention of doing. “I had no idea what

I wanted to do with my life. Absolutely

none,” she recalls.

“I’ve always been very much into films

and culture, but my parents always told

me, ‘You’re never going to find a good

job in that sector. You’re always going to

struggle. It’s really hard and competitive,

and it’s such a small pool. You’re never

going to manage. Study something that

will give you a real job!’” Houlgatte Abbott

chuckles. The job in film, admittedly, didn’t

come straight away. Houlgatte Abbott

started as a cultural services trainee at the

French embassy in Ireland. From there,

she moved to her current hometown of

Brussels, where she worked for the British

Council and then with the Federation of

European Publishers. Then came “a bit

of luck,” as she describes it. “UNIC was

looking for someone to help on policy at

the time.” She was hired. Two years later,

when her predecessor, Jan Runge, left, she

applied for and got the job as CEO. With

her background and the UNIC’s multifaceted

requirements, “it was a match made in

heaven.”

“The call was stronger than anything,”

Houlgatte Abbott reflects. “I’ve

been lucky enough to find these opportunities.

Sometimes you need to believe

in your dream.”

It’s not just luck, skill, and professional

background that are responsible for

Houlgatte Abbott’s being in her present

position. The executive also credits her

“amazing team” at UNIC. “It’s not only

a good team, it’s a happy team. I think

that’s how we manage to do everything

we do, even though we’re a small office

here in Brussels. … It’s not a woman-alone

job!”

Mentors also played a key role in

Houlgatte Abbott’s professional rise. (“I

could probably list 30 of them!”) Barring

a bulleted list, she singles out a few key

women who served as mentors when she

started as UNIC’s CEO: The “absolutely

amazing” Anne Fitzgerald of Cineplex

and Cinevital CEO Edna Apelbaum, a

vice president on UNIC’s board.

Houlgatte Abbott pays it forward with

UNIC’s Women’s Cinema Leadership

Programme, which launched at CineEurope

in 2017. Now entering its third

cycle, the program pairs up-and-coming

women in the exhibition space with

female senior executives, from whom they

receive on-one-one guidance and advice

over the course of the year. “When we

launched it in 2017, it was a pilot scheme

66

JUNE 2019


for us,” Houlgatte Abbott says. “We

didn’t know what the results were going

to be. The kind of support we got,

and the feedback, not only from the

participants in the program but also

from the industry overall, was overwhelming.

We realized that there was

nothing like this in the industry. That

it was very much needed. Young women

were looking for role models and

advice, which they didn’t think they

could ask for sometimes in their own

company, because sometimes you need

to open up about things that are quite

personal.” The flow of information

goes both ways, with mentors sharing

with Houlgatte Abbott that “they were

also learning a lot from their mentees,

which is incredible.”

This year’s mentors and mentees

will be announced at CineEurope.

Looking down the road, the Women’s

Cinema Leadership Programme’s

fourth year might include mentors

who were mentees the first year, a reflection of

how some of the program’s participants have

“made such big jumps in their careers already.”

“We don’t pretend that we’re going to solve the

issue of gender balance in the industry, because

we certainly cannot do that,” Houlgatte Abbott

says. At the same time, the benefit UNIC’s Women’s

Cinema Leadership Programme provides goes

beyond individual mentors and protégés. “It’s

also created this incredible network of amazingly

talented, professional women. That’s really

heartwarming, because sometimes you can walk

around in this industry and, you know … the

diversity in some of our territories is not great.

‘Challenged,’ to be polite. It’s such a great energy

when you are in a room with all these women. We

have get-togethers twice a year, once in Barcelona

during CineEurope and once in Brussels during

our Cinema Days. The feedback that we get and

the energy that’s flowing from it is just amazing.”

On a personal level, Houlgatte Abbott has

pulled inspiration from women outside the

exhibition space: “I’ve had incredible role models

outside the industry that have been extremely important

in my career. Just seeing women here in

Brussels being CEOs and telling you, ‘You can do

it. You have to work hard, but it’s possible.’ That’s

all made a difference.”

In one’s professional life, too, Houlgatte Abbott

recommends opening the lines of communication

and being receptive to ideas from people in different

industries—or within one’s own industry who

have different ways of doing things. “You have to

think outside of the box sometimes. You see it in

our own industry: people who have incredible career

paths who did something completely different

before they arrived in cinema. They can bring a lot

of new ideas to this sector.”

Regular get-togethers and the exchange of

ideas—CineEurope is the site of UNIC’s biggest

gathering, but there are smaller ones at Cannes

and elsewhere—are what Houlgatte Abbott counts

as “the most valuable moments. You really can’t

replace them.” Yet inevitably, members have their

share of differences. There are big chains and small,

mature markets and emerging, differences in local

regulations and moviegoing cultures. But the ultimate

goal is the same: Getting people to the movies.

“I think it’s easier to find something that we can

all fight for than something that’s going to divide

us. The diversity of the markets contributes to the

beauty of the organization, because it’s a source of

inspiration. People are looking at what’s happening

in other markets and thinking, ‘Oh, I could try that

as well.’ Or ‘This is something that we could bring

to our local government.’ That’s a big asset.”

LAURA HOULGATTE

ABBOTT

JUNE 2019

67


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

JADRANKA ISLAMOVIC

BALKAN STAR

BLITZ-CINESTAR CEO

JADRANKA ISLAMOVIC

KEEPS THINGS RUNNING

by Rebecca Pahle

>> For a cinema

chain to succeed, it

takes a team. For a

cinema chain to be

named International

Exhibitor of the Year

at CineEurope, it takes

a really, really good

team—one, in the

case of Blitz-CineStar,

that includes Jadranka

Islamovic. CEO of

Blitz-CineStar since

2015, Islamovic is one

of the women honored

by Boxoffice and

Celluloid Junkie in their 2019 list of Top Women

in Global Exhibition.

Islamovic initially joined Blitz-CineStar in

2007, only four years after the founding of the

company and the opening of its first multiplex.

Initially the chain’s head of accounting, she

eventually became its director of finance before

being promoted to CEO. Her time working on

Blitz-CineStar’s money matters gave her “a thorough

knowledge of the company’s finances—and

that is the foundation of what I do today.”

“Figures are the basis of everything in this

industry,” she argues. “My experience in finance

and understanding of the financial indicators of

success—or failure—is very helpful in managing

the company’s day-to-day operations.”

It’s making sure those day-to-day operations run

smoothly that is Islamovic’s main role at Blitz-

CineStar—and it’s by no means a small one, particularly

given the chain’s substantial growth. After

becoming CEO, Islamovic was able to “streamline

the internal processes of the company so as to

shorten and expedite the communication flow

between the management and cinema operations

and get quicker feedback from cinema visitors. I

had support from my core team, which I expanded

with some new experts, allowing us to stay on top

of new technologies and help our employees be

more effective in their work.” Long-time employees

trained the newcomers and oversaw operational

procedures, and hand-selected sales staff helped to

set “higher standards and targets” for the chain as

a whole. “I believe we have great people. We make

an excellent team. This is our biggest strength.”

The importance of building a good team is

one of the lessons Islamovic learned early on in

her career. On her own team she counts mentors

Hrvoje Krstulovic and Heiner Kieft, who “taught

me a great deal, but also allowed me to grow and

develop as the business has grown. … [Krstulovic’s]

experience as a distributor also allowed me to learn

from him parts of the other side of the business

and to better understand distributors as valuable

business partners. The learning process continues

today, because we are a dynamic industry.”

The goal of everything Islamovic does at

Blitz-CineStar is, of course, providing the best

possible experience for moviegoers. To that end, Islamovic

names as a priority pursuing “technologies

that will allow us to upgrade our services, including

better use of our CRM and big data analysis.”

Key, here, is streamlining things not just for

the theater employees, but for everyone who buys

a ticket. “It is essential that there are no obstacles

for the visitor from the moment he or she decides

to obtain information on the films to when they

make a decision to buy a ticket,” she says. “They

must be able to go through the whole process

quickly and smoothly. There are a lot of moments

in the flow of information where we can either win

the buyer or lose them. These are business processes

that we learn every day, and every day we get

better. We never forget that free time is sparse, and

we appreciate that people wish to spend their free

time at our cinemas.”

As for the cinemas where Islamovic likes to

spend her free time—those would be Blitz-Cine-

Star’s Gold Class Theater or their Kaptol Boutique

Cinema, “where everything is adjusted to the needs

of the visitor.”

In the end, “cinema exhibition is an industry

that you either fall in love with, or you don’t,”

Islamovic argues. “To succeed, you need to have

the feel for this business, the determination to

put your ideas into practice, to be able to create a

good team, and, first and foremost, to work a lot

and build good relationships with the visitors to

your cinemas.”

68 JUNE 2019


Earlier this year, Boxoffice partnered with Celluloid Junkie to present the fourth annual list

of Top Women in Global Exhibition, published in our CinemaCon issue. Throughout 2019,

Boxoffice will continue to honor the women who have an immeasurable impact on the exhibition

industry with a series of in-depth profiles. First up: executives who bring their dedication

and expertise to European markets.

VUE INTERNATIONAL

Alison Cornwell, CFO, Vue International

Vue’s CFO since 2014, Alison Cornwell has

overseen several of Vue’s acquisitions, including Italy’s

leading cinema chain The Space Entertainment,

JT Bioscopen’s now-rebranded Vue Nederland,

and Vue’s biggest procurement to date, CineStar

in Germany. Her role looks set to expand dramatically

over the next few years with the completion

of recent corporate acquisitions. Cornwell is also

a non-executive director of the Edinburgh International

Film Festival and of the Scottish charity

Moving Image. (continued on page 70)

ALISON CORNWELL

JUNE 2019

69


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

DEE VASSILI

Dee Vassili, Executive

Director Group HR,

Vue International

Dee Vassili is a

long-standing member

of the Vue family,

having joined back in

2003. As the chain’s

HR executive director,

Vassili’s passion

for finding the right

caliber of people for

the right roles shines

through everything she

does. She is undoubtedly

a key player in

Vue’s success, from its

inception to its current

status as the largest

privately held cinema

operator in Europe.

Vassili is also known for being incredibly generous

with her time when it comes to encouraging wider

diversity and representation in the industry.

What is the biggest challenge facing exhibition

in 2019?

Alison Cornwell: The biggest challenge is

keeping apace of the numerous opportunities

available to us. With three of our five key markets

(the U.K., Poland, and the Netherlands) delivering

record attendances in 2018, the industry is in

great shape. The film slate for the next 12 months

looks phenomenal.

We are also very focused on integrating our recent

acquisitions and making sure that we are well

positioned to fully optimize our estate and slate

across our 10 territories. It’s a very exciting time to

be in exhibition!

Dee Vassili: The biggest challenge facing exhibition

is probably more of an opportunity. Exhibition

is a growth sector. We are seeing unprecedented

numbers, and our strategy for international

growth remains at the forefront of everything we

do. While we can celebrate the dynamic and long

history of the industry, we can never stand still and

never be complacent. Consumers demand more.

There is far greater diversity of content than

ever before. The success of the industry is not

just about exceptional content enjoyed in premium

environments but also the people that bring

everything together. We have to keep moving with

the times, responding to change, and evolving the

big-screen experience.

What’s your proudest achievement from your

time so far at Vue?

AC: Building a world-class finance team across

our 10 territories.

DV: Being part of the senior team that created

the Vue brand and transformed it from a 35-cinema,

U.K.-only business with just over a thousand

people to a pan-European circuit with 287 cinemas

across 10 countries and over 8,500 people is very

special. The other thing that is just as special is

finding talented people, watching them grow, and

becoming part of driving the company’s success.

Many of these people have achieved great things,

either at Vue or elsewhere. Vue alumni are currently

to be found in key positions across exhibition,

distribution, and other businesses within the

leisure and entertainment industry. Playing a small

part in their personal development and success

makes me proud.

How would you evaluate the progress women

have made in the exhibition business in the

past few years?

AC: I am relatively new to exhibition, but my

observation is that Vue has a significant number

of women in senior positions—more so than I

observed in my previous roles in film and TV distribution,

broadcasting, and film financing, both in

the studio and independent sectors.

DV: There are some very talented and successful

women in exhibition, and it is great to see such

positive role models emerging. I totally support

industry initiatives such as the UNIC Women’s

Cinema Leadership Programme, which leverages

this in a positive way. These types of initiatives

create an opportunity for talented women to share

experiences and learn from each other. They also

provide the opportunity to meet inspirational

female role models within the industry who have

achieved amazing things and can have a positive

influence on one’s thinking, as well as ultimately

becoming part of a personal support network.

Tell us about your mentors in this business.

AC: Throughout my career I have always

enjoyed learning by working with people at all

levels and from varying disciplines and different

70 JUNE 2019


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL CINEMA

We Proudly Salute

Carol Welch

and

Kathryn Pritchard

Congratulations to these outstanding women from ODEON

for being selected to this prestigious group of Top Women in Global Cinema.

Thank you for your commitment to excellence in the cinema industry.

Your efforts are resulting in an overwhelmingly positive impact on the exhibition industry.

+1.662.539.7017

www.vipcinemaseating.com


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

For me, the ideal moviegoing experience

should have an air of anticipation and

excitement built around two to three

hours of escapism from the hustle and

bustle of everyday life.

– DEE VASSILI

countries. Observing how not to do something can

often deliver the best learning experience.

DV: I have been fortunate enough to meet

some amazing people both within this industry

and outside. People we meet can have a lasting

impact on us, both in a negative and positive way,

which can ultimately contribute to the shaping

of what and who we become. The most memorable

experiences I can recall from working in this

business involve working with talented men and

women who have challenged me, taken me out

of my comfort zone, and provided a different lens

through which to view the world.

What advice would you give to women just

entering the movie exhibition business?

AC: My advice would be the same for any business

and any person: Be yourself, be curious, and

understand as much as you can about all aspects of

the business. Identify what’s important and be clear

on what you are trying to achieve. Prioritize, be a

team player, and behave with respect and integrity.

DV: I would say it is a great industry to work

in, with so many opportunities to play a positive

part in shaping the future of exhibition. Get out

there and be a part of that by learning how the

industry works, talking to lots of different people,

and gaining a diverse perspective. Share your views,

constructively challenge others, do great work, and

have fun!

What are the key accomplishments you would

still like to make during your time at Vue?

AC: Deliver further enhancements in automation

of leading-edge management-information and

decision-making tools.

DV: We know that the world is changing at

a rapid speed, faster than ever before. Digital

transformation is completely changing the business

landscape and creating demand for new skills.

Eighty percent of schoolchildren between the ages

of 4 and 9 will get jobs that don’t even exist today.

Methods of communication have become faster,

the political climate is changing, globalization has

led to increased consolidation, and new competition

that disrupts the status quo can appear overnight.

Legislative changes like GDPR and higher

retirement ages have affected the way we run our

businesses. The workforce is changing; by 2020,

we will have five different generations working side

by side, all with different needs, motivations, and

career models.

From an organizational development perspective,

this creates massive challenges. I would

like to be in a position where I play a key part in

successfully navigating our business through these

changing times.

Describe your ideal moviegoing experience.

AC: Enjoying the social experience of watching

an art house film with my four teenage children at

a Vue with top-quality seats, screens, and sound.

DV: For me, the ideal moviegoing experience

should have an air of anticipation and excitement

built around two to three hours of escapism from

the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This is

brought to life by a stress-free environment, being

served by happy and helpful people, indulging in

some “Pic ’n’ Mix” and then ending it all by pretending

to be film critics with a bunch of friends

over a glass of wine.

Can you describe a formative moviegoing

experience from your childhood?

AC: Being traumatized by Bambi at age five

(many years after its original release)!

DV: The first time I went to the cinema, I was

5 years old. It was a Saturday morning, and it

became one of my very first childhood memories.

The experience was new and exciting. I think the

experience became sharply etched in my childhood

memory not just because watching a film on

the big screen blew me away, but because it was

72 JUNE 2019


a shared experience with people who meant a lot

to me. Life is all about creating memories with

people you care about. Having had one of my first

and most memorable childhood experiences in the

cinema, moviegoing became the setting for the

creation of many more treasured memories.

What can companies like Vue do to encourage

diversity within the exhibition industry?

AC: Monitor the diversity of people being hired

to ensure that there is no obvious bias. Then support

and encourage all people and provide learning

opportunities. The best teams have a good gender

and cultural mix. My current London-based head

office team at Vue enjoys an approximately 50/50

gender mix and has people from many countries,

including Europe and beyond.

DV: Research and studies have shown that a

high-performing and diverse workforce gives an

organization a competitive advantage. Valuing

difference and fostering wide-ranging perspectives

and complementary strengths can ultimately deliver

more informed and effective business solutions.

Sourcing, engaging, and retaining diverse top

talent means that organizations must have in place

a business culture that allows this to flourish. It is

not about soapbox speeches and initiatives that pay

lip service and look good to the outside world. It

is about ensuring that business policies, processes,

infrastructures, and working practices are all underpinned

by clear principles that enable business

decisions relating to people to be based on inclusion,

transparency, objectivity, and meritocracy.

In today’s world, [having] websites like Glassdoor

and Indeed, where employees post anonymous

reviews about companies, means that

businesses can no longer hide their internal organizational

culture. Rather, it has become part of their

brand. If a positive and effective business culture

is created, organizations will by default attract and

retain highly talented diverse individuals, resulting

in a well-balanced workforce.

Alison, how has your role at Vue changed in the

aftermath of its recent slate of acquisitions?

AC: As Vue has been acquisitive over many

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JUNE 2019

73


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

years, the recent acquisitions are part of our

DNA. We have well-established procedures for

integrating new businesses and welcoming new

talent into the group. As any business grows and

the span of control widens, the key enablers to

success are effective communication, prioritization,

and the presence of robust management

information systems.

Dee, you’ve been with Vue since the beginning.

As a company like yours grows, how do you

ensure that corporate culture stays positive?

DV: During our rapid expansion, we have

worked hard to ensure that our internal infrastructures

and ways of working have developed and

evolved in such a way that they remain fit for our

purpose. In the process of achieving this, we have

also worked hard to protect what made us successful

in the first place.

Our business is all about people, and our core

values have never changed. They underpin everything

we do. When we recruit into our business,

we will only hire people who are aligned to our

values and culture. This means they will to bring

to life our culture through the way they behave

and also through the types of people they go on

to recruit. This has created a broad and diverse

workforce that shares the same core values while

having very different strengths. The result is a

powerful and complementary mix of expertise

and knowledge gained from exhibition and other

relevant sectors.

GRAINNE PEAT

EVENT CINEMA ASSOCIATION

Grainne Peat, Policy

Executive & Managing

Director, Event

Cinema Association

The UK Cinema

Association’s (UKCA)

policy executive for

the last five and a half

years, Grainne Peat

last year took on the

mantle of managing

director for the Event

Cinema Association (ECA). Peat’s refined vision

for the ECA was on display at the group’s 2019

Slate Day, which paired presentations on a range

of content with insight-based conferences geared

toward how to effectively market event cinema.

What is the biggest challenge facing event

cinema in 2019?

Event cinema continues to draw audiences from

around the world. The diversity of content that is

now on offer is richer and stronger than ever. We’ve

seen a huge growth in the popularity of concertand

documentary-based content, which continues

to attract new audiences of all ages to cinemas.

Consumer-facing challenges remain centered

around promotion and consistent marketing

of what is considered event cinema. The Event

Cinema Association looks to how we can improve

consumer awareness and find a comprehensive and

cost-effective way to better promote all content.

In terms of industry challenges for event cinema,

there is work to be done around content delivery,

programming (particularly for single-site cinemas),

and global box office and admissions data.

What’s your proudest achievement from your

time so far at the ECA?

A few months ago I would have said the ECA

Slate Day back in January. The event, which was

the first under my leadership, was effectively our

relaunch. The level of attendance and enthusiasm

was hugely encouraging, and the diverse range of

content presented really demonstrated how much

event cinema is evolving and growing.

However, I now feel our presence at CineEurope

is my proudest achievement to date. It’s the

first time event cinema (taken as a whole) has had

a product presentation at any trade show. I hope it

cements the new direction of the association and

the growing importance of event cinema in terms

of global box office and cinema programming. It’s

been a pleasure working with Andrew Sunshine

and the Film Expo Group team to make this

happen. We’ve got lots happening throughout the

week, with a firm focus on driving membership

with partners and colleagues from across Europe.

How would you evaluate the progress women

have made in the exhibition business in the

past few years?

Women in exhibition have long driven innovation.

They’ve excelled as leaders and have been an

74 JUNE 2019


We Proudly Salute

Duncan Reynolds

GROUP DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, ODEON CINEMAS GROUP

2019 CinéEurope Gold Award Recipient

Congratulations on this prestigious, well-deserved award.

Thank you for your commitment to excellence in theatre experiences around the globe.

+1.662.539.7017

www.vipcinemaseating.com


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

integral component of all areas of exhibition and

the wider film industry. It is only in recent years

that the industry has started to shine a light on

the successes of female leaders and recognize the

challenges they have faced and continue to face

in this largely male-dominated industry. Pioneering

initiatives such as UNIC’s Women’s Cinema

Leadership Programme are a huge step forward in

acknowledging talent and nurturing future female

leaders. They create an empowering network for

women to share experiences, skills, and knowledge,

something that was severely lacking in the

industry.

Tell us about your mentors in this business.

Particularly in my role at the ECA, the members

of the board of directors give me support and

advice pertaining to the event cinema landscape.

It’s been a pleasure working with them over these

first few months.

My most long-standing mentor is Monica

Chadha, non-executive director and executive coach

at Mocha8. I caught her attention with a charity

pitch I did over 10 years ago. Monica has long

championed, guided, and supported me throughout

my career. She challenged me, offered me a different

perspective on situations, and taught me the importance

of keeping my integrity. She is my independent

voice of reason and a great friend.

Veronica Lindholm [managing director of

Odeon Group Cinemas] was my mentor in the

UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme.

I was beyond honored to be paired with Veronica.

She is the sort of a leader and individual I aspire

to be. I learned a great deal from Veronica, like the

importance of speaking up, trying not to overthink

too much, and having confidence in my professional

ability. My mentoring came at a time when I was

ready to look for my next career move, which ended

in my taking the managing director role at the Event

Cinema Association. Our time together helped me

to take the leap to be involved in something I was

passionate about.

Phil Clapp, CEO of the UK Cinema Association

and president of UNIC, taught me a great deal about

leadership and how to run a successful trade body.

Structure and clarity of purpose is vital for any trade

body. Members need to have a good understanding

of how their needs can be met and how they can be

represented. Phil has been supportive of my taking

the managing director role at the ECA, and I am

truly grateful to have had the pleasure of working

alongside him. Lucky for him, my role at the ECA

presents lots of scope for future collaborations!

Last but not least, I have to make note of my inner

sanctum, a group of like-minded female industry

professionals whom I also call my friends. We’re

a diverse bunch, but we’re all ambitious, supportive,

competent, and enjoy a glass of wine! It’s great to

have a network to chew the fat with.

What advice would you give to women just

entering the movie exhibition business?

Have confidence in your capabilities. Then have

confidence in yourself. Always keep your integrity,

speak up, and put yourself forward. Once in a while,

go outside of your comfort zone.

What are the key accomplishments you would

still like to make during your time at the ECA?

I feel my time at the ECA is only just beginning.

There is so much more in store for the association.

Making it a truly global—and recognized—group

will be the biggest accomplishment.

The association has lots to address in regard

to technology, marketing, and data. These are the

three key strands of the ECA’s new strategy. Event

cinema has a lot to offer—including a different

perspective—in industry conversations around

audience development, technology, and marketing.

Tell me about the most important lesson you

learned while you were starting out in this

industry.

Knowledge is key. Own what you do and do

it well. That is what I respect in colleagues from

across the industry. Establish a support network of

like-minded professionals. Having an independent

perspective on things is hugely important to professional

development and growth.

Describe your ideal moviegoing experience.

I’ll probably be going against the grain by saying

that I actually enjoy going to the cinema on my

own. It’s the perfect “me” time. I can switch off from

everything while still being in a social environment.

In terms of what is important to me at the cinema,

three things: seats, sound, and the quality of the

nacho cheese dip! I’ve long championed the power

of the cinema to provide escapism. It’s the one time

I switch my phone off and get fully immersed in

what I’m watching.

76 JUNE 2019


What’s the sort of event cinema programming

that you, personally, like to go see?

Mainly concerts and theater. One of my favorite

childhood books is The Curious Incident of the Dog

in the Night-Time. I went to see the West End

production, but my seats were awful and I had a

terrible view of the stage. When the performance

was bought to cinemas, I was thrilled that I could

see it again, properly this time. With nacho cheese

dip, which they don’t do in stage theaters.

I am also a huge lover of music. The opportunity

to watch performances in comfort on a big screen

with great sound is a big win for me. Beyoncé’s

“Homecoming” should have gone to cinemas rather

than straight to Netflix. It’s stunning—the choreography,

the music, the costumes, the passion. It

should have had the big-screen experience.

And finally, can you tell me what we can expect

to see from the ECA’s product presentation at

this year’s CineEurope?

The focus has been to bring as much wow factor

to the stage as possible, whilst ensuring we include

the many facets of event cinema. You’ll have to come

see the presentation, on Wednesday, June 19, at 10

a.m.! Needless to say, this is an exciting time for

event cinema and the association’s members.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF

THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-

TIME, AS SCREENED BY

FATHOM EVENTS

JUNE 2019

77


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

ODEON GROUP

Kathryn Pritchard, Group Chief People

Officer & Director of Strategic Programs,

ODEON Group

Although a relative newcomer to cinema, having

joined Odeon in 2015 from the U.K. government,

Kathryn Pritchard has made quite the

impression. 2018 was a busy year for Odeon, and

Pritchard’s work saw her win numerous awards in

her time with the company. She is responsible for

developing the company’s business strategy and

has reinvigorated Odeon’s workforce. She also

has an MBA and a master’s in leadership coaching.

In May, Pritchard left Odeon to explore

other opportunities.

Carol Welch, Managing Director,

ODEON Group Cinemas

Carol Welch has had a busy year. Not only has

she overseen the adding of a further nine Odeon

Luxe cinemas to their burgeoning portfolio, including

the famous Odeon Luxe Leicester Square

just before Christmas, but she also found time to

be appointed a non-executive director of Hammerson

PLC and fulfill her commitments to the

UK Cinema Association (UKCA).

What’s your proudest achievement from your

time so far at Odeon?

KP: I have so many. In the last four years we

have cracked top decile OHI (Organizational

Health Index). We’ve won so many awards, and

we launched our first diversity strategy. But the

things I’m most proud of are the teams we’ve

built and the careers I’ve watched flourish. Nothing

beats watching someone brilliant hone their

skills and become more brilliant. It’s what gets

me up in the morning. They’re too many people

to mention, but I hope they all know just how

proud I am of them.

CW: I have two. The first is the success of

Odeon Luxe, our recliner cinema experience. This

required the efforts of many, many people, and

the response from our guests has been fantastic

every time.

The second is seeing the talent in our business

grow. Due to the launch of the Bright Lights and

Our Incredible Differences programs, we now have

a more diverse set of leaders than ever before. Long

may they continue to flourish.

What is the biggest challenge facing exhibition

in 2019?

Kathryn Pritchard: The biggest challenge is

making every cinema visit feel special for every

guest. Lifelong personal memories are made in

the cinema. Yet, we operate at scale and pace.

Ensuring the experience isn’t just transactional

or perfunctory is vital. That means every guest

touch point needs to be delivered with care and

attention, and that’s tough.

Carol Welch: I only see opportunities. Our

focus at Odeon is ensuring we provide every guest

with the best experience whilst they enjoy watching

one of the fabulous films from our distribution

partners. In a world where the “small screen” is so

much a part of our daily lives, the opportunity

cinema has is to whisk guests away to immerse

themselves in their choice of movie. From The

Favourite to Avengers: Endgame to Rocketman,

there is nothing quite like being treated to the

full big-screen experience. Our role is to up our

game every time, so guests come back to share

their immersive experience with others!

KATHRYN PRITCHARD

78 JUNE 2019


How would you evaluate the progress

women have made in the exhibition

business in the past few years?

KP: We have more women in leadership

roles than we did four years ago but, like

many organizations, we don’t have a true

meritocracy yet. And that’s the ultimate

goal in all sectors, because it’s a meritocracy

that drives business performance; it means

the most capable people get chosen for

any job. Unfortunately I still see fabulous

women whose careers are progressing more

slowly than their male counterparts. The

reasons are complex, but it needs sustained

effort to rectify. And frankly it needs men,

who currently hold the roles and power, to

make a difference, to act with women to

bring about change.

CW: Progress is definitely there—two

of the five MDs at Odeon Cinema Group

are female and there are three women on

our UK&I board, but progress could and

should be faster. For a healthy business,

the diversity of our guest base should be

CAROL WELCH

JUNE 2019

79


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

reflected in the leaders that run it. The exciting thing for me is

the diversity of leaders coming up through the business at the

next level. It’s vital that we create the right environment for a far

greater diverse set of leaders in future.

Tell us about your mentors in

this business.

KP: I’m influenced by so many people. I love working with

people who’ve been in the industry a long time—[Odeon’s]

Juan Antonio Gomez, Duncan Reynolds, Martin Waller, Ben

Richardson, Gary Suter, Jason Coles—but I’ve also had two great

bosses, Mark Way and Paul Donovan, who have allowed me to

grow and develop. Both trusted me to do things I hadn’t done

before, and that’s gold dust for any career.

CW: I’m lucky in that I have a broad range of mentors from

industries I have worked in before exhibition—FMCG and retail—alongside

the cinema and leisure business. I think it’s important

to always have a set of mentors with broad experiences

and reflective styles that you can call on for different types of

advice. It’s also important to pay this forward to others!

What advice would you give to women just entering the

movie exhibition business?

KP: Define your purpose, know what drives you, and then

build teams that can help you deliver that. Invest time building

trusting relationships. Leaders achieve very little alone, so give

credit to those who deserve it. And pace yourself. Despite the

way it feels, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

CW: Place the guests and your teams at the heart of your

decision making. Be bold, trust your instincts, and have fun—we

are in the entertainment industry!

What are the key accomplishments you would still like to

make during your time at Odeon?

CW: We are on an incredibly exciting journey and have a long

road ahead to achieve everything we would like to. Following the

relaunch of our flagship Odeon Luxe Leicester Square last year,

we are continuing to launch Luxe cinemas and our new concession

offers. We have just entered an exciting partnership with

Vista, our new technology partner, and we have some fabulous

and diverse talent moving up through our business. We still have

much to do!

Tell me about the most important lesson you learned while

you were starting out in this industry.

KP: To listen better. To not assume that cinema is like retail or

hospitality or any other analogous industry, but to listen to people

who know it best and understand its unique drivers. And then use

that insight to inform how to change it and make it better.

CW: Listen intently and reflect carefully on what you hear.

But also to trust your instincts.

NOS AUDIOVISUALS

Susanna Hermida Barbato, Executive Board Member

Susanna Hermida Barbato is an executive board

member of NOS Audiovisuais (part of the holding

company NOS). Barbato was behind the launch of

the first IPTV, VOD, and FTTH service in Portugal.

Today she is responsible for the strategic development

of theatrical distribution, acquisitions, as well as marketing

across different platforms. NOS is the leader in

Portugal in pay TV, in the latest generation broadband,

cinema distribution, and exhibition, with over 200

cinemas in Portugal, including Imax, 4DX, full laser

projection, and Dolby Atmos.

Describe your ideal moviegoing experience.

KP: Odeon Luxe in Lee Valley with my goddaughters on a

Saturday afternoon. Because they’re still little, and they’re always

so excited about the ice blast and recliners!

CW: Going to the cinema was a memorable family experience

to share as a kid, so I love giving my kids the same. Bohemian

Rhapsody with my husband and two boys was a really big night

out. Combos and a glass of wine, Luxe recliner seats, a great

experience, and my 13-year-old being Freddie Mercury in front

of the mirror for the next week. What’s not to love!

Can you describe a formative moviegoing experience from

your childhood?

KP: I remember queueing to watch Snow White in Bracknell

with my mum. The excitement was enormous. I also remember

watching E.T. fly through the sky and believing it was real!

CW: Saturday Night Fever—a special daughter and dad bonding

moment watching a very grown-up film.

What can companies like Odeon do to encourage diversity

and increased representation within the exhibition

industry?

KP: It’s very simple: Hire more women for jobs they may not

quite be ready for. We’re rarely completely ready for big career

moves, but I see more men being given the opportunities. Maybe

men create them, maybe they’re encouraged—I’m not sure—but

they’re no more ready than the women. The phrase equal opportunity

needs to be applied at face value. Let more women have a go!

CW: I firmly believe that we must always try to provide

the right environment and support, taking risks on people

with potential and building their confidence. They may just

surprise you!

80 JUNE 2019


CINEEUROPE HONORS

ITS SECOND BATCH

OF GOLD AWARD

WINNERS

>> For the second consecutive

year, UNIC and the Film Expo

Group have partnered for

the CineEurope Gold Awards,

granted to exhibition professionals

who have displayed

a dedication to service both

within their respective companies

and to the European

market as a whole.

Said UNIC president Phil Clapp

in a statement: “The Gold

Awards recognize that the success

of our industry is dependent

on the skills and expertise

of the people who work within

it, whose devotion and passion

exemplify precisely what

makes the sector so special.

We are delighted to see their

hard work and dedication being

celebrated at CineEurope.”

This year, these individuals

have been honored with the

CineEurope Gold Award.

Simon Brown

Director, Film Content Protection

Agency (FCPA)

As the director of the U.K.’s Film

Content Protection Agency (FCPA),

Simon Brown has proven integral in

protecting theatrical film distributors in

the U.K. from the threat of piracy. Brown

developed and has managed the FCPA’s

anti-piracy program for cinemas since its

introduction in 2006. He has a bachelor

of science degree from the University of

Sheffield and on British IP Day 2018 was

presented with the IP Champion Award

in honor of his exceptional work in safeguarding

the U.K. from illegal recordings

in cinemas.

Simon Brown: “I’m absolutely

delighted and honored to be receiving

this Gold Award at CineEurope 2019.

I would like to take this opportunity to

thank everyone who works with FCPA

and especially the cinema operators

and their staff who engage with our

program, and in doing so contribute

significantly to keeping theatrical

releases secure from film theft and

copyright infringement.”

Marcin Czubak

CTO, Helios SA

Associated with Helios since 2002,

Marcin Czubak is a manager with 15

years of experience in cinema projection

and sound technology. He has co-designed

and supervised the commission of

235 rooms in 40 Helios cinemas.

Czubak ensures high projection

standard in Helios theaters by selecting,

purchasing, and implementing cinema

technologies, as well as recruiting and

training technical staff.

He is the co-founder of the Polish

section of SMPTE (Society of Motion

Picture and Television Engineers) and a

member of UNIC.

Born in 1977, Czubak graduated

from the faculty of electronics and telecommunications

of the Wrocław University

of Science and Technology, majoring

in sound engineering.

Marcin Czubak: “The CineEurope

Gold Award is a great honor and distinction

for me. I am all the more pleased as

the award shows international recognition

both for my personal achievements

and for the high quality guaranteed by

Helios cinemas.”

Rolv Gjestland

Adviser in Cinema Design and

Technology, Film & Kino

Instead of making a career in the process

industry, Rolv Gjestland’s interest in

movies took him into exhibition. In 1984

he was employed by Film & Kino as their

expert in cinema technology and design.

Over the years he has been involved in

almost all new builds, refurbishments,

and equipment upgrades in Norwegian

cinemas. Born in 1952, Gjestland has a

master’s degree in physical metallurgy.

82 JUNE 2019


Participation in international organizations

has always been important to him;

he has been active in SMPTE, BKSTS/

IMIS, ICTA, EDCF, UNIC, and more.

Rolv Gjestland: “I am humble and

very surprised to receive this award. I

hope it is not an invitation to make me

retire—’cause I won’t (yet)!”

Jaime Gerbolés

Growth Director, Yelmo Cines

Valeria Kurohtina

Duty Manager, Cinamon

OCG real estate strategy, with specific

responsibility for the rollout of the Luxe

brand throughout all Odeon Cinema

Group territories.

Duncan Reynolds: “I feel very

honored to receive this award and for

the recognition of the industry which it

bestows upon me.”

Jaime Gerbolés graduated with a

master’s in finance and worked in that

area before joining Yelmo Cines 20 years

ago. This coincided with Ricardo Evole,

Yelmo’s owner, beginning a joint venture

with one of the top U.S. exhibitors to

keep developing its circuit in Spain.

Gerbolés worked as Yelmo Cines’

CFO from 2006 until the company was

taken over by Cinépolis in 2015. During

that period he contributed to the growth

of the company, signed the first VPF

deals in Spain, and helped Yelmo Cines

adjust to the deep crisis that the Spanish

market suffered from 2008 onward. He

was also involved in the Spanish Federation

of Cinemas (FECE).

Now, under Cinépolis, he is head of

investment and growth in Spain, involved

in renovating this great industry and

bringing the best cinema experience to

customers in Spain.

Jaime Gerbolés: “I am really honored

to receive this award that recognizes my

20 years in this amazing industry. I want

to thank Mr. Fernando Evole for supporting

me all these years. Special thanks

to Cinépolis senior management for

making me part of their exciting project

in Europe.”

At 25 years of age, Valeria Kurohtina is

the duty manager at Cinamon in Estonia,

specifically the Cinamon T1 cinema. She

has worked with Cinamon since 2015

and, in her words, is “really motivated to

do my best in this company.”

Valeria Kurohtina: “I would like to

thank my team. Without them I would

not be here right now. Special thanks to

[Cinamon CEO] Tatiana [Tolstaya] for

this chance, which motivates me to do

even better moving forward.”

Duncan Reynolds

Group Development Director,

Odeon Cinemas Group

Duncan Reynolds has been involved

in the industry for 27 years, originally

joining UCI as a cinema manager at

Port Solent in 1992. Rising through

the ranks and taking on a number of

different roles, he became managing

director of Odeon Cinemas U.K. &

Ireland in December 2014. In February

2017, he moved into his current role of

group real estate and development director,

overseeing capital projects in 13

European countries and developing the

CAROLA SCHMID

Also being honored are Carola

Schmid, head of booking/exhibition

at Cineplexx, and Kam

Dosanjh, director of operations

at Vue International. The

CineEurope Gold Awards will be

presented on Thursday, June 20,

at 1 p.m. local time.

KAM DOSANJH

JUNE 2019

83


TECHNOLOGY

BY REBECCA PAHLE AND DANIEL LORIA

CHECKING

IN WITH

CINIONIC

WIM BUYENS TALKS LASER PAST,

PRESENT, AND FUTURE

At this year’s CinemaCon, Boxoffice sat down with Cinionic

CEO Wim Buyens to talk about one bit of tech that was on

everyone’s lips: laser, laser, laser (with some LED thrown in for

good measure).

It’s been about a year now since Barco launched

the Cinionic brand. How has this last year been

for you?

We’re launching our new laser platform. Right

now we have more than 25 laser projectors in the

range, the most of anybody. You could say, “Well,

you always did projectors as Barco.” But it’s slightly

different now because of the angle on promoting,

not just the projector, but the total cost of ownership

over the lifetime of the projector. We at

Cinionic look at the more holistic picture, the total

experience.

We also have what we call laser as a service,

which means that technologies can be upgraded to

laser. And that could be with a different business

model—it could be a pay-as-you-go kind of thing.

Cinionic drives a different course than we did

before. That’s important.

There are 185,000 screens in the world. Barco

has 85,000 installed, which is Cinionic’s heritage.

But what’s next? That could be prolonging the

lifetime with laser as a service but still getting efficiency,

still getting much less power consumption,

so that the total cost of ownership is lower. Or you

go to a new generation, right? What is that, then,

going to be for your screen? We have the small ones

up to the big ones, and then to PLF.

Which brings me to the last point I wanted to

mention: our PLF solution. We have two flavors.

One is white label, which means that as a technology

brand we’re supporting the PLFs of the

exhibitors. A lot of box office comes from existing

PLF brands, and we want to contribute to that. If

you look from a projector point of view, probably

two-thirds of the PLFs are Barco projectors anyway,

right? Not branded, but they use Barco. And the

second solution: If people want to have a brand, we

use THX. THX comes in with the same technical

solutions, but they are branded THX Ultimate.

So there are two options: THX Ultimate and the

white label?

Right. The former is if an exhibitor says, “I don’t

have the power to market my own PLF. I want to

have a name, and I can’t afford some of the names

in the industry. I want to have something that is the

best value for money.” That’s how we market this,

as the best value for money. We’re probably not

the best in everything for PLF, but we are the best

value for money, because that’s the space I think we

should be in. Then they step in, and they use our

THX brand with THX Ultimate, and THX will do

the marketing.

THX announced its plans for PLF last year

at CinemaCon. When did you start getting

involved?

When THX changed ownership a few years ago,

when Razer took over the company, they wanted

to bring the brand back to life, including in the

cinema space. That’s when we connected with them

and said, “Hey, what do you have in mind?” They

said, “We are really about application and branding.

Of course, we know a lot about sound and all those

things, but we don’t want to get involved in all the

technical solutions.” And then we said, “Well, this

is maybe a great way for us to potentially team up

together.”

We have a Cinionic giant screen, which is our

PLF solution. And we said, “We don’t see ourselves

as being the branding company. That’s not what we

want to be, necessarily. So let’s partner on this one.”

It doesn’t mean that it’s an exclusive agreement.

When the customer wants their brand, that’s great.

If the customer says, “No, I have my own brand,”

then we will work directly with the customer.

Interest is strong, because people make money

on PLFs. By the same token, as a cinema industry,

our belief is that a massive amount of people want

84 JUNE 2019


to go to cinemas, right? There’s nothing wrong with

the cinema business. Not at all. We just need to enable

people. And enabling people is two things. You

need to make it cheap enough so people can see the

movie when they couldn’t before, in the rural areas

of the world—Latin America, APAC, and so on.

And if we get more into the markets where cinemas

are more developed already, then the “wow” effect

has to be there. You have to be able to show something

different. Being able to really get a proper

image and optimize the sound, with laser and other

technologies, is really critical. Yes, small screens are

OK. That’s one segment of the market. But we also

need big screens. You want to be impressed.

a little bit more geared toward laser projection

and democratizing laser for all cinemas?

Barco came from being a small player to having

more than 50 percent market share with 85,000

projectors installed. You could say, OK, that’s great.

But it doesn’t mean that that success is going to be

the same success moving forward. So I said, “If we

At the same time, home entertainment is

advancing so much. People can get bigger and

bigger screens for personal use.

At home, it’s about convenience. It’s for the

family, which is great. But, for me, cinemagoing is a

social experience. It’s going out. You want to have a

good time. You want to spend some money on food

and beverages and so on. It’s different than at home.

I think both will grow. The consumption of visual

entertainment is increasing. I’m afraid that the kids,

10 years from now, are not going to write anymore,

and everything’s going to be visual. I think you’re

going to see a massive amount of consumption at

home, but also a massive amount of consumption

in cinemas. We just have to make

sure that the cinemas are destination

places, are entertainment hubs,

that you get that “wow” factor.

That, as an industry, we need to

keep on fueling.

WIM BUYENS

Looking at Cinionic, we

see a lot of the pioneering

innovations that you guys

have had—for example,

immersive audio with

Barco Auro and panoramic

screens with Barco Escape.

What lessons did you learn

from those experiences,

of being there early and

trying to grow a market?

And how have those lessons

informed the current strategy

of Cinionic today, which seems

JUNE 2019

85


But, for me, cinemagoing is a social

experience. It’s going out. You want to

have a good time. You want to spend

some money on food and beverages

and so on. It’s different than at home.

don’t change our stripes, we are not going to stay

successful like we are.” That’s the start of Cinionic.

My thing about learning is you need to keep on

trying. Don’t feel bad about trying if something

is not successful. We feel incredibly proud about

Escape, incredibly proud about Auro. New things

come. How can we embrace them and make sure

they can flourish? Dolby did a great job with Dolby

Atmos, which came later and of course enjoyed

a big push in the market.

The industry needs to make space for innovators

and entrepreneurs. And that’s tough. Because

there are the big guys who typically who have the

marketing power and the big pockets. But innovation

often happens with smaller companies. That’s

how things start rolling. I think we need to keep

on doing that. But it doesn’t mean that when you

start something it’s all going to be a direct success.

Sometimes you have to say, “Maybe the timing was

off. Maybe our approach was slightly off.”

I don’t think Cinionic is laser as such only. It’s

just that laser is an important ingredient in how

the cinema market will change moving forward. I

don’t think we have embraced it yet enough as an

industry. But we are in the early days. With laser,

you can run your cinema differently. It is a change

of a lamp to a laser, yes, but it’s much more than

that. It’s moving from analog to digital. You can run

it much more digitally, much more remotely. You

can be much more flexible in the performance of

your equipment. With a lamp, it does its thing, and

you have to just rest on what the lamp does. With

laser, it’s the opposite. With laser you can tune

to whatever you want to get out of it. There’s

a way to run a cheaper complex, and laser is

an integral part of enabling all of that.

When I said the vision of Cinionic over

the next 10 years will be different, that’s

because we’re going to be much stronger

in the “wow” effect. It’s not enough to

hold to the DCI specifications. The DCI

spec is guidance, which is great. But, as an

exhibitor, you have to attract butts in seats.

I’m happy to go to a movie, but I want to be

impressed. I want to have a good time. I want

to get a good seat. I want all those things. As an

industry, it’s not enough just to show a movie.

The industry is changing, and I think that’s

a good thing. I see many more entrepreneurs as

exhibitors today than I would have seen 10 years

ago, because they have many more options. It’s a

new era. And the first piece of technology critical

to driving that change is the projector. Cinionic is

all about enabling diversity of experience.

So the laser component is a building block.

It’s an important building block. It takes a lot

of effort to get that right. When you try something

new, you have to try, try, try, try again. It costs you

10 times more effort than you would have expected.

That’s the nature of it. And that’s why we’re

doubling down on laser.

There are so many different types of PLF

experiences out there. Everyone’s getting in

on it, including now Samsung with their LEDpowered

Onyx screen. What’s your take on

that technology?

I’ve been responsible for LED for quite a few

years at Barco. LED has been evolving quite a bit.

Never say no to any technology. If it’s not today,

it could be tomorrow. It could be five or 10 years

from now. Never discard anything. LED is definitely

a technology on the rise in general.

But when running a cinema, there’s a certain

ROI you need to have. In some segments of PLFs,

which are the very large screens, the price points

are different, clearly. But when I get to the mainstream,

I’m being challenged a lot about how cheap

can we have it. Cheap is not negatively intended.

That means value for money. And the equation

there today with LED—and it’s not about Samsung—is

just not there yet.

86 JUNE 2019


CASE STUDY

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF MOVIE MARKETING, AN INDUSTRY REPORT BY

Facebook recently published an industry report titled, “The Art and Science of Movie Marketing” to help marketers understanding of

moviegoers and what motivates them to see a particular film. The report features new data Facebook commissioned in two different USbased

studies. Sections of that report are included here. For access to the full report by Facebook, please visit:

www.facebook.com/business/m/verticals/entertainment-media/the-art-and-science-of-movie-marketing

The Art and Science

of Movie Marketing

FACEBOOK PROVIDES INSIGHTS ON WHAT

REALLY INFLUENCES PEOPLE’S CHOICES

ABOUT THE RESEARCH

Understanding moviegoers and what motivates them to see a

particular film is essential for marketers and creatives who want

to optimize their film releases for maximum box office success.

Facebook recently commissioned 2 studies that offer insights to

help marketers identify opportunities to reach moviegoers by

concentrating efforts on channels that resonate with current and

prospective moviegoers, all while proactively adjusting marketing

plans in response to insights from social media.

FILM CONSUMER JOURNEY STUDY

To learn more about how moviegoers discover and evaluate

films and buy tickets, Facebook commissioned the Film Consumer

Journey Study by Accenture, an online study of 1,074

active US moviegoers, ages 18 years+. The data gathered from

June to July 2018 defines moviegoers as people who have seen at

least one movie in a theater in the past 6 months.

THE BOX OFFICE STUDY

Facebook also recently partnered with Neustar to determine

key indicators and overall contribution to box office. Neustar

analyzed the advertising channels for 70 US movies of various

genres, sizes and seasons from 2016, representing the majority of

wide-release box office sales. The analysis covered 8 different marketing

channels: TV, online display, online video, paid Facebook

advertising, out- of-home advertising (OOH), radio, print and

paid search. Study focused on the 15 weeks leading up to each

film release and the 6 weeks after the movies hit theaters.

NOTE: All data in this report is from the Film Consumer Journey Study unless otherwise stated.

88 JUNE 2019


STAYING CURRENT IN AN EVOLVING MOVIE

MARKETING LANDSCAPE

Information is powerful when it comes to crafting

winning strategies for driving awareness and intent

around film releases. This report is designed to empower

you with fresh insights and takeaways that will

enable you to optimize your theatrical campaigns. In

it, we will break down the moviegoer customer journey

across 3 key phases: how they discover a film,

how they evaluate which film to see and, ultimately,

how they make the decision to watch a film.

Marketing movies has never been more challenging—or

more creatively exciting. By leveraging

insights from the research shared in this report,

you can tailor theatrical campaigns to engage

moviegoers, who have more choices than ever

before not only in films but also in where and how

to watch them.

Moviegoers have opinions on what makes an

effective trailer, and they want to see fresh creative

after they’ve seen a trailer. Movie marketers can

pick up and run with these insights to try and

avoid losing out at the box office.

For moviegoers in the discovery phase, we recommend

maximizing your trailer drop by targeting

a broad audience. Also, introduce your new film

with long-form content using in-stream video and

help keep it top of mind among moviegoers with

snackable videos in the feed or stories.

Choosing movies is a team effort when it comes

to evaluating films. Social context changes the mix

of movies people see in theater and can affect how

many movies they see as well. Reach fans across

all genres, not just that of your movie, to increase

your chances of box office success. According to

Neustar, paid Facebook Media can contribute to

box office by helping to generate the highest return

on ad spend (ROAS).

If a film performs extraordinarily well at the box

office during opening weekend, consider increasing

your ad campaign spend to try and increase the

return on your investment.

During the moviegoer purchase phase, your

main goal is to drive transactions. One way to do

so is by gaining access to lower funnel success metrics

such as conversions and working closely with

your ticketing partner. Leverage the Facebook pixel

to measure success, help you build higher intent

audiences and optimize for conversions with your

ticketing partner.

TIMING MAY NOT BE EVERYTHING, BUT IT COUNTS.

The days of spontaneously catching a film are over. The vast majority of

moviegoers participating in the study indicated they plan to see movies in the

theater ahead of time, with just 9% of moviegoers saying they didn’t decide on

the last movie they saw until they got to the theater. Embrace the new context

of how moviegoers discover films, evaluate them and make decisions to

purchase tickets.

It pays to understand moviegoers when you’re trying to connect with the

desired audiences for a given piece of creative across a range of channels that

is larger than ever before. Consider that Americans spend almost half of their

media time on digital platforms, 1 and that 79% of frequent moviegoers studied

(those who indicated that they attend a movie at least once a month) own at

least 4 different types of key technology products. 2

Among the moviegoers in the Accenture study, more than 60% of those

who said they use Facebook, Instagram or Messenger weekly also said they use

the platforms for film-related activities. 3 This level of engagement presents an

opportunity for film marketers to promote theatrical releases wherever you are

most likely to connect with your audiences.

We understand that marketing a film is extremely complex and nuanced.

Here are 4 general takeaways to help optimize your next theatrical release:

PLAN FOR CROSS-PLATFORM.

Mobile and social networks are increasingly influential

resources along the path to purchase.

PLAY INTO SOCIAL CONTEXT.

Social context can influence moviegoers to mix up the

genres of the films they watch.

MAKE MOBILE RESEARCH AND PURCHASE EASY.

Create a seamless mobile experience from discovery

to purchase.

DON’T JUST DRIVE INTENT. DRIVE TRANSACTIONS.

Optimize ticket sale opportunities by thinking like a direct

response marketer.

1

MPAA 2017 Theatrical and Home Entertainment Market Environment [THEME] Report. p3 (April 4, 2017).

2

MPAA 2017 Theatrical and Home Entertainment Market Environment [THEME] Report. p5 (April 4, 2017).

3

Film-related activities include chatting with friends about movies, following or liking films/franchises/actors/directors, checking

in to movies, engaging with posts from friends about movies, making plans to see movies with friends, asking/giving movie

recommendations or buying movie-related merchandise.

JUNE 2019

89


CASE STUDY

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF MOVIE MARKETING, AN INDUSTRY REPORT BY

Understanding

the Journey of the

Connected Moviegoer

WHAT THIS MEANS

FOR MARKETERS

Maximize your trailer

drop by targeting a

broad audience. Digital

helps new audiences

discover new releases.

Introduce your new film

with long-form content

using in-stream video ads

and keep it top of mind

among moviegoers with

snackable videos in the

feed or in stories.

4

Desktop or mobile.

5

Facebook Family of Apps and Services

refers to Facebook, Facebook Messenger,

Instagram and WhatsApp.

DISCOVER: HOW DO MOVIEGOERS DISCOVER

NEW FILMS?

More than half of US moviegoers studied said

they discover new films on Facebook platforms.

Online channels play a key role in how people

discover new releases: 58% of US moviegoer

respondents said they discover new movies online, 4

and 39% of them said they do so on their smartphone

or tablet. As tools for discovery, mobile

devices are particularly important for moviegoers

ages 18–34, with 57% of those studied finding out

about new releases on their smartphone or tablet.

The findings showed that more than half

(51%) of US moviegoers discover new films on

Facebook’s Family of Apps and Services, 5 primarily

Facebook. Specifically, 42% of US moviegoer

respondents said they discover a film on Facebook

in comparison to 29% via a search engine

and 11% on Twitter. In addition to communicating

with friends, family and fellow fans about

films, moviegoers are also engaging with films

and stars online.

OVERALL ONLINE PLATFORMS USED TO DISCOVER AND EVALUATE FILMS

55 % 32 % 27 %

FACEBOOK’S FAMILY OF APPS AND SERVICES

SOCIAL

FILM SPECIFIC

OTHER

42 % 15 % 7 % 8 % 5 % 2 % 2 %

55 % 32 % 11 % 10 %

8 %

5 %

29 % 23 % 17 %

21 % 19 % 16 % 18 % 23 % 11 % 9 %

20 %

14 %

Facebook

Family

Facebook Instagram Facebook

Messenger

Whatsapp YouTube Twitter Snapchat Search

engines

Fandango IMDB Review

sites

News sites

None of

the above

n DISCOVER

n EVALUATE

n DISCOVER

n EVALUATE

n DISCOVER

n EVALUATE

n DISCOVER

n EVALUATE

90 JUNE 2019


Evaluate: How

do moviegoers

evaluate films?

CHOOSING MOVIES IS A TEAM EFFORT

That’s true now more than ever. Only

6% of active moviegoers (those who

watched a film in a movie theater in the

past 6 months) said they typically see

movies by themselves. And among the

other 94%, most either said that their level

of influence on the moviegoing choices

varies from film-to-film (46%) or that it’s

usually a shared decision (31%).

These kinds of social dynamics can

help explain why audiences can be such

a challenge to predict. Take genre, for

example. Genre is fundamental to how

most movie marketers think about the

audience for their film and understandably

so: 67% of moviegoers said that

genre is at least moderately influential

in whether or not they “personally”

want to see a film in theater. Yet, when

asked about what films they actually

see in theaters, 60% of moviegoers said

that the genre varies from film-to-film.

Why? We’re thinking that the 70%

who agree that “I’m open to seeing

different movie genres when I’m with

friends/family” may have something to

do with it.

Only 6% of active moviegoers

said they typically see movies by

themselves

46% said that their level of influence

on the moviegoing choices varies

from film-to-film or that it’s usually

a shared decision: 31%

REMIND MOVIEGOERS OF FILMS THEY WANT TO

SEE, AND DO IT BEFORE THEIR FRIENDS HAVE

SEEN IT ALREADY

Social context doesn’t just change the mix of

movies people see in theater—it can affect how

many movies they see as well.

The reality is that more than a

quarter of active moviegoers said social

planning challenges—like finding

someone to see the movie with or

learning that a friend has already seen

the movie—are a barrier to seeing a

movie they want to see in theaters;

the number citing this kind of barrier

increased to more than one-third for

those between the ages of 18 and 34.

These missed opportunities are ripe

for addressing via social media tools

timed to remind moviegoers of films

right before opening week—and in a

setting where what their friends and

family are up to is top of mind. Indeed,

reminders are critical. More than 1 in 3

moviegoers said they miss out because

“I forget about the movie and, when I

remember it, it is gone from theaters.”

By continually promoting your movie

after the initial trailer drop, you can

help break through the clutter and stay

top of mind before or after the movie’s

release.

On the plus side, social context can also be the

greater enabler of the movie theater trip: 72% of

active moviegoers (including 78% of 18-34-yearolds)

said that some form of social context made

them more likely to see a film in theaters. 6 For

example, the perception that “everyone seems to be

talking about the movie” made 31% more likely

to see a film in theaters. But the most important

kind of social context was simply knowing that

The movie is the kind that

is best experienced in a

theater

Someone else I live with

wants to see it

Everyone seems to be

talking about the movie

It’s a movie franchise I

always try to see in theaters

Someone else I don’t live

with wants to see it

I see an advertisement for

the movie at the right time

I feel like “it’s been too long”

since I’ve seen a movie

My children

want to see it

44 %

someone you go to the movies with wants to see

it too—62% said that knowing that someone else

wants to see the movie with them made them more

likely to head out to the theater.

6

Percentage based on net responses.

Options were not mutually exclusive;

respondents were allowed to select

everything on the list that makes

them more likely to see a particular

film.

38 72 %

%

31 %

of active

moviegoers

said that some

29 %

form of social

context makes

28 %

them more

likely to see a

particular film

24 %

in theaters 6

21 %

WHAT MAKES YOU

MORE LIKELY TO SEE A

16 % PARTICULAR FILM?

JUNE 2019

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CASE STUDY

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF MOVIE MARKETING, AN INDUSTRY REPORT BY

BROADLY TARGETING MOVIE TRAILERS INCREASES YOUR

CHANCES OF SUCCESS.

For those analyzed as part of the Box Office Study, ads for action and

family genres generated more ROAS than average. Audiences are willing to

mix up the genres of the films they watch. Thus, marketers can potentially

see great success in broader targeting marketing efforts for action and family

genres. Creative is a key factor in determining campaign performance.

Make sure your campaign creative contains content that people will want

to engage with and share.

Purchase

WHAT INFLUENCES MOVIEGOERS TO

PURCHASE TICKETS TO A NEW FILM?

FILM CONVERSATIONS

ON FACEBOOK

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR MARKETERS:

Reach fans across all genres, not just

that of your movie Assume action fans

will be the only people lining up to see

your next action film and you’ll likely miss

out on a whole segment who might otherwise

have been persuaded to buy a ticket.

PLANNING HAPPENS IN STAGES.

Trailers spark fans’ interest in a film months in advance. However,

in our study of US moviegoers, some indicated they only

decide days or weeks in advance which film they’ll see (60% the

same week, same day or at the theater) and pick showtime the

day of the viewing (67% the same day or at the theater).

The planning stages are much shorter for younger moviegoers:

37% of 18-34-year-olds said they didn’t decide on the movie

until the day of the screening, compared to 28% of older moviegoers

(35+).

DECIDED TO SEE A MOVIE

n Monday

n Tuesday

n Wednesday

n Thursday

n Friday

n Saturday

n Sunday

TIMING OF LAST

MOVIEGOING

DECISION

PICKED A DATE

16 %

9 %

23 % 29 % 22 %

n Weekday

n Weekend

13 % 3 % 41 % 48 %

PICKED THE EXACT

SHOWTIME

43 %

n At the theater

n Same day

n Same week

n Same month

n More than a month

4 % 1%

28 % 19 %

n Morning

6am to 11am

n Afternoon

12pm to 5pm

n Evening

6pm to 11pm

n Night

12pm to 5am

92 JUNE 2019


MARKETERS SHOULD CONSIDER

LEVERAGING REAL-TIME, PERSONALIZED

PUSH TACTICS FOR THIS MOBILE SAVVY-

SEGMENT. FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM

ARE NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS FOR

SUCH STRATEGIES.

WHAT THIS MEANS

FOR MARKETERS

DRIVE TRANSACTIONS

Gain access to lower funnel

success metrics such as conversions

by working closely

with your ticketing partner.

Leverage the Facebook pixel

to help you measure your

campaign’s success, build

higher intent audiences and

optimize for conversions

with your ticketing partner.

PRIORITIZE MOBILE-FIRST

The largest reason cited by

heavy moviegoers (those

who watched 5 or more

films in a movie theater

in the past 6 months) for

purchasing tickets online is

their ability to skip the lines

at the theater. It, therefore,

makes sense for marketers

to prioritize mobile for

promotional activities and

during the point-of-purchase

experience to keep this loyal

audience satisfied.

Social context—and increasingly,

social media platforms—are inextricably

linked to selling movie tickets. Moviegoers

aren’t making decisions to see movies

in a vacuum; rather, they decide together

which film to see, and they tend to see

films with the same number of people.

76% of 18-34-year-old

moviegoers who use

Facebook weekly said they

engage in film-related

activities on the platform,

such as “liking” film

franchises, “checking in” to

movies and taking part in

movie-related groups

70% of 18-34-year-old

moviegoers who use

Facebook Messenger weekly

said they engage in filmrelated

activities on the

platform, such as sharing

movie recommendations

and making plans to see

movies with friends

and family

70% of 18-34-year-old

moviegoers who use

Instagram weekly said they

engage in film-related activities

on the platform, such as

following actors and actresses,

posting and commenting

about films they’ve seen, and

chatting with friends

about movies

JUNE 2019

93


CASE STUDY

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF MOVIE MARKETING, AN INDUSTRY REPORT BY

Infusing Creative Strategy with Insights

Understanding where existing and potential audiences discover films, when they

decide to see them and how receptive they are to different genres are key to helping

you grow your audience.

HOW MUCH OF THE

PLOT SHOULD THE

TRAILER REVEAL?

TRAILERS DON’T

TELL ENOUGH

2 %

6 %

Your audience’s preferences

might be broader than

you think.

The US moviegoers we

studied indicated that they are

willing to mix up the genres of

films they watch. Almost twothirds

(65%) of heavy moviegoers

(those who watched 5 or

more films in a movie theater

in the past 6 months) reported

that the genre of movies they see

varies from film to film. That

number remained high (60%)

for all moviegoers.

A fluid audience mix is

a golden opportunity for

marketers to test and learn

which of their ad creative wins

at driving awareness.

A delicate balance: Pique

curiosity with enticing

trailers, but don’t give away

too much.

Maximize trailer drops by

harnessing the growing power

of online channels— a powerful

discovery driver, with

nearly as many US moviegoers

reporting they discovered new

films online (58%) as at the

theater (61%).

Marketers want to drive

intent but don’t want moviegoers

to feel they’ve already seen

a film after watching its trailer.

The US moviegoers we studied

indicated that they have different

ideas about what they want

to see in a video ad for a movie.

For example, 43% of younger

audiences (18-34-year-olds) said

they believe trailers give away

too much about a film.

TRAILERS TELL

TOO MUCH

57 %

23 %

12 %

FRESH ADS CAN HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE:

AUDIENCES ARE PAYING ATTENTION.

Marketers can gain a lot of insight from

learning how new creative ads resonate with

moviegoers and inform their decisions about

which movies to see in theaters. Nearly half

of moviegoers said they think that repetitive

creative implies those are the only compelling

scenes in the movie. Moreover, two-thirds of

moviegoers said they are persuaded to see a

movie based on seeing new ad creative.

When I see the

same commercial/

video ad over and over,

I start to think those

are the only good

scenes in the movie

STRONGLY AGREE

AGREE

NEUTRAL

DISAGREE

STRONGLY DISAGREE

When I’m

trying to decide

whether or not

to see a movie in

theaters, it helps to see

a commercial/video ad

that I haven’t seen

before

MULTI-SCREENING IS CRITICAL FOR

DRIVING INTENT.

A 2017 Facebook study revealed that

94% of participants kept a smartphone

on hand while watching TV, making mobile

nearly as common a TV companion

as a remote control. 7

By 2019, it’s predicted that people

in the US will spend as much time on

mobile as they do watching TV each

day, 8 and another recent Facebook study

among Americans showed they often

used the two devices together. This means

that campaigns across both screens are

essential for an effective marketing plan. 9

ADS DESIGNED FOR MOBILE GROW

AWARENESS AND FOSTER INTENT FOR

YOUR FILM.

In another 2017 analysis of more than

100 US film campaigns, we found a 2x

increase in definite intent scores for the

analyzed movie ads that were optimized

for mobile compared to ads using standard

creative. In addition, the mobile-optimized

ads studied tended to be more cost-effective

in driving results (+42%). 10

Consider following these creative

considerations to help capture moviegoers’

attention, grow awareness and generate intent

for your movie with mobile-first ads:

• Include the title throughout or at least

during the first 5 seconds

• Avoid production logos in the

first 3-5 seconds

• Prioritize close-ups over wide shots

• Use text overlay for all dialogue

• Build either for square (1:1) or vertical

(9:16) aspect ratio

• Use fast motion and quick

cuts throughout

Capturing data from multi-channel

campaigns is critical to giving marketers

real-time insight into the overall success

of your campaign.

94 JUNE 2019


Marketer Takeaways

With audiences watching movies on screens large and small,

marketers must be able to nimbly apply insights to craft strategies

that make the most out of every film’s release. Marketers can

also benefit from staying informed on all of the opportunities to

connect with audiences.

And the use of stories across platforms is growing everywhere.

Stories are where people share and discover content

they care about in fast and fun ways. In fact, an Ipsos survey of

stories users commissioned by Facebook IQ found that 68% of

people said they use stories on at least 3 apps regularly, and 63%

planned to use stories more in the future. 11

Tips to optimize your theatrical releases:

PLAN FOR CROSS-PLATFORM.

While traditional formats such as TV still play

an important role, mobile and social networks are

increasingly influential video platforms along the

path to purchase, especially among younger moviegoers. Embrace

a cross-platform strategy to reach consumers where they are

discovering and evaluating movies.

PLAY INTO SOCIAL CONTEXT.

Social context can influence moviegoers to mix

up the genres of the films they watch. This means

marketers have the opportunity to create new fans out of moviegoers

venturing outside of their preferred genres.

MAKE MOBILE RESEARCH AND PURCHASE EASY.

Since moviegoers discover and evaluate

new releases on their mobile devices, create a

seamless mobile experience from discovery to

purchase. Make it easy to research a film and then click through

to buy tickets.

DON’T JUST DRIVE INTENT. DRIVE TRANSACTIONS.

Optimize ticket sale opportunities by thinking

like a direct response marketer. When a particular

tactic sparks positive ROI, consider keeping it going. Focus on

online ticketing to help you reach those people who are already

purchasing online and make it easier for them.

Movies are creative visions brought to life on the screen.

They unite people through emotion and the power of ideas

and human experience. By keeping at the forefront of

moviegoers’ preferences throughout the entire customer

journey, you will make better informed decisions about how

to allocate your ad spend and target your campaigns.

Facebook recently published an industry report titled, “The Art and Science of

Movie Marketing” to help marketers understanding of moviegoers and what

motivates them to see a particular film. The report features new data Facebook

commissioned in two different US-based studies. Sections of that report are

included here. For access to the full report by Facebook, please visit

www.facebook.com/business/m/verticals/entertainment-media/the-art-andscience-of-movie-marketing

7

“Mobile and TV: Between the Screens,” (July 10, 2017). Facebook IQ commissioned an in-home eye- and device-tracking study involving Facebook users in 6 countries (Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, the United Kingdom

and the United States). www.facebook.com/iq/articles/mobile-and-tv-between-the-screens

8

“Next year, people will spend more time online than they will watching TV. That’s a first.” (June 8, 2018). www.recode.net/2018/6/8/17441288/internet-time-spent-tv-zenith-data-media

9

“Measuring Multi-screening Around the World,” (September 27, 2018). www.facebook.com/business/news/insights/measuring-multi-screening-around-the-world

10

“Start Building an Audience for Your Movie on Facebook,” (February 14, 2018). www.facebook.com/business/news/start-building-an-audience-for-your-movie-on-facebook

11

“Introducing Facebook Stories Ads,” (September 26, 2018). www.facebook.com/business/news/introducing-facebook-stories-ads www.facebook.com/business/news/introducing-facebook-stories-ads

JUNE 2019

95


COVER STORY

BY JESSE RIFKIN

TOYS ASSEMBLE!

Characters new and old

gather around Buzz and

Jessie.

Go Fourth

WOODY, BUZZ LIGHTYEAR, AND THE GANG RETURN

IN DISNEY/PIXAR’S TOY STORY 4

>> It starts with a bang—literally. After the opening

Disney logo fades, the very first moment of Toy

Story 4 is a lightning crash.

And the rain looks like nothing you’ve seen

in animation before. To create its cutting-edge

graphics and imagery, Pixar uses its own “render

farm,” a massive supercomputer that ranks among

the 25 largest computers on the planet. Pixar used

a 294-core render farm during production of the

first Toy Story. The latest installment employed an

astounding 55,000 cores.

On-screen, this produces a level of detail that

may be Pixar’s highest yet. In Pixar’s earliest films,

“rain” consisted of vertically falling dots or lines.

But for Toy Story 4’s opening sequence, a nighttime

toy rescue during an intense thunderstorm, every

single one of the thousands of water droplets interacts

with its environment—bouncing off surfaces,

for example.

One of those surfaces is an Easter egg: a

car with the license plate RM-R-F*. That’s the

keyboard command that caused a Pixar employee

during production of Toy Story 2 to accidentally

delete the entire film from the company’s internal

system. Fortunately, another employee, home on

maternity leave, had saved a backup copy to work

on at home.

THE THIRD TIME WAS THE CHARM

The dramatic rescue opening is the tonal

opposite of where the series left off after 2010’s

Toy Story 3.

Andy was heading off to college after giving his

childhood toys away to a girl named Bonnie. But

during the tearjerker ending, he takes his old friends

out of the box one last time after years of collecting

dust, and rediscovers the childhood sense of magic

and adventure he’d been so desperate to shed.

The closing shot panned up from youngadult

Andy to clouds in the sky, a self-referential

homage to the original installment’s opening shot

of clouds on little Andy’s wallpaper. The implica-

96 JUNE 2019


DIRECTOR JOSH COOLEY

tion: The narrative had come full circle and the

series would forever remain a trilogy. Or at least it

seemed that way.

After all, the series had gone out on the highest

of high notes. It became the highest-grossing movie

of the year, the last animated film to earn that distinction.

Not only did it win the Academy Award

for Best Animated Feature, it even received a nomination

for Best Picture—also the last animated film

to do so. Even Quentin Tarantino, whose oeuvre is

Pixar’s opposite in nearly every respect, proclaimed

it his favorite film of that year.

Given that pedigree, expectations for this fourth

installment have been through the roof. What was

the biggest challenge? “Executing the ending,”

director Josh Cooley says, well aware of the predecessor’s

near-perfect conclusion. “But I know we did

that, because we just watched it with the music that

Randy [Newman] wrote and I was tearing up!”

GO FOURTH

If the third film ended so flawlessly, why this

fourth installment? Presumably, because in the past

decade Pixar has produced more franchise installments

than standalone films. After spending most

of its early history producing entirely original films,

the studio has turned to making sequels or prequels

(seven of its last 11 films, including Toy Story 4).

Financially, this guarantees a smash. Of Pixar’s

20 releases to date, three have earned $1 billion

globally. All three were sequels: Incredibles 2, Finding

Dory, and Toy Story 3. Many are predicting that

Toy Story 4 will reach that vaunted billion-dollar

threshold too.

Domestically, the numbers tell the same story.

Adjusted for ticket-price inflation, four of Pixar’s

top five films at the North American box office

were sequels. (The one original to crack Pixar’s top

five earners? Finding Nemo.)

That recent focus on franchises, however, has

been a trade-off, partially impacting the company’s

1990s–2000s reputation for producing Hollywood’s

best original content. Sorting Pixar’s films

by audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb,

almost all of its 2010s sequels or prequels—all

except Toy Story 3—rank in the bottom half.

Of Pixar’s five most recent originals, four won

the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. But

of its five most recent sequels or prequels, none has.

SNAGS ALONG THE WAY

Toy Story 4 never faced an obstacle as existential

as an accidental deletion. Nonetheless,

it experienced many more road bumps than

expected en route to its June 21 theatrical release

in North America.

MEET DUCKY!

Concept art for a new

character being voiced by

Keegan-Michael Key

JUNE 2019

97


COVER STORY

TOY STORY 4 GALLERY

First announced by Disney for summer 2017,

it was delayed a year, then yet another year to summer

2019. Pixar president Jim Morris originally

announced the film as essentially a romantic comedy

between Woody and Bo Peep, his shepherdess

love interest from the second installment—an idea

later abandoned as the main plot.

The directing credits partially changed, too. Josh

Cooley began as a Pixar intern, later getting hired as

a storyboard artist and directing the animated short

Riley’s First Date featured on the Inside Out DVD.

Without even asking or applying for the position, he

was tapped to co-direct Toy Story 4 as his first feature

film, alongside John Lasseter, who had directed the

first two installments. It seemed like an ideal combo:

the veteran plus the fresh face. But when Lasseter

later dropped out as co-director (ultimately leaving

Disney under a cloud of sexual misconduct charges),

newbie Cooley was left in charge.

Cooley committed to doing right by the franchise.

“My first time seeing Toy Story was in theaters

with my brother,” Cooley says of the first-ever

full-length 3-D animated film. “I had wanted to do

2-D animation, because until then I thought 3-D

animation would blow over!” On that day, though,

he changed his preferred medium forever.

There were also screenplay challenges. Pixar cut

most of 4’s original script, co-written by Rashida

Jones and Will McCormack, replacing them

it just kind of gelled.”

with relative newbie

Stephany Folsom, who

would receive her first

feature-film screenwriting

credit. Folsom had

earned the job largely

due to positive word

of mouth about her

unproduced screenplay

1969: A Space

Odyssey, a satire about

NASA faking the moon

landing.

“She just had this

really great sense

of character, plot,

pacing,” producer

Jonas Rivera says. “She

was able to track this

complex story where

things jump around.

We talked to her, and

FINDING YOUR VOICE

In addition to the returning leads—Tom Hanks

as Woody the cowboy sheriff and Tim Allen as

Buzz Lightyear the space ranger—several new

characters join the ensemble.

Comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan

Peele play Ducky and Bunny, respectively: two

prize toys in a carnival game called Star Adventurer.

Peele voices the tall character while Key voices

the short character, a sly reversal of the two comedians’

heights in real life. They recorded all their

lines together rather than having their individual

readings merged during production.

“It’s the most fun we’ve ever had recording,”

producer Mark Nielsen says, “ever.” He gives an

example of an improvisation that made it into the

final cut. Key’s Ducky can’t reach something, to

which Peele’s Bunny asks why in a faux-innocent

voice. “You’re really gonna make me say it?” Ducky

replies incredulously. “I’ve got these tiny little legs!”

Keanu Reeves joins as a 1970s-era action figure

named Duke Caboom, a take-off on stuntman

Evel Knievel, complete with handlebar mustache.

Reeves really got into it, Cooley says—despite the

character playing only a minor comic-relief role.

That performance represents quite a stylistic

departure from Reeves’s other role this summer, in

98 JUNE 2019


the violent, R-rated John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum.

“Keanu came in to record his lines [while

filming Parabellum], so I asked him how that was

going,” Cooley recalls, launching into a perfect

Reeves impersonation for the response: “‘Dude …

yesterday I got to kill a guy with a book.’”

Legendary comedian Don Rickles had signed

on to once again voice Mr. Potato Head, but he

died before he could record his lines. Rather than

recast the role, the filmmakers compiled his performance

from hours of unused content Rickles previously

recorded for the Toy Story properties, not just

the movies but also theme parks, video games, and

television specials.

Tony Hale of “Veep” joins as Forky, a Mac-

Gyver-like creation fashioned by Bonnie during a

kindergarten class project. He consists of a spork

with googly eyes, pipe cleaners for arms, and popsicle

sticks for legs. It represents a notable minimalistic

departure from the corporate mass-produced

nature of all the other toys, memorably demonstrated

during a scene from the second installment

when Buzz Lightyear encounters thousands of his

clones in a huge toy store’s Buzz Lightyear aisle.

Since the last installment in 2010, children’s

playthings have become far less material and far

more digital, contributing to last year’s bankruptcy

of Toys R Us and the 2015 closure of toy store

FAO Schwarz. “We went the exact opposite way

of technology with Forky, didn’t we?” says Rivera,

laughing. “Kids just being creative was something

we observed from our own kids. My kids do have

iPads, but they still love toys and play with dolls.”

The filmmakers originally wanted to name

the character Sporky, but the word “spork” was

trademarked. While they could use the word in

dialogue, it couldn’t be a character’s name.

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE …

The story tackles several themes unexplored in

previous installments. Forky struggles with feelings

of worthlessness. “I am not a toy,” he laments.

“I was made for soup, salad, maybe chili … and

then the trash.” Woody deals with the possibility

that what had always given his life purpose and

happiness may have been limiting him the whole

time. “Who needs a kid’s room when you can have

all of this?” Bo Peep asks him when looking at a

carnival. “Open your eyes, Woody. There’s plenty

of kids out there.”

Yet some things never change. During the

opening credits, a time-lapse sequence occurs to

the tune of Randy Newman’s song “You’ve Got

a Friend in Me,” the franchise’s musical theme,

which has appeared in all three previous installments.

Pixar’s trademark humor is still present too,

including double entendres for the adults. At one

point when frustrated, Woody exclaims, “Chutes

and ladders!”—holding the opening sound of

“chutes” for just a millisecond more than necessary.

GRAPHICS

The animators truly outdid themselves on this

project. A nighttime carnival scene contains more

than 44,000 light bulbs. The base of a playground

slide contains almost unnoticeable grains of sand,

since children might go on the slide after leaving

the sandbox. Spiderwebs dot corners of dusty

buildings; one animator even designed a program

of artificial intelligence “spiders” that could create

their own spiderwebs, saving the animators the

time of creating each individual strand themselves.

During an antiques store sequence, animators

created more than 10,000 individual objects to

place around the 3-D set. Though you’d almost

certainly never notice it, the objects are arranged

in distinct sections, just as in a real store: a pinball

corner, a sewing area, a 1950s section. Squint and

you’ll see several objects referencing previous Pixar

films, including a gramophone with a vinyl record

of the song “Remember Me” from Coco, or a parody

of the painting “Dogs Playing Poker” featuring

the canine Dug from Up.

IS THIS THE END?

“Probably the most memorable time we had

[during production] was that last recording session,

which was Tom Hanks,” Nielsen remembers. “It

was pretty special. That really landed on us. You

just had to mark that moment. We all recognized—including

Tom—at the end of that session,

this could be the end of a character he’s been

playing for over 20 years.”

But it’s not the end … not really. The three existing

Toy Story films are among the few films from

the past 20 years that we can say with certainty will

still be watched by children many decades from

now, just as vintage Disney classics Snow White,

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Bambi still are.

Perhaps Toy Story 4 will join their ranks.

But first, the filmmakers need to make sure

they’ve saved a backup copy.

FORKY CONCEPT

FORKY FINAL

JUNE 2019

99


PIXAR AT THE BOX OFFICE

In 1995, Pixar’s Toy Story made history as the first computer-animated feature. Its

critical and box office success inaugurated a remarkable new era for popular entertainment,

with each new film from Pixar and rival animation studios like DreamWorks and

Blue Sky advancing the technology and conjuring more and more detailed and intricate

characters and worlds. Computer animation, which has also become a crucial component

of many a live-action blockbuster, is now a

dominant box office force. And Pixar’s track

record over 25 years is unrivaled. As we

await the June 21 opening of Toy Story 4,

let’s take a look at Pixar’s domestic

performance. For more box office

data insights, visit pulse.boxoffice.com

INCREDIBLES 2 2018 $608,581,744

FINDING DORY 2016 $486,295,561

TOY STORY 3 2010 $415,004,880

INSIDE OUT 2015 $356,461,711

FINDING NEMO 2003 $339,714,978

UP 2009 $293,004,164

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY 2013 $268,492,764

THE INCREDIBLES 2004 $261,441,092

MONSTERS, INC. 2001 $255,873,250

TOY STORY 2 1999 $245,852,179

CARS 2006 $244,082,982

BRAVE 2012 $237,283,207

WALL-E 2008 $223,808,164

COCO 2017 $209,726,015

RATATOUILLE 2007 $206,445,654

TOY STORY 1995 $191,796,233

CARS 2 2011 $191,452,396

A BUG’S LIFE 1998 $162,798,565

CARS 3 2017 $152,901,115

THE GOOD DINOSAUR 2015 $123,087,120

100 JUNE 2019


incomparably ambitious

their accomplishments have

enriched our lives forever

Here’s to the creators, the dream-makers, the jesters, the chance-takers,

the supporters, the romantics, the story-weavers, the scene-stealers.

To those without boundaries, the rebellious trailblazers. To those seeking truth,

and won’t settle for less. To the self-defined weirdos, shunning the ordinary.

They are icons, they are memes, they are champions, and we celebrate them.

Cinionic congratulates Exhibitor of the Year, Hrvoje Krstulović of Blitz-CineStar!

Powered by:


A Moving Experience

D-BOX CELEBRATES 10 YEARS IN THE CINEMA BUSINESS

BY DANIEL LORIA

>> It started with speakers.

The year was 1998, and the technology made

sense for a small group of engineers in Montreal,

who designed an especially powerful speaker in

an era when brick-and-mortar consumer electronics

retail stores enjoyed great success. It was the

height of physical media—before Amazon, Apple,

Google, Facebook, and Netflix transformed the

home-entertainment landscape. Those engineers

formed a company around their speakers, D-BOX,

and found retailers like Costco and France’s FNAC

to carry their product.

“We were making subwoofers for these big-box

stores; people began coming to our offices asking

for two, three, four of them,” remembers Philippe

Roy, co-founder of D-BOX Technologies. “We

asked them, what are you doing with so many

subwoofers?”

Unbeknownst to Claude Mc Master, president

and CEO of D-BOX, their speaker product had

gained a cult following among consumers. People

were buying multiple subwoofers and placing them

around their seats to create a makeshift motion effect

when watching movies at home. It didn’t take

long for the founders to realize they had stumbled

upon a potentially revolutionary new technology.

“We’re all a bunch of engineers who like to

develop new products and, as you know, the

speaker industry is really competitive. We looked

at the business and decided to go all-in on motion,

a product that nobody had at the time. We knew

that if we could come up with something great, we

102 JUNE 2019


could revolutionize the entertainment market.”

Little did they know the challenge that awaited

them.

The first generation of D-BOX motion seating

systems was inaugurated in 2001. Maintaining

its roots as an audio company, D-BOX directly

synched its motion technology to any given

soundtrack to produce a uniquely kinetic experience.

At the time, the company was targeting the

home-entertainment market—coinciding with the

explosion of DVD players around the world—and

was looking at commercial applications, such as

government and corporate-training simulators and

amusement parks. A private chair, however, can

cost thousands of dollars—making it more of a

luxury good for the high-end home-entertainment

market. With a limited marketing budget to build

consumer awareness, D-BOX began looking at the

theatrical-exhibition market as a catalyst for wordof-mouth

buzz.

“It’s really expensive to create word of mouth

with a new product in any industry, especially

when you want to cover the globe. Cinema is the

best way to create word of mouth,” says Mc Master.

“We saw the theatrical market as the best way

for people to enjoy the D-BOX experience without

having to pay too much.”

With their sights set on the cinema market,

D-BOX encountered a particularly difficult

problem: selling studios and exhibitors on a new

technology—just as the industry was transitioning

to digital projection.

“It was a chicken-or-the-egg situation,” says

Philippe Roy. “Exhibitors weren’t sure if we would

have enough content throughout the year; studios

weren’t sure if we could get a big enough footprint,

or if people would be ready to spend the extra

money for the experience.”

While ticket premiums are commonplace today,

it was rare to find them at the dawn of digital

cinema. D-BOX wasn’t only selling the cinema

industry on motion seating; they were evangelizing

the potential of premium pricing.

“It was the most difficult clause to negotiate

with exhibitors,” says Mc Master, referring to the

$8 surcharge D-BOX was asking per admission.

Part of their pitch actually addresses a challenge

exhibition is still trying to address today—finding

a way to charge more for the best seats in an auditorium.

By offering movie theaters the flexibility

of installing a few rows if they’d rather not fully

equip an auditorium, D-BOX gave cinemas a

tangible premium aligned

with premium seats. “We

used the airline model as

an example: In any given

airplane, you can pay to sit

in economy or pay more

to sit in business or first

class. It’s the same venue,

but there’s a different

experience tied to the more

expensive seat.”

Mc Master remembers

the difficulty in booking

meetings with studios

when first starting out—a

group of engineers without

industry connections,

cold-calling from an

industrial park in Montreal.

“We were outsiders

in every way imaginable,”

he says. When he did manage to book meetings,

he would have to ship a D-BOX chair to a friend’s

house in Los Angeles for the demo. When one of

those meetings was canceled—sometimes with little

to no notice—he would have to arrange to ship

it back while it was still en route to California.

Every veteran D-BOX executive interviewed

for this story agreed that the turning point came

in 2009, when they received the green light from

Nikki Rocco, president of distribution at Universal,

to code Fast & Furious using their motion technology.

“She took the risk and gave us a chance,”

says Mc Master.

The celebration in Montreal wasn’t prolonged.

The D-BOX team now had to code the entire

film using their motion technology—and find

theaters willing to install their seats in time for the

film’s release. The sales team was able to land two

screens: one at the iconic Mann Chinese Theatre in

Hollywood, the other at a cinema in the retirement

community of Surprise, Arizona. “We didn’t know

what to expect,” confesses VP of sales Yannick

Gemme, who joined the company in 2005. “It

was only two screens, and one of them was in a

place with an older demographic—I wasn’t sure if

it was going to work; we always expected our core

audience to be much younger.”

The audience in Surprise, Arizona, embraced

the motion seats, emphasizing the technology’s

potential among a wide range of moviegoers. “We

had sold-out shows for weeks, even with the $8

CLAUDE MC MASTER

JUNE 2019

103


MOTION DESIGNER

D-BOX synchronizes

motion effects to a film’s

soundtrack, precisely

timing movement with

sound to create a unique

moviegoing experience

premium, and lots of people took notice,” remembers

Philippe Roy. “That’s when I realized we had

something in our hands that could get much,

much bigger.”

Over in Hollywood, the D-BOX team reserved

motion seats at the Chinese Theater for studio

executives on opening night of Fast & Furious. Mc

Master sat through the film, nervously anticipating

their reaction to the new technology. At the end of

the film, he recounts, a distribution executive from

a major studio shook his hand and told him, “This

is the next big thing for the industry.”

If Fast & Furious served as the ultimate proof of

concept for both exhibitors and distributors, the

D-BOX sales team now had to go out and expand

its footprint among other studios and theater

chains. Mc Master’s favorite demo, a clip of a train

journey from the Robert Zemeckis film The Polar

Express, was used to emphasize how motion seating

could become part of the moviegoing experience—

not just a gimmick. “We work hard to make sure

people understand that we’re not offering a distraction—we’re

not a theme park ride—we’re part

of the complete experience, in conjunction with

the sound and the image,” he says. “We don’t want

audiences to be distracted by the motion.”

The first major circuit to sign up had a special

connection to the Montreal-based company.

Cineplex, the leading exhibition chain in Canada,

opened its first D-BOX location in July 2009.

“Cineplex is a proudly Canadian company, so it

makes perfect sense for us to support and partner

with other Canadian companies that share our

passion for innovation,” says Cineplex president

and CEO, Ellis Jacob. “D-BOX is known not just

in Canada but around the world for its technology,

and over the past decade its motion seats have been

a much sought-after experience that our guests

have loved.”

That global expansion was kick-started with the

support of Cinemark, which partnered with the

company to install seats throughout its circuit in

Latin America. Today, D-BOX is a global brand

with over 700 screens in 40 countries worldwide.

At the beginning of the decade, however,

expanding that footprint was no small feat. At

the time, the industry was still managing the

challenge of transitioning from celluloid to digital

projection—a global effort that required great

investment from both studios and exhibitors.

Moreover, motion seating was far from being the

hot premium on the market at the beginning of

the decade. That accolade went to digital 3-D,

especially after the record-breaking run of James

Cameron’s Avatar at the box office. Exhibitors

would soon begin allocating capex to other

upgrades, such as recliner seating and expanded

concessions. Slowly but surely, however, motion

seating began making inroads built on positive

consumer reaction and a consistent stream of

titles from studio partners.

This success is a reflection of the company’s

commitment to ensuring each D-BOX title goes

through an intricate, rigorous motion-coding

production ahead of release. Most of the company’s

efforts are done on-site in its Montreal office: from

engineering to integrating the motion technology

into seats to the motion coding synchronized to a

film’s soundtrack. D-BOX coders, who are hired

based on an academic and professional background

in music or audio production, sit in motion-enhanced

work stations as they link specific sounds

and actions to an extensive library of individual

motion effects. The combination is akin to an

orchestral arrangement: a series of unique notes

coming together to create a harmonious whole.

The work is painstakingly detailed, with coders

dedicating hours—if not days or weeks—to individual

scenes.

Mc Master learned the importance of having

fully optimized content as he witnessed the rise—

and dip—of digital 3-D technology. “It was all

about 3-D when we first entered the market,” he

says. “But if the audience doesn’t see the value in

the experience, they don’t come back. That’s why

the quality of the motion track is the most important

part of our business.”

D-BOX’s motion system has been recognized

by major corporations outside the entertainment

104 JUNE 2019


industry, used in commercial simulation settings

by NASA, Caterpillar, John Deere, and professional

Formula One pilots. The company has

a high-end private client business, which sells

seats and codes movies for the home-entertainment

side of the business. D-BOX is also active

in the video game market and amusement-attractions

market, ideally poised to expand to

cinemas as they begin exploring esports programming.

As the company’s cinema business has grown

over the last decade, so has its competition. Motion

seating has become one of the hottest trends

in exhibition today, with competing technologies

vying for business around the world. “For the

first few years, content was always a challenge.

It’s not so much a challenge for the domestic

business anymore, but there’s still work to be

done overseas,” says sales VP Gemme. “We’re

in countries like Japan, we just signed a deal

with PVR in India; these are places where local

content is huge.”

While embracing local content in foreign

markets is the next frontier for D-BOX, it is

also facing a new period in its expansion: brand

awareness. With a growing list of competing

technologies in the space, D-BOX has been careful

in crafting a unique marketing message—in

conjunction with studios and exhibitors—to differentiate

its motion seating system from the rest.

If D-BOX’s first decade in the cinema market was

about establishing a concept, its next decade will

be about establishing its brand.

Mc Master is confident his company is up for

the challenge. The D-BOX chief executive cites

innovators like Amazon and Cirque de Soleil

as the blueprint for success. “When you launch

something that addresses an existing market—

and redefine it by giving people a new way to

experience it, it’s usually successful,” he says.

“D-BOX is trying to redefine the way you experience

entertainment—whether it’s movies, video

games, or virtual reality—through motion.”

“I’m sure motion will be here forever now. I

think we’re at a time in film history with motion

seating comparable to sound in the 1920s. A lot

of people misunderstood when sound came to

the cinema—they said it didn’t add any value

to the experience. It’s an exciting time to be

working at D-BOX; you don’t often have the

opportunity to establish a new standard, to

redefine an industry.”

THE D-BOX TEAM SHARE

THEIR FAVORITE MOVIES

YANNICK GEMME

VP of Sales

All of the Fast & Furious movies. I’m really looking

forward to Hobbs & Shaw.

THEO GJINI

Coordinator, Motion & Sound Experience

A Star Is Born. We had a motion effect for every note of

the music, creating a melody with the seat’s vibrations.

CLAUDE MC MASTER

President & CEO

The first one will always represent something very

special for me: Fast & Furious

VANESSA MOISAN-WILLIS

VP Marketing

Watching Incredibles 2 with my kids.

MICHEL PAQUETTE

VP Corporate Affairs

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, especially the scene where

Princess Leia realizes that she has the Force in her. The

scene is amazing on D-BOX.

EMMANUEL RACINE

Team Leader, Audio & Motion Experience

Speed Racer. It’s a nonstop action movie with D-BOX

effects beginning to end.

PHILIPPE ROY

Co-Founder & Chief Business Development Officer

There are so many that I loved, it would be hard to

list them all: Arrival, Fast & Furious, Gravity, Inception,

Jurassic World, Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The

Last Jedi. I can’t stop with just naming a few!

JUNE 2019

105


DANNY BOYLE AND RICHARD CURTIS ON SET WITH

STARS HIMESH PATEL AND LILY JAMES

106 JUNE 2019


Re-Meet

The Beatles

DANNY BOYLE AND RICHARD CURTIS’S

YESTERDAY IMAGINES A WORLD

WITHOUT THE FAB FOUR

BY KEVIN LALLY

>> It’s the highest of high concepts, with a hook guaranteed

to appeal to anyone of a certain generation: Imagine a world

where, thanks to a freak cosmic occurrence, all evidence of

The Beatles and their legacy has been erased from planet

Earth. Only one lucky dude, a struggling performer named

Jack Malik, remembers their songs—indelible tunes that

delight those around him and eventually transform him into

an international sensation with a big secret.

That’s the premise of the charming Yesterday, the first feature collaboration

between two formidable names in modern British cinema:

writer Richard Curtis, whose popular hits include Four Weddings and

a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and Love Actually, and

director Danny Boyle, whose wide-ranging credits include Trainspotting,

Shallow Grave, 28 Days Later, 127 Hours, Steve Jobs, and Best

Picture Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire. Universal Pictures opens

the Working Title production on June 28 in North America.

Interviewed by phone a few days after the film’s rousing world premiere

at the Tribeca Film Festival, the effusive Boyle reflected on his

collaboration with Curtis. “People say, ‘What are you doing working

together?’ Because we appear to come from very different sensibilities.

But we are filmmakers, both of us, who have stayed in Britain—there

are a few of us, but not many. And we’re people who try to work in a

more popular medium and try to make accessible films. We want the

films to work in America and around the world—but we’ve stayed

at home. So it felt natural to work together, though people regard us

as being very different. I’ve always loved Richard’s work, albeit from

a distance. Not just the movies, but you think about ‘Blackadder.’

I don’t care what you say about modern television, that’s one of the

greatest things that’s ever, ever been written. So I have a real admiration

for him and I regard him, as I constantly say in the hope of

embarrassing him, as England’s poet laureate of comedy and romance.

“Also what happened is, I just finished a thing about the Gettys,

a TV series called ‘Trust,’ which was an extraordinary experience,

but there wasn’t much joy in it. So to be able to move from that to

JUNE 2019

107


AND I LOVE HER

Himesh Patel (in his film

debut) and Lily James

(“Downton Abbey”) star as

Jack and Ellie

something like this, and then to have in addition

this extraordinary idea of erasing The Beatles, why

would you not do that in a million years? I’m so

glad I did.”

At the Tribeca premiere, Curtis teased Boyle by

noting, “We did send you Notting Hill, didn’t we,

Danny? And he said, ‘No thanks.’”

“It was bit more complicated than that,”

Boyle responded sheepishly. Curtis and Boyle

had worked together briefly on a Mr. Bean spoof

for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London

Olympics, which Boyle directed. When Curtis

finished the Yesterday script (based on an idea by

Jack Barth), he immediately sent it to Boyle. The

director, true to form, asked for revisions, about 25

percent of the finished script, including a trip to

Liverpool for inspiration, and a nightmare fantasy

when Jack Malik appears on James Corden’s latenight

show.

Crucial to the success of the film is the casting

of the lead actor/singer. That assignment went

to Himesh Patel, making his feature-film debut

after a long run on the popular BBC drama series

“EastEnders.” Boyle recalls the audition process:

“I remember thinking, though probably not as

clearly as I realize now, how it was going to be very

difficult for a single individual to play all these

songs and not have people go, ‘Well, yeah, I’ve had

enough of that. I prefer to listen to the originals.’ I

realize now in retrospect how dangerous that was.

The truth is, we auditioned a lot of guys, some of

whom were better players, probably better singers

than Himesh, but all the time it did sound to me

like karaoke or sing-along or, in some cases, why

would you sing it so differently from The Beatles?

Some of the actors came in and did a really

radical version of a song and you’d go: Yeah, that’s

great, but why would I think that’s more interesting

than the way the song was in the first place?

Then Himesh came in and suddenly [solved] this

impossible equation: It’s gotta be the same, because

why would you change it? The only way you’re ever

going to remember it, even if it’s just recall, is if it’s

the original version. But at the same time it gives

you this feeling of freshness, like you were being

introduced to the song for the first time. That’s the

trick that’s being played on us and the audience in

the fictional story. [The other characters] recognize

the songs in some kind of way—you can see from

their reaction to ‘Yesterday’ [in the film]. It’s like:

Oh my God, what is that? When you hear a great

piece of music, it’s like it’s already there and you’re

just waiting to be awoken to it.”

Boyle adds, “There are a lot of people who did a

lot of work on this film, but I have to tell you that

all I was interested in was making Himesh sound

108 JUNE 2019


like he did when he came in and auditioned for me. I thought

if we changed that by introducing an expert who told him, ‘Oh,

would you play that note?’ it would ruin it. The guy’s not the

greatest guitar player in the world—it doesn’t matter. His connection

with the songs is true, absolutely true. It feels like he’s not replacing

them, he’s just rescuing them, so you will never be without

them again. That was an amazing thing. I don’t fully understand it,

but I’m grateful for it.”

There is one fairly radical version of a Beatles song in the film,

when Jack gives a concert atop a beachfront hotel (recalling The

Beatles’ famed final London rooftop performance) in his hometown

of Suffolk. The song is John Lennon’s “Help!” and Jack,

tormented by the pressure of fame and the secret he’s keeping,

screams it like a punk anthem. “Apart from ‘Yesterday,’ I think it’s

the most important song [in the movie],” Boyle declares, “because

of the synergy of the emotional arc of his story and the connection

with the true origin of the song, which was John’s cry for help,

though that was lost in the love of melody and the pop sensibility

that was suffocating them. They were the victims of their own

success. To be able to pull all that together in one version was

fantastic. I was a punk originally, that’s my musical background,

and so to be able to do a punk version of that ... When we played

it for those people on that beach, they just jumped, they adored

it. It felt like, wow, we have slightly changed The Beatles. But it’s

not a rework, it’s part of the spirit of the song. There’s anger in it as

well as beauty.”

A great coup for the production is its use of more than a dozen

classic Beatles tunes. “Obviously, there were extensive negotiations

[Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr,

Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison]

carefully vet material associated

with their work to make sure

that they’re happy with it. But

they’re not on board as producers

or anything like that. I wrote

to them all individually and got

a couple of lovely replies and a

couple of go-aheads. So we were

very lucky and happy.

JUNE 2019

109


TICKET TO RIDE

“Saturday Night Live” star

Kate McKinnon costars as

Jack’s laser-focused agent,

Debra

to secure the rights to the songs,” Boyle says. “And

they [Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and

Olivia Harrison] carefully vet material associated

with their work to make sure that they’re happy

with it. But they’re not on board as producers or

anything like that. I wrote to them all individually

and got a couple of lovely replies and a couple of

go-aheads. So we were very lucky and happy. As a

result of all that, we got permission to use and play

the original master recording of ‘Hey Jude’ at the

end of the film, which I was very keen on, because

I thought, I don’t care how good Himesh is, to be

able to hear the original at the end is absolutely

right and proper. It’s a fantasy, thank God, and

[the songs] are still with us and always will be.

‘Yesterday’ is 50 years old, and I don’t see how you

can improve that song. You just can’t. It sounds

perfect—and modern.”

Boyle has a philosophical take on why these

songs endure. “I believe they’re buried in us; they’re

part of our DNA,” he says. “I really believe there

are works of art that are [part] of our consciousness

and our soul as a people. They’re representative,

obviously, of the individuals who actualized them,

but they belong to us and they’re part of us and

they’re not a passing fad, they’re not a passing

industry thing. I believe in culture, and for me

music’s a huge part of this as a belief system. There

are certain belief systems which make humanity

work for good and for bad—one is money, one is

war, one is religion—but the most important one

for me is culture. It makes the world go round. It’s

the most vulnerable as well, because it’s the only

one of those things that won’t actually go to war on

its own behalf. But I believe it’s a fundamental part

of us—we are nothing without it. I think the songs

are in some way buried in us and are awoken by

people on our behalf. I really do believe that. That’s

been my life experience.”

Daring to stand in the shadow of The Beatles

in Yesterday is a real-life music superstar, redheaded

one-man band Ed Sheeran, who plays himself and

good-naturedly sends up his celebrity persona,

(An early champion of rising talent Jack Malik,

he advises a title change from “Hey Jude” to “Hey

Dude.”) “He’s got a very good sense of humor,

thank God,” Boyle says. “We asked Chris Martin

first, but he turned it down because he wanted to

spend a year with his family in L.A. Ed was touring

at the same time, which made scheduling a bit

trickier. But then it gave us a huge advantage of

the crowds at his gigs. He allowed us to come in

and film those for free, and our budget level could

never have afforded us to stage those scenes. He

mercilessly teased us about the fact that he was

second choice. He wouldn’t let us forget it.”

Boyle adds, “I think it helped that he had a

genuine admiration for Himesh, because as a pro

110 JUNE 2019


he could hear that Himesh has got

something. It isn’t technique—he

meets lots of session musicians

who’ve got way better technique.

But he could see that Himesh had

something that allowed him to

tell the story of the song to you, as

though you were hearing it anew.”

Yesterday also features Lily James

(Cinderella, “Downton Abbey”),

downplaying her beauty as Jack’s

childhood friend and part-time

manager, who has a longtime secret

crush on the singer. (It wouldn’t be a

Richard Curtis script without some

romantic pining.) And, as she often

does, “Saturday Night Live” Emmy

winner Kate McKinnon steals the

film as Debra, Jack’s hilariously

blunt new agent, laser focused on

how much money her protégé can

generate. “She’s fantastic,” Boyle

says. “I’m a big believer in comedians

becoming actors—I think they make very fine

actors. I like them to take it quite seriously, and she

was up for that. She loved playing that scene where

Debra asks Jack if he’s thirsty for fame. What she

brought was interesting. The comic technique is to

give you a number of options, to play it a number

of different ways. But she brought that to the serious

stuff as well. She’d do a scene and say, ‘Can you

keep it running? I’ll give you a couple of different

versions of this last bit.’ That was fun. And some

of the actors were like: Whoa. It’s very funny, but

she’s very serious. She goes away in a corner and

she prepares, so she’s ready to dazzle you with what

appears to be improvisation, but it’s actually very

deeply thought through as well.”

From his very first feature, the 1994 comedy-thriller

Shallow Grave, Danny Boyle has refined

a highly cinematic visual style, infused with energy.

Naming Apocalypse Now as his all-time favorite

film, he notes, “I can watch a Tarkovsky film, my

jaw drops in awe, but I love the stimulation that

you can bring to an audience, the almost physical

vibration you can bring them with storytelling if

you get it right—and performance and music and

all those combinations of things. A lot of it comes

out of my love of music; for a long time I knew

more about music than I did about films. I have

to be honest and acknowledge that it’s the music

that helps me, We were lucky enough to coincide

as filmmakers with the growing acceptance of

YouTube and pop videos and those short bursts

of extraordinary invention and entertainment and

vision. It took a little while for the mainstream film

industry to realize that this is actually where we’re

going, guys. I think we were lucky to coincide with

that general movement.”

Boyle is also passionate about the theatrical

movie format and the special experience it provides.

“Time is a really incredible thing in movies.

When you work for three or four months editing a

movie, you realize its essence, whatever the movie

is: You’re compressing time or extending it, or

stopping it and then restarting it. There’s no other

art form that does that. Television doesn’t do it, because

television, especially in its modern iteration,

is endless time. It actually just lets time run forever.

These new formats are 10 parts, 12-part series—it’s

just endless. Whereas film and theater is about this

contract: We as filmmakers have done this thing

with time in a story, and we want you to come

and give us your time for two hours. That’s all. But

when you come for that two hours, you’ll see time

compressed, expanded. We will do with that time

something that you’ll never get anywhere else. It’s

absolutely critical; we’ve got to protect it. We will

lose so much if we let it die. There isn’t any other

art form that can do it. Picasso couldn’t do it, but

movies can do it.”

HEY DUDE

Singer-songwriter Ed

Sheeran plays himself in

Yesterday. “He’s got a very

good sense of humor,

thank God.”

JUNE 2019

111


Champing

at the Bit

ALEXANDRE AJA’S CRAWL FLOODS

INTO THEATERS THIS SUMMER

BY DANIEL LORIA

>> Among all the films previewed at Paramount’s CinemaCon

presentation, none elicited a more gleeful reaction from press

row than Alexandre Aja’s Crawl. The high-concept creature

feature pits Haley (Kaya Scodelario, pictured below), a young

woman who ignores an evacuation order to look for her missing

father during a Category 5 hurricane, against a gang of

gigantic alligators who rush in with the rising water levels. The

footage shown at CinemaCon was reminiscent of the grind

house horror flicks of the 1980s. Boxoffice caught up with

the French director ahead of the film’s release to talk about

his approach to the film and why he fell in love with a project

that hearkens back to his childhood fears.

How did you get involved with the project?

When you make movies and, very specifically, when you try

to make movies that are really scary and suspenseful, you always

read scripts with the expectation that fear starts on the page. For

this one, everything started in the log line. I remember when

Craig Flores, the producer, sent me the script over the weekend;

I remember falling in love with the log line, with that simple idea

of a young woman going into a Category 5 hurricane to save her

dad in a flooded area full of alligators. I thought it was just the

most simple and efficient starting point to build a roller-coaster

ride of a movie.

Were there any other movies you had in mind in your

approach to this one?

There are a lot of crocodile and alligator movies, specifically

from the early ’80s. There are some very fun ones, but there’s

not really a reference movie the way Jaws is a reference for shark

movies. I really wanted to do a creature feature because alligators

can be some of the scariest and most terrifying creatures when

you learn a little bit more about them. They are perfect predators.

That’s why for the last 16 million years they have barely

changed. They’re the perfect killing machine, the last dinosaurs

alive. We wanted to do something that was somewhat realistic,

yes, but that also pushed the edges of that reality. Jaws is always

the blueprint; Alien is another great reference.

How did you mold the script into the film you wanted

to make?

The script was way more claustrophobic, taking place inside

the house, and I wanted to open up that world. I wanted the

storm itself to be the one location, a place that simply doesn’t let

you escape.

How much did you have to balance it tonally? You want

it to be fun but have to be careful not to steer too closely

to camp.

In some of my other movies like The Hills Have Eyes, High

Tension, or Maniac, I was really aiming for fear. When I did

Piranha, it was much more like an all-gore comedy. For this

one, I really wanted to go back to the fear; I didn’t want it to be

funny or camp. I wanted a real survival thriller. Our character is

trapped in this house, trapped in a neighborhood that’s flooding

with water, with a ticking clock of water rising and all these

creatures trying to hunt her.

You mentioned Jaws, a movie that struggled a lot behind the

scenes to have its shark effects work properly. What were

some of the technical challenges you had to contend with in

the making of Crawl?

It was one of the most challenging movies I have ever done.

When you do a movie that takes place over one day, inside a

Category 5 hurricane with flooding water, you cannot shoot on

112 JUNE 2019


ALEXANDRE AJA AT THE MOVIES

I grew up in the ’80s and remember watching Pet

location. You cannot go

into a storm and shoot

the movie. Alligators aside,

you have to build and rebuild

eight different things

all inside a blue screen with

all the CGI in the world to

re-create the setting, re-create

that storm. The crew and

actors, we were always in the

water, all day long for 40 days

with rain, wind, and sound

effects. We also had the challenge

of these alligators, that are fully CGI

creatures, and we wanted them to be so real that we didn’t have

to hide them in the movie. You know that Hollywood saying,

“Less is more”? I think that sometimes you should do the opposite.

That’s what we aimed for with this movie; we want you to

see the creatures our characters are fighting.

Why is a movie like Crawl ideally suited for cinemas?

There is a reason why really good scary movies are the only

ones that are challenging these amazing superhero movies at

the box office. They offer an experience that you share with the

people around you. There is nothing better than watching a very

good suspenseful thriller or very good horror movie with people

you don’t know. You all jump together and can feel the temperature

in the auditorium rising. It’s like everyone is frozen, unable

to move because they’re too scared about what’s going to happen

next. It’s the most communal experience that you can get in a

Sematary in a movie theater and being traumatized.

I wasn’t even able to finish it; I wanted to leave the

auditorium. I remember watching Nightmare on Elm

Street and having the feeling that this fear would

stay with me no matter what, no matter if I

closed my eyes or blocked my ears.

theater. I’m still happy

that Crawl is getting

such a wide theatrical

release because anywhere

you are, anywhere in the

world, even if you don’t

come from Florida or you

haven’t seen an alligator

in your backyard, I think

everyone will relate to this

experience.

Having lived in South Florida, I know it’s not

odd to encounter an alligator in a suburban setting. They

seem to love golf courses and swimming pools. How much

experience did you have with alligators personally before

you took on this project?

I was a child actor growing up, and I had the chance to go to

Florida a few times, because, as you can imagine, in Paris there

are not that many alligators around. But when I was in Florida,

in the Everglades, each time I was fascinated and obsessed with

them. I remember making a movie in the early ’90s where I had

to spend almost a year in Miami. I remember seeing them everywhere.

There is something fascinating about the way they look;

they’re like the original monster. I think it’s something that is

rooted in the minds of a lot of people, almost like a subconscious

memory of an ancient time when we were dealing with them

on a daily basis. I asked Sam Raimi, who was a producer on the

movie, what was his favorite alligator or crocodile movie. He told

me, Jurassic Park.

JUNE 2019

113


The Swedish

Connection

B-REEL FILMS LOOKS TO CROSS OVER

WITH MIDSOMMAR AND KUNG FURY 2

BY KEVIN LALLY

Hollywood’s affiliation with Sweden goes back to the silent era,

with directors like Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller and actresses

Anna Q. Nilsson and the inimitable Greta Garbo. The connection

continues today with such crossover successes as Stellan,

Alexander, and Bill Skarsgård, Max von Sydow, Rebecca Ferguson,

and Oscar winner Alicia Vikander.

FLORENCE PUGH AND JACK REYNOR

HEAD FOR THE CELEBRATION IN MIDSOMMAR

>> Working hard to keep that momentum

going is B-Reel Films, a 24-year-old

independent production company with

offices in Stockholm and Los Angeles.

B-Reel has its highest-profile project to

date with Midsommar, the eagerly anticipated

second feature from director Ari

Aster, who won acclaim with last year’s

terrifying supernatural thriller Hereditary.

Midsommar, which A24 releases on July

3 in North America, follows an American

couple (Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor)

who participate in a midsummer festival in

a remote Swedish village and find the rituals

there increasingly strange and sinister.

“It’s pretty wild and a lot of fun,”

says B-Reel head of production Philip

Westgren. “Hereditary just surprised

people, and they didn’t quite know what

to expect. I think this film takes that to

another level. A24 is doing a really great

job in the way they put their films out. I

think it’s smart that as of yet it’s all still

pretty mysterious, and hopefully we can

keep it like that for a while.”

Westgren explains the genesis of the

project: “I have a colleague, a fellow

producer at B-Reel named Patrik

Andersson, who had this concept of

doing a horror film that takes place in

this specific world which is very Swedish.

When he pitched that to me, I was

aware of Ari as a writer, and I’d been introduced

to him and I thought it could

be really interesting for him. Ari at the

time had come from AFI and had made

some short films, and we thought he

was really interesting and talented. And

when we sat down with him, he completely

jumped on it. He’s not the kind

of guy who goes out there looking for

assignments—that’s not really the way

he operates. Right from the outset, he

had a vision for it, and we saw it as our

duty to try to empower him as much as

possible and embrace his vision, which

we fell in love with right away. We were

able to immerse Ari into the world of

this Swedish midsummer and its pagan

history and cultural celebration. We

enabled him to do a lot of research and

then he completely made it his own. It’s

114 JUNE 2019


highly cinematic, and I think it’s quite

unlike anything else.”

Ironically, this specifically Swedish tale

was shot in Hungary. Westgren explains:

“We unfortunately were unable to shoot

in Sweden because they just don’t have

good tax incentives. But our production

designer was Swedish, our costume

designer was Swedish, so we were able

to bring Sweden to Hungary, if you will.

We and Ari especially would have wanted

nothing more than to shoot in Sweden.

… in the same way that unfortunately not

a lot of movies are shot in L.A. anymore.”

Next up for B-Reel is Kung Fury 2, the

feature version of a short film by Swedish

director David Sandberg, which begins

principal photography on July 29. The cast

includes Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael

Fassbender, and at press time B-Reel

was hoping to sign “one of the leading

comedy actresses,” plus some popular music

artists to work on the soundtrack.

“It’s an homage to ’80s action movies,

but extremely funny and at the same

time visually exciting and original,” says

Westgren. “The original short film was

crowd funded from 18,000 backers, who

raised $630,000. From there it went on

to the Cannes Film Festival and became

a big viral hit—on YouTube it’s been seen

30 or 40 million times. It’s also been on

Netflix and a number of other platforms.

An exciting voice is our filmmaker David

Sandberg, who stars in the movie because

he starred in the original short film. Surrounding

him with Arnold and Michael

is pretty crazy for a first-time feature director.

It’s a really fun, visual effects–driven

project and we absolutely believe in

the commercial breakout potential of it.”

(Take note: Kung Fury director David

Sandberg is not the director of DC Comics

smash Shazam!, David F. Sandberg.

The two Swedes are actually good friends,

Westgren notes.)

Other upcoming B-Reel projects

include TV series with actor Tom Hardy’s

company and with director Leonardo

Fasoli, creator of the Italian TV series

“Gomorrah,” and a feature project with

“Patrick Melrose” director Ed Berger.

“I WORK ALONE”

Writer/director/star

David Sandberg’s viral hit,

Kung Fury, will soon get a

big-budget sequel.

“What tends to be the through line for

all these projects,” Westgren says, “is that

we have our roots in Europe and work

with the U.S. We really try to bridge the

best of those two. Midsommar’s a great

example where we had an idea that was

European-set and we were able to attract

a really exciting filmmaker, an auteur,

[who would] explore it in his own way.

“Kung Fury is another good example.

Obviously, the director is a Swede and

it’s based on a short film that was made

in Sweden. But we are now driving

the bigger international version. While

we’ve brought on bigger financiers, we’ve

also raised a lot of money in Europe

through the soft money and co-pro funds

available, which enabled us to make the

bigger, better version of this film. The

co-pro world is one that our companies

are deeply immersed in—we know how

to navigate that, but hopefully we will

try to combine that with projects that

are creatively exciting … Writers and

directors in the U.S., with the way things

are driven by the marketplace here, don’t

as often [have the opportunity to work

on] projects that are original ideas, independently

financed but bigger films. Both

of these projects are first and foremost

filmmaker-driven, but also we’ve been

lucky in attracting good casts. The way

the marketplace works today, there’s not

much of a mid-range anymore. You’re

doing very small movies or very big ones.

With both of these films, we’re trying to

get a little bit more in the middle. I think

our European/Scandinavian/U.S. mix

enables us to do that.”

B-Reel has also produced the documentaries

Bergman: A Year in the Life

(2018), winner of the European Documentary

prize at the European Film

Awards, and Stieg Larsson: The Man Who

Played with Fire, which recently premiered

at Sundance. “This is a very exciting time

for documentary,” Westgren notes. “There

are a number of projects at the moment

we’re developing here in the U.S., two in

particular in the early production stage

that we’re really excited about.”

B-Reel consists of a film/TV production

company, a commercial production

company, and a creative agency, Westgren

explains. “The commercial production

company and creative agency were

already firmly established here in L.A.

and New York and other parts of Europe.

But in Sweden particularly, we have a

very active film and TV slate. We had five

theatrical releases in Sweden last year and

a number of TV series. As a producer and

in a former management capacity, I was

working with a number of filmmakers

and I noticed that the good ones tend to

work with B-Reel. And so that’s how I

got to know them, and that’s what led to

me coming aboard to help build out the

U.S. slate.”

Born and raised in the Netherlands,

with a Swedish father, Westgren attended

Wesleyan University in Connecticut and

JUNE 2019

115


CHECKMATE

Bengt Ekerot, as Death,

with Ingmar Bergman on

the set of The Seventh Seal

eventually landed a job working for veteran

film producer Lawrence Gordon (Die

Hard, Field of Dreams, Hellboy), whom

Westgren calls “an amazing mentor and

good friend still today.”

“From the outset,” Westgren recalls, “I

had very much an interest in the international

side to our industry. As our industry

became even more global in the last

15, 20 years, it became a big priority. So

while I was working for Larry, I was able

to focus on working with international

filmmakers and international I.P., and I

increasingly felt that I was finding a specific

space in the industry that obviously

was influenced by my own international

background, but was something that just

spoke to me in a very specific way.”

Westgren says he believes, “Today,

someone like Kevin Feige is the best

example of a big-studio producer who has

done such a great job and managed to define

his films on his creative terms. I think

for most producers working in the studio

system today, if you don’t control I.P., that

is such a difficult thing to do. And for me,

that definition of what a producer does is

not what draws me to producing. More

often than not, today you’re executing

what the studio wants you to do. I think

it’s more exciting to find filmmakers that

have a very strong point of view and

try to empower them the best possible

way. If you can manage to do that in the

independent space, that’s a bit more easily

done. A good example being David Sandberg:

when you have a filmmaker who has

a concept that is so original that you feel it

can not only be a great movie but also be

built into an IP, and then help them build

the production in a way where it doesn’t

become a studio film but something that

he controls independently.”

He continues, “At the end of the day,

for all of us at B-Reel, it’s about identifying

interesting filmmaker voices and then

making it our job to make sure that they

get to tell a story their way. It’s not always

easy, but if you know why you’re doing it,

because you believe in a filmmaker, you

believe in a project, then it’s worth it.”

Westgren believes this is a breakthrough

era for international filmmakers. “All of a

sudden, Hollywood is becoming so much

more global—no longer is globally successful

content being defined as English-language

in the way that the traditional

perception was. The growth is everywhere

around the world, and great stories are

being told everywhere. To the degree that

we as a company have more of an international

footprint than most production

companies, obviously we are going to try

to play our small part in that. It is a benefit

that we have that network of filmmakers

internationally, but in an ideal scenario it

is also about trying to combine that with

the best Hollywood has to offer in terms of

packaging creatively with actors, and also

financing and distribution. The big players

in Hollywood are all paying attention to

what is happening internationally, so if

you manage to navigate both sides as a

production company, that’s a good thing.

I’m not suggesting we can do that around

the world, but specifically in Scandinavia

and more generally in Europe, we have a

strong footprint.”

Though B-Reel is developing projects

for both theaters and TV, Westgren

continues to value the theatrical experience.

“Getting movies made is extremely

hard, and there is no more satisfying way

of seeing film than in a movie theater.

How else do you bring the scope of the

ambition of not just the director and the

producer, but that an entire crew puts,

just everything that goes into making a

movie? There’s no better way of experiencing

that than with an audience in that

big theater. Personally speaking, and I’m

sure most producers would agree with

me, all of us are a little bit crazy to pursue

careers in this industry, but I think it all

started with going to a movie theater and

falling in love with that experience.”

116 JUNE 2019


TIMECODE

BY KENNETH JAMES BACON

THE EXHIBITOR HAS [THEIR] SAY

“SHOWMEN,” AS EXHIBITORS ONCE CALLED THEMSELVES, WERE AN OPINIONATED

LOT, SO WE GAVE THEM A FORUM … THEY DIDN’T DISAPPOINT

PART 6 OF OUR 12-PART DEEP DIVE INTO THE BOXOFFICE ARCHIVES

LET’S PUT OUR HEADS TOGETHER,

FELLOWS!

I have the second house, seating capacity

650, in a town of 2,500. We’re still using

standard screen with no gimmicks other

than what’s on it and how we sell it. They

say that there’s nothing new under the

sun—only the manner in which it’s done,

and that, as I see it, means new ideas.

I look forward to Monday when I get

the trade papers in the mail and I sit down

and read them and have the employees do

likewise so that we can put our little heads

together and have a look-see if we can come

up with something.

How about the rest of you? Do you have

any special ideas you use or come up with

from day to day? If you have, drop me a line

and let’s swap ideas—huh?

Business with us is generally pretty fair,

can’t complain, but getting business is like

eating popcorn (amen!)—the more you have

the more you want. How do you get that

next customer in and make him happy? If

you want a pen pal for swapping ideas—I’m

your boy!

—Lew Bray, Jr.

Queen Theatre, McAllen, Texas

Dec. 11, 1954

>> Decades ago, well before the advent of the

wide release, cinema operators in Small Town,

America, had to sit on their hands and wait for

films to finish their initial runs in the big cities

before prints would trickle down to towns like

Sebring, Ohio (pop. 900), and Grace, Idaho (pop.

725). A close-knit community, exhibitors were

eager to share their results when booking everything

from Gladiators Seven (“very poor dubbing”)

to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (“How can anyone find

anything wrong with it? We can’t.”) Exhibitors

in these rural settings were often too revealing in

these short reports, dozens of which were published each week. Pictures like

Vincente Minnelli’s Cabin in the Sky with Ethel Waters or any film with the

Marx or Ritz Brothers were often described as “not for our clientele.”

VIVA ZAPATA! Marlon Brando,

Jean Peters, Anthony Quinn. Too

bad this wasn’t seen by more. I didn’t

make expenses on this fine feature. I still

don’t know why for I have a town with predominantly

Mexican population.

This is a funny business! Played

Sun., Mon. Weather: Fair.

—George Kelloff

Ute Theatre, Aguilar, Colo.

Small town and rural patronage

Oct. 3, 1953

THE SONG SAYS, “WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT, ALFIE?” My customers

asked me the same. “Has he got mush in his mouth?” one kid asked.

Whatever it was all about, it was not about the profits at the box office in this

farm town. Should have played an Audie Murphy instead. The second show,

The Busy Body, was lukewarm. I think the English are getting even for

the Revolutionary War with some of these pictures. Played Sun., Mon.

Weather: Warm.

—Jerry Drew

Sierra Theatre, Chowchilla, Calif.

Boxoffice Classic Ad

Sept. 5, 1966

Pop. 4,453

118 MAY 2019


SHIP OF FOOLS I suppose

the fools are the ones who

came to see this, or maybe the

exhibitor who played it. Talk,

talk, and more talk.

—W.S. Funk

East Main Drive-In, Lake City, S.C.

Pop 3,000

OLD YELLER This Academy

Awards nomination comes after

Old Yeller broke house records here. Best

picture—Old Yeller; best male star—Old Yeller,

the dog; best female star—Dorothy McGuire.

I think we should present Old Yeller, the dog,

an Oscar in the shape of a fire hydrant. No

kidding, we are doing more business with Old

Yeller in five days than we did with The Ten

Commandments in seven. Saturday we broke

the house record. We had lines four abreast

one block long and had to quit selling tickets

at 2:15. I have been in this business 46 years,

and I never thought in this age of TV that we

could do more business with this picture than

any we have ever run—and we

have run them all. Three cheers for

Old Yeller.

—Ed Mott

Schine’s Wooster Theater

Wooster, Ohio

March 3, 1958

IT’S REALLY A SWELL SHOW WITH HEADACHES ADDED This

picture is good news at the box office, but oh what a headache! There

were so many shrieks and squeals that I had a splitting headache before the

show was over, and then I had a different kind of headache. The excited patrons

had actually torn up the seats! There was plenty of damage to them as well as to

me. One man came out fighting mad because some excited kid behind him yelled

so hard that bubblegum popped right out of his mouth and into the seat with this

man. Being pretty interested himself, he didn’t notice the gum until he had twisted

around in his seat a few times and smeared the gum all over the seat of his

pants. So, fellow exhibitors, if you haven’t yet played this screwball masterpiece,

be forewarned—have an extra staff on duty to help take care of emergencies

that will arise. Don’t miss it, though. They love it—from Junior to

Grandma. Played Sun., Mon. Weather: Cold.

—Mrs. Pat. W. Murphy

Queen Theatre, Holliday, Tex.

Oil field worker patronage

HOT-DIGGETY-DOG, this was swell

entertainment! Nothing heavy, but all

comedy and pretty gals and all in Technicolor.

What few came out wanted to see it again (the

others stayed home to hear the real fight between

Lewis and Walcott). Anyway, this one is all right

for any size town—just take my word

for it. Played Wed., Thurs. Weather:

Fine.

Boxoffice

Classic Ad

May 18, 1946

—I. Roche

Vernon Theatre, Vernon, Fla

Small town with rural patronage

MAY 2019 119


50 Years of Film at

Lincoln Center

THE FILM SOCIETY OF

LINCOLN CENTER REBRANDS AS IT

LOOKS TO THE FUTURE

PHOTO COURTESY OF METTIE OSTROWSKI

New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing

Arts has served as a campus for the city’s thriving

arts scene since its inauguration in 1962. As dedicated

buildings housing theater, music, and opera

venues began opening across its 16 acres on the

city’s Upper West Side, it was unclear what role (if

any) film would play among these more established

art forms. The roots for what eventually became

Film at Lincoln Center were planted in 1963, with

the inaugural edition of the New York Film Festival.

Formal conversations about expanding film’s presence

from an annual festival to year-round programming

began in 1967. By May 9, 1969, the Film Society

of Lincoln Center was born. The organization played

host to the New York Film Festival and launched

specialized film series like New Directors/New Films

(with the Museum of Modern Art, in 1972) to contribute

to the city’s eclectic cinema scene.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center expanded into

publishing with the acquisition of Film Comment

in 1973, becoming a leading voice in film criticism

as New Hollywood auteurs began making inroads

into the American studio system. Its first dedicated

screening space, the Walter Reade Theater,

opened its doors in 1991 and allowed the

organization greater flexibility in programming.

A second space, a stateof-the-art

twin cinema in what was

previously a parking garage, opened in

2011 to offer a wider array of first-run

films and events to complement the

repertory programming.

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary,

held at the Alice Tully Hall on April 29,

the Film Society announced a major rebranding

in a star-studded gala. Now

known as Film at Lincoln Center, the

organization hosted a diverse group

of influential filmmakers who have

made an impact on—and have been

impacted by—its 50-year legacy.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN RODRIGUEZ

“New York needed the Walter Reade Theater to be complete as a city. A

metropolis without a Cinematheque is like a city without memories, one

that offers no shelter to lonely souls. The existence of Film at Lincoln

Center, with its multiple screens, assures us that cinephilia is alive and

kicking, and that its curiosity and appetite will be fully quenched.”

–Pedro Almodóvar

“I know when I enter this place,

cinema will still be safe and protected

because that has been their mission

from the start.” –Martin Scorsese

“By bringing Fellini stateside, schlepping

Charlie Chaplin to parks in all

five boroughs, or repping the

newest crop of film geniuses

at the New York Film Festival,

Film at Lincoln Center has

played an outsized role in

the proliferation of the best

of our medium. And thank

god for that. Cinema has

had an almost supernatural

ability to teach us

empathy by giving us a

view into the lives of

other people. Great

films make us better

people, capable of

recognizing our fellow

humans across the

borders other men

have drawn.”

–Jake Gyllenhaal

120


PHOTO COURTESY OF METTIE OSTROWSKI

“Nobody has to bother scheduling

a memorial for me after I die

because I already got to hear all

the nice things people might say

about my career when I was still

alive and had a retrospective

in the nearby Walter Reade

Theater. Film Comment gave me

the meanest review I’ve gotten in

my life and I still didn’t cancel my

subscription.” –John Waters

“It was a particular honor for me this

past fall when Wildlife—my first film as

a director, co-written with Zoe [Kazan]

(above, right)—was selected to be part of

the New York Film Festival. Even though we

had already played Sundance and Cannes,

it was the first screening where I felt at

home.” –Paul Dano

PHOTO COURTESY OF SEAN DISERIO

“I’ll never forget when New Directors/New

Films programmed my

first film, Pariah, in 2011. A small,

independent lesbian coming-ofage

film about a Brooklyn teenager

that could easily be overlooked

by an Upper West Side crowd. And

so it was a bold, far-sighted

move for the

New Directors/

New Films programmers

to

dare to screen

that film in the

Elinor Bunin

Munroe Film

Center.”

–Dee Rees

“To call this home from

home would be stretching

things a little: in our house,

films are screened against

a kitchen wall with considerably

less capacity than

this room and here there is,

all in all, far less dog hair.

But I can call it a place of

real safety, of comfort and

joy, stocked with comradeship

and shared powers.”

–Tilda Swinton

PHOTO COURTESY OF

DAN RODRIGUEZ

PHOTO COURTESY OF

DAN RODRIGUEZ

121


INVESTOR RELATIONS

BY ROB RINDERMAN

Q2 REVIEW

A LOOK AT SECOND

QUARTER EARNINGS

ACROSS THE CINEMA

INDUSTRY

>> DOLBY LABORATORIES (DLB) posted

a 12.9 percent total revenue increase in its

fiscal second quarter, generating $338.3

million during the three-month period.

Net income and per share earnings also

jumped during the period.

“It was another solid quarter, as we

continued to expand the amount of

content and devices in Dolby Vision and

Dolby Atmos and grow our footprint of

Dolby Cinema,” said Kevin Yeaman, the

company’s president and CEO.

Dolby’s GAAP (Generally Accepted

Accounting Principles) net income rose to

$73.4 million, or $0.70 per diluted share,

solidly ahead of its year-ago operating

performance of $65.2 million in net

income, or $0.61 per diluted share. On

a non-GAAP basis, fiscal Q2 net income

amounted to $109 million, or $1.04 per

diluted share, compared to non-GAAP

net income of $78.1 million, or $0.73 per

diluted share.

Dougherty & Company analyst Steven

Frankel concluded in his post-quarter

update that “with growing momentum

in Vision, Cinema, and Atmos,

Dolby beat on both the top and bottom

lines.” For the 14th consecutive quarter,

DLB bested bottom-line expectations.

Frankel also pointed out that “with the

exhibition business tilting more toward

premium experiences, Dolby Cinema

remains well positioned.”

DLB unveiled an additional 15 new

Dolby Cinema screens during the recent

three-month period, increasing its worldwide

installed base footprint to 215.

The company presently pays shareholders

an annual dividend of $0.76 (in $0.19

quarterly installments), equating to a 1.2

percent annualized yield.

NATIONAL CINEMEDIA (NCMI) posted

a 4.1 percent decline in fiscal first quarter

total revenue, generating $76.9 million for

the three-month period ended March 28,

2019. Operating income decreased 0.9

percent to $10.9 million, reflecting lower

than expected network attendance.

The company’s adjusted OIBDA

(Operating Income before Depreciation

& Amortization) decreased 5.2 percent to

$22.1 million. NCM’s net loss was $1.1

million, or $0.01 per diluted share. This

compared to a net loss of $1.9 million, or

$0.03 per diluted share, in fiscal Q1 2018.

NCM president and interim CEO

Cliff Marks commented, “Demand from

national advertisers remains strong, and

the excitement around the movie slate

for the rest of the year is amazing. As

digital becomes increasingly cluttered

and concerns over privacy spread and

TV audiences increasingly age up while

ratings continue to decline, cinema

continues to be a haven for advertisers

looking to supplement their reach and

target valuable young cord-cutters with

a passion for entertainment, brands, and

the full movie experience.”

The company reaffirmed its full year

2019 outlook of total revenue growth

in a range between 1.9 percent and 5.3

percent and adjusted OIBDA to be up

0.8 percent to 5.6 percent. NCM expects

2019 total revenue in the range of $450

to $465.0 million and adjusted OIBDA

between $207 and $217 million.

CINEMARK (CNK) reported total revenues

for the three months ended March

31, 2019, of $714.7 million, versus $780

million for the comparable 2018 Q1

period. Admissions revenues were $395.5

million, concession revenues were $251.3

million and aggregate circuit-wide attendance

was 62.3 million. CNK’s patrons

paid an average admission price of $6.35,

with concession revenues per patron rising

5.5 percent to $4.03.

First quarter net income was $32.7

million, down from $62 million in the

year-ago quarter. Diluted Q1 earnings per

share was $0.28, compared to $0.53 for

Q1 ’18. Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA

for CNK was $152.3 million, lower than

the $193.4 million it reported for the

three months ended March 31, 2018.

“While, as anticipated, industry box

office declined in the first quarter based

on film release timing,” said Cinemark

CEO Mark Zoradi, “We are extremely

optimistic about the potential for another

record year, considering the strength of

content to come. And with the sustained

execution of our guest-centric initiatives,

Cinemark remains well positioned to capitalize

on that content for the remainder of

2019 and beyond,” added Zoradi.

KINEPOLIS reported lower group quarterly

total revenue during its first quarter

due to a decline in overall visitor numbers.

However, revenue per visitor rose across

all countries of operations (97 cinemas

and 884 total screens), both in terms of

beverages and snack sales, as well as box

office admission revenues.

The group’s growing share of premium

movie experiences such as Laser UL-

TRA, 4DX, and “cozy” seats significantly

contributed to the company’s increased

total box office revenue per visitor in all

countries, partially offsetting the aggregate

visitor decline.

Adjusted EBITDA (REBITDA),

excluding the impact of the introduction

of IFRS 16 (International Financial Reporting

Standards), decreased due to the

decline in visitor numbers, compounded

by the effect of country mix. The decline

in visitor numbers was strongest in Belgium,

where the average return per visitor

is highest.

Net financial debt showed a slight

increase compared to December 31, 2018,

levels due to Kinepolis’s acquisition of El

Punt (Spain-based cinemas in Barcelona

and Valencia), ongoing investments in the

rollout of laser projection, 4DX and

RealD 3-D, recliner seat installs, the

opening of a self-service shop in Canada,

and investments in new construction

projects.

122 JUNE 2019


AMC ENTERTAINMENT (AMC) reported

Q1 revenue of $1.2 billion (a 13.2%

year-over-year decline on a GAAP basis),

which resulted in a $130.2 million net

loss (versus a $17.7 million net profit

in the year-earlier period), and adjusted

EBITDA of $108.2 million (61.1 percent

lower than its Q1 ’18 level).

Domestic food and beverage revenue

on a per patron basis set a new record for

the first quarter, at $5.23 per guest.

Analyzing the company’s quarterly

operating performance, CEO Adam Aron

stated, “As we thought was likely for our

U.S. theaters, in our largest market by far,

the U.S. industry box office declined a

healthy 16.2 percent this quarter. Even so,

we are comforted that AMC continued to

outperform the U.S. industry box office,

notably with domestic attendance per

screen declining only 10.1 percent in the

first quarter of 2019. This beat the industry

by approximately 570 basis points.”

Despite the sluggish start to the year,

Aron remains bullish on the nine months

ahead. “We continue to be excited about

the remainder of 2019, which we believe

might be the highest grossing nine-month

period in cinema history. We are optimistic

that the full year 2019 box office will be

at least as strong as 2018, and potentially

could be the first year ever that the domestic

box office breaks $12 billion,” he added.

CINEWORLD (CNNWF) recently

announced the signing and completion of

a sale and leaseback transaction relating

to 17 of the chain’s U.S.-based multiscreen

cinemas totaling 251 screens. The

transaction is consistent with Cineworld’s

existing business model of operating a

predominantly leasehold estate and its

long-term strategy of crystalizing value for

shareholders.

The company agreed to sell the

cinemas to subsidiaries of Realty Income

Corporation for cash consideration of

$286.3 million and lease them back over

15 years on customary terms. The cinemas

had aggregate book value of $240 million

at the end of 2018, including an uplift on

revaluation as part of the acquisition of

Regal, and generated EBITDA of $42.5

million in 2018.

Cineworld intends to use proceeds

from the transaction to further reduce

its net debt in an effort to deleverage.

Management also disclosed that it was

in discussions with a separate party

regarding a potential sale and leaseback

transaction involving a further 18 U.S.-

based multiscreen cinemas totaling 255

screens for a similar consideration and on

similar terms.

Rob Rinderman is an avid follower and fan of the

cinema and exhibition businesses. He has assisted

many public and privately held companies with communications

and business development consulting

services for over two decades and written as a freelance

journalist covering these industries since 2015.

JUNE 2019

123


SOCIAL MEDIA

BY ALEX EDGHILL

SOCIAL MEDIA METRICS:

NEEDLES IN HAYSTACKS

>> Trying to read the tea leaves of box

office futures through the ever-changing

lens of social media is a maddeningly

difficult yet strangely satisfying endeavor.

Thanks to the increase in the amount of

data available, things are always improving.

This is a new science that offers no

road map to success, but its flashes of

brilliance and ease of use inspire

us to fine-tune the data and

create better forecasts.

The main challenge is that

the social media landscape is

constantly evolving. Demographics

change, the usages of

platforms vary and new ones

arise while others decline. I

have been through three resets

of tracking methodology over

the last 10 years due to these

challenges, in an effort to

improve prediction accuracy

and keep up with the changing

landscape. The latest of these

changes came two months ago,

as we modified our tracking

system at Boxoffice Pro to

account for Instagram as well as

Facebook and Twitter, bringing

our total tracked variables per

film to 74. While that is a gold mine, it

represents a massive onslaught of data

being collected every day for over 100

upcoming titles.

So how do we start to tackle the data

set? Deciding which of the 74 variables

are useful for analyzing a movie’s potential

is no small feat. First off, we need to

collect data for a couple of months to get

some historical data points; then we look

at opening-day and weekend box office

and run a correlation of both data sets.

The data period of interest for our most

recent collection was Friday to Thursday

before release. After this was done, I

determined the following 10 data points

as the most useful for predicting opening-day

box office.

There are some caveats, however,

associated with the above list. First, we do

not have a statistically significant sample

size, which means that over time these

variables could very well change in significance.

Imediately, it became clear that

TOP 10 SOCIAL MEDIA VARIABLES IN

PREDICTING OPENING-DAY BOX OFFICE

• Facebook Fans Added

• Instagram Post Comments

• Facebook Post Shares

• Facebook Post Interactions

• Facebook Power Rank

• Facebook Post Likes

• Instagram Post Video Views

• Facebook Post View Views

• Facebook Wow Post Reaction

• Twitter Page Likes

we needed to exclude Avengers: Endgame

from the data set, because its numbers as

the top performer (by far) on both social

media and at the box office dramatically

skewed virtually all data points. Also,

we are no longer able to track individual

tweet strings on Twitter for films, as

we have in the past—that was a great

resource and would no doubt be on this

list if it were still available.

Getting back to the table, what this

means is that for the last couple of

months the number of fans added on

the official Facebook page of a film from

the Friday to Thursday before release

explained more of the changes in opening

day box office than any other single variable

of the 74.

Now that we have found some of the

needles in the haystack, we can begin to

use these numbers to provide another

useful data point for our predictions and

forecasts. There are numerous areas I need

to expand on. More historical films for

all variables would be a huge help.

Creating sub-groups for different

genres also could be very beneficial,

as different genres could have different

variables explaining more of the

opening-day box office variance.

For instance, young-adult-targeted

comedies might have Instagram

post video views as the number one

correlated variable for determining

box office earnings, while animated

films might find the Facebook

Power Rank (likes + shares +

comments) on top. Another asset

this new information affords is a

wonderful yardstick for sequels,

as we continue to track them in

the coming years. Being able to

pinpoint exactly what John Wick

3’s numbers showed would be one

of the most important indicators

for John Wick 4, for instance—discovering

variations in online demand and

thus the sequel’s potential performance

before its actual opening.

There is no such thing as a silver bullet

when it comes to social media tracking

for box office potential. In the past, some

have cherry-picked data or run really

small sample sizes and claimed huge

predictive success that didn’t stand up

over time. The fact is, anything that can

offer an informed guesstimate is a win,

especially when the data is freely available.

I look forward to adding to our 74

variables where it makes sense and fine

tuning the methodology to look at data

from more than just a week out.

124 JUNE 2019


SOCIAL PULSE > POWERED BY NUKESUITE: APRIL 1 TO MAY 22

FACEBOOK

Top 10 New Likes Top 10 Post Interactions Top 10 Page Likes

Regal 23,323 Regal 556,641 Cinépolis USA 18.1M

Santikos 16,438 AMC Theatres 380,921 AMC Theatres 6.3M

Caribbean Cinemas (Puerto Rico) 7,098 Cinemark 126,443 Regal 3.7M

Cinemark 4,142 Harkins Theatres 86,629 Cinemark 1.3M

Harkins Theatres 3,891 Cineplex 51,211 Cineplex 700.8K

Cineplex 2,335 Showcase Cinemas US 50,447 Showcase US 666.9K

Alamo Drafthouse 1,703 Caribbean Cinemas (Puerto Rico) 42,642 Harkins 523.1K

Georgia Theatre Company 1,498 Alamo Drafthouse 25,090 Santikos 325.5K

Malco 1,352 Allen Theaters 22,075 Marcus Theatres 285.3K

NCG Cinemas 865 Studio Movie Grill 20,828 Studio Movie Grill 281.5K

INSTAGRAM

Top 10 New Likes Top 10 Post Interactions Top 10 Followers

AMC Theatres 30,068 AMC Theatres 790,767 AMC 394.1K

Cinemark Theatres 4,881 Regal 273,491 Regal 281.3K

Cineplex 4,096 Cinemark Theatres 89,608 Cinémas Guzzo 211.3K

Regal 3,355 Alamo Drafthouse 67,341 Alamo Drafthouse 98.2K

Harkins Theatres 1,773 Showcase Cinemas US 53,667 Cinemark Theatres 82.6K

ArcLight Cinemas 1,618 Cineplex 38,872 Cineplex 50.9K

IPIC 1,364 Harkins Theatres 37,330 IPIC 39.7K

B&B Theatres 1,186 ArcLight Cinemas 32,445 Harkins 31K

Cinépolis Cinemas USA 929 Santikos Entertainment 14,486 ArcLight Cinemas 22.4K

Celebration Cinema 886 Caribbean Cinemas (PR) 12,451 Caribbean Cinemas (PR) 21.9K

TWITTER

Top 10 New Likes Top 10 Post Likes Top 10 Followers

AMC Theatres 6,242 Cinemark 195,310 Regal 560.9K

Cineplex 1,898 Evo Cinemas 190,811 AMC Theatres 445.1K

Santikos 1,374 Landmark Theatres 117,001 Cineplex 173.6K

Cinemark 1,093 AMC Theatres 79,220 Alamo Drafthouse 152.7K

Regal 1,016 Regal 63,509 Cinemark 60.1K

Harkins 740 Classic Cinemas 40,870 Harkins 34K

Alamo Drafthouse 397 Kerasotes 16,377 Santikos 25.7K

Marcus Theatres 308 Cineplex 5,140 ArcLight Cinemas 22K

Megaplex 205 Harkins 5,140 Marcus Theatres 16.1K

Laemmle 187 ArcLight Cinemas 3,056 Celebration Cinema 14.7K

YOUTUBE

Top 10 New Subscribers Top 10 Video Views Top 10 Followers

AMC Theatres 14,846 AMC Theatres 499,329 AMC Theatres 378.8K

Cinemark 6,565 Regal 259,232 Regal 132.5K

Regal 1,873 Cineplex 121,748 Cinemark 73.5K

B&B Theatres 676 Celebration Cinema 49,960 Alamo Drafthouse 29.3K

Cineplex 546 Cinemark 30,799 Cineplex 16.9K

Alamo Drafthouse 402 Marcus Theatres 8,643 B&B Theatres 9.4K

Marcus Theatres 235 B&B Theatres 8,146 Landmark Theatres 3K

Harkins 92 Allen Theatres 5,992 ArcLight Cinemas 2.4K

Celebration Cinema 84 Studio Movie Grill 5,177 Harkins 2.3K

Landmark Theatres 66 Landmark Theatres 2,090 IPIC 1.8K

JUNE 2019

125


EVENT CINEMA CALENDAR

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN 1998

Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Edward Burns

CINELIFE

ENTERTAINMENT

cinelifeentertainment.com

310-309-5774

HUNTER x HUNTER:

THE LAST MISSION

Now Available

Anime

NUREYEV

Now Available

Documentary

A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN

Sun. 8/18, Weds. 8/21, Sat. 8/24

Kids & Family

SNOOPY, COME HOME

Sun. 9/29, Thurs. 10/3, Sat. 10/5

Kids & Family

FATHOM EVENTS

fathomevents.com

855-473-4612

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

Sun. 6/2, Weds. 6/5

Classics

THE AUDIENCE : NT LIVE 10TH

ANNIVERSARY

Mon. 6/3

Theater

PAVAROTTI PREMIERE

SCREENING EVENT

Tues. 6/4

Premiere

RIFFTRAX LIVE - STAR RAIDERS

Thurs. 6/6, Tues. 6/11

Comedy

FREE TRIP TO EGYPT -

PLEDGE TO LISTEN

Weds. 6/12

Inspirational

HEAVY WATER

Thurs. 6/13

Documentary

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

FIELD OF DREAMS 30TH

ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 6/16, Tues. 6/18

Classics

EMANUEL

Mon. 6/17, Weds. 6/19

Inspirational

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: ROMÉO ET

JULIETTE SUMMER ENCORE

Weds. 6/19

Opera

DCI TOUR PREMIERE

Thurs. 6/20

Sports

FORREST GUMP

25TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 6/23, Tues. 6/25

Classics

KINKY BOOTS THE MUSICAL

Tues. 6/25, Sat. 6/29

Theater

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

LA BOHÈME SUMMER ENCORE

Weds. 6/26

Opera

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

WHISPER OF THE HEART

Mon. 7/1 (dub), Tues. 7/2 (sub)

Anime

HAMLET: NT LIVE

10TH ANNIVERSARY

Mon. 7/8

Theater

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: IL BARBIERE

DI SIVIGLIA SUMMER ENCORE

Weds. 7/10

Opera

SOUND! EUPHONIUM: THE MOVIE

- OUR PROMISE: A BRAND NEW

DAY

Thurs. 7/11, Mon. 7/15

Anime

EASY RIDER 50TH ANIVERSARY

Sun. 7/14, Weds. 7/17

Classics

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

AIDA SUMMER ENCORE

Weds. 7/17

Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

GLORY 30TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 7/21, Weds. 7/24

Classics

126 JUNE 2019


THE MUPPET MOVIE

Thurs. 7/25, Tues. 7/30

Classics

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE 30TH

ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 7/28 (dub), Mon. 7/29 (sub),

Weds. 7/31 (dub)

Anime

KATHY GRIFFIN:

A HELL OF A STORY

Weds. 7/31

Comedy

I LOVE LUCY:

A COLORIZED CELEBRATION

Tues. 8/6

Television

DCI BIG, LOUD & LIVE

Thurs. 8/8

Sports

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

HELLO DOLLY!

50TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 8/11, Weds. 8/14

Classics

RIFFTRAX LIVE -

THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION

Thurs. 8/15, Tues. 8/20

Comedy

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO

Sun. 8/25 (dub), Mon. 8/26 (sub),

Weds. 8/28 (dub)

Anime

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

Sun. 9/1, Weds. 9/4

Classics

MARGARET ATWOOD:

LIVE IN CINEMAS

Tues., 9/10

Inspirational

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION

25TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 9/22, Tues. 9/24, Weds. 9/25

Classics

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY

Sun. 9/29 (dub), Mon. 9/30 (sub)

Anime

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

ALIEN 40TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 10/13, Tues. 10/15, Weds.

10/16

Classics

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

SPIRITED AWAY

Sun. 10/27 (dub), Mon. 10/28

(sub), Weds. 10/30 (dub)

Anime

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

THE GODFATHER PART II

Sun. 11/10, Tues. 11/12, Weds.

11/13

Classics

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

PRINCESS MONONOKE

Sun. 11/17 (dub), Mon. 11/18

(sub), Weds. 11/20 (dub)

Anime

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY

Sun. 12/1, Tues. 12/3

Classics

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019: THE

TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA

Mon. 12/16 (dub), Weds. 12/18

(sub)

Anime

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE

roh.org.uk/cinemas

cinema@roh.org.uk

ROMEO AND JULIET

Tues. 6/11

Ballet

DON GIOVANNI

Tues. 10/8

Opera

DON PASQUALE

Thurs. 10/24

Opera

CONCERTO / ENIGMA

VARIATIONS / RAYMONDA ACT III

Tues. 11/5

Ballet

COPPÉLIA

Tues. 12/10

Ballet

THE NUTCRACKER

Tues. 12/17

Ballet

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

Thurs. 1/16

Ballet

LA BOHÈME

Weds. 1/29

Opera

NEW MARSTON / NEW SCARLETT

Tues. 2/25

Ballet

FIDELIO

Tues/ 3/17

Opera

SWAN LAKE

Weds. 4/1

Ballet

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA /

PAGLIACCI

Tues. 4/21

Opera

THE DANTE PROJECT

Thurs. 5/28

Ballet

ELEKTRA

Thurs. 6/18

Opera

JUNE 2019

127


ON SCREEN

BY KEVIN LALLY

WIDE RELEASES

CHILD’S PLAY

JUNE 21 / UNITED ARTISTS RELEASING

Now that the Annabelle series has revived the horror

staple of the demonic doll (see page 130), the time is

ripe for the return of evil plaything Chucky, not seen

on theater screens since 2004’s Seed of Chucky. Aubrey

Plaza plays the mother who at first resists her young

son’s warnings that there’s something very wrong with

his new plastic companion. Luke Skywalker himself,

Mark Hamill, provides the voice of the sadistic doll for

director Lars Klevberg.

CAST AUBREY PLAZA, GABRIEL BATEMAN, MARK HAMILL,

BRIAN TYREE HENRY, TIM MATHESON RATING R

RUNNING TIME 120 MIN.

128 JUNE 2019


TOY STORY 4

JUNE 21 / DISNEY

Disney and Pixar dare to follow the

Oscar-winning Toy Story 3 with a new

adventure for Woody, Buzz Lightyear,

and the gang—a road trip to recover

“Forky,” the makeshift toy fashioned

by young Bonnie as a school project.

Inside Out story supervisor Josh Cooley

makes his feature directing debut.

VOICE CAST TOM HANKS, TIM ALLEN,

JOAN CUSACK, TONY HALE, KEANU

REEVES, WALLACE SHAWN, JORDAN

PEELE, KEEGAN-MICHAEL KEY, BONNIE

HUNT, ANNIE POTTS, CHRISTINA HEN-

DRICKS, TIMOTHY DALTON RATING G

RUNNING TIME TBA

ANNA

JUNE 21 / LIONSGATE-SUMMIT

Veteran French filmmaker Luc Besson

(Lucy, The Fifth Element, La Femme

Nikita) brings us another formidable

female with this tale of a beautiful

woman who’s also a ruthless government

assassin. But that empowerment message

is muddied by the fact that writer-director

Besson is currently facing multiple

accusations of sexual misconduct.

CAST SASHA LUSS (pictured), CILLIAN

MURPHY, LUKE EVANS, HELEN MIRREN

RATING R RUNNING TIME TBA

JUNE 2019

129


ON SCREEN

ANNABELLE COMES HOME

JUNE 26 / WARNER BROS.

Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren think they’ve averted

chaos when they lock possessed doll Annabelle in their artifacts

room behind “sacred” glass. But Annabelle rallies the other evil

spirits in the room, and her target is the Warrens’ 10-year-old

daughter. Gary Dauberman directed this latest chiller from the

Conjuring movie universe.

CAST MCKENNA GRACE, PATRICK WILSON, VERA FARMIGA, MADISON

ISEMAN, EMILY BROBST RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

ANNABELLE COMES HOME

YESTERDAY

JUNE 28 / UNIVERSAL

Thanks to a freak cosmic occurrence, all evidence that The Beatles

ever existed disappears from planet Earth. But one struggling

performer remembers their songs, and he becomes a worldwide

sensation. This comedy-fantasy marks the first-time pairing of

director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) and

writer Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Love Actually).

CAST HIMESH PATEL, LILY JAMES, KATE MCKINNON, ED SHEERAN,

JOEL FRY, JAMES CORDEN RATING PG-13 RUNNING TIME 112 MIN.

HIMESH PATEL IN

UNIVERSAL’S YESTERDAY

130 JUNE 2019


SPIDER-MAN:

FAR FROM HOME

JULY 2

SONY-COLUMBIA

Now that Avengers: Endgame

has become the second-most

successful film of

all time, anticipation is even

higher for the latest Spider-Man

adventure, which

picks up where Endgame

left off. Teen Peter Parker

is on a class trip to Europe

when S.H.I.E.L.D. honcho

Nick Fury recruits him for a

perilous assignment. A newcomer

to the Marvel movie

universe is Jake Gyllenhaal

as superpowered master

of illusion Quentin Beck/

Mysterio. Jon Watts returns

as director.

CAST TOM HOLLAND,

SAMUEL L. JACKSON, JAKE

GYLLENHAAL, ZENDAYA, JON

FAVREAU, MARISA TOMEI,

JACOB BATALON, COBIE

SMULDERS, TONY REVOLO-

RI RATING TBA RUNNING

TIME TBA

MIDSOMMAR

JULY 3 / A24

Director Ari Aster unnerved audiences with last year’s

supernatural chiller Hereditary, and he’s back to scare

and shock us with this tale of a young American couple

who join a mysterious midsummer celebration in a

secluded Swedish village and come to regret their exotic

vacation choice.

CAST FLORENCE PUGH, JACK REYNOR, WILL POULTER,

WILLIAM JACKSON HARPER, LIV MJÖNES RATING TBA

RUNNING TIME TBA

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

AS MYSTERIO IN

SPIDER-MAN:

FAR FROM HOME

JUNE 2019

131


ON SCREEN

STUBER

JULY 12 / DISNEY-20TH CENTURY FOX

An Uber driver (Kumail Nanjiani) takes a nerve-racking

detour when he picks up a cop who’s after a vicious killer.

Nanjiani (right) scored an Oscar nomination as co-writer

of his breakthrough movie vehicle The Big Sick, while oddcouple

co-star Dave Bautista (left) is a beloved member

of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Michael Dowse (Goon)

directed the comedy mayhem.

CAST KUMAIL NANJIANI, DAVE BAUTISTA, IKO UWAIS, NATALIE

MORALES, BETTY GILPIN, MIRA SORVINO, JIMMY TATRO, KAREN

GILLAN RATING TBA RUNNING TIME 105 MIN.

CRAWL

JULY 12 / PARAMOUNT

During a Category 5 hurricane in Florida, a young woman discovers her father seriously injured in

the crawl space of their family home. As the flood waters continue to rise, they’re joined by some very

unwelcome visitors: ferocious alligators. French horror auteur Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills

Have Eyes) helmed this nail-biter.

CAST KAYLA SCODELARIO (pictured), BARRY PEPPER, ROSS ANDERSON, ANSON BOON

RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

132 JUNE 2019


ON SCREEN

LIMITED RELEASES

JESSIE BUCKLEY IN

MAGNOLIA’S WILD ROSE

BURN YOUR MAPS

JUNE 21 / VERTICAL

ENTERTAINMENT

Jacob Tremblay (Room) plays a young boy

who is convinced he is actually a Mongolian

goat herder. And so his incredibly

patient mother embarks with her son on

a trip across the world to the plains of

Mongolia. Jordan Roberts, writer-director

of the memorably titled 3, 2, 1 ... Frankie

Go Boom, helmed this adaptation of a

short story by Robyn Joy Leff.

CAST JACOB TREMBLAY, VERA FARMIGA,

VIRGINIA MADSEN, SURAJ SHARMA, JASON

SCOTT LEE, MARTON CSOKAS RATING PG-

13 RUNNING TIME 98 MIN.

THE QUIET ONE

JUNE 21 / IFC FILMS

Bill Wyman, bassist for The Rolling

Stones, may be known as “the quiet one”

of the group, but for decades he’s been

quietly documenting his career with the

rock icons via personal movie footage

and thousands of photographs. Oliver

Murray’s time-capsule documentary also

includes interviews with Wyman’s family,

bandmates and friends.

FEATURING BILL WYMAN, MICK JAGGER,

KEITH RICHARDS, ERIC CLAPTON RATING

NOT RATED RUNNING TIME 107 MIN.

TONI MORRISON:

THE PIECES I AM

JUNE 21 / MAGNOLIA

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’s documentary

chronicles the life and career of the Nobel

and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Beloved

and Song of Solomon, from her childhood

in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio, to

her political activism to her mentorship of

young writers at Princeton University.

FEATURING TONI MORRISON, OPRAH

WINFREY, ANGELA DAVIS, HILTON ALS,

RUSSELL BANKS RATING NOT RATED

RUNNING TIME 119 MIN.

WILD ROSE

JUNE 21 / NEON

A young woman from Glasgow, Scotland,

tries to make it as a country singer

in Nashville. Hey, if Keith Urban from

Whangarei, New Zealand, can become

a country superstar, anything is possible.

Director Tom Harper’s film includes music

from Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna Judd,

and Kacey Musgraves, with original songs

by screenwriter Nicole Taylor and actress

Mary Steenburgen.

CAST JESSIE BUCKLEY, JULIE WALTERS,

SOPHIE OKONEDO, JAMIE SIVES, JAMES

HARKNESS RATING NOT RATED RUNNING

TIME 100 MIN.

MAIDEN

JUNE 28 / SONY PICTURES

CLASSICS

Alex Holmes’s documentary looks back

on the groundbreaking achievement of

Tracy Edwards, who led the first all-female

international crew in the 1989

Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.

FEATURING TRACY EDWARDS RATING PG

RUNNING TIME 97 MIN.

OPHELIA

JUNE 28 / IFC FILMS

In director Claire McCarthy’s film version

of Lisa Klein’s novel, Shakespeare’s

Hamlet is retold from the point of view

of Hamlet’s doomed, vulnerable lover

Ophelia, here given considerably more

spirit and backbone. Daisy Ridley takes

a break from the Star Wars series to essay

the title role.

CAST DAISY RIDLEY, NAOMI WATTS, CLIVE

OWEN, GEORGE MACKAY, TOM FELTON,

DEVON TERRELL RATING PG-13 RUNNING

TIME 114 MIN.

THE OTHER SIDE OF

HEAVEN 2: FIRE OF FAITH

JUNE 28 / ARTAFFECTS

ENTERTAINMENT

This sequel to a 2001 feature contin-

134 JUNE 2019


ues the story of Mormon missionary

John H. Groberg, who journeyed to

the Pacific island country of Tonga as a

teenager in the 1950s. In writer-director

Mitch Davis’s follow-up, Groberg

(played by the same actor, Christopher

Gorham) returns to Tonga in the 1960s

with a wife and five young daughters.

CAST CHRISTOPHER GORHAM, NATALIE

MEDLOCK, BEN BAKER, ALEX TARRANT

RATING PG-13 RUNNING TIME 110 MIN.

MARIANNE & LEONARD:

WORDS OF LOVE

JULY 5 / ROADSIDE

ATTRACTIONS

Nick Broomfield’s documentary recalls

the expat community of artists on

the Greek Island of Hydra during the

1960s, which included future music

superstar Leonard Cohen and writer

and single mother Marianne Ihlen.

Their friendship lasted until their

deaths in 2016.

FEATURING LEONARD COHEN,

MARIANNE IHLEN, JUDY COLLINS RATING

NOT RATED RUNNING TIME 97 MIN.

THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE

JULY 12 / BLEECKER STREET

When Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) is

attacked at random on the street, he enrolls

in a local dojo and gets swept up in

its disturbing subculture of loyalty and

hypermasculinity. Writer Riley Stearns is

making his feature directing debut with

this dark comedy.

CAST JESSE EISENBERG, ALESSANDRO

NIVOLA, IMOGEN POOTS RATING R

RUNNING TIME 104 MIN.

THE FAREWELL

JULY 12 / A24

When a Chinese-American family discovers

that their matriarch has terminal

cancer, they conspire to keep it a secret

from her and stage a fake wedding

celebration and family reunion back in

China. Director Lulu Wang based her

screenplay on her own family’s goodhearted

deception. Star Awkwafina stole

the show in last year’s Crazy Rich Asians.

CAST AWKWAFINA, TZI MA, DIANA LIN,

ZHAO SHUZHEN, LU HONG, JIANG YONGBO

RATING PG RUNNING TIME 98 MIN.

SWORD OF TRUST

JULY 12 / IFC FILMS

A woman inherits an antique sword

from her dead grandfather, which some

conspiracy theorists believe is proof

that the South won the Civil War. With

the help of her partner and a cynical

pawnshop owner, she tries to sell the

fabled weapon on the black market. Improvised

by the cast, this comedy is the

eighth feature from indie director Lynn

Shelton (Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister).

CAST JILLIAN BELL, MICHAELA WATKINS,

MARC MARON, JON BASS, TOBY HUSS,

DAN BAKKEDAHL RATING NOT RATED

RUNNING TIME 88 MIN.

JUNE 2019

135


BOOKING GUIDE

BLEECKER STREET

THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE

Fri, 7/12/19 LTD

C Jesse Eisenberg,

Alessandro Nivola

D Riley Stearns

NR · Com

BRIAN BANKS

Fri, 8/9/19 LTD

C Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear

D Tom Shadyac

NR · Dra

AMAZON STUDIOS

THE AERONAUTS

OCT. 25, 2019

EDDIE REDMAYNE AND FELICITY JONES

A24

646-568-6015

THE LAST BLACK MAN

IN SAN FRANCISCO

Fri, 6/14/19 LTD

C Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors

D Joe Talbot

R · Dra

MIDSOMMAR

Fri, 7/3/19 LTD

C Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor

D Ari Aster

R · Hor

THE FAREWELL

Fri, 7/12/19 LTD

C Awkwafina, Diana Lin

D Lulu Wang

PG · Com/Dra/Fam

ABRAMORAMA

914-741-1818

GHOST FLEET

Fri, 6/7/19 LTD

D Shannon Service,

Jeffrey Waldron

NR · Doc

AMAZON STUDIOS

310-573-0652

brian.flanagan@amazonstudios.com

LATE NIGHT

Fri, 6/7/19 LTD

C Emma Thompson,

Mindy Kaling

D Nisha Ganatra

R · Com

ONE CHILD NATION

Fri, 8/9/19 LTD

C Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang

R · Doc

BRITTANY RUNS A

MARATHON

Fri, 8/23/19 LTD

C Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins

D Paul Downs Colaizzo

R · Com/Dra

THE AERONAUTS

Fri, 10/25/19 LTD

C Eddie Redmayne,

Felicity Jones

D Tom Harper

R · Act/Adv · IMAX

HONEY BOY

Fri, 11/8/19 LTD

C Shia LaBeouf, Noah Jupe

D Alma Har’el

NR

AVIRON PICTURES

THE INFORMER

Fri, 8/16/19 LTD

C Joel Kinnaman,

Rosamund Pike

D Andrea Di Stefano

NR · Cri/Dra

BLUE FOX

ENTERTAINMENT

William Gruenberg

william@bluefoxentertainment.com

PAPI CHULO

Fri, 6/7/19 LTD

C Matt Bomer,

Alejandro Patiño

D John Butler

R · Com

SWINGING SAFARI

Fri, 6/21/19 LTD

C Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue

D Stephan Elliott

R · Com

SAVING ZOË

Fri, 7/12/19 LTD

C Laura Marano,

Vanessa Marano

D Jeffrey G. Hunt

R · Dra

PURGE OF KINGDOMS

Fri, 7/19/19 LTD

DISNEY

818-560-1000

Ask for Distribution

TOY STORY 4

Fri, 6/21/19 WIDE

C Tom Hanks, Tim Allen

D Josh Cooley

G · Ani · 3D/IMAX

THE LION KING

Fri, 7/19/19 WIDE

C Donald Glover, Beyoncé

D Jon Favreau

NR · Fan · 3D/IMAX

MALEFICENT:

MISTRESS OF EVIL

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

C Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning

D Joachim Rønning

NR · Fan

FROZEN 2

Wed, 11/22/19 WIDE

C Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell

D Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck

NR · Ani · 3D

STAR WARS:

THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

Fri, 12/20/19 WIDE

C Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver

D J.J. Abrams

NR · Act/Adv/SF

3D/IMAX/Dolby Dig

ONWARD

Fri, 3/6/20 WIDE

C Chris Pratt, Tom Holland

D Dan Scanlon

NR · Ani · 3D

MULAN

Fri, 3/27/20 WIDE

NR

Fan/Act/Adv · 3D/IMAX

136 JUNE 2019


UNTITLED MARVEL FILM

Fri, 5/1/20 WIDE

NR · 3D

ARTEMIS FOWL

Fri, 5/29/20 WIDE

C Ferdia Shaw, Josh Gad

D Kenneth Branagh

NR · Fan · 3D

UNTITLED PIXAR

ANIMATION FILM

Fri, 6/19/20 WIDE

NR · Ani · 3D

JUNGLE CRUISE

Fri, 7/24/20 WIDE

C Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt

D Jaume Collet-Serra

NR · Act/Adv

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

Fri, 8/14/20 WIDE

NR

FOCUS FEATURES

DOWNTON ABBEY

SEPT. 20, 2019

MICHELLE DOCKERY AND MATTHEW GOODE

ENTERTAINMENT

STUDIOS MOTION

PICTURES

310-277-3500

Ask for Distribution

BETHANY HAMILTON:

UNSTOPPABLE

Fri, 7/12/19 LTD

D Aaron Lieber

PG · Doc

47 METERS DOWN:

UNCAGED

Fri, 8/16/19 WIDE

C John Corbett, Nia Long

D Johannes Roberts

NR · Hor/Thr

ALL RISE

Fri, 9/27/19 WIDE

C Jennifer Hudson, Kelvin

Harrison Jr.

D Anthony Mandler

NR · Dra

ARCTIC DOGS

Fri, 11/1/19 WIDE

C Jeremy Renner, James Franco

D Aaron Woodley

PG · Ani

FOCUS FEATURES

424-214-636

THE DEAD DON’T DIE

Fri, 6/14/19 WIDE

C Bill Murray, Adam Driver

D Jim Jarmusch

R · Hor

DOWNTON ABBEY

Fri, 9/20/19 WIDE

C Hugh Bonneville,

Laura Carmichael

D Michael Engler

PG · Dra

FOX

310-369-1000 · 212-556-2400

DARK PHOENIX

Fri, 6/7/19 WIDE

C Sophie Turner,

Jennifer Lawrence

D Simon Kinberg

PG-13 · Act/Adv/SF · 3D/IMAX

STUBER

Fri, 7/12/19 WIDE

C Dave Bautista,

Kumail Nanjiani

D Michael Dowse

NR · Act/Com

THE ART OF RACING

IN THE RAIN

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Milo Ventimiglia,

Amanda Seyfried

D Simon Curtis

NR · Act/Dra

AD ASTRA

Fri, 9/20/19 WIDE

C Brad Pitt

D James Gray

NR · SF/Thr

THE WOMAN IN

THE WINDOW

Fri, 10/4/19 WIDE

C Amy Adams

D Joe Wright

NR · Cri/Dra/Mys

FORD v. FERRARI

Fri, 11/15/19 WIDE

C Matt Damon, Christian Bale

D James Mangold

NR · Dra

SPIES IN DISGUISE

Wed, 12/25/19 WIDE

C Will Smith, Tom Holland

D Nick Bruno, Troy Quane

NR · Ani

UNDERWATER

Fri, 1/10/20 WIDE

NR · Act

UNTITLED KINGSMAN

MOVIE

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

D Matthew Vaughn

NR · Act/Adv

CALL OF THE WILD

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

NR · Dra

THE NEW MUTANTS

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

C Anya Taylor-Joy,

Maisie Williams

D Josh Boone

NR · Act/Hor/SF

FREE GUY

Fri, 7/3/20 WIDE

C Ryan Reynolds

D Shawn Levy

NR · Com/Act

FOX SEARCHLIGHT

212-556-2400

READY OR NOT

Fri, 8/23/19 WIDE

C Samara Weaving,

Adam Brody

D Tyler Gillett,

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin

NR · Hor

JUNE 2019

137


BOOKING GUIDE

FOX SEARCHLIGHT

JOJO RABBIT

OCT. 18, 2019

ROMAN GRIFFIN DAVIS, TAIKA WAITITI, AND SCARLETT JOHANSSON

JOJO RABBIT

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

C Roman Griffin Davis,

Thomasin McKenzie

D Taika Waititi

NR · Com

GOOD DEED

ENTERTAINMENT

NIGHTMARE CINEMA

Fri, 6/21/19 LTD

C Mickey Rourke, Annabeth Gish

D Various

R · Hor

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING

Fri, 6/28/19 LTD

NR

GREENWICH

ENTERTAINMENT

THREE PEAKS

Fri, 6/28/19 LTD

C Alexander Fehling,

Bérénice Bejo

D Jan Zabeil

NR · Dra

IFC FILMS

bookings@ifcfilms.com

FRAMING JOHN DELOREAN

Fri, 6/7/19 LTD

C Alec Baldwin,

Morena Baccarin

D Don Argott,

Sheena M. Joyce

NR · Doc

HAMPSTEAD

Fri, 6/14/19 LTD

C Diane Keaton,

Brendan Gleeson

D Joel Hopkins

PG-13 ·Dra

THE QUIET ONE

Fri, 6/21/19 LTD

C Bill Wyman

D Oliver Murray

NR · Doc

OPHELIA

Fri, 6/28/19 LTD

C Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts

D Claire McCarthy

PG-13 · Dra/Rom

SWORD OF TRUST

Fri, 7/12/19 LTD

C Marc Maron, Jillian Bell

D Lynn Shelton

R · Com

THE NIGHTINGALE

Fri, 8/2/19 LTD

C Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin

D Jennifer Kent

R · Dra

OFFICIAL SECRETS

Fri, 8/23/19 LTD

C Keira Knightley,

Ralph Fiennes

D Gavin Hood

NR · Dra

VITA & VIRGINIA

Fri, 8/30/19 LTD

C Gemma Arterton,

Elizabeth Debicki

D Chanya Button

NR · Dra

KINO LORBER

THE CHAMBERMAID

WED, 6/26/19 LTD

C Gabriela Cartol,

Teresa Sánchez

D Lila Avilés

NR · Dra

THE QUEEN

Fri, 6/28/19 LTD

D Frank Simon

NR · Doc

THE MOUNTAIN

Fri, 7/26/19 LTD

C Jeff Goldblum, Tye Sheridan

D Rick Alverson

NR · Dra

LIONSGATE

310-309-8400

ANNA

Fri, 6/21/19 LTD

C Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren

D Luc Besson

R · Act

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN

THE DARK

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza

D André Øvredal

NR · Hor/Sus

ANGEL HAS FALLEN

Fri, 8/23/19 WIDE

C Morgan Freeman,

Gerard Butler

D Ric Roman Waugh

NR · Act/Thr

LAS PÍLDORAS DE MI NOVIO

(MY BOYFRIEND’S MEDS)

Fri, 8/30/19 WIDE

C Jaime Camil,

Sandra Echeverría

D Diego Kaplan

NR · Com

RAMBO: LAST BLOOD

Fri, 9/20/19 WIDE

C Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega

D Adrian Grunberg

NR · Act

MIDWAY

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Woody Harrelson,

Patrick Wilson

D Roland Emmerich

NR · Act/Dra/War

KNIVES OUT

Fri, 11/27/19 WIDE

C Daniel Craig, Chris Evans

D Rian Johnson

NR · Dra/Sus

UNTITLED CHARLES

RANDOLPH FILM

Fri, 12/20/19 WIDE

C Charlize Theron,

Margot Robbie

D Jay Roach

NR · Dra/Bio

RUN

Fri, 1/24/20 WIDE

C Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen

D Aneesh Chaganty

NR ·Sus

I STILL BELIEVE

Fri, 3/20/20 WIDE

D Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin

NR · Dra

138 JUNE 2019


MAGNOLIA PICTURES

212-379-9704

Neal Block

nblock@magpictures.com

TONI MORRISON: THE

PIECES I AM

Fri, 6/21/19 LTD

D Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

PG-13 · Doc

MIKE WALLACE IS HERE

Fri, 7/26/19 LTD

D Avi Belkin

PG-13 · Doc

COLD CASE HAMMARSKJOLD

Fri, 8/16/19 LTD

D Mads Brügger

NR · Doc

MYCINEMA

480-430-7017

WISH MAN

Fri, 6/7/19 LTD

C Andrew Steel,

Kirby Bliss Blanton

D Theo Davies

NR · Dra/Bio

APOCALYPSE NOW:

FINAL CUT

Fri, 8/19/19 LTD

C Marlon Brando,

Martin Sheen

D Francis Ford Coppola

R · Dra/War

NEON

hal@neonrated.com

THIS ONE’S FOR THE LADIES

Fri, 6/7/19 LTD

C The Nasty Boyz

D Gene Graham

NR · Doc/Mus

WILD ROSE

Fri, 6/21/19 LTD

C Julie Walters, Jessie Buckley

D Tom Harper

R · Dra/Com/Mus

LUCE

Fri, 8/2/19 LTD

C Naomi Watts,

Octavia Spencer

D Julius Onah

NR · Dra/Thr

PARAMOUNT

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

NOV. 11, 2019

NATALIA REYES, MACKENZIE DAVIS, AND LINDA HAMILTON

MONOS

Fri, 9/13/19 LTD

C Julianne Nicholson,

Moisés Arias

D Alejandro Landes

NR · Thr/Dra

CLEMENCY

Fri, 12/27/19 LTD

C Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge

D Chinoye Chukwu

NR · Dra

1091

Richard Matson

323-540-5476

rmatson@theorchard.com

THEM THAT FOLLOW

Fri, 8/2/19 LTD

C Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever

D Britt Poulton,

Dan Madison Savage

R · Thr

OSCILLOSCOPE

LABORATORIES

212-219-4029

JAY MYSELF

Fri, 7/31/19 LTD

D Stephen Wilkes

NR · Doc

MIDNIGHT TRAVELER

Fri, 9/18/19 LTD

NR · Doc

PARAMOUNT

323-956-5000

CRAWL

Fri, 7/12/19 WIDE

C Kaya Scodelario,

Barry Pepper

D Alexandre Aja

R · Hor

DORA AND THE LOST CITY

OF GOLD

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Isabela Moner,

Eugenio Derbez

D James Bobin

NR · Adv

GEMINI MAN

Fri, 10/11/19 WIDE

C Will Smith,

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

D Ang Lee

NR · Act/Thr

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

Fri, 11/1/19 WIDE

C Arnold Schwarzenegger,

Linda Hamilton

D Tim Miller

NR · Act/SF

PLAYING WITH FIRE

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

NR · Com

RHYTHM SECTION

Fri, 11/22/19 WIDE

C Blake Lively

D Reed Morano

NR · Thr

LIMITED PARTNERS

Fri, 1/10/20 WIDE

C Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne

NR · Com

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C James Marsden,

Ben Schwartz

D Jeff Fowler

NR · Ani/Adv/Com

UNTITLED A QUIET PLACE

SEQUEL

Fri, 3/20/20 WIDE

NR · Hor/Thr

GI JOE

Fri, 3/27/20 WIDE

NR · Act/Adv

THE LOVEBIRDS

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

NR · Rom/Com

THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE

Fri, 5/22/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

TOP GUN

Fri, 6/26/20 WIDE

NR · Act/Adv

JUNE 2019

139


BOOKING GUIDE

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE

NEIGHBORHOOD

Fri, 11/22/19 WIDE

C Tom Hanks

D Marielle Heller

NR · Dra

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE

JUNGLE SEQUEL

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

C Dwayne Johnson

NR · Com/Act/Adv

LITTLE WOMEN

Fri, 12/25/19 WIDE

D Greta Gerwig

NR · Dra

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

JUDY

SEPT. 27, 2019

RENÉE ZELLWEGER

RUMBLE

Fri, 7/31/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

INFINITE

Fri, 8/7/20 WIDE

NR · SF

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

323-882-8490

AMERICAN WOMAN

Fri, 6/14/19 WIDE

C Sienna Miller,

Christina Hendricks

D Jake Scott

R · Dra

MARIANNE & LEONARD:

WORDS OF LOVE

Fri, 7/5/19 WIDE

D Nick Broomfield

NR · Doc

THE PEANUT BUTTER

FALCON

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Shia LaBeouf,

Dakota Johnson

D Michael Schwartz,

Tyler Nilson

NR · Com

FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF

MIRACLES

Fri, 8/23/19 WIDE

D Max Lewkowicz

PG-13

JUDY

Fri, 9/27/19 WIDE

C Renée Zellweger

D Rupert Goold

PG-13 · Bio

THE LAST FULL MEASURE

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS

HEAD COUNT

Fri, 6/14/19 LTD

C Ashleigh Morghan, Isaac Jay

D Elle Callahan

NR · Hor/Thr/Mys

SUMMER NIGHT

Fri, 7/12/19 WIDE

SONY

212-833-8500

MEN IN BLACK:

INTERNATIONAL

Fri, 6/14/19 WIDE

C Chris Hemsworth,

Tessa Thompson

D F. Gary Gray

NR · SF/Act/Com · IMAX

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM

HOME

Fri, 7/2/19 WIDE

C Tom Holland, Michael Keaton

D Jon Watts

NR · Act/Adv/SF/Com

3D/IMAX

ONCE UPON A TIME IN

HOLLYWOOD

Fri, 7/26/19 WIDE

C Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt

D Quentin Tarantino

NR · Dra

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2

Fri, 8/14/19 WIDE

C Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad

D Thurop Van Orman,

John Rice

NR · Ani ·

OVERCOMER

Fri, 8/23/19 WIDE

C Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer

D Alex Kendrick

PG · Dra/Rel

ZOMBIELAND 2: DOUBLE TAP

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

C Emma Stone,

Woody Harrelson

D Ruben Fleischer

NR · Act/Hor/Com

BLACK AND BLUE

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Naomie Harris

D Deon Taylor

NR · Act

CHARLIE’S ANGELS

Fri, 11/15/19 WIDE

C Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott

D Elizabeth Banks

NR · Act/Com

GRUDGE

Fri, 1/3/20 WIDE

D Nicolas Pesce

NR · Hor

MILLER/LORD PRODUCED

SPA MOVIE

Fri, 1/10/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE

Fri, 1/17/20 WIDE

NR · Act

PETER RABBIT 2

Fri, 2/7/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

BLOODSHOT

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

NR · Act

UNTITLED SPA ANIMATED

FRANCHISE

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

UNTITLED AFFIRM FILMS

COACH PROJECT

Fri, 4/10/20 WIDE

NR

ESCAPE ROOM 2

Fri, 4/17/20 WIDE

NR

Hor/Thr

GREYHOUND

Fri, 5/8/20 WIDE

C Tom Hanks

D Aaron Schneider

NR · Dra/War

UNTITLED GHOSTBUSTERS

Fri, 7/10/20 WIDE

NR · Hor/Com

140 JUNE 2019


SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

Tom Prassis

212-833-4981

MAIDEN

Fri, 6/28/19 LTD

D Alex Holmes

NR · Doc

DAVID CROSBY:

REMEMBER MY NAME

Fri, 7/19/19 LTD

D A.J. Eaton

NR · Doc

AFTER THE WEDDING

Fri, 8/9/19 LTD

PG-13 · Dra

AQUARELA

Fri, 8/16/19 LTD

D Victor Kossakovsky

PG · Doc

WHERE’S MY ROY COHN?

Fri, 9/20/19 LTD

D Matt Tyrnauer

NR · Doc

PAIN AND GLORY

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD

C Antonio Banderas,

Penélope Cruz

D Pedro Almodóvar

NR

STX ENTERTAINMENT

310-742-2300

BRAHMS: THE BOY II

Fri, 7/26/19 WIDE

C Katie Holmes

NR · Hor/Thr

MY SPY

Fri, 8/23/19 WIDE

C Dave Bautista, Kristen Schaal

D Peter Segal

NR · Act/Com

PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE

Fri, 8/30/19 WIDE

C Anya Taylor-Joy, Daniel

Radcliffe

D Lino DiSalvo

NR · Ani/Fam

HUSTLERS

Fri, 9/13/19 WIDE

C Constance Wu,

Jennifer Lopez

D Lorene Scafaria

NR · Dra

UNIVERSAL

FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW

AUG 2, 2019

DWAYNE JOHNSON AND JASON STATHAM

21 BRIDGES

Fri, 9/27/19 WIDE

C Chadwick Boseman

D Brian Kirk

NR · Cri/Thr/Act

COUNTDOWN

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Elizabeth Lail, Anne Winters

D Justin Dec

NR · Hor

UNCORK’D

ENTERTAINMENT

HALLOWED GROUND

Fri, 6/7/19 LTD

C Miles Doleac, Sherri Eakin

D Miles Doleac

NR · Hor

UNITED ARTISTS

RELEASING

CHILD’S PLAY

Fri, 6/21/19 WIDE

C Aubrey Plaza,

Brian Tyree Henry

D Lars Klevberg

R · Hor

WHERE’D YOU GO,

BERNADETTE?

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup

D Richard Linklater

PG-13 · Com/Dra

THE ADDAMS FAMILY

Fri, 10/11/19 WIDE

C Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron

D Conrad Vernon

NR · Ani

BAD TRIP

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Eric André, Lil Rel Howery

D Kitao Sakurai

NR · Com

BOND 25

Fri, 4/8/20 WIDE

C Daniel Craig

D Cary Joji Fukunaga

NR · Act/Thr

LEGALLY BLONDE 3

Fri, 5/8/20 WIDE

C Reese Witherspoon

NR ·Com

BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC

Fri, 8/21/20 WIDE

C Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter

NR · Com/Adv

UNIVERSAL

818-777-1000

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2

Fri, 6/7/19 WIDE

C Lake Bell, Hannibal Buress

D Chris Renaud

PG · Ani · 3D

YESTERDAY

Fri, 6/28/19 WIDE

C Lily James, Himesh Patel

D Danny Boyle

PG-13 · Com/Mus

FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS:

HOBBS & SHAW

Fri, 8/2/19 WIDE

C Dwayne Johnson,

Jason Statham

D David Leitch

NR · Act/Adv

GOOD BOYS

Fri, 8/16/19 WIDE

C Jacob Tremblay,

Keith L. Williams

D Gene Stupnitsky

R · Com

ABOMINABLE

Fri, 9/27/19 WIDE

C Chloe Bennet

D Jill Culton

NR · Ani · 3D

UNTITLED BLUMHOUSE

PRODUCTION

Fri, 9/27/19 WIDE

NR · Hor

THE HUNT

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

D Craig Zobel

NR · Act/Thr

JUNE 2019

141


BOOKING GUIDE

WARNER BROS.

THE GOOD LIAR

NOV. 11, 2019

IAN MCKELLEN AND HELEN MIRREN

LAST CHRISTMAS

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding

D Paul Feig

NR · Rom/Com

QUEEN & SLIM

Fri, 11/27/19 WIDE

NR · Dra/Rom

UNTITLED BLUMHOUSE

PRODUCTIONS

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

NR · Hor

CATS

Fri, 12/20/19 WIDE

D Tom Hooper

NR · Mus

1917

Fri, 12/25/19 WIDE

C George McKay,

Dean-Charles Chapman

D Sam Mendes

NR · Dra/War

UNTITLED BLUMHOUSE

PRODUCTIONS

Fri, 1/3/20 WIDE

NR · Hor

THE VOYAGE OF DOCTOR

DOLITTLE

Fri, 1/17/20 WIDE

C Robert Downey Jr.,

Ralph Fiennes

D Stephen Gaghan

NR · Com

THE TURNING

Fri, 1/24/20 WIDE

C Mackenzie Davis,

Finn Wolfhard

D Floria Sigismondi

NR · Thr

THE PHOTOGRAPH

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield

D Stella Meghie

NR · Rom

THE INVISIBLE MAN

Fri, 3/13/20 WIDE

C Elisabeth Moss, Storm Reid

NR · Hor

FAST & FURIOUS 9

Fri, 5/22/20 WIDE

NR · Act/Adv

TROLLS WORLD TOUR

Fri, 4/17/20 WIDE

C Anna Kendrick,

Justin Timberlake

D Walt Dohrn

NR · Ani

CANDYMAN

Fri, 6/12/20 WIDE

D Nia DaCosta

NR · Hor

UNTITLED JUDD APATOW/

PETE DAVIDSON COMEDY

Fri, 6/19/20 WIDE

D Judd Apatow

NR · Com

MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU

Fri, 7/3/20 WIDE

NR

UNTITLED NEXT PURGE

CHAPTER

Fri, 7/10/20 WIDE

NR · Hor

VERTICAL

ENTERTAINMENT

KATIE SAYS GOODBYE

Fri, 6/7/19 LTD

C Olivia Cooke, Mireille Enos

D Wayne Roberts

NR · Dra

AVENGERS OF JUSTICE:

FARCE WARS

Fri, 6/14/19 LTD

C Steve Rannazzisi, Amy Smart

D Jarret Tarnol

NR · Com

DAUGHTER OF THE WOLF

Fri, 6/14/19 LTD

C Gina Carano,

Richard Dreyfuss

D David Hackl

R · Act

BURN YOUR MAPS

Fri, 6/21/19 LTD

C Jacob Tremblay,

Vera Farmiga

D Jordan Roberts

PG-13 · Adv

LADIES IN BLACK

Fri, 6/21/19 LTD

C Julia Ormond, Angourie Rice

D Bruce Beresford

PG · Dra/Com

THE LAST WHISTLE

Fri, 6/28/19 LTD

C Brad Leland, Deanne Lauvin

D Rob Smat

PG · Spo/Dra

LYING AND STEALING

Fri, 7/12/19 LTD

C Theo James,

Emily Ratajkowski

D Matt Aselton

NR · Thr

WARNER BROS.

818-977-1850

SHAFT

Fri, 6/14/19 WIDE

C Samuel L. Jackson,

Jessie T. Usher

D Tim Story

R · Act

ANNABELLE COMES HOME

Wed, 6/26/19 WIDE

C McKenna Grace,

Madison Iseman

D Gary Dauberman

NR · Hor · IMAX

142 JUNE 2019


OUR SPONSORS

THE KITCHEN

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Melissa McCarthy,

Tiffany Haddish

D Andrea Berloff

NR · Cri/Thr

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

Fri, 8/14/19 WIDE

PG-13 · Bio/Com/Mus

IT CHAPTER TWO

Fri, 9/6/19 WIDE

C James McAvoy,

Jessica Chastain

D Andy Muschietti

NR · Hor · IMAX

CONJURING 3

Fri, 9/11/19 WIDE

NR · Hor

THE GOLDFINCH

Fri, 9/13/19 WIDE

C Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman

D John Crowley

R · Dra

JOKER

Fri, 10/4/19 WIDE

C Joaquin Phoenix

D Todd Phillips

NR · Act

UNTITLED BEN AFFLECK

MOVIE

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

NR

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

Fri, 11/1/19 WIDE

NR · Dra

DOCTOR SLEEP

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Ewan McGregor,

Rebecca Ferguson

D Mike Flanagan

NR · Hor

THE GOOD LIAR

Fri, 11/15/19 WIDE

C Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren

D Bill Condon

NR · Dra

SUPERINTELLIGENCE

Fri, 12/20/19 WIDE

C Melissa McCarthy,

Bobby Cannavale

D Ben Falcone

PG · Act/Com

JUST MERCY

Fri, 1/17/20 WIDE

C Brie Larson,

Michael B. Jordan

D Destin Daniel Cretton

PG-13 · Dra

BIRDS OF PREY

Fri, 2/7/20 WIDE

C Margot Robbie,

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

D Cathy Yan

NR · Act/Adv

GODZILLA VS KONG

Fri, 3/13/20 WIDE

NR · SF/Act

UNTITLED DC FILM

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

NR · Act/Adv/SF

SCOOBY-DOO ANIMATED

FEATURE

Fri, 5/15/20 WIDE

NR · Com

WONDER WOMAN 1984

Fri, 6/5/20 WIDE

C Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig

D Patty Jenkins

NR · Act/Adv/Fan · IMAX/3D

IN THE HEIGHTS

Fri, 6/26/20 WIDE

NR · Mus/Rom/Dra

TENET

Fri, 7/17/20 WIDE

D Christopher Nolan

NR

WELL GO USA

ENTERTAINMENT

CHASING THE DRAGON 2:

WILD WILD BUNCH

Fri, 6/7/19 LTD

C Tony Leung Ka Fai, Louis Koo

D Wong Jing, Jason Kwan

NR · Act/Cri/Thr

THE GANGSTER, THE COP,

THE DEVIL

Fri, 6/7/19 LTD

C Don Lee, Kim Moo Yul

D Lee Won Tae

NR · Act/Cri/Thr

Arts Alliance Media 3

Barco / Cinionic

101, Back Cover

Cardinal Sound 144

Christie

Inside Front

C. Cretors & Company 73

D-BOX 12–13

DigiCine 19

Dolphin Seating 117

Encore Performance Seating 22–23, 67

Enpar 135

GDC Technology 29

Geneva Convention 59

Golden Link 53

Harkness Screens 9, 11

Irwin Seating 25

LightSpeedDepth Q 144

LTI Lighting Technologies International 61

MediaMation 67

Mennel Milling 77

Mobiliario 81

MOC Insurance 5

QSC 1

Ready Theatre Systems 123

Retriever Software 79

Sensible Cinema 144

Sonic Equipment 17

Spotlight Cinema Networks 33

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 133

Telescopic Seating Systems

Inside Back Cover

Tivoli 21

VIP Cinema Seating

6–7, 71, 75, Cover Flap

Webedia Movies Pro 55, 63

Xperi 27

JUNE 2019

143


The Swedish

Connection

B-REEL FILMS LOOKS TO CROSS OVER

WITH MIDSOMMAR AND KUNG FURY 2

BY KEVIN LALLY

Hollywood’s affiliation with Sweden goes back to the silent era,

with directors like Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller and actresses

Anna Q. Nilsson and the inimitable Greta Garbo. The connection

continues today with such crossover successes as Stellan,

Alexander, and Bill Skarsgård, Max von Sydow, Rebecca Ferguson,

and Oscar winner Alicia Vikander.

FLORENCE PUGH AND JACK REYNOR

HEAD FOR THE CELEBRATION IN MIDSOMMAR

>> Working hard to keep that momentum

going is B-Reel Films, a 24-year-old

independent production company with

offices in Stockholm and Los Angeles.

B-Reel has its highest-profile project to

date with Midsommar, the eagerly anticipated

second feature from director Ari

Aster, who won acclaim with last year’s

terrifying supernatural thriller Hereditary.

Midsommar, which A24 releases on July

3 in North America, follows an American

couple (Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor)

who participate in a midsummer festival in

a remote Swedish village and find the rituals

there increasingly strange and sinister.

“It’s pretty wild and a lot of fun,”

says B-Reel head of production Philip

Westgren. “Hereditary just surprised

people, and they didn’t quite know what

to expect. I think this film takes that to

another level. A24 is doing a really great

job in the way they put their films out. I

think it’s smart that as of yet it’s all still

pretty mysterious, and hopefully we can

keep it like that for a while.”

Westgren explains the genesis of the

project: “I have a colleague, a fellow

producer at B-Reel named Patrik

Andersson, who had this concept of

doing a horror film that takes place in

this specific world which is very Swedish.

When he pitched that to me, I was

aware of Ari as a writer, and I’d been introduced

to him and I thought it could

be really interesting for him. Ari at the

time had come from AFI and had made

some short films, and we thought he

was really interesting and talented. And

when we sat down with him, he completely

jumped on it. He’s not the kind

of guy who goes out there looking for

assignments—that’s not really the way

he operates. Right from the outset, he

had a vision for it, and we saw it as our

duty to try to empower him as much as

possible and embrace his vision, which

we fell in love with right away. We were

able to immerse Ari into the world of

this Swedish midsummer and its pagan

history and cultural celebration. We

enabled him to do a lot of research and

then he completely made it his own. It’s

114 JUNE 2019


CLASSIC AD

MARCH 22, 1952 > FOUR-PAGE SPECIAL INSERT


CLASSIC COVER JULY 14, 1951

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