Boxoffice Pro - October 2019

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The Official Magazine of the National Association of Theatre Owners

$6.95 / OCTOBER 2019

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THEATRE OWNERS


DANIEL LORIA

>> September gave us reason to cheer at the box

office, with a handful of titles performing above

expectations and ushering in what is sure to be a

memorable fall and winter season at the movies.

While the monster box office success of Warner

Bros.’ It Chapter Two—opening at a strong $91

million—was no surprise, subsequent debuts

helped propel the month’s numbers to a higher

range than our analysts had originally expected. As

our chief analyst, Shawn Robbins, notes, strong

debuts for mid-range titles like STX’s Hustlers ($33

million), Focus Features’ Downton Abbey ($31

million), Disney-Fox’s Ad Astra ($19 million),

and Lionsgate’s Rambo: Last Blood ($18 million)

combined to promote content diversity at the box

office. It’s not all just car chases, dinosaurs, and

superheroes. Or at least it shouldn’t be if we expect

to cross the $12 billion mark domestically. September’s

figures are a good preview of what a successful

fall and winter could look like in the coming

months, as more original movies and award contenders

begin making the rounds in theaters.

Speaking of programming, six of these year-end

titles will be available to see at the latest edition

of ShowEast. Lionsgate’s Knives Out, Disney-Fox’s

Ford v Ferrari, Fox Searchlight’s Jojo Rabbit, Neon’s

Clemency, and surprise screenings from Paramount

and Warner Bros. are all part of the schedule in

Miami, which will once again host exhibitors from

the domestic and Latin American markets. You

can read our extensive coverage of the event in the

following pages, including interviews with several

of this year’s honorees.

We’ve also brought back our popular Ask the

Audience segment, in conjunction with our partners

at NCM, to find out which upcoming titles

are most anticipated by audiences—and to learn

about some of their unique moviegoing traditions.

For our staff here at Boxoffice Pro, the coming

months are our favorites on the release schedule,

representing our heaviest moviegoing period of the

year. We hope the same is true for the audiences

visiting your theaters.

Daniel Loria

SVP Content Strategy &

Editorial Director

Boxoffice Media

2 OCTOBER 2019


2019 VOL. 155 NO. 10

HELLO 2

TRADE TALK 10

MEMBERSHIP NEWS 20

CHARITY SPOTLIGHT 22

SHOWEAST

PREVIEW

CELEBRATING MOVIES

ShowEast in Miami Beach puts films first 36

A FORMIDABLE TRIO

ShowEast presents its 2019 Show 'E' Award

to three National Amusements veterans 40

EMPOWERED ELIZABETH

AMC's Elizabeth Frank receives ShowEast's

first-ever Empowerment Award 46

AL SHAPIRO DISTINQUISHED

SERVICE AWARD

Joe Masher, Chief Operating Officer

Bow Tie Cinemas 48

A PASSION FOR PHILANTHROPY

Warner Bros.' Scott Forman receives

ShowEast humanitarian award 52

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

ShowEast honors Participant's

David Linde with Bingham Ray Spirit Award 56

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR

OF THE YEAR

Monique Esclavissat

Warner Bros. International 58

Top Women in Global Exhibition 96

HOYTS GROUP

Stephanie Mills

CINÉPOLIS

Luisa Ramirez-Diaz

AMC THEATRES

Elizabeth Frank

BARDAN INTERNATIONAL

Vilma Benitez

UNIC CINEMA DAYS 60

ASK THE AUDIENCE 84

CINESHOW RECAP 90

TECHNOLOGY 94

SOCIAL MEDIA 102

ON SCREEN 106

EVENT CINEMA CALENDAR 118

BOOKING GUIDE 120

MARKETPLACE 128

Boxoffice Pro has served as the official publication of the National

Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) since 2007. As part of this

partnership, Boxoffice Pro is proud to feature exclusive columns from

NATO while retaining full editorial freedom throughout its pages. As

such, the views expressed in Boxoffice Pro, except for columns signed

by NATO executives, reflect neither a stance nor an endorsement from

the National Association of Theatre Owners.

INDIE FOCUS

Digital Gym Cinema

30

TIMECODE

The Editor Has His Say

34

4 OCTOBER 2019


FROZEN II

MIDWAY

Delivering

innovative

insurance products

for the cinema

exhibition industry

Frozen Forever

DISNEY'S MEGA-HIT RETURNS FOR

A SECOND SHOT AT SUCCESS

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GEMINI MAN

Skies Over the Pacific

ROLAND EMMERICH'S WWII

DRAMA DEBUTS

68

INSURANCE COVERAGE

C O M P A N I E S

P R I C E

HARRIET

Two Smiths Are

Better Than One

ANG LEE PITS WILL SMITH AGAINST

HIS YOUNGER SELF

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BLACK AND BLUE

Freedom Fighter

KASI LEMMONS'S BIOPIC BRINGS

HARRIET TUBMAN TO THE SCREEN

76

92

Slam Dunk

DEON TAYLOR BRINGS HIS SPORTS

REGIME TO HIS THRIVING CAREER

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OCTOBER 2019

5


EDITED BY LAURA SILVER

BOXOFFICE MEDIA

CEO

Julien Marcel

SVP CONTENT STRATEGY

Daniel Loria

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Kenneth James Bacon

VP ADVERTISING

Susan Uhrlass

SENIOR ADVISOR

Andrew Sunshine

WEBEDIA FORMS ‘THE BOXOFFICE COMPANY’

>> Webedia, the global media and technology network, has announced the

formation of The Boxoffice Company, creating the largest and most prominent

enterprise of its kind serving the publishing, technology, and data needs of the

global cinema industry.

The Boxoffice Company is an outgrowth of Webedia’s years-long aggregation

of market-leading movie related assets, including Webedia Movies Pro. Its platforms

account for 63.5 million unique visitors monthly in France (allocine.fr and

boxofficepro.fr), Germany (moviepilot.de and filmstarts.de), Brazil (adorocinema.

com.br), Spain (sensacine.com and espinof.com), Mexico (sensacine.com.mx),

Turkey (beyazperde.com), and the U.S. (boxofficepro.com).

Under Webedia Movies Pro branding, Webedia has also built a market-leading

position in digital B-to-B services for the cinema industry, with the acquisitions of

Cote Cine Group (France),

Boxoffice Media (USA), and

West World Media (USA)

in 2015. The company also

acquired Peach Digital (Scotland)

in 2017.

Webedia Movies Pro is

the world’s number one provider

of technology and data

with products in search and

discovery, as well as premier

ticketing solutions, business

intelligence, and digital

marketing tools. In 2018,

Webedia Media Pro generated

over half a billion dollars

in box office revenue by

powering thousands of ticketing platforms for exhibitors worldwide. As a result of

its collection of media, technology, and data, The Boxoffice Company is responsible

for over 90 percent of internet audience movie show times and listings.

“This epic corporate branding and consolidation of assets is rooted in a

100-year-old love story with Hollywood,” said Julien Marcel, CEO of The Boxoffice

Company. “The Boxoffice Company is dedicated to continuing to grow

global audiences across their consumer platforms and delivering the ultimate

global SaaS platform for the theatrical industry worldwide.”

The Boxoffice Company is headquartered in North Hollywood, California,

with offices and operations in Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Glasgow, Istanbul, Mexico

City, São Paulo, New York, and Ridgefield, Connecticut.

BOXOFFICE ® MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Daniel Loria

EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Kevin Lally

MANAGING EDITOR

Laura Silver

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Rebecca Pahle

CONTRIBUTORS

David Binet

Alex Edghill

Moises Esparza

Juan Lopez

Vassiliki Malouchou

Jesse Rifkin

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

63 Copps Hill Road

Ridgefield, CT USA 06877

susan@boxoffice.com

310-876-9090

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BOXOFFICE ® (ISSN 0006-8527), Volume 155, Number 10, October

2019. BOXOFFICE ® is published monthly by Box Office Media

LLC, 63 Copps Hill Road, Ridgefield, CT USA 06877, USA. corporate@boxoffice.com.

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registered trademark of Box Office Media LLC.

10 OCTOBER 2019


WOMEN IN EXHIBITION

EXPANDS ITS OUTREACH

AT SHOWEAST

>> Women in Exhibition (WIE), a

nonprofit organization created earlier

this year for working professionals in

cinema exhibition, will further expand its

outreach and presence during this year’s

ShowEast at the Fontainebleau Hotel, in

Miami, Florida, October 14–17.

WIE officially launched during

the 2019 Geneva Convention in Lake

Geneva, Wisconsin, where it presented

the “Women in Exhibition” panel session

during the conference. The panel included

founding member and president,

Heather Blair, who also spearheads the

foundation; Melissa Boudreau, chief marketing

officer, Emagine Entertainment;

Kim Lueck, V.P. technology and chief

information officer, The Marcus Corporation;

Darryl Schaffer, EVP, operations

and exhibitor relations, Screenvision; and

Gina DiSanto, NATO of Pennsylvania,

Independent Cinema Alliance. Rebecca

Pahle of Boxoffice Pro moderated.

As the foundation grows, the intention

is to help bridge global cinema

communities by identifying important

women’s initiatives and addressing them

through mentoring, education, and

support programs. By fostering platforms

for women entering exhibition for the

first time, or those who are transitioning

careers, WIE understands the constantly

changing worlds in exhibition and the

benefits of having valuable resources to

succeed. Career opportunities, education,

and guidance are key WIE objectives as it

continues to formulate its programs.

Outreach efforts by founding members

that began last spring when WIE was

first conceptualized have steadily grown

its membership to nearly 100 professionals.

During ShowEast, WIE will hold an

informal reception to encourage other

women to join and share their thoughts

and ideas for cinema’s future.

NEW ROLE FOR CRIPPS AT

WARNER BROS. PICTURES

>> Veteran film-distribution executive

Andrew Cripps has been named president,

international theatrical distribution,

at Warner Bros. Pictures. The announcement

was made by Ron Sanders, president,

worldwide distribution, Warner

Bros. Pictures, and president, Warner

Bros. Home Entertainment, to whom

Cripps will report.

In his new role, Cripps will be responsible

for overseeing all matters relating to

the international theatrical distribution

of the studio’s slate of motion pictures,

which includes releases from Warner

Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema.

He’ll also work closely with Sanders on

the development of theatrical growth

opportunities and additional revenue

streams for the division, as well as oversee

the team that manages sales and distribution

efforts across Warner Bros.’ network

of affiliates and licensees in more than

World’s finest screen technology.

Pioneers in presentation quality.

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OCTOBER 2019

11


TRADE TALK

125 territories worldwide.

Cripps has more than three decades’ experience

leading overseas theatrical distribution for a

number of major Hollywood studios, including

United International Pictures, Paramount, Imax,

and, most recently, Fox.

CJ 4DPLEX AND B&B TO LAUNCH

SCREENX AMPHITHEATER

>> CJ 4DPLEX, together with B&B Theatres,

launched the world’s first-ever ScreenX Amphitheater

in Overland Park, Kansas, inside B&B

Overland Park 16. The newly arranged auditorium,

which marks the second largest ScreenX theater

in the world, opened to Warner Bros. Pictures’ It

Chapter Two on September 6.

ScreenX Amphitheater will feature projectors

that line the ceilings of the auditorium, maximizing

the view of the main screen and wings by up to

50 degrees (22.5 on the left and 22.5 on the right)

and project onto B&B’s signature Grand Screen

(PLF). The ScreenX Amphitheater is equipped

with heated leather recliners and DTS:X speakers

embedded into the walls of the auditorium.

This marks the second ScreenX auditorium

with B&B Theatres. The first auditorium opened

last year at B&B Theatres Liberty 12. Today, it is

one of the top-performing ScreenX sites around

the globe, where the latest ScreenX release, Sony

Pictures’ Spider-Man: Far from Home, performed

2.45 times higher than standard screens in its

opening week.

HUAXIA FILM DEBUTS CINITY

CINEMA WITH GEMINI MAN

TRAILER

>> Huaxia Film Distribution Co. Ltd. held

a launch in Beijing to formally introduce

its Cinity Brand and the Cinity Cinema

System, an innovation in advanced-format

film projection.

The event, themed “New Heights Lead to Premium

Experience,” was graced by representatives from government

organizations, film industry associations, and companies

from the international

film world.

A trailer of Gemini

Man, the new film by

Oscar-winning director

Ang Lee (Life of Pi,

Brokeback Mountain),

provided a showcase

for the Cinity Cinema

System. “When filming

Gemini Man, we paid

close attention to every

small detail, trying to

create a real-life impact

with the help of technology.

With the revolutionary

Cinity Cinema

system, we could achieve

clearer and truer visual

effects with a perfect

presentation for 3-D at

120fps, and 4K resolution details,” said Lee,

who gave a video address to the audience at

the launch event.

Cinity is considered a trend for the

future development of the film industry

in China and around the world. “In the

future, Cinity will lead the film industry

into an unprecedented era of film-viewing.

I will work together with Huaxia Film to produce more advanced-format

movies to drive the long-term development of

the film industry worldwide,” said Lee.

12 OCTOBER 2019


TRADE TALK

MARQUEE CINEMAS RENOVATES ITS

CHARLESTON LOCATION

>> Beckley, West Virginia–based Marquee Cinemas

has begun renovations of its 12-screen theater

located in Charleston, West Virginia. The theater

will remain open during the remodel.

Upon completion, all auditoriums will feature

oversize luxury electric-powered recliners, including

roomy armrests with cup holders and an elevated

footrest. The highlight of the theater will be its two

large-format Marquee Extreme Cinemas (MXC)

auditoriums with 4K laser digital projection, new

floating screens, and Dolby Atmos sound.

Phase one will include studios 6–12, expected

to be completed in late September. All studios

will be equipped with new luxury seating, carpet,

lighting, and sound panels. Phase two will follow

with the completion of auditoriums 1–6 with a

warm, contemporary, city-chic color palette for

the lobby and common areas; new box office;

concession stand with a Coke Freestyle machine;

and completely remodeled restrooms. Expected to

be completed in December, phase two will include

digital displays, new wall coverings, carpet, and

interior paint. The exterior elevation will encompass

a blend of architectural design elements to

complement the building. Project completion is

scheduled for January 2020.

Additionally, the theater will be adding reserved

seating. Patrons may purchase their favorite seat

prior to the movie, either online, at the box office,

or at Marquee’s ticketing kiosk.

KINEPOLIS ACQUIRES MJR

>> European exhibition circuit Kinepolis announced its

entry into the U.S. market through an agreement to acquire

Michigan movie theater chain MJR Digital Cinemas.

The deal will bring MJR’s 10 locations and 164 screens

into the Kinepolis global network of theaters, which currently

includes 97 cinemas and 884 screens in Belgium, Canada,

the Netherlands, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland,

and Poland.

The acquisition is valued at $152.25 million and includes

a substantial corporation tax value of over $13 million. P.J.

Solomon is serving as financial adviser and Honigman LLP as

legal counsel to MJR Digital Cinemas.

Kinepolis first entered the North American market with

its acquisition of Landmark Cinemas, Canada’s second-largest

circuit, in 2017.

MJR is expected to continue operating under its existing

brand name and retain current management, which will be

integrated into the circuit at large by the European Kinepolis

team and the Canadian Landmark team.

14 OCTOBER 2019


TRADE TALK

LINDE OFFERED MULTIYEAR DEAL

WITH PARTICIPANT

>> Media company Participant has extended David

Linde’s contract as chief executive officer with a

multiyear deal.

Since joining Participant as CEO in late 2015,

Linde has spearheaded the company’s realignment

around its core content and social-impact imperatives

and further positioned the company as a forerunner

of impact media, the category that founder

Jeff Skoll first conceptualized and began shaping at

the company’s creation in 2004.

During his tenure, Linde has overseen a content

slate that has won 10 Oscars, including two Best

Picture awards (for Green Book and Spotlight) and

two Best Foreign-Language Film awards (Roma and

A Fantastic Woman); rebuilt Participant’s global distribution

structure across all platforms; restructured

its approach to social impact with the hiring of

chief impact officer Holly Gordon; and expanded

the company’s content approach to include episodic

television series and digital short-form video

through the acquisition of SoulPancake.

Last month at the Toronto International Film

Festival, the company also announced a major

rebrand that embodies Participant’s legacy of unifying

art and activism, creativity and impact.

“Since joining Participant, I’ve had the amazing

opportunity of working with some of the most inspiring

artists, thought-leaders, change-makers and

professionals in our—or any—industry, all unified

toward achieving a common goal: to create realworld

change through the power of storytelling,”

Linde said. “I’m incredibly grateful to Jeff’s passion

and commitment and to his continued trust in me

in helping carry out his vision of lasting impact.”

GOLD MEDAL DEBUTS POPPER TECHNOLOGY

>> Concessions equipment manufacturer Gold Medal Products

Co. announced the launch of two new developments in

popper technology: the Advanced Membrane

Control Panel and the Touch Screen

Control Panel, part of the PopClean Elite

Series of poppers.

The Advanced Membrane Control

Panel is engineered to be convenient,

sleek in design, and easy to operate. The

membrane panel contains easy-to-understand

icons and operating indicators. The

Advanced Membrane Control Panel comes

standard on any PopClean Elite Series

Popper. There will be no price change

from the previous pricing on the Pop-

Clean Elite Series Poppers.

The Touch Screen Control Panel has

been launched as an optional upgrade. Its

intuitive 7-inch touch screen display makes

it simple to train employees, program

recipes, reference videos, and access backof-house

data.

Adam Browning, president of Gold

Medal, said, “Venues like movie theaters,

stadiums, and other high-volume locations

rely on having the best popper performance.

Now, with the Advanced Membrane

Control Panel and Touch Screen

Control Panel, Gold Medal has raised the

bar. This is the type of technology that translates into key

advantages for our customers.”

16 OCTOBER 2019


TRADE TALK

AFIN TECHNOLOGIES

ACQUIRES COUPON COMPANY

ENTERTAINMENT

>> Troy, Michigan–based promotional

marketing company Entertainment has

been acquired by Afin Technologies. Entertainment

is the leading provider of local

and national discount promotions in the

U.S. and Canada. The deal means Afin

Technologies will take over operation of

the company, which connects businesses

to consumers with promotional offers via

physical coupons in its flagship Book, and

through its Entertainment mobile app.

As part of the deal, Afin will also take

on fresh investment from Deepbridge

Capital in the U.K. and investors in the

U.S. This will support the creation of 50

new jobs in Troy, Michigan, and 10 new

jobs in Stockport in the U.K. Entertainment

currently employs 77 people in

the U.S. Afin Technologies was founded

in Stockport, U.K.—initially under the

name SurveyMe.

The deal follows the U.S. launch of

Afin’s Buxbo, a couponing app aimed

at a young-adult audience, with a social

gaming approach in which users team up

to earn the best discounts.

KINO ARENA AND

MEDIAMATION TO OPEN

FOUR MX4D AUDITORIUMS IN

BULGARIA

>> Kino Arena and MediaMation Inc.

have signed an agreement to open four

MX4D immersive auditoriums in Bulgaria.

First up for an early fall opening is The

Mall of Sofia.

The imminent openings in Bulgaria

mark the 24th country for MediaMation’s

dedicated MX4D cinema auditoriums,

now expected to exceed 400 installs this

year worldwide.

Upcoming releases in MX4D include

the highly anticipated movies Terminator:

Dark Fate, Charlie’s Angels, Jumanji:

The Next Level, and Star Wars: The Rise of

Skywalker.

“MediaMation is proud to bring

MX4D to the Bulgarian market in the

beautiful Kino Arena theaters. They are

great partners and we look forward to

together presenting blockbusters in the

coming years in our unique, fun, and immersive

format,” said Howard Kiedaisch,

CEO of MediaMation.

“Kino Arena is constantly expanding

its horizons and strives to offer audiences

nothing less than the best cinemagoing

experience. The installation of MX4D

will allow us to continue delivering the

latest cinematic innovations to make sure

our customers have a better perception of

the film content.” said Dimitar Manchev,

CEO of Kino Arena.

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA JOINS THEATEREARS

>> TheaterEars, the app that empowers people to watch movies in the

movie theater in Spanish, welcomes its newest global ambassador and investor:

award-winning composer, lyricist, and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda

(co-star of Mary Poppins Returns, right). As part of this new relationship,

Miranda will create awareness among the Latinx and creative communities,

as well as provide his expertise to the fast-growing start-up.

“Shared family experiences are paramount in my household,” said

Miranda. “As a member of the Latinx diaspora, English is not the only

language spoken at home and in my family. Being able to go to see a

movie as a family, thanks to TheaterEars, has opened a whole new world of

entertainment for us to enjoy and discuss together regardless of ability to

understand English.”

To use the TheaterEars app, audiences can download the app and register

an account, preferably before arriving at the theater. After selecting

the movie, movie theater, and show time, the app will get the Spanish

audio track on your phone. Once at the theater, open up the app, connect

the earbuds, and press play once the movie begins. Within seconds,

moviegoers will hear the movie in their ears in Spanish in perfect sync

with the big screen.

“We are truly honored that someone of Lin-Manuel’s talent and intelligence

has recognized the value of our efforts,” said Dan Mangru, CEO

of TheaterEars. “We’ve seen what a powerful voice for good Lin-Manuel

can be, especially with all of the great work he has done for Puerto Rico

and the Hispanic community. We share a common mission: to empower

moviegoing audiences everywhere, regardless of language.”

18 OCTOBER 2019


MEMBERSHIP NEWS

BY DAVID BINET, DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP, NATO

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY

AND SOME HOME COOKIN’

NATO STAFF HITS THE ROAD TO VISIT

MEMBER LOCATIONS

disarming. So once we arrived and quickly savored

the indoor air-conditioning (keep in mind that it

was August in Alabama), Craig gave us the tour.

The cinema only boasts two regular auditoriums,

but they installed the latest technology in

both houses. In addition to the dual-motor recliners

and immersive audio, each seat has an iPad on

which to order food and drinks from the kitchen.

The pre-show includes a quick tutorial for how to

order, although the process seems intuitive. Outside

the auditoriums, a bar and sitting area greet

customers once they enter the doors. The building

also includes meeting rooms and kitchen facilities

for private events.

Following my visit, Craig was gracious enough

to share some background about the business:

DAVID BINET

NEXUS CINEMA DINING

MOBILE, ALABAMA

www.nexuscinemadining.com

Host: Craig R. Hall, Vice President & COO

Visit Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Movie: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Menu Selections: Fried oyster sliders, sea

salt & pepper fries, brownie à la mode,

soda water

>> On a recent road trip to my hometown, I had

the opportunity to visit a NATO member cinema

that only opened its doors in early 2018. I remember

meeting the executive team of the yet-to-benamed

Nexus Cinema Dining in Las Vegas for

CinemaCon 2017. They were eager to learn more

about the industry, and I was excited to meet a

new cinema operator from old Mobile. We agreed

that a visit to their facility on my next trip home

was in order. So after a 14-hour, two-day car ride

through the South, that promise was kept.

Nexus Cinema Dining sits in the western part

of Mobile, juuust inside the city line. Since Mobile

Bay forms the eastern border of the city, any

expansion has to go west. That is where many of

the newer developments are located. They stand in

contrast to the older architecture found closer to

the more historic downtown and midtown areas.

We met Craig Hall, vice president and COO

of Nexus Cinema Dining. You cannot miss him.

He has a big, bespectacled smile to go along with

a deep and affable Southern accent. It is pleasantly

What attracted you to the cinema industry and

how did you start?

We had a multimedia company that produced

science-education videos and science fiction

movies, so exhibition was something that always

intrigued us. We did approximately 18 months

of research (traveling the country looking at best

practices, theater design, and technology) and

decided that we could develop a product unique to

our area that would fill a need in our community.

What factors went into choosing the location of

the dine-in cinema facility?

This was an easy decision for us: we owned

the building and had the square footage to

renovate. While there are better locations for our

concept, our location was more than adequate to

start our venture.

How have the extra amenities (e.g., iPads,

double-motor recliners, immersive audio) been

received by your patrons?

We chose to stay at the top of the technology

curve. Our every-seat iPad ordering system has

been a major hit with our customers. The ability to

order throughout the movie, get served, and then

pay at your seat has brought a new level of convenience

and comfort to our customers. They love

the comfort of the dual-motor recliners that allow

them to eat and watch comfortably. Lastly, we

constantly get praised for the quality of the picture

from our 4K laser projectors, and most amazing to

our guests is the Dolby Atmos sound system. We

20 OCTOBER 2019


chose to utilize a minimum of 50 speakers in our

theaters and had Dolby engineers tune the room.

That truly does immerse you in the movie experience.

No more asking, “What did he say?” or being

blown out by too loud of a setting. The statement

we hear the most is, “I’m spoiled, and I will never

go to another movie theater.”

What is your biggest challenge with the cinema?

(Does anything keep you up at night?)

Everything! Paramount to us is maintaining

a superior customer experience. I cannot control

whether they will like the movie, but I can create

an experience that will build value and satisfaction

to the customer. I grew up in a time when going

to the movies was an event, an experience; you remembered

it even when you did not remember the

movie. That is what we are delivering, and I believe

it is the future of exhibition.

What is your favorite movie, and what concessions/food

would you have while watching it?

Field of Dreams. I lost my dad many years ago,

and I know he can’t come back, but I look forward

to playing a game of catch with him when

we meet again.

There’s nothing better than hot buttery popcorn

and a cold Diet Coke!

OCTOBER 2019

21


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TEXAN OF THE YEAR

by Rebecca Pahle

>> At this year’s CinéShow, held August 26–28

in Dallas, Texas, The Coca-Cola Company’s Krista

Schulte, senior vice president, strategic partnership

marketing, was named 2019’s Texan of the Year by

Variety of Texas. With the Texan of the Year Gala

in the rearview mirror, Schulte took the time to

speak with Boxoffice Pro about The Coca-Cola

Company’s work with the charitable organization.

Congratulations on being named Variety’s

Texan of the Year. How was the event?

It was fabulous. A very well-run organization.

in bags, like it came

from Santa, and we

customize it to their

names, et cetera, so

that it’s a very personalized

thing. And then

Variety delivers those

to the children for us.

That sounds so

lovely.

It’s beautiful. It really

is. It’s heartwarming,

because some of the

things they ask for are

so simple, and we all

take them for granted.

Like a football.

Are you from Texas originally?

Technically, I was born in Chicago. But I

consider myself a Texas girl, because I grew up in

South Texas from the third grade on. I call that

my home.

Could you talk a bit about the work Coca-Cola

does with Variety?

Coca-Cola has been involved with Variety for

multiple decades. I’m not exactly sure how far back

it goes, but for a very long time. From a Coca-Cola

perspective, we have people participate on boards.

For example, I myself was on the Variety board

here in Georgia, and we have others around the

country. We support them in multiple ways.

Helping them raise money is probably the primary

way, because that’s how we can add the most value.

We provide things like sponsorship dollars. We also

provide access to trips and experiences and prizes

that people can bid on in auctions, to help them

raise money. In this case, at the Texas Variety event,

we provided a trip that was bid on for the actual

family that was being honored during the event.

Also, some specific things that we do here in

Atlanta is, for my division, we’ve picked the Variety

Children’s Charity of Georgia chapter to be our

charity of focus. And for over a decade we have

been working with Variety to get a wish list from

a group of children. We go shopping for those

gifts and we have a wrapping party. And it’s one

of the highlights of our year. We put all the gifts

Part of your role

with Coca-Cola is

working with partner

companies. Does

that help you to

contribute to Coca-

Cola’s charity efforts?

Absolutely. With many of our partnerships, we

get access to tickets. It could be airline tickets, it

could be hotel stays, it could be experiences at a

theme park. Or custom, unique experiences, like

a VIP trip. There are two ways we leverage these

tickets. One of the primary ways is, of course,

charitable giving. It’s a perfect way to help the

charities—and also help our partners raise money

for other such things on a charitable basis. And

we also use the tickets for consumer promotions

as well.

And do you work with theater chains with

some of these charity partnerships?

A lot of times we do [form] tri-alliances, or

three-way partnerships. You’ll see that happen very

often. For example, a certain cinema partner or

circuit will come up with an idea with us, and we’ll

partner, for example, with [the theater circuit and

a] regional theme park partner for a special experience.

Or there could be a movie connection tied to

the actual theme park. So we do that all the time.

We use them as prizes within the promotions,

inside the theater.

KRISTA SCHULTE

22 OCTOBER 2019


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

DESPICABLE ME

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS

TROLLS

Kids got out of

the summer heat

to see Despicable Me,

The Secret Life of Pets,

Trolls, and more at

the Malco Kids Film

Fest.

MALCO KIDS RAISES MONEY FOR

LOCAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS

>> Malco Theatres is pleased to announce that the 2019 Kids

Summer Film Fest generated $45,000 for local children’s hospitals.

The annual festival offered reduced-admission family-favorite

films on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer at

multiple locations in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky,

Missouri, and Louisiana.

Beneficiaries included Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

(Memphis, Tenn.), Arkansas Children’s Hospital (Little Rock),

Blair Batson Children’s Hospital (Jackson, Miss.), Norton

Children’s Hospital (Louisville, Ky.), Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s

Hospital at Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.), and Children’s

Hospital of New Orleans.

B&B TEAMS WITH

VARIETY FOR NEW

INCLUSIVITY MEASURE

>> Following a recent company-wide

meeting, B&B

Theatres was inspired to

launch a nationwide inclusion

initiative in an attempt

to make moviegoing a fun

family event every day—for

every single person.

B&B Theatres—which

has engaged in charity work

through partnerships with

Variety – the Children’s

As part of B&B Theatres’ new inclusion

initiative, Variety KC provides backpacks

with sensory aids that can be checked out

at the box office. Launched in Kansas City,

the initiative is expected to expand to other

B&B markets

Charity for many

years—held meetings to answer the question: “How can

we make it possible for more moviegoers to be comfortable

and enjoy the movies, not just during sensory-friendly

show times, but at all times?” Variety – the Children’s

Charity of Kansas City, aka Variety KC, had some ideas.

B&B Theatres’ initiative starts with staff training and an

emphasis on inclusion. Knowledge will empower B&B team

members to compassionately handle a potential disrupting event.

In addition, Variety KC provides backpacks with sensory

aids that can be checked out at the box office for free while at

the movies. These backpacks include weighted blankets and

noise-canceling headsets, among other items.

“One out of every four families has a member with some

sort of disability,” explains Deborah Wiebrecht, the executive

director of Variety KC. “What B&B Theatres is doing is serving

the entire population, when[ever] the family chooses to go to

the movies—not [only] when a special night is made available.

That is truly inclusion!” Adds Variety executive director Erica

Lopez: “This progressive initiative from B&B Theatres goes hand

in hand with Variety’s work to make inclusion a part of our daily

lives. We are thrilled to partner with them to ensure that all

guests have the best cinema experience possible.”

B&B Theatres will promote this initiative in an attempt to

lead the industry with inclusive efforts. This promotion will also

improve awareness among theater patrons, who in turn may

be more understanding. This initiative will be launched in the

Kansas City area before expanding to other markets that B&B

Theatres serves.

“The moviegoing experience should be one of joy, magic,

and entertainment, and we want to do all that we reasonably

can to permit our guests to enjoy the magic of the movies in an

atmosphere of comfort and security. These sensory kits will go

a long way toward making that ambition a reality for many of

our families and guests,” says Paul Farnsworth, director of public

relations for B&B Theatres.

24 OCTOBER 2019


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

VARIETY HONORS JACK

KLINE OF CHRISTIE

>> Variety – the Children’s Charity of

Northern California has honored digital

cinema pioneer Jack Kline—former

chairman, president, and CEO (and

currently executive adviser to the CEO)

at Christie—for his community outreach

and charitable activities. With a history

of involvement with numerous charities,

Kline was celebrated at the Variety Gold

Heart Classic golf tournament on September

20, 2019, in San Rafael,

California.

Ayesha Williamson,

executive director at Variety

Northern California, commented,

“Alongside his many

business achievements, Jack has

always managed to volunteer a

generous amount of his time to

charity for many organizations, including

Variety. Our patrons are extremely grateful

for his dedication.”

PHOTO: CHRISTIE

Kazuhisa Kamiyama,

chairman and CEO at Christie,

added, “Jack’s exceptional

qualities as a leader have set

a performance standard at all

levels of our company. The positive

example he set in business

extends to his endeavors outside

of work, including his involvement

with a wide variety of charities. This

public acknowledgment of his public

service effort is richly deserved.”

STUDIO MOVIE GRILL FURTHER

EXPANDS ITS MOVIES + MEALS

PROGRAM WITH SCREENINGS OF

ABOMINABLE

>> In keeping with its mission to open hearts and minds one story

at a time, SMG launched SMG Access nationwide last summer, the

only movie theater loyalty program focused on helping underserved

children and community members. Through their purchases, SMG

guests are able to assist SMG outreach in offering movies and meals

to local nonprofits and underserved community members. Since

the program’s inception, multiple studios have joined the movement,

offering screenings and giving SMG the opportunity to give

back more than 14,000 Movies + Meals in the program’s first year.

“SMG is thrilled and enormously grateful to announce that

Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, and Pearl Studio

have joined us in offering special screenings of Abominable in

support of our Movies + Meals program. The film has a wonderful

message about helping others and the importance of family. We

are so thrilled to be able to bring the film to underserved children

in our local communities,” said Lynne McQuaker, SMG’s senior

SMG Access helps underserved children with its Movies + Meals program, featuring

special screenings of Universal’s Abominable.

director of P.R. and outreach.

Said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic theatrical distribution:

“We are delighted to support SMG’s efforts by offering

screenings of Abominable to local nonprofits providing services

to underserved children in their communities and to join SMG

guests in supporting purposeful outreach and a loyalty program

designed to give back to local community members through Movies

+ Meals. Abominable celebrates friendships and the importance

of family, and we can’t think of a better partner to help spread that

message of kindness and empowerment than SMG.”

UNIVERSAL EXECUTIVE

JOHN C. HALL HONORED

BY STEP FOR HIS

CHARITABLE WORK

>> John C. Hall, executive vice president,

distribution and marketing, at Universal

Pictures, was recognized by STEP

(Success through Education Program)

during their 20th-anniversary An Affair

to Remember gala.

Hall’s unwavering support of organizations

like STEP made him the perfect

candidate for this award. Rocky Peter,

a former “American Idol” contestant,

serenaded the crowd before the evening

culminated in a major donation

from Variety of Southern California.

STEP has raised over

$1 million to provide inner city

students the opportunity to

receive a quality education.

Hall started in the business

over 20 years ago and has made

philanthropy a central part of

his life’s work. His tenure has seen him

working on the marketing and distribution

campaigns for over 350 theatrical

releases, including major franchise titles,

Oscar winners, and dozens of blockbusters.

His altruistic side motivates him

to serve on multiple charity

boards and as a jury member at

many renowned international

film festivals.

This spirit of altruism is

also what drove Hall to both

write the book Your Hollywood

Pro: How To Make It in the

Movie Business without Selling

Out and co-found the nonprofit organization

yourhollywoodpro.com, a unique

mentorship portal that brings aspiring

filmmakers together with seasoned entertainment

industry veterans for one-onone

advice.

26 OCTOBER 2019


SOMETHING

FOR EVERYONE

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY

30 TH ANNIVERSARY

GHOSTBUSTERS

35 TH ANNIVERSARY

© 2019 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

JAY AND

SILENT BOB

REBOOT

BOLSHOI BALLET

THE NUTCRACKER

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST

SPIRITED AWAY

© 2019 Saban Films LLC

INXS

LIVE BABY LIVE

© 2001 Studio Ghibli - NDDTM

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

IN CINEMA

FATHOMEVENTS.COM


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

PHOTO : ERIC CHARBONNEAU

Michaela, aka Dazzling

Wonder Girl, was treated

by Lollipop Theater Network

to the premiere of

The Angry Birds Movie 2.

(See our coverage of Lollipop’s

Annual Superhero

Walk in the June issue.)

While it was Jojo Siwa

(pictured) who caused

Michaela to jump up and

down with joy, Michaela

was also thrilled to

meet many other stars,

including Josh Gad, Rachel

Bloom, Viola Davis,

Dove Cameron, Eugenio

Derbez (Mom’s favorite!),

Genesis Tennon, and

Alessandra Rosaldo. The

smile on Michaela’s face

brought her mom to

tears.

Working with the Lionsgate team and longtime supporter

Gerard Butler (center), Lollipop Theater Network treated

two families from UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital to

the Los Angeles premiere of Angel Has Fallen on August

20. After watching the stars arrive on the red carpet,

the families got a big surprise as the film’s star walked

over to greet them. At the after-party, as Butler’s special

guests, they were able to discuss the film with the star

and meet other cast members.

PHOTO : ERIC CHARBONNEAU

UPCOMING EVENTS

VARIETY – THE CHILDREN’S

CHARITY OF ST. LOUIS

Variety Theatre Presents

Disney’s Mary Poppins

October 18–27 / St. Louis, MO

>> Variety Theatre’s 2019 production,

Disney’s Mary Poppins, will bring this

timeless story of magic and wonder to life

like never before. Prepare to be inspired

by the show’s talented children’s ensemble,

comprising kids and teens of all abilities,

as well as a professional cast and live

orchestra. Dazzling sets, colorful costumes,

memorable songs, and a classic story will

combine to fill Touhill Performing Arts

Center’s stage—and your heart—with joy.

For tickets and show times, visit: www.

touhill.org/events/detail/mary-poppins

VARIETY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

28th Annual Golf Classic

October 24 / Moorpark, CA

>> Variety Southern California is

hosting its 48th Annual Golf Classic on

Thursday, October 24, at the beautiful

Moorpark Golf Club in Moorpark,

California. This year’s honorary golf chair

is Mike Viane of STX Entertainment.

This year, Variety anticipates yet another

sellout exciting day with all proceeds

benefiting children with special needs in

Southern California. For more information,

or to register, call Variety Southern

California at (323) 655-1547.

VARIETY DETROIT

MaxMara Iconic Evening

October 24 / Troy, MI

>> On Thursday, October 24, the Max-

Mara collection at Somerset Mall in Troy,

Michigan, will support Variety Detroit.

The evening will showcase their fall and

winter line of clothes, with a portion of

the proceeds from the evening going to

support Variety. Please visit variety-detroit.com

for more details.

VARIETY NEW YORK

Cocktail Party & Special Advance

Screening

November 6 / New York, NY

>> Enjoy two hours of unlimited beer

and wine, food, and an opportunity to

chat before a special free advance screening

of a major studio film at Manhattan’s

Cinépolis Chelsea theater. Proceeds help

children with special needs in New York

City, Long Island, Connecticut, and parts

of New Jersey. Tickets are available at

www.varietyny.org/event.

VARIETY DETROIT

Variety Night Screening of A Beautiful

Day in the Neighborhood

November 21 / Bloomfield, MI

>> On Thursday, November 21, Variety

Night at The Maple in Bloomfield,

Michigan, will hold an advance screening

of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

to benefit Variety Detroit. Tickets can be

purchased at themapletheater.com.

Tom Hanks dons Fred Rogers’s famous cardigan in

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

28 OCTOBER 2019


INDIE FOCUS

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

SCREENS: 1

CAPACITY: 46 seats

DIGITAL GYM CINEMA

SAN DIEGO, CA

CONTRIBUTORS

MOISES ESPARZA, PROGRAMMING MANAGER

JUAN LOPEZ, CINEMA MANAGER

HISTORY

Digital Gym Cinema is part of Media Arts

Center San Diego, a nonprofit organization that

started 27 years ago with the San Diego Latino

Film Festival, a yearly 11-day celebration of Latinx

film, music, and art. Over the years, youth and

teen film education programs were created. The

organization moved to its current location in 2010,

which used to be an auto-body shop. Over time

the cinema concept was developed to cater to art

house cinema, as the closest option at that time for

those types of films was Landmark Theatres. The

cinema opened in April 2013, and its current management

team joined the organization in summer

2013, initially as interns. Over the years their roles

developed to include programming and cinema

management.

COMMUNITY

Our audience is composed of film lovers. As an

30 OCTOBER 2019


INDIE FOCUS

film. We also host limited

one-time screenings

of theater productions

or concerts such as the

most recent sold-out

screening of Iris: A

Space Opera by Justice, a

concert film of the electronic

music duo Justice,

distributed by CineLife

Entertainment.

I’M A LONER, DOTTIE.

A REBEL.

Outdoor summer

screening featuring the

cult hit Pee-wee’s Big

Adventure

art house cinema, we play films that are not

typically part of a typical cinema’s slate, so

people come to us for niche titles and films

you can’t find anywhere else in the city.

Our education programs attract students

as young as 6 years old all the way to high

school seniors. We teach the basics of filmmaking

such as framing a shot, storyboarding,

editing, and more!

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Our best seller is popcorn. After all,

what’s a trip to the movies without popcorn?

Apart from that, we don’t have a

fountain soda machine—all our drinks are bottled.

We don’t sell alcohol, but we carry a variety of craft

sodas and snacks.

PROGRAMMING

Our films are typically not played anywhere else

in the city, so we’re bringing really independent

and limited-run films that are amazing but don’t

always have as wide a distribution. We also partner

with groups such as the Film Geeks San Diego,

which organize yearly film series. This year they’re

hosting Films of Pre-Code Hollywood or German

Currents, the German Film Festival in San Diego,

which organizes a monthly screening of a German

GRASSROOTS

MARKETING

All of our marketing

is essentially grassroots

marketing. Since our

films don’t have millions

of dollars in marketing

behind them, it forces

us to be creative in

getting the word out.

For example, thanks to

the Science on Screen

grant provided to us

by the Alfred P. Sloan

Foundation, we were

able to bring in speakers

to films with a science

component to come

and talk about the science

behind the films,

including molecular

biology or the science

behind zombification.

Apart from that, we also

reach out directly to

organizations when a film’s topic matter might appeal

to it. These are some of the things that set our

marketing apart from other cinemas in the area.

CINEMA ADVERTISING

On-screen advertising has been a great source

of additional income at our theater. We’ve partnered

with Spotlight Cinema Networks for about

five years now, and our relationship with them has

been great. I would highly recommend Spotlight

to other art houses. They’ve been very attentive to

our needs, and they make you feel like you’re their

only client, even though they obviously manage a

variety of other cinemas.

32 OCTOBER 2019


TIMECODE

BY KENNETH JAMES BACON

THE EDITOR

HAS HIS SAY

BOXOFFICE FOUNDER BEN

SHLYEN WROTE NEARLY

3,000 EDITORIALS OVER

A 55-YEAR CAREER. HERE

ARE THREE.

PART 10 OF OUR 12-PART DEEP

DIVE INTO THE BOXOFFICE

ARCHIVES

>> As has been documented before,

Kansas City–born Ben Shlyen founded

this publication in 1920 when he was just

18 years old—not even old enough to

drink, though it became illegal to drink a

week after he started this magazine (much

to the delight of the Civella crime family).

Sadly, we don’t have our very earliest

issues, then called The Reel Journal; our

archives begin in 1925. Here is a sampling

of the precocious 23-year-old’s punchy

prose from the January 24, 1925, issue:

We don’t make it a habit to reviewing

pictures, but when we see a fine one—

one of real merit—we feel like getting up

and shouting.

At the Newman Theatre this week we

saw such a picture—Broken Law. And what

a picture!

It will rank without doubt among the

biggest pictures released during 1925

and should register at the box office with

greater success than did Human Wreckage,

Mrs. Reid’s big hit of last year. [Dorothy

Davenport was quaintly credited as Mrs.

Wallace Reid.]

ln Broken Laws, which is an F.B.O. production,

there is much to commend. First,

a story of strong human appeal; second, a

cast of superb players: third, perfect continuity;

fourth, intense interest and punch

scenes that pack mighty big wallops; and

many other elements that are so essential

to a successful production.

The story is so humanly simple, so naturally

true to everyday life, that one cannot

help but become wrapped up in it. The incidents

that occur are nicely woven into the

plot. The audience shrieked at the comedy

situations and was held spellbound and

quiet as the proverbial church mouse when

the action reached its high points. … Broken

Law is a masterpiece! Not an epic, not a

history-making picture—but as nearly a

perfect picture as one can hope for—a genuine

box office attraction that will hit high

money marks everywhere. [You can see an

ad for this film in the back of this issue.]

During the 1940s, Shlyen often

addressed the war in Europe. Boxoffice

was a big promoter of the war effort, and

the somber covers did not feature any

photography. The cover featured here

(right) is from May 12, 1945, published

just four days after Germany’s surrender.

It was the first cover photograph since

1938. Here is Shlyen’s editorial:

Tuesday night the great white Statue of

Liberty shone in a flood of light and its torch

blazoned forth for the first time since Pearl

Harbor. The dome of the Capitol in Washington

again was floodlighted. Broadway,

once more, was the Great White Way. And

Main Streets the country over glistened in

all their glory. In London, in Paris, in Moscow

and throughout the liberated capitals

of Europe, public buildings, thoroughfares

and homes emerged from the darkness

into light. For them it had been dark much

longer than for their fellowmen in America.

In America the lights in themselves

gave off a sort of silent jubilation. For,

while there was happiness that people

felt within, it did not give way to external

expression. The grim reality was plain:

While, today, the lights are on on one side

of the world, on the other side there still is

darkness that must be lifted.

There is realization of the high price in

human life that was paid for the victory

over a ruthless foe in Europe. There is realization

that there lies ahead a Pacific war

with its desperate conflicts. We must win

that war as definitely and as finally as we

have won in Europe, so the world may be

free of threats to its peace for generations

to come.

All Americans thank God for the triumph

of justice and for the fine young men

and women in our armed forces whose immeasurable

courage and amazing fortitude

have made the European victory possible.

To all those who have offered their

lives and their services that liberty might

triumph, we shall forever be indebted.

No mere words can repay or replace. No

amount of praise can be adequate. But we

can all make a small payment on our great

debt by pledging continued support and

loyalty to their interests—in the buying and

selling of more war bonds and in doing

the necessary double duty to maintain our

home industries for future well-being.

We have gone two thirds of the distance

to the goal of world peace. We are now on

the homestretch. A rough, hard road lies

ahead. But we can make it by continuing

the team work through which the motion

picture industry helped to achieve so

much on the home front; in so thoroughly

backing up the efforts of our fighting forces

on the battle fronts. Let’s fight on with

supreme confidence and keep on working

together to hasten the day of an early and

final triumph. A day when the light of liberty

will shine again—all over the world.

34 OCTOBER 2019


One of Shylen’s last bylines appeared

over 55 years after his first, in the October

9, 1978, issue (he sold the magazine a few

months later). The topic—the lack of films

for children—is notable in that it appeared

in an issue that featured a porn movie on

its cover.

Kiddies matinees appear to have been

almost totally abandoned during the past

15 years in most areas, except, perhaps, for

a few sponsored series during the school

vacation months. It is realized that the

additional supervision required for such

showings hasn’t always appeared to be

worth the effort involved; there have been

instances of damage to theatre properties

by unruly juveniles, and a few managers

have complained that they did not care to

work as “baby-sitters.”

The possibilities for organizing children’s

programs are almost endless, and

there are numerous tie-ins to enhance the

attractiveness of the entertainment package

and to defray the cost. Area personalities

whose names are a tremendous drawing

card usually are delighted to cooperate with

personal appearances. Business firms find

such involvements profitable, both from the

monetary and from the goodwill standpoint.

Don’t forget the local library system.

During the past couple of years, the

media have had a field day with the “Why

Johnny Can’t Read” problem which has

beset our nation. Interestingly enough, 40

years ago a metropolitan newspaper was

quoted on this page as saying: “Since the

motion picture took to the literary classics,

children, and adults as well have been beating

a path from the movies to the libraries ...

This new development in juvenile education

is impressing educators everywhere.”

Obviously, what Johnny has lacked

since TV became his sitter and mentor is

genuine motivation! There has been no

need to read. The adventures of cartoon

creatures who are crushed by falling

boulders and then leap over tall buildings

a few seconds later do not, in all honestly,

relate very well to any aspect of the reality

that surrounds us.

Of course, Johnny may not find the classics

to his liking. However, with the current

boom in book publishing, anyone undoubtedly

could find a paperback somewhere

which tells in depth the story of almost any

film that is shown on the screen.

Producers, too, might give serious

thought, despite today’s inflated costs, to

resuming the practice of making features

designed expressly for the young set. We

can recall the time, even back in the silent

era, when substantial losses were incurred

deliberately because of the awareness that

these films would attract new audiences to

theatres. Films of this genre even could be

designed for the sole purpose of reinstating

a long-lost theatrical institution: the

family night.

Today’s small losses can be the future’s

huge profits. The building of theatre

attendance by youngsters is building for this

industry’s tomorrow. If it only cultivates the

habit of regular weekly attendance, which

can be nurtured through adolescence and

into adulthood, it will have proven well

worthwhile.

OCTOBER 2019

35


CELEBRATING MOVIES

ShowEast in Miami Beach Puts Films First

BY KEVIN LALLY

THE CAST OF RIAN JOHNSON’S WHODUNIT, KNIVES OUT

Celebrating its 33rd year, ShowEast is the industry convention where the movies are front and center.

The annual confab takes place at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, October 14–17, in the early weeks

of award season, making it a prime showcase for some of the year’s most anticipated films.

>> At press time, ShowEast announced four movie

screenings: Fox and Walt Disney Studios’ race car competition

drama Ford v Ferrari, starring Matt Damon and

Christian Bale; Fox Searchlight’s World War II satire Jojo

Rabbit, directed by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok); Lionsgate’s

comedic murder mystery Knives Out, starring Daniel

Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon,

Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Don Johnson, LaKeith

Stanfield, and Ana de Armas; and Neon’s Sundance Grand

Jury Prize–winning prison drama Clemency, starring Alfre

Woodard. In addition, Paramount Pictures and Warner

Bros. will be unveiling “surprise” movies.

The show will also offer two sessions of coming

attractions, with distributors large and small providing

sneak peeks at their upcoming product. The first follows

the keynote address on Monday afternoon by Cineplex

president/CEO and NATO chairman Ellis Jacob, with

presentations by Sony Pictures Releasing, Entertainment

Studios Motion Pictures, Neon, STX Entertainment, Fathom

Events, 101 Studios, and Trafalgar Releasing. Part two

happens on Tuesday morning, with previews from Focus

Features, Lionsgate, United Artists Releasing, Universal

Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, and Aviron Pictures.

(continued on page 38)

36 OCTOBER 2019


SHOWEAST 2019

FORD V FERRARI

JOJO RABBIT

This year, ShowEast places a special focus on

women in cinema, as The Coca-Cola Company

presents the first annual ShowEast Empowerment

Award to Elizabeth Frank, executive V.P., worldwide

programming, and chief content officer at

AMC Theatres. “The motion picture industry continues

to thrive because executives like Elizabeth

Frank have empowered others and approached the

marketplace inclusively,” said Andrew Sunshine,

president of Film Expo Group, which manages

ShowEast. “With help from our friends at Coca-Cola,

ShowEast has created the Empowerment

Award to recognize industry champions of inclusion

and diversity.” Frank will be part of a women’s

leadership panel on Wednesday morning, October

16, joined by Pat Gonzalez of Paramount Pictures,

Darryl Schaffer of Screenvision, Anne Fitzgerald

of Cineplex, Megan Colligan of Imax Corp., and

Loren Nielsen of Xperi/DTS.

Now that overseas grosses are such a huge part

of any movie’s success story, the opening-day

international program has become an essential part

of the ShowEast schedule. Phil Clapp, CEO of the

U.K. Cinema Association, will deliver the Monday

morning keynote address analyzing the global

cinema business, followed by distribution and

marketing presentations from Paramount Pictures

International, Sony Pictures Releasing International,

and Warner Bros. Pictures International.

The International Awards Luncheon this year

honors Cinemark’s Alfredo Pourailly, Warner

Bros. Pictures International’s Monique Esclavissat,

United International Pictures’ Michael

Murphy, and Disney’s Avengers: Endgame with

Comscore’s Latin American Box Office Achievement

Award.

Then, a trio of business sessions commences

at 4 p.m. Monday. Laura Houlgatte, CEO of the

International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), leads

a discussion on the progress made by the Global

Cinema Federation since this new alliance of the

world’s leading cinema operators was formed in

summer 2017. Panelists include Eduardo Acuna of

Cinépolis, Valmir Fernandes of Cinemark International,

and Jackie Brenneman of NATO.

Boxoffice Pro’s own Daniel Loria then

moderates a panel on digital ticketing and engaging

audiences online, featuring Mark Malinowski

of National Amusements, Larry Etter of Malco

Theatres, Kevin Shepela of Fandango, Max Lynn

of Atom Tickets, and Steve Ochs of NCM. The

final session, moderated by Cinionic CEO Wim

Buyens, will seek to “demystify high frame rate

and laser.” Panelists will include GDC Technology

chairman and CEO Man-Nang Chong, Domien

De Witte of Cinionic, and Brian Claypool of

Christie Digital Systems.

Other ShowEast highlights include the opening-night

exhibitor relations soiree, a chance for

distributors to network with exhibitors; the annual

Hall of Fame induction ceremony saluting veteran

executives; and the two-day trade show, Expo 2019.

The show culminates with the closing-night

awards ceremony. This year’s honorees are Mark

Walukevich, Bill LeClair, and Duncan Short of

National Amusements; Scott Forman of Warner

Bros. Pictures; Joe Masher of Bow Tie Cinemas;

David Linde of Participant Media; and Michael

Rosenberg of Promotion in Motion, winner of

the first NAC ShowEast Legacy Award.

38 OCTOBER 2019


SHOWEAST 2019

MARK WALUKEVICH

A

FORMIDABLE

TRIO

ShowEast Presents Its 2019

Show ‘E’ Award to Three

National Amusements Veterans

by Daniel Loria and Kevin Lally

>> The Dan Fellman Show “E”

Award, ShowEast’s highest honor,

this year goes not to an individual

but to a trio of executives with a

combined 113 years’ experience

at National Amusements, North

America’s 10th-largest theater

circuit. Mark Walukevich, senior

V.P. of film and event cinema

worldwide; Duncan Short,

senior V.P. of operations; and Bill

LeClair, senior V.P. of food and

beverage, will accept the prize

during ShowEast’s closing-night

award ceremony on October 17.

“I started at National Amusements

in 1980 as an advertising

trainee,” Walukevich recalls.

“The advertising department was

a chaotic and demanding environment.

Back in the ’80s, all of the advertising

and show times were compiled manually, a job

that was heavy on detail, timeliness, and accuracy.

My longevity in the role was directly tied to not

making a mistake. No detail was too insignificant

to escape the eye of Sumner [circuit head Sumner

Redstone], and if there was an error, you would

hear about it.”

Walukevich continues, “The transition from

advertising to film booking was part of the

overall plan, as both departments needed a liaison

to communicate with each cinema regarding

bookings and upcoming films. I was fortunate

to have the opportunity to book our cinemas in

Dayton, Washington, D.C., and Quad Cities,

becoming part of the Monday morning booking

team alongside George Levitt, Carl Reardon,

and Sumner. In the midst of this environment,

I learned the brazen language of the film buyer,

among many other things. Most importantly,

Sumner’s insistence that ‘good enough’ was never,

ever good enough kept us motivated.

“As we branched out internationally to the

U.K., I took on the film buying role there, giving

me the opportunity to travel and learn as much as

possible about this new market. Later the company

expanded into Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and

Russia—each new territory providing new opportunities

to collaborate with and learn from local

partners. When George Levitt retired, I became

senior V.P. of both domestic and international film

and event cinema. Although more than half my

career had been dedicated to international, the

transition back to domestic was seamless, as most

of the people I dealt with from the beginning were

still in distribution.”

“I started with National Amusements in the

U.K. in 1987 and opened their first international

multiplex cinema as the general manager,” Short

recounts. “Prior to that, I had worked in cinema

in the U.K. for 10 years—my current length of

service in the cinema industry is now 41 years.

While in the U.K., I enthusiastically got involved

in the company’s international theater expansion

into South America—specifically Chile and

Argentina. Under my oversight, all new South

American managers were trained in the U.K., and

shortly thereafter I oversaw the management of all

international operations.

It was at this time it seemed most appropriate

for me to relocate to our U.S.-based headquarters

in Dedham, Massachusetts, as the director of international

operations.

In 2015, I assumed responsibility for all U.S.

and international operations and was appointed

senior V.P. I have proudly been living and working

in the U.S. for 21 years, and I became a U.S.

citizen in 2010.”

LeClair has the longest National Amusements

tenure of the trio. “I started in 1977 as an usher at

Showcase Cinemas in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

I worked my way up to an assistant manager.

In 1980 I left Showcase to become a union

projectionist. I returned to Showcase Cinemas in

1983 as a manager. I think the core lesson I learned

back then that still resonates today is the importance

of customer service. You have to take care of

your guest. I also learned that if you want to move

ahead in a company, always have your replacement

ready to take over for you.”

40 OCTOBER 2019


SHOWEAST 2019

DUNCAN SHORT

He continues, “After returning to Showcase

in 1983, I worked at various theater locations

as managing director before being promoted to

the operations department in the home office. I

worked in operations for a number of years before

being asked to move into the concessions department

to help develop our U.S. concessions team. I

continued to work my way up to my current role.”

Working at a multinational circuit like National

Amusements poses a special set of challenges.

“Communication between territories is key,”

Walukevich advises. “Lessons

learned—or mistakes made—in

one country may fit a need in another.

Advance openings in other

territories give you a feel for film

expectations and performance

elsewhere. However, our real

strength lies with our team. Steve

Cooper, Jack Monahan, Richard

Leonard, Luiz Silva, and Mariela

Mosso are highly regarded in their

respective markets, are tremendously

experienced, and are a

pleasure to work with on a daily

basis. We may be the oldest-tenured

team in the business, with

each member having decades of

experience in the industry.”

Short commends his management

team as “highly flexible, given

the need to adapt to the cultures,

languages, and practices in multiple markets.

In the international markets where large cinemas

were just starting up, we were able to apply lessons

learned from our longstanding, well-respected U.S.

theater operation. Today, we actively seek to share

best practices between all of our theaters in all of

the markets where we operate.”

LeClair’s concessions operation also encounters

cultural differences. “There are a number of things

that are different working with each country—just

understanding the different cultures, from the way

people greet each other to the foods they eat, For

example, in the U.S. and Brazil we serve salted

popcorn with butter-flavor topping; in the U.K.

and Argentina we serve sweet popcorn that is actually

popped with sugar. The U.K. loves their sweets

and candy, whereas in Brazil they prefer nuts and

fruits. Brazilians love their natural fruit juices. In

the U.K. they love to drink their FCB [frozen carbonated

beverage]. In the U.S. cocktails are huge

sellers, but spirits sell less in the U.K. and South

America, where we sell large amounts of beer.”

The three executives have seen many dramatic

changes over the decades. “I started in cinema

when carbon arc projection was being phased out

and Dolby stereo had just arrived,” Short notes.

“I have seen cinema screen curtains disappear and

multiscreening be the next big thing. Stadium-seat

auditoriums vanished in favor of the parabolic

curve. But the single most important concept I

never lost sight of and that has guided me through

the 41 years I have been in cinema is that we are in

the entertainment business. This means knowing

and caring about the entire customer journey. The

customer experience starts the moment they decide

to see a movie. We must do whatever it takes to

make the entire customer-facing process a great

experience—through new design, accessibility,

technology, service, seating, the experience must

be the modern-day version of what the old picture

palace brought, that the total movie experience exceeds

any other. Without doubt, cinema has had to

adapt to changing circumstances, but through the

years the industry has taken the twists and turns in

the road and today the record-breaking box office

results speak for themselves.”

Walukevich observes, “With the prevalence of

social media, patrons are better informed about

upcoming releases, and this allows us to connect

with them in a more direct manner. The growth

of event cinema has also become an integral part

of our strategy, as we create specialized experiences

and diversify our programming as both an

exhibitor and distributor. We are fortunate to have

a talented team with Laura Correia, James Dobbin,

and Beth Pridham leading programming and

marketing efforts.”

“I think expanded F&B has been a major

change over the last number of years,” LeClair

says, taking the culinary perspective. “When I first

started in the cinemas, we sold popcorn, soda, and

candy. Nowadays we have full kitchens in some

locations, where we sell burgers and fries, steak

tips and lobster. We have full lobby bars in most

locations. Some theaters have restaurants in them,

others have coffee shops.”

Asked about the challenges facing exhibition

today, Walukevich responds, “The one thing an

exhibitor can truly control is the moviegoing

experience. We must keep it relevant, fresh, and

42 OCTOBER 2019


SHOWEAST 2019

BILL LECLAIR

adaptable to the changing needs and tastes of our

audiences. The pressure from outside competition—whether

that be Netflix or other streaming

services—will always provide the motivation to

change with the times, making the entertainment

experience within our cinemas second to none.”

Short adds, “Our challenges for the future

continue as they have throughout the past.

Watching a movie at the cinema is like no other

moviegoing experience. We need to ensure that

we maintain the window of opportunity to keep

it that way.”

The three have clearly had

an impact at National Amusements,

but who were some of

their mentors along the way?

Says Walukevich, “I’ve had the

good fortune to work for the

Redstone family, both Sumner

and Shari. I also consider Ed

Knudson, George Levitt, and

Carl Reardon to be mentors as

well. The learnings from each

of them have been invaluable

to me, both on a personal and

professional level.”

Short answers, “I have had

the privilege to work with some

terrific people over the years who

have been very strong influences

in my life. At the beginning of

my career, my mentor, who I have

maintained deep affection for, was Gerald Parkes—he

was the first manager I worked under when

I started. As an assistant manager, Gerald really

understood what cinema was about. He was a real

showman, and every moment I had the pleasure to

work with him I consider to be a special moment.

Gerald really shaped my thinking toward cinema

for my future career.

“John Bilsborough, the head of National

Amusements’ international development, was extremely

influential in my career and personal development.

Even today, I try to think how J.B. would

approach certain things. John was extraordinary at

considering how to, rather than reasons not to.

“Tad Jankowski, National Amusements’ executive

vice president, continually challenges my

thinking and pushes me to consider many options.

There are always good solutions to be found and

just as we agree and reach a comfort level on an

initiative, Tad will ask, ‘What is next?’ Tad has

enabled my thinking process to reach another

level—which is awesome.

“Finally and most importantly, [National

Amusements president] Shari Redstone has been

unbelievably influential in my career and personal

development. Shari has been inspirational, her energy

and excitement for the business and her confidence

in our management team has allowed the

individuals and the company to reach new heights

of achievement. I feel very privileged to be part of

the National Amusements exhibition team.”

LeClair’s mentorship started at home. “Although

my father never worked in this industry, I

consider him my mentor. He taught me to go out

in the world and to work hard and, more importantly,

to treat everyone the way you would like to

be treated—fairly and with respect.”

In closing, we asked the trio to name

their proudest accomplishments at National

Amusements.

“Selecting my proudest moment is a very

difficult task because I have been given so many

opportunities along the way,” Short says. “But a

standout was when I was the general manager of

the Showcase Cinema in Nottingham in the U.K.

We had been open just one week and a middle-aged

couple, the male being in a wheelchair,

came up to me and thanked me for enabling them

to be able to go to the cinema together. It was their

very first date night out since the gentleman had

been disabled many years prior in a car accident. I

felt emotional at the time, and so many years later

it still stays with me.”

“The best thing about working for National

Amusements,” LeClair says, “is that I have had the

opportunity to work with so many great people

along the way. I am so proud of the great group of

people I work with, from all the staff in the theaters

that are out there working the front lines, to

our great group of managers, to all the folks I work

with in the home office, to the best concessions

teams anyone could ask for, that I work with in all

our markets. It is all of them that make my job so

much fun every day.”

Walukevich concludes, “Being able to develop

business opportunities and form lasting relationships

worldwide over decades and the collaboration

of our international teams makes me very proud,

along with National Amusements being a successful

and respected leader in each market.”

44 OCTOBER 2019


SHOWEAST 2019

EMPOWERED

ELIZABETH

AMCs’ Elizabeth Frank Receives ShowEast’s

First-Ever Empowerment Award

by Rebecca Pahle

>> Wednesday, October 16, will see

Elizabeth Frank, executive vice president,

worldwide programming, and chief

content officer at AMC Theatres, receive

ShowEast’s first-ever Empowerment

Award. Presented by The Coca-Cola

Company, the Empowerment Award—

per Andrew Sunshine, president of the

Film Expo Group—recognizes “industry

champions of inclusion and diversity.”

“At Coca-Cola, we seek to empower

women both in the workplace and

throughout the world,” says Krista Schulte,

Coca-Cola’s senior vice president,

strategic partnership marketing. “We

are honored to present Elizabeth Frank

with the inaugural ShowEast Women’s

Empowerment Award presented by

Coca-Cola. Elizabeth Frank is a visionary

leader who has decades of experience

creating and executing successful growth

strategies across industries and organizations.

Her track record of delivering

results is a testament to the value, leadership,

and expertise she contributes to the

cinema industry and beyond.”

In advance of accepting the ShowEast

Empowerment Award, Frank spoke with

Boxoffice Pro about AMC’s dedication

to diversity both on the screen and

behind the scenes.

Congratulations on receiving the

ShowEast Empowerment Award. It

must feel quite special, especially with

this being the first time the award has

been given.

Thank you. Yes. Totally aside from

me, I think that it’s a good thing for the

whole industry to be focused more on

inclusiveness and advancement of all

different types of people, and also to continue

to elevate the way we engage with

all types of consumers in our theaters.

There’s this narrative that streaming

outfits like Netflix are the saviors of

independent cinema, while theaters

are best fit for big-budget tentpoles.

What would be your response to that?

We recently launched AMC Artisan

Films at the end of June. The reason for

this programming and marketing platform

for us to make a very public corporate

commitment [to independent film], is

appreciating that there’s a need for many

of our moviegoing consumers and many

of our moviemaking talent to be able to

connect. We have a unique opportunity as

the largest exhibitor in the country—both

of big, blockbuster films and of specialty

films—to create a platform to connect the

specialty moviemaker with the specialty

movie lover. [The specialty movie market]

is a significant business today, but it has

the potential to be much, much bigger

and stronger. So I think the narrative is

off, to answer your question.

AMC A-List has proven so successful—

it puts you in a really strong position

to gather data from customers and

find out what specialty titles they

might want to see.

Exactly. And then the next step for

us is to create a platform for those movie

lovers to share and to recommend films

to help others discover, because there’s so

much about the moviegoing experience

that’s really social and community-based.

How important is diverse programming

to AMC? Not independent titles

per se, but niche genres like Bollywood,

Latinx-targeted films, and faithbased

content?

They’re each very important. We program

at the neighborhood level to find

films that in some cases are alternative

content—nontraditional films as well—

that appeal most to local entertainment

interests. And in some communities, a

Bollywood film can be number one at the

box office on a particular weekend. We

have theaters that play Mandarin films.

Both Chinese films and Mandarin-language

versions of some blockbusters. We

at AMC are committed to programming

as diverse a set of entertainment options

as the diverse audience that we serve.

I go to the AMC Empire 25, where they

have a lot of Asian titles. Every time I

go to one, it’s always packed. The audience

is obviously there.

Some of the stuff is available online.

In fact, a lot of the Chinese films are

available pirated almost immediately. But

seeing the films in theater is better, right?

They’re funnier and scarier and more

dramatic. That’s obviously a theme you’ve

heard before, but it really is very true.

What can companies like AMC do to increase

diversity within the exhibition

industry itself?

I think some of it does start with the

moviegoer and works back. We seek to

employ people at the theater level who

reflect the neighborhoods that they

represent, and we seek to provide equal

opportunity and training and advancement

such that we pull that diversity

from the neighborhoods up through our

management ranks and into the corporate

structure. That’s true from theater to

management to corporate. [That’s also a

goal] on the programming and film and

marketing sides: recruiting and developing

individuals who bring a whole variety

of sensibilities to what we do.

Something I’ve heard a lot in talking to

women executives is the importance

of giving people opportunities even if

46 OCTOBER 2019


ELIZABETH FRANK

they don’t feel like they’re ready for

them, or even if they don’t look perfect

on paper.

I think that’s right. I think that individual

passion and initiative go a long,

long way. Being sensitive and receptive

to ideas throughout the organization is

important. And then giving people the

opportunity to run with those ideas and

for corporate leaders to both resource

the ideas and to mentor the individual. I

think that gets us all very, very far as an

organization to being inclusive.

I’m sure you’ve had moments early in

your career when you thought, “Oh my

God, I’m not ready for this. What am I

doing?” I assume everyone has.

Oh, for sure.

But you were given those opportunities,

and now look where you are.

You have to be chasing something that

you believe in. I think that’s where we

see people succeed the most. You can see

occasionally the contrary, where someone

takes on the new project because they

think it’s going to advance their career,

whether or not they think the project is

particularly important. I think that putting

ambition ahead of purpose can work

against people.

What is the part of your job that you

are most passionate about?

I am most passionate about the team

building of it, both within my groups

but also across the company. The second

thing I’m most excited about is the opportunity

we have to connect filmmakers

with their fans, building a much bigger

business along the way. The third thing

that I’m passionate about is using the

data and insights that we have to figure

out new and better ways to go about a

business that’s existed for a hundred years

and yet still has new things to be found

and to be done.

Are there any particular mentors that

you had early on in your career who

stand out to you now?

There’s someone I worked with when

I was first out of college who was a

huge proponent of, “There’s no dumb

question.” If it’s not clear to you, don’t

assume it’s clear to anybody. So no

matter what your role is, if you’re in

the room and don’t understand, have

the confidence to ask. I think that was

really good advice, and it was especially

good advice to give to someone who

was junior and who was only going to

be able to ask questions as opposed to

answer them.

For any industry, that’s fitting advice,

but especially in something like film

exhibition, where outside-the-box

thinking is so important.

I worked for someone who was very

focused on competitors. Her perspective

was, “There is something you can learn

from everyone.” As you think about the

market around you, always be on the

lookout for good ideas. As an exhibition

industry, one of the things that make us

the strongest industry is that we’re really

good at learning from each other.

How would you evaluate the progress

that women have made in the

exhibition business since you joined

AMC in 2010?

I can’t speak to the whole industry. I

can tell you that AMC has a phenomenal

group of female executives and rising

stars and theater managers whom it’s an

honor to work with, and it’s exciting to

watch their careers progress over that

time period.

I think it is important to AMC

that we’re providing opportunities for

everyone to develop and advance their

careers. We appreciate that in the past,

not everybody had the same opportunities

or felt as comfortable sharing their

unique circumstances.

OCTOBER 2019

47


SHOWEAST 2019

AL SHAPIRO

DISTINGUISHED

SERVICE AWARD

Joe Masher, Chief Operating Officer, Bow Tie Cinemas

by Daniel Loria

JOE MASHER

>> Joe Masher’s experience in exhibition

dates back to his childhood. At age 12,

he took over duties as “rewind boy” at a

seasonal theater. That informal experience

would be the beginning of a decades-long

career in the movie theater business.

In 1990, Masher was working for

Loews and looking after five “hard tops”

and one drive-in theater for the circuit.

Only four years later, he was transferred

to New York City with a marquee assignment:

opening the chain’s new showcase

theater—the Lincoln Square 12—which

featured the first Imax auditorium in a

commercial theater. He would go on to

open another major location for Loews in

New York City—the Kips Bay 15.

Masher joined Clearview Cinemas

in 2000 as a division manager, assigned

to northern New Jersey, New York’s

Westchester and Rockland counties, and

Connecticut—and went on to create the

chain’s first training program for floor

staff. He joined Bow Tie Cinemas in

2004, where he currently serves as chief

operating officer. His tenure as COO has

included two high-profile acquisitions,

Crown Theatres in 2005 and Clearview

Cinemas in 2013.

Boxoffice Pro spoke with Masher

about his career in exhibition ahead of

his being honored at ShowEast 2019

with the event’s Al Shapiro Distinguished

Service Award.

You got your start at an early age in

this business. How did you come to

find yourself in the projection booth?

I started out by running 35-millimeter

carbon arc projectors, at age 12, in the

summers at a seasonal theater, but my

professional career started at the Mohawk

Mall Cinemas in Schenectady, New York,

when I was just 14. I ran the projectors,

sold concessions and tickets, and ushered

at the seven-screen multiplex. I attended a

small college in way upstate New York for

a semester and was an assistant manager

at the State Theater in Tupper Lake, New

York, for a few months before going back

to Loews while I finished my education.

You were actually promoted to a manager

at an early age. What was that

experience like?

I became the general manager of the

long-gone Loews Cinema 7 in Latham,

New York, when I was 17. It was a

single-screen “dollar house” that was very

busy. The theater was called “Cinema 7”

because it was on Route 7 and was built

before seven-screen theaters existed. We’d

fill the 503-seat house nearly every Friday

and Saturday night!

After it closed, I opened the Rotterdam

Square 6 in Schenectady, and in

1990 I was transferred to Binghamton,

New York. I spent four years there, where

I oversaw the market transition from a

triplex, a twin, five singles, and a drivein

to one new 9-screen theater in Vestal,

New York.

That’s when the opportunity to come

to New York City arrived. And it wasn’t

just any movie theater—this was a

prestige assignment. Where did your

career take you from there?

I was summoned to New York City in

1994 to open what would quickly become

the world’s busiest movie theater, the

Sony/Loews Lincoln Square 12 & Imax

Theater in Manhattan. I was there for the

first five years of its life and met tons of

celebrities at our weekly premieres. I next

opened Kips Bay in Manhattan for Loews

in 1999, then in 2000 joined Clearview

Cinemas, where I became a division manager

for several locations in New Jersey,

New York, and Connecticut.

In 2004, I got the calling for my

dream job and joined the Moss Family to

transition B.S. Moss Theaters into Bow

Tie Cinemas with the opening of our theater

in New Haven, Connecticut. Several

new locations and acquisitions followed,

and I’m honored to have been the chief

operating officer of this company for the

past 15 years.

Is there any experience from your

early days in exhibition that you still

benefit from today?

I learned quickly that keeping a

48 OCTOBER 2019


SHOWEAST 2019

theater well-maintained, clean, and comfortable

were the most important things that would keep

guests returning. Adapting to meet the needs and

demands of guests keeps our business relevant

and strong.

You are deeply involved with the Theatre Historical

Society of America (THS). What is

its mission?

THS is an organization dedicated to preserving

the history of theater buildings, primarily in

North America. We have an extensive archive,

housed at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh,

and publish a quarterly magazine featuring stories

on theaters, operators, and other historical matters.

I joined in 1994, thanks to my then-booker

at Lincoln Square, Steve Bunnell. … I led the

charge in 2018 to purchase the single-screen Hollywood

Theater in Pittsburgh’s Dormont neighborhood,

which is the last single-screen, first-run

house in the Pittsburgh area. We have a partnership

with the Pittsburgh Area Theatre Organ

Society, and our house organ is played before the

show on weekends. The theater has also been the

home to The Rocky Horror Picture Show for many,

many years now.

After spending so much time in cinemas, do you

have a favorite movie theater?

I have too many favorites to list, but speaking

as a theater-architecture fan, the Loew’s Kings in

Brooklyn is truly a wonder. As far as going to the

movies, I like to go to all of our theaters as a “customer”

to observe the operation; lately it’s difficult

to get my friends to go to theaters that don’t have

recliners, elevated food offerings, and a bar.

You’ve also been engaged on an industry-wide

level through your work at NATO. What have

been some of your proudest achievements in

this part of your career?

I was always on top of the heap in collections

for Will Rogers and Variety – The Children’s

Charity of New York during my years as a manager.

I remember going on TV in New York City to

present the “giant check” each year. That’s where I

first met Charley Moss!

With NATO of N.Y. State, I am leading the

charge along with Bob Sunshine, our executive

director, on many things including changing archaic

alcoholic beverage laws with regard to movie

theaters. I’ve also been part of successful regional

lobbies against cup-size legislation, predictive

scheduling laws, trailer decibel levels, and menu

labeling. Nationally I’ve been lobbying as part

of NATO’s Government Relations and Political

Action Committees on Capitol Hill.

Do you have a mentor or mentors who have

been influential in your career?

Early on, I was heavily influenced by my Loews

division manager, Mike Aidala, who passed away

recently. We stayed in touch until the end. He

was an Italian immigrant with a very strong work

ethic. I’d also have to say that at Loews, Cindy

Cronkhite and Chuck Goldwater were the people

who moved me up and up, eventually to Lincoln

Square. Through all of it, though, the person who

taught me the most, how to be humble, keep my

head straight, and don’t sweat the small stuff, was

industry legend Charley Moss. He is truly remarkable

and his accomplishments are extraordinary. I

work closely with Charley and his son, Ben, whose

degree of knowledge is remarkable. It’s an honor

to have been involved with the Moss family for the

past 15 years. I’ve also gained a great deal of insight

from John Fithian and Bob Sunshine, with all

things NATO.

What does the future hold for exhibition? What

do you believe are the keys to sustaining longterm

success in this industry?

The first key to sustaining our industry is

product. People will always want to have the outof-home

shared experience, and as long as the

product is good, that’s the first part. The amenities

that theaters are offering these days are the

second most important thing. We’ve converted

theaters from sloped floor or stadium seating to

recliner seating, and our occupancy percentages

have increased dramatically. It’s amazing to ponder

that with 60 to 70 percent less seating, you’re

seeing amazing increases in attendance. Offering

quality food and beverages has been instrumental

in attracting some of those guests. I’ve heard

guests saying that they now go to the movies two

or three times as often as they did in the past.

Going forward, it’s going to be interesting to see

what the effect of shrinking windows has on our

business, but you still can’t get the same, giant-screen,

big-sound, shared experience at home

than you can at a movie theater.

50 OCTOBER 2019


SHOWEAST 2019

A PASSION FOR

PHILANTHROPY

Warner Bros.’ Scott Forman Receives ShowEast

Humanitarian Honor

by Kevin Lally

SCOTT FORMAN

>> Scott Forman’s

passion for philanthropy

was ignited

at a very young age,

when the 9-year-old

son of an exhibition

family first visited

the Variety Boys

and Girls Club in

the Boyle Heights

neighborhood of Los

Angeles. That was

the beginning of a

lifelong devotion to

charitable work for

the Warner Bros. executive

V.P. and general

sales manager for

domestic theatrical

distribution. Forman

continues to support

that club and is on

the board of directors

of Variety Tent 25

and the Will Rogers

Motion Pictures Pioneers

Foundation.

In 2007, Forman and his son Jeremy created

Jr. Variety, the first teen-based industry charity of

its kind. Forman was also a driving force in the

establishment of the popular charity auctions at

ShowEast, ShoWest, and CinemaCon.

Forman began his distribution career at Columbia

Pictures, then served as regional director for

Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco at MGM/UA.

He joined Warner Bros. in December 1989 and

was promoted to his current post in March 2017.

ShowEast 2019 will honor Forman with its

prestigious Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian

Award at the show’s closing-night awards ceremony

on October 17. Boxoffice Pro spoke to the

veteran executive by phone.

Tell me about your early exposure to the Variety

Boys and Girls Club.

The other side of my family is with the Pacific

Theatres/Arclight circuit. My father is Jerry

Forman, who ran the circuit for a long time.

We moved down from the Pacific Northwest to

Southern California in late 1971, and shortly

thereafter, at the Halloween party in October

of ’71, my dad asked me if I was interested in

going down to the Variety Boys and Girls Club.

And that started what has turned into a lifelong

association for me with the Variety Boys and

Girls Club. It was a chance to really see how less

fortunate people live day in and day out and how

appreciative they were for anything and everything

that the club provided for them. It connected

with me and has been something that helped

anchor me for the rest of my life.

Is this a tradition that your father was involved

with too?

I continued a family tradition of caring for the

industry and giving back. No, they didn’t spend

the time that I’ve spent at the Boys and Girls Club,

but the Pacific side of the family—my father, [his

cousin] Michael Forman, and now [Michael’s son]

Chris, who runs Pacific—has always been very

focused on industry philanthropies. My dad’s connection

to the conventions goes back to his being

one of the original visionaries to create ShoWest,

which became CinemaCon, all with the notion

of giving back to the industry that had given him

so much, and trying to bring people together for

the greater good of everybody instead of just being

focused on one’s own company.

These humanitarian efforts really do seem to

be pervasive throughout the industry.

Well, I think that’s one of the most special

things about the work we get to do. Obviously,

it can be a lot of fun to work in entertainment

and to talk about movies and the like, but one of

the things that really separate our business from

so many others are the close connections and

sometimes multigenerational family connections,

a lot of them with strong regional circuits aligned

with philanthropy and giving back. In the olden

days of our industry, the places where the Variety

tents popped up were usually based on there

being large exhibition companies in those cities

and families that were committed to philanthropy

52 OCTOBER 2019


driving those tents, which helped Variety take off

so many years ago.

This spread to another generation with Jr. Variety.

How did that come together?

My mom and dad introduced me to the Variety

Boys and Girls Club when I was 9. And at about

that age, my oldest son, Jeremy, who’s now 26, and

subsequently his sister, Felicia, who’s now 23, and

our youngest son, Bailey, who’s now 20, I tried to

get each of the kids involved in charity and started

regular trips down to the Boys and Girls Club

with them. And Jeremy, when he was in sixth or

seventh grade, came to me and said, “Dad, I want

to do more than just give away our old clothes and

have you and Mom write checks. What can we do?

What can me and my friends do?” And so Jeremy

and I sat down and wrote up a program that

became Jr. Variety, following the mission statement

and the guidance of what big Variety does. I have

always been involved with Tent 25 out of Southern

California and was involved with International

Variety for a while. We used the mission statement

of Variety and created something that guided these

kids. Jeremy and I started it, and then I brought in

people from the industry, people like Pat Gonzalez

from Paramount. During the nine and a half

years that we had Jr. Variety up and running, Pat

was my constant partner in philanthropy, as she

is with all the philanthropic stuff I do. We put it

into place when Jeremy entered ninth grade. It

was for high school kids from different schools to

come together, learn the basics of philanthropy

and fundraising, and how to give back and make

a difference. Many of these kids came from more

affluent families and [the goal] was to get them in

touch with the real world and let them experience

what I experienced at the Variety Boys and Girls

Club, that feeling of giving back and truly making

a difference and being there to pick other people

up instead of just always being on the receiving

end. And with the industry support and a lot of

support from people at Warner Bros., we were able

to create something that was pretty special that

brought a lot of kids together. I think we raised

about $675,000 in those nine-plus years.

But then my three kids aged out and I was

looking to pass it on. And yes, it does take a decent

OCTOBER 2019

53


SHOWEAST 2019

amount of time and no one stepped up

to continue it. But I hope and think that

with all the kids that we put through the

program—we had anywhere from 10 to

15 kids on the board and they had regular

monthly board meetings just like big

Variety—I’m hopeful that they all got a

little taste and flavor of what it is to be a

philanthropist and to give back and help

others, and hopefully throughout each

of their lives they’ll go make a difference.

Proudly, I can say that each of my kids has

stayed involved and active, and whoever’s

in town goes down to the Variety Boys

and Girls Club Christmas party every year

and they make a number of trips a year

with me down to the club. I don’t know if

they have the gene, but they certainly have

the appreciation for philanthropic efforts

and appreciation that we’re lucky to live

the way we live, and if we can help others,

great. And there’s been a tremendous

amount of industry support to help us

accomplish whatever we’ve accomplished.

On top of all this, you started the charity

auctions at ShoWest and ShowEast.

Can you talk about the response

you’ve gotten since that began?

Again, it takes an army to get this

stuff done. And you would be doing an

injustice to give me all the credit for it.

Mary Beth Garber and Pat Gonzalez

were there with me when we created it.

It was the idea of how to monetize some

of these things that we had access to that

because of our corporate responsibilities

we couldn’t put on the internet. So we

created the ShowEast and ShoWest options

with the help of Mitch Neuhauser

and the Sunshines—it was basically just

going to them and saying, “Look, we run

this convention and it’s a for-profit convention.

There is not a philanthropic arm

to the convention. What if we were to

create an auction at these conventions?”

And we brought all the materials and

they helped us and allowed us space and

supported our ability to put on an auction

for delegates to bid and help make a

difference in kids’ lives. And Mitch, along

with the Sunshines, couldn’t have been

better about it. We’ve had auctions now

at ShoWest/CinemaCon and previously

at ShowEast for a decade or so.

Would you say that growing up in an

exhibition family has given you an advantage

in your job at Warner Bros.?

I would certainly say I am very proud

to be Jerry Forman’s son and to be part

of the Forman family and what they’ve

meant to the business and what they’ve

contributed. Michael Forman and Chris

Forman have had very deep philanthropy

commitments at Pacific. And my dad’s

been keenly at the forefront of running an

awful lot of the industry-related conventions

and causes for the greater good.

So I think if you can get together with

businesspeople and do business and have

relationships, but also cross over for things

like philanthropy and sports and other

things in life, it’s gotta be an advantage.

We all greatly respect leaders that we’ve

worked with. I’m getting the award named

after Salah Hassanein, and he recently

passed away. I don’t think any of us in the

industry don’t know who Salah was, any

of us old enough to remember the Salahs,

the Bernie Myersons, the Tom Sheraks of

the world. It’s hard not to be impressed by

the contributions these people have made

to our industry and to society.

You’ve been at Warner Bros. for 30

years. Are there any secrets to your

longevity there?

Well, I don’t want to curse myself

here. I would have to say that with all

the philanthropy I’ve been able to do

in my career, I wouldn’t have been able

to do it if I didn’t have a boss like Jeff

Goldstein who was willing to support the

philanthropic endeavors that we’ve been

committed to. And prior to Jeff, Dan

Fellman. It takes a village to accomplish

anything great, and it takes the team to

do it. And I’ve been very blessed with

having the Warner Bros. family and Jeff

as a boss in particular, who not only

would get involved but is very supportive.

I wouldn’t be receiving this award,

certainly, if I worked for someone who

wasn’t a champion of charity themselves.

As you know, it’s a turbulent time

for the business, with new streaming

services arriving and Disney and Fox

merging. With all these seismic changes,

what’s your general feeling about

the future of the business?

Well, I think we’ve run into seismic

changes before with the invention of

television and so many other things that

have come our way. And every time

there’s been a voice out there that said it

was the end of what we’ve known, we’ve

always reinvented ourselves and thrived.

And I think we’ve seen, even with the

conversations on windows and streaming

and new things that challenge our business

constantly, when there’s a movie that

comes out that the public wants to see,

the public finds it and all ships seem to

rise. There has been so much talk over the

last few years of where the industry was

going and streaming and Netflix and windows,

and last year was the biggest year

in our industry’s history. And when you

have interesting properties that are new,

like Black Panther and Wonder Woman

and Crazy Rich Asians that are celebrating

all people, I think there’s a lot of opportunity

out there for us to continue to find

great stories and all celebrate an industry

that’s been very good to us.

During the golden age of Hollywood,

every studio was known for its distinctive

style, including Warner Bros. Does

today’s Warner Bros. have a distinctive

style that you can point to?

Wow, that’s a good one. Well, for a

long time we were based on the tentpole

strategy at Warner Bros., and we still like

to think we’re tentpole-driven. I think

today we’re working harder than ever to

be a best-in-class distribution company

and the distribution company that exhibition

most wants to work with, that

gets the most out of their projects, and is

a great partner.

54 OCTOBER 2019


2019 ShowEast Award Recipients

SHOWEAST EMPOWERMENT AWARD

Elizabeth Frank, AMC Entertainment

HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019 INDUCTEES

Lane Allen

Bobbie Peterson

Larry Allen

Bruce Taffet

Jennifer Amaya

Dick Westerling

Jack Kline

Alan Davy

Dan Fellman Show “E” Award

Mark Walukevich, National Amusements

Bill LeClair, National Amusements

Duncan Short, National Amusements

Al Shapiro Distinguished Service Award

Joe Masher, Bow Tie Cinemas

ShowEast Legacy Award

Michael Rosenberg, Promotion in Motion

FROM YOUR FRIENDS AT

We Make The Brands You Love TM


SHOWEAST 2019

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

ShowEast Honors Participant’s David Linde with

Bingham Ray Spirit Award

by Kevin Lally

Prior to joining Participant, Linde

was CEO of Lava Bear Films, which

produced the Oscar-nominated sci-fi film

Arrival. Earlier in his career, he was chairman

of Universal Pictures and co-founder

of leading specialty distributor Focus Features,

formed when Universal acquired

production company Good Machine,

where Linde was a partner.

In this exclusive Q&A, Linde looks

back at his four years at Participant and

ahead to the future.

DAVID LINDE

What are some of your proudest

achievements at Participant?

I am proud to lead a company comprised

of creative individuals producing

content and developing impact campaigns

that, in collaboration with our

distributors and impact partners, greatly

expand the reach of the film. We’ve been

blessed to work with filmmakers whose

films have received 73 Oscar nominations

and 18 wins since Participant’s

inception, including two Best Picture

Oscars, not to mention well over $2 billion

in global box office. But that’s only

the beginning. It’s the contribution that

these films and campaigns provide in

accelerating positive social change that

so uniquely defines the company.

>> Since 2012, ShowEast has given the

Bingham Ray Spirit Award, named after

the late independent film icon, to an

individual who has “shown exemplary

foresight and creativity in the world of

independent film.” This year’s honoree—

David Linde, CEO of Participant—is

especially apropos, since Linde worked

closely with Ray when Linde was president

of Good Machine International,

which represented the overseas markets

for all productions from Ray’s company,

October Films.

Participant is dedicated to entertainment

that inspires audiences to engage

in positive social change, through both

the content it produces and accompanying

social impact campaigns. Its

distinguished track record includes two

Best Picture Oscar winners (Spotlight

and Green Book), two foreign-language

Oscar winners (A Fantastic Woman and

Roma), and the Oscar-winning documentary

An Inconvenient Truth. In

mid-September, the company extended

Linde’s contract with a multiyear deal

and announced a rebrand focused on

building collaborative, longer-term

campaigns that incorporate the artist

along with the company’s distributors

and impact partners.

“David has done an exceptional job taking

Participant to new heights the last four

years,” founder Jeff Skoll said. “He possesses

a rare combination of entertainment

industry acumen, keen artistic sensibility,

and a true passion to make a difference in

the world through storytelling.”

Can you talk about any significant

changes that came out of Participant

movies and impact campaigns?

Participant celebrated a banner

year with its social impact campaigns,

including for Roma, which we launched

in partnership with the National Domestic

Workers Alliance and CACEH in

Mexico to increase visibility and value

for domestic workers. In collaboration

with those amazing partners, the Roma

campaign recently helped accelerate the

passing of legislation in Mexico’s Congress,

giving 2.4 million domestic workers

labor protections, including minimum

wage, paid time off, and health care. In

the U.S., Senator Kamala Harris and Rep.

Pramila Jayapal introduced on July 15 the

National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

56 OCTOBER 2019


in Washington, D.C., that would give

greater rights to domestic workers.

Moreover, in the past year, Participant

also executed a multiphase, nationwide

impact campaign around Steve James’s

acclaimed docuseries “America to Me,”

which helped seed a national conversation

on issues of race and equity and inspired

more than 1,800 confirmed watch

groups with more than 17,000 participants

across 44 states. This past month,

Participant also launched a new national

campaign tied to the release of our new

documentary American Factory that aims

to seed a conversation around the dignity

of work, bring visibility to the fractured

compact between workers and employers,

and build support for a future of work

that benefits everyone.

At what point in the development/

production process does Participant

usually get involved with a project?

Preferably, we are hands-on from the

start. Participant produces and invests in

a significant amount of content, probably

more than people realize. Annually, that

includes up to six narrative features, five

to six documentary films, up to three

episodic television series, and another 30

hours of short-form video content for our

YouTube channel, SoulPancake. We have

an amazing team of executives developing

ideas with filmmakers on a constant basis.

While we will, on occasion, acquire a film

for distribution (as we did with RBG),

our preference is to integrate ourselves

with the filmmakers as early as possible.

Here in 2019, what is the public

appetite for the kinds of films

Participant supports?

Participant was founded by Jeff Skoll

in 2014 based on his core belief that

storytelling can be an immense source

for social change. Since then, we’ve seen

that, in some ways, the world has really

caught up with this philosophy. Storytelling

is more important than ever, and the

rapid growth of the “conscious consumer”

has completely changed how consumers

engage around any transaction, including

what content they prefer to consume.

Nowhere is this more evident than among

millennials, and we have worked hard to

provide them with the forms of engagement

they seek through our content.

That’s a core example of why we succeed.

Tell me about some of your

upcoming releases.

We have two releases coming up, Dark

Waters and Just Mercy, the latter of which

just premiered to incredible response at

the Toronto International Film Festival.

With Dark Waters, we’re honored

to partner with visionary director Todd

Haynes and producer/star Mark Ruffalo

on this inspiring story, which is based on

the New York Times magazine article “The

Lawyer who Became DuPont’s Worst

Nightmare.” The film tells the story of

the one-man crusade that sought justice

for a community exposed to pollution

for decades by the unregulated dumping

of industrial waste. It is literally David

vs. Goliath and incredibly inspirational.

Just Mercy, on the other hand, is the

powerful story based on the life of Bryan

Stevenson, the acclaimed public interest

lawyer and founder and executive director

of the Equal Justice Initiative. The film,

which features tour de force performances

from Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and

Brie Larson, follows a young Stevenson

(played by Jordan) as he takes the case of

Walter McMillian who, in 1987, was sentenced

to die for the murder of a white

woman despite an abundance of evidence

proving his innocence. These films are

beautifully inspiring stories of the human

condition and the power of compassion.

During your four years at Participant,

what have you learned about making

your action campaigns more effective?

In its heart, Participant is a partnership

company, and the past four years has

really solidified that for me. We partner

with great artists, who foresee the most

pressing issues of our time; with distributors,

who provide the creativity to engage

audiences; and with impact organizations,

who are working day in and day

out toward lasting change. The reality is

that none of them are used to working

together, yet when connected they create

immense power. In effect, we are the

“trust accelerator” that provides the glue

that enables us all to succeed.

Please share some memories of Bingham

Ray and what made him a force in

the independent film world.

The simple truth is that Bingham

was not only a mentor for me, but also

someone who impacted my and many

other careers in a way that would never

have developed as they did without

him. When we started Good Machine

International, my partners and I knew

that if it did not succeed, then Good

Machine itself would struggle. And

Bingham was the first person to say, “I

believe in what you are building,” and

hired us to handle the overseas distribution

of the October Films slate. The

growth of the company was directly

connected to his support. Just being

around him was such a joy—he elevated

everyone around him with his imagination,

skill, and commitment to doing

what was best and what was right. And

I’ll never forget the sound of his yelling

out “Linde!!!” wherever we were and

whenever he wanted something!

How important is it that your films be

seen in theaters?

Our goal is to inspire audiences to

create change, and what better way to do

that than in a setting that unites people.

The collective experience of watching a

film in a theater is undeniably powerful,

and when it comes to the films Participant

produces, we take great pride in

the fact that strangers gathering to watch

them can leave with a new common

understanding and connection. And

while we recognize that technology has

brought a distinct change in how audiences

view films, we remain committed

to the theatrical experience and working

with the distribution and the exhibition

community to promote the beauty of

the medium.

OCTOBER 2019

57


SHOWEAST 2019

INTERNATIONAL

DISTRIBUTOR OF THE

YEAR

Monique Esclavissat, Warner Bros. International

by Rebecca Pahle

>> Warner Bros. International makes a

splash at this year’s ShowEast, with Monique

Esclavissat, executive vice president

international productions/acquisitions

& Latin America distribution, receiving

the show’s International Distributor of

the Year honor at Monday’s International

Awards Luncheon. After joining Warner

Bros. in 1998, Esclavissat now oversees

LATAM distribution and local-language

productions, both key components of

Warner Bros.’ overall operations.

Though some of Warner Bros.’ more

successful international releases may not

have name recognition stateside—think

the pair of movies based on the manga

Gintama, which together made shy of

$70 million in Japan—they’ve proven a

valuable and lucrative component of the

studio’s overall business strategy. Through

investing in local product, the studio

offers up a diversified film slate, cultivates

enthusiasm among local audiences, and

invests in filmmaking communities.

For Warner Bros., an investment in

local productions doesn’t come at the

expense of studio fare. In Latin America,

Warner Bros. is a dominating force

in horror, with its popular Conjuring

Universe—including spinoffs Annabelle,

Annabelle 2, and The Nun—consistently

pulling in big numbers. As of press time,

It Chapter 2 is dominating the Mexican

market, having easily grabbed the number

one spot in its debut weekend.

Esclavissat spoke to Boxoffice Pro

about the current state of distribution and

Warner Bros.’ Latin American operations.

With Disney buying Fox, there’s now

one less major competing for audience

MONIQUE ESCLAVISSAT

attention. Does that have any impact

on how Warner Bros. operates?

There are always plenty of companies

and product competing for audience

attention. The biggest impact on our

business continues to be the changes

in consumer taste and habits and

the competition for their time and

attention. It is more important than

ever that W.B. focuses on its content

[and] variety of offering and stays

connected with its customers.

In terms of international markets,

which are the territories where you’re

seeing rapid expansion?

In Latin America, the region I

manage, we are seeing big expansion in

Colombia, Central America, and also

markets like Peru and Bolivia. Exhibitors

are investing in the region and opening

as well as renovating cinemas, so we can

together reach new audiences with our

product. Even in more established markets

like Mexico and Brazil, there are still

areas that are underserved and offer good

expansion opportunities.

Though a love of movies is universal,

there are different cultural nuances—

not to mention government regulations!—that

have to be considered

when you’re distributing to so many

different markets. What does Warner

Bros. do to manage this challenge?

We work hard, supported by talented

local executives, to understand and build

into our plans the specific cultural and

economic considerations, alongside the

moviegoing habits for each individual territory.

Getting that mix right is essential

to the success of our overall operation.

Related to this, in a number of the key

markets we also have a growing local

production operation. Working with local

production partners, we have the opportunity

to find great local talent and more

diverse voices, creating an increasingly

diverse slate for moviegoers.

What year did you first join Warner

Bros., and how has the company

changed in that time?

I joined W.B. in 1998 and have enjoyed

a great and varied career, working

with industry colleagues across the international

markets. I have been very lucky

to be offered new opportunities in the

20 years at the studio as changes have

occurred across both distribution and

local production. It has been incredibly

rewarding to shepherd projects from

the green-light stage to box office and

awards success.

It’s a particularly exciting time of

change across the whole industry at

present, including here at Warner Bros.

with the arrival of our new CEO Ann

Sarnoff and being part of WarnerMedia.

Ultimately it is the product, the franchises,

the talent, the filmmakers, [and] the

relationships Warner Bros. has secured

58 OCTOBER 2019


that continue to be essential. As are the

people behind those choices, who have

been crucial to our success as the business

and the landscape have evolved. As we

approach the celebration of the studio’s

centenary in 2023, content is even more

key. I’m looking forward to the many

new films yet to come.

What are some of the upcoming Warner

Bros. movies that you’re the most

excited about?

That is a tough question and you

won’t be surprised to hear that I’d

commend our whole slate. Looking to

2020 and beyond, I am very excited

about our female-led films such as Birds

of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation

of One Harley Quinn) and Wonder

Woman 1984; Christopher Nolan’s

Tenet, because he always brings something

different and challenges us and the

audience in a great way; and our more

family oriented titles such as S.C.O.O.B.

and the Tom and Jerry movie, which are

what the Latin American family audiences

want to see.

What are some of the Warner Bros.

properties that do particularly well in

Latin American markets?

W.B. is the market leader for horror

[and] has released the top eight all-time

horror films in the region, including the

hugely popular Conjuring Universe and

It and It Chapter Two. The company’s

superhero films consistently perform at

the top of the market, with Justice League,

Wonder Woman, Shazam!, and Aquaman

each garnering close to or exceeding $100

million in the region. As cinemagoing in

Latin America is driven by families, other

genres that have also done well are animation,

family films, and action adventure.

What are some international films

that did particularly well in their local

markets for Warner Bros. in 2018–19?

Our recent successes have included

films from many territories such as: Der

Junge Muss An Die Frische Luft (Germany),

$36 million; Gintama 2: Rules Are

Made to Be Broken (Japan), $33 million;

and The Witch (Korea), $27 million.

How important is supporting local

films to Warner Bros. international’s

strategic vision?

It is a very important part of the

overall strategic vision. W.B. has been

involved in local film production since

2000. There is a strong appetite for local

films that W.B. can participate in. It is

a great complement to the U.S. studio

product. We want to invest in local

talent and promote local filmmaking

and creativity. We can share our

expertise and provide support to the

local industry. As a result, we can also

help expand local audiences by offering

more diversified product, being more in

tune with the local culture, identifying

new opportunities, maybe even local

talent that wants to come and do a film

in Hollywood.

OCTOBER 2019

59


INTERNATIONAL UNION OF CINEMAS / UNIC

BUSTLING

BELGIUM

EXHIBITORS GATHER

IN BRUSSELS FOR UNIC

CINEMA DAYS

by Rebecca Pahle

>> On October 28 and 29, representatives from UNIC’s 38

member countries (a warm Boxoffice Pro welcome to the

trade group’s newest member, Cyprus) will convene at the

Radisson Blu Royal in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the trends

facing the exhibition industry this year. Digital platforms and

premium experiences are two of the major topics on the docket—but,

UNIC CEO Laura Houlgatte assures us, there’s plenty of

downtime between sessions to catch up with cinema compatriots

and hash out solutions to some of our industry’s challenges

over coffee or a cocktail.

After welcoming words from Houlgatte on the afternoon of the

28th, Cinema Days will start with a keynote debate between film

producer Louise Vesth and exhibitor—and recent winner of the 2019

UNIC Achievement Award—Peter Fornstam, founder and managing

director of Svenska Bio. Explains Houlgatte, “It will be a discussion

like we’ve had in previous years, examining big topics in the industry

and getting [the speakers’] feelings about what they think, where we’re

going, and what are the trends.” Phil Clapp, CEO of the U.K. Cinema

Association and president of UNIC, will moderate.

Following that opening discussion is a panel on platforms titled,

“Cinemas and tech giants – partners or competitors?” moderated by

Sarah Lewthwaite of Movio. “Basically, are [platforms] friends or foes?

Do you have to work with them? How can you work well with them?

How do you manage your bargaining power?” says Houlgatte. That

panel will be followed by another on premium experiences. Though

cinemas will, of course, be represented, Houlgatte is particularly excited

about bringing another voice to the table. An operatic voice, one might

say. “When I think about premium, I think about the opera,” Houlgatte

says. “It’s a very special experience. How do they manage to sell

this and market it? What is premium for them?”

Day two begins a series of six rapid-fire sessions, pairing quick

presentations on a variety of subjects—H.R., accessibility, untapped audiences,

auditorium design—paired with Q&As. “Really quick, really

snappy,” says Houlgatte. “Just to make sure we keep everyone on their

toes!” Following that come two parallel labs, one on cinema marketing

and the other on technology.

As in past years, the UNIC Cinema Days schedule is packed with

“loads of coffee breaks, which people always like,” and long breaks

for meals, giving attendees—Houlgatte estimates that people from

between 20 and 25 countries will attend—ample time to network and

discuss issues brought up during the official UNIC programming in

more detail. “We have usually a nice dinner somewhere, to make sure

everybody can network with everybody. That lasts for three or four

hours. It’s much smaller than CineEurope, so it has a much more intimate

feeling, if you can call it intimate with 150 people. But you see

what I mean. As intimate as it can be! … It gives you the space to have

a proper chat with people, and that’s what we really want to create with

this kind of smaller event. People actually get the chance to talk to each

other and interact with each other.”

60 OCTOBER 2019


62 OCTOBER 2019


Frozen Forever

DISNEY’S MEGA-HIT RETURNS FOR A SECOND SHOT

AT WORLDWIDE SUCCESS

BY REBECCA PAHLE

There are a lot of questions the kids of the world—and their

parents and their babysitters and childless adults who just like

a good animated movie—have about Disney’s Frozen II, hitting

theaters in North America on November 22. Will it replicate the

charm and resonant message of the original? Has snow queen

Elsa truly come to terms with her ice powers? Are we ever going

to find out what happened to Anna and Elsa’s parents, who mysteriously

disappeared when the sisters were young?

And, above all: Will there be another “Let It Go”–style earworm?

AUTUMNAL EPIC

WITH ITS WIDE VISTAS,

FROZEN II IS MEANT FOR THE

BIGGEST SCREEN POSSIBLE

OCTOBER 2019

63


At the Frozen II press day, held in Los Angeles in

early September, the movie’s team was understandably

close-lipped about many of the specifics.

Still, there were hints to be found. Frozen II

sees Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, reindeer Sven, and walking, talking

snowman Olaf take to an enchanted forest to—just maaaybe—discover

the source of Elsa’s ice powers. Along the way,

they’ll meet several new characters, one of whom (voiced

by Sterling K. Brown) will possibly provide insight into the

childhood of Anna and Elsa’s father.

Another newcomer to the franchise, “Westworld” star

Evan Rachel Wood, voices Anna and Elsa’s mother in a

flashback. Co-director Jennifer Lee played that role in the first

film, delivering Queen Iduna’s only line—“She’s ice cold”—

with … let’s just say, reasonable competence. Jokes Lee about

not being recast: “It’s the first time I’d ever been fired.”

As for the “Let It Go” question: Frozen II sees the return

of the Frozen songwriting duo of Kristen Anderson-Lopez

and Robert Lopez. And one of the musical numbers shown

at the press day—Idina Menzel as Elsa belting out “Into the

Unknown,” a classic Disney “I want” number—was stuck in

my head for a few days. So … make your own guesses, but

prepare to add another song to your karaoke repertoire just to

be safe.

(Another note for the musical hounds among Boxoffice

Pro’s readership—Frozen’s filmmakers, despite casting

Broadway star Jonathan Groff as Kristoff, didn’t actually have

him sing. This time around, Lee assures, he’ll get to show off

his pipes.)

Explains Frozen II producer Peter Del Vecho—whose other

credits with Disney include The Princess and the Frog, Winnie

the Pooh, and the first Frozen—Disney “never makes sequels

unless the filmmakers have a story to tell and a desire to tell

it.” Frozen may have made over a billion dollars at the worldwide

box office—one of only nine animated films to do so—

but the existence of a sequel depended on Lee and co-director

Chris Buck wanting another spin on the ice.

“The funny thing is, when we finished Frozen, we were

like, ‘We’re done!’” recalls Lee. Then came the 2015 short

film Frozen Fever, which played in theaters alongside Disney’s

live-action Cinderella remake. And all of a sudden, Lee and

Buck found that they couldn’t quite “let it go” after all.

Watching the animation dailies for Frozen Fever, Buck recalls,

“was the first time we saw our characters moving again.

It probably had been at least eight months or so. Almost a

year. Just seeing them again, it was like seeing old friends. So

we went, ‘Oh my gosh, I love these characters.’ We were also

starting to think about what would be next for our characters.

What would be true to these characters? What would be the

next journey?”

Buck’s and Lee’s own lives played a role in answering those

questions. Both are parents dealing with the inevitability of

BFFS FOR LIFE

The friendship between a reindeer

and a talking snowman. What could

be better?

IN TUNE

Idina Menzel gives Elsa her powerhouse

voice yet again with musical

number “Into the Unknown.”

64 OCTOBER 2019


ICE TO MEET YOU

Anna meets new character

Lieutenant Matthias, voiced by

Sterling K. Brown.

OCTOBER 2019 65


INTO THE UNKNOWN

Judging by Anna and

Elsa’s facial expressions,

everything’s not fun and

fancy-free in Frozen II.

Sven the reindeer looks

unconcerned.

children growing up, going to college, and venturing

out into the world. “As you grow up, things

get thrown your way. Life isn’t as easy as it used to

be. The first film wasn’t that easy for any of them!”

Buck admits. “But this time, we went back to our

kids. We were inspired by that. It’s that time of your

life where you go, ‘OK, now what? What is the

world going to offer me? What do I have to offer

the world?’ The world gets a little more complex.

There are a lot more questions for them as they go.”

The development of the characters’ emotional

maturity can be seen in Frozen II’s color palette,

which has graduated from the ice blues and jewel

tones of the first film to a more autumnal look.

Hints of Anna and Elsa’s evolution can be

found in a bit of character theory that the Frozen

II team kept coming back to over the course of

the press day. Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), the

young, peppy, optimistic girl surrounded by supernatural

goings-on, is the archetypal fairy tale heroine.

Elsa, on the other hand—whose ice powers are

both a gift and an enormous responsibility—is a

mythic heroine. “We had just come back from our

research trip” to Norway, Iceland, and Finland, Lee

recalls. “I happened to be in England and had a

book on myths that I’d started reading. And [Chris

and I] called each other and said, ‘Oh my gosh.

Something’s coming to light.’”

Elsa “carries a special power that can also be

dangerous for her,” Lee says. “She will always be

different.” As Elsa wrestles with her abilities, sister

Anna “wants [Elsa] to be everything she deserves

to be and wants her to be OK and not carry all the

burdens of the world on her shoulders.”

Frozen and Frozen II are Lee’s first and second

films as a director—she wrote Frozen as well—and

it’s her sureness about the inner lives of her characters

that made jumping into the hot seat relatively

seamless. “I want to say, when you were directing,

how quickly you picked that up,” Del Vecho tells

66 OCTOBER 2019


MOMMIE DEAREST

Evan Rachel Wood joins

the Frozen world as

Anna and Elsa’s mother

(above).

Lee. “I know you went to school for it, but it was a

really natural fit between [Lee and Buck]. It was a

good balance.”

Explains Lee: “What I was very anxious

about—but at least felt secure about—is that

Chris, as a veteran in animation, would know

how to speak to all the production departments.”

(Buck previously contributed Tarzan to the Disney

canon, in addition to doing animation and

design work on Pocahontas, The Little Mermaid,

The Rescuers Down Under, and more.) “He would

know how to speak to all the production departments.

And I felt concerned. Would I come

in and know what to say, to contribute? And I

realized, one of the things [animators] rarely get

is the writer in the room. And so I could always

bring that point of view of what’s going on in

[the characters’] heads. I never had to tell an

animator what to do. My job was to say, ‘Here’s

what the character is feeling.’ And we would talk

about it so much that if [Chris] couldn’t be in

the room I was OK, and vice versa, because we

stayed connected.”

Picking up the technical side of things “became

much more intuitive, because you realize you’re

working with the best in the world at their jobs.

And your job is to make sure the vision of the film

is clear and give them room and inspire them.

[Chris] taught me that. I didn’t have to come into

the room with all the technical knowledge. Over

time, you start to know what artists can do and

how to push.”

As Elsa, Anna, and their crew venture out in

search of answers, Buck notes, “an epic mystery

starts to unfold.” All told, it’s a “bigger and more

epic” experience than the first film. “We’re working

on sound design right now, and you want to feel

it,” adds Lee. “I want the seat to shake! Being immersed

in the theater experience—certainly we’re

aiming for that.”

OCTOBER 2019 67


Skies Over the Pacific

ROLAND EMMERICH’S WWII DRAMA DEBUTS

AFTER DECADES IN THE MAKING

BY JESSE RIFKIN

>> June 1942’s Battle of Midway was a turning point on the

Pacific front. The battle gave the Japanese their first major decisive

loss at America’s hands after Pearl Harbor, at the cost of

3,364 total dead on both sides. That monumental story comes

to theaters on Friday, November 8, with Lionsgate’s Midway.

Director Roland Emmerich has previously directed such blockbusters

as Independence Day, The Day after Tomorrow, Godzilla,

and The Patriot. He spoke to Boxoffice Pro about his 20-yearplus

effort to get Midway made, directing foreign-language

scenes for the first time in his career, and why today’s audiences

have higher expectations for films based on true stories.

68 OCTOBER 2019


You’d wanted to make your own version of this

movie for more than 20 years. Why did it take

so long to get this project off the ground?

I had a huge deal at Sony Pictures, 21 or 22

years ago. I was doing Godzilla for them, but I

wanted to follow that up with something more

realistic. I watched a lot of different documentaries,

because I felt a big battle movie would be

a great thing. I came across a documentary on the

Battle of Midway and immediately fell in love with it. I

went to [Sony’s then-chairman] John Calley, who also

thought it was a really good idea.

But at that time, it was much more difficult

to make a movie like this, because visual effects—the

water, the explosions—were just really

difficult. He asked me if I could do it under

$100 million. I said, “I don’t think I can.” So we

had to go to the Japanese. They said, “We’re not

financing a $120 million movie where we’re the

losers.” At that time, a friend of mine was running

TriStar Pictures, which also belonged to Sony/Columbia.

They offered me the script of The Patriot. I fell in love

with that, so that’s what I did. But I never, ever

forgot that [Midway] story.

Then maybe five years ago, I came across

this young writer, Wes Tooke. I ask every young

writer, “What is the picture which you think you

should write?” Without even thinking, he said,

“The Battle of Midway.” Oh, that’s interesting. We

started talking and made the decision to develop a

script together. That’s how it got started.

The Patriot, which you directed, was about the

American Revolutionary War. What was similar

and different about directing a World War II

movie?

In the case of a Revolutionary War movie,

you need a lot of muskets, a lot of people, a

lot of horses. Only then can you start shooting.

When you’re doing World War II sea battles, you

realize there’s nothing left. Not one ship is still in its

original state. What you learn pretty fast is you have to

build everything, do a lot of CGI, a lot of blue screen.

It’s a tough undertaking. And it’s a movie where you

have to have really good visual effects, because if

the visual effects don’t hold up, people immediately

feel cheated.

LUKE EVANS AS LIEUTENANT COMMANDER WADE MCCLUSKY

MANDY MOORE AS ANNE BEST

TADANOBU ASANO AS REAR ADMIRAL TAMON YAMAGUCHI

PATRICK WILSON AS LIEUTENANT COMMANDER EDWIN T. LAYTON

WOODY HARRELSON AS ADMIRAL CHESTER NIMITZ

What were the other most challenging

aspects of making this film?

Let’s take an aircraft carrier. An aircraft carrier

is quite big, so we had to build a big enough platform

to sell it. Then you realize all this other stuff.

You have to bring in wind machines, because

these things drive by fast. All these endless things

which add on, add on, add on. Then you realize

that some of these planes no longer exist, and

the ones that do aren’t the exact same color

they were then. So we pretty much had to build

everything. Then you do the flying scenes and

realize, oh my God, most of the time their canopy’s

open. So we had to give the cockpits wind. Endless stuff

like that, which make the whole shoot quite challenging

for everybody.

But a nice thing when we came to Oahu and

Pearl Harbor, they have a real submarine there.

I asked very politely if maybe they could stop

showing it to tourists. They closed it down for

two days and we shot in a real submarine. It

was pretty hot. It was super tight, too. The flight

deck was shot on a stage in Montreal, which is the

biggest indoor film stage in North America. It’s huge.

That stage is 400 feet or something like that.

What are some of your best stories from the set?

The interesting thing for me was first we did

all the American stuff, then at the very end it

became a Japanese movie. It was kind of strange.

I had never done that, to shoot a movie in a

different language. But that’s maybe 25 or 30 percent

of the film. I was quite nervous. People were

speaking in Japanese and I don’t speak Japanese, so

you turn around and talk to the woman you hired for

that job. She’ll give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, or say,

“This one line was not quite right.” They’re actually

some of the strongest scenes.

I very clearly realized the differences of culture.

Everything is much stiffer; they don’t like to show

emotions. So I didn’t move the camera much

when it comes to the Japanese. It’s quite interesting

to see the contrast between the American

scenes and the Japanese scenes. When we tested

it, it was quite nice to see the audience liked it very

much. The Japanese are real characters and not just “the

bad guys.” Because they were not bad guys, they were just

doing their jobs—like everybody else.

What other films did you look to when

directing this?

I have a couple of real favorite movies and I

watched them all again. I watched A Bridge Too

Far, which I think is probably one of the best war

movies ever made. The Longest Day, which is also

a great war movie. Then Steven Spielberg’s Saving

OCTOBER 2019

69


AT THE MOVIES

WITH ROLAND

EMMERICH

MOVIEGOING

MEMORY

“When I was in film

school, I traveled to

Paris. They showed the

original English version

of Close Encounters of

the Third Kind in a big

theater. After I saw it,

I immediately lined up

for the next screening.”

AT THE

CONCESSION STAND

“Those little chocolate

ice cream things [Dibs].

I forget what they’re

called!”

Private Ryan, which I also love a lot. I

also saw Tora! Tora! Tora! again. That one

actually had different directors for the

American part and the Japanese part.

Those were the movies I really studied

carefully. It’s always interesting how other

directors did it.

Did you similarly consider getting a

different director for the Japanese

parts of Midway?

No [laughs]. I like directing the whole

movie. But even when doing the American

parts, you constantly have all these

military advisers around. They correct

you, they correct the actors. As a director,

you have to find the fine line—where you

listen to them and where you don’t.

We had this great old gentleman,

Chuck, who was working in the ’60s on

aircraft carriers. In the ’60s, they were still

the aircraft carriers from World War II, but

they had altered them. He gave us a lot of

insight on how life on an aircraft carrier

was. There’s a great documentary called

Our Fighting Lady. It was shot in 1943 and

won the Oscar for best documentary that

year. We watched it together.

Which of the film’s aspects diverge

most from the history?

Don’t forget, you have characters in

there and dialogue for the historical figures,

but you never know what they said

exactly. So there’s always a certain dramatic

license you have to use. But we tried to

be as close as possible to history, because

we felt that’s important. Naturally, it’s

still a movie, not a documentary. So once

in a while you have to tell it in a shorter

form or a simpler form. The battle itself

was a very complicated battle, so we tried

to simplify it so people could understand

what’s going on.

Ten years ago or 15 years ago, you

would have gone, “Let’s do this, let’s do

that.” Today, you cannot [fabricate] as

much anymore. I think because of the

internet and people’s attitudes, it has

changed. Real-life stories, people love

them, but they want to have them more

real-life now. For example, look at a movie

like Pearl Harbor [the seventh highest-grossing

film of 2001, even though

it was critically panned]. I don’t know if

it would be as successful today, because

it’s just a totally invented story. They

even used different planes! Today, people

would not buy into that as much.

The real Battle of Midway occurred

in June. Was there any thought to

releasing this movie in June? Most of

your big-budget movies of the past 25

years have been summer releases.

I think it’s a good idea to release it on

Veterans Day weekend. It feels better. In

the summer, you would compete with

other big movies. Veterans Day weekend

is a better release date for us. I’m quite

happy about that.

In this era of streaming and home

entertainment, why is it important for

audiences to see this at a cinema?

Because it’s a big movie [laughs]! I

think when you see it, you will understand.

The most exciting thing is our

dive-bombing scenes. When you see it

on a TV, you like it too, but it’s not as

impressive.

70 OCTOBER 2019


Two Smiths Are Better Than One

ANG LEE PITS WILL SMITH

AGAINST HIS YOUNGER SELF IN GEMINI MAN

BY REBECCA PAHLE

WILL SMITH

>> Ang Lee has never been one for

keeping still. Over his nearly three-decade

career, the director has bounced around

from the costume drama (Sense and

Sensibility) to the sensual spy thriller (Lust,

Caution) to the wuxia actioner (Crouching

Tiger, Hidden Dragon) to the superhero film

(Hulk), along the way winning Best Director

honors at the Oscars for Brokeback

Mountain and Life of Pi. A through line for

the director is constant experimentation.

That extends not just to genre but to technology,

an area in which Lee has proven

himself a pioneer. In 2012’s Life of Pi, he

took 3-D to new heights. In 2016, he did

the same thing—albeit to a less rapturous

critical reception—with high frame rate in

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, shot (and, in

a select number of theaters, projected) in

120 frames per second.

Lee continues to push boundaries in his latest. In Gemini Man, out October

11 from Paramount Pictures, Will Smith plays a hit man being hunted

down by a younger clone of himself, also played by Smith. (A particularly

fun bit of marketing saw a trailer begin with an introduction by Fresh

Prince–era Smith, complete with camcorder artifacts and a JULY 25, 1989,

time stamp: “So this is for myself like 30 years in the future. You should

come back to Philly a lot, y’know, visit people. But also you should do a

movie, like, called Gemini Man, and you should, like, release the trailer so

people can see it. So that’s my advice for the future me.”)

“More realism” was “a requirement” in making Smith into his younger

self, Lee explains. “To make a young Will Smith that is Will Smith. Not

casting another actor or hiring his son to do it or changing his hairstyle and

makeup. So we have a different approach. A digital approach, that is.”

Lee’s dedication to the cutting-edge in filmmaking was put on display

at this year’s CinemaCon, where he was on hand to help launch the Cinity

Cinema System. A joint venture between Christie Digital Systems, GDC

Technology Limited, and the China-based Huaxia Film Distribution Co.,

Cinity was designed to provide a new standard in digital projection for advanced-format

movies. Officially introduced to the world—or at least lucky

attendees at Huaxia’s late-August Beijing event—with an advanced-format

trailer for Gemini Man, Cinity is capable of projecting the film the way Lee,

72 OCTOBER 2019


WILL SMITH WITH DIRECTOR ANG LEE

with cinematographer Dion Beebe, shot

it: 120FOPS, 4K, 3-D. Lee serves as a

consultant in the creation of the Cinity

Film Lab, which will facilitate experimentation

in the area of advanced-format

filmmaking.

Speaking over the phone, Lee went

into more depth about his digital philosophy,

as it pertains to both filmmaking

and showing the art of film to the world.

You shot using high frame rate in

Billy Lynn, and now again with

Gemini Man. It’s only been a few

years between the two films, but

technology can move pretty fast. How

has digital filmmaking evolved for

you in that time?

Well, I’ve found it’s a new language

since I did Life of Pi. In Life of Pi, I used

a very small amount of 3-D. It was kind

of flat. It was 3-D, but not 3-D as I think

it ought to be. Because when I tried that,

it was very strobe-y. You cannot watch it.

Things looked strange to me. Lighting.

Acting. Everything about the movie feels

a little strange. So I began to ponder: The

movie I believed in since childhood—

what happened to it? I started to ask

questions I never asked before. Ten years

later, I’m still searching.

It’s a new type of language, a new

expression, a new way of absorbing dramatic

events. I’m in the process of that.

I learned that around a hundred frames

per second, the strobe left, and I could

stare at 3-D comfortably. But I found

many questions. So I started to strip off

a lot of artifice that comes along with

moviemaking and movie viewing. And

that’s a strange place.

I found a unique story, which is Billy

Lynn’s story [in which a soldier returns

from war to participate in a football

half-time show]. You take the war and

compare it to the half-time show. That

was the idea. Apparently, people would

rather watch the half-time show. They

didn’t want to go to war! That was that

experience. A quite precious experience.

I was very proud. Everybody who

worked with me jumped in and took a

huge leap.

So here comes Gemini Man, which is

a genre film. And you have a big movie

star. I tried to make it look different

than [if it had been shot on] film. Last

time I was imitating life, and this time I

try to make it pretty. This time I jumped

to the opposite direction and tried to

find an aesthetic I think digital filmmaking

ought to have. That’s the experiment.

That’s a test. It’s a leap of faith. We took

OCTOBER 2019

73


many things on. One big thing is young

Will Smith, of course, which [is the sort

of thing that] has never really been done

before. And we’ll just see if people like

the look this time.

When I got into [Gemini Man], it

was really humbling. A lot of what I

know doesn’t really work. Some works.

Some doesn’t. I have to make believe.

How do I bring people into this story,

into this situation? It’s not just adding a

[third] dimension—the whole rules of the

game have to change somehow.

Whether you’re looking at something

like Gemini Man and Life of Pi or

something less technically advanced,

like The Ice Storm or Lust, Caution,

your films are always real visual

experiences.

People say “Story, story, story.” I don’t

quite buy that. I think cinema can do a lot

more than just storytelling. It’s a precious

experience. Whether you’re making it or

people are watching that story, they go

through something. How you connect

with the media, how they experience the

movie at the moment, and how it changes

your life afterwards. I think it all counts.

It’s more than just telling a story or portraying

a theme. It’s an experience only a

movie can express. You cannot write about

it. It’s a provocation. It should make you

feel. I think that’s very important.

It’s using image to evoke emotion in

the minds of moviegoers.

The viewer is creating their story, their

experience. I rather think it’s a mystery,

that we never know what we’re doing.

I do have this superstition—we’re not

supposed to know!

With characters that are—at least

in part—digital creations, how do

you balance hyper-realism with the

emotion of the performances?

[Digital technology is] a tool for your

expression. I think it’s wrong [if only

realism] is the goal. I think [being] hightech

can allow you to go to even more

abstract, if you know how to use it. And I

would like to see digital cinema go there

someday. I think you can go to your subconsciousness

or something more abstract

[and] make more wonders with digital

effects. And visual effects can become like

visual art.

The goal is to make your heart feel and

your head think. It’s a provocation.

In August, a Gemini Man trailer

screened in Cinity Cinema. Have you

gotten to see the film in Cinitiy yet?

No. I was about to see it this Friday,

but then we had some technical issue. I

have to do it next week. I have not seen

it! I saw like 15 minutes of a test two

weeks ago, three weeks ago. Nobody

really has seen the whole movie yet.

From what I understand, the specs

of how Cinity will screen Gemini Man

matches how you filmed it—so this

would be the best way to see the

movie, no?

Cinity is close to what I think digital

cinema should be. It’s strobe-free. It

looks brighter, so you don’t have to worry

about bulb lighting. It’s digital. It’s more

accurate, so your eyes can agree with each

other and you can start doing dimensionalized

filmmaking. We’re not ready for it

yet. But I think that should be the standard.

Last time I tried. This time I think

we should have a little bit more high dynamic

range. Cinity has all that. Huaxia,

investing in Christie, they’ve created this

new projector that has [all the basics of

what I want from a digital projector].

I think you can have a good taste at

60[fps] and 2K in a regular theater, which

is how we’re going to release the film. In

3-D we only provide 60 frames, which

was blended down from 120 as we shot

it. It comes down from 4K to 2K. And

we’ll provide whatever illuminance they

have in the theater. Dolby Vision can

show 120[fps], high dynamic range, and

at 14 footlamberts. A regular 3-D theater

can show seven footlamberts. [With

those], we will only provide 60 frames

per second, which we call 60 plus, or 3-D

plus. It’s smoother than 60, because we

blend two frames to one.

With that, you have a really good

taste of it. But, of course, Cinity is more

perfect. That’s what we shot.

So will any theaters in North America

be equipped for the whole thing—4K,

3-D, 120fps?

No. Only in China. Since [Huaxia]

invested in it, they’re only putting it in

Chinese theaters.

Gemini Man was your first time working

with a new cinematographer—

Dion Beebe [Memoirs of a Geisha, Collateral,

Chicago].

Yes. I’m very lucky. He was willing to

put aside everything he knows and try

something different. I think most cinematographers

will not do that. He knows so

much about cinematography, and whether

we use [his knowledge] and twist it or do

something else, he is there to experiment,

to discuss, to learn. The focus puller didn’t

know how to [set focus for the shots]. The

first shot, I said “See what I told you? I’ve

been telling you for two months!”

How long was the pre-production?

About two years. The post was one

year. We shot for a pretty regular amount,

80 days. We had three months of tests.

So that’s just trying a bunch of things

out, seeing what looks good and what

maybe looks too uncanny valley?

Yeah. We, quote unquote, wasted a

lot of money, at least as far as the investor

is concerned. We shot in February.

In October we did tech scouts. And then

we did three months of tests. And that’s

all costly.

It’s great that Paramount didn’t try to

nickel and dime you out of doing that.

Yeah. In some ways I wish we could do

even more. But it’s costly. I’m very thankful

that the studio supported it this far.

I guess at some point you do have to

shoot the movie.

Absolutely. It’s not a lab!

74 OCTOBER 2019


Freedom Fighter

KASI LEMMONS’S BIOPIC BRINGS THE SAGA OF

HARRIET TUBMAN TO THE BIG SCREEN

BY KEVIN LALLY

>> She’s a legendary figure in American history, such an icon that

the U.S. Treasury has chosen her to be the first person of color to

appear on the nation’s currency (in 2028). But how much do we

really know about Harriet Tubman? Many know her as a major

force in the mid-1800s Underground Railroad, guiding dozens of

slaves to freedom after fleeing herself for the safety of Pennsylvania.

But did you know that, during the Civil War, she was the first

woman to lead an armed expedition, a raid that freed more than

700 slaves?

PHOTO BY SIMON FREDERICK

KASI LEMMONS

Focus Features’ Harriet, opening on November

1, is the long-overdue biopic of Tubman,

brought to life in a magnetic performance by

Tony winner Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple)

in her first lead movie role. The film co-stars

Hamilton Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. as abolitionist

William Still; Janelle Monáe as free-born

ally Marie Buchanon; Joe Alwyn (The Favourite)

as Harriet’s young master, and country music

star Jennifer Nettles as his mother; Clarke Peters

(“The Wire”) and Vanessa Bell Calloway as Harriet’s

parents; and Vondie Curtis-Hall as Samuel

Green, a real-life Maryland pastor who helped

slaves escape.

Writer Gregory Allen Howard (Remember the

Titans) has been working on the project since the

1990s, and producers Debra Martin Chase and

Daniela Taplin Lundberg ultimately turned to

Kasi Lemmons to direct the film and work on the

screenplay. Lemmons’s debut feature, Eve’s Bayou

(1997), is a landmark in African American cinema

for its depiction of black Southern culture; it won

the Independent Spirit Award and was selected for

the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry.

A former actress, probably best known for her

roles in The Silence of the Lambs and Candyman,

Lemmons has also directed The Caveman’s Valentine,

Talk to Me, and Black Nativity, and is a professor

in the Graduate Film Program at New York

University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Lemmons

spoke with Boxoffice Pro by phone about her

journey with Harriet.

I learned so much about Harriet Tubman

watching this film. I knew about the

Underground Railroad, but there were so many

other dimensions that I didn’t know. What did

you learn that you didn’t know before?

I thought I knew about Harriet Tubman, but

I did about seven months of pure research and I

learned so many things. In terms of things that

went into the movie that mattered to me, definitely

the spirituality. That was really interesting. Just the

strangeness of praying that her master would die,

and he died. The thing that affected me the most

deeply was that it really was a family story, and

that’s one of the things I tried to bring out: her as a

woman, but also as a daughter and a sister. When

you read about a hero, you can disengage a little

bit from their courage, but everybody can understand

wanting to go back to your family. I wanted

to show what people had to go through to be

free—the horrible decisions of leaving people behind.

That really resonated for me—who’s willing

to do that and who’s not willing to do that.

I saw Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple on

Broadway, and her performance gave me

chills. I was surprised that you gave her the

opportunity to sing in the film. Is that based on

the real Harriet?

Oh yeah, absolutely. That’s how she communicated.

That’s how she called the enslaved people,

through song. It was like a coded message—because

when the slave owners heard the slaves

singing, they thought they were happy. They didn’t

suspect that the music could signal an uprising or

a call to freedom. It was the way enslaved people

communicated—only certain people would understand

the message.

Tell me about the rapport you had with Cynthia.

She’s the key to the success of this film. What

kind of a connection did you make?

It was and still is a very deep connection. We

had to be that way. Our rapport was very important

to us—it’s really how we got through it. We

76 OCTOBER 2019


CYNTHIA ERIVO

AS HARRIET TUBMAN

OCTOBER 2019

77


looked in each other’s eyes, we held each

other’s hands, we really tried to invoke

her together. We talked about it a lot, trying

to channel her and access her so that

other people could. It was actually the

most profound experience I’ve ever had.

With Leslie Odom Jr. in the film,

you’ve got two of the biggest recent

Broadway stars in your movie. Did you

find their stage discipline was an asset

for you on this project?

I think of them as actors who just happen

to also be able to star in Broadway

shows and win Grammys. They’re just really

talented people, but when they were

on set, it was like directing any actor. All

actors are a little bit different, depending

on their training and their approach. To

me, it’s all directing.

I have to believe that for both your

black and white actors, it was

uncomfortable in a lot of ways to be

playing slaves and slave owners. How

do you deal with that as a director?

Well, everybody understands why

they’re there, and we rehearse so everyone

is comfortable. You cast carefully—you

choose people who are there for the right

reasons and who are good people and

who are uncomfortable—they shouldn’t

be too comfortable. So we just discuss

it and try to give the characters as much

backstory as possible, even the white slave

owners, things that actors can relate to.

This is probably the biggest production

you’ve ever done. What were the big

challenges for you?

Just trying to get it all into our schedule

and into our budget. And shooting

outside, shooting in the woods at night,

in the rain, and dealing with the elements.

The interesting thing about her journey is

that she covered a lot of ground!

You have a great cinematographer on

this project, John Toll [two-time Oscar

winner for Braveheart and Legends

of the Fall]. How did you land him for

this film?

Well, it’s funny. We were at the

Sundance Lab together. I’m a longtime

Sundance adviser and John has done the

Lab several times. I sat next to him and

said, “So, John, what are you working on

next?” And he said, “I don’t know.” “Do

you think you want to do another big

movie or a small movie?” He said, “You

know, I think I might try a small movie.”

And I said, “So, do you like Harriet Tubman?”

The conversation kind of went like

that. There was a screening of my movie

Eve’s Bayou at Sundance and he watched

it, and then he asked for a script.

LESLIE ODOM JR.

Are you and Focus Features doing

anything special to make sure this film

reaches a young audience?

We certainly hope it does. I think that

they are very actively trying to reach that

audience. That’s very important to me. I

made it for the audience and I made it to

appeal to everyone, from 10-year-olds to

their great-grandmothers.

Did you have that audience in mind as

you were making it? Were there little

touches you added to try to make sure

it reached a young crowd?

The mission was to make something

that could reach a wide audience. I wrote

the role of Walter thinking of the younger

audience. That character [a slave hunter

turned liberator] is very important to me;

he’s played by my son [Henry Hunter

Hall]. One thing we were very conscious

of was trying to make an adventure

movie, trying to keep it exciting, Her life

is inherently an adventure story, and we

wanted to capture that.

I remember you in The Silence of the

Lambs. Do you miss acting at all? Are

you thinking of ever going back to it?

Not really. This is very fulfilling and

keeps me absorbed. I spend most of my

time as a writer and there’s something

fulfilling about that, working from your

imagination. It’s a different muscle.

There’s something comforting about

acting, and it would be a relaxing break

from directing. But I like the gig that I

have, which is being a professor and a

writer and director.

It was nice to see your husband

[Vondie Curtis-Hall] in the film. I’ve

always liked his work. Is he kind of a

good-luck charm for you?

Yeah, I enjoy him being in my movies.

He’s dependably great, and he’s always

good to have around. But I don’t try to

put a square peg in a round hole—if

there’s a part that’s right for him, then I’m

interested and he’s interested. He read the

script and did a lot of research about Reverend

Green, and he decided he wanted

to play that character.

I have to congratulate you on having

Eve’s Bayou in the National Film

Registry. What does that mean to you?

It meant so much—I have an absurd

amount of excitement about it. It’s a film

that’s very close to my heart. I was incredibly

flattered and grateful for that honor.

How important to you is it that people

see Harriet in theaters?

I very much believe in seeing films in

theaters. There’s something so immersive

about it; it really lets you go on an

incredible journey with other people. We

made this film for the audience and it

plays wonderfully with a full audience. I

very much hope people get to experience

it that way.

78 OCTOBER 2019


Slam Dunk

BLACK AND BLUE DIRECTOR DEON TAYLOR

BRINGS HIS SPORTS REGIMEN TO A THRIVING MOVIE CAREER

BY KEVIN LALLY

>> When you’ve made it to the ranks of Division 1 and professional

basketball, you’ve surely learned how to hustle. And that

work ethic has carried over to Deon Taylor’s other career, as a

filmmaker: Black and Blue, which Screen Gems releases on October

25, is his second wide release this year, following the studio’s

The Intruder in May. And another film Taylor has already wrapped,

Fatale, was just sold to Lionsgate.

DEON TAYLOR

Black and Blue, Taylor’s seventh theatrical feature,

leaps fearlessly into one of the most divisive

issues confronting modern America: the tension

between minority communities and neighborhood

police who are often viewed more as a trigger-happy

threat than a trusted protector. Naomie Harris,

Oscar nominee for Moonlight, stars as Alicia West,

a rookie cop in New Orleans who suddenly finds

herself fighting for her life after she inadvertently

captures a fellow officer’s murder of a drug dealer

on her bodycam. Tyrese Gibson from the Fast &

Furious franchise plays a convenience store manager

who becomes her reluctant sole ally.

Taylor was immediately drawn to the combination

of action, suspense, and substance in Peter

A. Dowling’s screenplay. “I got the script from

[Screen Gems senior V.P. of production] Eric

Paquette, who said, ‘You should read this, it’s a

really good vehicle for you.’ As I turned the page,

I was going, oh man, what a great canvas! The

action was so fun, and the fact that I had never

in my life seen a black female actress play a police

officer in the leading role—I couldn’t think of one.

And I said, man, this is right up my alley. I love

the action. I love the thrill. I love the suspense, I

love that it really puts me in the driver’s seat like

all the action movies that I love. And then I fell in

love with the fact that the movie had a heart, it actually

had a pulse. Unlike a lot of the films we get

today where you’re being injected into so much

fast-paced, full-throttle action, but you don’t get

a message. And I said, man, this is a cool movie

because you actually get something.”

That something is a reflection of what’s happening

in so many struggling neighborhoods. “There’s

so much going on right now in our world, it’s like

you can’t even keep up with the headlines, you

know?” Taylor says. “But one of the things that has

been consistent is the split between police officers

and people in communities. Just as an African

American filmmaker, I’ve really been vigilant in

the streets and marching and pushing and helping.

Part of my whole makeup is that I’m a philanthropist—we

do outreach programs and I’m really in

these places people talk about. And I thought the

movie was incredible—first, the commercial ability

for it to be a Training Day or a Sicario and to have

all the great action and excitement. But what I am

most proud about is the core of the film—it’s a

human movie, it’s about right and wrong. It’s not

about the judicial system and how many different

ways can you analyze a body camera. It’s about the

fact that she sees somebody on this side of the law

kill somebody, and wrong is wrong—she takes a

stance. Here’s a cop running from other cops and

then she tries to go to the community and the

community is like, get outta here. I just love the

moment in the movie where she says, ‘I’m so tired

of them versus us.’ She wants to blur the lines.

There shouldn’t be a blue line, it should be a line

where community is involved.”

Taylor says part of the solution is “bringing

police officers on who can really see through

what type of clothes you’re wearing or what skin

color you are or what your hat says or what your

hair says. We have some brilliant police officers

in our communities, and we also have some guys

that have a tendency to just want to have wealth

and power.”

Taylor grew up on the rough streets of Gary,

Indiana, and later moved to Sacramento, California,

where he played high school basketball. He

received a full scholarship from San Diego State

University, where he excelled as a Division 1 player,

and later forged a career as a professional basketball

player in Germany from 1998 to 2003.

“While I was overseas,” he recalls, “I just had

this craving to write a screenplay and to get into

the film business. And I had no real resources, no

80 OCTOBER 2019


one I could call on.

No one I knew was

in the film business. I

went on this journey

for almost three and

a half years, trying to

get a movie made. I

would just fly back

and forth to Los Angeles

with a backpack

on, meeting everyone

in the world that you

could possibly meet

and being told no at

every stop. So I decided

that I would make

my own film, I would

raise my own money.

And during that process,

I ended up meeting

Robert Smith, and

he changed my life.”

Smith is the

founder and CEO of

Vista Equity Partners

and the country’s

wealthiest African American, with a net worth of

about $6 billion. This past May, he made headlines

when he announced his plans to pay off the entire

student-loan debt of the 2019 graduating class at

Morehouse College.

“At the time he wasn’t the giant he is today,”

Taylor says of his initial encounter with Smith.

“He was a young, up-and-coming, vibrant

businessman who was worth a couple hundred

million dollars. And he said I haven’t met very

many people who have the passion you have or the

will to not quit. And I told him I don’t know any

other way. I come from a really crazy place where

we don’t make it out, and I’ve made it out. I come

from a place where we don’t dream, and I’m a

dreamer and I want to make this work in my life.

And he got behind me, and 13 years later we’re still

together and we have an incredible company together

[the production company Hidden Empire].

We both understand that it’s about what you do to

affect and help other people, not about yourself.

And I try my hardest to make movies that deal

with people overcoming adversity. So no matter if

I make a comedy, a fun movie, or a horror movie,

the main story line is always going to be about

adversity. How do we win? How do you beat evil?

And that’s my life, man.”

Smith and Taylor’s Hidden Empire is also

behind “Be Woke,” a Webby-nominated web series

encouraging young people to vote that has enlisted

such celebrities as Jamie Foxx, Kim Kardashian,

will.i.am, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Another of Taylor’s valued collaborators is

veteran cinematographer Dante Spinotti, his D.P.

on Traffik (2018), Black and Blue, and Fatale.

“When you’re blessed enough to have the opportunity

to work with someone like Dante ... you’re

talking Michael Mann—that’s the best of the

best. When you think of films like L.A. Confidential,

The Insider, or Heat … to have a legend

behind the camera with you is nothing short of

amazing. Black and Blue is a movie where if you

turn the sound down, you could understand the

film. You would be able to watch the movie from

beginning to end and go, oh, I know exactly

what’s going on and what she’s fighting for.

Dante is one of those prolific storytellers with the

camera—that’s his genius. Every day on set, it’s

me, six foot three, former basketball player that’s

hyper-energy, and a 73-year-old Italian man. And

people are like, you guys are brothers. We call

ourselves the odd couple. I love him to death.

FREEZE!

Naomie Harris plays

an NOPD rookie who,

with the help of Tyrese

Gibson’s Milo “Mouse”

Jackson, attempts to

expose the murder of a

drug dealer committed

by a fellow officer.

OCTOBER 2019

81


When we’re not working, we’re having dinner

together or trying to see a movie together. It’s a

real relationship.”

Taylor’s next film, Fatale, features The Intruder

star Michael Ealy and Hilary Swank in the Fatal

Attraction–like story of a married man who comes

to regret his impulsive one-night stand. Lionsgate

has announced an October 9, 2020, release date.

“When you talk about Hilary Swank,” Taylor says,

“you quickly realize it’s not a mistake that she has

two Oscars. How she approaches film, how she

sits down with the script, how she articulates what

she thinks, how she builds a character—she’s doing

so many different things in the movie, and you

don’t even realize the mechanics until you watch

playback. And then I rolled right into working

with Naomie and they are like spitting images of

each other. They’re pros, they’re all-stars. That’s

what they do. It’s just a beautiful thing when an

actress walks on set and not only does she know

all of her lines, she knows everyone else’s lines.

And they’re taking the time to understand all of

the ad libs that they can do, all of the beats that

that character can deliver.”

Taylor continues, “I feel like film is just like athletics.

It takes that same mental mindset, it takes

that type of energy, it takes that much practice.

And here I am now as a filmmaker, 40-plus years

old, and I just told a buddy of mine I gotta get

better. I gotta learn more, I gotta do more, I gotta

figure out how to tell better stories, I gotta figure

out how to move the camera [better]. If you’re not

doing that, then you’re lying to yourself and you’re

lying to the film business. When you look at how

prolific, incredible, some of our greatest storytellers

are ... it took time for Clint Eastwood to be that

good, and part of why Clint is so great is because

he’s like a seasoned wine. He understands that less

is more. Spike Lee understands that when I pull

you on this [dolly] down the hallway, you’re not really

walking but you’re moving visually. I’m telling

the story within a story. And you get that much

closer to being great when you work with people

like Hilary and Naomie.”

Taylor says his basketball background has been

a tremendous boon to both his filmmaking career

and his overall work ethic. “The basketball aspect

of it is me working relentlessly on the court, drilling

myself when practice is over, doing another

hour or two hours’ worth of work. I’ve applied

that to film learning, making sure you’re around

the right coaches, people that could actually help

you get to the next level. That’s Dante, that’s

being around someone that has light years more

experience than me and shutting up and listening

to them tell you why things are the way they are.

Why is the light that way? Why does the camera

move that way? ‘Deon, that’s a great idea, but how

about we do it this way?’ I’m taking constructive

criticism, right? In basketball a coach yells at you,

‘You didn’t do that right. You needed to go left

and you went right.’ It’s the same exact thing on

film. ‘Hilary or Naomie, I really thought this was

a great idea, but it was wrong when I watched it

back. You should have went that way.’ Having

no ego—it’s a team sport. I apply that to film. If

you ask anyone that’s been on any movie set with

me, it’s the most lively, funnest movie set you’ll

ever be on. We play music. I ask questions. We

say quiet and everyone’s quiet. We do a scene. I

ask the people that’s holding the lights: What did

you think? The guy that’s holding the light or the

P.A. that’s picking up trash, if I say, ‘Hey, man,

come here, watch this thing’ and they don’t like it,

then chances are the audience is not gonna like it.

Because he is the audience.”

And Taylor wants that audience to be inside a

cinema. “One of the most amazing things you can

do is to see a movie in a theater. The theater has

the ability to transport you to other worlds. It’s a

time machine. And that’s why it will never go out

of business, no matter what platforms are built.

Yeah, it’s fun, man. You can download and stream

and watch a movie on your phone. But there’s no

business like the movie business, and watching a

film inside of a theater, the dark room, the cool

seats, the popcorn, the screen that’s the size of a

building, where you actually have to turn your

phone off and go to that world. Part of growing

up in an inner city for me was the treat of having

enough money when my mom was able to take

us to the movies. That was like the biggest thing

all week. The fact that you pay your money, you

sneak in some candy [laughs], and you transport

to another world. Seeing Stallone on the screen in

Rambo and Arnold in Conan, and Eddie Murphy—there’s

no experience that can be higher

than that. No matter how great a movie is, it

can never equal the value of seeing it in a theater

versus seeing it in your living room. So that’s why

it’s important to go see Black and Blue. The movie

was shot for the theater. The movie is shot for you

to sit back, drink a Coke, and experience a runchase

film with a heart.”

82 OCTOBER 2019


BIG DATA

COURTESY OF NATIONAL CINEMEDIA

ASK THE

AUDIENCE

THE HOTTEST TITLES OF THE

FALL & WINTER MOVIE CALENDAR

WHICH FALL/

WINTER RELEASES

DO MOVIEGOERS

PLAN TO WATCH IN

THEATERS?

Moviegoers ages 55+

chose CATS significantly

more than those

ages 35–54

Moviegoers ages 18–34

chose CHARLIE’S ANGELS

significantly more than those

ages 35–54

Moviegoers ages 18–34 chose

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

significantly more than those

ages 35–54 and 55+

Moviegoers ages 55+

chose FORD V FERRARI

significantly more than those

ages 18–34 and 35–54

KEY INSIGHTS

Statistically Significant

Differences in Viewing

Plans by Age

Moviegoers ages 18–34

chose FROZEN II significantly

more than those

ages 35–54

Moviegoers ages 55+ chose

GEMINI MAN significantly

more than those ages 18–34

and 35–54

84 OCTOBER 2019


MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

M

CATS

F

WHICH

OF THE THESE

FALL / WINTER

FILMS ARE YOU

PLANNING TO WATCH

AT THE MOVIES?

Statistically Significant

Differences in

Viewing Plans by

Gender

M

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

F

M

F

100% OF RESPONDENTS

M

F

COLOR BARS INDICATE

PERCENTAGE OF GENDER

WHO CHOSE THE FILM

M

F

DOCTOR SLEEP

GEMINI MAN

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

M

F

M

F

M

F

FORD V FERRARI

JOKER

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

M

F

M

F

M

F

OCTOBER 2019

85


BIG DATA

FAVORITE FALL/WINTER HOLIDAY FOR MOVIEGOING

AGE GROUP

GENDER

HOLIDAY TOTAL 18-34 35-54 55+ M F

HALLOWEEN 12% 18% 14% 5% 12% 12%

THANKSGIVING 20% 17% 21% 21% 22% 18%

HANUKKAH 1% 0% 1% 2% 1% 0%

CHRISTMAS 36% 32% 32% 46% 38% 34%

NEW YEARS 4% 4% 4% 5% 3% 5%

VALENTINE'S DAY 1% 1% 1% 0% 1% 1%

I DON'T GO TO THE MOVIES ON HOLIDAYS 26% 28% 26% 22% 22% 29%

KEY INSIGHTS

74% of respondents indicated that they go to the movies during a fall or winter holiday,

with the most popular being Christmas.

Statistically Significant Differences:

Moviegoers ages 18–34 and

35–54 chose HALLOWEEN

as their favorite moviegoing

holiday significantly more than

those 55+.

Moviegoers ages 55+ chose

CHRISTMAS as their favorite

moviegoing holiday significantly

more than those ages 18–34

and 35–54.

86 OCTOBER 2019


MOVIEGOING DECISIONS

HOW MUCH DO THE FOLLOWING FACTORS INFLUENCE YOUR MOVIEGOING

CHOICES DURING THE HOLIDAYS? BLACK BARS REPRESENT PERCENTAGE

REVIEWS

ROTTEN TOMATOES

METACRITIC

SOCIAL MEDIA

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OCTOBER 2019

87


BIG DATA

HOLIDAY MOVIEGOING TRADITIONS

SELECTED QUOTES FROM OUR RESPONDENTS

“I’m Jewish, so I go to

the movies every year

on Christmas Day. I also

love this time in movies

because this is when all of

the Oscar movies typically

come out.”

“I love going to the

movies with my family

during Christmas/New Year’s

when we’re all off from work

and school. We’ll pick a day

and watch at least one film

together. I look forward to

that every year. The holiday

stress is over and we can

all relax!”

“We always go to

the movies early on

Thanksgiving, while the

turkey is roasting, and then

we always watch National

Lampoon’s Christmas

Vacation that same evening,

after dinner.”

“I like to go on

the Friday after

Thanksgiving with my

wife. We catch an early

show and go out to eat

something that is

not turkey.”

“While I enjoy summer

movies with my wife and

child every chance we get,

we love scary movies in

the Halloween season.

Especially before we head

out to haunted houses or

haunted theme

park attractions.”

88 OCTOBER 2019


LOOKING FORWARD: MOST ANTICIPATED Q1 2020 FILMS

AGE GROUP

GENDER

RELEASE

DATE

FILM TOTAL 18-34 35-54 55+ M F

1/17/20 BAD BOYS FOR LIFE 31% 31% 33% 29% 31% 32%

1/17/20 THE VOYAGE OF DR. DOLITTLE 21% 26% 19% 22% 18% 24%

2/7/20 BIRDS OF PREY (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) 49% 59% 48% 41% 57% 40%

2/12/20 THE KING'S MAN 40% 46% 39% 37% 43% 37%

2/14/20 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 11% 17% 10% 5% 12% 9%

3/6/20 ONWARD 29% 39% 29% 21% 32% 27%

3/13/20 GODZILLA VS KONG 37% 41% 39% 32% 48% 27%

3/20/20 A QUIET PLACE 2 39% 47% 38% 33% 44% 34%

3/27/20 MULAN 42% 58% 40% 34% 37% 47%

brought to you by the point of sale you know

RTS

OCTOBER 2019

89


PHOTO : CIGI TIPTON / MIRRORLESS MIND STUDIO

Kathi Gilman (Cinergy

Entertainment, center)

joined by Jeffrey Benson

(Cinergy Entertainment,

left) and Charlie Gomez

(Ricos Products , right)

accepts the CinéShow

2019 Frank Liberto

Award.

Eventizing

Cinema

CINÉSHOW 2019 SHOWCASES

HOW EXHIBITOR MARKETING

IS ADAPTING TO REACH

TODAY’S AUDIENCES

by Daniel Loria

>> It was a tense start to the week at CinéShow

2019, with details of the negotiations over a theatrical

run for Netflix’s The Irishman being leaked

through industry trade outlets. There was anxiety

in the air, especially as the streaming giant prepared

to screen its remaining slate of titles during

major festivals in the subsequent weeks: Telluride,

Toronto, and Venice all on the schedule. Uncertainty

about how the rest of 2019 would play out

prevailed until official news came down midweek

that Netflix would give The Irishman a cursory

theatrical release under a shortened theatrical

window. With the status quo still in place, the

week’s sessions at CinéShow provided compelling

insights into how the region’s exhibitors are

planning to tackle the coming months and their

corresponding titles.

Perhaps the most standout feature of this year’s

programming at CinéShow was the inclusion of

the Independent Cinema Alliance (ICA), which

helped shed light on the priorities and concerns

of different players in the independent sector. Of

note was an operations-themed session focused on

building a positive workplace culture. Representatives

from Cinema World, Galaxy Theatres, and

Studio Movie Grill all contributed examples of how

to build winning teams through a combination of

location-specific and company-wide initiatives that

simultaneously prepare and motivate employees.

The prevailing theme of the week’s panels centered

on the challenges of exhibitor marketing in today’s

rapidly changing media landscape. While new

movies remain the primary driver for attendance,

exhibitors have begun branching out to include premium

amenities, expanded concessions, and event

screenings as part of their promotional strategies.

Loyalty programs have proved particularly

valuable in today’s outreach plans for exhibitors,

allowing companies to directly engage with their

audiences through customized messages. “For us at

Flix Brewhouse, the single most important marketing

tool we have are our customers’ email addresses.

90 OCTOBER 2019


It’s not even close,” said Greg Johnson, director of

marketing at Flix Brewhouse. Flix recently transitioned

to Movio Cinema’s Dynamic Content after

having worked with MailChimp for several years, a

shift that Johnson claims has helped better tailor his

outreach to specific segments of his audience.

Custom messaging is crucial to effectively

communicate with your audience; bombarding

clients with too many emails—or worse, irrelevant

offers—can mean the difference between

an unread email and a ticket purchase. Knowing

your local audience off-line, however, still plays a

major role in offering the right programming at the

right time. “I have to pay really close attention to

the Texas A&M football schedule,” said Jim Bob

McKown, house manager at the Queen Theatre

in Bryan, Texas, an independent cinema minutes

away from College Station. “If there’s a game going

on, I know to make that Saturday a Ladies Night.”

Over the past decade, social media has emerged

as another vital platform for engaging with audiences.

Jason Ostrow, V.P. of development at Star Cinema

Grill, noted that his fledgling circuit has found

success by marketing itself as a lifestyle brand by

creating moments in a cinema visit that guests can

share online. “Memorable experiences are the most

valuable marketing opportunities you can get,” he

said. “Whether it’s through a dine-in experience, a

comfortable chair, or a commemorative beverage—

anything you can do so they can share it on social

media is invaluable as a marketing tool.”

“The power of your guests marketing for you is

incredible,” agreed Flix Brewhouse’s Greg Johnson.

“If you can find a way for your customers to

actively promote your brand for you, it can make

all the difference.”

B&B Theatres saw the power of this sort of

marketing firsthand after installing the largest

ScreenX panoramic screen system in their flagship

Liberty, Missouri, location. “With ScreenX you’re

offering the audience something they can’t get at

home, an experience they’ve never had before,”

said Chris Tickner, director of marketing and

special events at B&B. “It’s something consumers

market for us. When you go watch It Chapter 2

and see Pennywise walk across that panoramic

screen—you’re going to go home and talk about

that with your friends. That’s the best sort of marketing

you can get.”

Star Cinema Grill’s own tech investment in

Samsung’s Onyx direct-view LED screen has

similarly produced positive social media influence.

“Since we’re not a large national chain, Samsung

engaged several local influencers with 30, 50, or

PHOTO : CIGI TIPTON / MIRRORLESS MIND STUDIO

The Flix Brewhouse

Frisco/Little Elm location

served as the site of the

opening-day luncheon

and exhibitor-focused

sessions.

OCTOBER 2019

91


PHOTO : CIGI TIPTON / MIRRORLESS MIND STUDIO

Studio Movie Grill

founder and CEO

Brian Schultz accepts

the CinéShow 2019

Visionary Award.

100,000 followers for the Onyx launch,” said Ostrow.

“Social influencers are an economical way to

spread your message quickly and efficiently; we’ve

found that to be very successful for us.”

Social influencers are the latest marketing trend

to enter the exhibition space, with different chains

using differing approaches to the concept. “I can’t

tell you how many times a day—honestly, every

day—that we get emails from people with 2,000

followers who say they’re influencers,” said Annelise

Holyoak, national director of marketing and

communications at Cinépolis USA. “We’d rather

not alienate them—we’ll offer them free tickets

or something like that—but we try to work with

people with over 300,000 followers at minimum.”

While a large following makes sense for a

multinational brand like Cinépolis, a regional

leader like B&B Theatres—which is mostly concentrated

in the midwestern United States—takes

a more local approach when working with influencers.

“We are starting to work with micro-influencers

because we’re not on the coasts, we’re in

cities like Kansas City and Tulsa—it doesn’t make

sense for us to hire an influencer out of L.A. or

New York,” said B&B’s Tickner. “We can get

more out of our investment if we partner with

a ‘mommy blogger’ from Kansas City, who can

share posts with her 5,000 to 10,000 followers

that live close to our cinemas.”

Alternative programming like repertory screenings

and event cinema has also emerged as a popular

option for cinemas looking to offer a distinct

experience to their patrons. While potentially popular,

they represent a unique marketing challenge

for exhibitors who may not be used to promoting

films with date-specific show times without the

marketing muscle of a major studio. “Obviously,

studios take care of the large bulk of the marketing

for regular films,” said Cinépolis’s Holyoak. “We

have to put in an extra effort to build the audience

for our event cinema titles.”

This can lead to a trial-and-error process that

not every exhibitor might willing to invest in.

“Everybody is aware of when the next Avengers is

coming out—even McDonald’s is talking about

Avengers. With event cinema you have to put a

concerted effort into making sure people understand

what it is and why you’re doing it,” said Flix

Brewhouse’s Johnson, who admits they’ve had their

share of events that haven’t worked as well as they

had hoped when building out their highly popular

themed-screening evenings.

The Queen Theatres’ McKown brought up his

own experience in programming a Harry Potter

92 OCTOBER 2019


series targeting the college-aged audience

in neighboring College Station. While

the first three films of the series brought

out lively crowds, the exhibitor admitted

that audiences slowly dissipated as the

series ran into its final weeks. “You have

to make sure you can sustain that initial

interest,” he said. “I don’t care how big

a fan of something you are, it’s a really

big commitment for a fan to go to every

single one of these events.”

Moreover, event screenings shouldn’t

be seen as a “plug-and-play” solution.

Crafting events tied to local audiences—and

promoting them accordingly—

might be a task best suited for smaller

exhibitors, as Johnson, who has been

with Flix since it only had one location,

noted during a panel session. “I remember

those days very well, when you could

put a lot of time and effort in putting

together an event for your cinema,” he

said. “That gives you a real competitive

advantage if you have one or two locations;

it’s really hard to do once you start

getting up into a half dozen locations

or more. It can be like herding kittens

because you just don’t have the same control

over it across each location. If you’re

a single-unit operator, you own your

domain—your eyes are on everything.”

The future holds even more innovations

that exhibitors have only just

begun to explore. In a panel covering

microcinema and on-demand screenings,

Tony Adamson, SVP of strategic

planning at GDC Technology of

America, spoke about the potential of

his company’s cinema on-demand offering,

GoGoCinema. The service, first

announced at CinemaCon 2018, allows

patrons to book a private screening

from a list of titles hosted by GDC.

Patrons would then be able to visit their

closest participating cinema to enjoy

their title of choice in the comfort of

a big-screen auditorium. While the

concept might be difficult to scale in the

United States, Adamson noted that it’s

finding success in Asia through the rise

of microcinemas—makeshift screening

rooms in spaces not typically associated

with commercial exhibition. Some

cinemas have actually outfitted small

auditoriums for private bookings, a concept

similar to booking a private-room

karaoke session.

Ultimately, CinéShow 2019 helped

highlight the ways exhibition is currently

competing with in-home and destination

entertainment options through its own

avenues of innovation. As content availability

beyond studio tentpoles becomes a

growing concern with the rise of streaming

platforms, marketing efforts like those

described above will play a bigger role in

engaging audiences and promoting repeat

cinema visits. Five out of the last seven

years have introduced new record-setting

tallies at the domestic box office;

the audience is already there. The key to

sustaining this success, as these marketing

initiatives show, rests on finding ways to

keep bringing that same audience back to

theaters as often as possible.

OCTOBER 2019

93


TECHNOLOGY

BY VASSILIKI MALOUCHOU

TheaterEars

DRIVING DIVERSITY THROUGH TECH

Hispanic audiences are America’s most active moviegoers. According

to the MPAA, they represent 18 percent of the U.S. population

but 24 percent of frequent moviegoers. They make up the highest

annual attendance per capita compared to any other ethnic group,

going to the movies an average of 4.7 times in 2018 (despite being

significantly underrepresented in both cast and crew). Yet the language

barrier prevents still more Latinx people from enjoying the

moviegoing experience.

DAN MANGRU

>> TheaterEars, a free, ad-based mobile app

that lets moviegoers access a Spanish-language

soundtrack on their phones, wants to bring more

Spanish speakers to the theater. The Florida-based

start-up uses the phone’s microphone to identify

and sync the film with its official Spanish audio

track, allowing viewers to listen

to it discreetly with a pair of

headphones as their screen dims.

The app is available in all theaters

in the United States and Puerto

Rico, with plans for an international

expansion in the making.

TheaterEars CEO Dan Mangru

describes the inspiration for

his app: “I was in Boca Raton,

Florida, and when two of my best

friends, Larry and Virginia—

who’s Colombian—got married,

Virginia’s mom came with her from Colombia.

Like many immigrants, she didn’t speak English

and she never really learned, as is the case with

many people who come to the U.S. after the age

of 30. As time went on, they had family movie

nights and they wanted to bring the mother-inlaw,

Maria, to the movies. She just didn’t want to

go because of the language barrier. The idea was,

why don’t we make an app in Spanish so that

she can go to the movies? So, we started to work

on TheaterEars,” says Mangru, whose mother is

from Puerto Rico. “This couldn’t have happened

20 years ago, but when the technology was ready,

I really wanted to pursue this and make it into

something real. I just knew how important that

was to individuals and how empowering it was

because language is such a barrier.”

According to a Pew Research study, more than

37 million Latinx people speak Spanish at home,

making it the most widely spoken language in the

U.S. after English. About 12.5 million Hispanics

ages 5 and older—or 30 percent of this group—are

not proficient in English. Another 3.2 million,

most of them foreign born, say they do not speak

English at all. Currently, almost half a million

people use TheaterEars, with 97.8 percent of them

speaking primarily Spanish.

The app was launched in 2017 with Disney’s

Coco, picking up more subscribers with blockbusters

such as Jumanji and Rampage. But the

project was years in the making, with almost

four years of R&D before the launch. Constant

attention to detail as well as innovation was necessary

to develop the app. “Dealing with audio, the

track can’t be pretty, or kinda, close,” says Mangu.

“It needs to be exactly dead-on or it’s going to be

a big strain. The technology always has its challenges

and it’s always evolving.

There’s always a new iPhone, a

new operating system. You’re

constantly working on improvements.”

An additional challenge

to launching the app was the

team’s lack of ties to the entertainment

industry. “I didn’t come

in from the industry with 20

years of entertainment contacts;

we had to introduce ourselves.

“The thing that we see the

most when people talk to us is

that the app helps them get closer. It’s bringing

people closer together and enables them to share

an experience that they couldn’t have before,” says

Mangru. In that same spirit of creating community,

the TheaterEars team works with social media

influencers for its marketing initiatives.

Studios, which provide the official audio for the

movies, play a central role in marketing campaigns.

With Disney-Pixar’s Coco campaign, for example,

news about the newly launched TheaterEars was

picked up by various media outlets. But Spanish-language

influencers have really propelled the

app’s publicity. “What’s really interesting is that

we don’t have a formal influencer program,” says

Mangu, “but we had people who genuinely enjoyed

and needed the product. Spanish-language influencers

found us. We’ve been very fortunate that

94 OCTOBER 2019


people have reached out to us

and said, ‘Hey, how can we help

with what you guys are doing?

Because now we can go to the

movies.’” Eugenio Derbez,

Coco’s director Lee Unkrich, and

Pitch Perfect’s Chrissie Fit were

among the celebrities to endorse

the product. Award-winning

actor and lyricist Lin-Manuel

Miranda was also recently

welcomed as a global ambassador

and investor to help raise

awareness about the start-up.

On the app itself, bonus

content, including tagged

trailers in Spanish, movie

reviews (by influencers such as

@ElAlexGoncales), and exclusive

interviews and celebrity promos, enhances that

sense of community. Eugenio Derbez’s special

message to TheaterEars users for Dora and the Lost

City of Gold garnered 23,600 views on Instagram

alone. “We found that our users wanted a

feature-rich experience. The interest in movies

was so high that they wanted to engage with

them. I think that TheaterEars became a hub for

multi-language engagement with

movies,” says Mangru.

At the heart of TheaterEars’

offering is building an audience

among untapped demographics.

For Mangru, “with competition

for entertainment being

as high as it is now, putting an

emphasis into expanding into

diverse audiences is beneficial

to everybody.”

Recently, other products

geared toward Hispanic moviegoers

have entered the market.

MyLingo, a similar app that

offers a dubbed version of mainstream

movies in Spanish, is

TheaterEars’ direct competitor,

but exhibitors and tech providers

have jumped on the bandwagon

as well. On the tech side,

First Class Seating showcased an

innovation at CinemaCon 2019

that would allow viewers to

access a foreign-language track

through a headphone jack built

into the chair. In May, Atom

Tickets announced a partnership

with Ticketòn, a ticketing

company for the U.S. Hispanic

market. And My Cinema has

built a focus on marketing a

diverse slate of films to Hispanic

audiences. On the exhibitor

side, Maya Cinemas is dedicated

to building cinemas in underserved

Latino neighborhoods in

the U.S.

But while initiatives looking

to drive more Hispanics to the

movies are flourishing, little

progress has been made regarding

on- and behind-the-screen representation. A

report from USC’s Media, Diversity, and Social

Change Initiative found that in the 100 top films

of 2016, Latinos were represented by just 3 percent

of speaking parts. A study by the USC Annenberg

Initiative released in August revealed that little has

changed since. In fact, the proportion has remained

stable over the last decade. Of the 1,200 titles

that were examined, 568 (4.5%)

did not feature a single speaking

Lantinx character, and 61.9

percent of Latinx characters

were shown engaged in illegal

activity, either as gang members

or drug dealers.

But ultimately, as Mangru

puts it, going to the movies is

about connection: connection

through better accessibility but

also proper representation. “We

get to connect with the movies,

the experiences of other people;

we connect with the people

that are sitting next to us.

But we also connect with the

characters on screen. It’s part

of a shared human experience.

I don’t think that will ever go

away. That’s where the moviegoing

theatrical experience is so

valuable and so important.”

OCTOBER 2019

95


PART 5

IN THE

SERIES

TOP WOMEN

IN GLOBAL

EXHIBITION 2019

EDITED BY REBECCA PAHLE

Earlier this year, Boxoffice Pro partnered with Celluloid Junkie to present the

fourth-annual list of Top Women in Global Exhibition, published in our CinemaCon

issue. Throughout 2019 and early 2020, Boxoffice Pro will continue to

honor the women who have an immeasurable impact on the exhibition industry

with a series of in-depth profiles.

96 OCTOBER 2019


HOYTS GROUP

Stephanie Mills

Director, Sales, Marketing,

and Content

>> Since her inclusion on last year’s

Top Women in Exhibition list, Stephanie

Mills (right) has been promoted to

the director of sales, marketing, and

content of Hoyts’ Australian and New

Zealand operations. Said Hoyts Group

CEO and president Damian Keogh

in a statement at the time of Mills’s

promotion, “Stephanie is a key leader

in our business and well-respected in

the industry. She already works closely

with our corporate solutions team to

ensure we are aligned on priorities and

deliver consistent branded experiences

for our customers, so it is a natural

progression for these functions to now

fall under the guidance of Stephanie’s

leadership.”

How did you come to join the exhibition

industry? You joined Reading

Entertainment as their marketing

manager in 2007—what were you doing

before then?

I moved from Canada to Melbourne,

Australia, in 2002 and actually joined

Reading that year as a temp in their

finance team. It was a purely random way

into the industry. Luckily, they provided

me with a lot of opportunities, and I

ended up staying in Australia and working

with them for 11 years. I had several roles

within the company over my time there,

learning a lot about the industry along the

way. I was with Reading until 2013, at

which time I moved up to Sydney to join

Hoyts in a marketing role.

Can you talk a bit about your work as

a committee member on the Natalie

Miller Fellowship?

The NMF is about recognizing and

nurturing the next generation of female

leaders in the Australian screen community

and inspiring them to reach the very

top of their fields. This is done through

everything from providing a fellowship

each year to running conferences like the

Brilliant Careers’ program. A committee

member on the NMF helps arrange

networking events for women in the

screen industry and helps to shortlist the

fellowship applications. There are extraordinary

women who form part of the NMF,

including the NMF president Sue Maslin

(producer of The Dressmaker, Japanese

Story, and Jill Billcock: Dancing the Invisible,

to name just a few).

Are there any women who supported

and mentored you as you were coming

up in the film industry?

I have had a fortunate career in that

I have been surrounded by people, both

men and women, who have been very

generous with their time and knowledge.

There were not a whole lot of women in

senior roles when I was starting out in

this industry, but that has changed a lot

over the years. There are several women

who head up the movie programming

in Australia, and several women in CEO

positions in our industry; it’s been a really

positive shift.

“Sales, Marketing & Content” seems

like a really wide job description—can

you talk a bit about what your day-today

job at Hoyts entails?

At the heart of it, I am responsible for

the departments that drive admissions.

The sales, marketing, programming, and

loyalty teams all work together under one

clear departmental strategy. It is a wide

remit, but having these functions working

together toward a clearly defined strategy

has eliminated silos and has ultimately

helped to drive our “customer first” approach.

My day-to-day is varied and never

boring! I am fortunate to have a team of

smart and passionate people working with

me, both within my own team and within

the broader business. I love my job and the

challenging opportunities that it provides.

What are some ways in which the

exhibition industry in Australia has

evolved over the past decade?

It’s hard to imagine now, but it was

really only a decade ago that digital

projection was introduced to cinemas.

This digital evolution has touched more

than projection: online ticketing, digital

menu boards, in-cinema kiosks, in-cinema

posters, advertising … the list goes

on, but these things are generally not

how they were a decade ago. Other major

changes we have seen in Australia include

homogeneity of content across cinemas,

with several traditional art house circuits

starting to screen mainstream content, and

a movement toward the premiumization

of cinema offerings, including specialty

screening programs, premium seating, and

expanded food and beverage offerings like

hot food and alcohol.

What’s the number one challenge

facing the Australian exhibition

industry?

We are in an era of rapid change facil-

OCTOBER 2019

97


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

itated by new technologies. How people

are consuming content is changing, and

the options are rapidly expanding, so it is

a challenge for cinema to hold its position.

But with any challenge sits a great opportunity,

and cinema is anything but dead.

We have put a tremendous amount of

investment into redefining and improving

the cinema experience. It is this shared

and social experience that sets it apart. On

the marketing side, the media landscape is

incredibly fragmented, and being able to

“cut through” is getting harder. Knowing

how to make sense of, and utilize, the data

we have is becoming increasingly vital to

our ongoing success.

In 2017, Hoyts launched its ticketing

collaboration with Qantas. Is that still

going on? How have your customers

responded to it?

Qantas is Australia’s number one

airline, and the partnership with such an

iconic brand felt like a natural fit for us.

Our partnership with Qantas Frequent

Flyer and our Hoyts Rewards program

has been amazing, and our loyalty

members have responded extremely well.

Our Hoyts Rewards members can earn

Qantas Points for every dollar they spend

at Hoyts. To extend this partnership,

we wanted to add something more; we

became Qantas’s first “redeem” partner,

which means that members of the Qantas

Frequent Flyer program can redeem their

Qantas Points at Hoyts just as they would

cash. It has been very popular, and we

have loved collaborating with them as

their exclusive cinema partner.

What’s your proudest achievement of

your time so far at Hoyts?

Seeing my role expand in the way

it has. I started with Hoyts in 2013 as

senior marketing manager, so to be able

to contribute to the broader business in

the way I have through my expanding role

has truly been fantastic. It is so exciting to

work on so many big projects that enhance

the customer experience with so many

talented people.

My family jokes that I couldn’t have

found a better-suited career. I grew

up in a small town in rural Ontario,

Canada, that had one single-screen

movie theater that I spent a lot of time

in; truly, I would see just about every

movie that hit that cinema screen. My

earliest memories of going to the cinema

are circa 1980. I was hooked from

then on. In terms of an experience

that really stands out for me, though

… I remember the first Ghostbusters

movie was unlike anything I had ever

seen before. The movie itself was

filled with cutting-edge special effects,

but it extended beyond the cinema

screen and seemed to permeate

society as a whole: a number one

song, Ghostbusters on everything from

T-shirts to toys, and pretty cool product

placement. It was an aha moment

for me, as it really highlighted the

power of cinema.

What are the key accomplishments you

would still like to make during your

time at Hoyts?

There are too many to list! I want to

continue to look for opportunities to grow

our business in exciting ways and work

with my team to achieve this.

How would you evaluate the progress

women have made in the exhibition

business in the past few years?

I’m seeing more and more women in

senior roles outside of those traditionally

held by women. In my team, for example,

the head of sales and the head of movie

programming are roles held by women.

In other companies, more and more

women are leading up the programming

teams. It’s encouraging.

What advice would you give to women

just entering the movie exhibition

business?

Take personal responsibility to learn the

things you don’t know, and never, ever be

afraid to put yourself forward for new opportunities.

These things go hand in hand.

Tell me about the most important

lesson you learned while you were

starting out in this industry.

One of the biggest lessons was that if

you’re going to be in this industry, you

truly need to be an advocate for it in all

respects: being militant about antipiracy,

truly wanting to ensure that the experience

on offer is one that is worthy of a

customer’s visit, and having a passion and

vision to continue to evolve the experience

to meet customer expectations. Being

comfortable is never OK. Continuing to

challenge yourself is essential.

What can companies like Hoyts do to

encourage diversity and increased

representation within the exhibition

industry?

Over the past five years, Hoyts has set

its sights on getting ahead of the curve

when it comes to customer experience.

We’ve invested heavily to redefine the

customer journey, to a point where what

was new and innovative three or four

years ago is now a mainstream experience

that many of our competitors are

implementing. In alignment with this, we

need to challenge ourselves to be a social

enterprise, representative of the communities

in which we operate by reinventing

our employee experience to maintain our

competitive advantage. What was once

seen as alternative is now becoming mainstream,

with new ways of thinking about

hierarchy, teams, and how work activities

are undertaken.

Part of the answer lies in connecting

the strategic needs of our business to the

capability that can deliver on the activity

at hand. When we think about diversity,

we consider the diversity of thought that

we can leverage in bringing in new ideas,

capability, and ways of working born out

of individuals with different backgrounds,

values, and experiences..

98 OCTOBER 2019


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

AMC THEATRES

Elizabeth Frank

Executive Vice President, Worldwide

Programming and Chief Content Officer

>> To read more about Elizabeth Frank (right), check out

our ShowEast coverage on page 46. At this year’s show,

Frank is receiving the inaugural ShowEast Empowerment

Award, presented by The Coca-Cola Company.

In college, there was

this group of people, and we were all new

freshmen in a dorm. You’re new, living in a

new place, and you don’t know very many

people. And we all went out to see a

rom-com. I can’t even tell you the name

of it now, but the experience of going

to this place together and laughing and

enjoying the movie connected us and

made us feel really comfortable in a

way that we might not have been feeling

so comfortable before.

– Elizabeth Frank

CINÉPOLIS

Luisa Ramirez-Diaz

Design & Innovation CoE Director

>> Described as the leader of the team that was the “creative

geniuses behind Cinépolis’s complex and innovative

designs worldwide,” Luisa Ramirez originally joined the

business back in 1999. Working her way up and initially

being put in charge of architecture and construction, her

team was tasked with the efficient design and build of

cinemas. Ramirez is an innovative thinker, instrumental

to the development of the kids’ club “Cinépolis Junior”

concept and the VIP Luxury Cinemas.

BARDAN INTERNATIONAL

Vilma Benitez

Chief Executive Officer

>> After four decades with Latin American and Caribbean

cinema systems integrator Bardan, Vilma Benitez

continues to look to the future of cinema. Working with

the Barco joint venture Cinionic, Bardan has brought

all-laser cinemas to Chile (in partnership with Cineplanet)

and El Salvador (in partnership with Cacinesa)—in both

cases, the first theater of its kind in its respective country.

Over the last year, Bardan and Cinionic have also brought

laser projection to cinemas in Argentina and Mexico.

100 OCTOBER 2019


SOCIAL MEDIA

BY ALEX EDGHILL

DIFFERING DEMOGRAPHICS

VARIATIONS IN SOCIAL MEDIA INTEREST HELP PREDICT A MOVIE’S POTENTIAL

HUSTLERS

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3—

PARABELLUM

Reporting on social media from “reliable” sources across the web has to

take into account the full gamut when it comes to the demographics for

each service. This has to do with how the sources gauge usage, as their

methods are almost always proprietary. Since the social media giants

themselves are notoriously tight-lipped about the details of who accesses

their services, the numbers quoted by marketing websites and gurus is a

matter of conjecture. To further complicate matters, these huge sites are

international, and in most cases North America makes up only a small

percentage of total users

>> It’s our working hypothesis that

different social media services have

varying engagement levels for different

genders and ages. This is important for

many reasons, most notably because

many films appeal primarily to a particular

demographic, and the buzz on

platforms most used by that demographic

should have a disproportionately

high level of activity. Following this

logic further, we can draw inferences

for the potential of future films that

have a clear target audience.

To test this hypothesis, let’s take a

look at a variety of films that have opened

recently, see what their stated demographic

breakdowns were, and then compare

that to how they ranked in the month

prior to release on Twitter, Facebook, and

Instagram to see if any patterns emerge.

At first glance, to the untrained eye

there would appear to be zero correlation

between platform and target audience,

but drilling down further there are clearly

nuggets in the data that offer clues to

their respective potential.

Hustlers made it onto our list of interesting

titles because its audience skewed

female (68% female versus 32% male), the

majority of whom were over 25. Its biggest

performance came on Instagram, where

it ranked second in total likes during the

month leading up to its release. Given the

younger population on Instagram and its

even split of men and woman, combined

with the film’s star power, it made sense

that Hustlers exploded on the service.

Facebook and Twitter were solid as well

but not nearly as big, which speaks to how

well the film performed in the under-35

demographic that Instagram appeals to.

John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum

had a high male-skewing audience on

opening weekend (64% to 36%), so its

strength on Facebook was understandable,

especially in light of its strong international

opening. While it performed

well on the other services, its numbers

indicate that its sweet spot was in the

25–35 age range, slightly older than

Instagram’s core demographic and slightly

younger than Twitter’s core.

(contiuned on page 104)

102 OCTOBER 2019


SOCIAL MEDIA

TWITTER

330 million monthly

active users

(134 million daily

active users)

63% users are

35–65 years old

34% female

66% male

500 million tweets

each day

Source: Twitter, theVAB

INSTAGRAM

1 billion monthly

active users

(500 million daily

active users)

88% of users are

outside the U.S.

71% of users are

under 35 years old

Evenly split globally

between men

and women

Source: Instagram, Statistica

FACEBOOK

2.41 billion

monthly active

users (1.59 billion

daily active users)

In North America,

25- to 34-year-old

females are the

biggest single group

(12.4% of total

users)

Globally, 25- to

34-year-old males

are the biggest

single group (19%

of total users)

55% female

45% male

in North America

57% male

43% female

globally

Source: Statistica, Facebook

SPIDER-MAN:

FAR FROM HOME

Spider-Man: Far from Home was included as a

control marker for the most part, as it ruled in two

of the three services by a wide margin. It was also

the only summer film to score a win on Twitter

and Instagram, which is a good indication of its

broad appeal across both gender and age lines.

Aladdin predictably scored big on Facebook

and Instagram while Twitter was lukewarm, indicating

a failure to connect as strongly with older

men. Meanwhile, Detective Pikachu was huge on

Twitter and Instagram but didn’t have much of an

impact on Facebook.

This closer look does offer some clues, but there

are a lot of moving parts here. The specific marketing

campaign’s strengths and weaknesses, the film’s

international appeal, whether it’s a brand-new social

media property or an existing one from a franchise,

and many other factors play a role in how well a film

does on these services. That being said, in a broad

sense we can draw meaningful inferences from

this analysis. For instance, if a film is performing

strongly across all three social media services, there is

a very high chance of broad appeal on opening and

ALADDIN

a likely strong debut. Also, with the broad understanding

that Twitter is strongest with older men,

Instagram with younger audiences, and Facebook

with a large overall presence that is especially potent

with the 25–44 age group, we can obtain clues

about the buzz for upcoming films. For instance, the

upcoming James Bond 25, No Time to Die, already

has a very strong showing on Twitter despite not yet

having a trailer (no. 3 in terms of likes over the past

month, behind only Star Wars: The Last Jedi and

Joker), which is a very positive sign of the buzz it is

creating for its core demographic.

Coming out of this exercise it is clear that

demographics on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

vary significantly enough to impact the consumption

and reaction to upcoming films based on their

marketing pitches and target audiences. While this

is a useful tool for pundits to gauge potential, it also

offers a roadmap for marketers, theaters, and promoters

as to how to tailor their pitches. What clips

to show, which interviews to push, engagement

with fans: This is the difference between passable,

good, and great marketing campaigns, a Rubik’s

Cube that more and more distributors and theater

chains are attempting to solve than ever before.

104 OCTOBER 2019


ON SCREEN BY KEVIN LALLY

WIDE RELEASES

NAOMIE HARRIS

BLACK AND BLUE

OCT. 25 / SONY-SCREEN GEMS

A rookie New Orleans cop has to run

for her life when her bodycam captures

a fellow officer murdering a drug dealer.

This is director Deon Taylor’s second

wide release for Screen Gems this year,

following The Intruder with Michael Ealy,

Meagan Good, and Dennis Quaid.

CAST NAOMIE HARRIS, TYRESE GIBSON,

FRANK GRILLO, MIKE COLTER, REID SCOTT

RATING TBA RUNNING TIME 108 MIN.

ELIZABETH LAIL

COUNTDOWN

OCT. 25 / STX

ENTERTAINMENT

A nurse discovers an app that predicts

when you’re going to die—

and it tells her she only has three

days left to live. Guess she didn’t

need to download that aging app.

Justin Dec is the writer-director.

CAST ELIZABETH LAIL, ANNE

WINTERS, PETER FACINELLI, TOM

SEGURA, CHARLIE MCDERMOTT

RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

106 OCTOBER 2019


THE LAST FULL

MEASURE

OCT. 25

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

William Pitsenbarger was an Air Force medic who

stayed behind and saved over 60 men during a horrific

battle of the Vietnam War. Writer-director Todd

Robinson’s drama chronicles the efforts by his father and

comrades to award him the Congressional Medal of

Honor 20 years later.

CAST SEBASTIAN STAN, CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER,

SAMUEL L. JACKSON, WILLIAM HURT, ED HARRIS,

GRANT GUSTIN, PETER FONDA, JEREMY

IRVINE, BRADLEY WHITFORD

RATING TBA RUNNING TIME

110 MIN.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

WESTERN STARS

OCT. 25 / WARNER BROS.

Bruce Springsteen performs his latest

album, Western Stars, in a barn on his

property in New Jersey, accompanied

by a 30-piece orchestra. Co-directed

by Springsteen and Thom Zimny, the

concert film weaves together images

from the veteran rock star’s home

movies and footage shot at Joshua

Tree.

FEATURING BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN,

PATTI SCIALFA RATING PG RUNNING

TIME 83 MIN.

OCTOBER 2019

107


ON SCREEN

HARRIET

NOV. 1 / FOCUS FEATURES

Harriet Tubman, the iconic Underground Railroad

“conductor” who guided many slaves to freedom,

finally gets a motion picture biopic, brought to life

by Tony-winning The Color Purple star Cynthia

Erivo in her first lead role. Kasi Lemmons, whose

1997 film Eve’s Bayou is in the National Film Registry,

directed the epic story of faith and courage.

CAST CYNTHIA ERIVO, LESLIE ODOM JR., JOE

ALWYN, JANELLE MONÁE, CLARKE PETERS, JENNIFER

NETTLES, VONDIE CURTIS-HALL, VANESSA BELL

CALLOWAY, HENRY HUNTER HALL RATING TBA

RUNNING TIME 125 MIN.

CYNTHIA ERIVO

108 OCTOBER 2019


EDWARD NORTON

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

NOV. 1 / WARNER BROS.

Director Edward Norton adapts Jonathan Lethem’s acclaimed

novel and stars as Lionel Essrog, a private detective with

Tourette’s syndrome determined to solve the killing of his

mentor. Norton moves the time frame from the 1990s to the

1950s and adds a corrupt and powerful city planner modeled

after Robert Moses.

CAST EDWARD NORTON, BRUCE WILLIS, GUGU MBATHA-RAW,

WILLEM DAFOE, BOBBY CANNAVALE, ALEC BALDWIN, CHERRY

JONES, MICHAEL KENNETH WILLIAMS, LESLIE MANN, ETHAN

SUPLEE RATING R RUNNING TIME 144 MIN.

OCTOBER 2019

109


ON SCREEN

LINDA HAMILTON

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

NOV. 1 / PARAMOUNT

Linda Hamilton, last seen as the heroic

Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment

Day, returns to the sci-fi action

franchise after 28 years. This time, she’s

helping a human-cyborg hybrid battle

an upgraded liquid Terminator from the

future. Series originator James Cameron

co-wrote the story and is a producer,

but Tim Miller of Deadpool fame is in

the director’s chair.

CAST LINDA HAMILTON, ARNOLD

SCHWARZENEGGER, MACKENZIE DAVIS,

NATALIA REYES, GABRIEL LUNA, DIEGO

BONETA, EDWARD FURLONG, STEVEN

CREE, ENRIQUE ARCE RATING R RUNNING

TIME TBA

110 OCTOBER 2019


ARCTIC DOGS

NOV. 8

ENTERTAINMENT STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES

In his quest to join the Arctic delivery service, a fox named Swifty

stumbles upon an evil plot by Otto Von Walrus to melt the polar

ice caps and flood the world. This animated adventure was co-written

and directed by Aaron Woodley (Spark: A Space Tail).

VOICE CAST JEREMY RENNER, HEIDI KLUM, ALEC BALDWIN, JOHN

CLEESE, JAMES FRANCO, ANGELICA HUSTON, MICHAEL MADSEN,

OMAR SY RATING PG RUNNING TIME TBA

DOCTOR SLEEP

NOV. 8 / WARNER BROS.

Danny Torrance, the kid with the extrasensory powers

from Stephen King’s classic The Shining, is all grown

up now and being played by Ewan McGregor. In this

adaptation of King’s sequel novel, Danny is recruited by

a teenager who shares his gift to do battle against a nefarious

cult. Director Mike Flanagan helmed the spooky

Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House.”

CAST EWAN MCGREGOR, REBECCA FERGUSON, KYLIEGH

CURRAN, JACOB TREMBLAY, CLIFF CURTIS, CARL LUMBLY,

BRUCE GREENWOOD RATING R RUNNING TIME TBA

EWAN MCGREGOR

OCTOBER 2019

111


ON SCREEN

EMILIA CLARKE AND HENRY GOLDING

LAST CHRISTMAS

NOV. 8 / UNIVERSAL

Emilia Clarke of “Game of

Thrones” plays an aspiring

singer recovering from a

serious illness who takes a job

as an elf at a Christmas store.

There, she meets the dashing

Henry Golding from Crazy

Rich Asians. Oscar winner

Emma Thompson co-wrote

the screenplay, inspired by

the classic holiday song by

George Michael, whose music

fills the movie. Paul Feig

(Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters)

directed.

CAST EMILIA CLARKE, HENRY

GOLDING, MICHELLE YEOH,

EMMA THOMPSON, PATTI

LUPONE RATING PG-13

RUNNING TIME TBA

MIDWAY

NOV. 8 / LIONSGATE

Director Roland Emmerich (Independence

Day, The Day after Tomorrow)

re-creates the famous World War II

battle between American forces and the

Japanese Imperial Navy. That momentous

event was the subject of a 1976

film of the same name starring Charlton

Heston and Henry Fonda.

CAST WOODY HARRELSON, PATRICK

WILSON, ED SKREIN, AARON ECKHART,

MANDY MOORE, LUKE EVANS, DENNIS

QUAID, NICK JONAS, KEEAN JOHNSON

RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

ETSUSHI TOYOKAWA

112 OCTOBER 2019


PLAYING

WITH FIRE

NOV. 8

PARAMOUNT

Firefighters rescue three

children from a raging

wildfire, then are forced to

babysit them when their

parents can’t be located.

No doubt, comedy chaos

ensues. Director Andy

Fickman has covered this

turf before in films like

Parental Guidance and The

Game Plan.

CAST JOHN CENA, KEEGAN-

MICHAEL KEY, JOHN

LEGUIZAMO, BRIANNA

HILDEBRAND, DENNIS

HAYSBERT, JUDY GREER,

TYLER MANE, CHRISTIAN

CONVERY, FINLEY ROSE

SLATER RATING TBA

RUNNING TIME TBA

JOHN CENA AND CHRISTIAN CONVERY

Projectors Audio Servers

Seating

Screens Drapery

Lighting Closed Captioned NOC

ON YOUR TEAM

Audiences’ expectations have never been

higher. American Cinema Equipment is your

support team to create the experiences you

demand. Meeting expectations may be the

industry standard; exceeding them is ours.

LMS

Technician Help

Messaging Mail Web Music

[ 503] 285-7015

1927 N. Argyle Street, Portland, OR 97217

[ 503] 285-6765 orders@cinequip.com

cinequip.com

OCTOBER 2019

113


ON SCREEN

CHARLIE’S ANGELS

NOV. 15 / SONY-COLUMBIA

“Charlie’s Angels” was a popular TV series in the 1970s and

the basis for two hit movies in 2000 and 2003. Now, a new

generation of charismatic crime-fighting women takes over

the franchise, led by Kristen Stewart. Elizabeth Banks (Pitch

Perfect 2) wrote and directed the globe-trotting intrigue.

CAST KRISTEN STEWART, NAOMI SCOTT, ELLA BALINSKA,

ELIZABETH BANKS, DJIMON HOUNSOU, NOAH CENTINEO, SAM

CLAFLIN, PATRICK STEWART RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

NAOMI SCOTT, KRISTEN STEWART, AND ELLA BALINSKA

FORD V FERRARI

NOV. 15 / DISNEY-FOX

In 1966, automotive designer

Carroll Shelby (Matt

Damon) and British-born

driver Ken Miles (Christian

Bale) collaborated on a new

race car for the Ford Motor

Company, with the goal

of competing against Enzo

Ferrari’s winning cars at Le

Mans. James Mangold (Logan,

I Walk the Line) directs

their epic story.

CAST MATT DAMON,

CHRISTIAN BALE, JON

BERNTHAL, TRACY LETTS,

CAITRIONA BALFE, JOSH

LUCAS, NOAH RUPE

RATING PG-13 RUNNING

TIME 152 MIN.

MATT DAMON AND

CHRISTIAN BALE

114 OCTOBER 2019


THE GOOD LIAR

NOV. 15 / WARNER BROS.

British acting royalty Helen Mirren

and Ian McKellen co-star in this

tricky drama about a con man

who romances an affluent widow.

Filmmaker Bill Condon previously

guided McKellen in his Oscarnominated

role as Frankenstein

director James Whale in Gods and

Monsters. CAST HELEN MIRREN, IAN

MCKELLEN, RUSSELL TOVEY, JIM

CARTER, MARK LEWIS JONES, PHIL

DUNSTER RATING R RUNNING TIME

109 MIN. IAN MCKELLEN AND HELEN MIRREN

THEATER

ARCHITECTS

& ENGINEERS

GRAND RAPIDS

PHOENIX

TRAVERSE CITY

www.paradigmae.com

p:616.785.5656

OCTOBER 2019

115


ON SCREEN

LIMITED RELEASES

JOE PESCI AND ROBERT DE NIRO

IN MARTIN SCORSESE’S

THE IRISHMAN

THE CURRENT WAR

OCT. 25 / 101 STUDIOS

Once a Weinstein Company release

and finally arriving in theaters after two

years, this drama chronicles the intense

competition between two pioneering

inventors: Thomas Edison and George

Westinghouse (assisted by the young Nikola

Tesla). Both seek to bring electricity

to America, but Edison champions D.C.

technology while Westinghouse believes

in the A.C. current. Cue the song “Dirty

Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

directed.

CAST BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, MICHAEL

SHANNON, NICHOLAS HOULT, TOM

HOLLAND, KATHERINE WATERSTON,

TUPPENCE MIDDLETON, MATTHEW

MACFADYEN RATING PG-13 RUNNING

TIME 107 MIN.

FRANKIE

OCT. 25 / SONY PICTURES

CLASSICS

This ensemble drama from director Ira

Sachs (Love Is Strange) takes place over

the course of one day in the picturesque

town of Sintra, Portugal, as a celebrated

French actress schemes to marry off her

son to an American hairstylist, just one of

many romantic complications that arise.

CAST ISABELLE HUPPERT, MARISA TOMEI,

BRENDAN GLEESON, JÉRÉMIE RENIER,

GREG KINNEAR, PASCAL GREGGORY,

SENNIA NANUA, ARIYON BAKARE, VINETTE

ROBINSON RATING PG-13 RUNNING TIME

98 MIN.

THE KILL TEAM

OCT. 25 / A24

Dan Krauss directs a narrative version of

his 2013 documentary about the moral

quandary of a young American soldier in

Afghanistan who witnesses his fellow recruits

murdering innocent civilians, egged

on by a sadistic sergeant.

CAST NAT WOLFF, ALEXANDER

SKARSGÅRD, ADAM LONG, JONATHAN

WHITESELL, ROB MORROW, OSY IKHILE

RATING R RUNNING TIME 87 MIN.

SYNONYMS

OCT. 25 / KINO LORBER

A young Israeli moves to Paris to make

a fresh start in life, but his belongings

are stolen soon after he moves into the

apartment he didn’t realize was unfurnished.

Writer-director Nadav Lapid’s

existential tale, based on his own experiences,

won the Golden Bear at the 2019

Berlin Film Festival.

CAST TOM MERCIER, QUENTIN DOLMAIRE,

LOUISE CHEVILLOTTE, URIA HAYIK RATING

NOT RATED RUNNING TIME 123 MIN.

THE IRISHMAN

NOV. 1 / NETFLIX

Martin Scorsese’s much anticipated crime

epic stars Al Pacino as Teamsters president

Jimmy Hoffa, Joe Pesci as Pennsylvania

mob boss Russell Bufalino, and

Robert De Niro as Bufalino and Hoffa’s

“muscle,” Frank Sheeran. A big chunk of

the rumored $200 million budget went

toward de-aging the stars for the movie’s

early sequences.

CAST ROBERT DE NIRO, AL PACINO, JOE

PESCI, RAY ROMANO, ANNA PAQUIN,

HARVEY KEITEL, BOBBY CANNAVALE,

JESSE PLEMONS, STEPHEN GRAHAM, JACK

HUSTON, ALEKSA PALLADINO RATING R

RUNNING TIME 209 MIN.

WAVES

NOV. 1 / A24

Trey Edward Schults, who wrote and

directed the acclaimed Krisha and

It Comes at Night, returns with this

provocative drama about tensions

within a suburban African American

family. Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Luce) is a

high-school wrestling star, newcomer

Taylor Russell is his sensitive sister, and

Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”) is their

demanding father.

CAST KELVIN HARRISON JR., STERLING K.

BROWN, TAYLOR RUSSELL, LUCAS HEDGES,

RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY, ALEXA DEMIE,

NEAL HUFF, CLIFTON COLLINS JR. RATING

TBA RUNNING TIME 135 MIN.

MARRIAGE STORY

NOV. 6 / NETFLIX

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson

earned raves in Venice, Telluride, and Toronto

for their performances in this drama

about a couple—a New York theater

director and his main actress—dealing

with a painful divorce and fighting over

custody of their son. The film has been

praised as a career high point for director

116 OCTOBER 2019


Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, The Squid

and the Whale).

CAST ADAM DRIVER, SCARLETT

JOHANSSON, LAURA DERN, ALAN ALDA,

RAY LIOTTA, MERRITT WEVER, JULIE

HAGERTY, WALLACE SHAWN, AZHY

ROBERTSON RATING R RUNNING TIME

136 MIN.

HONEY BOY

NOV. 8 / AMAZON STUDIOS

Actor Shia LaBeouf wrote the screenplay

for this drama based on his own life as a

child star brought up by a drug-addled,

abusive father (played here by LaBeouf

himself). Noah Jupe of A Quiet Place

plays the very young actor (here called

Otis Lort), while Lucas Hedges of Manchester

by the Sea portrays the 22-year-old

Otis forced into rehab. Documentarian

Alma Ha’rel (Bombay Beach) makes her

narrative directing debut.

CAST SHIA LABEOUF, LUCAS HEDGES,

NOAH JUPE, FKA TWIGS, MAIKA MONROE,

LAURA SAN GIACOMO, MARTIN STARR

RATING R RUNNING TIME 93 MIN.

THE LODGE

NOV. 15 / NEON

A stepmom-to-be finds herself snowed in

with her fiancé’s two children at a remote

vacation lodge. Just as they start to bond,

strange and eerie things begin to happen.

Directors Severin Fiala and Veronika

Franz created the creepy Norwegian

chiller Goodnight Mommy.

CAST RILEY KEOUGH, JAEDEN LIEBERHER,

LIA MCHUGH, RICHARD ARMITAGE, ALICIA

SILVERSTONE RATING TBA RUNNING

TIME 100 MIN.

THE REPORT

NOV. 15 / AMAZON STUDIOS

Adam Driver has his second high-profile

role of the month as Daniel Jones,

the Senate staffer who spent five years

investigating how the CIA misrepresented

the effectiveness of its Detention and Interrogation

(aka torture) Program begun

after the September 11 attacks. Scott Z.

Burns, whose screenplay credits include

The Bourne Ultimatum and Contagion, is

the writer-director.

CAST ADAM DRIVER, ANNETTE BENING,

JON HAMM, TED LEVINE, MICHAEL C. HALL,

TIM BLAKE NELSON, COREY STOLL, MAURA

TIERNEY, SARAH GOLDBERG, MATTHEW

RHYS RATING R RUNNING TIME 119 MIN.

THE WARRIOR QUEEN OF

JHANSI

NOV. 15 / ROADSIDE

ATTRACTIONS

Swati Bhise directed this epic story of

Indian folk hero Rani Lakshmibai, the

24-year-old female general who in 1857

led a battle against the British Empire

that changed history.

CAST DEVIKA BHISE, RUPERT EVERETT,

NATHANIEL PARKER, BEN LAMB, JODHI

MAY, DEREK JACOBI RATING TBA

RUNNING TIME 102 MIN.

OCTOBER 2019

117


EVENT CINEMA CALENDAR

CINELIFE

ENTERTAINMENT

cinelifeentertainment.com

310-309-5774

HALLOWEEN (1978)

Fri. 9/27-Thurs. 10/31

Classics

SNOOPY, COME HOME

Sun. 9/29, Thurs. 10/3, Sat. 10/5

Kids & Family

A NIGHT WITH JANIS

JOPLIN

Tues. 11/5-Mon. 11/11

Theater

GAUGUIN FROM

THE NATIONAL

GALLERY

Tues. 1/21-Mon. 1/27

(U.S. release)

Art

CINEMA LIVE

www.cinemalive.com

PLÁCIDO DOMINGO: 50TH

ANNIVERSARY GALA EVENING

Tues. 10/1

Opera

THE ROYAL EDINBURGH MILITARY

TATTOO 2019

Sun. 10/6 (Canada Only)

Music

BILLY CONNOLLY:

THE SEX LIFE OF BANDAGES

Thurs. 10/10

Comedy

NORTHERN BALLET: DRACULA LIVE

Thurs. 10/31

Ballet

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855-473-4612

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: TURANDOT

Sat. 10/12 (live), Weds. 10/16 (encore)

Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

ALIEN 40TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 10/13, Tues. 10/15, Weds. 10/16

Classics

SKID ROW MARATHON

Mon. 10/14

Documentaries

JAY & SILENT BOB REBOOT

Tues. 10/15, Thurs. 10/17

Premieres

WESTERN STARS

Sat. 10/19, Weds. 10/23

Premieres

QT8: THE FIRST EIGHT

Mon. 10/21

Documentaries

JEEPERS CREEPERS 3

Thurs. 10/24

Horror

BILLY CONNOLLY: THE SEX LIFE OF BANDAGES

THE RELIANT

Thurs. 10/24

Originals

THE MET: LIVE IN

HD: MANON

Sat. 10/26 (live), Weds.

10/30 (encore)

Opera

BOLSHOI BALLET:

RAYMONDA

Sun. 10/27

Ballet

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

SPIRITED AWAY

Sun. 10/27 (dub), Mon. 10/28 (sub), Weds.

10/30 (dub)

Anime

FAUSTINA:

LOVE AND MERCY

Mon. 10/28

Inspirational

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

IN CINEMAS PRESENTS LUZIA

Tues. 10/29

Performing Arts

CHRISTMAS JARS

Mon. 11/4

Inspirational

THE DIVINE PLAN

Weds. 11/6

Inspirational

LYNYRD SKYNYRD

LAST OF THE

STREET SURVIVORS

FAREWELL TOUR

Thurs. 11/7

Music

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

MADAMA BUTTERFLY

Sat. 11/9 (live), Weds. 11/13

(encore), Sat. 11/16 (encore)

Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

THE GODFATHER PART II

Sun. 11/10, Tues. 11/12, Weds. 11/13

Classics

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY

JOHN FOGERTY - 50 YEAR TRIP:

LIVE AT RED ROCKS

Mon. 11/11

Music

KONOSUBA -GOD’S BLESSING ON

THIS WONDERFUL WORLD!-

LEGEND OF CRIMSON

Tues. 11/12

Anime

THE TWILIGHT ZONE:

60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

Thurs. 11/14

Television

BOLSHOI BALLET: LE CORSAIRE

Sun. 11/17

Ballet

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

PRINCESS MONONOKE

Sun. 11/17 (dub), Mon. 11/18 (sub), Weds.

11/20 (dub)

Anime

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: AKHNATEN

Sat. 11/23 (live), Weds. 12/4 (encore)

Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

THE MAGIC FLUTE HOLIDAY ENCORE

12/7/2019 only

Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY

Sun. 12/1, Tues. 12/3

Classics

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS

Sun. 12/8, Weds. 12/11

Classics

INXS: LIVE BABY LIVE AT

WEMBLEY STADIUM

Mon. 12/9

Music

BOLSHOI BALLET:

THE NUTCRACKER

Sun. 12/15

Ballet

STUDIO GHIBLI

FEST 2019: THE TALE

OF THE PRINCESS

KAGUYA

Mon. 12/16 (dub), Weds.

12/18 (sub)

Anime

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: WOZZECK

Sat. 1/11 (live), Weds. 1/15 (encore)

Opera

118 OCTOBER 2019


THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS

Sat. 2/1 (live), Weds. 2/5 (encore), Sat. 2/8

(encore)

Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: AGRIPPINA

Sat. 2/29 (live), Weds. 3/4 (encore)

Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER

Sat. 3/14 (live), Weds. 3/18 (encore)

Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: TOSCA

Sat. 4/11 (live), Weds. 4/15 (encore), Sat.

4/18 (encore)

Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: MARIA

STUARDA

Sat. 5/9 (live), Weds. 5/13 (encore)

Opera

MORE2SCREEN

www.more2screen.com

WISE CHILDREN

Thurs. 10/31

Theater

GAUGUIN FROM

THE NATIONAL

GALLERY, LONDON

Tues. 10/15 (U.K./

Ireland), Fri. 11/1 (Int’l)

Art

42ND STREET –

THE MUSICAL

Sun. 11/10, Tues. 11/12 (U.K./

Europe)

Musical

BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER LIVE

NEW YEAR’S EVE CONCERT

Tues. 12/31 (U.K./Republic of Ireland)

Music

KINKY BOOTS – THE MUSICAL

Tues. 2/4, Sun 4/9 (except North America)

Musical

JONAS KAUFMANN MY VIENNA

Tues., 2/11

Opera

BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER LIVE

SEASON FINALE CONCERT

Fri. 6/12 (U.K./Republic of Ireland)

Music

MYCINEMA

www.mycinema.live

ARTIK (DREAD CENTRAL)

Sun. 10/18

Horror

HOAX (DREAD

CENTRAL)

Sun. 10/25

Horror

AMITYVILLE: A

NEW GENERATION

Weds. 10/28

Horror

AMITYVILLE:

IT’S ABOUT TIME

Thurs. 10/29

Horror

AMITYVILLE: THE EVIL ESCAPES

Fri. 10/30

Horror

MURDEROUS TRANCE

Fri. 11/1

Premiere

GAUGUIN FROM THE NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON

HARPOON

Fri. 11/1

Premiere

APOCALYPSE

NOW: FINAL CUT,

VETERAN’S DAY RE-

RELEASE

Weds. 11/11

Classics

MAN’S BEST FRIEND,

VETERAN’S DAY

Weds. 11/11

Premiere

LE CIRQUE ALIS

Tues.11/24

Arts

ROYAL OPERA

HOUSE

roh.org.uk/cinemas

cinema@roh.org.uk

DON PASQUALE

Thurs. 10/24

Opera

CONCERTO/

ENIGMA VARIATIONS/

RAYMONDA ACT III

Tues. 11/5

Ballet

THE NUTCRACKER

COPPÉLIA

Tues. 12/10

Ballet

THE NUTCRACKER

Tues. 12/17

Ballet

Opera

SWAN LAKE

Weds. 4/1

Ballet

FIDELIO

Tues/ 3/17

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

Thurs. 1/16

Ballet

LA BOHÈME

Weds. 1/29

Opera

NEW MARSTON /

NEW SCARLETT

Tues. 2/25

Ballet

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA / PAGLIACCI

Tues. 4/21

Opera

THE DANTE PROJECT

Thurs. 5/28

Ballet

ELEKTRA

Thurs. 6/18

Opera

BRANAGH THEATRE LIVE: A WINTER’S TALE

TRAFALGAR RELEASING

trafalgar-releasing.com

ROGER WATERS US + THEM

Fri. 10/2

Music

METALLICA AND SAN FRANCISCO

SYMPHONY: S&M²

Fri. 10/9

Music

SHAKIRA IN

CONCERT:

EL DORADO

WORLD TOUR

Fri. 11/13

Music

BRANAGH THEATRE

LIVE: THE WINTER’S

TALE

Weds. 12/4

Theater

OCTOBER 2019

119


BOOKING GUIDE

FROZEN II

Wed, 11/22/19 WIDE

C Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell

D Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck

NR · Ani · IMAX / 3D

Dolby Vis/Atmos

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 Vis/Atmos

ONWARD

Fri, 3/6/20 WIDE

C Chris Pratt, Tom Holland

D Dan Scanlon

NR · Ani · 3D

AMAZON STUDIOS

THE AERONAUTS

DEC. 6, 2019

EDDIE REDMAYNE AND FELICITY JONES

MULAN

Fri, 3/27/20 WIDE

C Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen

D Niki Caro

NR · Fan/Act/Adv · 3D/IMAX

BLACK WIDOW

Fri, 5/1/20 WIDE

NR · 3D

A24

646-568-6015

LOW TIDE

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD

C Keean Johnson,

Alex Neustaedter

D Kevin McMullin

R · Dra

THE LIGHTHOUSE

Fri, 10/18/19 LTD

C Willem Dafoe,

Robert Pattinson

D Robert Eggers

R · Dra/Thr

THE KILL TEAM

Fri, 10/25/19 LTD

C Nat Wolff, Alexander Skarsgård

D Dan Krauss

R · Act/Dra/Thr

WAVES

Fri, 11/1/19 LTD

C Sterling K Brown,

Kelvin Harrison Jr,

D Trey Edward Shults

R · Dra

IN FABRIC

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD

C Marianne Jean-Baptiste,

Gwendoline Christie

D Peter Strickland

R · Com/Hor

UNCUT GEMS

Fri, 12/13/19 LTD

C Adam Sandler,

LaKeith Stanfield

D Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie

R · Com

FIRST COW

Fri, 3/6/20 LTD

C John Magaro, Orion Lee

D Kelly Reichardt

NR · Dra/Wes

AMAZON STUDIOS

310-573-0652

brian.flanagan@amazonstudios.com

HONEY BOY

Fri, 11/8/19 LTD

C Shia LaBeouf, Noah Jupe

D Alma Har’el

R · Dra · Dolby Vis/Atmos

THE REPORT

Fri, 11/15/19 LTD

C Adam Driver, Annette Bening

D Scott Z. Burns

R · Thr

THE AERONAUTS

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD

C Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones

D Tom Harper

PG-13 · Act/Adv

BLUE FOX

ENTERTAINMENT

William Gruenberg

william@bluefoxentertainment.com

SOMETIMES ALWAYS NEVER

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD

C Bill Nighy, Sam Riley

D Carl Hunter

PG-13 · Com/Dra/Mys

DISNEY

818-560-1000

Ask for Distribution

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF

EVIL

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

C Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning

D Joachim Rønning

NR · Fan · IMAX/Dolby Vis/Atmos

ARTEMIS FOWL

Fri, 5/29/20 WIDE

C Ferdia Shaw, Josh Gad

D Kenneth Branagh

NR · Fan · 3D

SOUL

Fri, 6/19/20 WIDE

C Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey

D Pete Docter

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

THE ETERNALS

Fri, 11/6/20 WIDE

C Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie

D Chloé Zhao

NR · Act/Adv/SF

120 OCTOBER 2019


ENTERTAINMENT

STUDIOS MOTION

PICTURES

310-277-3500

Ask for Distribution

ARCTIC DOGS

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Jeremy Renner, James Franco

D Aaron Woodley

PG · Ani

FOCUS FEATURES

424-214-636

HARRIET

Fri, 11/1/19 WIDE

C Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr.

D Kasi Lemmons

NR · Dra/Bio/His

DARK WATERS

Fri, 11/22/19 LTD

C Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway

D Todd Haynes

NR · Dra

UNTITLED TOM

McCARTHY PROJECT

Fri, 11/6/20 LTD

C Matt Damon, Abigail Breslin

D Tom McCarthy

NR · Thr

FOX

310-369-1000

212-556-2400

FORD V FERRARI

Fri, 11/15/19 WIDE

C Matt Damon, Christian Bale

D James Mangold

PG-13 · Dra · IMAX / Dolby

Atmos

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

C Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller

D William Eubank

NR · Act

FOX

UNDERWATER

JAN. 10, 2020

KRISTEN STEWART

Magna-Tech Electronic Co.

www.magna-tech.com

(305) 573- 7339

Cinemas . Museums . Planetariums . Conference Halls .

Meeting Rooms. Sport Arenas . Shopping Malls .

Cruise Ships . Theaters .

Educational , Medical and Corporate Facilities .

Architectural Design . Equipment Supply and Service .

Worldwide Distributor .

Audio / Video system integrator .

Legacy Film Equipment .

OCTOBER 2019

121


BOOKING GUIDE

KINO LORBER

SYNONYMS

Fri, 10/25/19 LTD

C Tom Mercier,

Quentin Dolmaire

D Nadav Lapid

NR · Dra/Com

LIONSGATE

310-309-8400

JEXI

Fri, 10/11/19 WIDE

C Adam DeVine, Rose Byrne

D Jon Lucas, Scott Moore

R · Com

MIDWAY

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Woody Harrelson,

Patrick Wilson

D Roland Emmerich

NR · Act/Dra/War

LIONSGATE

KNIVES OUT

NOV. 27, 2019

DANIEL CRAIG

KNIVES OUT

Fri, 11/27/19 WIDE

C Daniel Craig, Chris Evans

D Rian Johnson

PG-13 · Dra/Sus

THE KING’S MAN

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C Ralph Fiennes,

Gemma Arterton

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

Dolby Vis/Atmos

THE WOMAN IN

THE WINDOW

Fri, 5/15/20 WIDE

C Amy Adams, Gary Oldman

D Joe Wright

NR · Cri/Dra/Mys

FREE GUY

Fri, 7/3/20 WIDE

C Ryan Reynolds

D Shawn Levy

NR · Com/Act

BOB’S BURGERS

Fri, 7/17/20 WIDE

C H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal

NR · Ani

EMPTY MAN

Fri, 8/7/20 WIDE

NR · Cri/Dra/Hor

DEATH ON THE NILE

Fri, 10/9/20 WIDE

NR · Cri/Dra/Mys

FOX SEARCHLIGHT

212-556-2400

LUCY IN THE SKY

Fri, 10/4/19 WIDE

C Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm

D Noah Hawley

R · SF

JOJO RABBIT

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

C Roman Griffin Davis,

Thomasin McKenzie

D Taika Waititi

PG-13 · Com

A HIDDEN LIFE

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

C August Diehl, Valerie Pachner

D Terrence Malick

PG-13 · Dra/War

FREESTYLE RELEASING

310-277-3500

Ask for Distribution

IMMORTAL HERO

Fri, 10/18/19 LTD

C Hisaaki Takeuchi,

Yoshiko Sengen

D Ryuho Okawa

NR · War

IFC FILMS

bookings@ifcfilms.com

GREENER GRASS

Fri, 10/18/19 LTD

C Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe

D Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe

NR · Com

RADIOFLASH

Fri, 11/15/19 LTD

C Brighton Sharbino,

Dominic Monaghan

D Ben Mcpherson

NR · SF/Thr

KNIVES AND SKIN

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD

C Marika Engelhardt,

Grace Smith

D Jennifer Reeder

NR · Dra

EN BRAZOS DE UN ASESINO

Fri, 12/6/19 MOD

C William Levy, Alicia Sanz

D Matias Moltrasio

NR

BOMBSHELL

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

LAS PILDORAS DE MI NOVIO

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

C Jaime Camil, Sandra Echeverría

D Diego Kaplan

NR · Com

I STILL BELIEVE

Fri, 3/20/20 WIDE

C K.J. Apa, Gary Sinise

D Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin

NR · Dra

122 OCTOBER 2019


UNTITLED JANELLE

MONÁE FILM

Fri, 4/24/20 WIDE

C Janelle Monáe

D Gerard Bush,

Christopher Renz

NR

UNTITLED SAW FILM

Fri, 5/15/20 WIDE

C Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson

D Darren Lynn Bousman

NR · Hor

BARB AND STAR GO

TO VISTA DEL MAR

Fri, 7/31/20 WIDE

C Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo

D Josh Greenbaum

NR · Com

FATALE

Fri, 10/9/20 WIDE

C Hilary Swank, Michael Ealy

D Deon Taylor

NR · Sus

MAGNOLIA PICTURES

212-379-9704

Neal Block

nblock@magpictures.com

WRINKLES THE CLOWN

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD.

D Michael Beach Nichols

NR · Doc

MISTER AMERICA

Fri, 10/11/19 LTD.

C Tim Heidecker,

Gregg Turkington

D Eric Notarnicola

R · Com

SCANDALOUS

Fri, 11/15/19 LTD.

D Mark Landsman

NR · Doc

CUNNINGHAM

Fri, 12/13/19 LTD.

D Alla Kovgan

PG · Doc

MYCINEMA

480-430-7017

AMITYVILLE:

A NEW GENERATION

Fri, 10/28/19 LTD.

C Ross Partridge, Julia Nickson

D John Murlowski

R · Hor

PARAMOUNT

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

NOV. 1, 2019

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

AMITYVILLE:

IT’S ABOUT TIME

Fri, 10/28/19 LTD.

C Stephen Macht,

Shawn Weatherly

D Tony Randel

R · Hor

AMITYVILLE:

THE EVIL ESCAPES

Fri, 10/28/19 LTD.

C Patty Duke, Jane Wyatt

D Sandor Stern

NR · Hor

NEON

hal@neonrated.com

PARASITE

Fri, 10/11/19 LTD.

C Song Kang-ho, Chang Hyae-jin

D Bong Joon Ho

R · Com/Dra/Thr

PORTRAIT OF A LADY

ON FIRE

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD.

C Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel

D Céline Sciamma

NR · Dra/Rom

CLEMENCY

Fri, 12/27/19 LTD.

C Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge

D Chinoye Chukwu

NR · Dra

THE LODGE

Fri, 2/7/20 LTD.

C Riley Keough, Richard Armitage

D Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz

R · Hor

1091

Richard Matson

323-540-5476

rmatson@theorchard.com

MIDNIGHT FAMILY

Fri, 11/15/19 LTD.

D Luke Lorentzen

NR · Doc

PARAMOUNT

323-956-5000

GEMINI MAN

Fri, 10/11/19 WIDE

C Will Smith,

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

D Ang Lee

PG-13 · Act/Thr

IMAX/Dolby Vis/Atmos

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

Fri, 11/1/19 WIDE

C Arnold Schwarzenegger,

Linda Hamilton

D Tim Miller

NR · Act/SF · Dolby Vis/Atmos

PLAYING WITH FIRE

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C John Cena,

Keegan-Michael Key

D Andy Fickman

NR · Com

LIKE A BOSS

Fri, 1/10/20 WIDE

C Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne

D Miguel Arteta

NR · Com

THE RHYTHM SECTION

Fri, 1/31/20 WIDE

C Blake Lively, Jude Law

D Reed Morano

NR · Thr

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey

D Jeff Fowler

NR · Ani/Adv/Com

MONSTER PROBLEMS

Fri, 3/6/20 WIDE

NR · Adv

OCTOBER 2019

123


BOOKING GUIDE

SONY

212-833-8500

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

C Emma Stone,

Woody Harrelson

D Ruben Fleischer

R · Act/Hor/Com

Dolby Vis/Atmos

BLACK AND BLUE

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson

D Deon Taylor

NR · Act/Cri

CHARLIE’S ANGELS

Fri, 11/15/19 WIDE

C Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott

D Elizabeth Banks

PG-13 · Act/Com

Dolby Vis/Atmos

SONY

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

OCT. 18, 2019

WOODY HARRELSON AND ROSARIO DAWSON

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN

THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Fri, 11/22/19 WIDE

C Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys

D Marielle Heller

NR · Dra

A QUIET PLACE PART II

Fri, 3/20/20 WIDE

NR · Hor/Thr

THE LOVEBIRDS

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

NR · Rom/Com

THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE

Fri, 5/22/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Fri, 6/26/20 WIDE

C Tom Cruise, Miles Teller

D Joseph Kosinski

NR · Act/Adv

RUMBLE

Fri, 7/31/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

INFINITE

Fri, 8/7/20 WIDE

NR · SF

SPELL

Fri, 8/28/20 WIDE

NR · Hor/Thr

TOM CLANCY’S

WITHOUT REMORSE

Fri, 9/18/20 WIDE

NR · Thr

GI JOE

Fri, 10/16/20 WIDE

NR · Act/Adv

ROADSIDE

ATTRACTIONS

323-882-8490

CYRANO, MY LOVE

Fri, 10/18/19 LTD

C Thomas Solivérès, Olivier

Gourmet

D Alexis Michalik

R · Com

THE LAST FULL MEASURE

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Samuel L. Jackson,

Bradley Whitford

D Todd Robinson

NR · Dra/War · Dolby Stereo

THE WARRIOR QUEEN

OF JHANSI

Fri, 11/15/19 LTD

C Devika Bhise, Rupert Everett

D Swati Bhise

NR · Dra

SAMUEL GOLDWYN

FILMS

DILILI IN PARIS

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD

C Prunelle Charles-Ambron,

Enzo Ratsito

D Michel Ocelot

PG · Dra

THE PARTS YOU LOSE

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD

C Aaron Paul,

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

D Christopher Cantwell

NR · Act/Thr

PARADISE HILLS

Fri, 11/1/19 LTD

C Emma Roberts,

Danielle Macdonald

D Alice Waddington

NR · Dan/SF/Thr

DANIEL ISN’T REAL

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD

C Patrick Schwarzenegger,

Miles Robbins

D Adam Egypt Mortimer

NR · Thr

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

C Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black

D Jake Kasdan

NR · Com/Act/Adv

IMAX/Dolby Vis/Atmos

LITTLE WOMEN

Fri, 12/25/19 WIDE

C Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson

D Greta Gerwig

PG · Dra

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

C Will Smith, Martin Lawrence

D Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

NR · Act/Com

BLUMHOUSE FANTASY

ISLAND HORROR

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

D Jeff Wadlow

NR · Hor

124 OCTOBER 2019


BLOODSHOT

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

NR · Act · Dolby Atmos

PETER RABBIT 2

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

FATHERHOOD

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

C Kevin Hart, Melody Hurd

D Pail Weitz

NR · Dra

UNTITLED AFFIRM FILMS

COACH PROJECT

Fri, 4/10/20 WIDE

NR

GREYHOUND

Fri, 5/8/20 WIDE

C Tom Hanks

D Aaron Schneider

NR · Dra/War

GHOSTBUSTERS 2020

Fri, 7/10/20 WIDE

C Paul Rudd

NR · Hor/Com/SF

SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

PAIN AND GLORY

OCT. 4, 2019

PENÉLOPE CRUZ

UNTITLED SONY ANIMATION

Fri, 7/24/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

SONY/MARVEL MORBIUS

Fri, 7/31/20 WIDE

NR · Act/Thr/SF

ESCAPE ROOM 2

Fri, 8/14/20 WIDE

NR · Hor/Thr

MONSTER HUNTER

Fri, 9/4/20 WIDE

C Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa

D Paul W.S. Anderson

NR · Act/Fan

UNTITLED MILLER/LORD

Fri, 9/18/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

UNTITLED SONY/MARVEL

Fri, 10/2/20 WIDE

NR · Act/SF

SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

Tom Prassis

212-833-4981

PAIN AND GLORY

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD

C Antonio Banderas,

Penélope Cruz

D Pedro Almodóvar

R · Dra

FRANKIE

Fri, 10/25/19 LTD

C Marisa Tomei, Brendan Gleeson

D Ira Sachs

PG-13 · Dra

THE SONG OF NAMES

Fri, 12/25/19 LTD

THE TRAITOR

Fri, 1/31/20 LTD

THE CLIMB

Fri, 3/20/20 LTD

STX ENTERTAINMENT

310-742-2300

COUNTDOWN

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Elizabeth Lail, Anne Winters

D Justin Dec

NR · Hor

21 BRIDGES

Fri, 11/22/19 WIDE

C Chadwick Boseman

D Brian Kirk

NR · Cri/Thr/Act

PLAYMOBILE: THE MOVIE

Fri, 12/6/19 WIDE

C Daniel Radcliffe, Jim Gaffigan

D Lino DiSalvo

NR · Ani

BRAHMS: THE BOY II

Fri, 12/6/19 WIDE

C Katie Holmes

D William Brent Bell

PG-13 · Hor/Thr

MY SPY

Fri, 1/10/19 WIDE

C Dave Bautista, Kristen Schaal

D Peter Segal

PG-13 · Com

THE GENTLEMEN

Fri, 1/24/19 WIDE

NR

UNITED ARTISTS

RELEASING

310-724-5678

Ask for Distribution

THE ADDAMS FAMILY

Fri, 10/11/19 WIDE

C Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron

D Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan

PG · Ani · Dolby Vis/Atmos

BAD TRIP

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Eric André, Lil Rel Howery

D Kitao Sakurai

NR · Com

GRETEL & HANSEL

Fri, 1/31/20 WIDE

C Sophia Lillis, Sammy Leakey

D Osgood Perkins

NR · Hor

NO TIME TO DIE

Fri, 4/8/20 WIDE

C Daniel Craig, Rami Malek

D Cary Joji Fukunaga

NR · Act/Thr · IMAX

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

D Dean Parisot

NR · Com/Adv

UNIVERSAL

818-777-1000

LAST CHRISTMAS

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding

D Paul Feig

PG-13 · Rom/Com

OCTOBER 2019

125


BOOKING GUIDE

NOBODY

Fri, 8/14/20 WIDE

C Bob Odenkirk

D Ilya Naishuller

NR · Act/Thr

PRAISE THIS

Fri, 9/25/20 WIDE

NR · Com

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL

EVENT FILM 2020 2

Fri, 11/13/20 WIDE

NR

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Fri. 12/25/20 WIDE

C Tom Hanks

D Paul Greengrass

NR - Wes

VERTICAL

ENTERTAINMENT

UNIVERSAL

CATS

DEC. 20, 2019

JUDI DENCH

MY SOUL TO KEEP

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD

C Parker Smerek,

Remington Gielniak

D Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad

NR · Hor

QUEEN & SLIM

Fri, 11/27/19 WIDE

C Daniel Kaluuya,

Jodie Turner-Smith

D Melina Matsoukas

NR · Dra/Rom

BLACK CHRISTMAS

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

C Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon

D Sophia Takal

NR · Hor

CATS

Fri, 12/20/19 WIDE

C James Corden, Judi Dench

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 · Dolby Vis/Atmos

THE TURNING

Fri, 1/24/20 WIDE

C Mackenzie Davis,

Finn Wolfhard

D Floria Sigismondi

PG-13 · Thr

THE PHOTOGRAPH

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield

D Stella Meghie

NR · Rom

UNTITLED BLUMHOUSE

PRODUCTIONS PROJECT

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

NR

THE INVISIBLE MAN

Fri, 2/28/20 WIDE

C Elisabeth Moss, Storm Reid

D Leigh Whannell

NR · Hor

TROLLS WORLD TOUR

Fri, 4/17/20 WIDE

C Anna Kendrick,

Justin Timberlake

D Walt Dohrn

NR · Ani

FAST & FURIOUS 9

Fri, 5/22/20 WIDE

C Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron

D Justin Lin

NR · Act/Adv

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 · Ani

UNTITLED NEXT

PURGE CHAPTER

Fri, 7/10/20 WIDE

NR · Hor

A UNICORN ADVENTURE

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD

C John Snyder, Kira Buckland

D Kamal Bansal

NR · Ani

FRONTERAS

Fri, 10/11/19 LTD

C Steve Oropeza,

Steven Sean Garland

D Andrew Dean

NR · Act/Dra

POLAROID

Fri, 10/11/19 LTD

C Kathryn Prescott,

Grace Zabriske

D Lars Klevberg

NR · Hor

MISS VIRGINIA

Fri, 10/18/19 LTD

C Uzo Aduba, Matthew Modine

D R. J. Daniel Hanna

NR · Dra

FULL COUNT

Fri, 10/25/19 LTD

C John Paul Kakos,

Natalia Livingston

D Robert Eagar

NR · Dra

126 OCTOBER 2019


WARNER BROS.

818-977-1850

JOKER

Fri, 10/4/19 WIDE

C Joaquin Phoenix,

Robert De Niro

D Todd Phillips

R · Act · IMAX/Dolby Vis/Atmos

WESTERN STARS

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Bruce Springsteen,

D Bruce Springsteen,

Thom Zimny

PG · Doc/Western

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

Fri, 11/1/19 WIDE

C Edward Norton, Bruce Willis

D Edward Norton

R · Dra

DOCTOR SLEEP

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Ewan McGregor,

Rebecca Ferguson

D Mike Flanagan

R · 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, 12/25/19 LTD

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

THE WAY BACK

Fri, 3/6/20 WIDE

NR

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 · Act/Thr

UNTITLED WB EVENT FILM

Fri, 8/17/20 WIDE

NR

CONJURING 3

Fri, 9/11/20 WIDE

NR · Hor

THE MANY SAINTS

OF NEWARK

Fri, 9/25/20 WIDE

NR · Dra/Cri

THE WITCHES

Fri, 10/16/20 WIDE

NR · Adv/Com

WELL GO USA

ENTERTAINMENT

FIRST LOVE

Fri, 9/27/19 LTD

C Masataka Kubota, Nao Omori

D Takashi Miike

NR · Act/Dra/Cri

BATTLE OF JANGSARI

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD

C Megan Fox, Kim Myung-Min

D Kyung-taek Kwak

NR · War

OUR SPONSORS

American Cinema Equipment 113

Arts Alliance Media 3

Barco / Cinionic

Inside Front Cover

Before the Movie Cover Flap, 1

The Boxoffice Company 8–9, 33, 83, 99

Cardinal Sound 128

The Coca-Cola Company 19

C. Cretors and Company 49

Dolphin Seating 79

Encore Performance Seating

Back Cover

Enpar 117

Fathom Events 27

Fandango 43

Film Expo Group 75

GDC Technology 6–7

Gold Medal Products 21

Golden Link 71

Harkness Screens 11

Irwin Seating 13

LightSpeedDepth Q 128

LTI Lighting 45

Magna-Tech Electronics Co. 121

Moving Image Technology 15

Mobiliario Seating 41

MOC Insurance 5

National CineMedia 25

Omniterm 53

Packaging Concepts Inc. 59

Paradigm Design 115

Paramount Pictures 51

Promotion in Motion 55, 101

QSC 17

Ready Theatre Systems 89

Retriever Software 93

Screenvision Media 61, 103

Sensible Cinema 128

Sonic Equipment 23

Spotlight Cinema Networks 31

Stadium Savers 87

Telescopic Seating Systems

Inside Back Cover

Tivoli 35, 37

Ushio 29

Variety - The Children’s Charity 105

The Walt Disney Company

Cover

XPERI Corporation 39

OCTOBER 2019

127


MARKETPLACE

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FOR SALE

USED DIGITAL PROJECTORS AND SOUND

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or call Mark at (937) 323-6447.

USED DIGITAL PROJECTORS, Five complete

booths including sound equipment. Three

years old. Contact seller at moviescope1000@

gmail.com.

TWO BRAND NEW 3000 watts Christie Xenon

lamps for 35mm projectors. Contact: Atul Desai

949-291-5700.

PREFERRED SEATING COMPANY, your source

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seating. Buying and selling used seating

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18 SETS OF USED 35MM AUTOMATED PRO-

JECTION SYSTEM (comes with Projector, Console,

Automation Unit and Platter) comprising

of 10 sets of Christie and 8 sets of Strong

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in Singapore. Contact seller at engthye_lim@

cathay.com.sg

APPROXIMATELY 2,000 SEATS FOR SALE.

MOBILIARIO high-back rockers with cup holders.

Located in Connecticut. Contact (203)758-

2148.

6 PLEX EQUIPMENT PACKAGE. Six complete

booths digital projectors/sound, 72 speakers,

seats, screens/frames, concession equipment,

computers, led signs/marquees, safe/

misc equipment. Serious inquiries only. For

equipment list email contact@digitalequipmenttechnologies.com

or call 801-548-0108 or

fax 801-281-0482.

CLASSIC GEM FOR SALE. Tiny, hand-made

storefront arts cinema, 99 seats, in historic

seaside community north of Boston. Ongoing

37 years. Profitable. Remarkable community

support. Original owners getting old. Contact

portmovies@aol.com

www.depthq3d.com

BE READY FOR YOUR NEXT DRIVE-IN OR

OPEN AIR CINEMA EVENT! Used inflatable

screens from 5m (16ft) to 27m (88ft) width for

sale. Contact Mr. Alexander Thye, info@moviescreens-technologies.com.

HELP WANTED

TRI STATE THEATRE SUPPLY in Memphis, TN

has openings for experienced Digital Cinema

Techs nationwide. Please send your resume to

include qualifications, certifications and salary

requirements to fred@tristatetheatre.com

THEATRE MANAGEMENT POSITIONS AVAIL-

ABLE Pacific Northwest Theatre Company.

Previous management experience required.

Work weekends, evenings and holidays. Send

resume and salary history to movietheatrejobs@gmail.com

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

The three-screen Stavros Niarchos Foundation

Parkway Film Center in Baltimore is seeking an

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR to oversee all aspects

of running the theater and concessions.

The Film Center, a partnership among the

Maryland Film Festival, Johns Hopkins University

and MICA will open in spring of 2017 and

offer a broad range of the world’s best arthouse,

independent, documentary, and classic

cinema. The full job description and application

instructions are found at mdfilmfest.com/

about-the-festival/jobs.php.

ADVERTISE IN NOVEMBER’S ISSUE OF

RESERVE BY

OCTOBER 21, 2019

MATERIALS BY

OCTOBER 23, 2019

CALL

OR EMAIL

TO BOOK

SPACE TODAY!

SUSAN UHRLASS

SUSAN@BOXOFFICE.COM

310-876-9090

128 OCTOBER 2019


CLASSIC AD FROM JANUARY 24, 1925


CLASSIC COVER FROM OCTOBER 30, 1978


Went to 11pm show, the lines to the

snack bar were quick. The prices were

not bad. 15.00 for large popcorn and

soda. They serve alcohol. The seats

recline with foot rests and they have a

little table you can put your food on. I

really like this theater.

— Cheryl R.

Galaxy Tucson Customer

COMFORT.

INNOVATION.

DURABILITY.

SERVICE.

Visit us on Social Media!

@EncorePerformanceSeating

encore.palliser.com

Contact us today to discover the benefits

of partnering with Encore!

infoencore@palliser.ca

International: +1-204-396-1136

Canada & USA Toll Free: +1-866-314-2820

Europe: +33 (0) 603 362 173

70 Lexington Park • Winnipeg, MB • R2G 4H2 • Canada

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