Boxoffice Pro - December 2019

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The Official Magazine of the National Association of Theatre Owners

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2019 VOL. 155 NO. 12

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL

A MEGA ANNIVERSARY

20 years later, Megaplex Theatres

still gives back

24

PR EMIUM SEATING

New trends like dine-in cinemas and

VIP auditoriums have helped

premium seating evolve

28

SHOWEAST RECAP

Companies across the industry increase

collaborative efforts in confronting the

(digital) challenges ahead

32

DEPARTMENTS

HELLO 3

TRADE TALK 4

NATO NEWS 8

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS 10

CHARITY SPOTLIGHT 14

INDIE FOCUS 16

TIMECODE 22

SOCIAL MEDIA 60

LONG-RANGE FORECAST 62

BOXOFFICE PULSE 63

ON SCREEN 64

EVENT CINEMA CALENDAR 72

BOOKING GUIDE 74

MARKETPLACE 80

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.

Women in

Exhibition

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.

50

EMMY-WINNING

'FLEABAG'

FINDS A HOME

ON THE BIG

SCREEN

48

Entering the Next Level

JAKE KASDAN SHAKES THINGS UP FOR

SEQUEL TO JUMANJI BLOCKBUSTER

36

LITTLE WOMEN

‘Great or Nothing’

GRETA GERWIG MARCHES FORTH

WITH LITTLE WOMEN

40

SEARCHING FOR DONALD RUGOFF

Tales of Manhattan

IRA DEUTCHMAN CHRONICLES THE RISE

AND FALL OF THE CINEMA 5 MOGUL

44

2 DECEMBER 2019


Delivering

innovative

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for the cinema

exhibition industry

As 2019 comes to a close, I can’t help but think back on

what has proved to be a dramatic decade in our industry. The

2010s were marked by the expansion of digital cinema, which

now covers the vast majority of screens worldwide, producing a

seismic shift in how this industry operates—and establishing a new

standard for the future of cinema technology.

But because of the emergence of streaming technology, the real disruption

in the entertainment industry has largely occurred in the home, as

cord-cutting has slowly chipped away at cable subscriptions (once touted

as one of many doomsday technologies) and DVD sales have declined considerably

for studios. The home entertainment landscape is vastly different

going into 2020, with media conglomerates (and some exhibitors) devising

their very own streaming services.

INSURANCE COVERAGE

C O M P A N I E S

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The imminent changes ahead—from consolidation to the Justice Department’s

eventual ruling on the Paramount Decrees—offer a glimpse into

the next decade. It’s an exciting time to have this job, to say the least.

On a personal level, I’ll always look back on this decade as a fantastic 10

years of achievement for Latin American cinema. The groundbreaking

work of Mexican filmmakers in Hollywood immediately comes to mind.

Directors Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Guillermo

del Toro and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki have collaborated on

some truly amazing films, including a handful of masterpieces that will

be talked about for years to come.

Local markets in Latin America continue producing remarkable films—

and filmmakers as well. From established directors like Argentina’s

Lucrecia Martel, Chile’s Patricio Guzmán, and Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas

to exciting new voices like Brazil’s Kleber Mendonça Filho, Chile’s

Sebastián Lelio, and Colombia’s Ciro Guerra, the region boasts some

of today’s most daring and innovative filmmaking. I am fortunate to

see most of their films on the big screen here in New York City, and

I genuinely hope the coming years will see more Latin American

cinema make its way to more screens across the U.S. and around

the world.

This industry continues to move at a pace of relentless innovation—both

on and off the screen. Like all my colleagues here

at Boxoffice Pro, I am excited to see what the future will

bring.

Daniel Loría

Editorial Director

Boxoffice Pro

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3


EDITED BY LAURA SILVER

BOXOFFICE MEDIA

CEO

Julien Marcel

SVP CONTENT STRATEGY

Daniel Loria

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Kenneth James Bacon

CINEPAX TO BRING ESPORTS

TO PAKISTAN

>> Cinepax, with 45 screens at 13

sites in nine Pakistani cities, equivalent

to 7,400 seats nationwide, has been

announced as the first international

partner of CineLeague, an international

esports tournament hosted and broadcast

at movie theaters. CineLeague is an

initiative from U.K.-based Cooldown

Ventures, which owns Manchester-based

team Vexed Gaming. Cooldown has been

consulting with Cinepax to help curate

content for the cinema chain’s esports

pre-show events, which will eventually

feed into the international tournaments.

Vexed Gaming is also undertaking

a friendship tour of Pakistan in 2020,

bringing a professional team to play

alongside local talent.

Cooldown Ventures is currently in

discussion with a further 10 international

cinema chains as part of the initial Cine-

League rollout.

“Esports is huge in Pakistan, and it’s

great to be able to nurture and build

local talent and deliver locally created

content,” said Cinepax CEO Mariam El

Bacha. “Cooldown Ventures are unique

in understanding both esports and the

specific dynamic that is the cinema

industry and have helped deliver a program

that will offer engaging, community-driven

content that leverages the

power of esports and the excitement of

big-screen entertainment.”

4DX DRAWS $22M GLOBAL

BOX OFFICE

>> CJ 4DPLEX has announced that its

multisensory 4DX format drew $22 million

at the global box office in October,

up 16 percent year over year, making it

the company’s highest ever recorded for

the month of October.

Increased performances around the

globe were led by China at 164 percent,

followed by Austria at 110 percent, India

at 66 percent, the U.S. at 27 percent, and

Japan at 21 percent.

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TRADE TALK

These October results were driven not

only by Hollywood titles—including

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Gemini

Man—but also by several local titles in

China, India, and Japan.

China’s box office feat can be attributed

to strong performances of two Chinese

films released in October in 4DX: The

Captain and The Climbers.

War, an Indian action film produced

B&B COMPLEX TO OPEN

IN TEXAS

>> B&B Theatres and Victron Group

will partner on a new upscale, state-ofthe-art

theater complex in Red Oak,

Texas. The review process by Red Oak

City Council is under way and construction

is slated to begin in early 2020.

Located off of I-35E, the new theater

will be part of the dining, shopping,

and entertainment development known

as Red Oak Legacy Square. Projected

opening date is spring of 2021.

The facility itself will feature 12

theaters and some of B&B’s own

concepts, including the company’s

signature Grand Screen premium

large format with specialized wall-towall

curved screens, 28-inch stadium

seating, RealD 3-D and high frame rate

(on select films), DTS-X immersive

surround sound, and digital projection.

by Yash Raj Films, contributed to a 66

percent growth over last year’s October

4DX box office in India.

In addition, Japanese animated films

Weathering with You, Girls und Panzer

das Finale: Part 1-2, Konosuba-God’s

Blessing on this Wonderful World! Legend

of Crimson, and Promare hit 4DX screens

in Japan, topping $2.8 million at the

box office.

The Grand Screen will be 70 feet wide,

making it one of the largest screens in

the nation.

B&B Theatres Red Oak will also be

home to 16 lanes of B-Roll Bowling and

an Outtakes Arcade, featuring both classic

and cutting-edge games, with ticketing

and prize redemption. The amenities

include reserved recliner seating in every

auditorium and the Marquee Bar and

Grille, with an extended to-go menu,

plus wine, beer, and cocktails.

City of Red Oak Mayor Mark

Stanfill stated, “Our citizens have been

asking for development that will allow

them to have more entertainment,

dining, and shopping right here in our

own town. I’m excited that this project

is going to provide a venue that will

do not only that, but draw others to

our fabulous city. It’s a great win for

Red Oak.”

Altogether, the success of local films

contributed to the 4DX global box office

share in October of up to 43 percent.

SERWITZ NAMED PRESIDENT &

COO OF LANDMARK THEATRES

>> Charles S. Cohen, owner and

chairman of Landmark Theatres, has

announced the appointment of veteran

exhibition executive Paul Serwitz as

Landmark Theatres’ president and chief

operating officer.

Serwitz comes to Landmark after

serving 17 years as vice president of film

for Regal Entertainment Group, the

national theater circuit whose brands

include Regal Cinemas, Edwards Theatres,

and United Artists Theatres. For the

better part of a decade, his role included

oversight of Regal’s national art and specialized

program, growing that segment

of the business to nearly $200M. Prior

to Serwitz’s 25-year tenure at Regal, he

was in film with Toronto-based Cineplex

Odeon in Washington D.C. and originally

was in operations and film with

Neighborhood Entertainment Group in

Richmond, Virginia.

Landmark is the nation’s largest

specialized theater chain dedicated to independent

cinema, with 51 theaters and

251 screens in 27 markets. The chain’s

theaters include The Landmark in Los

Angeles and The Landmark at 57 West in

New York City, both favored by filmmakers

and studios to host award season

events and screenings.

Paul Serwitz said, “I have long

admired the unique space Landmark

occupies in the exhibition and theatrical

landscape. They are a trailblazer in

the cinema experience. I am thrilled to

have this opportunity to join Landmark

and help expand the company’s vision

and reach.”

CINEMARK WIDENS SOUTH

DAKOTA FOOTPRINT

>> Cinemark Holdings Inc., in partnership

with Foursquare Properties, has

announced that it will build a state-of-

6 DECEMBER 2019


the-art 12-screen theater in the Gateway

at Rapid City Center. The new theater,

located just off Interstate 90, is scheduled

to open in the spring of 2021. This

will be Cinemark’s third theater in South

Dakota, in addition to the Century

Stadium 14 and XD and Century East

in Sioux Falls.

All 12 auditoriums will have reserved

seating and will feature Cinemark’s Luxury

Loungers, which are plush, oversize,

heat-controlled reclining seats. The multiplex

will also feature an XD auditorium

with an immersive wall-to-wall screen

and enhanced sound system.

“We are excited to expand our offerings

in South Dakota to provide even

more guests with an innovative moviegoing

experience featuring our immersive

technology and customer-preferred

amenities,” said Mark Zoradi, Cinemark

CEO. “Our brand-new Cinemark

theater will be the latest entertainment

anchor to the Gateway Development at

Rapid City.”

This 43-acre project serves as a regional

destination for all ages and will provide

additional food and beverage, entertainment,

and lifestyle offerings.

“Cinemark will be a great additional

anchor to Gateway at Rapid City and

will be the catalyst to additional entertainment

and tourist-friendly hospitality

venues including restaurants, family

entertainment uses, and recreational

draws,” said Margaret Hyatt, Foursquare

Properties project manager. “Foursquare

Properties is excited to be partnering

again with this fantastic organization.”

MULTICINES OPENS ECUADOR’S

FIRST 4-D THEATER

>> Multicines is the first cinema to introduce

a 4-D theater in Quito, Ecuador.

Located in the Condado Shopping Center,

the theater is equipped with 96 seats

with motion and special effects. Moviegoers

can experience wind, water, vibration,

smell, and air shots among other effects,

all perfectly synchronized with the onscreen

action.

4D E-Motion Multicines Quito has

been exhibiting Hollywood blockbusters

since October, with the theater premiering

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and

Terminator: Dark Fate.

According to Gonzalo Lopez, general

manager of Multicines, “This is the first

theater in Ecuador with this technology,

so its opening redefines the company as

a leader in innovation of the national

cinematic exhibition industry.”

This state-of- the-art experience has

been embraced by moviegoers. During

the past few weeks Multicines 4D E-Motion

Theater hit box office and occupancy-level

records.

“It’s an honor installing the first 4D

E-Motion Theater of Ecuador alongside

Multicines, a company dedicated to innovation

and offering the best experience

to the audience,” said Sebastian Franco,

CEO of Lumma. There are currently

nine countries that have 4D E-Motion

technology worldwide, with more slated

for Ecuador in 2020.

SCREENVISION ADDS MEGAPLEX

TO ITS NETWORK

>> Screenvision Media has announced

the addition of Megaplex Theatres and a

new deal with Epic Theatres. Screenvision

has signed 11 exhibitor partnership deals

to date in 2019, including with Emagine

Entertainment, increasing the company’s

total screen count to more than 15,000

nationwide with eight of the top 10

exhibitors in the country.

“We deeply value our exhibitor partner

relationships, which are the foundation

of Screenvision Media’s business,”

said Darryl Schaffer, executive vice president

of operations and exhibitor relations.

“These deals underscore our company’s

value to exhibitors and our commitment

to productive, impactful partnerships.”

Screenvision Media’s new multiyear

relationship with Megaplex Theatres,

based in Utah, encompasses 178 screens

across 16 theaters. In addition, Screenvision

Media’s multiyear renewal with

Epic Theatres includes new and expanded

creative inventory. The relationship spans

122 screens across 11 Florida theaters,

targeting moviegoers in Tampa, Orlando,

West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville.

“Our new partnership reflects a shared

passion for creating a memorable and

engaging moviegoing experience,” said

Blake Andersen, president of Megaplex

Theatres. “After assessing the marketplace,

we believed Screenvision was best suited

to our business based on their flexible and

innovative strategies.”

SPOTLIGHT ANNOUNCES

PROMOTIONS IN NATIONAL

AD SALES

>> Spotlight Cinema Networks has

announced a series of moves that will

strengthen its corporate team within its

national ad sales department. The changes

are effective immediately and include:

Bob Shaw promoted to executive vice

president of advertising sales (national);

Karen Brady promoted to senior vice

president of advertising sales (eastern

region); and Mandi Dyner promoted to

senior vice president of advertising sales

(western region).

Bob Shaw will lead and oversee the

national sales strategy, revenue generation,

and team management. He has been a

key leader within the eastern region and

partnership sales during his 10 years at the

company. Each national advertising sales

executive will now report directly to him.

Karen Brady joined Spotlight five

years ago and is responsible for national

ad sales within the eastern region. Since

joining Spotlight Cinema Networks in

2014, Brady has worked with agencies

and content partner clients and helped

launch the first-to-demonstrate Google

Home Mini activation in movie theaters.

Mandi Dyner will continue to build

the Spotlight brand on the West Coast

for national ad sales. Dyner has been

with Spotlight for almost eight years and

helped launch the first-to-market Apple

cinema campaign and has successfully

increased long-term relationships with

luxury brands.

DECEMBER 2019

7


NATO NEWS

BY PHIL CONTRINO, DIRECTOR OF MEDIA & RESEARCH, NATO, AND

ERIN VON HOETZENDORFF, GLOBAL AFFAIRS AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, NATO

NATO SURVEYS YOUNG MEMBERS COMMITTEE

ON PRESENT, FUTURE OF EXHIBITION

>> This year, NATO conducted the first survey of our Young

Members Committee (YMC) in order to gain a better sense of

how the industry is viewed by the next generation of exhibition-industry

professionals.

We received 45 responses from a diverse range of YMC

members. Some respondents have only worked in the industry

for one year, while others have been working in exhibition for

16 years. The responses were spread out pretty evenly among

employer size: 14 from companies with 500-plus screens, 19

from companies with 75–499 screens, and 12 from companies

with 1–74 screens.

In terms of the respondents’ involvement in NATO events,

25 out of 45 have been to CinemaCon, and 14 have been to the

Fall Summit/General Membership meeting.

The 39-question survey focused on a range of topics relevant

to exhibition: from opportunities and risks to the theatrical

viability of certain genres to attracting younger moviegoers.

Here is a brief rundown of key takeaways:

When asked to rate different significant opportunities

for the industry on a scale of one to five,

one being not significant and five being highly

significant, NATO’s young members found alcohol

service to be the most significant opportunity on

the list, with an average score of 4.44. Automation

and artificial intelligence, increased diversity in

front of and behind the camera, and recliners and

reserved seating also received high ratings. Not far

behind those were major studios focusing on creating

films that play well globally and the increased

use of green technology and sustainability practices

in cinemas. Surprisingly, lowest on the list with

average scores hovering around a neutral score were

esports and virtual and augmented reality.

Later, the survey asked, “What do you think is

the best way to create a love for cinema in audiences

under 12 years old?” This open-ended question

generated a range of responses aimed at maintaining

the industry’s popularity in the years to come.

“Experience” was one of the words that popped

up the most in responses. While every answer was

slightly different, the majority of answers focused

on the fact that the content shown on cinema

screens will be the ultimate attractor to audiences

under 12 years old, but the experience provided at

the cinema is also vital.

Many respondents encouraged creating new, fun

experiences for younger audiences by providing activities

that are exciting and engaging, ranging from

giveaways, concession offers, movie-related photo

opportunities, crafts, and arcade games. Offering

content that can be enjoyed by adults and children

was also a frequent part of responses, as the money

for tickets and concessions ultimately comes from

the adult parents or guardians. As one respondent

remarked, “We must offer something that is completely

or at least relatively unattainable through the

handheld devices that kids interact with daily.”

When asked: “Do you think the growth of

easily accessible short-form content has a negative

impact on the desire of moviegoers under the age

of 12 to consume feature-length films?” only five

respondents said yes. The other 39 responses were

spread evenly among Maybe, No, and Too Soon to

8 DECEMBER 2019


When asked: “Do you think

the growth of easily accessible

short-form content has a negative

impact on the desire of moviegoers

under the age of 12 to consume

feature-length films?” only five

respondents said yes.

Tell. This topic will be increasingly important

for our industry in the years to come,

as many social critics are sounding

alarms about decreasing attention

spans and the impact that will

have on our culture.

When it came to risks,

shorter theatrical windows

were perceived as the most

threatening, with directors

and actors creating

content for streaming

services instead of theatrical

distributors coming not too

far behind.

In terms of which genres

are viewed as the most viable

long term, action and animated

scored the highest, while low-budget

independent and documentaries

scored the lowest. Related to that: only

12 respondents answered yes to, “Is the reliance

on franchise films by major studios bad

for the overall health/public image of our

industry?”

When it comes to the factors

that drive younger audiences to

the movies, the respondents

rated social media buzz the

highest and awards buzz /

nominations / film-festival

wins the lowest. Rotten

Tomatoes / Metacritic score

finished in the middle. The

lack of interest in movie

awards should come as no

surprise, considering that

the Oscar telecast has been

struggling to retain viewership

in recent years.

At NATO, we plan on surveying

the YMC on a regular basis for the

benefit of the entire trade body. The full

survey is available online to members.

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DECEMBER 2019

9


GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

BY ESTHER BARUH, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, NATO

PROJECTING THE VOICE OF EXHIBITION:

NATO TAKES CAPITOL HILL

>> In November, NATO was proud to host our members in

our nation’s capital, so they could exercise one of the most

fundamental rights of American democracy—petitioning the

government for a redress of grievances. NATO members from

across the United States gathered in Washington, D.C., for a

fly-in to lobby Congress on key issues facing the industry: tax

depreciation for capital improvements and the Department

of Justice’s review of the music-licensing consent decrees. Accompanied

by NATO President and CEO John Fithian, Director

of Government Relations Esther Baruh, General Counsel and

Director of Industry Relations Jackie Brenneman, and Manager

of State Government Relations Alex Rich, exhibitors from

the largest national circuits to midsize regional companies to

single-screen theaters met with Democrats and Republicans

to chat about movie theaters, the impact of a slower recoupment

schedule for interior remodels, and the importance of

preserving the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. In addition

to the Capitol Hill meetings, NATO’s political action committee

(NATOPAC) hosted an intimate gathering supporting Senator

Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary

Committee. The two-day program was capped with a special

“Beyond the Red Carpet” reception on Capitol Hill, co-hosted

by the Creative Rights Caucus, NATO, and other entertainment-industry

partners.

Nathan Hunstable, Randy Hester, Emelyn Stuart, Roger Stuart, Patrick Micalizzi, and Dan Herrle

Rick Novak, Rich Daughtridge, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD),

Mark O’Meara, and Scott Cohen

Mike Hagan, Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS), Scott Cohen, and Rich Daughtridge

Rich Daughtridge, Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC), and Scott Cohen

10 DECEMBER 2019


Russell Allen, Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), Steve Zuehlke, and John Fithian

Scott Lotter and Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)

John Vincent, Scott Lotter, Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-CA), Racheal Wilson, and Mike Bowers

George Rouman, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), and Mark Gramz

Mark Gramz, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Mike Hagan, and Mike Barstow

Dan Herrle, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Emelyn Stuart, and Roger Stuart

DECEMBER 2019

11


GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

John Fithian, Scott Lotter, John Vincent, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Dan Herrle, Rob Bruchman, and Dave Castelli

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rich Daughtridge

Mark O’Meara and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA)

Rick Novak, Deepak Keshani, Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN), and Mark O’Meara

12 DECEMBER 2019


Art Murtha, Russell Allen, Mike Bowers, Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ), Rob Bruchman,

Jackie Brenneman, Racheal Wilson, and Steve Zuehlke

Bo Chambliss, Randy Hester, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA), and Nathan Hunstable

Randy Hester, Nathan Hunstable, Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), and Bo Chambliss

Deepak Keshani, Art Murtha, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Scott Lotter

DECEMBER 2019

13


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

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

>> On November 6, Variety – the Children’s

Charity of New York, with support from the

Motion Picture Club, hosted a cocktail party and

special advance screening of Warner Bros.’ Doctor

Sleep at the Chelsea Cinépolis in New York City.

Over $10,000 was raised for sick, disadvantaged,

and underprivileged children in New York, Connecticut,

and New Jersey.

The fantastically successful event, attended

by over 120 excited supporters of Variety and

its work, allowed Variety’s New York chapter to

reintroduce itself to the community following its

relaunch earlier this year.

The highlight of the evening for all those who

attended was the grant of an adaptive bicycle to

8-year-old Mikayla. Mikayla has cerebral palsy,

meaning she cannot walk or stand without support

… yet. Her new bicycle, with its adjustable support

that will allow Mikayla to use it as she grows, will

help her build strength in her legs and core and

achieve her goal of walking on her own.

>> On October 24,

Variety – the Children’s

Charity of

Southern California

hosted its 48th Annual

Golf Classic. This

year’s honoree was

Mike Viane, executive

vice president of theatrical

distribution and

head of sales at STXfilms. Says Variety: “Thank you to all the amazing sponsors

and supporters who braved the high winds at the Moorpark Golf Club and

helped raise $189,000 for children with special needs in Southern California!”

>> Variety – the Children’s Charity of Eastern

Tennessee was given the honor by Lionsgate of

presenting a special screening of Roland Emmerich’s

Midway at the Turkey Creek shopping center’s

Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 in Knoxville on October

22. Midway centers on the Battle of Midway, a

clash between the American fleet and the imperial

Japanese Navy, which marked an important

turning point in the Pacific Theater during WWII.

The film tells the story of the leaders and soldiers

who used their instincts, fortitude, and bravery to

overcome the odds. One of Midway’s stars, Dennis

Quaid, made a special appearance at the event.

>> Variety – the Children’s

Charity of the Desert was

thrilled to kick off November

with a presentation of six

adaptive bicycles and customized

strollers to local children in

order to improve their mobility

and social inclusion. Thanks to

Marker Broadcasting and Big

106 FM, Variety of the Desert

also held its 24th Annual KPLM Variety Cares for Kids Radiothon. More

than $73,000 was raised to help provide bikes and helmets to underprivileged

children throughout the upcoming holiday season.

14 DECEMBER 2019


UPCOMING EVENTS

VARIETY – THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF THE DESERT

22nd Annual Bike Giveaway, Palm Springs Motors

December 8 / Cathedral City, CA

Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert will partner with Palm Springs

Motors and the 4ShayJ Foundation for a presentation of 400 bikes and helmets to

underprivileged children throughout the Coachella Valley school district. For more

information, visit http://bit.ly/2CA0TZQ.

>> Variety – the Children’s Charity would like to

give a big thank you to Prospect Airport Services

for welcoming the Variety family with a celebratory

Thanksgiving dinner. Additionally, Prospect

Airport Services announced that their charitable

foundation, which previously worked with Variety

of Illinois, will now extend its help to Variety nationwide!

Both groups were proud to fund a special

bike for Jeny, who used it to move on her own for

the first time ever.

VARIETY – THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Heart of Show Business Luncheon

December 12 / Los Angeles

The board of directors of Variety – the Children’s Charity of Southern California

is proud to honor Stella Burks, senior vice president of distribution services at

Warner Bros. Pictures, with the 2019 Heart of Show Business Award. Burks will be

presented with her award at the annual Heart of Show Business Luncheon, held

on Thursday, December 12, at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The

Heart of Show Business Luncheon is one of the most popular events of the year

and is attended by over 400 members of the entertainment community. Proceeds

from the luncheon will support Variety’s three core areas of funding for children

with special needs: education, health care, and mobility. For tickets and more

information, visit www.varietysocal.org.

VARIETY – THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF ILLINOIS

Kendra Scott Gives Back

December 12 / Oakbrook, IL

Holiday shoppers will enjoy complimentary sips and sweets at the Kendra Scott

Gives Back event, held at the Oakbrook Center shopping mall on Thursday, December

12, 6–8 p.m. Twenty percent of all purchases made during this event will

benefit Variety – the Children’s Charity of Illinois.

VARIETY – THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF SOUTHERN NEVADA

Christmas Bash

December 19

Variety – the Children’s Charity of Southern Nevada will host a Christmas Bash for

multiple local schools and community center programs serving children in need.

The bash will take place on December 19, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Master magician Lance

Burton and friends will perform a variety show, and toys will be distributed at

each location.

>> As a thank you to the generous cinema industry

and its Variety partners, Variety – the Children’s

Charity of Texas celebrated the kickoff of the Dine-

In Cinema Summit in Austin on November 4 with

a bike presentation to Dell Children’s Medical

Clinic. This adaptive trike will benefit hundreds of

children with special needs each year. Also at the

event, Stacy Bruce, executive director of Variety of

Texas, hosted a panel on partnerships and community

involvement. Panelists included representatives

from Cinemark, Alamo Drafthouse, Cinergy

Entertainment Group, and the three-theater Texas

chain Violet Crown.

VARIETY – THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF THE DESERT

Second Annual Shottenkirk Desert Lexus Variety Golf Scramble

January 20 / Palm Desert, CA

Join Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert on the links to raise funds in

support of children in need in the Coachella Valley! This January’s charity golf

tournament will take place at the Palm Valley Country Club. For more information,

visit http://bit.ly/2CA0TZQ.

VARIETY – THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF DETROIT

Variety Slider, Spuds & Soup(er) Bowl

January 24 / Birmingham, MI

Variety Slider, Spuds & Soup(er) Bowl will be held on Friday, January 24, 2020,

at the Townsend Hotel to benefit Variety – the Children’s Charity of Detroit.

The event provides a fun-filled evening of competition between some of metro

Detroit’s most talented chefs, with Critics’ Choice and Peoples’ Choice awards for

best slider, best spud, and best soup. Food, beverages, raffles, and live entertainment

from the Dan Rafferty Band are provided. Tickets can be purchased at

http://bit.ly/2pVzu1X.

DECEMBER 2019

15


INDIE FOCUS

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

MICHAEL SODANO

WITH NANCY SABINO

SHOWROOM CINEMA

MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ

CONTRIBUTOR

MICHAEL SODANO, OWNER

LOCATIONS & SCREENS

We operate two locations in Monmouth County,

New Jersey. The ShowRoom Cinema Asbury

Park features three intimate theaters seating 66, 25,

and 15 people. The ShowRoom Cinema Bradley

Beach has two theaters, one that seats 315; the

other, more intimate, theater seats 23.

HISTORY

We opened in 2009 as a storefront cinema

with 50 seats in Asbury Park. The interesting

thing about Asbury Park was that in the 1940s

and ’50s, the city had seven movie palaces that

are now gone. We couldn’t understand why such

a movie-rich town had no cinema. Was there

no audience, or was it just because there was no

cinema? My partner, Nancy Sabino, and I rented

a small storefront and filled it with the best projection

and sound we could resource, put in 50

patio chairs, hung out a shingle, and waited to see

16 DECEMBER 2019


INDIE FOCUS

what happened. Social media wasn’t as popular

back then, so we added a website and people discovered

us, and they kept coming. We added talk

backs and various live performances and really

became a community hub.

One of our biggest successes was screening The

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. We were one of the

few cinemas in the area screening it, and the popularity

of that film drove more and more audiences

to our cinema. It was offbeat, different, intimate,

and it fit the Asbury Park vibe.

Since we developed an audience over the

course of three years or so, an opportunity arose

across the street to expand our operation. We acquired

a 1940s men’s clothing store and designed

three theaters in it. The building was one of the

few clear-span structures in the downtown area,

and, since opening in 2012, we’ve become the

anchor entertainment tenant on the main street

in Asbury Park.

COMMUNITY

Our Asbury Park location features a discerning

audience that enjoys the unique intimate setting

we provide and the special attention to detail and

customer service that they receive upon entering

the theater. No customer is just a number here.

Our staff knows a lot of customers on a first-name

basis, since they patronize us so often.

In addition to being the center of film in the

city, we are also a centralized event space as well.

Our auditoriums are available for rent, and many

community groups and events are held here.

We’ve hosted environmental groups, civic events,

children’s recreation events, business forums, local

film festivals, birthday parties, and even engagement

events.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Many of our incredible snacks are sourced from

local suppliers, so we feature cookies, cakes, and

sweets that are not found in many other establishments—certainly

not in other cinemas. In addition,

we’ve discovered that vegan and gluten-free

snacks are favorites.

PROGRAMMING

If it’s featured in The New York Times or men-

18 DECEMBER 2019


tioned on NPR, our guests are aware of the title

and are first in line when we program those titles.

We also take many suggestions from our guests.

Our email inbox is full of unsolicited title suggestions,

and our staff encourages that kind of engagement.

Series that make The ShowRoom Cinema

stand out include our monthly series of Sunday

morning horror classics entitled “Horror Church.”

In addition, we often screen one-night-only music

concert films—like the Joni Mitchell anniversary

concert, Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration—which

are very well received.

GRASSROOTS MARKETING

We are big city-business boosters, and to that

end we work in concert with many of the local

businesses downtown in pairing events. For

example, we hold a weekly dinner and a movie

special with Mogo Korean Fusion Tacos. We offer

a drink-package special with our Italian restaurant

around the corner, Brando’s. We’ve also partnered

with our local bookstore in producing “BookFlx”

events—movies inspired by novels with Skype

interviews with key production personnel.

CINEMA ADVERTISING

We were very cautious about introducing

advertising into our cinema, as it initially went

against our idea of providing an exceptional

entertainment environment. However, upon

screening some of the initial Spotlight ads, our

impression was immediately changed. Spotlight

ads are cinematic—the production values are

extremely high, and they are not just television

retreads. Our guests are never offended by them,

and many are wonderful stories that you don’t

realize are advertisements. In addition, Spotlight

is a true exhibitor partner. If there’s an ad that

we don’t feel fits our audience, we simply opt not

to run it, and they agree. If we think there are

too many ads in a particular playlist, we request

to reduce the number, and they comply. In the

exhibition business, we’ve found there are few

suppliers who treat exhibitors as true partners

in consumer entertainment—Spotlight breaks

the mold and wants nothing but the best for our

guests. It’s truly a win-win scenario.

DECEMBER 2019

19


TIMECODE

BY KENNETH JAMES BACON

Happy 120th Birthday, Humphrey Bogart

Born Christmas Day, 1899

PART 12 OF OUR

12-PART DEEP DIVE

INTO THE BOXOFFICE

ARCHIVES

CLASSIC AD / JAN. 4, 1941

Warner Bros. was

a major advertiser

during the war years

and touted Casablanca

for several weeks in

the fall of 1942. This

ad appeared in the

Nov. 28, 1942, edition

of Boxoffice. One of

the film’s ads featured

three tuxedo-wearing

gents in 1940s sports

gear—baseball, hockey,

and football—with

the tagline, “They’re

ready for ‘Casablanca’!

The Warner Kind of

Smash!” Sometimes

you just run out of

clever ideas.

CLASSIC AD / OCT. 11, 1941

22 DECEMBER 2019


CLASSIC AD / AUG. 24, 1946

CLASSIC THREE-PAGE SPREAD / MAR. 22, 1952

CLASSIC AD / DEC. 27, 1947

CLASSIC AD / JULY 31, 1954

DECEMBER 2019

23


A MEGA

ANNIVERSARY

20 YEARS LATER,

MEGAPLEX

THEATRES STILL

GIVES BACK

by Rebecca Pahle

“Congrats, Megaplex, on the milestone anniversary!

Megaplex has been a dedicated partner to Atom

and has believed in us from the start. Megaplex was

among the first exhibitors to leverage our platform

to drive more digital ticket sales and turned to us to

launch their first-ever movie subscription service,

MegaPass. From ops to marketing to technology,

their team is easy to work with and the best

in the business. We’re a huge fan of

Megaplex and their forward-thinking

moviegoing experiences.”

—Matthew Bakal,

Co-Founder and Chairman,

Atom Tickets

MEGAPLEX THEATRES’ GENEVA LOCATION IN VINEYARD, UTAH,

BOASTS D-BOX, IMAX, AND DOLBY ATMOS

“I had the privilege

of working with Megaplex

during the theatrical run of my first

feature film, The Other Side of Heaven, clear

back in 2000. They were a young chain then with

only a few houses, and the movie was my directorial

debut. They locked arms with me and my distributor

as if we were true partners and old friends. The movie

thrived in some of their theaters for months. [Its 2019

sequel] The Other Side of Heaven 2 thrived in Megaplex

locations for almost 14 weeks. Their generosity and

professionalism went unmatched anywhere in the

U.S. This time, when they locked arms with

me, it was really true that they were

my old friends.” —Mitch Davis,

Filmmaker

24 DECEMBER 2019


“Larry Miller always used to say, ‘I

don’t mind getting big. I just don’t want

to act big.’”

It’s that philosophy—explained

by the circuit’s president

Blake Andersen—that

has carried Utah-based

Megaplex Theatres to

its 20th anniversary,

which it celebrated in

November.

The late Miller, who

passed away in 2009,

didn’t go into the theatrical

exhibition business

already bitten by the

movie bug. The owner

of several sports teams in

the Utah area, as well as

dozens of car dealerships and

other assorted business ventures,

Miller was approached by the mayor

of Sandy, Utah, to do something with

a sizable plot of land in the city. “Jordan

High School stood for over a hundred

years on this site, and it went into a major

disrepair,” recalls film buyer Cal Gundersen,

one of Megaplex Theatres’ original

hires. “The school district couldn’t afford

to bring it up to code,” so for years

the property languished. Miller came

on-board, and in November 1999 the

property found new life as Jordan Commons,

a business and retail complex that

boasts offices, restaurants, and Megaplex

Theatres’ flagship location.

At the beginning, Gundersen says,

Miller didn’t really know how to run a theater—he

recalls Miller asking him, around

the time the building was completed,

“‘How do you get your movies?’” I said

FOOD (AND MOVIE) OPTIONS ABOUND AT JORDAN COMMONS

to him, ‘Well, you have to contact the

movie studios and sign an agreement with

them.’ And he said, ‘Gotcha! Guess we

better get on that, because we have this

building almost finished, and we don’t

have any movies!’

“He didn’t have a clue how to get

movies, but he was determined to build

something and give back to the community.

And here we are 20 years later, still

giving back.”

The road, at first, was rocky, since no

one knew what Megaplex Theatres was.

“It took us, oh, probably six months or

so until we had an opportunity to play

Toy Story 2,” says Gundersen. “It proved

to be a very successful run for us. It

actually put Megaplex Theatres on the

map with major studios. After that,

instead of us chasing people,

[they would] call us and say,

‘We have this film coming

up, and we’d like to play it

in your theater complex.’”

In the 20 years since

they proved themselves

with Toy Story 2,

Megaplex Theatres has

grown exponentially.

The chain currently has

182 screens in 17 locations

(16 in Utah, one in

Nevada), with expansion

planned in 2021 and 2022

to states in which the Miller

family owns car dealerships.

“Over the last 20 years, we’ve had

a great opportunity to rank in the

top five locations across the country for

most of the major tentpole films, like Pirates

of the Caribbean and Star Wars,” says

Gundersen. “Harry Potter was extremely

successful here. Hunger Games. All of

those we did major premieres for. We

have theaters that are ranked in the topfive-grossing

theaters for North America.”

Family movies do well for Megaplex, as

do musicals (“We played [The Greatest

Showman] until they made us take it

off!”) and movies based on books. “Utahans

are quite well read,” notes Gundersen.

“They read a lot of books, and so when

something’s made into a movie, they

support it wholeheartedly.”

Andersen attributes the success of

Megaplex Theatres in part to the chain’s

embrace of technology. “We always try to

“The Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatre Group is indispensable to the independent Utah film community. Gail Miller has continued

the legacy of her late husband by ensuring that each of their companies endeavors to have a positive local and community

impact. The theater group, run by Blake Andersen and Cal Gundersen, is no exception. It is every filmmaker’s dream to see their

work displayed on a giant screen with a large audience. Traditionally, that privilege has been reserved for only the very few, elite

Hollywood productions. But Megaplex Theatres understands the power of local stories and art to transform communities and has

given us a rare platform to exhibit our films and make them accessible to audiences in the same manner as expensive studio films.

… Twenty years is a massive accomplishment, and I can’t imagine the Utah film community without their dedication and support.”

—Arthur VanWagenen, Director, Excel Entertainment Group

DECEMBER 2019

25


Larry H. Miller and Gail Miller celebrate the opening of Megaplex Theatres’ Jordan Commons location in 1999

stay cutting edge without being bleeding

edge,” he says. Megaplex was “one of the

very first chains in the nation to go 100

percent reserved seating. We were the first

chain to bring out heated recliners.” They

were, he continues, the first chain

to “roll out Dolby 3-D”

and the first outside

Atlanta to install

the now-ubiquitous

Coca-Cola

Freestyle

machines.

Within

Utah,

Megaplex

was the

first chain

to introduce

Dolby Atmos,

laser projection,

and D-Box motion

seating. “We have

five Imax locations,” adds

Gundersen. “We’re the only theater

chain in the Intermountain West with

that many.”

In May of this year, Megaplex Theatres

became the first chain to partner with

Atom Tickets for a custom subscription

service, created through the latter’s white

label Atom Movie Access platform.

Beyond the technological angle, Megaplex’s

Jordan Commons location, with

its many food venues serving as hubs for

the spoke-like arrangement of theaters, is

“something that you would never see in a

normal movie theater chain,” Gundersen

says. “All of the hallways are framed

with marquees of theaters

from gone-by times that

were very prominent

in Salt Lake City.

[They’re the

places] where

Gail and

Larry Miller

used to go as

teenagers to

see movies.

It’s a unique

place. We’ve

had people

say, ‘Gosh, I’ve

never seen a movie

theater complex like

this before.’ And I say, ‘You

probably won’t [again], because you

couldn’t afford to build it.’”

Larry Miller’s goal of giving back to

the community isn’t just accomplished

through Megaplex’s amenities. The

company’s connection to the community

mainly lies in its uncanny understanding

of what people want to see, even—perhaps

especially—when those desires

“Congratulations to

Megaplex Theatres for 20

extraordinary years in support of film

in Utah! Megaplex Theatres and the Larry

H. Miller Group have been the key component

in facilitating and sustaining the growth of the

local film community by consistently engaging

producers, directors, and distributors [and] giving

them a place to showcase and share their work.

Thank you, Megaplex, for a wonderful ongoing

partnership and for the care and attention

you give to all types of filmmakers.”

—Michelle Moore, Moore PR

Group

extend outside mainstream cinema.

“Larry gave me the charge when I started

doing the film buying that he wanted me

to keep my mind and eyes open for any

great independent film,” says Gundersen.

“And so we support the independent

film and filmmakers here and around the

country that come to us with their films.

In most instances, if we feel that there’s

something that the public wants to see,

we’re great supporters.”

Adds Andersen: “[Community involvement

has] been a mandate from the Miller

family, from Larry and Gail, from day one.

When we go into a community, one of

our principles is to make the community

better for being there. We work with local

filmmakers. We try to assimilate and become

part of the communities in which we

have our theaters.” (You can find testimonials

from those involved in the Utah film

community throughout this piece.)

With the Church of Jesus Christ of

Latter-day Saints having a large presence in

Utah, Megaplex Theatre plays a lot of Mormon

and otherwise faith-based films. One

of those is T.C. Christensen’s The Fighting

Preacher, which opened in July 2019. Andersen

recalls hearing from the director after

his “little independent film” had played

at Megaplex for 13 weeks: “He said, ‘I can’t

thank you enough.’ We moved it around to

different markets and different places. He

was just overcome that we would give him

a chance and let him compete that way.

And he actually did very well. That’s neat

to hear from a director like that.”

Gundersen plays an active role in

seeking out these smaller films. “We just

finished up an independent film that

was made in Vermont called Farmer of

the Year. I contacted [the filmmaker]

and asked him about playing it. He said,

‘Clear out in Utah? What do you want to

watch it for?’ But I’d watched the trailer

and I thought, that’s something that will

play well here. … People send me a lot of

stuff now that they know what Megaplex

Theatres is all about. But, on the other

hand, I’m always looking for things that

Utahans will love that may not play as

well in other places.”

26 DECEMBER 2019


(Another example of being open to

off-the-beaten-track options in programming:

Anime does really well at Megaplex

Theatres. “We kind of stumbled onto the

fact that there are huge anime fans out

here in Utah,” says Gundersen. FanX, a

well-attended comic convention, puts

on events in Salt Lake City several times

a year. Megaplex Theatres taps into that

crowd by screening films from anime

distributor Funimation as well

as Fathom Events, which

has a partnership with

anime powerhouse

Studio Ghibli. “We

[screen anime]

quite often, two

or three times a

month if we can

get that much

content. … The

anime’s turned out

to be a lot bigger

than what I thought it

was going to be.”)

When it comes to making

potential moviegoers aware of smaller

titles, Megaplex benefits from other

components of the Miller empire. “We

own a local radio station, so we can

help get the word out [with that],” says

Andersen. “We own sporting events, so

we can place adds in the Jazz arena or

in our Bees stadium.” (Basketball team

the Utah Jazz and minor league baseball

franchise the Salt Lake Bees are owned

by the Miller family through their LHM

Group.) In addition, Megaplex creates

its own pre-show, giving the chain more

“Megaplex

Theatres and its

team are the best in the

business. Megaplex Theatres

has provided a worldwide launching

ground for local indie films coming

out of Utah consistently for 20 years.

They do what few in the business can,

at an unprecedented level.” —

Brandon Purdie, President,

Purdie Distribution

Megaplex Theatres’ Jordan Commons location counts D-Box motion seating among its luxury amenities.

freedom to promote

independent

titles months out

from their release.

“There isn’t much

that happens” in the Miller

empire, Gundersen explains—

whether it’s Megaplex Theatres, sports

teams, or car dealerships—that “the

[Miller] family is not highly involved in.”

That strategy won’t change. Gail Miller

“continues to be a very viable part of the

community and is very much involved

in trying to give back,” Gundersen says.

And the Miller children and grandchildren,

Andersen explains, “are active in

the business and learning the ropes from

the ground up. The Miller family has

all of the children who want to work

in the business start just like everyone

else: in the concession stands, the ticket

booth, doing what everyone else does to

learn the business and work their way up

through the ranks. … As we continue

to grow and reach out and spread our

footprint throughout different areas in

different states, I hope that we can continue

to operate in a way that melds with

[our] communities and that brings in

innovative ideas and technologies.”

“Megaplex Theatres is terrific and has made every effort to make our independent

films successful. So here’s my plan ... I’m not dead yet. We’ve got more films to

make, so we’ll keep producing and you keep being great!”

—T.C. Christensen, Filmmaker

“For 20 years Megaplex Theatres has been here for both film lovers and

filmmakers. By helping local filmmakers showcase their work on the big screen,

they support talent in Utah and allow audiences to see stories from their own

backyard. They are true community builders.”

—Virginia Pearce, Director, Utah Film Commission

Blake Andersen and Gail Miller cut the cake at

Megaplex’s 100 Millionth Guest Celebration in

December 2018.

DECEMBER 2019

27


SEATING

BY ROB RINDERMAN

TELESCOPIC SEATING

SYSTEMS

PREMIUM

SEATING

NEW TRENDS LIKE

DINE-IN CINEMAS AND

VIP AUDITORIUMS

HAVE HELPED PREMIUM

SEATING EVOLVE

>> With the emergence of advanced

formats and other premium amenities

like alcohol service and expanded

menus, it’s easy to overlook the continued

expansion of premium seating

throughout the industry. For our annual

seating survey, we looked at the latest

earnings calls from several publicly held

exhibitors and reached out to some

privately held circuits and seating manufacturers

to get a closer look at premium

seating’s current footprint.

While the industry has enjoyed an increase in

premium recliners, many of the 40,000 screens

throughout the U.S. and Canada have yet to be

upgraded, according to Irwin Seating. In every

market, exhibitors are seeing the need for luxury

recliners, but there’s also a high demand for

rocker seating—especially given budgetary and

space constraints.

To compete with home-entertainment options,

sporting events, and other movie theaters, exhibitors

are finding new ways to make the customer

experience more comfortable, engaging, and

communal. While larger screens, bigger sound, and

inspired dining options all bring significant value,

seating still makes the greatest tangible impact, in

the company’s view.

Down the road, Irwin expects seating to be

driven by consumer demand for wireless charging,

5G network speed, and higher levels of comfort.

In the United States, the country’s leading

circuits reported their latest figures during their

respective third-quarter investor conference calls.

Leading the charge, AMC reports it already has

recliner seats installed in 78 percent of its larger

AMC-branded and AMC-Dine-In theater locations

across the United States. In the same call,

28 DECEMBER 2019


the company reported that AMC Classic–branded

theaters have much lower visitation levels

(typical ticket sales in the range of 200 to 1,000

sold per day), which do not warrant an attractive

enough financial return for a sizable investment

in added theater amenities, according to company

management.

At the end of Q3, nearly 2,700 (58%) of

Cinemark’s domestic auditoriums featured Luxury

Lounger recliners. According to Cinemark

management, this represents the highest recliner

premium-seating penetration among major U.S.

cinema players. At its current pace, Cinemark

anticipates that approximately 60 percent of its

domestic footprint will have reclining seats by the

end of 2019.

Marcus Theatres, for its part, states that

during the first nine months of 2019, the company

apportioned approximately $22 million in

capital expenditures to its theater division (Marcus

Corporation also operates a hotel division), related

primarily to its ongoing DreamLounger recliner

seating projects, as well as premium large-format

screen conversions.

Among privately held companies, Studio

Movie Grill (SMG) and New Vision Theatres

(NVT) are examples of two circuits with solid

representation across the country; SMG is up

to 343 screens, while NVT currently owns and

operates close to 200 auditoriums. SMG’s latest

location, in Glendale, California, installed luxury

leather recliners, which are adjustable for both the

headrest and the patron’s legs. Guests have many

other options, including the ability to heat their

seats, use cooling cup holders, turn on a light

to read dine-in menus, and charge their mobile

phones via a plug-in. SMG continues to focus on

combining comfort and the ability to eat while

watching a movie, without compromising one or

the other experience.

Similarly, lobby renovations at NVT’s Fleming

Island 12 (Florida) were completed in mid-summer,

which management attributes to a regained

market share as it complemented the reserved

seating and luxury recliners introduced last December.

The company plans to continue exploring

opportunities to upgrade its seating wherever it is

feasible to do so.

Now in its second decade as a premium-seating

manufacturer to exhibition, VIP Cinema

Seating believes there has been a direct correlation

to substantial increases in attendance as well as

IRWIN SEATING

COMPANY

DECEMBER 2019

29


SEATING

ENCORE BY PALLISER

concessions as a result of innovations on the seating

front. Additionally, it sees significant growth

opportunities for premium-seating upgrades outside

the U.S. Looking ahead, the company cites

connectivity, personalization, and data analytics

as trends worth watching.

A factor in this sustained level of interest in

premium seating is the rise of dine-in cinemas,

leading circuits to consider seating partners that

can help them maintain cleaning standards at

their locations.

Telescopic Seating Systems has begun addressing

this in its product line with its Smart Clean

Sweep technology, which lowers theater costs by

only opening recliners for cleaning that have been

recently occupied. The company believes that dinein

cinemas will become the fastest-growing and

most profitable segment of the exhibition market,

something it’s prepared for with a line of dynamic

table systems specifically designed for that segment.

Another trend in exhibition that has helped

spur premium seating is VIP cinemas and auditoriums.

Canada-based Palliser sees the market

evolving from switching out traditional seats for

recliners to offering consumers a variety of choices

at different price points, reminiscent of what the

airline industry has been doing. This means that

one could potentially have different sections of

the same auditorium equipped with different

premium-seating options—going from basic seats

near the front of the auditorium to more luxury

options, priced accordingly—aligned with the best

viewing angles. Consulting its crystal ball, Palliser

foresees more electronics options that will offer

customers the ability to personalize their comfort.

As the latest quarter’s earnings reports from the

top public circuits show, reseating isn’t a one-anddone

proposition, and it appears that new innovations

from manufacturers will continue addressing

evolving consumer demand.

30 DECEMBER 2019


SHOWEAST 2019

BY DANIEL LORIA

TECH/SUPPORT

COMPANIES ACROSS THE

INDUSTRY INCREASE

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS IN

CONFRONTING THE (DIGITAL)

CHALLENGES AHEAD

>> Digital cinema has

brought a growing array

of audiovisual formats

and technologies—features

like immersive

audio, laser projection,

panoramic screens, and

motion seating—that has

led to unique moviegoing experiences, oftentimes

at higher ticket prices. As we approach the expiration

of the virtual print fee (VPF) model, questions

about the availability and sustainability of new

advanced formats have been raised by the National

Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and other

industry members. Their concerns include not

only keeping tabs on digital cinema standards, but

ensuring the affordability of new technology that

can help grow the industry.

Paramount’s release of Ang Lee’s Gemini Man

dominated the conversation in a cinema technology

roundtable at ShowEast, held October 14–17

at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. The

film, which had just premiered the weekend leading

up to the convention, had enjoyed a lukewarm

box office after a release that promoted its pioneering

advanced-format credentials: shot in 120 fps

high frame rate (HFR) 3-D. The overwhelming

majority of theaters around the world weren’t

equipped to exhibit it at its full potential, so Paramount

worked with exhibitors to develop a suitable

advanced-format alternative that could work

for a large-scale release. Despite the tepid response

from audiences, tech executives at ShowEast remained

confident that HFR could eventually gain

traction among moviegoers.

“There is still a perception today that HFR

has a ‘soap-opera effect’ [i.e., it resembles video

footage] regarding the way that the content looks,”

said Andrew Poulain, director of worldwide cinema

products at Dolby Laboratories. “Filmmakers

have to learn how to use this tool to better engage

their audience. I think that high frame rates are

ultimately inevitable, tied together with other

technology changes like increasing high brightness

and display technologies.”

As cinema technology advances, the roundtable

agreed that exhibitors’ views of new offerings had

similarly evolved. “I’ve been in the general technology-leasing

business too many years to mention,

and technology was viewed as a necessary evil for

years,” said Michael Vienhage, SVP and regional

manager of CSI Leasing. “Now it’s beginning to be

seen as a way to differentiate one’s offerings, and I

think that’s how exhibitors will look at technology

going forward.”

No longer that “necessary evil,” emerging

technologies are now seen as either catalysts to

raising the audiovisual standard or (more cynically)

responsible for raising ticket prices. Communicating

what exactly a tech upgrade brings, both

to the exhibitor and its moviegoers, will become

a bigger responsibility for marketers. “Putting

32 DECEMBER 2019


‘4K’ on a billboard doesn’t necessarily allow

you to charge more for a movie ticket,”

said Brian Claypool, V.P. of product

management of global cinema at

Christie Digital.

That doesn’t mean the technology

isn’t worth embracing; a

switch from xenon digital projectors

to laser projectors, for

example, simultaneously increases

the picture quality and

brightness levels and lowers

overall energy costs. “The real

benefit of laser isn’t going to be

its wider color gamut or higher

frame rates, but the fact that

you’ve got a consistent, high-quality,

and bright image that’s actually more

affordable for your cinema,” said Todd

Hoddick, chief revenue officer at Cinionic.

Tony Adamson, SVP of strategic

planning at GDC Technology of America, agreed with that

sentiment—adding the caveat that marketing any technology

investment is important for exhibitors. “I’ve seen laser [and

xenon digital projection] side by side, and where the consumer

gets stuck is that I don’t think they really care,” he said. “They’re

here to see a movie and I don’t think they care about what the

light source is. I think it’s incumbent on the exhibitor to market

the difference … to educate and let [audiences] know that things

are changing.”

Another ShowEast session, on broader marketing challenges,

addressed the influence of social media on digital ticketing, and

in particular the benefits (or not) of a title-driven marketing

strategy. Promoting studio content, after all, doesn’t necessarily

build awareness of any one cinema chain. In this age of expanded

amenities and premium cinema experiences, distinguishing one’s

own cinema has become nearly as important as promoting the

upcoming weekend’s new releases. “Let’s face it, the consumer is

going to find the studios’ content; it’s exciting and they’re going

to respond to it, and you have to promote your own amenities

in addition to that,” said Valerie Shortall, V.P. international marketing

at Cinemark. “It just depends what that experience is. You

have to examine these markets individually and how to get your

messages through in conjunction with the studios’ content.”

Engaging with moviegoers online has become a priority for

many of the companies who provide services to exhibitors. A

prime example is national cinema-advertising leader NCM,

which communicates with a mass movie audience every weekend

through its pre-show. “For the past few years we’ve moved

beyond and rebranded our pre-show to take a much greater

B2C focus,” said Steve Ochs, SVP of marketing and creative at

NCM. “We have a scaled audience of 700 million moviegoers

UNIC CEO Laura Houlgatte Abbott addresses the

ShowEast audience during a panel session on the

Global Cinema Federation

going through our 20,000-plus screens every

year, so we’re constantly asking ourselves,

how do we talk to them on a regular

basis? How do we drive them to the

exhibitors’ experiences?”

While social media platforms

represent the most visible

digital front in the marketing

battle for viewers’ attention,

older tools like email marketing

have made a resurgence

thanks to the rise of big data.

“It’s a channel that remains

incredibly relevant in specific

targeting, because you know

in advance what these customers

want to see, and that data becomes

extremely relevant,” said Cinemark’s

Shortall. “If you don’t have an email-marketing

platform, I suggest you get one, as

you’ll see an automatic uplift [in sales]. It’s a

weekly exercise aimed at loyalty customers. It’s all about tailoring

different messages to different people.”

“It has to be targeted; the days of mass emails are over,”

agreed Mark Malinowski, V.P. of global marketing at National

Amusements. “We’ll look at three to four emails per week,

each with different messages, to the same audience every week.

We target other emails to bring customers over to our loyalty

program and site; it’s all about delivering a specific message to a

specific customer.”

All these avenues of communication lead to the same goal:

increasing digital ticketing transactions. That part of the equation

is at the center of the efforts of companies like Atom Tickets

and Fandango, who specialize in bringing innovative e-commerce

solutions to exhibitors. Max Lynn, V.P. of corporate development

at Atom Tickets, believes movie ticketing is following in the

steps of ecommerce to become a mobile-native experience. “[We]

decided to tackle mobile ticketing from the standpoint of ecommerce,”

he said. “We asked, how do we get people from [content]

discovery into theaters as quickly as possible? That’s why we

invested heavily from the perspective of the social conversation

from the ground level: What are my friends talking about [seeing]?

And how can we reduce the friction [of ticket buying] as

much as possible when three-plus friends are involved?”

Tackling mobile ticketing as an ecommerce solution, Fandango

has expanded its ticketing operations beyond its own

website and app to include other web publishers popular with

consumers. “Our goal at Fandango is to be where the customer

is,” explained Melissa Heller, V.P. of domestic ticketing. “From a

typical ecommerce standpoint, we’ve done integrations across the

board—from Google to Apple—we’re not trying to change your

buying behavior, we’re trying to convert you [to purchase] where

DECEMBER 2019

33


A panel on women in cinema offered different suggestions on how to mentor and help support women in the workplace.

the customer is or where they might be.”

Not all tech innovations come with an

immediate adoption rate, however. While

voice-activated ticketing through virtual

assistants like Amazon Alexa and Apple’s

Siri have been available for over a year,

they haven’t caught on in a significant

way. “It’s really about ‘test and learn’; you

don’t know which of the 10 new things

around the corner will work—but as

a technology company, you have to be

there,” said Atom’s Lynn. “Our Amazon

Alexa skill was the first to enable reserved

seating. Do a lot of people use it? Not

really. Will they? Perhaps … sometimes

you just have to take a leap of faith [on

new technology], while ensuring that the

ecommerce app maintains that fidelity

across the website and mobile app. It’s

often a case of blazing a trail, seeing if

it works, and waiting for the use across

channels to follow from that.”

This spirit of innovation and collaboration

among competitors in digital

ticketing and cinema technology signals a

change in the business culture that is also

spreading among exhibitors. As new challenges

to the business emerge, initiatives

like the Global Cinema Federation (GCF)

have helped bring competitors together in

an effort to better tackle mutual concerns.

“To some extent, [exhibitors] were

not informed enough in several countries

on what was happening elsewhere and

what we could do about it,” said Eduardo

Acuña, head of Americas at Cinépolis,

during a panel session featuring members

from the GCF. “There are great associations

like NATO and UNIC, but in the

rest of the world most exhibitors didn’t

know what was happening. It made sense

to join forces in an effort to inform and

educate our fellow exhibitors on what’s

happening in other countries and how

that can affect us.”

Among the issues that have become

top priorities for the GCF are international

trade and investment, movie theft,

music rights, accessibility, and last, but

certainly not least, theatrical exclusivity.

“It’s absolutely, if not number one, a

top concern for exhibitors everywhere

across the globe,” said Jackie Brenneman,

general counsel and director of industry relations

at NATO. “Because we are a trade

body and have the world’s largest exhibitors

in the same room, we can’t internally

discuss or externally advocate for any

specific window—at all. What we can do

is collect meaningful data, and good data

tells stories … using that kind of publicly

available data, we can start to do real advocacy

and education work that’s appropriate

within the constraints of competition law,

which we take very seriously.”

That sharing of data has helped

international exhibitors learn from each

other’s success stories. From decreasing

the rate of movie theft in Canada

to learning about negotiations with

distributors about the theatrical window

in the U.K., this collaboration has led

to better-informed decisions at circuits

around the world. It helps establish a

standard that can address mutual goals

and concerns simultaneously.

When it comes to cinema technology,

that level of collaboration among

exhibitors is precisely what John Fithian,

NATO president and CEO, suggested

in a recent Boxoffice Pro column (“It’s

Time for Theater Owners to Reassert

Leadership on Cinema Technology,” September

2019). At ShowEast, the technology

executives on the industry roundtable

seemed open to a closer rapport with

exhibitors. “It’s up to us tech vendors to

keep our technologies relevant and bring

them to bear, but I’d like to see the industry

coming together … to tell us what

is important so we can build technology

that is relevant to the cinemas. The exhibitor’s

voice is critical to this,” said Wim

Buyens, CEO of Cinionic.

Whether it was international trade,

advanced formats, or emerging ecommerce

solutions, ShowEast 2019 revealed

that continued success for theatrical

exhibition depends on the collaboration

among exhibitors and the companies that

help them bring the magic of the movies

to audiences worldwide.

34 DECEMBER 2019


Entering the Next Level

JAKE KASDAN SHAKES THINGS UP

FOR SEQUEL TO JUMANJI BLOCKBUSTER

by Kevin Lally

NICK JONAS, JACK BLACK, KAREN GILLAN, DWAYNE JOHNSON, AWKWAFINA, AND KEVIN HART

>> No one was more surprised than director

Jake Kasdan when his 2017 sequel to the 1995

adventure-fantasy-comedy Jumanji became a

$964 million worldwide smash and the second-highest-performing

Sony domestic release

ever. The perfect four-quadrant movie, appealing

to men and women, children and adults, Jumanji:

Welcome to the Jungle updated the (supernatural)

board game premise to the video game era.

And what made it especially irresistible was the

inspired casting of the avatars the game’s four

teenage players become once they get sucked into

its fantasy realm: Nerdy Spencer transformed into

muscle god Dwayne Johnson; hulking jock Fridge

turned into diminutive Kevin Hart; emo outcast

Martha became the formidable Karen Gillan; and

mean girl Bethany entered the chubby body of

Jack Black.

Kasdan and co-writers Scott Rosenberg (Con

Air, Venom) and Jeff Pinkner (“Fringe,” Venom)

alter the mix for the eagerly awaited sequel,

Jumanji: The Next Level, opening on December

13. This time around, Spencer’s grandfather,

played by Danny DeVito, gets transported into

the body of Johnson, while his elderly friend Milo

(Danny Glover) enters Hart’s avatar. To make

matters more complicated, Fridge is now the Jack

Black avatar. Meanwhile, Spencer and Bethany

are missing in action. The adventure also expands

beyond the jungle, encompassing deserts and

snow-capped mountains.

Welcome to the Jungle took Kasdan’s career to an

entirely new plateau. Previously, he had directed a

series of relatively low-budget comedies including

Orange County, The TV Set, Walk Hard: The Dewey

Cox Story, Bad Teacher, and Sex Tape. He’s also a

successful TV producer, with credits including

“New Girl,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Speechless,”

and new series “Bless This Mess.” The action-driven

Jumanji series brings him closer to the oeuvre of

his celebrated father, Lawrence Kasdan, co-writer

of Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back,

and Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, as

well as writer-director of such acclaimed ensemble

dramas as The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist, and

Grand Canyon.

In this phone interview, Jake Kasdan talks about

the challenges of revisiting the world of Jumanji.

36 DECEMBER 2019


Welcome to the Jungle was a massive

success. What is your state of mind as

you get to work on a sequel and try to

match the impact of that film?

All of us loved working together on

that first one, so there was a real appetite—if

we could figure out an idea that

we loved—to do it again. We were also

all adamant that unless we could come

up with an idea that really excited us,

we weren’t going to do it, because the

first movie holds a special place for us.

And so it was a little daunting, but fairly

quick, actually, as we started to explore

the possibilities. We came to some ideas

about how to do a sequel that got us

all really excited, and then that sort of

becomes, what’s on your mind? It’s not

so much about the last movie it’s, what

can we do now?

So what was the germ that got you

excited the second time around?

As we were finishing up a promotion

of the last movie around the world, I had

a conversation with Dwayne. We were

saying how if we allowed ourselves to

think about it, if there was another one,

what would it look like? And both of us

felt pretty strongly that the fun opportunity,

the big opportunity with our Jumanji

conceit as we’re using it in these movies,

is that you could have the cast playing

different people each time. He identified

with that immediately—that as much as

we had the great fun and pleasure of him

playing a kid in the first movie, it wasn’t

the only way that these could work, and

in fact it could all be new again by shaking

that up. The idea that he and Kevin

would be playing these older guys at a

completely different part of their lives,

experiencing the adventure the way the

kids had, changed everything.

Am I crazy or is there a little bit of a

subtle homage to Twins? DeVito costarred

with Arnold Schwarzenegger in

that film, and here you’re matching him

up with Dwayne Johnson.

Because of how these movies work,

they never have a scene together. But I

can certainly see where you might think

that. And while they’re not actually side

by side in the movie, you really feel that

they’re both playing the same guy. And

Danny’s presence and persona and genius

hopefully continue through the part of

the movie that he’s not in. You feel him

there all the time.

Did you have the two of them work

together off screen to get each other’s

vibes?

Yes, a bit. It was important to us going

in that these guys get to spend a little

bit of time with the people that they are

playing, because unlike the first movie

where you have the stars playing these

kids [whom] you don’t exactly know

apart from their characters, here we have

the characters they’re playing, but also

both Danny DeVito and Danny Glover

are iconic movie actors that we have very

powerful associations with.

Can you talk about the interaction

between Kevin Hart and Danny Glover?

When I went to Kevin and said, here’s

what I’m thinking about for the next one,

he immediately said Danny Glover. The

second he said it, I just said, yes, this is

a guy that I look up to, and he’s one of

my all-time favorites for as long as I can

remember. He made some movies with

my dad, so Danny lives very large in my

movie consciousness. And it was one

of those things where the second Kevin

said [his name], I said there couldn’t be a

more perfect person to do this. Let me try

and get him.

What new sides of Jack Black are we

going to see in this film?

Well, Jack’s doing a whole new thing,

as he says in the trailer. And he is just

brilliant playing this character that Kevin

was playing in the last movie. And in

order to do that, you have to triangulate

a lot of the kid that plays the character

in the real world and our familiarity with

what Kevin did in the last movie. He’s

taken both of those things and expanded

on them and made them his own.

Karen Gillan is part of two big franchises

now. I keep waiting for her to carry a

film on her own. It seems like she’s due.

Well, that’ll happen. The thing is,

when you’re into big franchises like that

and you’re a central part of both, it means

that you’re working on those movies all

the time. Just the logistics of her complicated

schedule make it so that’s what

she’s working on much of the time. But

she has a lot of stuff on the runway.

Truthfully, she has a much bigger piece of

this movie than she did the first, and she

carries a lot on her shoulders for large sections

of this movie. I love working with

her and I love what she’s done here.

Talk a little bit about Dwayne Johnson

and the phenomenon that he is. When

you think of where he came from, the

wrestling career, and now he’s one of

the biggest movie stars in the world.

What is he like to work with on a day-today

basis?

It’s boring to say, but he’s been a total

pleasure. The personality that he presents

in public is completely genuine. He’s this

lovely, incredibly hardworking guy with

a big heart and a big sense of humor. He

wants to make it great, and it’s been a

blast doing these with him.

Welcome to the Jungle was a huge

transition for you. You’d been doing

these low-budget comedies, and now

you’re suddenly working on a huge

scale. Do you enjoy doing action and

working with visual effects?

I love it. It’s something that I didn’t

really anticipate I would love as much as

I do. I’d always wanted to make a movie

that was a big-scale adventure. The visual

effects aspect of it is not what I was most

focused on, but it is something that I’ve

come to really love doing—designing the

action, shooting this action stuff with all

of the amazing people that you work with.

I’m sure Welcome to the Jungle exceeded

your expectations, but it came in

just under a billion dollars. Is that

frustrating for you?

DECEMBER 2019

37


JACK BLACK AND DIRECTOR JAKE KASDAN ON LOCATION FOR JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL

Not in the least bit [laughs]. There was

not one single aspect of how that movie

was received that was frustrating. I was

nothing but grateful.

Do you mind talking about your father

and his influence on you as

a filmmaker?

Not at all. The gift of growing up

with him is that I got to see from a very

young age how this is the best job in

the world. And I got to realize that was

the case when most people don’t know

what a director is. The result is I’ve had

this exposure to this thing that I’ve loved

since I was a little kid. And in addition

to that, my whole family is very close.

[Jake’s brother, Jonathan, is also a writer

and director.] It’s something that we all

share to some extent—we are involved

in each other’s lives and work, and it’s

a great, lucky thing. His influences are

many. While we’ve made different kinds

of movies, a lot of what interests us is

quite similar.

With Jumanji, you kind of entered

his domain. There’s definitely a

connection with the Star Wars and

Indiana Jones worlds.

Certainly much more so than any of

the other movies that I’ve made. I always

think of Jumanji as being actually a comedy

that has all of this other stuff—the

machinery and mechanics that come with

it—and this fantasy component that is

certainly informed by those movies, the

ones he’s made and the ones like them.

The Jumanji movies obviously owe a great

debt to all action comedies. It’s definitely

a step into territory that is more like the

work he’s done.

Have you thought about the possibility

of a third Jumanji film?

Yeah, anything’s possible at the moment.

I’m just trying to finish this one

up as well as I can and make it its best

version of itself, and then we’ll see if that’s

something the world wants.

We’re now in this new era where

people are streaming a lot of their

entertainment on their home screens.

How important is it that people still go

out to the theater to see a film like The

Next Level?

We spend a lot of time and thought

and energy on that theatrical experience.

And there’s no question that for this

particular movie, from the conception

through every stage of the way we’re

building it, the idea is that people sit in

a room and have this big screen in front

of them presenting big action and they’ll

laugh together in the communal experience

of watching the story. I do a lot of

work for television also, but these Jumanji

movies are built for the movie theater.

38 DECEMBER 2019


LITTLE WOMEN STAR SAOIRSE RONAN AS JO MARCH

‘Great or Nothing’

GRETA GERWIG MARCHES FORTH WITH LITTLE WOMEN

by Rebecca Pahle

>> It’s been 25 years since Gillian Armstrong’s Little Women hit

the big screen. Benefiting from a highly accomplished cast—Susan

Sarandon, future A-listers Kirsten Dunst and Christian Bale,

and Winona Ryder as the iconic Jo March—the film became

a touchstone for a generation of women and a critical and

commercial triumph, much like Louisa May Alcott’s semiautobiographical

1868 novel.

Little Women tells the story of the March sisters—Jo, a tomboy

and aspiring writer; Beth, the sweet one; Meg, who dreams

of the life she had before her family fell into poverty; and Amy,

the “girly-girl” of the bunch—and their transition to adulthood.

The road is not always a smooth one. Jo rejects the marriage

proposal of her best friend, Laurie, befuddling her family and

devastating generations of heart-eyed adolescent readers. One

sister contracts scarlet fever. Another has her dreams of artistic

greatness dashed. And, of course, there’s the small matter

that all this takes place while the March family patriarch is off

serving in the Civil War.

In its depiction of four young women trying to muddle

through adverse circumstances to become the best versions

of themselves, Little Women even today feels strikingly modern—making

this a perfect time for a new adaptation, out on

Christmas Day from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

In her version—Hollywood has produced six others so far—

writer-director Greta Gerwig switches things up a bit, cutting back

and forth between the childhood and adult periods of the March

sisters’ lives. She also sought to further “merge the identities of

Louisa May Alcott and Jo March,” the author’s alter ego. (Famously,

Alcott didn’t want Jo to get married off at the end of Little

Women but eventually succumbed to the wishes of her readers.

Gerwig pokes at the fourth wall through the character of Jo’s editor,

who insists that the budding writer’s memoir, also called Little

Women, end with the main character getting hitched.)

Like the ’90s adaptation before it, Gerwig’s Little Women has

an enviable cast. Three-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan

plays Jo March alongside screen sisters Emma Watson (Meg),

Eliza Scanlan (Beth), and cast standout Florence Pugh (Amy), an

up-and-coming star who, between Little Women, Fighting with My

Family, and Midsommar, is having quite the 2019. Also on hand

are Timothée Chalamet (as Laurie), Laura Dern, Chris Cooper,

Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Louis Garrel, and the inimitable

Meryl Streep as the March sisters’ stern, rich aunt.

40 DECEMBER 2019


I assume you were a big fan of the book

growing up.

I loved Little Women growing up. And

in particular I loved Jo March. Because

Jo March was ambitious and funny and

boyish and wanted to be a writer and

wanted to be a boy and wanted to get out

there and see the world. She was larger

than life. She says at one point during the

book, she thinks she wants to be a writer,

but she doesn’t know. Writing, acting—

she wants to do something big. She says,

“I mean to astonish you all.” And Jo

March-slash-Louisa May Alcott does.

That character is so close to me that it felt

like my memories and my sisters.

Did you see Jo differently when you

were a kid reading the book versus

when you revisited Little Women as a

filmmaker?

That’s what’s so interesting. When I

read the book as an adult, I hadn’t read it

for years and years and years. I read it and

reread it and reread it when I was young,

but then I hadn’t looked at it for a long

time. And rereading it as an adult—first

of all, so many things jumped out at me

as being completely modern and exciting.

Things like Marmee [the March sisters’

mother, played by Laura Dern] saying,

“I’m angry almost every single day of my

life.” Or Amy saying, “I want to be great or

nothing.” Those things are amazing to me,

that they were lines of dialogue from the

book. I felt like I’d never read them before.

The other thing about it was that I

immediately was so intrigued by them as

adults, because I think that so much of

our collective memory of what that book

is, is who they are in their teenage years,

their childhood. I found the chapters

when they were adults to be incredibly

moving and interesting. It’s Jo in New

York trying to be a writer and Beth living

in her childhood home alone, facing

death. It’s Meg with two children living

on not enough money with a man she

loves, but there’s a lot of isolation. And

it’s Amy in Europe trying to be a painter

and figuring out that she might not be a

genius. All of those things were fascinating

to me. I knew that I wanted to start

the film with the second half of the book,

which is when they’re all in these separate

lives. The thing that they are yearning for,

that they are nostalgic for, is childhood. It

exists in a snow globe of memory. It’s this

thing that the audience is also yearning

for and aching for. And it’s that ache of

the fact that it’s gone.

Something that’s incredibly moving

to me is that once Amy goes to Europe,

the four girls are never again together.

Whatever that was that those four girls

had together, it will never happen again.

And that, to me, was so heartbreaking.

And to start from the place of being separate

and then, through this time travel

that you are able to do in film, to bring

them together again—that was the thing

I wanted to do, because it struck me so

much in rereading the book.

It really did work for me, the crosscutting

between the adult and

childhood time periods. Because reading

the book, the first impression of these

characters is when they’re girls, so when

they become adults ... it’s not that their

problems are less serious, but part of

you takes them less seriously because in

your mind, they’re still children.

I think when you read it as an adult,

and you read that second half, all of a

sudden it hits you very differently than it

does when you’re young.

It’s interesting, because there’s a narrator

to the book. It’s Louisa May Alcott.

Jo March is not narrating the book. The

presence of the narrator is stronger in the

second half. Her speaking through the

book is stronger. There’s this beautiful

passage that makes me cry every single

time I read it. It’s right before the scene

where Jo tells Marmee, “Maybe I should

have said yes to Laurie.” She’s lonely.

There’s this passage where Louisa, the

narrator, goes on a digression where she’s

talking about Jo and Jo being alone. She

says: Women who are five and twenty

joke about being spinsters, potentially

because they know they’ve still got a

shot. But once they become 30, they

stop talking about it, because they know

what’s happening.

And then she has this whole thing

of, you have to be kind to spinsters. You

don’t know what romances and dramas

beat under their somber gowns. Basically,

“You don’t know what happened. Just be

nice.” And then she addresses men directly

and says, “The only chivalry worth

having treats the sober spinsters kindly.”

The way that I heard Louisa May Alcott

speaking through these pages in the adult

section of the books broke my heart.

Because you know that’s who she is! She’s

gone to the Civil War [as a nurse]. She’s

gotten typhoid fever. She was cured with

mercury and got very ill both from the

fever and from the cure. She was broken.

She lost all her hair. She was not able to

run anymore, which is what she loved

doing. She’s 36, and she’s writing Little

Women. She knows she’s not going get

married and have children. But she’s

going to write these books. And I found

it so moving to think about her. I heard

the sadness, but I also heard the spikiness,

and I heard the anger, and I heard the

messiness of being an ambitious woman

come through in a way that I just didn’t

when I was 14.

Reading the book originally, I felt—as

a lot of kids felt—that Jo and Laurie

should have gotten married, instead of

Laurie and Amy. I didn’t get Amy.

I love Amy so much. And I also think

Amy and Laurie should be together. I

think that’s the correct pairing. That’s

why I have [Jo’s editor] Dashwood say,

“Frankly, I don’t know why she didn’t

marry the neighbor,” because that’s the

way everybody felt!

I think that Laurie and Amy are

perfectly matched. And the other thing I

think is Amy has always been given short

shrift. All these [parts of her personality

that are] in the book didn’t coalesce into

our collective memory of who Amy was.

I’ve mentioned her artistic ambitions

and her I-want-to-be-great-or-nothing

bravado, which is fabulous. And then her

clear-eyed way of looking at the world.

DECEMBER 2019

41


GRETA GERWIG WITH MERYL STREEP AS AUNT MARCH

She sees how it is. She’s just as ambitious

as Jo, but she’s got to figure out how she’s

going to make this work. And I think

there’s something about her ability to talk

with almost a clinical clarity about her

position. It’s so fascinating.

In the book, she has two lines that I

love that I didn’t manage to put in the

screenplay. One is, “I don’t pretend to

be wise, but I am observant.” And you

think, holy shit, that girl sees everything.

And the second one is, “The world is

hard on ambitious girls.” And you think,

she knows! She’s the same as Jo! She’s

a worthy adversary and she’s a worthy

partner. I felt that with Florence Pugh,

who is so extraordinary. I knew I wanted

her to play Amy. I wanted an actor who

could punch the same weight class as

Saoirse, which is hard because Saoirse is

extraordinary.

There are all kinds of interesting

things written about Jo and Laurie. One

thing is, Jo is a girl with a boy’s name,

and Laurie is a boy with a girl’s name,

and that plays with gender inversion.

Throughout the entire film I have them

switch costumes. I have them wear each

other’s clothes. I wanted to draw out this

androgynous aspect of their relationship,

because I think they really are each

other’s twins in a way. And the thing that

happens when Laurie asks Jo to marry

him is Laurie rejecting the androgyny of

childhood. And Jo’s not ready to leave it

yet. He’s saying, “No, I would like you to

be the woman to my man, the wife to my

husband.” And Jo’s saying, “Can’t we just

stay down here where we don’t have to

make any of those decisions?” She doesn’t

want to. And Amy’s ready to. And Amy

wants to. And Amy loves him.

You and Saoirse and Timothée Chalamet

had already worked together on Lady

Bird. For the rest of the cast, though, did

you do anything to help them achieve

that intimacy that the March family and

their various hangers-on have?

We were very lucky that we were

able to get two full weeks of rehearsal.

It’s always the first thing to go. No one

ever believes me that we did that much

rehearsal. But I did, because I knew that I

really had a specific way that I wanted the

scenes to be played. In particular with the

four sisters, I wanted them to feel like one

organism. That they were a four-headed

beast. The way I wrote the dialogue

was very specific—overlaps and people

cutting each other off at very specific

points. And it took time to get all of that

up to speed and to get it into their muscle

memory so they could run the scene very

fast and all be in sync with each other.

For Timothée, I wanted him to experience

what Laurie experiences, which is

wanting to be part of all these girls! And

he did, which was wonderful, because

they really took him in and made him

part of their group. He has a sister. He

understands that. Part of why I wanted to

cast him is that I would see him during

awards stuff a couple years ago, and he

would bring his sister to a lot of things.

And I loved seeing them together. They’re

so sweet. His sister’s lovely. I saw the relationship

between him and his sister, and I

thought, “That’s what it is! That’s Laurie!”

The physicality between the four

sisters is so present. They really lean

into each other.

They’re always hitting each other or

hugging or pinching or grabbing. I didn’t

want any of us to be polite. Any time

you’re around four sisters, it’s loud.

42 DECEMBER 2019


Tales of

Manhattan

IRA DEUTCHMAN

CHRONICLES THE RISE AND

FALL OF CINEMA 5 MOGUL

DONALD RUGOFF

by Kevin Lally

DONALD RUGOFF IN HIS OFFICE IN THE 1970S FROM THE DOCUMENTARY FILM SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF

>> For any filmgoer who lived in New York City

in the 1960s and 1970s, the name “Cinema 5” was

as familiar as that of Loews or Trans-Lux. Cinema

5 was the premier art house circuit in Manhattan,

comprising an array of stylish theaters including

the Beekman, the Sutton, the Paris, the Plaza, the

Paramount, and the Gramercy. Single-handedly,

company founder Donald Rugoff turned New York’s

Upper East Side into a cinema mecca. His Cinema I

and II was the first purpose-built twin movie theater

in the country and soon became a sought-after

venue for the exclusive runs of major Hollywood releases.

Woody Allen insisted his movies open at the

Beekman; Mel Brooks always wanted the Sutton.

Cinema 5 was also a major specialty distributor.

Among its breakout hits were the landmark

surfing doc The Endless Summer, Oscar Best Picture

nominee Z, the Rolling Stones doc Gimme Shelter,

Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, Lina

Wertmüller’s Swept Away and Seven Beauties, Monty

Python and the Holy Grail, and the film that introduced

Arnold Schwarzenegger to movie audiences,

Pumping Iron.

Rugoff was a man of taste and a true visionary,

but as Ira Deutchman’s documentary Searching

for Mr. Rugoff shows, he was also a notoriously

erratic and unpleasant boss. Deutchman worked for

Cinema 5 for three years and witnessed firsthand his

tantrums, his shocking unkemptness, and his tendency

to fall asleep during meetings and screenings.

Rumors circulated that he had a metal plate in his

head—not true, though he did battle a serious pituitary

disorder. Rugoff lost control of his company in

1979 in a shareholder battle with West Coast exhibitor

William Forman. He retired to Edgartown on

Martha’s Vineyard in 1986 and opened a makeshift

cinema in an old church. He died three years later.

Deutchman was inspired to make his documentary

after hearing another New York distribution/

exhibition legend, Dan Talbot, pay tribute to Rugoff

at the Gotham Awards, stating incorrectly that he

died “in a pauper’s grave” in Edgartown. The firsttime

filmmaker soon discovered, however, that this

major force in the New York film world was all but

forgotten, with little to be found on the internet.

His apprenticeship with Rugoff changed

Deutchman’s life. In 1981, he joined the team at

the newly transformed United Artists Classics,

overseeing marketing of such films as Diva and The

Last Metro. One year later, he founded Cinecom

International, which released such important films

as El Norte, Stop Making Sense, Matewan, and Oscar

Best Picture nominee A Room with a View. In 1990,

Deutchman founded New Line specialty division

Fine Line Features, whose triumphs included Robert

Altman’s The Player and Short Cuts, Gus Van Sant’s

My Own Private Idaho, Steve James’s Hoop Dreams,

Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth, Mike Leigh’s Naked,

David O. Russell’s Spanking the Monkey, and Whit

Stillman’s Barcelona. Subsequently, he produced

44 DECEMBER 2019


such films as Lulu on the Bridge and Kiss

Me, Guido, and he founded another

producer-distributor, Emerging Pictures, a

pioneer in alternative content for alternative

venues. Deutchman has taught in the

film department at Columbia University

since 1987, serving as chair of the film

program from 2011 to 2015 and founding

Columbia’s Digital Storytelling Lab with

Lance Weiler in 2013. He is also producing

the next film from acclaimed director

Debra Granik (Leave No Trace), Nickel and

Dimed, based on the best-selling book by

Barbara Ehrenreich.

Searching for Mr. Rugoff, whose

on-camera subjects include Rugoff’s first

wife and two sons, filmmakers Costa-Gavras

and Lina Wertmüller, and many

veterans of the New York film business,

recently debuted at New York’s IFC Center,

part of the annual DOC NYC festival.

Here, Deutchman reflects on the legacy of

Don Rugoff.

The film is such a nostalgia trip for

me. I went to college in New York in

the ’70s and I spent a lot of time in

Cinema 5 theaters, and I remember

those marketing campaigns vividly.

I’m shocked that Don Rugoff is so

forgotten today.

It shocked me too. That was one of the

things that inspired the movie. I talked

about him for decades and decades, mainly

telling stories about his not-so-great behavior

and how crazy he was. And then one

day I was at a film festival and there was a

group of people around me, and as I was

telling stories about this outrageous guy, I

realized nobody knew who he was. That’s

what got me going.

What do you think made Rugoff such a

success story in his heyday?

I think being crazy was part of it. This

is kind of a cliché, but a lot of people

think you have to be at least a little bit

crazy to be interested in being in the film

business. I think that sometimes when

you look at the world askew and you’re

not necessarily being completely logical

and businesslike, you end up taking the

kinds of chances that sometimes pay off.

That was part of his brilliance. He was

more of a carnival barker than he was

a businessperson, in contrast to a lot of

other people who attempt to make things

go in the film business and are surprised

when there’s no formula that they can put

in a spreadsheet and make things work.

I would say that that’s one of the biggest

lessons I took from working at Cinema 5,

that there was no logic to any of it and you

had to go with your gut instincts. He had

no compunctions about doing that. If he

saw something and thought there was an

angle that he could exploit, he would just

go for it.

The Cinema 5 posters and

marketing campaigns were

so graphically interesting

and vivid; I almost got the

impression that everything

he touched at that time was

a success. Do I have the

wrong impression?

You definitely have

the wrong impression.

He had

a few periods

where what

he touched

turned to gold,

and then lots

of fallow periods

in between. The

PRODUCER/DIRECTOR IRA DEUTCHMAN INTERVIEWING LINA WERTMÜLLER

FOR THE DOCUMENTARY FILM SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF

vast majority of films that he distributed

during that 15- to 17-year period were not

that successful, but here and there he had

something that broke through. There’s a

line in the movie from Jim Hudson, the

CFO, something that he wrote in the

annual report: “Critical acclaim exceeded

box office grosses.” He thinks that’s funny

and it is, but the impression of success

came very much from the fact that these

were acclaimed movies. Rugoff definitely

made a lot of noise for every movie he put

out there, and he refused to give up. So

they had a longevity in the marketplace

that wasn’t necessarily the right business

decision—it doesn’t necessarily add up to

making money.

What are some of the lessons you

took from your time at Cinema

5 that you brought to your later

career?

Bottom line is that it’s

not easy, nor has it ever

been easy, to get butts

in seats, at least

once there was

competition for

the movies. A

lot of people

think that

this is a new

IRA DEUTCHMAN

DECEMBER 2019

45


thing because of what’s going on with

the streaming world right now, et cetera.

And I keep talking about how we’ve been

living this nightmare for a long time. The

era that Rugoff was operating in was not

dissimilar—everybody was worried that

television was becoming a mass medium

that would put movies out of business,

and it just created a business opportunity

for somebody who looked at things a little

differently. I think the same thing is potentially

true now. Everybody who’s moaning

about how awful things are—what

I took away from my Rugoff experience

was: think differently. Don’t look at the

marketplace and say I want to do what

other people are doing or whatever the last

success was. Think about, oh, this is really

different from anything out there and

there’s a way that I could make noise with

this. It still works.

You saw Don Rugoff up close up for

a number of years, but were there

surprises as you researched him?

It really played out in life the way it

plays out in the movie, which is that I

never understood quite what his illness

was. I never knew when it started and how

far into it he was at the time I worked

there. I never was able to put together the

whole picture of his behavior and what

might have been the cause of it. I didn’t

know anything about his personal history,

and then of course there was all this stuff

that happened after I worked there, which

is what sort of set me on the journey to

begin with, trying to figure out why he

completely disappeared. It didn’t make it

into the movie, but one of the people I

interviewed said something to the effect

that when people get fired or kicked out

of companies in the movie business, it’s

pretty standard that they have a second act

or third act. But in Rugoff’s case, he just

completely disappeared once he was out of

Cinema 5. Now that I’ve done the research

and talked to all these people, I sort of get

it. He burned every bridge; nobody really

wanted to do any business with him at all.

And he was not the type of personality

who could just go work for somebody else.

Now it makes sense to me, but I didn’t

really understand that at the time.

We both come from a generation where

foreign-language films really had some

box office clout, and now a movie like

Parasite is more of a rarity. What do you

think has changed?

It’s funny because, again, I feel like

we have a tendency, all of us from that

generation, to romanticize things. But the

reality is that successful foreign-language

films were always the exception. There

were plenty of films that were released.

The only difference is that the ones that

don’t break through do way worse now

than they did then. There was a cottage

business in being able to do foreign-language

films that could gross a million, a

million and a half. If you handled them

frugally and really focused on the target

audience, you could make money on

films like that. But nowadays those same

movies might do $50,000 at the box

office. The lower end has dropped off

tremendously. But the ones that really

crossed over and did big business, those

were always few and far between.

How do you feel about the future of

theatrical film and movie theaters?

Well, I’m going to sound really

Pollyannaish. I refuse to believe that this

existential crisis is any worse than the

last five existential crises the theatrical

movie business has been through. There

have to be changes. And that’s not new

either, because the business has evolved

all through its history, both through new

technologies and new business models.

There’s been a resistance to every advance

that’s happened in terms of films getting

into the hands of consumers, and then

when the resistance stops, all of a sudden

they find out that there’s actually a way

to make it work, that there is a compatibility.

I think that we’ll reach another

moment where there’s going to be some

stability. The major studios are in a really

awkward spot, because the kinds of risks

that they have on each film are just so

extreme in terms of what the marketplace

can support on a predictable basis.

There’s no doubt in my mind that

the consolidation that’s going on in the

business is going to continue. But I think

that there’s always going to be a really enthusiastic

group of people who are going

to want to see movies in movie theaters.

And I don’t necessarily think it’s going

to have anything to do with exclusivity.

I do think it’s going to have something

to do with the pricing model and also

with the kinds of experiences that people

are given when they go to the movies. I

honestly don’t think it has anything to do

with reclining chairs and the sound being

so deafening that you can’t even hear

yourself laugh at a comedy. I think that

all the wrong solutions are being looked

at at the moment, but the movie business

will survive.

Part of that is the communal experience.

Do you think people still have a hunger

for that?

It’s all about that. And if you really look

closely at some of the businesses that are

rebounding from similar existential crises,

like the music business and the book business,

there’s a side of the younger generation

that wants authentic experiences and

there’s nothing more authentic than seeing

a movie in a movie theater.

46 DECEMBER 2019


EVENT CINEMA

BY REBECCA PAHLE

EMMY-WINNING

‘FLEABAG’

CONTINUES TO

FIND SUCCESS ON

THE BIG SCREEN

PICTURED: PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE’S FLEABAG

PHOTO BY MATT HUMPHREY

>> “Fleabag” may be gone from your television screens, barring

your first, second, or fifth rewatch of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Emmy-winning

comedy. But it’s still to be found in theaters, thanks

to twin efforts from event cinema providers Fathom Events and

BY Experience.

The BBC series “Fleabag,” distributed in the United States on

Amazon Prime, stars creator-writer Waller-Bridge as the show’s

unnamed main character: a confused, angry, honest—and very,

very funny—woman living in London. The show had its origins in

a one-woman show presented by Waller-Bridge at the Edinburgh

Fringe Festival in 2013. Following the success of the television show,

the play was brought to London’s West End and New York City

… but by that point “Fleabag” was so popular that getting tickets

required an act of God. (Or maybe a Hot Priest.)

“I got shut out of the New York staging earlier in the year,” recalls

John Vanco, senior vice president and general manager of New

York City’s IFC Center. “And I thought, wow. I’m just thinking

of my own neck of the woods, in New York City, of all the people

who got shut out or didn’t even know that the New York run of the

play was happening. People are discovering ‘Fleabag’ all the time.

Nobody knew about it in the beginning, and then it kept building

and building and building.”

The IFC Center was one of the theaters to jump on NT Live’s

broadcast of Fleabag. The show is being distributed in the United

States by two companies. The first, BY Experience, represents NT

Live globally, excluding the U.K.; they have a presence in around

75 countries (depending on the show) and are bringing Fleabag to

countries across North America, Europe, and Eastern Europe, as

well as Russia, India, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. In the

United States, their network largely consists of smaller theaters

and performing arts spaces, among them the IFC Center. With

screenings taking place through the beginning of 2020, it’s hard to

pin down exact numbers, but co-founder Julie Borchard-Young estimates

they’re bringing Fleabag to around 2,000 screens worldwide

(minus the U.K.) throughout the show’s event cinema run.

BY Experience first screened Fleabag on September 12, which

was after Emmy nominations were announced but before the show

steamrolled the comedy competition to win six awards, three of

them (Writing, Lead Actress, and Outstanding Comedy Series) by

Waller-Bridge herself. Since that initial screening of the NT Live

show, BY Experience has had “huge, overwhelming demand from all

of our exhibitor partners to screen it,” says Borchard-Young. “Many

are doing multiple screenings, so it’s almost like a little mini film

run. Obviously this dovetails very well with Phoebe Waller-Bridge

and her success with the Emmys and her presence on late-night TV,

hosting ‘SNL.’ She’s been very present here in the U.S. So it’s been

great to take what was otherwise a very limited theatrical experience

that happened in London and Edinburgh and New York and really

eventize it through cinema.”

“Fleabag is a zeitgeist moment,” adds Borchard-Young. “It’s so

rare. You can’t plan it, the fact that Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s star

has ascended concurrent with the availability of this play.” When

48

DECEMBER 2019


an NT Live show reaches a high level of

consumer demand—whether through

an aligning of the stars as with Fleabag

or the presence of an already-big name,

like Helen Mirren in The Audience or

Benedict Cumberbatch in the Danny

Boyle–directed Frankenstein—in steps

Fathom Events with its extensive theatrical

network. BY Experience’s distribution

of Fleabag is ongoing, whereas with

Fathom, it’s a one-night event that took

place on November 18.

“When we have a big commercial hit

that we think is going to travel, that’s

when Fathom comes on board, because

they can reach many more markets across

the country in a very national campaign,”

explains Borchard-Young. “The truth is

when we got notice that Fleabag was going

to happen for cinema, it was very short

notice. We scrambled, put together a great

platform to begin [with], and then Fathom

saw what had happened with the initial

launch and said, ‘Even though we couldn’t

participate because of the timing, now

we’d like to.’ It’s great that they’ve come

on board. It’ll give customers across the

country who otherwise wouldn’t have the

chance to see this an opportunity to do so.”

“We program primarily for broad-appeal

content. [Borchard-Young will]

bring us content, and we’ll make a

decision based on what that audience

is,” says Fathom vice president of programming,

business affairs, and strategy

Daren Miller. “We’d had conversations

with Julie early on. Our challenge really

has been that, at this time of year, we

are super-challenged [from] a scheduling

perspective. It’s a very, very busy time

of year between tentpoles and working

around studio releases and our own

releases. It was really all about finding

the right date that we could optimize for

the content.”

Fathom and BY Experience’s releases

of Fleabag—as with previous NT Live

productions, like The Audience, Frankenstein,

and Benedict Cumberbatch in

Hamlet—are done independently from

one another; BY Experience licenses content

to Fathom, and they each distribute

to their own networks. Both companies,

it goes without saying, benefited from

the show’s Emmy wins. Marketing can be

tricky with event cinema, given you’re not

working with studios that have millions

of dollars to drop on P&A. Here, Fleabag

got a substantial bump in name recognition

without Fathom or BY Experience

having to lift a finger.

“It’s definitely key in event cinema

that we tap into preexisting franchises

and the audience and fan base,” explains

Miller. Fleabag “clearly has all the right

ingredients that we look for in any product

that we distribute. It has a lot of good

things working for it.”

As such, pre-sales “came out of the

gate strong,” says Fathom vice president

of operations Lynne Schmidt. “I’m a little

surprised, especially because [at the time

pre-sales started] a lot of our marketing

hadn’t even hit yet.” As of press time,

Fathom has placed Fleabag in 409 theaters.

“We are encouraged by the strong pre-sales

for Fleabag and expect a great turnout on

event night,” says Schmidt. “This reinforces

the demand we have been seeing for

top-quality theater content in cinemas, so

audiences can certainly expect more.”

Pre-sales are massively important

in the world of event cinema. It’s there

in the name—it’s an event, something

exclusive, so if you want to get in you’d

better buy your ticket in advance. “When

I go see a film, I mostly wait for the day

of, because I know if I’m going to get

sold out for the five o’clock screening, big

deal, I can go at 6:30,” says Borchard-

Young. “Whereas with event cinema,

people plan like they’re going to the arts.

They buy tickets well in advance. So we’re

seeing great pre-sales [for Fleabag], and

that doesn’t surprise me.”

At the IFC Center, Fleabag smashed

its own pre-sale records, with over 3,000

people buying tickets in advance. The

IFC Center, however, did something

unusual: giving Fleabag not just one

or two screenings, as is typical with

event cinema, but an entire week’s run,

nights and weekends included, on two

screens. “It did $100,000 for the first

week, which put it at that point second

only to Boyhood for the biggest opening

week of a film that we’d had,” says

Vanco. (Pre-sale and first week records

were swiftly thereafter broken by Bong

Joon Ho’s Parasite. November was a busy

month for the IFC.) A second week on

one screen was added, and “we started

patchworking shows after that.” As of

press time, Fleabag has grossed $177,646

at the IFC Center with additional show

times planned after Fathom’s November

18 screening.

Part of the success of Fleabag at the

IFC Center, Vanco explains, is that “we

leaned into the presentation.” The tickets

are at a premium price point, but the

experience is premium, too: “We didn’t

show any trailers. There are very few

times that we don’t show the IFC Center

logo trailer. This was one of them. We

didn’t put up any ads for popcorn or

anything. And people felt like, OK, well,

this is different. I’ve gone to the IFC

Center as a regular movie theater lots of

times, and this is something that I don’t

normally get.”

The production quality, as well,

contributes to NT Live as an exceptional

experience, argues Vanco: “They set up all

their technology within some West End

theater in London, they cut from camera

to camera, and they create this movie that

[makes it seem] like you’re there, in the

best seat in the house. You get close-ups.

There’s all this pre-show [content] that

makes you feel like you’re in the room.

You have ambient noise from the [live audience],

and there’s an introduction from

a host. It’s really quite a thing.”

Many programmers, Vanco says,

“kind of use different parts of their

brains” for event cinema versus more

traditional content. “You don’t think of

them as crossing over. You think, OK,

I’ve got my alternative content, and it

fits in whatever week I’m playing it.

They fit in around the periphery and

have no impact on my regular, first-run

stuff. It’s out of sight, out of mind. But,

I’m sorry—when it’s Fleabag, you have

to change the rules!”

DECEMBER 2019

49


PART 7

IN THE

SERIES

TOP WOMEN

IN GLOBAL

EXHIBITION

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.

50 DECEMBER 2019


THE TICKETING TANGO

MELISSA HELLER’S ‘SMALL BETS’

KEEP FANDANGO MOVING

FORWARD

>> “At the end of the day, it’s about the relationships

you have.” Fandango’s vice president of

domestic ticketing, Melissa Heller, says relationships

are key to every facet of what she does—her

own relationships with mentors and other industry

professionals as well as the relationships Fandango

itself cultivates with exhibitors, studios, and of

course the all-important moviegoer.

Heller grew up in a “tiny, tiny town in Northern

California,” where the closest theater—Coast

Cinemas in Fort Bragg, still in operation—was

an hour away. From the beginning, going to the

movies was “a big deal. … When we got the opportunity

to do it, it was one of those life-changing

miracle moments.” (An early moviegoing experience

that’s stuck with Heller: going to the Coast

with her best friend to see Babe.) “Sharing those

movie moments with my best friend, enjoying

candy, and feeling like we were there on that farm

with a talking pig … does life get any better than

that?” No, it does not.

While Heller has always known the magic of

moviegoing, she “stumbled into” the job of providing

that magic for other people. In college, Heller

studied business and economics, which took her to

a job at Quantum Loyalty Solutions. A “rewards

and incentives firm,” Quantum Loyalty Solutions

partnered with studios, exhibitors, and outside

companies to offer “Hollywood Movie Money”

to consumers. Fandango, looking to beef up its

own promotions operations, acquired Quantum in

2015, rebranding the service as Fandango Rewards.

“At the time, there was an ask to relocate to

Los Angeles and join the core exhibitor relations

and ticketing commerce team,” recalls Heller. “I

couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It was a personal

and professional challenge—an opportunity to

grow and learn from incredible people. So, despite

my fears of L.A. traffic, I decided to move. And

[now] I’m here to stay.”

One of those “incredible people” Heller learned

from was Fandango’s chief commercial officer and

executive vice president Kevin Shepela. “Since the

day I started at Fandango, Kevin always challenged

me to think more broadly, to look at strategy and

align decisions accordingly, to ask questions, to

think bigger. He supported me doubling down and

getting my MBA along the way, no matter what it

took. All in support of me as a person first, and an

employee second.”

While Heller has benefited from structured

mentorship programs, she cites informal mentorship

as the thing that’s helped her professional

growth the most. “It’s just seeing how people work

with each other: ‘Oh, wow, that’s how she responded

to a really hard question. That’s what I want

to do the next time I’m in a position like that.’

Or: ‘That was a really unique way to tackle that

problem.’ Just really being able to learn, and not

sit at your desk with your headphones on, answering

emails. It’s really about absorbing the people

around you. Inside [Fandango], outside, all over

MELISSA HELLER

DECEMBER 2019

51


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION

First, buying my

ticket in advance,

on Fandango of

course! Reserving

my seat: third

to the very back

row, middle. Then

it’s feet up, big

comfortable seats,

and booming

sound! The louder

the better. Oh, and

do not forget the

Sour Patch Kids!

– Melissa Heller on

her ideal moviegoing

experience

the industry. It’s actively listening and figuring out

what your style is, not mimicking someone else.”

One of these informal mentors was Heller’s

mother, who, as a co-owner of a construction

company, “excelled in a heavily male-dominated

industry, keeping her focus on creating houses

that became homes and meeting every challenge

along the way. She is an advocate for women in

her industry, and it is empowering to see her help

showcase others. She showed me how a rising tide

lifts all boats.” Fandango embodies that spirit,

Heller explains, through their chapter of Tech-

Women, an initiative geared toward supporting the

next generation of women working in STEM (science,

technology, engineering, and mathematics)

fields. Fandango’s TechWomen chapter, founded

by director of project management Shanit DeLuca

and director of software engineering Rema Morgan-Aluko,

provides professional development for

the women of Fandango. “It is exhilarating to see

progress on this level. I’m hopeful for the future.”

As for what the future holds for digital ticketing

in general, it’s hard to say, if not impossible, and

“that’s the fun challenge” for Heller. The growth

of digital ticketing has been both massive and relatively

rapid; Heller recalls that the year she joined

Quantum Loyalty Solutions, 2007, was the year

the first iPhone came out. “One way you can look

at it is, OK, we don’t know” what digital ticketing

will look like in five, 10, 20 years. “But can

we help shape that? Can we help work with our

partners to prepare for it? It’s very dynamic. Every

day there’s some new company, some new technology.

I think it’s about making small bets and trying

out new integrations with emerging companies

and market incumbents, like the Apples and the

Googles of the world. And just doing what we can

to innovate, innovate, innovate.”

Those “small bets” have included the acquisition

of trailer-streaming outfit Movieclips in 2014 and

movie-review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes in 2016.

Partnerships, Heller argues, are also key to Fandango’s

success, present and future; she cites Fandango’s

integration with Apple iOS, where a plugin

lets moviegoers purchase tickets within a text conversation,

as well as AT&T Ticket Twosdays, which

lets members of AT&T’s loyalty program get two

tickets for the price of one every Tuesday (using a

Fandango code, of course). Heller is particularly

passionate about “expanding Fandango ticketing to

independent exhibition—giving movie fans a theater

as close as possible to plan their movie night

out with friends and family in their hometown.”

All this can fly under the radar for consumers

who just want to buy their movie tickets with

minimal hassle. But that, explains Heller, is the

point. “Our goal is to have things very simple and

easy and seamless for a movie fan,” she explains.

“We want you to be able to buy your ticket and go.

And because we’ve done that, I think the misconception

is that it’s really easy to do it. Because it’s

easy to use, it’s easy to do. But it definitely takes a

lot of very talented people and a really strong team

environment to be able to deliver an easy consumer-facing

product.”

NORDISK FILM

JANNICKE HAUGEN

CEO

>> Headed by CEO Jannicke Haugen, Scandinavia’s

Nordisk Film has made strides into the future

with their installation of a 4DX screen in Oslo’s

Ringen Cinema. The success of that theater

led to the planned installation of an additional

nine 4DX screens by the end of 2021. The chain

was also an early adopter in the growing world

of esports; on November 10, they invited guests

to watch the League of Legends world championship

through their EsportBio concept. Nordisk

Film currently has 22 theaters across Denmark,

Norway, and Sweden.

What have been the highest-grossing films in

Norway so far in 2019, both among Hollywood

imports and local titles?

The highest-grossing films so far in 2019 are

The Lion King and Avengers: Endgame. The highest-grossing

Norwegian film is The Ash Lad: In

Search of the Golden Castle.

What are the biggest challenges facing theatrical

exhibition in Norway?

Competition from other out-of-home activities

is obviously one of the biggest challenges we face.

But at least we can deal with this ourselves by improving

our own products. The most frustrating

challenges are the external ones, such as weather

and [the quality of] films. As soon as we get some

sun and warm weather in Norway, it is practically

impossible to get people into the cinemas.

52 DECEMBER 2019


Earlier this year, it was announced that nine

4DX screens will be coming to Nordisk, in

addition to the screen already in place at the

Ringen location. Is it fair to say, then, that

Norwegian audiences are enthusiastic about

immersive seating?

Yes. The screen we have in Oslo is extremely

popular. The occupancy is far above the estimates

we initially had and above anything else we have

seen here. We are currently adding two more 4DX

screens in Tønsberg and Bergen and additional

screens in Denmark as well. Hopefully, they will be

as popular as the one in Oslo.

What other high-end amenities—for example,

dine-in theaters with custom food/drink menus,

recliner seats, or PLF screens—are particularly

popular among Norwegian audiences?

Recliner seats are very popular. Our new cinema

in Bergen [is] full-recliner. We have very strict alcohol

policies in Norway, but we are allowed to sell

alcohol in some of the cinemas targeted to an adult

audience. This is very popular, and people really

enjoy a glass of wine at the cinemas.

The most spectacular cinema in Norway is

Colosseum, where the largest screen has 888 seats

and an amazing dome. A couple of years ago we rebuilt

the screen and brought life to the dome, with

projection mapping and customized dome shows.

We still get extremely positive feedback from our

customers. A lot of people prefer this legendary

cinema over the new builds.

What does Nordisk Film do to support

local filmmaking?

In addition to the 2.5 percent of the ticket

revenues that all Norwegian cinemas pay to

the Film Institute, Nordisk Film supports local

filmmaking through both distribution and

production. This is done through other entities

than the cinemas, though.

How much of Nordisk Film’s yearly box office

would you say comes from local productions?

Our aim is 25 percent of the yearly box office,

but [that] depends on the films. In 2019, we will

unfortunately not be close to this.

When did Nordisk launch your EsportBio

concept? How many theaters does it operate in,

and what has customer response been like?

EsportBio launched in Norway in 2016 and has

been tested out in both Colosseum and Ringen in

Oslo. Response from our guests has been superb.

There is no doubt that esport in cinema will be a

winner in the years to come.

What’s your proudest achievement from your

time so far at Nordisk Film?

I am proud that we had the guts to invest big

JANNICKE HAUGEN

DECEMBER 2019

53


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION

The perfect movie

night starts at one

of our cinemas,

where we watch a

touching film while

enjoying a glass of

wine. Afterwards,

we discuss the

film with a good

meal at a local

restaurant.

– Jannicke Haugen

in 4DX, despite the warnings about not being

able to make it profitable in as small a market as

Oslo. I am also proud to be part of a company

that was willing to invest in projection mapping

and customized dome shows at Colosseum. In this

business, we tend to define a cinema’s quality based

on seat comfort and technical specifications. At

Colosseum, we invested huge amounts in the larger

experience. This has been profitable from day one.

And, of course, I am proud that our staff provides

excellent service on a day-to-day basis.

What advice would you give to women entering

the theatrical exhibition business?

I think women should find their own paths and

formulas for success based on their own qualities.

My personal experience is that the business is

much more complex than I dreamt of. They should

at least be aware of the complexity before entering

the business. Which obviously also applies to the

men in the same position.

How would you evaluate the progress women

have made in the exhibition business in

Scandinavia over the past few years?

In our company, we have as many women

in the management team as we have men. I am

not impressed with the progress in the business,

though. There are still too many men compared

to women. I think most companies would benefit

from a better mix.

How did you come to be the CEO at Nordisk Film?

What has your career path looked like?

I have been working at Egmont—the owner of

Nordisk Film—for many years. The last position was

CEO Nordic at Egmont Kids Media. After a while,

I wanted to cut back on traveling, and the position

at Nordisk Film opened up. It turned out to be even

more exciting and complex than I’d dreamt of.

VOLFONI

ARACELI VAELLO

CHIEF SALES OFFICER

>> Araceli Vaello, chief sales officer at 3-D

provider Volfoni, was one of the most-nominated

executives on this year’s list of Top Women in

Global Exhibition; customers and suppliers she’s

worked with since joining Volfoni in 2012 praised

her professionalism, knowledge, and enthusiasm.

Volfoni’s network extends across 103 countries.

Over the last year, they have partnered with Vox

Cinemas to become the 3-D supplier of their fourscreen

Riyadh Park location in Saudi Arabia.

Before joining Volfoni, you worked as a

purchasing sales manager. What did you learn

from your previous employment that you’ve

been able to carry through to Volfoni?

Before Volfoni I worked as the purchasing and

sales manager for [a group of companies involved

with] advertising gifts and merchandising. I spent

my life traveling to China to find new suppliers

and add products to our existing portfolio.

In that position, I had to do many jobs at the

same time. As it was a family business, I learned

to handle practically every aspect of the company.

Also, the fact that I was traveling so much to countries

with different customs and cultures taught

me a lot when it came to work and getting along

with people from all over the world. That company

really believed in me, and today I thank them from

the bottom of my heart, because I learned so much

from them. Being a family business, [the group]

was managed by five siblings, so the effort invested

in getting the company going was much greater

than what you usually see in other companies.

The tremendous effort they made on a daily basis

rubbed off on me. Much of what I took to Volfoni

was thanks to them.

Can you describe a formative moviegoing

experience from your childhood?

I have a lot of memories from the cinemas. I remember

my first movie date; I snuck my glasses on

in the dark, because I did not want my date to know

that I wore glasses. I remember learning to dance

by watching Grease and Saturday Night Fever, and I

remember buying tickets to Kramer vs. Kramer for

my parents when they decided to divorce. I have so

many memories that the list could be never-ending.

It’s been (I think it’s fair to say) a bit of a bumpy

road for 3-D in North America over the years.

There was oversaturation for a time, with a lot of

films being released with subpar post-conversion

that turned some customers off, leading to a

decline in popularity. What has the situation

been like in Europe?

The 3-D world is like that. It has its ups and

downs. In North America and Europe the trend

is very, very similar. But there are always countries

54 DECEMBER 2019


where 3-D is very popular, especially the so-called

BRIC territories [Brazil, Russia, India, China] and

in the Middle East. We always have stability in one

way or another.

I think there are several factors that directly affect

whether or not people go to watch a 3-D movie.

The first and main reason is the contents! As

soon as there are high-quality 3-D movies (movies

that haven’t suffered from bad conversions), a lot

of people go to the cinema to see them. Of course,

there are countries where 3-D is less popular, but it

usually is like that.

Look at the case of Gemini Man, where all the

critics and experts recommended seeing it in 3-D

rather than in 2-D. Or Avengers, or Avatar. The

issue is that it is very complicated and extremely

expensive for the studios to convert to 3-D. If a

studio doesn’t consider the movie a blockbuster,

then it just won’t invest in 3-D. This results in

exhibitors investing less in 3-D technologies, as

they don’t have good 3-D movies to generate

ticket sales.

Recently new 3-D crews for medium-budget

Hollywood films have started shooting in pure

native 3-D for the same price as regular filmmaking

or HD productions. The result is far superior

to the plain, flat 2-D experience. This change also

allows distributors to bring a wide variety of content

to theaters, giving customers greater choice on

their local 3-D screens.

The second factor is, of course, the price of a

3-D ticket compared to the regular 2-D ticket.

In the USA, small- and medium-sized exhibitors

cannot afford to have 3-D in their cinemas

because of the excessively high fees the studios

charge for playing these movies. Or there are other

3-D companies that have a monopoly. Again,

this is especially true in the U.S. and Europe,

where there is a pattern of unfair competition and

3-D numbers falling.

However, in countries where 3-D is very

successful—for example, in India, China, and

Russia, countries which, by the way, also produce

their own 3-D movies—we have customers who

charge the same ticket price for 2-D and 3-D

movies, and their attendance is great. In addition

to being a cultural issue, it is a matter of educating

the customers. Prices in the end are a matter of

marketing psychology, like offering something for

$9.99 instead of $10. Customers will attend if they

think that they will not spend more money and if

the contents are good.

What are the technological advancements

happening in the world of 3-D that you believe

will have the most long-term impact?

3-D technology is rapidly evolving, but it’s too

soon to talk about [these changes] in the short

ARACELI VAELLO

DECEMBER 2019

55


TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION

All the

grandchildren

going together to

the cinema with

my grandfather is

what I remember

the most. For

me, going to the

movies is more

about experiences

than the movie

itself. I remember

the fights between

us about which

movie to choose,

all of us wanting

the biggest box of

popcorn when we

knew we wouldn’t

be able to finish it.

I remember those

times with great

tenderness and

joy. Every time I

enter the cinema, I

have that feeling.

– Araceli Vaello on

her most memorable

moviegoing experience

term. It takes a lot of time and research for something

as complicated as 3-D to evolve, even though

we’re constantly improving our existing products

for a better experience.

Things like LED walls with high definition for

3-D will come very soon to the cinemas. With the

help of our colleagues in the industry (screen and

projector manufacturers, amongst others) the 3-D

experience will be improved, with more light and

brighter colors, due to laser projectors, for example.

Of course, the holy grail is 3-D autostereoscopic

LED walls for multiple viewers, referred to as

multiscopic 3-D. Or, in other words, 3-D without

the glasses.

We got a lot of nominations for the Top Women

in Global Exhibition list—and as far as individual

people are concerned, you definitely got the

most! People clearly enjoy working with you.

What advice would you give to those new to

our industry when it comes to networking and

cultivating professional relationships?

I try to get involved as much as I can and learn

everything possible about the company I’m working

in. I always try to stay real and be who I am. I place

a lot of importance on ethics at work. I’m loyal,

and I think that’s why people trust me. I’ve made a

lot of friends in this industry, which instead of an

industry, seems like a small family to me.

The only advice I can really give to anyone is to

be passionate about their work. Passion is everything.

If you love what you do, then everyone feels

it and believes what you’re saying. You create a

bond. Another very important thing is to try not

to stay in your comfort zone. Step outside of it and

take risks. Comfort zones are usually for people

who do not want to thrive. This means you’ll always

stay where you are. You won’t evolve. Taking risks

can sometimes go wrong. They’re very scary. But in

the end, what you get back is always positive. You

always learn something from failure.

Who have been your mentors in this industry

since you joined Volfoni?

To start with, [my former colleague at Volfoni]

Alain Chamaillard, who is now head of cinema

EMEA & CIS at NEC. Apart from being an

amazing man, leader, and friend, he’s always trusted

me implicitly and pushed me to improve ever since

I met him. He’s always shared his success with me

and celebrated when I’ve had [success]. He always

promoted me when he thought I deserved it,

fighting for my rights without my even asking him

to do so. I’ve learned so much from him, from this

industry, and from my job. I’ve grown so much

personally that I can’t thank him enough.

Apart from Alain, who is still acting as my

mentor even though we’re not at the same company

any longer, I have Francisco Lafuente, CEO of

CinemaNext Spain, who supported me when Alain

left. He guided me when I asked for help or was

lost and has been there whenever I needed his help

or advice, always wanting me to shine and succeed.

Finally, within Volfoni, I can also highlight

mentors like Fabien Gattault, who was the CFO

of Volfoni and one of the brightest people I’ve

ever met in my life. And also my dear Bertrand

Caillaud, current COO of Volfoni, who is always

thinking about me and actively involving me as a

key player in the future of Volfoni.

What’s your ideal movie night?

Very simple! My husband, the little cozy cinema

in my neighborhood, a huge box of popcorn, and,

of course, a very good 3-D movie.

CHRISTIE

SUSIE BEIERSDORF

VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES,

CINEMA – THE AMERICAS

>> There are few people in the exhibition industry

that need no introduction, and Susie Beiersdorf is

one of them. Currently the vice president of sales

– the Americas for Christie, Beiersdorf has a long

history in the cinema business dating back to her

childhood when she worked at her parents’ drive-in

theater in Southern California. She began working

her way up the corporate ladder at Cineplex Odeon

before becoming director of sales at DTS, where

she helped secure the adoption of digital surround

sound. Before Christie, Beiersdorf worked at Sony,

where she helped with the rollout of the company’s

4K digital cinema projection systems.

Early in your career, you worked in a

management capacity at Cineplex Odeon. How

did your time there help when you moved to the

technology side of the industry?

I was fortunate to grow up in a theater family.

Three of my siblings and I continue in the business

56 DECEMBER 2019


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TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

Regardless of one’s role or gender, if you make

it your mission to understand the technology and

theater business and consider all stakeholders’ views

as part of the entire ecosystem, you can be successful

in this industry. As we have embraced the digital

revolution, bootstrapping has evolved into more

technical and corporate technology-driven individuals

being sought out.

What can companies like Christie do to A)

encourage gender diversity within the theatrical

exhibition industry and B) once there is more

gender diversity, encourage women to move up

the ladder and achieve executive positions?

Christie is a leading cinema technology provider

with a diverse workforce, and we are very proud of

this. I believe all businesses should hire based on

skills, potential, and performance.

SUSIE BEIERSDORF

I’ve been

around

theaters my

entire life and

appreciate

that I grew up

sharing this

industry with

my family.

That carries on

to this day.

– Susie Beiersdorf

today. The majority of theater operations at that

time were tightly knit family or relatively small

corporate entities that sought out people with a

passion for the business. Cineplex was one of the

companies that was on the forefront of design,

operations, and technology. I was exposed to the

entrepreneurship of innovation early.

You’ve been an integral part of the theater

industry’s digital transition. What’s the next stage

now that digital projectors are installed in most

of the world’s cinemas?

I think it’s important to note that “digital”

applies to both audio and image presentation.

Digital has created a variety of opportunities

across the industry for enhancing the moviegoing

experience, and these are being adopted as exhibitors

continue to invest in creating differentiating

environments. We are also starting to see the early

stages of refresh for the original fleet of digital projectors,

as we are near the end of the virtual print

fee (VPF) programs.

You’ve been in the more tech-focused side of

exhibition industry for years now—at DTS, Sony,

and now Christie—but your career has seen you

form strong relationships with theater chains.

Do you perceive a difference in gender diversity

between those two areas? Is the tech side of the

exhibition industry more male-dominated?

Tell me about your mentors in this business.

First and foremost, my father, who was a wise

man with great passion for the theater business. I

am fortunate to have been involved with the swift

change of the industry at the forefront of the digital

transition and developed many relationships along

the way. Much of this industry is relationship-based,

and the sharing of knowledge is important.

What’s the best piece of professional advice

you’ve ever gotten?

My father—my mentor—taught me to always

be genuine, honest, and inquisitive.

What advice would you give to women just

entering the movie exhibition business?

This industry is like no other. You need to have

a passion for it. To be successful, and to grow as a

leader, it’s key to learn the ecosystem, build your

knowledge and relationships, and get involved in

various industry-specific associations.

In speaking with executives, a lot of them are,

ironically, too busy to regularly go to the movies!

But if you aren’t, is there a favorite theater you

like to go to? What’s your ideal movie night?

I love watching movies on the big screen and

never get tired of popcorn. I am fortunate to live in

Los Angeles, where there are many choices for a great

movie experience. When I travel, which is often, I

like to check out the local theaters and see how operators

are catering to the different markets.

58 DECEMBER 2019


SOCIAL MEDIA

BY ALEX EDGHILL

NOW STREAMING

HOW DISNEY PLUS CAN

HELP THE BOX OFFICE

The launch of Disney Plus on

November 12 marked a watershed

moment in both online streaming

and theatrical box office. Content

is king when it comes to streaming,

and while the service began

with only 10 new original series,

the inclusion of family-friendly

entries from the Disney vault, the

Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

films, the Star Wars franchise,

and the studio’s newly acquired

Fox content, makes Disney Plus

an attractive option in a crowded

marketplace.

PEDRO PASCAL

AS “THE MANDALORIAN”

>> Social media tracking reveals that

Disney Plus original programming has

the potential to become a new driver

for the studio’s theatrical offerings. This

would not only set it apart from the other

streaming giants, but pay off in more

than just monthly subscriptions. Disney

Plus’s flagship original series, “The

Mandalorian,” offers an instructive look

at the potentially symbiotic relationship

between Disney Plus and the box office.

The Disney marketing arm for the

Star Wars franchise has used its official

social media accounts to market the new

series relentlessly and to great effect. The

Instagram page for Star Wars has almost

12 million followers, with close to 20

million on Facebook and over 4 million

on Twitter. With Star Wars: The Rise of

Skywalker scheduled to release a month

after the launch of Disney Plus, the synergy

between them has been spectacular.

Instagram has already generated over 34

million likes since June 1 to lead all films

tracked on the service, handily beating

the second and third place of 23 million

and 20 million (both of which happen to

be Disney titles: Avengers: Endgame and

Spider-Man: Far From Home).

While Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

will not owe its ultimate success to “The

Mandalorian,” the series has generated

great interest and awareness among fans.

For any franchise, increased interest on

the eve of a release is always a good thing.

Consider a similar model for Marvel

movies, with a collection of web series

already in the pipeline, including “The

Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Wanda-

Vision,” “Loki,” and “Hawkeye.” All of

these will be more closely tied to the

successful MCU franchise than previous

Marvel series such as “Agent of

S.H.I.E.L.D,” “Luke Cage,” or “Jessica

Jones.” The audience for the MCU is

huge, garnering worldwide revenue above

$22 billion. Original content on Disney

Plus featuring these characters will not

only drive subscriptions but help drive

interest in further theatrical films. If we

consider a similar model for other popular

titles, Pixar films, the Fox catalogue,

or Disney animated releases—the sky is

truly the limit.

Disney owns some of the most popular

social media pages for movies on all

major platforms. And as they showed

in the lead up to the release of Disney

Plus, they were adept in leveraging those

pages to drive subscriptions. The banner

images for many of those pages were

used to promote Disney Plus in the lead

up to its launch. This is a luxury Disney

has that its competitors do not: access

to tens of millions of fans worldwide,

actively engaged across multiple social

channels. This is an invaluable resource

for the company to leverage, allowing it

to achieve a level of success none of its

streaming competitors can match.

Online streaming has been painted

as an existential threat to the theatrical

box office. Disney Plus might be the first

streaming service to show how the two

can coexist and thrive together.

60 DECEMBER 2019


LONG-RANGE FORECAST

BY SHAWN ROBBINS

COMING ATTRACTIONS

SIX FILMS WE’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON THIS JANUARY

1917 Director Sam Mendes on the set of the World War I drama with George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman

1917

Universal | January 10 (Wide Expansion)

This WWI drama from Sam Mendes is one to watch as a

potential awards-season candidate. Fans of Dunkirk and Saving

Private Ryan could turn out.

JUST MERCY

Warner Bros. | January 10 (Wide Expansion)

A strong cast led by Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie

Larson has us intrigued. Opening before MLK weekend will be

a strength given the film’s focus on civil rights.

LIKE A BOSS

Paramount | January 10

Tiffany Haddish’s rising stardom and the potent match-up with

Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek could drive this film to success,

especially among girls-night-out crowds.

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE

Sony | January 17

The return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence to this late-

’90s/early-’00s action franchise should appeal to fans over

MLK weekend. The first trailer has gone over quite well on

social media.

DOLITTLE

Universal | January 17

Robert Downey Jr.’s star power will be a major factor in this reimagining

of the classic character. We’re optimistic for now, but

future marketing will give us a better idea of what to expect.

THE GENTLEMEN

STX | January 24

Guy Ritchie’s next film shows promise on paper as a

crime-comedy film with an ensemble cast, although opening after

a holiday weekend and competing with NFL playoffs could

result in back-loading.

62 DECEMBER 2019


Check out more box office data insights

at pulse.boxofficepro.com

A LONG TIME AGO, IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY ...

Disney’s 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm set off a new era of Star Wars movies

at cinemas around the world. Since the release of Disney’s first film in the

franchise, 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, the series has

grossed over $4.8 billion worldwide. The industry is anxiously awaiting

the release of the latest entry in the series, Star Wars: Episode IX - The

Rise of Skywalker. Coming off mixed reactions from a fervently vocal

fan community after the 2017 release of Episode VIII, and a rare box

office disappointment with 2018 spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story, the

future of the Star Wars universe might be at stake depending on the

new film’s numbers.

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII — THE FORCE AWAKENS

DOMESTIC $ 936,662,225

INTERNATIONAL $ 1,131,561,399

WORLDWIDE $ 2,068,223,624

DOMESTIC $ 532,177,324

INTERNATIONAL $ 523,879,949

WORLDWIDE $ 1,056,057,273

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII — THE LAST JEDI

DOMESTIC $ 620,181,382

INTERNATIONAL

PAUL WALKER IN

$ 712,358,507

FURIOUS WORLDWIDE 6 $ 1,332,539,889

2013

DOMESTIC $ 213,767,512

INTERNATIONAL $ 179,157,295

WORLDWIDE $ 392,924,807

DECEMBER 2019

63


BY KEVIN LALLY

SAOIRSE RONAN

LITTLE WOMEN

DEC. 25 / SONY-COLUMBIA

Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1860s novel gets its

seventh feature adaptation (the last was in 1994),

reconceived by Oscar-nominated Lady Bird writer-director

Greta Gerwig. Alcott loosely based

the story of the four March sisters coming of age

after the Civil War on her own family dynamics.

CAST SAOIRSE RONAN, EMMA WATSON, FLORENCE

PUGH, TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET, LAURA DERN, MERYL

STREEP, ELIZA SCANLEN, LOUIS GARREL, JAMES

NORTON, CHRIS COOPER, BOB ODENKIRK RATING

PG RUNNING TIME 135 MIN.

64 DECEMBER 2019


DEMIÁN BICHIR

THE GRUDGE

JAN. 3 / SONY-SCREEN GEMS

Producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert reboot the horror series that began in

Japan in 2002 and spawned three American versions, all about a supernatural

curse that spreads from victim to victim. John Cho plays a realtor who’s the

first to encounter the angry spirit inside an ominous old house. Nicolas Pesce

(The Eyes of My Mother) directed.

CAST JOHN CHO, ANDREA RISEBOROUGH, DEMIÁN BICHIR, BETTY GILPIN, LIN

SHAYE, JACKI WEAVER, FRANKIE FAISON RATING R RUNNING TIME TBA

SPIES IN DISGUISE

DEC. 25 / DISNEY-FOX

Blue Sky Studios, the animation house

behind the Ice Age films, returns to theaters

with this comedy about a super-suave spy

who is transformed into a pigeon, thanks

to the well-meaning efforts of a young tech

nerd at the agency. Together, they try to

make the best of this bizarre turn of events

in their mission to save the world. Nick

Bruno and Troy Quane directed.

VOICE CAST WILL SMITH, TOM HOLLAND,

BEN MENDELSOHN, KAREN GILLAN, RASHIDA

JONES, REBA MCINTYRE, DJ KHALED, RACHEL

BROSNAHAN, MASI OKA RATING PG RUN-

NING TIME TBA

ROSE BYRNE AND TIFFANY HADDISH

LIKE A BOSS

JAN. 10 / PARAMOUNT

Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne are best friends who own a cosmetics company

in financial trouble. When the women accept a buyout from a powerful

rival, their beauty business takes an ugly turn. Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl,

Beatriz at Dinner) directed.

CAST TIFFANY HADDISH, ROSE BYRNE, SALMA HAYEK, BILLY PORTER, JENNIFER

COOLIDGE, ARI GRAYNOR RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

DECEMBER 2019

65


ON SCREEN

MY SPY

JAN. 10 / STX FILMS

Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) plays a disgraced

CIA agent whose cover is nearly blown when

a precocious 9-year-old girl discovers him surveilling

her family. In exchange for her secrecy, he agrees to

teach her how to be a spy. Peter Segal (Tommy Boy, 50

First Dates, Get Smart) directed this action comedy.

CAST DAVE BAUTISTA, CHLOE COLEMAN, KRISTEN

SCHAAL, KEN JEONG, PARISA FITZ-HENLEY RATING PG-13

RUNNING TIME TBA

CHLOE COLEMAN AND DAVE BAUTISTA

UNDERWATER

JAN. 10 / DISNEY-FOX

A team of scientists struggles to

stay alive when an earthquake

decimates their deep-sea laboratory.

But, as the trailer warns, something

has awakened. William

Eubank (The Signal) directed.

CAST KRISTEN STEWART, VINCENT

CASSEL, T.J. MILLER, JOHN

GALLAGHER JR., MAMOUDOU

ATHIE, JESSICA HENWICK RATING

PG-13 RUNNING TIME TBA

KRISTEN STEWART AND VINCENT CASSEL

66 DECEMBER 2019


DOLITTLE

JAN. 17 / UNIVERSAL

Dr. John Dolittle is an eccentric widower

who shuns humans for the company of a huge

menagerie of animals with whom he converses. When

the queen becomes seriously ill, he sets off for a mythical

island on a quest for a cure. Robert Downey Jr. is the third

actor to play the role on film, following Eddie Murphy in

1998 and 2001 and Rex Harrison in the 1967 Best Picture

nominee. Stephen Gaghan (Syriana) directed.

CAST ROBERT DOWNEY JR., ANTONIO BANDERAS, MICHAEL

SHEEN, JESSIE BUCKLEY; VOICES OF EMMA THOMPSON,

RALPH FIENNES, TOM HOLLAND, SELENA GOMEZ,

OCTAVIA SPENCER, MARION COTILLARD, RAMI

MALEK, JOHN CENA, KUMAIL NANJIANI

RATING TBA RUNNING

TIME TBA

DECEMBER 2019

67


ON SCREEN

MARTIN LAWRENCE AND WILL SMITH

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE

JAN. 17 / SONY-COLUMBIA

Bad Boys, about two maverick cops, was Will Smith’s first box

office hit in 1995. Nearly 25 years later, Smith reunites with

co-star Martin Lawrence for another round of wild action and

comedy. Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett is now a police inspector,

and Smith’s Mike Lowery is dealing with a midlife crisis and a

mercenary with a grudge against him. Adil El Arbi and Bilall

Fallah directed.

CAST WILL SMITH, MARTIN LAWRENCE, VANESSA HUDGENS,

ALEXANDER LUDWIG, JOE PANTOLIANO, CHARLES MELTON RATING

TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

THE LAST FULL MEASURE

JAN. 17 / ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

William Pitsenbarger (played by Jeremy Irvine, left) 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, DIANE LADD RATING

R RUNNING TIME 110 MIN.

JEREMY IRVINE

RUN

JAN. 24 / LIONSGATE-SUMMIT

A teenage girl, raised in complete isolation by her mother,

learns that Mom has been harboring a terrible secret. Director/

co-writer Aneesh Chaganty earned acclaim for the innovative

2018 thriller Searching.

CAST SARAH PAULSON, KIERA ALLEN, PAT HEALY RATING TBA

RUNNING TIME TBA

68 DECEMBER 2019


THE TURNING

JAN. 24 / UNIVERSAL

This modern update of Henry James’s classic 1898 horror

novella The Turn of the Screw centers on a governess who’s

hired to care for two orphaned children and comes to

believe her new household is haunted. This is celebrated

music-video director Floria Sigismondi’s first feature since

2010’s The Runaways.

CAST MACKENZIE DAVIS, FINN WOLFHARD, BROOKLYNN

PRINCE, KAREN EGAN RATING PG-13 RUNNING TIME TBA

MACKENZIE DAVIS

MICHELLE DOCKERY AND MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

THE GENTLEMEN

JAN. 24 / STX FILMS

Director Guy Ritchie returns to his

crime-comedy roots with this tale

of an American expat who’s made a

fortune as a marijuana magnate in

London. But when he tries to cash

out and retire, his rivals set in motion

assorted plots to rip him off.

CAST MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY,

CHARLIE HUNNAM, MICHELLE

DOCKERY, COLIN FARRELL, HUGH

GRANT, JEREMY STRONG, HENRY

GOLDING RATING R RUNNING

TIME TBA

DECEMBER 2019

69


ON SCREEN

IP MAN 4: THE FINALE

DEC. 25 / WELL GO USA ENTERTAINMENT

In this fourth entry in the series based on the life of a Wing

Chun martial arts master, Ip Man travels to America and

encounters racial discrimination and conflict in the martial arts

community. Wilson Yip has directed all four films featuring

Hong Kong superstar Donnie Yen.

CAST DONNIE YEN, SCOTT ADKINS, WU YUE,

VAN NESS, DANNY CHAN RATING TBA

RUNNING TIME TBA

JUST MERCY

DEC. 25 (WIDE JAN. 10) /

WARNER BROS.

Black Panther and Creed star

Michael B. Jordan plays

Bryan Stevenson, a young

Harvard Law School graduate

who settles in Alabama

with the goal of defending

those unjustly condemned.

Destin Daniel Cretton’s drama,

based on Stevenson’s best-selling

memoir, centers on the case

of Walter McMillian, sentenced to

death for the murder of an 18-year-old

girl despite a mountain of evidence proving

his innocence.

CAST MICHAEL B. JORDAN, JAMIE FOXX, BRIE LARSON, ROB

MORGAN, TIM BLAKE NELSON, RAFE SPALL, O’SHEA JACKSON JR.

RATING PG-13 RUNNING TIME 136 MIN.

THE SONG OF NAMES

DEC. 25 / SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

On the eve of World War II, a 9-year-old Polish-Jewish violin

prodigy named Dovidl is taken in by a Christian family in

London and bonds with their own 9-year-old, Martin. At 21,

the violinist is set to make his concert debut—and disappears

without a trace. Decades later, the adult Martin feels compelled

to search for his missing friend. Director François Girard helmed

the similarly music-driven drama The Red Violin in 1998.

CAST TIM ROTH, CLIVE OWEN, CATHERINE MCCORMACK, JONAH

HAUER-KING, LUKE DOYLE, GERRAN HOWELL, MISHA HANDLEY,

SAUL RUBINEK, STANLEY TOWNSEND, EDDIE IZZARD RATING PG-13

RUNNING TIME 113 MIN.

1917

DEC. 25 (WIDE JAN. 10) / UNIVERSAL

In World War I, two young British soldiers are assigned a risky

mission: cross enemy lines and deliver a message that will save

an entire brigade, including the brother of one of the soldiers,

LIMITED RELEASES

GEORGE MACKAY IN SAM MENDES’S UPCOMING 1917

from a deadly attack. Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes and

master cinematographer Roger Deakins choreograph the action

to appear as one continuous shot.

CAST GEORGE MACKAY, DEAN-CHARLES CHAPMAN, BENEDICT

CUMBERBATCH, RICHARD MADDEN, MARK STRONG, ANDREW

SCOTT, COLIN FIRTH RATING R RUNNING TIME 110 MIN.

CLEMENCY

DEC. 27 / NEON

Alfre Woodard is earning raves

for her performance as a prison

warden whose years of overseeing

death row executions have

taken a psychological toll. As

she prepares to kill another

inmate, she reaches a crisis of

conscience. Writer-director

Chinonye Chukwu spent

four years researching this

grim topic.

CAST ALFRE WOODARD, ALDIS

HODGE, RICHARD SCHIFF,

WENDELL PIERCE, DANIELLE

BROOKS, MICHAEL O’NEILL,

RICHARD GUNN, VERNEE WATSON,

DENNIS HASKINS, LAMONICA GARRETT

RATING R RUNNING TIME 112 MIN.

LES MISÉRABLES

JAN. 10 / AMAZON STUDIOS

Director Ladj Ly riffs on Victor Hugo’s famous novel with this

21st-century update inspired by the 2005 riots in Paris. A young

cop joins the anticrime squad in the impoverished neighborhood

of Montfermeil and struggles to maintain order after an arrest

goes terribly wrong. The film is France’s selection for this year’s

foreign-language Oscar race.

CAST DAMIEN BONNARD, ALEXIS MANENTI, DJEBRIL ZONGA,

STEVE TIENTCHEU, JEANNE BALIBAR RATING TBA RUNNING

TIME 103 MIN.

WEATHERING WITH YOU

JAN. 15 / GKIDS

Japanese animation director Makoto Shinkai’s gorgeous 2016

feature Your Name earned a huge $357 million worldwide.

Shinkai returns with this equally striking fantasy about the relationship

between a teenage runaway and a girl with the power

to stop the constant rain and coax out the sun. Japan has chosen

the film, already an overseas hit, for this year’s foreign-language

Oscar race.

VOICE CAST KOTARO DAIGO, NANA MORI, TSUBASA HONDA,

SAKURA KIRYU RATING PG-13 RUNNING TIME 114 MIN.

70 DECEMBER 2019


EVENT CINEMA CALENDAR

CINELIFE

ENTERTAINMENT

cinelifeentertainment.com

310-309-5774

GAUGUIN FROM THE NATIONAL

GALLERY, LONDON

Tues. 1/21-Mon. 1/27 (U.S. release) · Art

RIGOLETTO ON THE LAKE

Mon. 2/10-Sun. 2/16 · Opera

ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET -

AKRAM KHAN’S GISELLE

Fri. 3/6 - Fri. 3/13 (U.S. release) · Ballet

FATHOM EVENTS

fathomevents.com

855-473-4612

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY

Sun. 12/1, Tues. 12/3 · Classics

GUNDAM 40TH ANNIVERSARY

CELEBRATION: CHARS

COUNTERATTACK

Thurs. 12/5 · Anime

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: THE MAGIC

FLUTE HOLIDAY ENCORE

Sat. 12/7 · Opera

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD

Sat. 12/7, Tues. 12/17, Weds. 12/18 ·

Documentaries

PROMARE (REDUX)

Sun. 12/8 (sub), Tues. 12/10 (dub) ·

Anime

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

MYSTIFY: MICHAEL HUTCHENCE

Tues. 1/7 · Documentaries

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: WOZZECK

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

Opera

WEATHERING WITH YOU

Weds. 1/15, Thurs. 1/16 · Anime

BLIND EYES OPENED

Thurs. 1/23 · Inspirational

BOLSHOI BALLET: GISELLE

Sun. 1/26 · Ballet

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: THE

GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS

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

2/8 (encore) · Opera

BOLSHOI BALLET: SWAN LAKE

Sun. 2/23 · Ballet

FREE BURMA RANGERS

Mon. 2/24, Tues. 2/25 · Inspirational

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

CBN: I AM PATRICK

Tues. 3/17, Weds. 3/18 · Inspirational

BOLSHOI BALLET:

ROMEO AND JULIET

Sun. 3/29 · Ballet

SIGHT AND SOUND PRESENTS JESUS

Tues. 4/7, Thurs. 4/9, Sat. 4/11 ·

Inspirational

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: TOSCA

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

4/18 (encore) · Opera

BOLSHOI BALLET: JEWELS

Sun. 4/19 · Ballet

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

MARIA STUARDA

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

MORE2SCREEN

www.more2screen.com

BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER LIVE

NEW YEAR’S EVE CONCERT

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

Music

72 DECEMBER 2019


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

MURDEROUS TRANCE

Fri. 11/1 · Premiere

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

COPPÉLIA

Tues. 12/10 · Ballet

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

Thurs. 1/16 · Ballet

LA BOHÈME

Weds. 1/29 · Opera

THE CELLIST / DANCES AT

A GATHERING

Tues. 2/25 · Ballet

FIDELIO

Tues/ 3/17 · Opera

SWAN LAKE

Weds. 4/1 · Ballet

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA /

PAGLIACCI

Tues. 4/21 · Opera

THE DANTE PROJECT

Thurs. 5/28 · Ballet

ELEKTRA

Thurs. 6/18 · Opera

TRAFALGAR RELEASING

trafalgar-releasing.com

BRANAGH THEATRE LIVE:

THE WINTER’S TALE

Weds. 12/4 · Theater

DECEMBER 2019

73


BOOKING GUIDE

DISNEY

ONWARD

MAR. 6, 2020

A24

646-568-6015

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

THE AERONAUTS

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD

C Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones

D Tom Harper

PG-13 · Act/Adv · Dolby Vis/Atmos

SEBERG

Fri, 12/13/19 LTD

C Kristen Stewart, Jack O’Connell

D Benedict Andrews

R · Dra

LES MISÉRABLES

Fri, 1/10/20 LTD

C Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti

D Ladj Ly

R · Dra

BLUE FOX ENTERTAINMENT

William Gruenberg

william@bluefoxentertainment.com

FEEDBACK

Fri, 1/17/20 LTD

C Eddie Marsan, Paul Anderson

D Pedro C. Alonso

NR · Thr/Hor

SOMETIMES ALWAYS NEVER

Fri, 3/6/20 LTD

C Bill Nighy, Sam Riley

D Carl Hunter

NR · Com/Dra

BLEECKER STREET

THE ASSISTANT

Fri, 1/31/20 LTD

C Julia Garner

D Kitty Green

NR · Dra

ORDINARY LOVE

Fri, 2/14/20 LTD

C Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville

D Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn

R · Dra/Rom

DISNEY

818-560-1000 / Ask for Distribution

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/Dolby Vis/Atmos

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

C Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour

D Cate Shortland

NR · Act/Adv · 3D

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/Dolby Vis/Atmos

JUNGLE CRUISE

Fri, 7/24/20 WIDE

C Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt

D Jaume Collet-Serra

NR · Act/Adv · Dolby Vis/Atmos

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

Fri, 8/14/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

THE ETERNALS

Fri, 11/6/20 WIDE

C Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie

D Chloé Zhao

NR · Act/Adv/SF

RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON

Fri, 11/20/20 WIDE

C Awkwafina, Cassie Steele

D Paul Briggs, Dean Wellins

NR · Ani · 3D

FOCUS FEATURES

424-214-636

EMMA

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

C Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn

D Autumn de Wilde

NR · Dra/Com

74 DECEMBER 2019


COVERS

Fri, 5/8/20 LTD

C Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross

D Nisha Ganatra

NR · Com · Dolby Vis/Atmos

LAST NIGHT IN SOHO

Fri, 9/25/20 WIDE

C Anya Taylor-Joy,

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie

D Edgar Wright

NR · Hor/Thr · Dolby Vis/Atmos

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

SPIES IN DISGUISE

Wed, 12/25/19 WIDE

C Will Smith, Tom Holland

D Nick Bruno, Troy Quane

PG · Ani

UNDERWATER

Fri, 1/10/20 WIDE

C Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller

D William Eubank

NR · Act · Dolby Atmos

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

THE KING’S MAN

Fri, 9/18/20 WIDE

C Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton

D Matthew Vaughn

NR · Act/Adv · IMAX

DEATH ON THE NILE

Fri, 10/9/20 WIDE

C Tom Bateman, Annette Bening

D Kenneth Branagh

NR · Cri/Dra/Mys

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE

Fri, 10/23/20 WIDE

NR · Dra/Mus

DEEP WATER

Fri, 11/13/20 WIDE

C Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas

NR - Thr

WEST SIDE STORY

Fri, 12/18/20 WIDE

C Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler

D Steven Spielberg

NR · Mus

FOX SEARCHLIGHT

212-556-2400

A HIDDEN LIFE

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

C August Diehl, Valerie Pachner

D Terrence Malick

PG-13 · Dra/War

WENDY

Fri, 2/28/20 LTD

D Benh Zeitlin

PG-13 · Dra/Fan

ANTLERS

Fri, 4/17/20 LTD

C Keri Russell, Jessie Plemons

D Scott Cooper

NR · Hor

THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF

DAVID COPPERFIELD

Fri, 5/8/20 LTD

NR

IFC FILMS

bookings@ifcfilms.com

KNIVES AND SKIN

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD

C Marika Engelhardt, Grace Smith

D Jennifer Reeder

NR · Dra

THREE CHRISTS

Fri, 1/3/20 LTD

C Richard Gere, Peter Dinklage

D Jon Avnet

NR · Com

OLYMPIC DREAMS

Fri, 2/14/20 LTD

C Alexi Pappas, Nick Kroll

D Jeremy Teicher

PG-13 · Com/Rom

PREMATURE

Fri, 2/21/20 LTD

C Zora Howard, Joshua Boone

D Rashaad Ernesto Green

NR · Dra

KINO LORBER

BEANPOLE

Fri, 1/29/20 LTD

C Viktoria Miroshnichenko, Vasilisa Perelygina

D Kantemir Balagov

NR · Dra

LIONSGATE

310-309-8400

EN BRAZOS DE UN ASESINO

Fri, 12/6/19 MOD

C William Levy, Alicia Sanz

D Matias Moltrasio

R

BOMBSHELL

Fri, 12/13/19 LTD.

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

UNTITLED JANELLE MONÁE FILM

Fri, 4/24/20 WIDE

C Janelle Monáe

D Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz

NR

DECEMBER 2019

75


BOOKING GUIDE

PARAMOUNT

323-956-5000

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

D Reed Morano

NR · Thr

MAGNOLIA PICTURES

LITTLE JOE

DEC. 6, 2019

EMILY BEECHAM

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

LITTLE JOE

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD.

C Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw

D Jessica Hausne

NR · Dra

CUNNINGHAM

Fri, 12/13/19 LTD.

D Alla Kovgan

PG · Doc

THE WHISTLERS

Fri, 2/28/20 LTD.

C Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon

D Corneliu Porumboiu

NR · Com

NEON

hal@neonrated.com

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, 12/6/19 LTD.

D Luke Lorentzen

NR · Doc

OSCILLOSCOPE LABORATORIES

212-219-4029

CANE RIVER

Fri, 2/7/20 LTD

C Tommye Myrick, Richard Romain

D Horace B. Jenkins

NR · Dra

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey

D Jeff Fowler

NR · Ani/Adv/Com

A QUIET PLACE PART II

Fri, 3/20/20 WIDE

C Emily Blunt

D John Krasinski

NR · Hor/Thr · Dolby Vis/Atmos

THE LOVEBIRDS

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

C Anna Camp, Kumail Nanjiani

D Michael Showalter

NR · Rom/Com

MONSTER PROBLEMS

Fri, 4/17/20 WIDE

C Dylan O’Brien

D Michael Matthews

NR · Adv

THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE:

SPONGE ON THE RUN

Fri, 5/22/20 WIDE

C Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke

D Tim Hill

NR · Ani

TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Fri, 6/26/20 WIDE

C Tom Cruise, Miles Teller

D Joseph Kosinski

NR · Act/Adv · Dolby Vis/Atmos

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

76 DECEMBER 2019


THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Fri, 9/25/20 LTD

D Aaron Sorkin

NR · Dra

GI JOE

Fri, 10/16/20 WIDE

NR · Act/Adv

UNTITLED FAMILY EVENT MOVIE

Fri, 11/13/20 WIDE

NR · Fam

UNTITLED COMING TO

AMERICA SEQUEL

Fri, 12/18/20 WIDE

NR · Com

THE TOMORROW WAR

Fri, 12/25/20 WIDE

C Yvonne Strahovski, Chris Pratt

D Chris McKay

NR · Act/SF

RUMBLE

Fri, 1/29/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

323-882-8490

THE LAST FULL MEASURE

Fri, 1/17/20 WIDE

C Samuel L. Jackson, Bradley Whitford

D Todd Robinson

R · Dra/War · Dolby Stereo

SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS

DANIEL ISN’T REAL

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD

C Patrick Schwarzenegger, Miles Robbins

D Adam Egypt Mortimer

NR · Thr

EXTRACURRICULAR

Fri, 1/17/20 LTD

C Keenan Tracey, Brittany Raymond

D Ray Xue

NR · Hor

COME AS YOU ARE

Fri, 2/14/20 LTD

C Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto

D Richard Wong

NR · Com/Dra

SONY

212-833-8500

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 · Dolby Vis/Atmos

THE GRUDGE

Fri, 1/3/20 WIDE

C Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir

D Nicolas Pesce

R · Hor

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE

Fri, 1/17/20 WIDE

C Will Smith, Martin Lawrence

D Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

NR · Act/Com · Dolby Vis/Atmos

FANTASY ISLAND

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C Michael Peña, Maggie Q

D Jeff Wadlow

NR · Hor

BLOODSHOT

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

C Vin Diesel, Eiza González

NR · Act · Dolby Atmos

PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

C James Corden, Rose Byrne

D Will Gluck

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

UNTITLED SONY ANIMATION FILM

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

C Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis

D Clea DuVall

NR · Hor/Thr

MONSTER HUNTER

Fri, 9/4/20 WIDE

C Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa

D Paul W.S. Anderson

NR · Act/Fan

THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES

Fri, 9/18/20 WIDE

D Mike Rianda

NR · Ani

UNTITLED SONY/MARVEL

Fri, 10/2/20 WIDE

NR · Act/SF

HAPPIEST SEASON

Fri, 11/20/20 WIDE

NR · Rom/Com/Hol

UNTITLED SPA ANIMATED ORIGINAL

Fri, 12/11/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

UNCHARTED

Fri, 12/18/20 WIDE

C Tom Holland

D Travis Knight

NR · Act/Adv

SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

Tom Prassis / 212-833-4981

THE SONG OF NAMES

Fri, 12/25/19 LTD

C Tim Roth, Clive Owen

D François Girard

NR · Dra

THE TRAITOR

Fri, 1/31/20 LTD

C Pierfrancesco Favino,

Maria Fernanda Candido

D Marco Bellocchio

NR · Dra/Cri

GREED

Fri, 2/21/20 LTD

C Asa Butterfield, Isa Fisher

D Michael Winterbottom

NR · Com/Dra

BURNT ORANGE HERESY

Fri, 3/6/20 LTD

C Elizabeth Debicki, Donald Sutherland

D Giuseppe Capotondi

NR · Act/Thr

DECEMBER 2019

77


BOOKING GUIDE

THE CLIMB

Fri, 3/20/20 LTD

C Kyle Marvin, Michael Angelo Covino

D Michael Angelo Covino

R · Com/Dra

CHARM CITY KINGS

Fri, 4/10/20 LTD

C Teyonah Parris, Jahi Di’Allo Winston

D Angel Manuel Soto

R · Dra

STX ENTERTAINMENT

310-742-2300

PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE

Fri, 12/6/19 WIDE

C Daniel Radcliffe, Jim Gaffigan

D Lino DiSalvo

NR · Ani

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

C Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam

D Guy Ritchie

R · Act/Com

BRAHMS: THE BOY II

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

C Katie Holmes

D William Brent Bell

PG-13 · Hor/Thr

UNITED ARTISTS RELEASING

310-724-5678 / Ask for Distribution

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

BAD TRIP

Fri, 4/24/20 WIDE

C Eric André, Lil Rel Howery

D Kitao Sakurai

NR · Com

LEGALLY BLONDE 3

Fri, 5/8/20 WIDE

C Reese Witherspoon

NR · Com

RESPECT

Fri, 8/14/20 WIDE

C Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker

D Liesl Tommy

NR · Dra/Mus

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

BLACK CHRISTMAS

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

C Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon

D Sophia Takal

PG-13 · Hor

CATS

Fri, 12/20/19 WIDE

C James Corden, Judi Dench

D Tom Hooper

NR · Mus · Dolby Atmos

1917

Fri, 12/25/19 WIDE

C George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman

D Sam Mendes

R · Dra/War · Dolby Vis/Atmos

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

PG-13 · Rom

THE INVISIBLE MAN

Fri, 2/28/20 WIDE

C Elisabeth Moss, Storm Reid

D Leigh Whannell

NR · Hor

UNTITLED BLUMHOUSE PRODUCTIONS

Fri, 3/13/20 WIDE

NR · Hor

TROLLS WORLD TOUR

Fri, 4/17/20 WIDE

C Anna Kendrick , Justin Timberlake

D Walt Dohrn

PG · 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

C Steve Carell

D Kyle Balda

NR · Ani

UNTITLED NEXT PURGE CHAPTER

Fri, 7/10/20 WIDE

NR · Hor

NOBODY

Fri, 8/14/20 WIDE

C Bob Odenkirk

D Ilya Naishuller

NR · Act/Thr

PRAISE THIS

Fri, 9/25/20 WIDE

NR · Com

BIOS

Fri, 10/2/20 WIDE

C Tom Hanks

D Miguel Sapochnik

NR · SF

HALLOWEEN KILLS

Fri, 10/16/20 WIDE

D David Gordon Green

NR · Hor

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL EVENT COMEDY

Fri, 10/23/20 WIDE

NR · Com

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL EVENT FILM 2020

Fri, 11/13/20 WIDE

NR

UNTITLED AMBLIN PROJECT

Fri, 11/20/20 WIDE

Joel Crawford

NR

THE CROODS 2

Fri, 12/23/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

78 DECEMBER 2019


VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT

DARK LIGHT

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD

C Jessica Madsen, Opal Littleton

D Padraig Reynolds

NR · HOR/SF

CODE 8

Fri, 12/13/19 LTD

C Robbie Amell, Stephen Amell

D Jeff Chan

NR · SF

WARNER BROS.

818-977-1850

RICHARD JEWELL

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

C Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates

D Clint Eastwood

R · Dra

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 · IMAX/Dolby Vis/Atmos

THE WAY BACK

Fri, 3/6/20 WIDE

C Ben Affleck

D Gavin O’Connor

NR · Dra

GODZILLA VS KONG

Fri, 3/13/20 WIDE

C Millie Bobby Brown, Eiza González

D Adam Wingard

NR · SF/Act · Dolby Vis/Atmos

UNTITLED DC FILM

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

NR · Act/Adv/SF

SCOOB!

Fri, 5/15/20 WIDE

C Kiersey Clemons, Zac Efron

D Tony Cervone

NR · Ani

WONDER WOMAN 1984

Fri, 6/5/20 WIDE

C Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig

D Patty Jenkins

NR · Act/Adv/Fan · IMAX/3D/Dolby Vis/Atmos

IN THE HEIGHTS

Fri, 6/26/20 WIDE

NR · Mus/Rom/Dra

TENET

Fri, 7/17/20 WIDE

C John David Washington, Robert Pattinson

D Christopher Nolan

NR · Act/Thr

UNTITLED WB EVENT FILM

Fri, 8/17/20 WIDE

NR

MALIGNANT

Fri, 8/14/20 WIDE

D James Wan

NR · Hor

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, 10/09/20 WIDE

C Anne Hathaway

D Robert Zemeckis

NR · Adv/Com

UNTITLED WB EVENT FILM

Fri, 11/20/20 WIDE

NR · Bio/Dra

KING RICHARD

Fri, 11/25/20 WIDE

NR · Dra/Bio

DUNE

Fri, 12/18/20 WIDE

NR · SF

WELL GO USA ENTERTAINMENT

IP MAN 4: THE FINALE

Fri, 12/25/19 LTD

C Donnie Yen, Wu Yue

D Wilson Yip Wai Shun

NR

OUR SPONSORS

Arts Alliance Media

Inside Front Cover

Mobiliario Seating 31

MOC Insurance 3

Barco / Cinionic 1

The Boxoffice Company 20–21, 39, 47

Cardinal Sound 80

Dolphin Seating 71

Ready Theatre Systems 11

Retriever Software 13

Sensible Cinema 80

Screenvision Media 35

Encore Performance Seating

Back Cover

Sonic Equipment 9

Enpar 69

Spotlight Cinema Networks 17

International Cinema Technology Association 43

Irwin Seating 7

Telescopic Seating Systems

Inside Back Cover

LightSpeed Design 80

DECEMBER 2019

79


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TWO BRAND NEW 3000 watts Christie Xenon

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18 SETS OF USED 35MM AUTOMATED PRO-

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CLASSIC GEM FOR SALE. Tiny, hand-made

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BE READY FOR YOUR NEXT DRIVE-IN OR

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HELP WANTED

TRI STATE THEATRE SUPPLY in Memphis, TN

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requirements to fred@tristatetheatre.com

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POSITIONS AVAILABLE

The three-screen Stavros Niarchos Foundation

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The Film Center, a partnership among the

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instructions are found at mdfilmfest.com/

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ADVERTISE IN JANUARY’S ISSUE OF

RESERVE BY

DECEMBER 10, 2019

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DECEMBER 13, 2019

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SUSAN@BOXOFFICE.COM

310-876-9090

80 DECEMBER 2019


CLASSIC AD FROM FEBRUARY 17, 1951


CLASSIC COVER


Amazing food while your sitting in an

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