Boxoffice Pro - February 2020

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$6.95 / FEBRUARY 2020

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THEATRE OWNERS


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ANALYSTS

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Boxoffice® (ISSN 0006-8527), Volume 157, Number 2,

February 2020. BOXOFFICE PRO is published monthly by

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HELLO.

BY DANIEL LORIA, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

›› It’s been a trying couple of

months here at Boxoffice Pro, as we

adjust to working without the collaboration

of our creative director, Ken

Bacon, who passed away unexpectedly

during the production of our January

issue. This is the first issue of the

magazine that any of us have worked

on without his help, but that doesn’t

mean it’s absent of Ken’s influence. This

edition was designed by former Film

Journal International creative director

Rex Roberts, who stepped up on short

notice to re-create the look and style of

the magazine based on Ken’s original

designs. We are privileged to add him

to our masthead this issue.

The Giants of Exhibition issue has

been one of our most popular annual

traditions over the decades. As we enter

the 100th anniversary of our publication,

we hope you enjoy this year’s

edition—meant to provide a detailed

look at the domestic market’s biggest

circuits according to screen count. For

the second consecutive year, we’ve included

our “Exhibitors Have Their Say”

story, in which we feature some of the

industry’s top executives on their favorite

moviegoing moment of last year.

For me, personally, watching Uncut

Gems at its New York Film Festival

premiere was unforgettable. Lincoln

Center’s Alice Tully Hall was packed

that night, with a large delegation from

the cast and filmmakers in attendance.

Watching an auditorium full of people

at the edge of their seats, enthralled

by the three-leg parlay bet unfolding

in the film’s final act, was one of those

moments of true communal magic. I

think the entire audience was holding its

breath—and eventually exhaled at the

same exact moment.

Some of my editorial colleagues were

unable to resist an opportunity to participate

and decided to contribute their

own favorite moviegoing moments of the

year. They can be found in the column

opposite.

daniel@boxoffice.com

Kevin Lally, Executive Editor

On a rainy night, as the conniving

Kim clan celebrates their takeover of the

luxurious home of the wealthy Park family,

the former housekeeper frantically

pounds on the front door. What happens

next neither the Kims nor the audience

could have imagined. It’s the turning

point in Parasite, Bong Joon-Ho’s Palme

d’Or–winning film that has captivated

Western audiences.

Vassiliki Malouchou,

Editorial Assistant

My favorite moviegoing moment of

last year was watching Birds of Passage

at Laemmle Theatres. Not only was the

movie great and very different (it frightened

me more than any scary movie I

saw this year), but it was the first film I

saw after I moved to L.A.

Rebecca Pahle, Associate Editor

The big screen was the perfect place to

see Neon release Apollo 11, a found-footage

documentary about the 1969 moon

landing. The rare documentary to be released

in Imax, Apollo 11, with its pristine

sound and visual quality, had my heart in

my throat through the entire movie.

Jesse Rifkin, Analyst

My favorite movie moments of 2019

were from the documentary Apollo 11.

In a film replete with awe-inspiring

moments, the launch from Kennedy

Space Center stood out. The gargantuan

ball of flame and shattering noise during

takeoff—in Imax, no less—were as

grandiose as the biggest explosions in the

most expensive blockbusters.

Laura Silver, Managing Editor

Little Women was spectacular on the

big screen. The rich period sets and costumes

and the vibrant New England and

Parisian settings were predictably (and

wonderfully) awe-inspiring in a theater.

But it was the passionate performances

and gripping story that made the experience

so emotionally rewarding.

2 / FEBRUARY 2020


#SonicsGotYouCovered

1 DESIGN

2 BUILD

3 EQUIP

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SERVICE & S.O.S.

CALL CENTER

S O N I C E Q U I P M E N T . C O M

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FEBRUARY 2020 TABLE OF CONTENTS

GIANTS

EOF

FEATURES

XHIBITION

Onward…and Upward!. . . . 54

Dan Scanlon brings magic into the

modern age with Pixar’s latest adventure

The Battle for Bacurau .. . . 60

Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano

Dornelles create a politically charged

genre film

Painting Love.. . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Céline Sciamma reveals her philosophy

of love in Portrait of a Lady on Fire

A Lux Experience.. . . . . . . . . 66

Showcase Cinemas celebrates its latest

renovation with an open house

and Star Wars Marathon

Century in Exhibition.. . . . . 70

1930s: The crash, color and the “Code”

GIANTS OF EXHIBITION

Our annual ranking of the largest

exhibition circuits

in the domestic market, page 28

Storyboard: An artist’s sketch from the

“Conjuring Dad” sequence in Onward, p. 54

DEPARTMENTS

HELLO ......................... 2

TRADE TALK .................... 6

NATO NEWS ................... 14

MEMBER NEWS ................ 16

INDIE INFLUENCERS. ........... 18

CHARITY SPOTLIGHT. . . . . . . . . . . 22

ON SCREEN. ................... 82

EVENT CINEMA CALENDAR. ..... 88

BOOKING GUIDE ............... 90

© 2019 DISNEY / PIXAR

Number Crunch.. . . . . . . . . . 74

The 15 movies with the biggest

box office potential

C Stands for Subscription.. . 80

Studio C makes the leap into subscription

with C Rewards VIP

Showcase Cinemas Xplus auditorium, p. 66

Boxoffice Pro has served as the official publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) since 2007.

As part of this partnership, Boxoffice is proud to feature exclusive columns from NATO while retaining full editorial freedom

throughout its pages. As such, the views expressed in Boxoffice Pro, neither reflect a stance nor endorsement from the

National Association of Theatre Owners.


TRADE TALK EDITED BY LAURA SILVER

Cineworld to Acquire Cineplex

Cineworld has signed an agreement to acquire Cineplex,

Canada’s leading exhibition circuit. The announcement comes

only two years after U.K.-based Cineworld entered the North

American market with its acquisition of Regal Cinemas, the

second-largest cinema chain in the United States. The proposed

transaction would give Cineworld over 11,200 screens

in markets that include the United States, Canada, the United

Kingdom and Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary,

Bulgaria, Romania, and Israel.

The deal also means Canada’s two leading circuits would

become part of European multinational mega-circuits, following

the 2017 acquisition of Landmark Cinemas of Canada by

Belgium-based Kinepolis.

“Since Cineplex went public in 2003, we have been

committed to delivering value to our shareholders. We believe

this transaction is both financially compelling and in our

shareholders’ best interest,” said Ellis Jacob, president and

CEO, Cineplex. “Cineworld Group shares our passion for

entertainment and mirrors our commitment to delivering

exceptional guest experiences through state-of-the-art

technology. The entertainment industry continues to transform,

and we are pleased that through this agreement we are ensuring

Cineplex is part of the next era of global entertainment.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions

including regulatory approvals and expected to close during the

first half of 2020.

this honored brand, and I look forward to working with Philip

and Curzon’s highly experienced senior management team.

Together, we will carry forward the Curzon brand with plans to

expand it in a thoughtful and measured way.”

Curzon debuted in 1934, when Harold Wingate opened

its first cinema in Mayfair, a location still in operation as a

two-screen art house theater. Curzon Artificial Eye, founded

in 1976 and acquired by Curzon in 2006, has a library of more

than 400 films and releases roughly 20 new theatrical titles and

30 DVD and Blu-ray titles in the U.K. each year.

Roger Wingate will retire as chairman and will end his

family’s longtime association with the company, with Cohen

taking over his post. “Curzon has been present throughout my

entire life,” said Wingate. “I will miss it but am confident that

its future is in good hands.”

Cohen Media Group Acquires

U.K.’s Curzon Cinemas

Cohen Media Group has acquired the venerable U.K. art

house theater chain Curzon Cinemas, in the first overseas exhibition

venture for U.S. real estate billionaire Charles S. Cohen.

The deal, announced by Cohen and Curzon CEO Philip

Knatchbull, encompasses Curzon’s 13 locations in the U.K.

and its Curzon Artificial Eye distribution division and Curzon

Home Cinema streaming business. Financial details were not

disclosed.

“Among exhibitors and distributors of great films, there are

few names in the international marketplace as important as

Curzon and Curzon’s Artificial Eye,” said Cohen, whose company

last year acquired Landmark Theatres and also produces

and distributes specialty films. “We are thrilled to unite with

10-YEAR AGREEMENT

Exclusive deal solidifies

expansion of laser projection.

Cinemark Signs Agreement

for Barco Laser

Cinemark is committing to laser projection after signing

an exclusive 10-year agreement with Cinionic that will bring

Barco Series 4 laser projectors to over 6,000 of its screens

worldwide. Cinionic introduced its Series 4 laser projectors at

CinemaCon 2019.

The landmark deal solidifies the expansion of laser

projection and will also bring Barco’s integrated Alchemy

media servers to Cinemark theaters in the United States and

Latin America.

6 / FEBRUARY 2020


TRADE TALK

D-BOX

ANNOUNCES SLATE

FOR FIRST HALF 2020

D-Box Technologies

Inc. is looking

forward to an exciting

slate of movies

due for release in

the first half of 2020

that have been

coded using D-Box’s

motion technology.

After finishing

2019 with a bang

( Jumanji: The Next

Level, Frozen II,

and Star Wars: The

Rise of Skywalker),

the company is

banking on a whole

new year of global

box office success,

planning to add its

trademark motion

technology to 80

titles including

movies from the international

market.

Among the movies

to be released using

D-Box motion seating

technology in

the coming months

are the following:

Onward

March 6

Bloodshot

March 13

A Quiet Place II

March 20

Mulan

March 27

Trolls World Tour

April 17

Black Widow

May 1

Greyhound

May 8

F9 The Fast Saga

May 22

Wonder Woman 1984

June 5

Top Gun: Maverick

June 26

Ghostbusters:

Afterlife

July 10

Morbius

July 31

D-Box is currently

present on more

than 750 screens in

over 42 countries.

Cinionic has focused its efforts on promoting

laser projection, which it claims can bring significant

cost-savings and a reduced carbon footprint

with 80 percent less power consumption.

Wim Buyens, CEO of Cinionic, said, “This

landmark partnership marks the single largest

circuit upgrade to laser, setting a new visual

standard for moviegoers. Honoring our joint

achievements, we are spearheading the renewal

wave in cinema. This is a watershed moment for

the industry; 2019 is the year laser became the

new norm for cinemas around the world.”

Regal Announces Exclusive

Pact with Pepsi

Regal Cinemas, the nation’s second-largest

theater chain, announced that Pepsi will be its

exclusive provider of nonalcoholic beverages

beginning this spring. Coca-Cola had been its

provider.

“Pepsi is a brand that understands the

powerful connectivity of entertainment and

shares our passion for creating moments of

pure enjoyment for our fans,” said John Curry,

Regal’s senior vice president of food service.

“The stars aligned to connect us with the diverse

PepsiCo cast of products—smash hits for movie

fans and another reason why Regal is the best

place to watch a movie.”

Regal’s 546 theaters with 7,178 screens will

begin serving Pepsi along with the company’s

other beverages including Pepsi Zero Sugar,

Mountain Dew, Lifewtr, Bubly sparkling water,

Pure Leaf, and AMP Game Fuel. Regal already

sells Frito Lay snacks, another PepsiCo brand, at

its concession stands. Pepsi and Regal also plan

exclusive limited-time product offers and entertainment

sneak peeks. Pepsi reportedly will also

be the exclusive sponsor of Regal’s 4DX motion

and effects theaters.

Regal’s parent company, Cineworld, already

serves Pepsi products in its U.K. locations.

AMC Elevates Ellis to SVP

Dan Ellis, head of domestic development at

AMC, will succeed Mark McDonald as the head

of AMC’s development and international department,

following McDonald’s retirement at the

end of February 2020. The two executives spent

the last two years working closely together in

development, and the company expects an orderly

and smooth transition.

Ellis has worked within AMC’s development

department since 2017 as the head of domestic

development. Prior to AMC, he spent five years

as senior vice president and general counsel at

Carmike Cinemas, which AMC acquired in

2017. Ellis will report to Adam Aron, AMC’s

CEO and president.

McDonald, who began his remarkable 41-year

career at AMC in 1978, has held a variety of titles

there, including general manager, assistant division

operations manager, V.P. finance, SVP Asia,

and EVP development and international. Among

a long list of accomplishments and contributions

to AMC’s success, perhaps his most notable

came in 2011, when McDonald led the industry’s

first-ever project to introduce all reclining seats to

a previously traditional auditorium in Lakewood,

Washington, which became known as the “Miracle

of Lakewood.”

Metropolitan Theatres

Promotes Tucker and Eig

Metropolitan Theatres, a fourth-generation

family-owned theater circuit, recently announced

the promotion of two key company leaders.

Kim Tucker, a theater industry veteran and

most recently director of operations for the

company, was promoted to vice president of operations.

Natalie Eig, an entertainment industry

veteran who held the role of director of marketing

and communications was promoted to vice president

of marketing and communications.

In Tucker’s new capacity, she will continue

to oversee all operations for the theater circuit,

including dine-in and restaurant operations. Eig

will continue to oversee all marketing and communications

efforts, from design of the company’s

new website to management of the company’s

loyalty program (M Rewards).

In making the announcement, David Corwin,

president, said, “Kim and Natalie are important

parts of our leadership team. We know they will

bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to

further propel Metropolitan Theatres and tackle

upcoming opportunities.”

Tucker began her career in the industry as

general manager at Harkins Theatres. She joined

Metropolitan in 2010 as the district manager and

director of training for its Southern California

theaters. Tucker was promoted to director of

operations in 2018.

Eig joined Metropolitan Theatres in 2017 as

the director of marketing and communications.

8 / FEBRUARY 2020


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TRADE TALK

SMG ANNOUNCES

EXPANSION IN 2020

Dallas-based

Studio Movie

Grill (SMG) has

announced its plans

to open five new

locations during the

first three quarters

of 2020. They will

be located in Fort

Worth, Texas (SMG

Chisholm Trail,

opening Q2); Atlanta

(SMG Northpoint,

opening Q2);

Sacramento,

California (SMG

Citrus Heights,

opening summer);

Philadelphia (SMG

Willow Grove,

opening summer);

and Richmond,

Texas (SMG Aliana,

opening Q4). All are

markets in which

SMG already has a

presence.

SMG’s expansion

dovetails with

advances on the

customer-retention

side. In 2018, the

chain launched its

SMG Access loyalty

program. In early

2019, a subscription

tier—SMG Access

Subscription—was

added to the loyalty

program; that subscription

program

is currently still

invite-only.

“SMG is focused

on expansion, and

this year we’ll see

continued growth,”

said Andrew Bucki,

V.P. of development.

“Our segment of

movie exhibition

continues to be the

fastest growing in

our industry, and

the SMG team is

constantly innovating

our brand with

a focus on facility

design, customer

service, the best

technology, and a

robust menu.”

She previously held roles as director of integrated

marketing for CBS and senior marketing director

for the Walt Disney Company.

90,000 SQUARE FEET

Strike + Reel will feature

rock climbing, laser tag,

bumper cars, and more.

Strike + Reel Opens

in North Texas

Entertainment Properties Group Inc. is

bringing a new cinema entertainment center to

the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. The concept,

Strike + Reel, features bowling, rock climbing,

bumper cars, a high-ropes course, a two-level

laser tag course, an arcade, and eight dine-in

auditoriums in a 90,000-square-foot venue.

“We’ve combined the best of indoor

entertainment to create fun and memorable

experiences for our guests and team,” said Mark

Moore, CEO of Entertainment Properties Group

Inc. “After working on this concept for quite

some time, we’re excited to officially open the first

Strike + Reel in our North Texas home.”

The venue placed considerable focus on a

variety of menu options, including appetizers,

pizza, main courses, salads, and desserts. Strike +

Reel also offers a kid’s menu and alcohol service

that includes cocktails, 24 draft beers, 12 tapped

wines, and alcohol-infused milkshakes.

Menu highlights include Epic Cheese Fries,

Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Cuban Panini, Lemon

Pepper Shrimp, and The Titanic—an oversized

dessert of massive scoops of ice cream, bananas,

berry compote, chocolate and strawberry syrup,

whipped cream, and brownies. Cocktails range

from the Righteous Rita to a Blueberry Mojito,

Frisky Whiskey, a Classic Martini, and Mezcal

Manhattan.

Don Savant is New CEO

of CJ 4DPLEX Americas

Don Savant will join CJ 4DPLEX as the new

CEO of CJ 4DPLEX Americas. Savant will be

responsible for growing premium formats 4DX

and ScreenX in the Americas, while continuing to

collaborate with movie studios to deliver the best

films in both formats for consumers.

Savant served 19 years

at Imax Corporation,

where he most recently led

as president of global sales

from 2016 to 2018.

“I am incredibly excited

to join CJ 4DPLEX and

the CJ Group,” said Savant.

“I had worked with

DON SAVANT

CJ CGV Cinemas for 18

years at Imax. Their commitment

to the development of the overall cinema

experience and the film business worldwide

created a deep and lasting impression with me,

and I am thrilled to be part of an organization

committed to innovation and excellence.”

Prior to Imax, Savant was the senior vice president,

sales and marketing, at Iwerks Entertainment

in Burbank, California, where he launched

the company’s first 4-D theaters.

Savant is a board member of APPlife Digital

Solutions Inc., a business incubator and portfolio

manager that invests in and creates e-commerce

and cloud-based solutions. Savant is also an active

member of his community. He and his wife,

Elizabeth, initiated the Savant Fellowship at the

UCLA Center for Autism Research & Treatment.

ES&T Announces New VP

of Technology Sales

Entertainment Supply & Technologies, an

international cinema design

and supply firm, has added

Scott McCallum to its sales

team as vice president, technology

sales.

McCallum is working

with several of the company’s

high‐profile clients

on the conversion to laser

projection, an element of

SCOTT McCALLUM

cinema exhibition he knows

well from his nine years as

a regional sales manager with Christie Digital

Systems. As vice president of technology sales,

10 / FEBRUARY 2020


To Ray Boegner, who has

served a dynamic, ever-evolving

industry with leadership,

expertise, and heart for so many

years, we can’t even remember

business before you...

thank you!

Congratulations on your 35th

Anniversary at Ballantyne Strong, Inc.


TRADE TALK

FERCO BRINGS

VERONA LINE

TO NORTH AMERICA

U.K.-based seating

manufacturer

Ferco Seating

is launching its

Premium Verona

cinema seating

line in North

America, available

in three models

to suit the unique

needs of every

theater:

• Premium Verona

• Premium Verona

Zero Wall

• Premium

Verona Lite.

Premium Verona is

a fully reclining seat

with two separate

electric motors so

users can adjust

the footrest and

backrest. Privacy

booths can be

paired with each

seat, as well as USB

charging ports and

in-seat lighting.

Theaters that offer

dine-in experiences

can benefit from

integrated swivel

tables and the iPad

technology at each

seat.

Premium Verona

Zero Wall allows

theaters to optimize

available space. As

the user reclines,

the backrest

recedes into the

space created by

the seat moving

forward.

Premium Verona

Lite is designed for

small theaters but

doesn’t sacrifice

comfort. It is

equipped with a

motorized backrest.

McCallum will be supporting theater owners and

managers as they renovate, expand, and modernize

their existing cinema space.

In his new position with ES&T, McCallum

continues a career spent at the forefront of emerging

technology markets. Through his presence on

several international digital cinema panels—including

InterBEE, BIRTV, Shanghai International

Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival

—he educated the industry during the digital

transition. As international sales vice president

for QuVIS, McCallum worked with global movie

studios to develop the 4K post‐production servers

that are now commonplace in the industry.

McCallum’s distinguished career in technology

development also includes time spent as a sales

director with NewTek and also VTel, a videoconferencing

solutions company. As a highly

skilled amateur craftsman, McCallum donates

many one‐of‐a‐kind creations from his woodshop

to charitable causes across the country.

QSC Now Shipping

DPA-Q Network Amplifiers

QSC has announced the global availability

of the new DPA-Q series network power amplifiers

in four- and eight-channel models. The

new amplifiers unite the QSC legacy of robust

power amplifiers, advancements in high-efficiency

output devices, and native network transport,

plus the control and monitoring capabilities of the

Q-SYS ecosystem.

“The addition of DPA-Q amplifiers to a

Q-SYS design is an excellent example of a native

ecosystem approach

to network design,”

said Barry Ferrell, vice

president, cinema product

development and

strategy. “Technicians

can take advantage of next-generation amplifier

design, while also utilizing the native signature

features and technologies QSC is known for,

such as intrinsic correction. This native approach

can greatly reduce installation and setup time,

while also maximizing performance across the

entire system, enabling unforgettable moviegoing

experiences.”

The amplifiers include new features and

performance improvements compared to the

original DPA-Q Series introduced six years ago.

They use an efficient, class-D hybrid power train

design built upon the reliable PL380 PowerLight

amplifier platform. New design features include

two QSC amplifier innovations—FlexAmp and

FAST (Flexible Amplifier Summing Technology),

that combine to offer far more flexibility in

output deployment.

Wanda Chooses Christie

for 600th Cinema in China

Wanda Cinema, China’s largest film

distributor and exhibitor, has chosen Christie’s

compact all-in-one, DCI-compliant RGB pure

laser cinema projector, featuring RealLaser

illumination technology, for its 600th multiplex

in the country.

600 AND COUNTING

Wanda Cinema’s PRIME

auditorim with the

Christie CP4330-RGB

Located in the southern port city of

Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, Guangzhou

Haizhu Wanda Cinema comprises nine wellappointed

auditoriums, including a PRIME at

Wanda premium auditorium equipped with

power reclining seats, as well as surround audio

and awe-inspiring visuals using the Christie

CP4330-RGB cinema projector. This pure laser

cinema projector features CineLife electronics

and RealLaser illumination with significant

breakthroughs in image performance and

brightness, operational lifetime and cost of

ownership. All other auditoriums include Christie

digital cinema projectors. The multiplex officially

commenced operations in December.

“We are extremely proud to open our 600th

multiplex in Guangzhou, which is the culmination

of our innovative spirit and commitment to

deliver truly epic cinematic experiences for our

audiences,” said Jack Wang, chief technology

officer, Wanda Cinema. “The deployment of

Christie’s cinema projectors in all auditoriums,

particularly the cutting-edge 4K RGB pure laser

technology in our PRIME at Wanda premium

auditorium, has elevated the quality of our presentations

to new heights, thereby strengthening

our leadership position as the preferred entertainment

destination for moviegoers.”

12 / FEBRUARY 2020


NATO NEWS BY PATRICK CORCORAN, VICE PRESIDENT & CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, NATO

AND PHIL CONTRINO, DIRECTOR OF MEDIA & RESEARCH, NATO

DOMESTIC BOX OFFICE

POSTS SECOND-HIGHEST

TOTAL EVER; INTERNATIONAL

SETS A RECORD

›› Domestic box office posted its second-highest total

ever—$11.4 billion—in 2019, and a 4 percent decline from

2018’s record $11.88 billion. That marks the fifth consecutive

year box office has surpassed $11 billion and the 11th

consecutive year over $10 billion. International box office,

in turn, set a record of $31.1 billion, exceeding $30 billion

for the first time.

THE GOAT!

The past year

included the

highest opening

weekend of all

time (as well as

the highest global

box office total) for

Avengers: Endgame

at $357 million.

The domestic total is remarkable for a year that began

well behind in the first quarter, down 15.62 percent,

primarily due to weak holdovers from 2018. December

2017 holdovers The Last Jedi, The Greatest Showman, and

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle contributed more than

$460 million to Q1 2018 box office and accounted for

more than the $440 million deficit in the quarter, year

over year. In fact, Jumanji’s 2018 gross made it the seventh-highest-grossing

title for the year, despite achieving

41 percent of its gross in 2017.

The second quarter was a different story, with

box office roaring back on the strength of Avengers:

Endgame, falling only 3.5 percent from the all-time box

office record in Q2 2018. Indeed, while summer 2019

trailed 2018 by 2.23 percent, extending the summer

period by a week in both years to accommodate the

Avengers titles released in each year gives 2019 the edge

by about 1 percent.

Q3 beat out the same period in 2018 with a strong

mix of late-summer hits like The Lion King, Spider-Man:

Far From Home, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,

Downton Abbey, and It: Chapter Two. Box office for the

period was up 3.8 percent.

Q4 faced tough early comparisons. Dr. Seuss’ The

Grinch, Venom, A Star is Born, and Halloween all opened

well before Thanksgiving and all grossed more than

$100 million, while 2019 had only Joker and Maleficent:

Mistress of Evil open before the holiday and hit

over $100 million in the quarter. But the quarter ended

strongly, with a Thanksgiving to New Year’s period

that saw weekly box office surpass the previous year

by amounts as high as 43 percent. The quarter overall

trailed 2018 by 1.5 percent.

The year included the highest opening weekend of

all time (as well as the highest global box office total) for

Avengers: Endgame at $357 million. Which leads, naturally,

to the question of Disney’s record-breaking market

share. With 33 percent of domestic box office and seven

of the top 10 titles, Disney had a remarkable year.

Broadening the picture a bit, however, the market

share of $100 million–grossing titles remained the

same—63.8 percent in 2019 vs. 63.9 percent in 2018—

and movies grossing under $100 million brought in

nearly identical revenue: $4.41 billion in 2019 vs. $4.43

billion in 2018. Those under–$100 million grossers are

exactly the kinds of movies that streaming is said to be

harming—clearly not the case.

It is also worth noting that 2020 will not have quite

the concentration of titles from a single company. While

some have speculated that 2020 will suffer in comparison,

with no Avengers or Star Wars mega-blockbusting title

on the schedule, there is a wider range of potentially big

films (at least 10 more event films on the schedule) from

a wider range of studios than in 2019. It is important to

mention here that literally no one predicted a record year

in 2018, while many expected a record in 2019. Similarly,

no one predicted Black Panther’s $700 million gross nor

Joker’s $300 million. Please check your scorecards and tell

me who predicted Downton Abbey would out gross Men

in Black International and X-Men Dark Phoenix.

It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway:

The audience has the final say.

A few highlights from the record year internationally:

France broke a 50-year attendance record by

posting 213 million admissions—a 6 percent yearover-year

increase. Hollywood titles accounted for 59

percent of admissions.

Italy delivered a 14 percent year-over-year increase

in box office. The impressive jump was a direct result of

more Hollywood and local titles being released during

the summer, a time of year that distributors tended to

avoid in the past.

In Brazil, the box office rose 13.7 percent year over

year for a total of $684 million. Hollywood continued

to dominate, as local titles accounted for only 11 percent

of the box office total.

Spain tallied its highest box admission since 2009

with a total of 105.5 million. Box office came in at $699

million—the highest total since 2011 hit $705.6 million.

China posted a $9.2 billion haul—up 5.4 percent

from the previous year. While growth is definitely slowing

in the Middle Kingdom—despite a screen count just

shy of 70,000—the market still makes a substantial

contribution to the global total. Chinese titles accounted

for a massive 64.1 percent of box office, which marked a

significant drop in Hollywood influence.

14 / FEBRUARY 2020


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MEMBER NEWS BY DAVID BINET, DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP, NATO

DOUBLE FEATURE

UNDER THE STARSHINE

NATO STAFF HITS THE ROAD

TO VISIT MEMBER LOCATIONS

Family Drive-In Theatre

Stephens City, Va.

www.thefamilydriveintheatre.com

James Kopp, President

›› The distant voice on the other end of the

phone crackled. That happens when one calls

from the deck of a cruise ship in the Panama

Canal. Jim Kopp, owner and president of the

Family Drive-In, called me to provide some

details for my late-season visit to his outdoor

cinema. He was taking a much-deserved

vacation but still found the time to contact me.

“How much do you think it costs a cruise ship to

sail through the Panama Canal?” No idea, Jim.

“It’s over $400,000! Isn’t that wild?”

The Family Drive-In Theatre, founded in 1954, is located

near the intersection of I-81 and I-66, nestled in the Shenandoah

Valley of Virginia. The sunsets are majestic as the Blue Ridge

Mountains eventually provide shade to the drive-in. Our visit

took place in mid-November, so the sunset occurred earlier than

in summer (around 5 p.m.). Most drive-ins this far north close

down before November, but the Family Drive-In stayed open

until mid-December. There was a good crowd during our visit,

despite the cold weather—close to 30 degrees Fahrenheit at

showtime. God bless the heating system of the modern car.

Ron Graham, an affable cinephile, greeted us upon our arrival.

Ron serves as the drive-in manager, and he was in charge

while Jim was cruising the Caribbean. We received a tour of

the booth and, more importantly, made a trip to the concession

stand. With its alluring aroma of popcorn and carnival

treats, this is the place to be before and in-between features. It

is American cinema heaven. If you order a burger, you can visit

the fresh condiment stand (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles,

etc.) like you are at a friend’s summer cookout. Ron also

strongly recommended the funnel fries, and we obviously took

his advice. They were incredible, as was the entire experience at

the Family Drive-In.

Following our visit, Jim Kopp was gracious enough to share

some background about his drive-in journey.

What attracted you to the cinema industry and how did

you get your start?

I grew up near Pittsburgh, and my family would make

regular visits to drive-ins in that area—there were 35 operating

drive-in theaters in the area back then. It was a favorite

entertainment option for my family, and my brother and sister

loved it. We had our favorites: Fairgrounds, South Park, Colonial,

Mt. Lebanon Twin, Rt. 19, and Greentree, just to name a

few. (A quick story: My brother and I tried to run away to the

drive-in one night in our metal pedal cars. When we found

out we could not go to the movies—my parents said go ahead,

but they knew we would not go far—we simply turned around

at the end of the driveway.) Later in life, I moved to northern

Virginia and visited the Super 29 Drive-In, which was one of

two outdoor cinemas in the Fairfax, Virginia, area. In fact, the

Super 29 ranks as my all-time favorite drive-in! I hated to see

it go when Costco bought the property and tore it down. All

the drive-ins in the D.C. area seemed to disappear during the

1984–87 period. I therefore decided to photograph and collect

drive-in artifacts, just to document these disappearing theaters.

I wanted to catalog as many theaters before they totally

disappeared. I would take mini-trips to seek out new ones that

I had not visited. When the internet started, I sent pictures and

information to various websites trying to list operating driveins.

I worked as a logistics manager and administrative officer at

the Library of Congress until September 2006, and the Library

knew of my deep passion for drive-ins. I would get inquiries

at work from the media and those seeking information on

drive-ins and would answer them. Therefore, I guess that I was

the resident expert! I got to work on a segment for the NBC

“Today” show and contributed substantially to the Smithsonian

Magazine on an article they wrote several years ago. (One

interesting side note: during the 75th and 80th anniversaries of

the American drive-in, I convinced two major game shows to

include a special segment on the drive-in. “The Price Is Right”

did a final “showcase” in honor of the drive-in by giving away

a convertible and urging folks to attend a drive-in during that

year (2008). “Jeopardy!” included a category in honor of the

80th anniversary (2013) entitled “At the Drive-In.”) So getting

16 / FEBRUARY 2020


OH SHENANDOAH!

Jim Kopp addresses

guests during

a recent event at

the Family Drive-

In, nestled in the

Shenandoah Valley

in Virginia.

back to the question—after the Super 29 Drive-

In disappeared, I started to patronize the Family

Drive-In Theatre and eventually met the owner,

Tim Dalke. I was a weekly regular, and I often

told him that when/if I retired from the Library

of Congress, I wanted to have the chance to

take over the Family Drive-In. Well, Tim asked

me, “Jim, are you sure?” Heck yes, I was sure!

In December 2005, I found a closed drive-in

theater in Henderson, N.C., called the Raleigh

Road Outdoor Theatre (the owners listed it for

sale on eBay). I hired the late Richard Herring

as a theater consultant (Richard would often tell

me to stay off eBay). My late wife, Megan, and

I eventually reopened the Raleigh Road Outdoor

Theatre. April Wright included our story

in her documentary movie Going Attractions,

and Megan has the best line of the movie. When

asked how she felt when I purchased the cinema,

she said that she wanted to kill me. That is how

my life as a drive-in theater owner started. When

Tim Dalke called me in the winter of 2009 and

asked if I was interested in operating the Family

Drive-In, I said heck yes! I went to his office the

next day to work out the lease terms. During

2010 and 2011, I operated both theaters. We sold

Raleigh Road in 2011 when Megan was too sick

to travel back and forth.

What do you appreciate most about your

customers?

The sense of family and their desire to come

together for a few hours at our theater to enjoy

movies “under the stars.” I tell folks that there is

something magical about having family and good

friends sitting outside, under a beautiful starry

night, watching the latest blockbuster movie. It

is a memory that lasts a lifetime. Our fast-paced

lifestyles make it difficult to see family or friends

come together for a few hours. I am so happy

to be able to provide that opportunity. You get

a real sense of community each movie night! At

my theater, we do many special events tied to the

movies: Beauty and the Beast Dance Ball; Frozen

Extravaganza event for Frozen II; Halloween

Trunk or Treat and Costume Party; and Dusk

’til Dawn movie marathons, etc. I am also very

fortunate that the Winchester, Virginia, residents

remain very supportive of our theater and want to

see it preserved and operating. They know it is a

treasure for the community to have one of the few

remaining drive-ins.

What do you appreciate most about the

drive-in community?

The dedication of the owners, operators, and

staff. Unfortunately, drive-ins have been a dying

breed, and to keep many of our theaters alive, it

requires a real dedication to preserving the drive-in

experience. You have to be budget minded, hope

for great weather and fantastic movie product,

hope something does not break, and try to make

a small profit to turn back into cinema improvements.

My fellow drive-in owners all have that

passion—and a desire to keep going—and that is

what it takes. We are all infected with that passion.

What is your biggest challenge with the cinema

(i.e., does anything keep you up at night)?

Weather and movie products. If it is raining,

then it is hard to encourage folks to attend. If the

product is not that good, folks will not attend

even in good weather. In 2018, many drive-ins

struggled since it was so rainy, and we lost a

handful of cinemas that did not survive. Fortunately,

2019 had good weather and product.

Additionally, as a lessee, and as my area starts to

grow, land values increase, and I worry that one

day the Family Drive-In will be replaced with a

housing development or retail store. As long as I

am able, I hope it stays a drive-in for many years

to come.

What is your favorite movie, and what concessions

would you have while watching it?

Favorite movie: Grease (reminds me of my

youth). I would enjoy it with a Reese’s Peanut

Butter Cup and large Diet Coke.

NATO

visit date:

Saturday,

November 16, 2019

Movies:

Ford v Ferrari

and Ad Astra

Concessions:

Angus Burger

Combo Meal,

Funnel Fries,

Popcorn,

Hot Chocolate

FEBRUARY 2020 / 17


INDIE INFUENCERS SPONSORED BY SPOTLIGHT CINEMA NETWORKS

Art House Convergence 2020’s

Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award:

Nancy Gerstman & Emily Russo,

Co-Founders, Zeitgeist Films

›› The Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals whose commitment to the

theatrical experience and successful track record has made a major contribution to the history

of art house cinema. Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo, recipients of this year’s edition of the

award, have played a major role in the expanded prominence of independent and art house

cinema over the last 30 years. Since founding Zeitgeist Films together in 1988, the pair has

introduced over 200 films to art house theaters nationwide. Among their releases are early films

from leading voices like Christopher Nolan, François Ozon, Laura Poitras, Atom Egoyan, and the

Quay Brothers. Zeitgeist has also been instrumental in helping established auteurs find screens

across the United States, releasing works from directors like Andrey Zvyagintsev, Yvonne Rainer,

Agnés Varda, Abbas Kiarostami, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Peter Greenaway, and Raoul Peck. In 2017,

Zeitgeist entered into a multiyear agreement with Kino Lorber to co-acquire four to five films per

year for theatrical distribution. Boxoffice Pro interviewed Gerstman and Russo via email ahead

of Art House Convergence in a conversation that spanned the start of their careers and the

opportunities and challenges facing art house cinemas and specialty distributors.

NANCY GERSTMAN

“I was in love with

movies since I was

a child glued to the

TV watching Million

Dollar Movies …”

EMILY RUSSO

“I graduated from

SUNY Binghamton

with a degree in

cinema studies and

knew I wanted to

be involved in some

way with film … but

soon veered into an

enduring partnership

with my friend

and colleague,

Nancy.”

NANCY GERSTMAN (L)

AND

EMILY RUSSO

Congratulations on the award and the continued

success of Zeitgeist Films. Looking back

on the beginning of your careers, how did you

first come to work in this industry?

Emily Russo: I graduated from SUNY Binghamton

with a degree in cinema studies and knew

I wanted to be involved in some way with film. I

wrote my senior thesis on the films of Albert and

David Maysles. After trial by fire in filmmaking (as

a student) and production (early jobs being a P.A.)

and internship at the Independent Feature Project,

I answered an ad in the New York Times placed by

a distribution company

and became a booker

for classic French films

at Interama. It was a

small company and I

learned all aspects of

the business, from acquisitions

and sales

to marketing and

accounting. That

was the right fit,

as it also gave

me an appreciation for distinctive films, primarily

foreign-language films and documentaries. After

a few years there I struck out on my own as an

independent rep, working with Bruce Weber on a

release of his first documentary, Broken Noses, but

soon veered into an enduring partnership with my

friend and colleague at the time, Nancy Gerstman,

to launch our own company, Zeitgeist Films.

Nancy Gerstman: I was in love with movies

since I was a child glued to the TV watching

Million Dollar Movies (sort of the TCM of its time,

except that it showed the same movie every day

and twice on Sunday and did not

give you a vast array of genres or

any international cinema). Still,

it had a big effect on me.

But since I was an English

major I got into publishing

immediately after college.

After a few years I got a

job with a publisher

of film books and at

the same time started

working taking tickets

18 / FEBRUARY 2020


INDIE INFLUENCERS

VERY VALIDATING

“While Zeitgeist

Films has gotten

some nice attention

over the years in

the press and anniversary

retrospectives,

including one

at MoMA for our

20th anniversary,

we, as co-founders

and co-presidents,

personally have

really not received

this type of recognition.

It feels

very validating and

deserved—to celebrate

our passing

a true endurance

test of staying

the course in this

business for over

31 years.”

at the Bleecker Street Cinema in New York, which

opened my eyes to every sort of film. I met a group

of cinephiles, most of whom worked at the Bleecker

and some of whom are in significant positions in

the industry now. After the Bleecker (and its sister

theater, the Carnegie Hall Cinema, both out of

business) I moved to the West Coast and worked in

the San Francisco office of Landmark Theatres with

Gary Meyer and Jan Klingelhofer. If there were any

holes still to be filled in my film knowledge (and

there were plenty) Gary and Jan did their best to

fill them, and I felt that Landmark was the best

film school I ever could have attended. After a few

years I returned to New York and met a person who

was going to be very important to me, Don Krim

at Kino, who Dennis Doros so movingly evoked

last year. I didn’t work for Don but I did meet him

when I first came to New York, after I had applied

to and not heard from dozens of distribution

companies, and he encouraged me and remained

a fast friend until he died far too young in 2011.

Another person who was a huge influence on me

was Fran Spielman, with whom I worked for three

years as her assistant booker at First Run Features.

Fran was a character, to say the least. I can still hear

her froggy voice, her cigarette dangling (she stopped

smoking eventually); and her deal-making prowess

and complete and utter honesty were an inspiration

to me. I left First Run in 1987, and Emily and I

started Zeitgeist in 1988.

How did you meet each other, and what

was behind the decision to create Zeitgeist in

1988?

Emily & Nancy: We met each other through

our jobs in the late-ish 1980s and we got to be

closer friends when we attended the Telluride Film

Festival together in 1987. We had been working

as an independent film booker (Emily) and

independently working with art houses and media

centers on their programming (Nancy) and it just

so happened that someone offered some office

space in Jersey City which we could share. We

went to visit the space, which we didn’t take, but

over lunch in Jersey City we ended up deciding

to start a distribution company together. We are

both very independent people and chafed against

working for others, so that was the first catalyst for

wanting to be on our own. We also felt that at the

time, in 1988, most independent films were not

being served particularly well, that there were not

many companies that could take a limited number

of films and give laser-like attention to creating

the best materials, getting the best playdates, and

working closely with the filmmakers for their and

our mutual satisfaction. We had relationships

with a few filmmakers we thought were brilliant

and wanted to take a very hands-on approach to

releasing their movies. We each pooled the lowest

five-figure amount you can imagine and through

a friend found a tiny office in a Village apartment

house. Another friend custom made us a desk that

had a hole on the side to fit around the contour of

the steam pipe along the wall. We sat across that

desk from each other and started distributing a

film from Tony Buba called Lightning over Braddock.

Zeitgeist Films was born.

What were the lessons you took from those

early years in the business as you were launching

Zeitgeist?

Emily & Nancy: We decided from the

beginning to only take five or six films a year, so

we could really give care and attention to each

project and filmmaker. We were always scrupulously

honest and developed a reputation that

has certainly sustained us over 31 years in a very

tough business. Because we never had huge financial

resources, in fact most of our first films were

“service deals,” we had to be very creative and

economical with our campaigns and we learned

to spend appropriately. We tried very hard not to

lose money on a film, which is really another way

of saying “don’t overpay and don’t overspend.”

We also never took a film we didn’t love in

some way. This of course led us to sometimes lose

a film that could have made us money, although

who could really know how things would pan out?

But it helped us to keep our eye on what really

mattered, working with filmmakers and projects

we selected, releasing films that meant something

to us. If there is any secret sauce to how we ran

our business, this is probably a prime ingredient.

What have been your most notable professional

highlights at Zeitgeist?

Emily & Nancy: The most notable of many

highlights was our Best Foreign Language Film

Academy Award for Nowhere in Africa in 2003.

That wonderful movie went on to make $6 million

at the box office (the highest-grossing foreign

film that year). We had another great success

with the Canadian documentary The Corporation,

which grossed $2 million in the U.S. In 2010 we

released Bill Cunningham New York and broke

some house records at Film Forum for opening

weekend. That film went on to make $1.5 million.

There are many other notable highlights that in-

20 / FEBRUARY 2020


INDIE INFLUENCERS

PHOTO: JOSS BARRATT / COURTESY ZEITGEIST FILMS

clude the pleasures of working with such cinematic

superstars like Todd Haynes, Derek Jarman, the

Brothers Quay, Yvonne Rainer, Margarethe von

Trotta, Abbas Kiarostami, Agnès Varda, Olivier

Assayas, François Ozon, Guy Maddin, and too

many others to recount here. A more recent notable

highlight came in 2017 when we were invited

to join the executive branch of AMPAS. Now we

can meld our love of film with our professional

experience at a new level.

What is the importance of theatrical and

art house exhibition for Zeitgeist Films?

Emily & Nancy: For us theatrical exhibition

has always been the way to see films! The

atmosphere of the theatrical space, the darkened

theater, the shared watching with others, that’s

how we fell in love with movies and that’s how

we wanted to be involved in the movie business.

Of course, other platforms have gained in

importance, and the theatrical landscape has

radically changed since we started booking films

in the 1980s. Mostly, it feels like the tide turns

against theatrical exhibition with theaters closing

and multiplexes taking over the world so to

speak. Not to mention the near extinction of 35

millimeter and advent of digital projection. But,

just as Zeitgeist Films has held on for 31 years,

scrappy but happy, so too have many theaters

done the same, even new ones sprouting up in

new locations and looking to share movies in

darkened rooms. Nothing can really replace the

sight of a line at the box office to make us feel

like we have a successful movie!

How can specialty distribution thrive, on a

theatrical level, in the coming years?

Emily & Nancy: We think as long as great

movies are being made, audiences are going to

want to see them in theaters. We see a lot of

creativity in programming coming from independent

theaters: more one-off or limited runs,

more special events and Q&As, more amenities

at the theater itself. The nonprofit route has also

been essential to many theatrical spaces. Maybe

we’re old school, but we still don’t see a way to

really make a film fully successful without first

launching it in the world as a theatrical film. For

the films we are drawn to, this is still the model

and we think for audiences, both older who

remember the heyday of exhibition and younger

audiences who want to experience what going

to the movies is, there will hopefully always be a

thriving community of theatrical exhibition.

FROM ZEITGEIST

Kris Hitchen in

Sorry We Missed You,

the new film by Ken

Loach, and the poster

for The Woman

Who Loves Giraffes

DEEPLY APPRECIATED

“We were very,

very happy [to

learn about the

award]. We do need

to share this wonderful

honor with

those who worked

with us during that

time, especially our

colleague Adrian

Curry, who has

worked shoulder

to shoulder with us

for over 28 of those

years. We feel deeply

appreciative and

look forward to our

first and admittedly

belated visit to Art

House Convergence

this year, particularly

as we accompany

our recent partners

at Kino Lorber.”

FEBRUARY 2020 / 21


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

PAJAMAGRAM

Thanks to a

group of generous

Cinemark team

members, over 150

pairs of pajamas

were donated to the

Children’s Advocacy

Center of Collin

County’s Rainbow

Room in Plano,

Texas.

CACCC’s mission

is to provide

safety, healing, and

justice for children

victimized by abuse

or neglect in our

community. The

Rainbow Room

is stocked with

brand-new clothes

and necessities for

children in foster

care services.

On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, Sony

Pictures and Landmark Theatres showed its support

for Lollipop Theater Network by hosting a

screening of Jumanji: The Next Level at New York

City’s Landmark at 57 West. Special guest Jack

Black stopped by to say hi to the audience, which

consisted of outpatients and families from several

NYC hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses.

All the way from Los Angeles, the Cinemark

Howard Hughes team—Cinemark 18 and XD

theater—welcomed more than 1,000 children

and families for their annual Children’s Holiday

Movie event.

In partnership with the Venice Family Clinic

and numerous other sponsors, Cinemark team

members made sure that everyone had a fun time

at a special screening of Dora and the Lost City of

Gold. Attendees enjoyed free popcorn as well as

Honest juice pouches and Dasani water provided

by Cinemark partner Coca-Cola.

The annual event raises funds for the community

clinic’s programs for children, which provide

educational, preventive, and health care services

through the clinic’s pediatric medicine programs

and its Children First Early Head Start program.

Patients and their families got to enjoy a funfilled

day.

Special activities included face-painting, visits

with Santa, music, and games. Lazaro Rios, Emily

Park, Maggie Sanchez, and the entire Cinemark

crew did a fantastic job hosting each guest.

The Cinemark Service Center team, located

in Plano, Texas, went all out with a canned food

holiday-display contest. Food donations went to

Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, a local nonprofit

organization that is dedicated to building

lives without violence in North Texas. For more

info, visit https://hdnbc.org/.

Local Studio Movie Grill managers and team

members, along with members of Variety – the

22 / FEBRUARY 2020


Children’s Charity of SoCal and Pat Gonzalez’s

Paramount team, were present as Scott Forman,

EVP at Warner Bros., announced the opening of

the Pat Gonzalez Family Resource Center at the

Variety Boys & Girls Club. The center will be an

important and much-needed learning and support

area for children and families in Boyle Heights.

After the announcement ceremony, children were

invited to SMG Glendale for a Movies+Meals

screening of Jumanji: The Next Level.

The 2019 holiday season saw Studio Movie

Grill collect toys for the Marine Toys for Tots

Foundation. Above, Sgt. Patterson of Marines

Toys for Tots and Jim Baral of the L.A. Wildcats

gather around the SMG tree with the staff of the

chain’s Downey, California, location and the

donated toys.

For the sixth year in a row, the Lansdale,

Pennsylvania, police department held its annual

facial-hair-growing contest to raise money for

Variety of the Delaware Valley. Congratulations to

three-time champ Chief Mike Trail, pictured here

with Variety of the Delaware Valley’s community

relations and outreach director, Mary Fuller.

Ask a Pioneer

From the Will Rogers Motion

Picture Pioneers Foundation

Q: A friend of mine said dancing can help

keep dementia at bay. Is there any truth to

that?

A: Research published in the New England

Journal of Medicine says that dancing

dramatically reduces the chances of falling

victim to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dancing and endurance exercises both

have anti-aging effects on the brain, but

only dancing showed a

marked difference in

participant behavior.

This has to do with

the mental challenges

of learning new dance

routines.

Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld

said the researchers

challenged a group of

senior volunteers with ever-changing styles

of dance, like jazz, square dancing, Latin,

and line dancing. She believes the challenges

of recalling steps and arm movements, along

with the changing rhythms and tempos,

accounted for the results.

A 2013 article in Psychology Today

specifically called out freestyle dancing.

The continuous, rapid-fire decision making

necessary causes the brain to rewire

synapses and increase cognitive power.

Frequent freestyle dancing decreased the

odds of dementia 76 percent, it said, while

choreographed dance routines done over

and over had no effect. So go a little wild

and shake your groove thing. Your body will

thank you, and your brain will, too.

VARIETY OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION RISES TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Variety of the National Capital Region was delighted to be part of two advance

screenings of Jumanji: The Next Level, held on December 10 in Staunton, Virginia,

and December 12 in Hagerstown, Maryland. The screenings raised enough

money to fund two adaptive bikes for local children with special needs. New

Vision and HighRock Group generously donated marketing as well as proceeds

from ticket sales at the opening of the Leitersburg Cinema. Visulite Cinemas in

Staunton donated proceeds from its second-annual screening and gave free

seats to three local charities.

FEBRUARY 2020 / 23


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

Attendees of Variety of Eastern Tennessee’s

holiday party at the Downtown Riviera enjoyed

breakfast, gifts, a screening of Frozen II, and

a visit from Santa. Kids from Big Brothers Big

Sisters, Children’s Hospital, Emerald Youth

Foundation, Tennessee School for the Deaf, and

Tennessee Hands & Voices all had a wonderful

time at the event.

ADOPT-A-CHILD

For the past 12

years, Variety Detroit

has provided

toys for children

across southeastern

Michigan through

the Adopt-A-Child

program. On

Saturday, December

7, sponsors of

the Adopt-A-Child

program brought

their unwrapped

presents to Santa’s

Workshop Wrapping

Party to share

in the holiday spirit

with music and food

while wrapping

gifts. Board members

and volunteers

were on hand to

help and celebrate

the season.

For thousands of kids and their families and

caregivers, the annual Variety Kids Christmas

parties in Sydney and Newcastle, Australia, are a

chance to experience the joy and magic of Christmas.

With inclusive activities including amusement

rides, face painting, and sports, as well as presents

and (of course) a visit from Santa, the parties

showed how important a community of supporters

is in making sure all kids get a fair go in life.

Variety of Detroit was proud to launch its

21st Bikes for Kids Program. One hundred fifty

children received brand-new bicycles, helmets,

and locks. Bike recipients, along with their

siblings, received new toys at the event and also

enjoyed an evening filled with music, dancing,

carnival games, food and snacks, and a visit with

PAWS and Santa.

At Variety of the Desert’s 24th Annual Bike

Giveaway at Palm Springs Motors, 400 fourthgrade

students nominated by their teachers

as “good citizens” each received a bike and

helmet.

Nearly 100 Variety children and their families,

all members of Variety of the Delaware Valley,

were treated to an afternoon of holiday cheer,

featuring visits from Santa and

Mrs. Claus, Rudolph the

Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman,

and Elsa from Frozen.

Guests enjoyed lunch,

music, a bounce house,

cookie decorating, and hot

chocolate as well as several

other nondenominational and

Christmas activities, a number of

which were sensory friendly. All Variety children

were given a gift selected especially for them based

on their interests.

24 / FEBRUARY 2020


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CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

including Temple Satellite Camp, the after-school

program at Widener Memorial School High

School, and the after-school program at Overbrook

School for the Blind, celebrated the holidays at a

party hosted for them by Sam Staten Jr., business

manager and Local Laborers 332. Each child

received a new coat and got to select a toy of his or

her choice. Forty children received new bicycles.

VARIETY ❤ STELLA

Over 500 guests

attended the Annual

Variety Heart

of Show Business

Award Luncheon at

the Skirball Cultural

Center on December

12, 2019. Variety

– The Children’s

Charity of Southern

California honored

Stella Burks, SVP

distribution services,

Warner Bros.

Pictures Domestic.

Here, she

receives her Heart

of Show Business

Award from Jeffrey

Goldstein, president,

domestic

distribution, Warner

Bros. Pictures.

Entertainment industry

colleagues,

family, and friends

were all there to

celebrate Stella’s

“stellar” career and

wish her well in her

retirement.

Did you know that a child’s brain is

most flexible and adaptable to learning

during the earliest years of life? By the

age of 5, a child’s brain is 90 percent

developed. Reading, singing, and

dancing help to improve children’s

brainpower, develop social skills, build

confidence, and inspire creativity.

Two Variety Musical Picnics were

held this year in New South Wales

and Australian Capital Territory

for kids of all ages and abilities. The

free, inclusive, and interactive events

featured musical performances by

Rachael Coopes and Teo Gebert.

The events provided opportunities

for children to increase social and

community connections and promote

a more positive attachment between

caregiver and child.

100 children with disabilities who attend

programs through Variety of the Delaware Valley,

The Variety Santa Fun Run returned to

Newcastle Foreshore, with hundreds of runners,

walkers, and rollers donning their Santa suits and

braving the heat to raise funds for kids in need. It

was a welcome return for this much-loved event,

bringing festive cheer to the Newcastle, New

South Wales, community.

26 / FEBRUARY 2020


UPCOMING EVENTS

Variety of the Desert / Big Awards Viewing Party

February 9 / Cathedral City, Calif.

Join Variety of the Desert at D’Place

Entertainment’s Mary Pickford location to

celebrate Hollywood’s biggest night while

supporting Variety. Dress festive, walk

the red carpet, enjoy catered bites and

complimentary champagne, win prizes,

and watch as the Academy announces

this year’s greatest cinematic achievements.

Tickets are $50 and benefit

Variety of the Desert. More info: https://

varietyofthedesert.org/our-events/

Variety of Detroit / SHINE Fashion Show

March 15 / Troy, Mich.

This year’s SHINE Fashion Show, held at

the Somerset Mall, features children from

Variety of Detroit and FAR Therapeutic

Arts and Recreation and benefits the Variety

4-H Horseback Riding Program and

the FAR Summer Theater Program.

Variety of the Delaware Valley / Let Them Eat Cake

March 15 / Philadelphia, Pa.

Each year, more than two dozen of

Philadelphia’s greatest pastry chefs

come together to compete in a cake

competition that follows a certain

theme—this year, Mythical, Magical

Beasts and Creatures. Bakers can win

awards in categories such as Best in

Show, Best Taste, and Audience Choice.

Those who attend the event, held at the

Loews Philadelphia Hotel, will be able

to sample all the cakes, sip wine, enjoy

music, and take a chance at raffles.

More info: https://varietyphila.org/

let-them-eat-cake

Variety of New South Wales / 4WD Adventure

March 22–27

The Adventure is a six-day, turnkey adventure

taking 4WD vehicles off the bitumen

and onto bush tracks, sand dunes,

fire trails, and country dirt roads. Escape

the nine-to-five routine with this premier,

boutique event doing four-wheel driving

in style. The emphasis is on good tracks,

fabulous scenery and exceptional food

and wine—all while raising funds for

kids in need. More info: https://www.

variety.org.au/nsw/event/4wd/

Variety of New South Wales / Spin 4 Kids

March 27

Variety Spin 4 Kids is a fun, challenging

team event where only one team can be

crowned the winner. Teams of up to 10

people need to ride as many kilometers

as possible over six hours. Spin 4 Kids

will be a great day out, with high-energy

music, crazy costumes, fitness challenges,

and energetic spin instructors

onstage. There will be prizes for bestdressed

team, highest fundraising team

and individual, and best team spirit, as

well as encouragement awards. Last year

Variety of New South Wales raised over

$40,000. With your help, they hope to

smash this record and help as many kids

as possible get a fair go in life. More info:

https://www.variety.org.au/nsw/event/

variety-spin-4-kids-newcastle/

Variety of the Delaware Valley / Vegas at

Variety / March 28 / Blue Bell, Pa.

You can bet it will be a night of fun as

Variety of the Delaware Valley hosts its

11th Annual Vegas at Variety night on Saturday,

March 28, at Montgomery County

Community College. The evening will

include plenty of casino games, a buffet,

beverages, music provided by D.J. Chris

Evans, a photo mirror, a silent auction,

and over 80 fantastic raffle prize baskets.

More info: https://varietyphila.org/

vegas-at-variety/

IMAGINATION, INVENTION AND INNOVATION

“IS THERE A SMARTER WAY

TO HANDLE POPCORN?”

Leave it to Cretors to introduce a smarter way

to move and store popped popcorn. With the

patented MOBILE ROC N’ ROLL CORNDITIONER,

popped corn goes directly from the Pop N’ Roll

kettle into a removable stainless steel bin that

can be rolled and plugged into your concession

stand or anywhere there is a standard outlet.

Bring fresh popcorn to the crowds!

Contact Shelly Olesen at 847-616-6901

or solesen@cretors.com for product details.

FEBRUARY 2020 / 27


E

associated territories—brought in $11.4 billion in

The 2020

G›› IIt might not have been a record year,

GIANTS OF EXHIBITION

but few will complain that 2019 finished as the

second-highest-grossing year on record at the

domestic box office.

The North American market—constituting

all screens in the United States, Canada, and

a dramatic year marked by M&A across the distribution

and exhibition landscapes.

Marcus Theatres crossed the 1,000-screen

benchmark with its acquisition of Movie Tavern

from Southern Theatres, extending its influence

from the Midwest to 17 states nationwide.

Cinépolis’s U.S. presence increased with its own

acquisition of a dine-in chain, adding six locations

IANTS

OF

XHIBITION

stand. The most high-profile acquisition of the year, however,

didn’t come until December. The announcement of Cineworld’s

intent to acquire Cineplex, Canada’s leading circuit, will have

a major impact on next year’s edition of this list. The deal is

expected to close in Q1 2020, so those results aren’t reflected

of Texas-based Moviehouse & Eatery to its growing

fleet of cinemas in the United States. European

giant Kinepolis, only a couple of years after domestic screen-count totals up to December 31, 2019.

in this year’s version of our Giants of Exhibition, which tallies

first entering North America with its acquisition

As the fevered M&A activity redefines the playing field for

of Landmark Cinemas of Canada, made headlines global distribution and exhibition, our research into this year’s

with its acquisition of MJR Digital Cinemas—its

Giants revealed another crucial portent of success for the coming

decade. The digital cinema revolution that ushered in the

first foray into the United States.

Meanwhile, Regal’s transformation under

2010s has given way to new viewing formats and amenities,

Cineworld introduced several changes to everything

from branding to subscription plans, and

up with the expectations of a demanding audience.

with circuits large and small investing time and money to keep

even extending to vendors at the concession

Circuit profiles begin on page 30

28 / FEBRUARY 2020


Our annual ranking of the largest exhibition circuits in the domestic market

presented by

our Signature sponsors

The digital network for all things movies,

delivering movie information, ticketing, trailers,

home entertainment, and fan merchandise

The leader in theater safety lighting

systems for over five decades

Committed to creating a new visual standard

and moving the cinema industry forward

Delivering solutions that power

immersive cinema experiences

around the globe

Dedicated to innovating the box office

through media, tech, and data

FEBRUARY 2020 / 29


2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION / TOP 5

#1

AMC ENTERTAINMENT

Leawood, Kan.

Founded ...........1920

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . 8,043

Locations ........... 634

SPONSORPROFILE

Congratulations to the Giants

of Exhibition! You continue to

deliver new technology, amenities,

and services that make the moviegoing

experience second to none. We

are proud to be your partner for 20

years and counting!

Driving movie fans into your

theaters is our top priority. We

have built an ecosystem of digital

brands including

Fandango,

MovieTickets.

com, Flixster,

and Rotten Tomatoes

to help

fans discover

KEVIN SHEPELA

movies and buy

tickets anywhere,

any time, and on any device.

We have created ticketing experiences

for the largest online, mobile, and

social platforms, as well as emerging

technologies including A.I. and voice.

We’ve introduced multiple digital

wallets for fast and easy checkout,

including the recent introduction of

split payments through Venmo.

This year, we continue our mission

to inspire moviegoing and drive

advance ticketing for your theaters.

You continue to be amazing partners,

and we look forward to another

exciting year at the movies.

Kevin Shepela, EVP,

Chief Commercial Officer

›› Celebrating its centennial in 2020, AMC enters its second

century as the largest exhibition circuit in the United States. The last

five years have seen significant growth, both at home and abroad. Its

domestic acquisition of Carmike Cinemas in 2016 solidified its place

atop our Giants of Exhibition list, while foreign additions like Odeon

(2016) and Nordic Cinema Group (2017) pushed its reach to over

1,000 locations and 11, 000 screens worldwide. In 2019 the circuit

crossed the 900,000-subscriber mark for its Stubs A-List loyalty program,

which includes a popular subscription plan for frequent users.

The result has been an overwhelming success for AMC, which originally

envisioned hitting the 500,000 mark by the same point last year.

The Stubs loyalty program is also at the center of the circuit’s biggest

innovation of 2019, the launch of its very own home entertainment

streaming platform: AMC Theatres On Demand, the first of its kind

among U.S. exhibitors. Moviegoers now have the option of renting a

movie at home through AMC’s streaming channel, provided they are

members of its loyalty program. While the news of an exhibitor entering

the streaming space caught some of the industry’s trade press by surprise,

it is a strategy already adopted by the largest circuits in Canada

(Cineplex) and Mexico (Cinépolis). The extension into home entertainment

is a perfect example of how AMC has spread its points of contact

with U.S. consumers, an effort that includes programming initiatives

like AMC Artisan Films, meant to promote and highlight original and

non-franchise films.

30 / FEBRUARY 2020


2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION / TOP 5

#2

SPONSORPROFILE

On behalf of

Tivoli, we

would like to

congratulate

all the honored

companies

on this year’s

LARRY LIN

Giants of Exhibition

list! Your ability to elevate the

moviegoing experience while ensuring

patron safety is second to none.

As the trusted brand for theater

safety lighting, Tivoli will continue to

innovate and focus on the customer

experience while providing peace of

mind for both patrons and exhibitors

across the board. Our TivoBAR with

dual circuit capabilities and Eclipse

Wall’s glare-reduction baffle system

have managed to resolve long-standing

challenges without compromising

performance or design. We have no

doubt that both Tivoli and the honored

exhibitors on this year’s Giants

of Exhibition list will continue to

shape the landscape of the theater

experience for years to come.

Larry Lin, Vice President

REGAL CINEMAS

Knoxville, Tenn.

Founded ...........1989

Screens: .......... 7,178

Locations: ..........546

›› Acquired by the U.K.’s Cineworld circuit in 2018, Regal Cinemas

continued to pursue initiatives adopted by its giant parent company.

In July 2019, Regal embraced the in-house subscription trend with the debut

of its “Unlimited” offering. Sharing a name with Cineworld’s subscription

plan, Regal’s offer was customized for the U.S. market. The plan is available

in three tiers: Unlimited, priced at $18/month and available at 200 locations;

Unlimited Plus at $21/month and available at 400 locations; and Unlimited

All Access at $23.50/month, which is honored at over 550 locations nationwide.

Additional surcharges apply to premium auditoriums like RPX (Regal’s

private-label PLF), Imax, 4DX motion and effects seating, and ScreenX

panoramic screens. There is no cap on the number of standard-format movies

customers can attend each month, nor blackout dates for new releases. The

plan also includes a 10 percent discount on all concessions and nonalcoholic

beverages. Regal previously had a partnership with Atom Tickets.

This past year, Regal also opened eight new 4DX screens and six new

ScreenX screens from technology provider CJ 4DPLEX. “The feedback we are

receiving from moviegoers has been enormously positive, and as the only major

exhibition partner where movie fans can enjoy these immersive experiences, we

look forward to rapidly growing the number of 4DX and ScreenX locations at

Regal in the years to come,” said Regal chief marketing officer Ken Thewes.

32 / FEBRUARY 2020


2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION / TOP 5

›› 2019 was a year of continued

growth for Cinemark, as the Texasbased

chain continued to benefit from

its investment in premium large-format

luxury recliners, food and beverage,

and the subscription model.

The chain entered 2018 with its

Cinemark Movie Club subscription

program, then several weeks old,

boasting more than 500,000 active

members; as of the end of Q3 2019,

that number had expanded to 850,000,

with Cinemark Movie Club subscribers

accounting for approximately 15

percent of that quarter’s box office.

Movie Club members visit a Cinemark

theater three times more often than

nonmembers, per data provided by

the circuit, and are twice as likely

as nonmembers to upgrade to the

exhibitor’s premium large-format

Cinemark XD offering.

Globally, Cinemark boasts 15

Imax screens, an increase from last

year; in March of 2019, Cinemark

renewed its 20-year partnership with

the PLF provider. In December,

Cinemark inked an exclusive 10-year

agreement with Cinonic, under which

Barco Series 4 laser projectors will

be installed at more than 6,000 of its

screens worldwide.

In-theater premium amenities

remain a priority for Cinemark; as

of the end of Q3 2019, 58 percent of

Cinemark’s U.S. theaters boasted its

proprietary Luxury Loungers recliner

seats. In an investor earnings call, CEO

Mark Zoradi noted that he expected

that number to increase to 60 percent

by the end of the year, representing

“the highest recliner penetration

among major players.”

The third quarter of 2019 also

represented the 51st consecutive

quarter of growth in per-patron F&B

spend. Also, on the F&B front, 2019

saw Cinemark launch its CUT! by

Cinemark brand of dine-in theaters.

The first CUT! by Cinemark location

is currently in operation in Frisco,

Texas, with another planned for

summer 2020.

#3

SPONSORPROFILE

CINEMARK USA

Plano, Tex.

Founded ........... 1984

Screens: .......... 4,630

Locations: ..........344

In Cinema, when we come together, we are giants.

Congratulations to the industry for a strong

year and to the companies recognized for their

contribution from all of us at Cinionic. Looking

back, 2019 was a year of milestones for us all: at

the box office, in the moviegoer experience, and

with the accelerated adoption of differentiating

WIM BUYENS

technology solutions. We saw the beginning of the

renewal wave and a clear preference for laser as the de facto standard

for a new generation of exhibition.

Cinema is growing, and companies like those listed here evidence

it. It is our privilege to support, collaborate with, and work alongside

other companies equally committed and devoted to the movies.

Through our shared passion, we deliver experiences that illuminate

and excite around the world.

Looking forward, 2020 is the year of laser experiences, delivered.

In a continually changing market, we are proud to help the industry

to innovate through solutions and services designed for cinema today,

and tomorrow. Here’s to another giant year, together.

Wim Buyens, CEO

34 / FEBRUARY 2020


etter.

brighter.

laser.

find your ideal laser solution

From stunning images to longer lifetime and lower

maintenance: there are many reasons to swap your lamp

projectors for laser. Cinionic o ffers multiple ways to introduce

laser into your theater. Interested in the power of laser?

Read why laser is replacing lamps all over the globe and

take the test to find out which Cinionic solution best

fits your needs. Go to pages.cinionic.com/bulbfiction


2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION / TOP 5

#4

SPONSORPROFILE

Congratulations to all of this

year’s Giants of Exhibition!

There’s a common thread

among all of you on this list—you

strive to differentiate your properties

and add exciting features to

attract patrons to your theaters.

Investing in new technologies like

immersive sound, luxury recliner

seating, and technologies that enable

creative

use of the

cinema helps

to grow the

bottom line

that fuels

investment,

which is,

JOE PHAM

after all, why

you’re among the “Giants.”

Visionary exhibitors like you

know that it’s not just about the

movies. With so many entertainment

options and ways to

consume content, it’s important

to expand the possibilities of the

cinema complex to successfully

compel people out of their homes.

You recognize that today’s cinema

complex is an entertainment

complex and also a venue for

business meetings, parties, and

other events.

For over 50 years, QSC has

taken pride in this same legacy of

innovation and quality. We’re also

proud to be among your technology

partners. We stand on your

shoulders to envision and deliver

your technology needs for sound,

image, and control, and thank you

for letting us play a role in your

achievement of this honor to be

among the Giants of Exhibition.

Joe Pham, President & CEO

CINEPLEX

ENTERTAINMENT

Toronto, Ont.

Founded ........... 2003

Screens: ...........1,695

Locations: ........... 165

›› In what might be remembered as the biggest exhibition story

of 2019, Cineplex became the third domestic top 5 circuit to be acquired

by another major since 2016. U.K.-based Cineworld had already

made major headlines in December 2017 with its acquisition of Regal.

It doubled down on that strategy two years later with the announcement

of its intent to acquire Cineplex, Canada’s leading circuit and

the fourth-largest in the domestic market. Once the acquisition closes

(expected in Q1 2020), Cineworld will become the largest circuit in

the North American market through its stewardship of the Cineplex

and Regal brands.

Cineplex had already established itself as the dominant player in

Canadian exhibition by the time Cineworld came into the picture.

According to the company’s Q3 investor presentation, Cineplex

claimed 75 percent of the market share in Canada’s box office through

September 2019. Over 40 percent of the circuit’s revenue in the same

period came from premium experiences such as premium large format

(Imax, ScreenX, and its in-house UltraAVX), immersive seating (4DX

and D-Box), and VIP auditoriums.

At the concession stand, Cineplex has seen continued growth in

food and beverage revenues since 2011, reaching a peak of $441 million

(Canadian) in 2018. Its concessions per patron rate nearly doubled in the

10-year span between 2008 and 2018, going from $3.96 per patron to

$6.36. An expanded concessions menu has been a key part of that growth,

with fare such as pizza, poutine, and wraps available at select locations.

36 / FEBRUARY 2020


grow

make

customers happy

your business

©2020 QSC, LLC all rights reserved. QSC, Q-SYS and the QSC logo are registered trademarks in the U.S. Patent and

Trademark Office and other countries. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.


2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION / TOP 5

MARCUS THEATRES

Milwaukee, Wis.

Founded ........... 1935

Screens: ...........1,106

Locations: ............ 91

#5

›› In February 2019, The Marcus

Corporation closed its acquisition of

dine-in cinema circuit Movie Tavern

from VSS-Southern Theatres. The deal

grew the Marcus Theatres division by

23 percent, adding 208 screens across

22 locations in Arkansas, Colorado,

Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York,

Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. Movie

Tavern was rebranded “Movie Tavern

by Marcus.” The deal saw Marcus finish

the decade above the 1,000-screen mark,

growing its presence beyond the Midwest

to the broader national market.

Following the acquisition, Marcus

earmarked 15 of the 22 Movie Tavern

sites for new amenities or plans for

further upgrades. Eleven Movie Tavern

auditoriums were converted into the

circuit’s SuperScreen DLX private-label

PLF offering, which includes Marcus’s

branded DreamLounger recliners and

Dolby Atmos immersive audio. The

company also added 10 more Super-

Screen auditoriums. The Movie Tavern

locations also adopted Marcus’s Magical

Movie Rewards customer loyalty

program, which already hosts over 3.8

million members. Loyalty members have

access to a series of different discounts,

including the company’s famous $5

Movie Tuesday promotion, $6 matinees,

and $6 student tickets on Thursdays.

Theater upgrades have occurred circuit-wide.

Marcus counts recliner seating

in three-quarters of all its screens

and hosts a PLF auditorium at 69 percent

of its theaters. On the digital side,

Marcus made upgrades to its pointof-sale

system, mobile app, and online

ticketing engine in 2019. The circuit

has at least one new opening planned

for 2020, scheduled for the latter half of

the year in Tacoma, Washington.

SPONSORPROFILE

On behalf of our team at The Boxoffice

Company, we would like

to congratulate the circuits featured

on this year’s Giants of Exhibition

list. Another amazing year at the box

office is a reflection of the hard work and investment

from these exhibitors, who have helped

modernize the moviegoing experience for today’s STAN RUSZKOWSKI

audiences. That’s also a key part of our core mission

at The Boxoffice Company: helping cinemas better reach and engage

with audiences through our showtimes data, websites, mobile apps,

and marketing services. As our industry continues to excel, The Boxoffice

Company is proud to be a partner of many of the exhibitors on this

list and the many more who contribute to the diversity of the global

cinema business. In conjunction with our colleagues at Boxoffice Pro,

we look forward to another exciting and successful year in 2020.

Stan Ruszkowski, President

38 / FEBRUARY 2020


The Boxoffice Company

congratulates the Giants of

Exhibition! Your brilliant minds

and efforts are breaking

boundaries and propelling

the box office forward.

Cheers to 2020!

THE

COMPANY

WEBEDIA GROUP


2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION / TOP 6–15

›› 2018 was a year of growth for Harkins Theatres, the

largest privately owned circuit in the United States, and

2019 has proven no different. The company announced a

new $32 million headquarters and retail campus, which will

nearly triple the size of the chain’s current space. The new

development is planned to open later this year.

As the company moves into new digs in its home state

of Arizona, it will also open a new multiplex in Northglenn,

Colorado, and in Laveen, Arizona. Both theaters will feature

a CINÉ1 PLF auditorium with Dolby Atmos sound and

Ultimate Lounger recliners.

On the personnel side, in 2019 Harkins Theatres named

executive vice president Tyler Cooper, who has worked for

Harkins for two decades, its new CFO. Greta Newell, who

has been with Harkins for 26 years, assumed the role of

treasurer and vice president.

#6

HARKINS THEATRES

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Founded ........... 1933

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 515

Locations: ........... 34

›› An exciting year for B&B Theatres, 2019 saw the

opening of additional locations and the expansion of innovative

concepts throughout the circuit. Tech deals with

panoramic screen provider ScreenX and immersive seating

technology MX4D will bring more upgraded theaters

to patrons nationwide, while expanded menus and alcohol

service continues to spread across select locations.

B&B Theatres has also begun expanding its screenPLAY!

concept, which fuses design elements of a family play

area with a premium cinema auditorium. The investment

in new cinemas and renovated locations reflects the circuit’s

ambitions of becoming a state-of-the-art circuit for

audiences across the seven U.S. states it serves. Locations

in Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, South Carolina,

and Texas suggest that B&B could easily go from a

regional circuit to a national one in the coming decade.

B&B THEATRES

Kansas City, Mo.

Founded ........... 1924

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 418

Locations ............ 48

#7


CMX CINEMAS

Miami, Fla.

Founded ........... 2016

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 410

Locations ............ 40

#8

#8

›› A subsidiary of Mexican circuit Cinemex, CMX Cinemas became one of

the 10 biggest circuits in the North American market shortly after opening its

first U.S. cinema in April 2017. The December 2017 acquisition of Cobb Theatres

propelled CMX into the top 10 of our Giants of Exhibition list in 2018—and the

company isn’t done growing. CMX has plans to open several new locations in

2020, including new sites in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New

Jersey, and North Carolina. CMX has introduced several concepts throughout

its U.S. circuit, including luxury dine-in cinemas, expanded menu grab-and-go

concessions concepts, and lobby sports bars.

›› 2020 marks the 105th year in

operation for Malco Theatres, and the

Memphis-based chain is still growing. Over

the last year the chain introduced its own

premium large-format brand, called MXT “Extreme”

Cinema. A new theater in Memphis,

the Powerhouse Cinema Grill, was the first

theater to host an MXT screen. Some months

later, the newly renovated Collierville Cinema

Grill in Tennessee and Kentucky’s Owensboro

Cinema Grill—which opened in the

summer—got their own MXT auditoriums.

Malco locations in Jonesboro, Arkansas,

and Madison, Mississippi, were also upgraded;

renovations at the latter theater, the

Grandview Cinema, gave Mississippi its first

Imax screen.

A chain with a long history, Malco has

been a family business since its founding;

that tradition was maintained this year when

David Tashie, great-grandson of original

founder M.A. Lightman Sr., was promoted to

the position of president and COO.

#9

MALCO THEATRES INC.

Memphis, Tenn.

Founded ........... 1915

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363

Locations ............ 35

FEBRUARY 2020 / 41


2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION / TOP 6–15

#10

NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS

(SHOWCASE CINEMAS)

Norwood, Mass.

Founded ........... 1936

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362

Locations ............ 27

›› National Amusements’ U.S. presence with Showcase Cinemas underwent

a series of transformations in 2019. Theater upgrades included

the expansion of recliner seating to additional locations, while communal

spaces like lobbies and concession stands were similarly revitalized with

modern and sleek finishes. At the same time, the circuit’s focus on expanded

food and beverage menus has contributed to a new moviegoing experience

for its patrons. A free-to-join loyalty program, Starpass, offers easily

accessible rewards tiers and significant savings for members. Showcase

was one of the first U.S. circuits to adopt an in-house subscription program;

Showcase Subscribe starts at $11.95 per month for up to two films

each month. 2020 should bring additional updates throughout its circuit—

both at individual locations and to its digital presence on the web.

#11

STUDIO MOVIE GRILL

Dallas, Tex.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353

Locations ............ 34

›› Studio Movie Grill (SMG) announced an ambitious plan to expand its circuit

in 2019, expanding the dine-in-cinema concept it helped pioneer to audiences nationwide.

Known across the industry for its focus on charitable efforts and giving

back to its local communities, SMG proudly features programs such as Special

Needs Screenings, a Chefs for Children program, and a Movies+Meals initiative

that helps underserved children and adults in need in its local communities. An

early supporter of cinema subscription plans, the circuit also expanded its SMG

Access plan in 2019. SMG’s approach to subscription is closely tied to its corporate

identity; members not only benefit from rewards and discount pricing, but also

help contribute to charity efforts with every cinema visit.


#12

LANDMARK CINEMAS

OF CANADA

Calgary, Alb.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 322

Locations ............ 45

›› Landmark Cinemas is the second-largest theater chain in

Canada, covering western Canada, Ontario, and the Yukon Territory.

Acquired by Belgium’s Kinepolis circuit in December 2017,

Landmark offers an array of special deals including Kids’ Sundays,

Senior Mondays, and Wednesday bargain “Movie Twosomes.” The

chain is also a national sponsor of The Walk So Kids Can Talk, which

supports the mental health and well-being of youth. Landmark has

begun expanding premium experiences across its circuit. The Marketplace,

a grab-and-go concessions concept, has helped diversify

its food and beverage offerings, while traditional upgrades like

PLF auditoriums and recliner seating have become more prevalent

throughout its theaters. The circuit’s newest location, in Southeast

Edmonton, is expected to open in summer 2020.

›› After opening in Brooklyn in 2016,

the Alamo Drafthouse crossed another

major urban hub off its bucket list in

2019. The Texas-based chain, known for

pairing first-run films with fan-friendly

retrospective screenings and a full food

and beverage menu, opened its first L.A.

location in July. The milestone cinema for

the company wasn’t its only new build to

debut in 2019; another location opened in

Westminster, Colorado, and Drafthouse

already has its second New York theater

in the works. In 2019, the chain also expanded

the beta release of its subscription

program, Season Pass, to loyalty

card members in a handful of key markets.

Alamo Drafthouse enters the new

decade as one of the best established

brands in exhibition.

#13

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE

Austin, Tex.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316

Locations ............ 41

FEBRUARY 2020 / 43


2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION / TOP 6–15

›› Staying true to its roots as an entertainment

destination, Premiere Cinema Corp. is

tackling competition from home entertainment

by providing patrons with unique experiences

at its locations. The circuit opened its first

Premiere Lux Cine, Bowl & Pizza Pub in Pell City,

Alabama, in January 2019. The complex features

800 power-recliner seats, a bowling alley, a

ropes course, an arcade, and a gourmet kitchen.

New Lux Cine & Pizza Pub locations followed

this past fall in Birmingham, Alabama, and

Plant City, Florida. The circuit is one of several

major circuits at the forefront of the cinema

entertainment center trend. These complexes

are known for incorporating different out-ofhome

concepts and expanded food and beverage

menus into the moviegoing experience,

creating an ultimate entertainment destination

for patrons. Premiere has theaters in Texas,

Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, and

South Carolina.

#14

PREMIERE CINEMA

CORP.

Big Spring, Tex.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301

Locations ............ 28

#15

CARIBBEAN CINEMAS

San Juan, P.R.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295

Locations ............ 34

›› Puerto Rico’s leading cinema chain,

Caribbean Cinemas operates throughout

the Caribbean region, with additional

locations in the Dominican Republic, St.

Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Lucia,

Antigua, Aruba, and Trinidad. In 2017, the

circuit’s management was undeterred by

the challenges presented in the aftermath

of Hurricane Maria, working tirelessly with

local staff to keep cinemas open as much

as possible as Puerto Rico recovered

from the storm. Caribbean’s

role in supporting local

communities during the

recovery will hardly

be forgotten in the

coming years.

44 / FEBRUARY 2020


TOP 16–25 / 2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION

›› Founded in 1930 with a single

screen in downtown Grand Rapids,

Michigan, Goodrich Quality Theaters

has expanded to Indiana, Illinois,

Florida, and Missouri. The all-digital

circuit includes five Imax theaters

and five GDX premium locations

with Dolby Atmos sound. Goodrich

also offers Screen Taps bars in 13

of its locations, serving mozzarella

#16

GOODRICH

QUALITY THEATERS

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Screens: ............ 281

Locations ............ 30

sticks, chicken tenders, fried mac and cheese bites, beer, wine,

daiquiris, and margaritas.

›› Operated by private equity

firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson

(VSS), Southern Theatres

encompasses the Grand Theatres

and AmStar Cinemas brands; Movie

SOUTHERN

THEATRES

New Orleans, La.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266

Location ............. 18

#17

Tavern, previously a part of Southern Theatres, was officially

acquired by The Marcus Corporation in February 2019. A former

Grand Theatres location was reopened in December 2019 as the

Amstar Cinemas 18 Four Seasons Station; the newly renovated

location features a Grand Premium Experience premium largeformat

auditorium.

›› The U.S. division of the

giant Mexican circuit Cinépolis,

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas

opened its first location in Del

Mar, California, in 2011 and now

also operates in Florida, New

York, New Jersey, Connecticut,

Texas, Ohio, and Maryland. Select

locations include kid-friendly

Cinépolis Jr. auditoriums and 4DX

#18 (TIE)

CINÉPOLIS

LUXURY CINEMAS

Dallas, Tex.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263

Locations ............ 28

motion and effects theaters. Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas

acquired Moviehouse & Eatery’s six theaters in July 2019.

FEBRUARY 2020 / 45


2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION / TOP 16–25

#18 (TIE)

GEORGIA

THEATRE COMPANY

›› The fourth-generation, family-owned

circuit Georgia Theatre Compa-

St. Simons Island, Ga.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263

ny (GTC) launched a new mobile app in

Locations ............ 25

2019. The app is part of a digital strategy

looking to maximize ticketing sales on

its own platform, which includes a new ticketing capability on its

website. Recent GTC innovations include a loyalty program (Reel

Rewards), its own premium large-format auditoriums (GTX), and an

expanded food and beverage menu (Outtakes Kitchen & Bar).

#18 (TIE)

NEIGHBORHOOD

CINEMA GROUP (NCG)

Owosso, Mich.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263

Locations ............ 27

›› Neighborhood Cinema

Group (NCG)—which was

founded in Michigan and has

since expanded to Illinois,

Indiana, and states throughout

the Southeast—opened its first theater in New York

state in 2019, renovating and reopening what used to

be a Regal location in the town of Kingston. 2019 also

saw NCG partner with Atom Tickets to sell digital tickets

on the Atom platform.

›› Michigan-based Emagine Entertainment continued to

bring luxury theatrical amenities to Midwest audiences throughout

2019. In December, the chain opened the region’s largest CinemaScope

screen—branded as Super Emax—in its Canton Township location in time for the

release of Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. Recent investments in upgrading the

theatrical experience have also included recliner seating, expanded concessions menus,

reserved seating, dine-in service, and even valet parking at select locations.

#21

EMAGINE

ENTERTAINMENT

Troy, Mich.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254

Locations ............ 21

46 / FEBRUARY 2020


LANDMARK THEATRES

Los Angeles, Calif.

›› Just before the ball

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251

dropped on 2019, the industry

Locations ............ 51

learned that Landmark Theatres would

be acquired by independent film producer

and distributor Cohen Media Group. Over the subsequent

year, Landmark found a new president and COO in exhibition

veteran Paul Serwitz, who for 17 years served as the vice president

of film at Regal.

#22

›› Reading Cinemas International

operates in the U.S., Australia,

and New Zealand; in the U.S.,

its brands include Reading Cinemas,

Consolidated Theatres, Angelika Film

Centers, and City Cinemas. Reading

expanded its premium screen, luxury

recliner seating, and food and beverage

options in 2019 and plans to continue

doing so over the coming years.

READING CINEMAS

INTERNATIONAL

Culver City, Calif.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238

Locations ............ 24

# 23

›› Pacific/Arclight continued

to service California— ARCLIGHT CINEMAS

PACIFIC THEATRES /

as well as Chicago, Boston,

Los Angeles, Calif.

and the D.C. area—in 2019. In February,

Arclight’s Cinerama Dome Locations ............ 17

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234

was updated with dual-head

Christie 6P laser projectors and

Dolby 3-D, pairing cutting-edge

technology with one of America’s most historic theaters.

#24

›› In 2019

Bow Tie Cinemas

embarked on major

renovations of its two

locations in Stamford, Connecticut. The

Connecticut-based chain also announced

#25

BOW TIE CINEMAS

Ridgefield, Conn.

Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220

Locations ............ 32

its development with The Ashforth Company of the Bow Tie Cinemas

Ultimate complex, set to include a full bar and restaurant menu and

luxury recliner seating in all auditoriums.

FEBRUARY 2020 / 47


2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION / TOP 26–50

26. NEW VISION THEATRES

Stratford, Conn.

Screens: 205

Locations: 19

27. REGENCY THEATRES

Agoura Hills, Calif.

Screens: 196

Locations: 28

28. UNITED

ENTERTAINMENT CORP.

Maple Grove, Minn.

Screens: 191

Locations: 22

29. LARRY H. MILLER THEATRES

(MEGAPLEX THEATRES)

Sandy, Utah

Screens: 182

Locations: 16

30. MARQUEE CINEMAS

Beckley, W.Va.

Screens: 175

Location: 17

31. GALAXY THEATRES

Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Screens: 171

Locations: 15

32. CINEMA WEST

Petaluma, Calif.

Screens: 168

Locations: 17

33. MJR DIGITAL CINEMAS

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Screens: 164

Locations: 10

34. CELEBRATION CINEMA

BY STUDIO C

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Screens: 163

Locations: 12

35. (TIE) CINEMA

ENTERTAINMENT CORP.

Waite Park, Minn.

Screens: 160

Locations: 20

35. (TIE) FLAGSHIP

PREMIUM CINEMAS

Cambridge, Mass.

Screens: 160

Locations: 20

37. COMING ATTRACTIONS

THEATRES

Ashland, Ore.

Screens: 153

Locations: 18

38. EPIC THEATRES

Deltona, Fla.

Screens: 144

Locations: 12

39. CINÉMAS GUZZO

Terrebonne, Que.

Screens: 133

Locations: 9

40. CLASSIC CINEMAS

Downers Grove, Ill.

Screens: 121

Locations: 15

41. R/C THEATRES

Reisterstown, Md.

Screens: 119

Locations: 13

42. IPIC ENTERTAINMENT

Boca Raton, Fla.

Screens: 117

Locations: 15

43. (TIE) ALLEN THEATRES

Las Cruces, N.M.

Screens: 116

Locations: 17

43. (TIE) PHOENIX THEATRES

Knoxville, Tenn.

Screens: 116

Locations: 13

45. SANTIKOS ENTERTAINMENT

San Antonio, Tex.

Screens: 115

Locations: 9

46. XSCAPE THEATRES

New Albany, Ind.

Screens: 108

Locations: 8

47. MITCHELL THEATRES

Elkhart, Kan.

Screens: 107

Locations: 15

48. SOUTHEAST

CINEMA ENTERTAINMENT

Charlotte, N.C.

Screens: 104

Locations: 9

49. SHOWBIZ CINEMAS

Dallas, Tex.

Screens: 99

Locations: 10

50. R.L. FRIDLEY THEATRES

Des Moines, Iowa

Screens: 98

Locations: 19

48 / FEBRUARY 2020


MOVIE MOMENTS / 2020 GIANTS OF EXHIBITION

EXHIBITORS

HAVE THEIR SAY

Memorable Moviegoing Moments of 2019

My favorite movie moment of the year was unveiling the new

name of our flagship theater in Austin to forevermore be known as

the Bong Joon Ho Cinema. Parasite is my favorite film of the year,

an extraordinary modern masterpiece. And to watch director Bong

receive so much praise and have a real shot at the Academy Award

for Best Picture is unbelievable

for a foreign-language film. This

film inspires me with optimism

for the future of cinema. My

second-favorite experience was

simply letting Uncut Gems wash

over me at the Toronto Film

Festival premiere. That screening

was the most tense, most intense white-knuckle cinematic

experience I’ve ever had. I adore that film! We also got the opportunity

to open Uncut Gems on the break in New York this year

and ended up with the number one gross, a major milestone for

Alamo. And for what it is worth, here are my top 10 movies of the

year: Parasite, Uncut Gems, Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,

The Farewell, The Art of Self-Defense, Midsommar, Portrait of

a Lady on Fire, Marriage Story, and Dolemite Is My Name.

Tim League

Founder & CEO

Alamo Drafthouse

My favorite moviegoing moment of 2019 was Avengers:

Endgame. I watched it on our massive 70X40 B&B Grand

Screen with immersive DTS-X sound. On my right was my

lovely wife, Jennifer, and on

my left was my dad. Eleven

years of watching these

movies all had come down to

this one epic moment. It was

especially neat as this was at

our Liberty Flagship theater

that had just opened the

year before. My dad and I had been dreaming of the day we

could watch a movie of this magnitude on our own giant PLF

screen, and it was really neat to have it happen with Avengers:

Endgame. We spent years planning our flagship facility, and

Marvel spent years building to this epic conclusion. It was sort

of a culmination moment, one I won’t forget.

Brock Bagby

Executive Vice President

B&B Theatres

The incredible array of feelings and emotions that were

rolling through me like a freight train after watching Joker for the

first time at the Toronto Film Festival.

Joe Masher

Chief Operating Officer

Bow Tie Cinemas

Knives Out was the most

intelligent movie of 2019 and

offered the greatest social experience.

I won’t soon forget the

scene with Marta standing on

the balcony of Harlan’s “ancestral”

home, looking down at the

disinherited heirs in a reversal

of social standing. I was immediately reminded that those who

are successful should retain humility and the good guy (or gal

in this case) should win. This was the most cleverly put together

masterpiece I’ve seen in a long time. To top it all off, the movie

ended with the familiar sound of retracting reclining seats and an

applauding audience—two of the best reasons to go to a movie

theater and enjoy the experience.

Dave Corkill, CEO

Cinema West

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood:

heartwarming, kind

and a reminder to everyone we

are human. The film was both

funny and sad; it reminded me

why I love seeing a film on the

big screen in a packed audito-

FEBRUARY 2020 / 49


MEMORABLE MOVIEGOING MOMENTS

rium. We laughed and cried together, we shared an experience

with this film as a group of strangers, and we all walked out better

people. The film highlights how Mr. Rogers was a kind man

who changed the lives of people he touched. The film reminds

us that we are all human; we have pain but we can also choose to

be kind no matter what is going on in our lives.

Melissa Boudreau

Chief Marketing Officer

Emagine Entertainment

Unequivocally, the most breathtaking movie moment I

experienced in 2019 was the opening scene the first night of

Avengers: Endgame at my own local Flagship Cinemas. It was

a packed audience of diehard Marvel fans, and the moment

the dust first scattered on the screen, the gasps could be heard

skittering throughout the crowd. The tension and energy

bound us all together in the moment, and it was the beginning

of a shared experience that was absolutely amazing. It’s

a rare feeling to have created such solidarity in a community

of strangers, but that’s the strength and power of a great film

played in a movie theater. Nothing like it.

Janet Oprendek

VP Operations & Administration

Flagship Cinemas

Disney’s Aladdin and Lion

King provided wonderful

opportunities this year for

parents to bring their families

to movies they experienced on

the big screen when they were

young. Watching parents in

2019 was an incredible year for

fantastic films. The biggest standout

moment for me was the release of

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time

in Hollywood. To be able to provide

marketing support for one of my

favorite directors on their movie that

plays on a classic, horrifying event we all

know with an unexpected plot twist was

an amazing experience. Getting to see it

on the big screen was nothing short of

incredible!

Amanda Jo Sharp

Marketing Director

Allen Theatres

My favorite moviegoing moment of

2019 was watching the last 20 minutes

of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Since the beginning of the film, I was

expecting to see Tarantino’s interpretation

of the Sharon Tate assassination.

Therefore, suspense kept on building

for me for over two hours, and I could

see the same feeling with all the other

patrons in the theater when I looked

around. The end of the movie was

superb, but at the same time, it didn’t

deliver on my original expectation. I

was really troubled. Although I truly

loved the story, it wasn’t what I had

50 / FEBRUARY 2020


our theaters share that special experience with their children today,

creating memories that will last both generations a lifetime,

is what makes this industry so special.

A.J. Witherspoon

VP of Operations

Galaxy Theatres

My favorite 2019 moviegoing

memory was taking

my 6-year-old daughter to

see Jumanji: The Next Level

in a sold-out theater at GQT

Holland 7 during Christmas

break. Jumanji is a favorite at

our house, so naturally we were

super-excited for this sequel.

Reclined and relaxed with our buttered popcorn and peanut

M&Ms, we laughed out loud countless times! We love the shared

movie experience with tons of other families watching on the big

screen. You can’t beat Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart together.

My daughter is already asking to go again, and we look forward

to the next Jumanji.

Kelly Nash

Director of Marketing

Goodrich Quality Theatres

2019 was a great year for moviegoing, and it’s difficult to

choose just one favorite moment. For me, Knives Out was an

outstanding movie. Daniel Craig was a standout in an all-star

cast. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and look forward to many

more in the series. If I have to narrow the year down to one

outstanding moviegoing moment, it’s definitely Joaquin Phoenix

gone to see. It felt like Tarantino fooled

me while telling me a great story at the

same time. After the movie, I couldn’t

stop talking about it with my wife and

engaged in conversations with complete

strangers about it. Certainly a memorable

experience that can only happen in

a theater, where you share experiences

and feelings with total strangers who

are going through the same emotions

you are.

Eduardo Acuña

President

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas

I’m watching Once Upon a Time in

Hollywood and loving the rich visuals,

witty dialogue, and throwback vibe—

truly masterful filmmaking. However,

as the end approaches, I’m getting

nervous: I know the history so I’m

tense and can feel the audience bracing

for the Manson Family massacre.

Then Tarantino flips the script, I am

caught up in the moment, just letting

it unfold. It was a true emotional roller

coaster ride that thankfully nobody

spoiled for me in advance. I walked out

of the theater amazed!

Chris Johnson, CEO

Classic Cinemas

My favorite movie of the year

was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Tarantino has done it again with

another exceptional film. His adaptation

of history and the way he intertwines

real people into a fictional story

reminds me of another one of his great

films, Inglourious Basterds, in the most

positive way. Not only was the casting

and the acting phenomenal, the movie

had a nostalgic feel that brought back

personal memories from the 1960s and

1970s, when I would go to the movies

in Westwood. Bravo!

Dan Harkins, Owner

Harkins Theatres

There were a lot of good movies

in 2019, but my favorite movie quote

this year comes from Once Upon a

Time in Hollywood: “When you come

to the end of the line with a buddy

who is more than a brother and a little

less than a wife, getting blind drunk

together is really the only way to say

farewell.” The movie reminded me

of old-school Hollywood and how

things used to be. I, like many of our

customers, enjoy going back in time

with Flashback Cinema. We did really

well this year with The Big Lebowski

because it is so relevant to Showbiz

Cinemas Bowling, Movies and More

locations. Getting to relax in our oversized

leather recliners, with a White

Russian in hand, and take in the stateof-the-art

presentation in our packed

SDX auditorium was not only a ton of

fun but a true testament to the power

of the in-theater experience. We have

made so many amazing developments

in creating a more comfortable and

immersive experience for our customers

since I first saw the film in theaters

over 20 years ago. Wrapping up the

evening by bowling a few frames on

our boutique bowling lanes with family

and friends took this experience to

the next level.

Kevin Mitchell

President & CEO

ShowBiz Cinemas

FEBRUARY 2020 / 51


MEMORABLE MOVIEGOING MOMENTS

dancing down the stairs in Joker. His performance and the entire

movie was completely unexpected and amazing. I was thrilled

that audiences agreed. On-screen moments like this are what the

moviegoing experience is all about.

Mike Bowers

President & CEO, Harkins Theatres

If someone told me in the early 1960s, when I went to the

Casa Linda theater in Dallas every Saturday for a double feature,

that someone would pay me to watch movies when I grew up,

I would not have believed them. But it happened. The problem

is, I typically watch many movies twice. Once at the trade

screening and again with my

movie-fan wife. Even Cats.

This year my favorite movie

moment was getting to watch

the trade screening of Renée

Zellweger’s performance in

Judy with my wife, Judy. As

we experienced this wonderful

film together, we kept leaning into each other with, “Boy,

Renée is really good” and, “Are we watching an Oscar-nom

performance here?” That is the joy of moviegoing. I would be

remiss not to mention the ending of two seminal series this year:

Avengers: Endgame brought to a close the 21-film, 11-year Avengers

saga, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ended the core

group of nine films, which began in 1977. Both of these films

were markers in the nation’s social consciousness and brought

the geek out in my son and myself, giving us hours of fodder for

discussion.

Jeffrey Kaufman

SVP Film & Marketing, Malco Theatres

Last year was packed with top-notch action movies from the

beginning of the year to the end. With titles like Alita: Battle

Angel, Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw, John Wick:

Chapter 3—Parabellum, and

Gemini Man, there was never

a dull moment. I can’t help

but think that the slate of

2019 action films was the

perfect prequel to a movie I’m

eagerly anticipating in 2020,

Top Gun: Maverick. After all,

the original Top Gun is one of my favorite movies of all time—a

combination of action, entertainment, friendship, and more,

coupled with incredible music. I feel the need … the need to see

the new Top Gun!

Rolando Rodriguez

Chairman, President & CEO, Marcus Theatres

The thing that made 2019 stand out for me is that it brought

together generations of movie fans, including my own family, to

celebrate story lines that, in some cases, are a decade or—in the

case of Star Wars—more than four decades in the making. Since

Megaplex Theatres was among a handful of locations to host the

Star Wars marathon, we had guests who had never seen some of

the earlier films on the big screen. I think 2019 will be remembered

as the year that epic stories like Star Wars and the Avengers

saga came to a much anticipated resolution.

Blake Andersen

President, Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres

Watching A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It was a

breath of fresh air.

Bud Mayo

Co-Founder and Chairman, New Vision Theatres

Though Disney dominated

the market with excellent box

office grossers including Avengers,

Lion King, Toy Story 4,

Frozen II, and Star Wars, they

were all sequels or reimagined

versions of past films. There

were several other films that

really stood out in 2019 based on originality and audience

acceptance. I particularly enjoyed Rocketman, Knives Out, Ford v

Ferrari, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. These quality films

resonated with audiences and were not only successful grossing

titles but very entertaining and creative. Though more than one

moviegoing moment, this shows that originality can still entertain

and sell tickets.

Phil Zacheretti

President & CEO, Phoenix Theatres

One of my favorite movie

memories from 2019 was

leaving the auditorium at the

end of Joker and hearing the

woman in front of me say,

“Boy ... I just feel like I need

to be a little nicer to people!”

Movies have the ability to

build empathy in a way no other medium really can, particularly

when experienced in a crowded theater full of strangers.

J.D. Loeks

President, Studio C by Celebration Cinemas

Alita: Battle Angel—the story helps us remember that even

if society may throw us away, with the help of others we can

find our purpose and achieve great heights! Alita reminds me

that we all yearn to belong and restore the social order while

maintaining our humanity.

Brian Schultz

Founder & CEO, Studio Movie Grill

52 / FEBRUARY 2020


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Onward…and Upward!

DAN SCANLON BRINGS MAGIC INTO THE MODERN AGE

WITH PIXAR’S LATEST ADVENTURE

BY KEVIN LALLY

›› One of the great strengths of mega-successful Pixar Animation Studios is its

willingness to let its artists tell very personal stories. Pete Docter based his Oscarwinning

Inside Out on the sudden change in his ebullient young daughter’s

personality as she began to mature. Domee Shi’s Oscar-lauded 2018 short Bao was

inspired by her memories of being like “an overprotected little steamed bun” as an

only child. And Bobby Rubio’s lovely Disney+ “SparkShort” Float is a metaphorical

tale of the challenges faced by his autistic son.

Scan with Fuze Viewer app to access AR content.


Pixar’s latest feature, Onward, also

has deep meaning for its director,

Dan Scanlon (Monsters University).

“In development, I knew I wanted

to do something personal this time.

And so I just started asking questions

of other filmmakers here and telling

them about my life. And they helped

me pull out certain personal things. My dad

passed away when I was a year old and my brother

was three. So that was a biggie. I think a lot of

times movies are questions or should start off as

questions. And my question was, who was he and

how am I like him? Where am I going? That’s

where the idea came from and we thought, well,

wouldn’t it be amazing if you had one day with

that person—and what would you say?”

To make that premise work, some kind of

magic would need to enter the picture. But

Scanlon didn’t want to make a period piece set in

a fantasy world. “And then I thought,

why can’t it be modern and be a

fantasy, magical place?”

Thus was born the world of

Onward, in which high-tech conveniences

have been so embraced by its

community of elves, sprites, centaurs,

trolls, gnomes, and other fanciful creatures

that they’ve let some of their magical

powers dissipate. At the center of the story are two

elf brothers, awkward Ian (voiced by current Spider-Man

Tom Holland) and his boisterous older

sibling, Barley (Chris Pratt). On his 16th birthday,

Ian is presented with a gift from the late father he

never knew: a letter containing a magic spell, plus

a staff and a special gemstone, which will give him

the power to resurrect his dad for one day. But the

spell goes terribly awry: Dad comes back, all right,

but only from the waist down. To complete the

process, Ian and Barley must embark on a frantic

DYNAMIC DUO

Above, a sculpture

of the iconic

Pixar lamp that graces

the Pixar campus

in Emeryville, California,

and Boxoffice

Pro’s executive editor

Kevin Lally at the

Pixar campus, above

center.

Brothers Ian

and Barley (voiced

by Tom Holland and

Chris Pratt) embark

on an epic quest to

conjure their late

dad for one magical

day. Among the

challenges they face

is crossing a massive

crevasse with

nothing but Ian’s

own faith beneath

his feet.

Producer Kori

Rae and director

Dan Scanlon led

the creative team

behind Disney and

Pixar’s Onward.

ART AND PHOTO © 2019 DISNEY/PIXAR / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


quest to find another gem within the

next 24 hours.

Scanlon says, “It’s great that Pixar

wants to tell personal stories, or at

least stories that start off with a seed of

truth and honesty and then maybe are

dramatized after that. If something has

happened to you and you have real questions

about it, chances are other people

are going to have similar questions, even

if they don’t have the same story. I like

to believe that’s why a lot of the Pixar

stories have endured the test of time.”

Four months before Onward’s

opening date on March 6, Boxoffice

Pro was invited to visit the Pixar campus

in Emeryville, California, to preview

some scenes from the film and hear

from an array of Onward’s enthusiastic

craftspeople about their contributions

to the project. It’s a handsome and

convivial complex, with the company’s

many Oscars and other awards proudly

on display and life-size (and beyond)

replicas of their most beloved characters

(The Incredibles, Buzz and Woody, etc.)

poised near the entrance.

During a Q&A session, Scanlon

talked about the challenge of working

with so many gifted collaborators. “If

anything makes it really, really hard,

it’s that everyone here is very smart and

great filmmakers and I respect their

opinions. And that makes it difficult

to make a choice. … We’ve got five, six

years to make these films, but there’s

always a gate closing. You check these

different ideas against [one another], and

then you say, all right, we’re going to go

with this—until we’re not.”

Producer Kori Rae added, “It’s

amazing how open Dan and everyone is

during the process, because we really just

want to make the best choices for the

film. … All we do all day long is make

choices and decisions and try to move

everything forward. … But if anybody is

questioning any decision that we make,

we encourage them to come and talk to

us about it.”

Disney and Pixar arranged four sessions

with the heads of various departments,

revealing how incredibly detailed

and meticulous the process of developing

and nurturing an animated feature is.

Character supervisor Jeremie Talbot

seemed to relish the challenge of creating

a brand-new world filled with wild

characters—the final count was 13 species,

240 characters, and 100 variants—

and building something more subtle

from concepts that were initially “too

simple, too graphic.” Character-shading

lead Ana Lacaze talked about the intricacies

of her work (How shiny? How

soft?) and how she applied patterns and

elements that represented fantasy and “a

touch of whimsy.”

Directing animator Allison Rutland,

who oversaw a team of 85 animators,

noted how “every character had a history

that influenced how they evolved.”

One of the most fascinating is the

manticore—part human, part lion, part

bat, part scorpion—played by Octavia

Spencer. This fierce creature is now

the harried manager of a family-style

restaurant, and Rutland wanted to make

sure that even though she wears tight

clothes and high heels, “inside she’s still

a great beast,” about to be liberated.

For another character, a centaur whose

upper half is an overweight cop, the

Pixar team watched reference footage

of a horse brought inside a room and

wreaking havoc.

As for Dad, “It was an incredibly fun

challenge to have a character who’s just a

pair of pants. How do you express emotions?”

Rutland said. By trial and error,

her team found a way to make his walk

communicate surprise and apprehension.

Crowd supervisor Sequoia Blankenship

proved the value of his department,

showing how animated background extras

enrich the action. One sequence that

56 / FEBRUARY 2020


EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY

Left, storyboards for the “conjuring dad”

sequence of Onward

Center, an art gallery on the Pixar campus

Right, animation gallery for Onward

PHOTOS: © 2019 DISNEY/PIXAR / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

cries out for the big screen has an army

of biker sprites taking over a convenience

store—each one earns a laugh, if you’re

quick enough to spot them. Blankenship

joined in the praise for director Scanlon:

“Dan is a really collaborative and

generous director who allows the artists

to bring something to the table and have

their own voice.”

In another session, a quartet of speakers

addressed the challenges of refining

Onward’s particular blend of fantasy and

contemporary reality. For production

designer Noah Klocek, it was a matter of

building “a visual language that helps the

audience accept that world.” Originally,

painters from heartland America, like

Grant Wood, were a touchstone, but

the artists ultimately opted for a setting

more like Los Angeles. The general ratio

the designers arrived at was 70 percent

familiar and 30 percent fantasy. “We had

to massage almost every shot” to maintain

the right balance, Klocek revealed.

Adam Habib, director of photography/

lighting, described how he developed

different camera styles for each brother

(e.g., a wider lens for the manic Barley)

and how “the emotion of each moment

guides the camera choices”—including

simulated handheld for the movie’s most

chaotic scenes.

Editor Catherine Apple said she was

on the project for four years through its

many stages, from temp dialogue tracks

to sound effects to temp music score and

on to the final score. And lighting supervisor

Jonathan Pytko displayed a big

board with a small image of every single

shot, to demonstrate how the emotional

arcs of the story are subtly communicated

through color and lighting. Pytko’s

biggest challenge: “Blue skin is difficult

to make appealing.”

Our third session kicked off with

story artist Louise Smythe revealing how

the various spells uttered in the movie

were a team effort fueled by word-association

games. Effects supervisor Vincent

Serritella explained how those spells

took up varying amounts of screen space

depending on their potency. And graphic

art director Paul Conrad tallied the

overwhelming design details that go into

a fantasy project like this, from whimsical

grocery products to highway signs to

rock-band logos. Even the Quests of Yore

adventure guide book the brothers use is

designed to the last detail.

The final session was led by story

supervisor Kelsey Mann and story lead

Madeline Sharafian. Mann shared a

photo of himself with a single index

card tacked to the wall on Onward’s first

day of pre-production—in 2013. “The

reason it takes so long is we have such

a high bar at Pixar,” he said. “We make

sure the story is not just good, but great.

We start in a very scary place, which is

an empty story room. And we don’t start

making the film till the last year, year

and a half.”

Eventually, the rough script is sent

over to story artists. Over the course

of production, according to Mann,

there will be about eight screenings of

various storyboarded scenes, with 35 to

40 scenes per screening. “It’s a bit like

a play,” Mann said. “We’re trying to

give everybody in the room the sense

that they’re watching a movie. Is the

scene good? Is it doing what it needs to

do?” To give a sense of the atmosphere,

Sharafian used animated storyboards

while performing a key sequence

involving an invisible “trust bridge.”

(The press was later invited to cross the

vertiginous trust bridge by donning

virtual-reality helmets.)

A Pixar tradition is the gathering of

the “brain trust,” a group of the studio’s

top artists. “Each one of these filmmakers

has their own thing they’re doing,”

Mann said, “and for one day they stop

what they’re doing and help each other

on their film.”

FEBRUARY 2020 / 57


In a one-on-one interview later in

the day, director Scanlon reflected on the

lengthy process. “You start very alone,

and then you build this wonderful crew

that would die for the film, and you’d

die for them. Three hundred people, and

now you lose them all and you’re alone

again. We’ve got a few folks still around,

but that’s the emotional journey. You just

think, wow, we were such a team and

everyone worked so hard and everyone

sacrificed time with their families, and

now they all go to the wind and you’re

back alone again. It’s emotional. We’re

all really proud of the film, but you miss

people. And you’re tired.”

Along with the many artisans who

craft a Pixar feature, the voice actors are

also an important component. “This

was a challenging film, because we had

a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old,” said

producer Rae. “What age actor do you

try to go out to? You want someone with

solid acting chops, but someone who

still sounds 16. The process was lengthy,

and we designed the characters first. It’s

not until we get closer to the actual start

of production that we really aim to start

recording them. Finding Tom Holland

was fantastic. It took a little while for us,

but once we met with him, and then cut

in some test dialogue from his other films,

we realized that he was just right for Ian,

that he had the right amount of nervousness

and shyness and yet is such a great

actor that he can really do the emotional

scenes. We needed actors who could both

do comedy and the emotional scenes.”

Scanlon added, “And then Chris

[Pratt] came after that, and everyone

was saying Star-Lord and Spider-Man.

We really didn’t give that a lot of

thought. It was just that Chris embodied

the chaotic, wild part of Barley and

also that he has a charm that allows him

to get away with being a little annoying,

which he has to be at times, and

he has that big-brother quality. It does

help that they do know each other. That

Chris is a little bit like a big brother to

Tom helped a lot.”

In a change of pace from her self-absorbed

TV characters Elaine Benes and

Selina Meyer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays

the nurturing mother to the two teens.

“The reason we chose Julia was for her

sardonic side, the humor side, the idea

that she’s had a terrible thing happen in

her life and she’s had to raise these two

boys alone,” Scanlon explained. “And

from my mom that sort of showed up

in a don’t-sweat-the-small-things kind

of sense of humor. And Julia has that

in spades, where she rolls her eyes at

things and moves on, commenting on

all the idiots around her. That was the

initial choice. But I didn’t think about

how much of the movie is gentle and

sweet. You know, she’s a mother of two

boys herself, and she didn’t put any jokes

into it. She just was sincere and sweet.

Being able to see her switch back and

forth is really cool, and I think it will

be something people haven’t seen much

from her.”

In casting Octavia Spencer as the formidable

manticore named Corey, Scanlon

said they found an actress with the

range to be both flustered and vulnerable

and “almost Shakespearean.” Rae added,

“When she first saw the character design,

she laughed and she kept chuckling.”

Pixar is known for setting itself

technical challenges, from its very first

miracle of a feature, Toy Story, in 1995.

For Scanlon, the big challenge of Onward

was “the amount of varied species

in the movie—different walking styles

and slithering styles and all of that. It’s

difficult to populate a movie with this

many characters—just the size of the

world when doing a fantasy movie of this

scope. And also a movie where they’re

ANIMATORS AT WORK

Pixar’s team at the Emeryville,

California, campus

in a van traveling down the road—it’s a

road picture, and they have to traverse a

lot of different areas.”

“The colliding of the worlds, the

modern fantasy, just tracking that and

making sure it all made sense was a bit

of a challenge from a pure story standpoint,”

Rae added.

With all the painstaking detail that

goes into a project like this, does it

bother the filmmakers that some people

will wind up watching Onward on their

small screens?

“It used to bug me a lot more,” Rae

responded.

“It doesn’t bug me anymore at all.

I’m just glad they’re watching it,” Scalon

said.

“Exactly. Now we understand; we’ve

accepted that that is what’s going to happen.

I just hope as many people see it as

possible, whether they’re watching it on

a phone or an iPad or in a theater.”

Added Scanlon, “I think they’ll

get the best experience from a theater.

Especially for this movie, because it’s a

quest movie, and it’s big and dense. But,

hey, I get it. I watch things on the phone

because that’s all I have time for.”

With Onward finally about to hit

screens, Scanlon and Rae are currently

decompressing. But, said Rae, “probably

[in the coming year] there’ll be another

photo of us that says day one, in a blank

room with white walls and no ideas. The

same card that we had at the beginning

of this one.”

58 / FEBRUARY 2020


The Battle for Bacurau

KLEBER MENDONÇA FILHO AND JULIANO DORNELLES

CREATE A POLITICALLY CHARGED GENRE FILM

BY KEVIN LALLY

›› Bacurau (translated from the

Portuguese as “nighthawk”) is a fictional

village in northeastern Brazil and the

setting of the latest film from Kleber

Mendonça Filho (Aquarius, Neighboring

Sounds) and his production designer

turned co-director, Juliano Dornelles.

Bacurau the movie is a little harder to

explain: It’s the craziest western Sergio

Leone never made, a homage to The Most

Dangerous Game, and a tender portrait of

a very quirky, isolated community, laced

with an angry political message.

The first 40 minutes are deceptively

quaint. A woman named Teresa (Bárbara

Colen) returns to Bacurau for the funeral

of her elderly grandmother, an event that

brings out the whole town and is loudly

disrupted by a drunken dissenter who

happens to be the town doctor (veteran

Brazilian star Sonia Braga). A visit from

a corrupt local politician reveals that the

town is dependent on outside sources

for clean water and is being ruthlessly

underserved and exploited. Gradually,

more ominous signs appear: Cell phone

service dies; a truck carrying water

arrives riddled with bullet holes; a weird

flying saucer drone looms overhead; two

garishly dressed motorcyclists enter the

town. Those strangers, it’s soon revealed,

are affiliated with a group of American

tourists who’ve paid big money to hunt

down the residents of Bacurau. Let the

vicious games begin!

Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2019

Cannes Film Festival (an award shared

with France’s Les Misérables), Bacurau

opens on March 6 via Kino Lorber. Mendonça

Filho’s previous films have earned

60 / FEBRUARY 2020

TEAM BACURAU

Co-directors Juliano

Dornelles and Kleber

Mendonça Filho

Above, Sonia Braga

and Bárbara Colen

PHOTOS: VICTOR JUCÁ


international acclaim, but his latest—already a big

hit in Brazil—seems poised to find a much broader

audience. “Probably because it has a strange mix

of different elements,” Mendonça Filho speculated

during his visit to Manhattan for the New York

Film Festival in October. “Sometimes it’s an action

film, and then it gets quite violent, and then it’s

quite compassionate. It’s a little bit funny here and

there, and it’s a very honest portrayal of a small

community in a faraway place. But it’s also universal

in a strange way.”

One quality Bacurau shares with Mendonça

Filho’s more understated earlier films is a simmering

aura of menace. “It’s a wonderful device in any decent

dramatic narrative,” he says. “You know, when

things don’t go so well, you get worried and that

generates tension, and then you want to see how

the story will develop. But now, because it’s a genre

film, everything is more spelled out and spectacular.

In Neighboring Sounds [2012], the tension was

there, but you couldn’t put your finger on it. Most

of the time, nothing really happened. Aquarius

[2016] is a little more explicit in its intentions.

And this one is like an all-out classic western setup,

which also came from my and Juliano’s love for the

best American films of the ’70s. I was very young

in the ’70s and I was a teenager in the ’80s. Juliano

is 11 years younger than I am, so he had a different

experience with VHS and DVDs. But Michael

Cimino, [Sam] Peckinpah, [John] Carpenter, John

McTiernan—very good classic American directors,

very American in a very interesting way for us to

observe American cinema. [Other influences were]

Leone and Corbucci from the Italian side, and of

course Brazilian cinema from the ’60s, which is one

of our best vintage periods.”

Reporting from Cannes, New York Times

critic Manohla Dargis compared Bacurau’s

“heart-thumping political allegory” to the work of

provocative horror director John Carpenter. Mendonça

Filho is a fan, and he even uses Carpenter’s

music composition “Night” in Bacurau. “When

I think about Carpenter, I think more about his

amazing visual style, his Panavision shots, and his

sense of rhythm and menace. And, of course, I

also think about some of the political commentary

he has made: They Live and Prince of Darkness. But

I really think about his style and his sense of menace

and space. He’s part of my life. In December

1981 I was 13, and I went to see with my mom

Raiders of the Lost Ark, an unforgettable cinemagoing

experience. But that film did not make me

want to make films, because it felt so spectacular:

‘This is impossible. I live in Recife, Brazil. I’m 13,

and this is not gonna happen.’ But two years later,

I took home on VHS three films by John Carpenter:

Escape from New York, Assault on Precinct 13,

and Halloween. When I saw Assault on Precinct

13, I said, I think I can make a film—because it’s

very simple, very strong, very good, very American

in the classic sense. So this was inspiring. And

I’ve been in that mode since 1983. Halloween is a

similar example. A couple of houses, streets, a lot

of darkness and shadows. A strange, scary mask,

which I think you could buy for a dollar. You

don’t have to spend a lot of money.”

Mendonça Filho continues, “Neighboring

Sounds and Aquarius are very straight dramas

about people living life—kitchen-sink dramas, like

the British used to say. But I would shoot a scene

in a kitchen, and in my mind it would be a scene

John Carpenter could probably shoot if he made

a kitchen-sink drama. I wouldn’t shoot it like Ken

Loach with a handheld camera. For me, I was

already making Bacurau, but Bacurau is so much

more because we have horses and landscape vistas

and people with guns and it becomes a much

clearer exercise in genre. Aquarius leaned a little

bit towards the thriller, but it never really admitted

that it was a thriller.”

At the same time, Bacurau is steeped in authenticity:

The gritty location and the weathered actors

(many of them nonprofessional) give the film a

near-documentary quality. “We got very lucky,”

says co-director Dornelles, “because we discovered

a place, and places nearby, where there were people

with wonderful faces and personalities. We made

this film together, and they understood very well

the kind of film they were doing and the story—it’s

almost like they had already experienced some of

the emotions. You can feel it in the film.”

Dornelles explains that the area where they

filmed “is very isolated and they suffer a little bit

of prejudice from the bigger city. It’s a district of a

bigger city of 20,000 inhabitants, and only about

80 people live there. They kept asking us, why

do we want to make a film there? There’s nothing

there. They didn’t understand. And now everybody’s

so proud of the film.”

“When we were traveling to find the location,

to discover the place,” Dornelles continues, “we

had some beautiful confirmations that we were on

the right path in terms of the script. For example,

an 80-year-old lady invited me to visit the museum

of the community. And of course I said yes,

because I’m very smart. When I entered her house,

she pointed to one of the walls of the living room

and said, ‘This is the museum.’ A lot of photographs,

objects hanging, and newspaper clippings.

Very dignified. It was a museum, very small-scale

TAKING AIM

Udo Kier in a scene

from Bacurau

FEBRUARY 2020 / 61


ut legit. [A similar town museum plays

a key role in the film.] That was wonderful

to experience. It makes me feel like

Bacurau really exists. Good things can

happen in places like that.”

Dornelles calls Bacurau “a micro-representation

of Brazil. We have many

different ethnicities. It was very important

to us, because it’s a film about the

community. There are no leading roles,

there are many important characters. So if

they are very different from each other, it’s

more interesting.”

Dornelles’s “promotion” from production

designer to co-director occurred

“in a very natural way,” he says, “because

we have been friends for 16 years and

we had the idea together in 2009. We

never discussed how we were going to do

it; we just started to talk about the idea.

We started to look for funding and then

it happened. … We spent eight months

writing the final draft of the script. We

just make everything together, since the

beginning. We are still friends and we still

love each other.

“I’ve always worked with friends as

a production designer. I have my own

projects as a screenwriter and director.

It’s a group of friends that love cinema.

I’ve always loved Kleber’s films and

ideas, and he keeps inviting me and I

keep accepting.”

Mendonça Filho is currently embroiled

in a fight with the right-wing

Brazilian government of President

Jair Bolsonaro, which is demanding

he return the money it gave him to

finance Neighboring Sounds, claiming

the production exceeded the maximum

budget qualifying it for the funds. “One

thing that makes me sleep at night is the

understanding that I’m not the first, and

I won’t be the last artist to be attacked

by people in government,” the director

says. “I have this ideological disagreement

with them, and it has happened

many times before. It’s such a bizarre,

unprecedented manipulation of fact

and fiction to put together some crazy

accusation, that we are absolutely sure

it’s gonna go away. We’re working with

lawyers and everything, but it has never

happened before—a film being made

and delivered, being successful. And then

years later, after everything has been filed

and approved, at exactly the time when

Brazil begins to leave the democratic

road, new people from the extreme right

get to the minister of culture and they

go back to folders which have long been

put away in filing cabinets. They come

up with a crazy, nonsensical demand

to give back all the money for a film

that cost $450,000 and has represented

Brazilian cinema internationally. It’s very

much a portrait of what’s going on in

the country now. And, in fact, the same

minister of culture was actually scrapped.

He was prepared for the scrapyard by the

same people who accuse me. On January

1 [of 2019], the ministry of culture was

extinguished after 40 years of incredible

services to Brazilian culture and cinema,

theater, literature, music. It’s a scandal.

It’s a complete lack of understanding of

the importance of culture, a complete

lack of respect for artists. It’s just a sinister

moment for the country.”

The two directors also believe strongly

in the importance of the big-screen

experience. “This film was made to be

seen in cinemas with a wide screen,”

Dornelles asserts, “with Panavision anamorphic

lenses, with people applauding

and shouting.”

“I would be thrilled if this film makes

its way to streaming after it has gone

through the old-fashioned, exciting

filmgoing experience that I cherish so

much as a cinephile,” Mendonça Filho

says. “I’m 50 now, so I can say that.

Julian is 39 and he sticks with me. We

shot it for the wide screen. We’ve been

incredibly lucky, because since May we

have screened Bacurau in probably the

best large-scale classic cinemas in the

world. The State Theatre in Sydney, the

Lumière in Cannes, Alice Tully Hall in

New York City, the Luxor in Paris. And

the São Luiz theater [in Recife, Brazil], a

thousand-seat, 1952 movie palace, which

is the top-grossing cinema in the country

for Bacurau. It’s like a church. Baroque.

It’s incredible, a jewel. So every time it

plays in some place like that, something

happens with Bacurau. It establishes an

atmosphere and people just get really excited

with the film, and there is applause

in the middle.”

“We’re also going to show it at the

Odeon Leicester Square in London,

which is one of the best cinemas in the

world. I grew up in England, and I used

to go to Leicester Square with my family.

There was the Empire, probably the

best cinema on the planet, and then the

Odeon, which wasn’t very far, and the

Warner West End. So it’s such a privilege,

such an honor.

“We are very old-fashioned. I think

the film should come out on Blu-ray, it

should be seen on Netflix, it should be

seen on digital platforms, but it’s essential

that it has the best, longest, most

amazing life on the big screen.”

“I don’t like the idea of someone

seeing this film on a telephone,”

Dornelles interjects.

“We can’t really help it. It’s going

to happen.”

“I don’t want to think about this.”

“But it’s gonna happen, and it’s fine,”

Mendonça Filho responds. “My point

is we should protect the film in terms

of getting adequate windows for each of

its lives. … What we are doing with Bacurau

in Brazil, where we have complete

control, is being draconian in terms of

not letting the film leak. No links go out,

no DCPs, nothing. We say, no, no, no,

no. We only show the film on a proper

DCP. We are on the sixth week, and it

has just opened in France and it hasn’t

shown up on the internet. I hope it stays

that way until maybe December. It’s very

important because people are going to the

theater and it has been quite an experience.

We also sent a little letter—it’s been

done before, Lynch did it with Lost Highway—asking

the projectionist very nicely:

Please, play it a little stronger. Just turn it

up a little bit. It’s good for your business,

because there is a difference.”

In closing, Mendonça Filho mentions

an ally in the fight for the big screen.

“None of the big chains in Brazil wanted

Roma when they offered it. One of our

most enthusiastic exhibitors owns 19

screens, and Bacurau is bringing in a lot

of money for him. He’s a very nice guy,

and last year Netflix wanted to pay him

something like $100,000 to stage three

big high-profile screenings of Roma. And

he said, with all due respect, fuck you,

because I get paid now, and then I will lose

in the future with you committing violence

against the act of going to the cinema.”

62 / FEBRUARY 2020


Painting Love

CÉLINE SCIAMMA REVEALS HER PHILOSOPHY

OF LOVE IN PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

BY VASSILIKI MALOUCHOU

›› Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire will take you on an unusual, stormy

ride. And make no mistake; it will break your heart. Set against the white-washed

isolated cliffs of Brittany at the end of the 18th century, Portrait tells the story of a

female painter, Marianne (Noémie Merlant), who is commissioned to paint the wedding

portrait of a young woman, Héloïse (Adèle Haenel). But Héloïse, unhappy with

the betrothal, refuses to pose. Marianne is then obliged to paint her secretly, observing

her during the day, painting her by night. As they grow closer, an explosive forbidden

romance develops between the young women.

This is Sciamma’s fourth feature and arguably her

most sensual and intimate. She has already explored

concepts of gender and sexuality with her comingof-age

films Water Lilies (on which she worked with

Haenel), Girlhood, and Tomboy. But Neon’s Portrait of

a Lady on Fire is her most autobiographical work yet.

Sciamma, who won Best Screenplay and the Queer

Palm in Cannes last year, wrote the part of Héloïse with

Haenel, her ex-partner, in mind. The picture is also

about artistic creation itself and the artist’s relationship

to her muse. Boxoffice Pro spoke with Sciamma

about love, art, and creation.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is about a love story but

also about art and creation. It’s a very intimate film.

To what extent is it autobiographical?

The movie is based on my experience as a filmmaker,

that’s for sure, but less on actual facts and more on ideas,

the idea of looking, observing, and collaboration, that I

want to defend. As for the sentimental aspect of the film,

it proposes a certain philosophy of love that for me is an

aspiration.

How did that affect your experience of making the

movie?

It was a very emotional and sentimental set in part

because it’s my fourth collaboration with my producer

[Bénédicte Couvreur], because Adèle and I were

working together again, because of meeting Noémie,

and the birth of that duo. The emotions were really

what was felt in the present on set, and I think that you

can feel that in the movie.

What were some of your influences?

There weren’t really any influences. We play with the

imagery of the 19th century, rather than the 18th when

the story takes place, which is a little bit more romantic

in terms of art history. And in some moments we do

refer to novels of the 19th century, most notably with

the importance of page 28 in the film [Marianne draws

a sketch of herself as a keepsake on page 28 of Héloïse’s

book]. That’s a very literary idea. So, we do play with

these codes, but at the same time we tried to get out of

conventions in the most radical way possible. Overall, I

can’t say that there are a lot of references to the movie.

The film tries in a new, candid way to invent its own

language. We looked at a lot of paintings with Claire

Mathon, our DOP, but more to think about how we

would film the paintings. We didn’t have any pictorial

references other than maybe Corot, who painted a lot of

female portraits, especially outdoors, and you feel like the

light emanates from them. So, we did focus a lot on the

light around characters.

One of the themes of the movie is the women’s

emancipation through art and sexuality. Why is it

important to talk about this today?

Because I believe that love stories have a big

influence on our lives. It’s an ambition for every

individual and all of our society to be in a couple, for

example. It’s very rare for people to decide to withdraw

from that marketplace. So, love stories influence

our lives, the way we see the world, and putting

emancipation, rather than possession or living together

forever or a tragic end, at the center of a philosophy

of love I think offers a positive dynamic. I’m very

interested in depicting other representations of love.

64 / FEBRUARY 2020


One of the most touching things about the

film is how you deal with memory in a love

story.

It’s a bit the same dynamic: that a love that is

lived is a love that’s received. That’s why often in

love stories, it’s necessary that relationships end so

that we can bring them with us and not leave them

in the theater. In the end, the frozen image of a

couple walking towards the horizon doesn’t leave us

with much. So, it’s the idea that what has been lived

can be looked at and can nourish our future loves. I

really believe in that, in memory as a dynamic.

The idea of looking at something and being

looked at is very present in the film. Can you

say a few words about that?

It’s the idea of a mutual gaze between two

subjects that are in love rather than from a subject

to an object. The film plays with glances a lot.

Also, the film is being seen by the audience, but

the film also looks at the audience. That switch,

where the artist understands that she’s also looked

at, is a funny and surprising way to look at ideas,

because cinema is about ideas.

When Marianne paints the first portrait

that Héloïse hates, she tells her that there are

conventions, rules, ideas about how to paint

a portrait. It immediately makes you think

of the oppression of the male gaze. Was the

act of painting itself a deconstruction of the

male gaze and an echo of your own work as a

filmmaker?

Absolutely. And again, it unravels what’s really

behind these types of relationships. I don’t try to

subvert the relationship between the model and

the artist in an incantatory way. I deeply believe

that women had the opportunity to create as

models in studios and they seized that opportunity

and truly collaborated with the painters to create

these works of art. That’s how I see it when I’m on

set, and I don’t think it’s just me, I think that’s the

reality of it. They are creators.

Is there a “female gaze”?

There is one, de facto, yes. It’s not because

you’re a woman that you do that but it’s a decision,

a thought process. Since the male gaze exists

since cinema does, the female gaze, even though

we can’t really put together all films that do

that, is at least a vigilant, conscious, and playful

attempt to break free from that convention. So, I

think it’s something to be welcomed.

For you, what are its characteristics?

To not objectify the characters, whoever they

are, to share their experience, and to propose new

power dynamics on-screen.

Why is music almost completely absent in

the film?

For replication [of the character’s experience].

The movie also talks about the impact of art on

our lives. And we see that Héloïse wants to listen

to music, to read books, but they’re not easily

available to her. So, there are certain moments

where we live this fabulous access to beauty and

arts with her. If you want to make the audience

feel what the characters are experiencing, you

can’t give them music.

Throughout the whole movie, the love story

unfolds through painting. That’s how they

reveal each other to one another. Why is it

music in the end that moves Héloïse so much,

that releases that emotional storm, as opposed

to painting?

Because there’s a story between her and that

music. It’s a music that someone she loved loves. It

also shows that relationships educate us about art

because love gives us an appetite, a desire for art.

It’s rare to have almost no men in the film.

What do you think that means for a male

audience?

I offer them a cinematic experience where they

can discover a different experience from their own

and where they can, at the same time, get out of

that conventional framework. Getting out of the

framework has the same impact on women and

men, I think. In the end, taking men out of it is

a way to put them back in and make them look

at themselves. It was also because I didn’t want to

mistreat anyone in the film, meaning that if there

was a male character in the movie, he would have

been the opponent. I’m not interested in objectifying

anyone. I didn’t feel like doing that and make

oppression felt rather than tell that story.

Why is it important to watch this movie in

a theater?

It’s important. And what’s really important is

that the film is released in theaters. The movie is

conceived to be a theatrical experience. From the

point of view of its beauty, the aesthetic, visual,

and sound experience but also as a collective

experience. It’s made to be seen like that.

ARTIST & MUSE

Adèle Haenel

and Noémie

Merland in Portrait

of a Lady on Fire

(Portrait de la jeune

fille en feu)

FEBRUARY 2020 / 65


a Lux

Experience

SHOWCASE CINEMAS CELEBRATES

ITS LATEST RENOVATION

WITH AN OPEN HOUSE

AND STAR WARS MARATHON

BY DANIEL LORIA

›› After a multimillion-dollar renovation, the Showcase Cinema

de Lux Legacy Place in Dedham, Massachusetts, reintroduced

itself to the local community with a pair of unique events: An

open house held on December 14 gave patrons the opportunity to

watch any movie that day for only $5 per ticket; the

event brought in over 4,000 people. And to prepare

audiences for the launch of one of the biggest films

of the year, Showcase hosted a 24-hour nine-movie

marathon on December 18 as a lead up to the debut

of The Rise of Skywalker. Participants were provided

with a refreshment area stocked with complimentary

towelettes, toothpaste, and other assorted toiletries—

as well as free popcorn.

Originally opened in 2009, the 15-auditorium

theater underwent a complete renovation that

includes premium recliner seating by Palliser, Barco

Series 4 laser projection, and an impressive new lobby with modern

design and lighting elements. The location originally featured a

closed-off restaurant in its lobby, which was completely redesigned

to give it an open-concept look intended to draw patrons in rather

than isolate diners inside. The result is like an upscale hotel lobby,

featuring communal seating areas that encourage conversation

before or after a movie.

“It was exciting to be part of the team challenged to evolve

our flagship theater, Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place,”

says Rebecca Stein, V.P. of studio relations and U.S. marketing

at Showcase. “It was our goal to make this theater’s experience,

amenities, and design emblematic as to who we are as a company.

Therefore, the renovations represent our focus on the best cinema

technology, ultra-comfort in the auditoriums and lobby, mixed

with high-end design featuring rich jewel-tone colors. This was

especially important as the theater is only minutes away from our

STARRY-EYED

A detailed view of

Star Wars–themed

cocktails designed

for the Star Wars

marathon at

Showcase Cinema

de Lux Legacy Place

headquarters and plays host to important community

events, high-profile premieres as well as area

trade screenings.”

The theater was operational throughout the

renovation, which began in late August 2019.

Weeks after beginning the project, Showcase

raised eyebrows across the exhibition industry

with the release of a self-funded biometric study

66 / FEBRUARY 2020


PHOTOS: ADAM GLANZMAN/AP IMAGES FOR SHOWCASE CINEMAS

comparing the emotional and neuropsychological

effects of watching a movie at a theater to

watching at home. The study, conducted by HCD

Research, looked at two groups of 40 participants

(ages 18–44), one in a movie theater and another

in a home-viewing setting, and applied biometric

sensors on participants’ hands, wrists, and collarbones

during a showing of Jumanji: Welcome to the

Jungle. The study’s results revealed higher engagement

levels by participants in a cinema setting.

“The technology and creature comforts built

around the moviegoing experience at the new

Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place exemplify

the characteristics within the study that helped to

prove that the experience of viewing a movie in a

theater was much more elevated and better than

DELIGHTFULLY

DE LUX

The Showcase

Cinema de Lux

Legacy Place,

before the Star Wars

marathon event in

December 2019

FEBRUARY 2020 / 67


MAY THE FORCE

BE WITH YOU

Star Wars yoga

in the lobby

at the Showcase

Cinema de Lux

X MARKS THE SPOT

The XPlus theater

at the Showcase

other forms of movie viewing,” explains Mark

Malinowski, vice president of global marketing for

Showcase Cinemas.

Showcase placed an important emphasis on

the theater’s food and beverage offerings as part

of its renovation. The concession stand features

a station for freshly made pretzels, Nathan’s hot

dogs, Famiglia pizza, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and

a wide array of Starbucks coffee items. It is one of

the first movie theaters to offer both Frappuccinos

and cold brews at its concession stand. Coca-Cola

Freestyle machines are positioned in the hallways

leading to the auditoriums, taking full advantage

of the theater’s foot traffic. Dynamic digital

signage helps boost the latest F&B promotions

and can be deployed as a branded takeover for a

specific concession item or film.

Next to the concessions, a full-service café bar

serving small bites and appetizers is ideally situated

for patrons as they enter or exit an auditorium. Alcohol

service includes craft cocktails on tap, beer

and wine, and premium liquor options. A second

bar, located on the theater’s second-story “Lux”

level, cuts down the walking time for patrons

looking for a refill during a movie.

“The theater’s food and beverage offerings are

designed to provide something for everyone,”

says Patrick Micalizzi, V.P. of food and beverage

at Showcase. “Our reconceived lobby café

concept now includes a wide array of Starbucks

beverages, a gourmet menu, and an assortment of

craft cocktails on tap. Additionally, our updated

concession stands offer freshly popped popcorn,

new digital menu/display boards, and a fleet of

Coca-Cola Freestyle machines with more than

200 flavor combinations. Under the direction of

our executive chef, our redesigned Lux Level bar

and lounge includes a carefully curated menu of

cocktails, appetizers, entrees, and desserts that take

in-theater dining to an entirely new level.”

The theater’s most impressive space is its exhibitor-branded

premium large-format (PLF) XPlus

auditorium. The two-level screening room features

heated recliner seating by Palliser and a two-and-ahalf-story-high

wall-to-wall screen. It boasts one of

only four Cinionic Giant Screen (CGS) dual-laser

projectors in the United States (the only one on

the East Coast) and delivers state-of-the-art image

quality to complement its Dolby Atmos immersive

audio system. There is a full-service dine-in menu

with a call button at each seat, delivering a truly

premium moviegoing experience in style.

“It’s technologically advanced, incredibly

comfortable, and larger than life, so it’s fitting

that Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place is

relaunching with the Star Wars marathon and the

opening of the latest franchise film—a cultural

event that embodies the same qualities as our theater,”

says Malinowski. “With the XPlus premium

large format, laser projection, power recliners,

Lux Level, and a new café concept, this theater is

everything a modern moviegoer could want.”

PHOTOS: ADAM GLANZMAN/AP IMAGES FOR SHOWCASE CINEMAS

68 / FEBRUARY 2020


Century in Exhibition

2020 marks the 100th

anniversary of the founding

of Boxoffice Pro. Though

the publication you hold in

your hands has had different

owners, headquarters,

and even names—it was

founded in Kansas City by

18-year-old Ben Shlyen as

The Reel Journal, then called

Boxoffice in 1933, and more

recently Boxoffice Pro—it has

always remained committed

to theatrical exhibition.

From the 1920s to the

2020s, Boxoffice Pro has

always had one goal: to

provide knowledge and

insight to those who bring

movies to the public. Radio,

TV, home video, and

streaming have all been

perceived as threats to

the theatrical exhibition

industry over the years,

but movie theaters are still

here—and so are we.

We at Boxoffice Pro are

devotees of the exhibition

industry, so we couldn’t

resist the excuse of a

centennial to explore our

archives. What we found

was not just the story of a

magazine, but the story of

an industry—the debates,

the innovations, the concerns,

and above all the

beloved movies. We’ll share

our findings in our yearlong

series, A Century in

Exhibition.

1930S: THE CRASH, COLOR,

AND THE ‘CODE’

BY VASSILIKI MALOUCHOU

›› We began our series with last month’s overview of the

1920s, a decade in which the coming of sound heralded both

excitement and concern among the exhibition community.

In the ’30s, with sound well established, color became the

technical innovation that drove the conversation. Then,

as now, government involvement in the movie industry—

specifically regarding censorship, taxation, and labor laws—

also animated numerous conversations within our pages.

As the 1930s began, there was a strong sense of optimism throughout the

motion picture industry. Buoyed by the success of the “talkies,” the industry was

confident in its ability to weather an economic downturn in the wake of the 1929

stock market crash. As early as December 1929, Al Lichtman, United Artists’ head

of sales, wrote that “all over the country, business at the box offices of theaters is

fine. People turned to the economical form of entertainment that the movies

represent for mental diversion.”

Studio leaders were equally optimistic. In an August 1932 Boxoffice Pro

overview on the state of the industry, Adolph Zukor, president of Paramount-Publix,

reassured that “there is nothing in this depression that good pictures, hard

work and sound judgement cannot cure.” Universal Pictures’ Carl Laemmle even

affirmed that “the depression has been a good thing for the motion picture industry,

for it knocked out extravagant ideas and brought costs down to a sane level.”

The reality wasn’t quite as rosy. While after an initial slump in weekly attendance

between 1929 and 1932, attendance levels were on the rise again, but admission prices

were dropping. Many chains were forced to cut prices. We reported that, for example,

the Boston Publix houses slashed their prices by about 33 percent in 1932. That same

year, RKO theaters cut overhead with economies of an estimated $2.8 million.

Nor were studios immune to budget cuts. In the late 1930s, Hollywood faced

waves of studio layoffs and production halts. The second half of the decade saw

Hollywood in paralysis as major strikes took place almost without interruption. Union

workers from the major guilds picketed major studios and theaters in metropolitan

centers, requesting a minimum wage, 42-hour weeks, and better working conditions.

In the eyes of writers, the strikes were inefficient. In a 1937 editorial titled “A Lost

Cause,” western bureau manager Ivan Spear explained that “theater patrons have only

the option of seeing pictures made in Hollywood—mostly by the major companies

affected by the strike—or of seeing no pictures at all.” In October 1939, Spear wrote

that the “labor situation [was] again No. 1 problem of the film capital.” This conflict

between studios and workers would persist well into the 1940s.

Meanwhile, the Great Depression gave new momentum to two debates about the

motion picture industry that would define the decades to come: federal regulation and

70 / FEBRUARY 2020


NOT SO FAST!

Fairbanks cautioned about new tech.

questions about the social responsibility of films.

The National Recovery Administration in Washington proposed a 10 percent

tax on admissions in 1932, prompting a surge of local tax legislation. This was the

beginning of a long battle against government interference in the film industry.

According to owner/editor Ben Shlyen, in 1935 there were more than 140 bills in one

(unnamed) state alone that targeted the movie business.

Boxoffice Pro was at the forefront of the fight against that taxation. Its

contributors thought that government regulation and heavy taxation were the

product of exaggerated reports of box office revenues. In an article dated February 23,

1935, Shlyen called the tax legislation a “discriminatory nuisance.” The magazine led

letter-writing drives, inviting exhibitors to press their representatives to fight taxation

bills. Just as taxation issues were making headlines, so were concerns about local

minimum wage bills, child labor laws, and other economic measures that were seen as

potentially harmful for exhibition.

At the same time, there was ongoing discussion among writers, exhibitors, studio

executives, religious groups, and women’s clubs about the impact of films on society.

One of the issues was the question of realism. The popular successes of The Grapes

of Wrath, The Plow That Broke the Plains, and other “Dust Bowl Pictures” proved

that movies were not resilient only because of their escapism value but also for

depicting the reality of the Depression. But were these pictures going too far? Was it

“propaganda with a message” as producer Jimmy Roosevelt—Franklin D. Roosevelt’s

son—thought of The Grapes of Wrath?

No other regulation captured these debates better than the Motion Picture Code

(1930–66), also called the Hays Code, which established a set of voluntary guidelines

for producers. The Hays Code, named after its creator Will H. Hays, president of the

Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (now the MPAA), was enacted

in March 1930 and effectively introduced censorship. With its series of “Don’ts” and

“Be Carefuls,” producers were called upon to obey “moral standards,” not ridicule

the law, and avoid vulgarity, obscenity, profanity, and sex. Self-censorship and state

censorship boards became the norm.

However, there were acts of resistance. Howard Hughes fought hard to stop the

censorship of Scarface, accusing his censors of “ulterior and political motives” (May 5,

1932). While Hughes ultimately succeeded, it was harder for other movies. There was

a lot of buzz in our pages concerning the educational film Birth of a Baby, which, in

the end, censors deemed only suitable for specialized medical audiences.

In an April 8, 1930 editorial, written right after the adoption of the Code, Shlyen

applauded the maturity of the industry, especially because he saw the proliferation of films

with sex and violence as a threat. He wrote, “When an industry sets out to clean its own

house it is a virtue that deserves to be applauded. When it sets rules for itself to follow and

follows them, it merits lauding to the skies.” In 1934, the Code had “its teeth sharpened,”

“MILITANT LABOR UNIONS”

Frank Capra was SDG president.

THE OTHER POINT OF VIEW

Executives weighed in at Boxoffice.

FEBRUARY 2020 / 71


CONTENTIOUS CODES

Censorship and taxes were concerns …

BOX OFFICE BOFFO!

… yet the hits kept coming.

per editor-in-chief Maurice Kann, when

tighter regulations associated with conservative

Production Code administrator Joe

Breen were adopted.

The Code was to become one of our

most written-about topics throughout

the decade. As time passed and the

Code’s shortcomings became more

apparent, Shlyen did not retract his

support but instead advocated in favor

of revisions. In a 1935 story, he wrote,

“The Code has some good points few

will deny. That it has enabled the industry

to regulate itself and to restrain

certain flagrant abuses also will meet

with little denial.” He repeatedly called

for more honest, fruitful debates and

for better cooperation among producers,

distributors, and exhibitors as a

means of avoiding government censorship

in favor of self-regulation. According

to a 1939 Boxoffice Pro survey,

that echoed the position of most

exhibitors. Sixty-seven percent declared

themselves to be in favor of the Hays

Code but wanted better cooperation,

less government intrusion, and more

precise guidelines for cancellations

and clearance. After endless back and

forth between attorneys and exhibitor

groups, the decade ended with a revised

code—which was nonetheless not accepted

by the Justice Department.

Despite the Depression and battles

over regulation, the 1930s was also a decade

of innovations, among them color.

But much like sound a decade earlier,

early uses of color were questioned by

many in the industry. In March 1930,

Shlyen wrote that he went into a color

screening feeling fine but “came out

with a headache.” He also criticized the

lack of realism and the “unreal effect”

of the technology. Shlyen believed that

a more measured use of color would be

more effective. Not all features should

be color, he argued. In 1936, film star

Douglas Fairbanks also warned that

“the use of color in features is dangerous”

because of the lack of expertise in

finding proper color combinations.

The first 100 percent multicolor

outdoor drama, Tex Takes a Holiday,

proved to be a big box office draw

in 1932. In 1935, Disney, beginning

with the Mickey Mouse short The

HUGHES V. HAYS

Mogul lobbied to win over commissioner

Band Concert, announced that all its

future short subjects would be filmed

in Technicolor. A year later, following

the success of Paramount’s Technicolor

picture The Trail of the Lonesome Pine,

Lehman Bros., Atlas Corp., and Joan

Hertz purchased Technicolor shares. In

1937, Samuel Goldwyn declared that

he would produce his upcoming films

with Technicolor, arguing that “color no

longer interferes with the telling of the

story.” Technicolor shares skyrocketed.

1936–1937 marked a turning point

in the use of color, with the technology

gaining more and more support. The

use of Technicolor, which had improved

its three-color method, had increased

nearly 70 percent between 1935

and 1936. A contributor even estimated

a 300 percent increase in color features

for the last two years of the decade.

This innovation was a hit with

moviegoers. A survey published in

the magazine in April 1937 found

that fans were asking for more color

features. Disney’s Snow White and the

Seven Dwarfs (1937), the first animated

feature to use color and sound, grossed

an estimated $6.74 million by 1939,

more than any other film to date. An

exhibitor reporting on The Wizard of

Oz (1939) stated that the novelty of

color was more important than the film

itself. Like sound in the 1920s, color

came to revolutionize the nature of

motion pictures forever.

72 / FEBRUARY 2020


NUMBER

CRUNCH0

The 15 Movies

with the Biggest

Box Office Potential2020

Last year’s domestic box office might have seen a dip since the heights of 2018,

but with the likes of Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, Joker, and Star Wars: Episode

IX – The Rise of Skywalker hitting big, there were still plenty of successes to keep

theaters busy. 2020 looks to be no different, with one notable exception: There

will be no Star Wars film to give the box office that end-of-year bump. (As you’ll see

below, there is a film looking to step into that gap.)

Even with the Skywalkers out of the picture, Disney can be expected to provide

several high-profile animation and live-action hits. Popular franchises from

Universal, Warner Bros., and U.A. boast new installments, and two hit films—

released more than 30 years apart—get highly anticipated sequels. And box office

stalwart Christopher Nolan returns with another film, hoping to draw audiences in

with the promise of an original, non-franchise story.

74 / FEBRUARY 2020 IMAGE © 2019 DISNEY / PIXAR. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Onward (pictured)

Disney | March 6

Pixar has had a stellar run at the box office recently thanks to a string of hit sequels like

Toy Story 4, Incredibles 2, and Finding Dory. This year the animation studio will release

two original I.P.s to breathe new life into its slate. The first of the two, Onward, hits

theaters this March and is poised to be one of Q1’s biggest hits. The fairy tale focuses on

two elf siblings who live in a suburban version of a fantasy world—and embark on an

adventure together in a sweet-looking van.

A Quiet Place Part II (inset, right)

Paramount | March 20

The sequel to 2018 sleeper hit A Quiet Place should give

Paramount a boost in its Q1 box office. The original was

Paramount’s second-highest-grossing film of 2018 with $188

million, only trailing Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The

sequel could very well have a similar result in 2020,

PHOTOS COURTESY STUDIOS / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


ecoming the studio’s second-biggest hit

of the year behind another Tom Cruise

sequel, Top Gun: Maverick.

No Time to Die

United Artists | April 10

Daniel Craig’s (likely) last outing as

James Bond comes during the franchise’s

biggest transition in years, as

United Artists takes over domestic

theatrical distribution from Sony. (Universal

will be taking over international

distribution). Danny Boyle was originally

tapped to direct the 25th installment

in the Bond franchise before being

replaced by Beasts of No Nation director

Cary Joji Fukunaga last year. A lot is

riding on this installment to perform

well at the box office, and early tracking

suggests it will certainly not disappoint.

Black Widow

Disney | May 1

Ten years after making her feature-film

debut in Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson’s

superhero super-spy Black Widow

gets her own solo film. You may have

heard that Marvel’s films make a ton of

money, and fans have been waiting on

this particular film for a while. Joining

Johansson are “Stranger Things” star

David Harbour, up-and-coming “It girl”

Florence Pugh (Little Women), and Oscar

winner Rachel Weisz. Black Widow

hits theaters the first weekend in May,

which has proven to be a lucrative release

window for eight previous Marvel

films, among them the first Avengers.

Fast & Furious 9

Universal | May 22

Universal’s surprisingly enduring franchise

returns for its ninth chapter, not

counting last year’s spin-off, Hobbs &

Shaw. While we don’t expect this entry

to hit the same peaks at the domestic

box office as earlier episodes, it should

still be a solid earner for Universal—

particularly overseas. An increased presence

of immersive-seating theaters in the

United States might also give this title

an extra boost in premium ticket sales.

Wonder Woman 1984

Warner Bros. | June 5

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins

and stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine

reunite for Wonder Woman 1984.

Despite an opening weekend gross

($103.2 million) that put it solidly

in the middle of the DC Extended

Universe pack, Wonder Woman’s strong

hold eventually made it the highestgrossing

DCEU film to date and the

third-highest-grossing film of 2017,

with $412.5 million. Hopes for 1984,

then, are high, especially considering

how early glimpses of the film have been

burning it up on social media.

Soul

Disney | June 19

Pixar’s second original film of the year

is this musically inspired release set, at

least partially, in New York City’s jazz

scene. Jamie Foxx voices the animated

lead, and Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia

Rashad, and Daveed Diggs co-star. Curiously,

the film’s original score will be

composed by Nine Inch Nails members

(and celebrated film composers) Trent

Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Top Gun: Maverick

Paramount | June 26

Paramount is bringing back another

iconic ’80s film for a new chapter with

Top Gun: Maverick. Although we’ve

seen I.P. struggles at other studios (Fox’s

Independence Day: Resurgence, Sony’s

Charlie’s Angels, Paramount’s Terminator:

Dark Fate), we’re expecting the

long-awaited Top Gun sequel to deliver

at the box office to a new generation of

fans. If successful, Tom Cruise’s run of

hits with Paramount’s Mission: Impossible

franchise might have company

heading into the new decade.

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Universal | July 3

Animation stalwart Illumination returns

to the big screen in 2020 with Minions:

The Rise of Gru, the latest entry in their

billion-dollar Despicable Me franchise. The

last two Illumination films, Dr. Seuss’ The

Grinch (2018) and The Secret Life of Pets 2

(2019) earned domestic totals of $270.6

million and $158.2 million, respectively.

Minions, of which Rise of Gru is a direct

sequel, earned $336 million domestically

and a mind-boggling $823.3 million

internationally, making it the fifth-highest

worldwide grosser of 2015.

Tenet

Warner Bros. | July 17

Director Christopher Nolan reteams

with regular collaborator Warner Bros.

for Tenet, starring BlacKkKlansman’s

John David Washington. As is typical

with Nolan films, details on Tenet are

scarce in the months leading up to

release. From the trailer, there appear

to be time travel and espionage components.

The film comes out mid-July,

which in the past has served as a lucrative

date for Nolan films. His Batman

trilogy hit theaters then, as did 2010’s

Inception (domestic total $292.5 million)

and 2017’s Dunkirk (domestic total $190

million), both of which, like Tenet, are

original stories that appear to be skewed

toward a more adult audience.

76 / FEBRUARY 2020


Jungle Cruise

Disney | July 24

It looks like Dwayne “The Rock”

Johnson will be putting his presidential

ambitions on hold this summer

to instead promote Disney’s Jungle

Cruise. The film, co-starring Emily

Blunt, has an action-adventure flavor

that brings to mind fellow Disney

theme-park I.P. Pirates of the Caribbean.

Star power and Disney’s theatrical

muscle should help launch this

original title in an off year for Disney’s

major franchises.

The Eternals

Disney | November 6

The Marvel Cinematic Universe

continues its Stage Four—kicked off

by May release Black Widow—with

Eternals. Like The Avengers, Eternals

sees a superhero ensemble unite to save

the world. Unlike The Avengers, none

of the characters in Eternals have yet

to prove their money-making power

with solo films. Still, that didn’t prove

a problem for Marvel’s Guardians

of the Galaxy, which got past some

wacky characters (a talking raccoon?)

to earn $333.1 million domestically.

Like Guardians, Eternals enjoys some

recognizable names among its cast,

including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek,

and two “Game of Thrones” alumni

(Kit Harington and Richard Madden).

Godzilla vs. Kong

Warner Bros. | November 20

Godzilla vs. Kong is the fourth film in

Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse, which

has enjoyed diminishing returns since

its first film, Godzilla, grossed $200.6

domestically in 2014. Kong: Skull Island’s

domestic cume dipped to $168 million

three years later, and in 2019 Godzilla:

King of the Monsters drew in $110.5

continued on page 79

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FEBRUARY 2020 / 77


The Top Five Domestic Box Office Hits of 2019 by Daniel Loria & Rebecca Pahle

›› 2019 proved to be another exciting year at the box

office. While the year’s total cume of $11.4 billion is less

than the $11.8 billion racked up in 2018—though not

by much—2019 gave us a new all-time-highest grosser

(going by worldwide cume) with Avengers: Endgame. Endgame

is one of seven films in the year’s top 10 released

by Disney, giving exhibitors a solid hint

at what they should be keeping

their eyes on as 2020 chugs

along. As 2019 recedes in

the rear-view mirror, Boxoffice

Pro takes a look

back at the top five

films in the domestic

box office.

Avengers: Endgame

| $858.3

Million | Disney

The culmination

of Marvel’s Avengers

saga added up to an

astonishing $858 million

in domestic ticket

sales, but that doesn’t

even tell half the story.

Avengers: Endgame became

the highest-grossing movie of

all time worldwide in 2019, grossing

a cumulative $2.79 billion. On the domestic

front, Endgame only trails Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force

Awakens as the second-highest-grossing movie of all time

in the U.S. and Canada. Anticipation for the film hit a fever

pitch following the cliffhanger ending of its predecessor,

Avengers: Infinity War, which took the box office by storm in

2018. With a new generation of heroes coming to the Marvel

Cinematic Universe in 2020, moviegoers and box office

analysts have already begun to ask themselves: Did we hit

peak Marvel in 2019 with Avengers: Endgame?

The Lion King | $543.6 Million | Disney

Just as 2019 saw Disney make bank from its Star

Wars and Marvel properties, over the last 12 months

the Mouse House has also monetized its classic I.P. in

a big way. The infamous “Disney vault” was cracked

open with the launch of streaming platform Disney+,

giving subscribers access to archive titles. Four of those

archive titles—The Lion King, Aladdin, Dumbo, and Lady

and the Tramp—got 2019 remakes, a practice born from

2010 mega-success Alice in Wonderland. (The Lady and

the Tramp remake was released exclusively on Disney+.)

Of all the Disney remakes that have hit theaters since

Alice, The Lion King is by far the highest grosser both

domestically ($543.6 million) and worldwide ($1.65

billion). It opened strong in China with nearly $100 in its

first week and crossed the billion-dollar mark after 19

days. The film is one of two 2019 releases (along with

Avengers: Endgame) to crack the top 10 highest-grossing

opening weekends of all time.

Toy Story 4 | $434 Million | Disney

The franchise that launched Pixar returned

to screens for its final(?) bow in 2019.

Toy Story 4 earned a franchise-best

$434 million in North America and

dethroned 1994’s animated The Lion

King to become the highest-grossing

G-rated movie of all time. The sequel

grossed $639.3 million overseas to

cross the $1 billion mark worldwide.

A tepid performance in China ($29.1

million) was compensated for by

strong showings in key foreign markets

like Japan ($93.8 million), the United

Kingdom ($82.8 million), and Mexico

($71.8 million).

Frozen II | $430.1 Million | Disney

Audiences couldn’t let go of 2013’s Frozen, so

it’s no surprise that its sequel went on to become the

highest-grossing Walt Disney Animation Studios release

of all time by grossing over $430 million domestically.

The sequel’s earnings carried over into the new decade

following its November 22 release.

Captain Marvel | $426.8 Million | Disney

The Marvel Cinematic Universe launched its frontal

assault on the 2019 box office with the March 8 release

of Captain Marvel. Starring Brie Larson, the superhero

film debuted with $153.4 domestically before eventually

topping off at $426.8 million. Worldwide, the film

grossed $1.12 billion, making it the first Disney release

of the year to cross the billion-dollar mark. As is typical

for MCU films, Captain Marvel performed well in China.

More atypically: with Captain Marvel, Disney shook up its

typical release pattern for the MCU, opening Avengers:

Endgame just seven weeks after Captain Marvel took to

the skies. Reread the top of the page to be reminded

that the short window didn’t exactly put audiences off.

The successes of Captain Marvel and Endgame serve as

evidence that audience demand for a “higher, further,

faster” quantity of MCU movies is not yet fully satiated.

78 / FEBRUARY 2020


million. (Adding in international cumes,

all three films landed in the $500–$600

million range worldwide.) There’s been

limited publicity for the November

release, so it’s tough to gauge social media

interest, but there are some big names

in the cast, among them Millie Bobby

Brown (returning from King of the Monsters)

and Alexander Skarsgård.

Raya and the

Last Dragon

Disney | November 25

2019 saw Frozen II become Walt Disney

Animation Studio’s highest-grossing

film of all time. It’s a lot for new WDAS

release Raya and the Last Dragon to live

up to … but it’s not like recent titles—

including Moana, Zootopia, Big Hero 6,

Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph Breaks the Internet,

and the first Frozen—didn’t make

a combined $4.5 billion worldwide.

Like Moana, Raya is a fantasy-adventure

about a young woman tasked with

saving the world. The film’s directors

have animation and story credits on a

number of previous Disney hits, including

Frozen and Big Hero 6.

Dune

Warner Bros. | December 18

Oscar-nominated director of Arrival

($100.5 million domestically) and

Blade Runner 2049 ($92 million), Denis

Villeneuve returns to the world of

sci-fi with an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s

seminal 1965 novel Dune. The

book—about a young nobleman (Timothée

Chalamet) who gets involved in

interplanetary intrigue involving the

galaxy’s most valuable substance—was

previously adapted by David Lynch,

whose 1984 version of the story put

Sting in a metal bikini bottom. Somehow,

that movie flopped. Villeneuve’s

Dune is slated for release on December

18, the “big-budget sci-fi epic” slot that

in previous years would have belonged

to an installment in the (now-finished)

Star Wars sequel trilogy.

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FEBRUARY 2020 / 79


Cstands for Subscription

STUDIO C MAKES THE LEAP

INTO SUBSCRIPTION WITH C REWARDS VIP

BY REBECCA PAHLE

›› 2019 was an eventful year for

Celebration Cinema by Studio C. In

addition to celebrating its 75th anniversary,

last fall also saw the long-awaited

opening of its Studio Park, a mixed-use

development located in Studio C’s home

city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. While

Studio C doesn’t own the hotel component

of Studio Park, clarifies president

J.D. Loeks, “all of the rest of it”—including

retail and music space, apartments,

an outdoor screening venue, and

a nine-screen theater—“is ours. Which

means that we effectively launched six

new businesses on the same day in early

October.”

There’s another new launch, and it’s a

biggie: In November, Studio C officially

cut the ribbon on a beta version of its

subscription program, C Rewards VIP.

Loeks, like many in exhibition,

was put off somewhat by the meteoric

ascent-turned-crash-and-burn of

third-party service MoviePass, which

the executive says cast doubts on whether

movie theater subscription services

were viable in the long term. “We

started with many of the concerns that

those that are holding out have, which is

if this is not sustainable, if it’s not a net

add to our business model, there’s the

fear that we’re devaluing our products.”

Movie theaters—preaching to the

choir here—are not exactly cheap to

run, and the experience Studio C provides,

Loeks says, “is worth pretty close

to our average ticket price.” Would turning

to the subscription model, Loeks

wondered, create a mindset similar to

that held by many a subscriber to Netflix,

Disney+, or Prime Video?: I should

get the movies I want, when I want them,

for free. “[People think,] ‘Oh, yeah, it’s

free to watch movies at home.’ Well, it’s

really not. You’re paying a monthly fee.

But that’s how it’s perceived. And if [a

movie theater subscription plan] collapses,

as some third-party subscription

plans have collapsed, then we could be

doing some long-term damage. So that

was the initial hesitancy.”

That initial hesitancy was combated

by research into the experiences of other

exhibitors who have jumped into the

subscription space, both by comparing

the basic specs of various plans—the

cost, the number of movies offered,

etc.—and by having conversations

with fellow executives. “Whether it was

going well or not. Whether or not they

thought that they were going to need

to adjust it. And what we found pretty

much across the board from those that

we talked to was, that while tweaks were

necessary, it was going well, and they

intended to expand the offering.”

It’s also worth noting that some of

these fellow exhibitors who had already

launched subscription programs had

begun to cut into Studio C’s bottom

line. “Our guests are asking for” subscription

services, says Loeks. “They

want this. And they are in some cases

going to our competitors, because they

have it and we don’t. So, much like

other innovations in our industry, from

digital projection to recliners chairs

to bars, you have to keep up or you

become less relevant over time in the

mind of the consumer.”

Once Studio C decided to launch

C Rewards VIP, they didn’t skimp on

R&D to come up with what, exactly,

the program should look like. They

consulted customer attendance data—

gleaned through their C Rewards

loyalty program—to decide upon

offering three movies a week, including

Imax, for $19.95 a month. Online

ticketing fees are waived for movies or

concert tickets, and subscribers have an

exclusive 24-hour window in which to

buy tickets to Studio Park’s Listening

Room shows before they become generally

available.

Midway through 2019, Studio C

reached out to their loyalty club members

to ask whether they’d be interested

in joining a subscription program and

what form they would like that program

to take. “We saw several thousand

people respond right away: ‘Yes, we

are interested in something like that,’”

Loeks recalls. “That gave us a database

to work from” when it came time to

launch the beta version, which is capped

at 5,000 members. “At this point, close

to half the people that suggested they

80 / FEBRUARY 2020


were interested six, eight months ago

have actually signed up. We think that’s

a pretty great conversion ratio.”

Starting with a beta test limited to

a certain number of subscribers, Loeks

explains, was the right call for Studio

C because “we have a belief about a frequency

that’s somewhere between two

and three visits a month that creates

value for the guests and also makes the

model work for us.” There will always

be guests, he acknowledges, who “beat

the system” by using their subscription

service at a much higher-than-average

rate. But, “for us, even if we lose money

on the ticket side of things, because

we’re drawing them in more often, on

the average we’ll make it back up on

the food side of our operation. It’s a little

bit of a gamble. A calculated wager.

… But, on the average, it will be a net

positive for us.”

All told, Loeks explains, Studio C is

taking a “fairly conservative” approach

to entering the subscription landscape,

all with the goal of “ensur[ing] we’re

launching something that we can sustain,

that we can continue to support,

that we can allow our guests to continue

to depend on.” This careful consideration

is what caused the delayed launch

of the program, which Loeks initially

wanted to get off the ground in August.

A November bow gave Studio C time

to make sure the technology behind C

Rewards VIP would provide the best

possible experience.

As of press time, not much subscription

data has come in, Loeks says.

“At this point, what we’re particularly

focused on is the mechanics of the guest

experience and making sure that that’s

relatively seamless for the guests. That

it’s not clunky and cumbersome. …

And that’s been very smooth. It took us

many months longer than we wanted to

be ready to launch because of that! But

it has gone very well and been very well

received by the subscribers that have

signed up.”

Part of C Reward’s VIP beta launch,

of course, is soliciting customer feedback,

which Studio C will then use to

reevaluate its program down the line

and potentially add more features, as

well as expand the program past beta

later this year. “The ability to, essentially,

purchase multiple subscriptions on

the same account”—say, for a couple

who goes to the movies every week—is

proving a popular request. “We do

intend to roll that out in maybe the

second quarter of 2020.”

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FEBRUARY 2020 / 81


ON SCREEN

WIDE RELEASES

PHOTOS AND ART COURTESY OF STUDIOS / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

THE INVISIBLE MAN

Feb. 28 / Universal

Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a

wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass escapes

in the dead of night and goes into hiding, aided by

her sister, their childhood friend, and his teenage

daughter. But when Cecilia’s abusive ex commits

suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast

fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a

series of eerie coincidences turns lethal, threatening

the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to

unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is

being hunted by someone nobody can see.

Elisabeth Moss

in The Invisible Man

Scan image with Fuze Viewer app to access AR content.

CAST ELISABETH MOSS, STORM REID, ALDIS

HODGE, OLIVER JACKSON-COHEN, HARRIET DYER

DIR LEIGH WHANNELL RATING TBA RUNNING

TIME TBA

ONWARD / Mar. 6 / Disney

Set in a suburban fantasy world, Disney-Pixar’s latest film introduces

two teenage elf brothers who embark on an extraordinary

quest to discover if there is still a little magic left in the world.

VOICE CAST CHRIS PRATT, TOM HOLLAND, JULIA LOUIS-DREY-

FUS. OCTAVIA SPENCER, MEL RODRIGUEZ, LENA WAITHE, ALI

WONG DIR DAN SCANLON RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt)

magically conjure their dad in Onward.


Ben Affleck in The Way Back

THE WAY BACK

Mar. 6 / Warner Bros.

Vin Diesel

in Bloodshot

Jack Cunningham once had a life filled with promise. In high

school, he was a basketball phenom with a full university scholarship,

when suddenly, for reasons unknown, he walked away from

the game, forfeiting his future. Now, years later, Jack is spiraling

down, triggered by an unspeakable loss and drowning in the

alcoholism that cost him his marriage and any hope for a better

life. When he is asked to coach the basketball team at his alma

mater, which has fallen far since his glory days, he reluctantly

accepts, surprising no one more than himself. As the boys start to

come together as a team and win, Jack may have finally found a

reason to confront the demons that have derailed him.

CAST BEN AFFLECK, JANINA GAVANKAR, LUKAS GAGE,

HAYES MACARTHUR, RACHAEL CARPANI DIR GAVIN

O’CONNOR RATING TBA RUNNING TIME 108 MIN.

BLOODSHOT

Mar. 13 / Sony-Columbia

Based on the best-selling comic book, Bloodshot centers on a

soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life by the

RST Corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins,

he’s an unstoppable force—stronger than ever and able to heal

instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over

his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real

and what’s not—but he’s on a mission to find out.

CAST VIN DIESEL, EIZA GONZÁLEZ, SAM HEUGHAN, GUY

PEARCE, TOBY KEBBELL DIR DAVID S.F. WILSON RATING

TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

Scan with Fuze Viewer app to access AR content.

FEBRUARY 2020 / 83


ON SCREEN

WIDE RELEASES

I STILL BELIEVE

Mar. 13 / Lionsgate

From the makers of I Can Only Imagine comes the true story of Christian

music star Jeremy Camp and his journey of love and loss that proves

there is always hope in the midst of tragedy and that faith tested is the

only faith worth sharing.

CAST K.J. APA, MELISSA ROXBURGH, BRITT ROBERTSON DIR JON

ERWIN, ANDREW ERWIN RATING PG RUNNING TIME TBA

MY SPY

Mar. 13 / STX Films

My Spy follows J.J., a hardened CIA operative who has been demoted

and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl named

Sophie after being sent undercover begrudgingly to surveil her family.

When Sophie discovers hidden cameras in her apartment, she uses her

tech savviness to locate the surveillance operation. In exchange for not

blowing J.J.’s cover, Sophie convinces him to spend time with her and

teach her to be a spy.

CAST DAVE BAUTISTA, CHLOE COLEMAN, KRISTEN SCHAAL,

KEN JEONG, PARISA FITZ-HENLEY, GREG BRYK DIR PETER SEGAL

RATING PG-13 RUNNING TIME 102 MIN.

Scan with Fuze Viewer app to access AR content.

A QUIET PLACE PART II

Mar. 20 / Paramount

Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face

the terrors of the outside world as they continue to fight for survival in silence.

Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize that the creatures

that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.

CAST EMILY BLUNT, CILLIAN MURPHY, MILLICENT SIMMONDS,

NOAH JUPE, DJIMON HOUNSOU, ANGELINA JORDAN DIR JOHN

KRASINSKI RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

LIMITED RELEASES

BURDEN

FEB. 28 / 101 STUDIOS

Burden tells the incredible true story of Mike Burden,

who opened the Redneck Shop and KKK Museum on

the historic town square of Laurens, South Carolina, in

1996, then was subsequently wrenched out of the clutches

of this hate family through the love of a single mother

and the faith of an African American Baptist minister.

Together they face down irate, vengeful, and violent Klan

members and win over Reverend Kennedy’s skeptical

parishioners, forging a true bond and a path toward

redemption and forgiveness.

CAST GARRETT HEDLUND, FOREST WHITAKER, TOM

WILKINSON, ANDREA RISEBOROUGH, TESS HARPER,

CRYSTAL FOX, USHER DIR ANDREW HECKLER RATING

R RUNNING TIME 129 MIN.

Garrett Hedlund

in Burden

84 / FEBRUARY 2020


ON SCREEN

LIMITED RELEASES

SAINT FRANCES

Feb. 28 / Oscilloscope Laboratories

An aimless nanny forms an unlikely friendship with the 6-year-old

she’s charged with protecting, but an unwanted pregnancy introduces

complications.

CAST KELLY O’SULLIVAN, RAMONA EDITH-WILLIAMS, CHARIN

ALVAREZ, LILY MOJEKWU, MAX LIPCHITZ, JIM TRUE-FROST DIR

ALEX THOMPSON RATING TBA RUNNING TIME 98 MIN.

WENDY

Feb. 28 /

Fox Searchlight

The classic story of Peter Pan is

wildly reimagined in this epic from

Beasts of the Southern Wild director

Benh Zeitlin. Lost on a mysterious

island, where aging and time have

come unraveled, Wendy must fight

to save her family, her freedom, and

the joyous spirit of youth from the

deadly peril of growing up.

CAST TOMMIE LYNN MILAZZO, SHAY WALKER DIR BENH ZEITLIN

RATING PG-13 RUNNING TIME TBA

THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY

Mar. 6 / Sony Pictures Classics

An ambitious art critic steals a rare painting and becomes consumed by

his own greed as the operation spins out of control.

CAST CLAES BANG, ELIZABETH DEBICKI, DONALD SUTHERLAND,

MICK JAGGER DIR GIUSEPPE CAPOTONDI RATING TBA RUNNING

TIME 98 MIN.

FIRST COW

Mar. 6 / A24

Tommie Lynn

Milazzo in Wendy

A taciturn loner and skilled cook travels west and joins a group

of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, where he finds his only true

connection with a Chinese immigrant also seeking his fortune. Soon

the two collaborate on a business, although its success relies upon

the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner’s prized

milking cow.

CAST JOHN MAGARO, ORION LEE, DYLAN SMITH, ALIA SHAWKAT,

RENE AUBERJONOIS, TOBY JONES, EWEN BREMNER DIR KELLY

REICHARDT RATING PG-13 RUNNING TIME 121 MIN.

HOPE GAP

Mar. 6 / Roadside Attractions

This intimate drama chronicles the life of Grace, who is shocked to

learn that her husband is leaving her after 29 years of marriage. Feeling

disoriented and displaced in her small seaside town, Grace ultimately

regains her footing and discovers a powerful, new voice.

CAST ANNETTE BENING, BILL NIGHY, JOSH O’CONNOR, AIYSHA

HART DIR WILLIAM NICHOLSON RATING PG-13 RUNNING TIME

100 MIN.

THE INFORMER

Mar. 13 / Aviron

Joel Kinnaman of “The Killing” and “Altered Carbon” is the action

hero at the center of this thriller about a former special ops soldier who

becomes an informant for the FBI in a sting assignment against a New

York City crime boss. When an undercover NYPD officer is killed

during the operation, he’s targeted by both the mob and the feds.

CAST JOEL KINNAMAN, ROSAMUND PIKE, CLIVE OWEN,

COMMON, ANA DE ARMAS DIR ANDREA DI STEFANO RATING TBA

RUNNING TIME 113 MIN.

NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS

Mar. 13 / Focus Features

Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support,

Pennsylvania teenager Autumn and her cousin Skylar travel to New

York City on a fraught journey of friendship, bravery, and compassion.

CAST SIDNEY FLANIGAN, TALIA RYDER, RYAN EGGOLD,

THÉODORE PELLERIN, SHARON VAN ETTEN DIR ELIZA HITTMAN

RATING TBA RUNNING TIME 101 MIN.

SLAY THE DRAGON

Mar. 13 / Magnolia

A secretive, high-tech gerrymandering initiative launched 10 years

ago threatens to undermine our democracy. This documentary follows

everyday people as they fight to make their votes matter.

DIR BARAK GOODMAN, CHRIS DURRANCE RATING TBA

RUNNING TIME 101 MIN.

SWALLOW

Mar. 13 / IFC Films

On the surface, Hunter appears to have it all. A newly pregnant housewife,

she seems content to spend her time tending to an immaculate

86 / FEBRUARY 2020


home and doting on her Ken-doll husband. But as the pressure to meet

her controlling in-laws and husband’s rigid expectations mounts, Hunter

develops a dangerous disorder called pica—a condition that has her compulsively

swallowing inedible, and oftentimes life-threatening, objects.

CAST HALEY BENNETT, AUSTIN STOWELL, DENIS O’HARE,

ELIZABETH MARVEL, DAVID RASCHE DIR CARLO MIRABELLA-

DAVIS RATING TBA RUNNING TIME 94 MIN.

THE ROADS NOT TAKEN

MAR. 13 / BLEECKER STREET

Sally Potter’s new drama follows a day in the life of Leo and his daughter,

Molly, as she grapples with the challenges of her father’s chaotic mind.

Leo’s journey takes on a hallucinatory quality as he floats through alternative

lives he could have lived, leading Molly to consider her own future.

CAST JAVIER BARDEM, ELLE FANNING, LAURA LINNEY, SALMA

HAYEK DIR SALLY POTTER RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

THE CLIMB

MAR. 20 / SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

Kyle and Mike are best friends who share a close bond—until

Mike sleeps with Kyle’s fiancée. The Climb is about a tumultuous

but enduring relationship between two men across many years of

laughter, heartbreak, and rage. It is also the story of real-life best

friends who turn their profound connection into a humane and

frequently funny film about the boundaries—or lack thereof—in

all close friendships.

CAST KYLE MARVIN, MICHAEL ANGELO COVINO, GAYLE

RANKIN, JUDITH GODRÉCHE, GEORGE WENDT, TALIA

BALSAM DIR MICHAEL ANGELO COVINO RATING R

RUNNING TIME 94 MIN.

THE TRUTH

MAR. 20 / IFC FILMS

Fabienne is an aging French movie star who, despite her momentary

lapses in memory, remains a venerable force to be reckoned with.

Upon the publication of her memoirs, her daughter Lumir returns

to Paris from New York with her husband and their young daughter

to celebrate its release. A battle of wits ensues between the mother-daughter

duo, as Lumir takes issue with Fabienne’s rose-colored

version of the past.

CAST CATHERINE DENEUVE, JULIETTE BINOCHE, LUDIVINE

SAGNIER, ETHAN HAWKE DIR HIROKAZU KORE-EDA RATING PG

RUNNING TIME 106 MIN.

FEBRUARY 2020 / 87


EVENT CINEMA CALENDAR

PHOTOS PUBLISHED WITH PERMISSION / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

CINELIFE

ENTERTAINMENT

cinelifeentertainment.com

RIGOLETTO ON THE LAKE

Mon. 2/10 - Sun. 2/16 • Opera

COMÉDIE-FRANÇAISE:

ELECTRA/ORESTES

Weds. 3/4, Sun. 3/8 • Theater

ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET—

AKRAM KHAN’S GISELLE

(U.S. RELEASE)

Fri. 3/6 - Fri. 3/13 • Ballet

CELEBRATING THE SOPRANOS

Tues. 4/14 - Mon. 4/27 • Documentary

COMÉDIE-FRANÇAISE:

A FLEA IN HER EAR

Weds. 4/22, Sun. 4/26 • Theater

THE BROKEN HEARTS CLUB:

A ROMANTIC COMEDY

(20TH ANNIVERSARY)

May • Classics

COMÉDIE-FRANÇAISE:

SCAPIN THE SCHEMER

Weds. 5/27, Sun. 5/31 • Theater

MA VIE EN ROSE

June • Classics

A FANTASTIC WOMAN

June • Classics

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

July • Classics

FREDERICO GARCÍA LORCA:

MOONS OF NEW YORK

& GIANT MOON

Sept. • Documentary

DRACULA

Thurs. 10/1 - Sat. 10/31 • Ballet

CERVANTES: THE SEARCH

Oct. • Documentary

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR

FROM SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE

Oct. • Theater

THE WINTER’S TALE FROM

SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE

Nov. • Theater

FATHOM EVENTS

Fathomevents.com

855-473-4612

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY

AND BESS

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

Sat. 2/8 (encore) • Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

LOVE STORY 50TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 2/9, Weds. 2/12 • Classics

PATTERNS OF EVIDENCE:

RED SEA MIRACLE PART 1

Tues. 2/18 • Inspirational

RIDE YOUR WAVE

Weds, 2/19 • Anime

NT LIVE: CYRANO DE BERGERAC

Thurs. 2/20 • Theater

BOLSHOI BALLET: SWAN LAKE

Sun. 2/23 • Ballet

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

THE COLOR PURPLE 35TH

ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 2/23 • Classics

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

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

KING KONG (1933)

Sun. 3/15 • Classics

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

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

Sun. 4/26, Weds. 4/29 • Classics

PATTERNS OF EVIDENCE:

RED SEA MIRACLE PART 2

Tues. 5/5 • Inspirational

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

MARIA STUARDA

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

Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

AIRPLANE! 40TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 5/17, Weds. 5/20 • Classics

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

ANNIE

Sun. 6/14, Weds. 6/17 • Classics

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

THE BLUES BROTHERS 40TH

ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 6/28, Weds. 7/1 • Classics

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

GHOST 30TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 7/19, Weds. 7/22 • Classics

88 / FEBRUARY 2020


TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

BABE 25TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 8/9, Weds. 8/12 • Classics

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

OF THE THIRD KIND

Sun. 9/13, Mon. 9/14, Thurs. 9/17

Classics

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

PSYCHO 60TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 10/11, Mon. 10/12 • Classics

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S

NEST 45TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 11/8, Mon. 11/9 • Classics

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

Sun. 12/13, Mon. 12/14 • Classics

MORE2SCREEN

www.more2screen.com

KINKY BOOTS – THE MUSICAL

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

America) • Musical

JONAS KAUFMANN MY VIENNA

Tues. 2/11 • Opera

RIVERDANCE 25TH

ANNIVERSARY SHOW

Tues. 3/3 • Dance

BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER

LIVE SEASON FINALE CONCERT

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

Music

MYCINEMA

www.mycinema.live

ACQUITTED BY FAITH

Mon. 2/24 • Inspirational

ROBBY GORDON’S STADIUM

SUPER TRUCKS 2020

February • Sports

MAGIC

February • Horror

RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES

Mon. 3/23 • Inspirational

COWBOY AND INDIANA

Mon. 3/30 • Inspirational

APOCALYPSE NOW

FINAL CUT

March • Classics

DARK STAR

March • Horror

FORGIVEN

Sat. 4/4 • Inspirational

FEARLESS FAITH

Sun. 5/10 • Inspirational

HELL NIGHT

Sun. 5/10 • Horror

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE

roh.org.uk/cinemas

cinema@roh.org.uk

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

THE DOORS: BREAK ON THRU—

A CELEBRATION

OF RAY MANZAREK

Wed. 2/12 • Music

CINELIFE ENTERTAINMENT / GISELLE

Fri. 3/6 - Fri. 3/13 • Ballet

FATHOM EVENTS / LOVE STORY

Sun. 2/9, Weds. 2/12 • Classics

FATHOM EVENTS / THE COLOR PURPLE

Sun., 2/23 • Classics

MYCINEMA / MAGIC

February • Horror

FEBRUARY 2020 / 89


BOOKING GUIDE

A24

646-568-6015

FIRST COW

Fri, 3/6/20 LTD

C John Magaro, Orion Lee

D Kelly Reichardt

NR • Dra/Wes

SAINT MAUD

Fri, 3/27/20 LTD

C Jennifer Ehle

D Rose Glass

NR • Dra

AVIRON PICTURES

THE INFORMER

Fri, 3/13/20 LTD

C Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike

D Andrea Di Stefano

R • Cri/Dra/Thr

BLUE FOX

ENTERTAINMENT

William Gruenberg

william@bluefoxentertain

ment.com

SOMETIMES ALWAYS

NEVER

Fri, 3/6/20 LTD

C Bill Nighy, Sam Riley

D Carl Hunter

NR • Com/Dra

BLEECKER STREET

ORDINARY LOVE

Fri, 2/14/20 LTD

C Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville

D Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn

R • Dra/Rom

THE ROADS NOT TAKEN

Fri, 3/13/20 LTD

C Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning

D Sally Potter

R • Dra

MILITARY WIVES

Fri, 3/27/20 LTD

C Kristin Scott Thomas,

Sharon Horgan

D Peter Cattaneo

NR • Dra

DREAM HORSE

Fri, 5/1/20 LTD

C Toni Collette

D Jan Vokes

NR • Dra

DISNEY

818-560-1000

Ask for Distribution

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, 11/25/20 WIDE

C Awkwafina, Cassie Steele

D Paul Briggs, Dean Wellins

NR • Ani • 3D

SHANG CHI AND

THE LEGEND OF THE

TEN RINGS

Fri, 2/12/21 WIDE

C Simu Liu, Awkwafina

D Destin Daniel Cretton

NR • Act/Adv/Fan

FOCUS FEATURES

424-214-6360

EMMA

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

C Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn

D Autumn de Wilde

NR • Dra/Com

NEVER RARELY

SOMETIMES ALWAYS

Fri, 3/13/20 LTD

C Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder

D Eliza Hittman

NR • Dra

PROMISING YOUNG

WOMAN

Fri, 4/17/20 LTD

C Carey Mulligan, Laverne Cox

D Emerald Fennell

NR • Cri/Thr

COVERS

Fri, 5/8/20 LTD

C Dakota Johnson,

Tracee Ellis Ross

D Nisha Ganatra

NR • Com • Dolby Vis/

Atmos

LET HIM GO

Fri, 8/21/20 LTD

C Kevin Costner, Diane Lane

D Thomas Bezucha

NR • Thr

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

CALL OF THE WILD

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

C Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens

D Chris Sanders

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

90 / FEBRUARY 2020


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 Ana de Armas, Ben Affleck

D Adrian Lyne

NR • Thr

WEST SIDE STORY

Fri, 12/18/20 WIDE

C Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler

D Steven Spielberg

NR • Mus

THE LAST DUEL

Fri, 12/25/20 LTD

C Matt Damon, Ben Affleck

D Ridley Scott

NR • Dra

RON’S GONE WRONG

Fri, 2/26/20 LTD

NR • Ani

FOX

SEARCHLIGHT

212-556-2400

DOWNHILL

Fri, 2/14/20 LTD

C Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Will Ferrell

D Nat Faxon, Jim Rash

R • Dra

WENDY

Fri, 2/28/20 LTD

C Benh Zeitlin

PG-13 • Dra/Fan

ANTLERS

Fri, 4/17/20 LTD

C Keri Russell, Jessie Plemons

D Scott Cooper

R • Hor

THE PERSONAL

HISTORY OF DAVID

COPPERFIELD

Fri, 5/8/20 LTD

D Armando Iannucci

PG • Com/Dra

IFC FILMS

bookings@ifcfilms.com

OLYMPIC DREAMS

Fri, 2/14/20 LTD

C Alexi Pappas, Nick Kroll

D Jeremy Teicher

PG-13 • Com/Rom

brought to you by the point of sale you know

RTS

FEBRUARY 2020 / 91


BOOKING GUIDE

PREMATURE

Fri, 2/21/20 LTD

C Zora Howard, Joshua Boone

D Rashaad Ernesto Green

NR • Dra

SWALLOW

Fri, 3/13/20 LTD

C Haley Bennett, Austin Stowell

D Carlo Mirabella-Davis

NR • Thr

THE TRUTH

Fri, 3/20/20 LTD

C Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche

D Hirokazu Kore-eda

PG-13 • Dra

LIONSGATE

310-309-8400

LAS PILDORAS

DE MI NOVIO

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

C Jaime Camil, Sandra Echeverría

D Diego Kaplan

NR • Com

I STILL BELIEVE

Fri, 3/13/20 WIDE

C K.J. Apa, Gary Sinise

D Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin

NR • Dra

Y CÓMO ES ÉL?

Fri, 4/17/20 MOD

C Mauricio Ochmann,

Omar Chaparro

D Ariel Winograd

NR • Com

ANTEBELLUM

Fri, 4/24/20 WIDE

C Janelle Monáe

D Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz

NR • Thr

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

THE HITMAN’S

BODYGUARD 2

Fri, 8/28/20 WIDE

C Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L.

Jackson

D Patrick Hughes

NR

FATALE

Fri, 10/9/20 WIDE

C Hilary Swank, Michael Ealy

D Deon Taylor

NR • Sus

JESUS REVOLUTION

Fri, 3/26/21 WIDE

C Jon Gunn

D Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin

NR

MAGNOLIA

PICTURES

212-379-9704

Neal Block

nblock@magpictures.com

BUFFALOED

Fri, 2/14/20 LTD.

C Zoey Deutch, Judy Greer

D Tanya Wexler

NR • Com/Dra

ONCE WERE BROTHERS:

ROBBIE ROBERTSON

AND THE BAND

Fri, 2/21/20 LTD.

Daniel Roher

R • Doc

THE WHISTLERS

Fri, 2/28/20 LTD.

C Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon

D Corneliu Porumboiu

NR • Com

SLAY THE DRAGON

Fri, 3/13/20 LTD.

C Barak Goodman,

Chris Durrance

NR • Doc

MYCINEMA

480-430-7017

MAGIC

Fri, 2/14/20 LTD.

C Anthony Hopkins,

Ann-Margret

D Richard Attenborough

R • Hor

ACQUITED BY FAITH

Fri, 2/24/20 LTD.

C Casper Van Dien,

Catherine Oxenberg

D Daniel Lusko

NR • Thr

DARK STAR

Fri, 3/9/20 LTD.

C Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm

D John Carpenter

G • Com/SF

FORGIVEN

Sat, 4/4/20 LTD.

C Kevin Sorbo,

Jenn Gotzon

D Kevan Otto

NR • Dra/Thr

FEARLESS FAITH

Sat, 5/10/20 LTD.

C Jason Burkey,

Ben Davies

D Kevin Rushing

NR • Dra/Thr

HELL NIGHT

Sat, 5/10/20 LTD.

C Linda Blair,

Vincent Van Patten

D Tom DeSimone

R • Hor

NEON

hal@neonrated.com

THE LODGE

Fri, 2/7/20 LTD.

C Riley Keough, Richard Armitage

D Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz

R • Hor

OSCILLOSCOPE

LABORATORIES

212-219-4029

CANE RIVER

Fri, 2/7/20 LTD

C Tommye Myrick,

Richard Romain

D Horace B. Jenkins

NR • Dra

SAINT FRANCES

Fri, 2/28/20 LTD

C Kelly O’Sullivan,

Ramona Edith Williams

D Alex Thompson

NR • Com/Dra

PARAMOUNT

323-956-5000

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, Cillian Murphy

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

92 / FEBRUARY 2020


MONSTER PROBLEMS

Fri, 4/17/20 WIDE

C Dylan O’Brien, 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

THE TRIAL

OF THE CHICAGO 7

Fri, 9/25/20 LTD

D Aaron Sorkin

NR • Dra

SNAKE EYES

Fri, 10/23/20 WIDE

C Henry Golding, Andrew Koj

D Robert Schwentke

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

Yvonne Strahovski, Chris Pratt

Chris McKay

NR • Act/SF

RUMBLE

Fri, 1/29/20 WIDE

ROADSIDE

ATTRACTIONS

323.882.8490

HOPE GAP

Fri, 3/6/20 WIDE

C Annette Bening, Bill Nighy

D William Nicholson

PG-13 • Dra

THE SECRET:

DARE TO DREAM

Fri, 4/17/20 LTD

C Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas

D Andy Tennant

PG • Dra

SAMUEL GOLDWYN

FILMS

COME AS YOU ARE

Fri, 2/14/20 LTD

C Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto

D Richard Wong

NR • Com/Dra

BULL

Fri, 3/20/20 LTD

C Rob Morgan, Amber Harvard

D Annie Silverstein

NR • Dra

SONY

212-833-8500

FANTASY ISLAND

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C Michael Peña, Maggie Q

D Jeff Wadlow

PG-13 • Hor

BLOODSHOT

Fri, 3/13/20 WIDE

C Vin Diesel, Eiza González

C David S. F. Wilson

NR • Act • Dolby Atmos

PETER RABBIT 2:

THE RUNAWAY

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

C James Corden, Rose Byrne

D Will Gluck

NR • Ani

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:

AFTERLIFE

Fri, 7/10/20 WIDE

C Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard

D Jason Reitman

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, Mark Wahlberg

NR • Act/Adv

FATHERHOOD

Fri, 1/8/21 WIDE

C Kevin Hart, Melody Hurd

D Pail Weitz

NR • Dra

CINDERELLA

Fri, 2/5/21 WIDE

C Camila Cabello, Billy Porter

D Kay Cannon

SONY PICTURES

CLASSICS

Tom Prassis

212-833-4981

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

THE CLIMB

Fri, 3/20/20 LTD

C Kyle Marvin,

Michael Angelo Covino

D Michael Angelo Covino

R • Com/Dra

FEBRUARY 2020 / 93


BOOKING GUIDE

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

BRAHMS: THE BOY II

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

C Katie Holmes

D William Brent Bell

PG-13 • Hor/Thr

MY SPY

Fri, 3/13/20 WIDE

C Dave Bautista, Kristen Schaal

D Peter Segal

PG-13 • Com

UNITED ARTISTS

RELEASING

310-724-5678

Ask for Distribution

NO TIME TO DIE

Fri, 4/10/20 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

VALLEY GIRL

Fri, 5/8/20 WIDE

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

SAMARITAN

Fri, 11/20/20 WIDE

C Sylvester Stalone

D Julius Avery

NR • Act/Thr

UNITED UAR

FAMILY FILM

Fri, 1/15/21 WIDE

NR • Fam

UNIVERSAL

818-777-1000

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

R • 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

C 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

D Joel Crawford

NR

THE CROODS 2

Fri, 12/23/20 WIDE

NR • Ani

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Fri, 12/25/20 WIDE

C Tom Hanks

D Paul Greengrass

NR • Dra

UNTITLED BLUMHOUSE

PRODUCTIONS

Fri, 1/8/21 WIDE

NR

355

Fri, 1/15/21 WIDE

C Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o

D Simon Kinberg

NR • Thr

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL

ROMANTIC COMEDY

Fri, 2/12/21 WIDE

NR • Rom/Com

VERTICAL

ENTERTAINMENT

WAITING FOR ANYA

Fri, 2/7/20 LTD

C Noah Schnapp, Anjelica Huston

D Ben Cookson

NR • Dra

WARNER BROS.

818-977-1850

BIRDS OF PREY

Fri, 2/7/20 WIDE

C Margot Robbie,

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

D Cathy Yan

R • Act/Adv • IMAX/Dolby

Vis/Atmos

94 / FEBRUARY 2020


THE WAY BACK

TENET

THE MANY SAINTS KING RICHARD

Fri, balance, 3/6/20 sparking WIDEboth an intense rivalry Fri, 7/17/20

THE

WIDELODGE

OF NEWARK comes from spending Fri, 11/25/20 a lifetime WIDEtogether.

C and Ben romantic Affleck desire that may cause C him John David FEB. Washington, 7 / NEON Fri, 9/25/20 WIDE When Joan is NR diagnosed • Dra/Biowith breast cancer,

the course of her treatment shines a

D to Gavin risk his O’Connor future in dance as well as his Robert Pattinson From the directors of Goodnight C Alesandro Mommy,

Nivola, Vera Farmiga

Nolan this chiller follows a D family Alan Taylor who

NR relationships • Dra with Mary and his family. D Christopher

CAST LEVAN GELBAKHIANI, BACHI VALISH- NR • Act/Thr retreat to their remote winter NR • Dra/Cri cabin over

light on their DUNE enduring devotion, as they

must find the Fri, humor 12/18/20 and grace WIDEto survive

SCOOB! VILI, ANA JAVAKISHVILI, GIORGI TSERETELI, the holidays. When the father is forced a year of adversity. NR • SF • IMAX/3D

Fri, KAKHA 5/15/20 GOGIDZE WIDE DIR LEVAN AKIN RATING MALIGNANT to abruptly depart for work, THE WITCHES he leaves his CAST LIAM NEESON, LESLEY MANVILLE,

TBA C Kiersey RUNNING Clemons, TIME Zac Efron 113 MIN. Fri, 8/14/20 children WIDE in the care of his Fri, new 10/09/20 girlfriend, WIDE AMIT SHAH, DAVID UNTITLED WILMOT DIR LISA

D Tony Cervone

D James Wan

Grace. Isolated and alone,

C Anne

a blizzard

Hathaway

TOM & JERRY FILM

BARROS D’SA, GLENN LEYBURN RATING R

NR • Ani

NR • Hor

D Robert Zemeckis

Fri, 12/23/20 WIDE

CANE RIVER

traps them inside the lodge as terrifying RUNNING TIME 92 MIN.

NR • Adv/Com

NR • Ani

FEB. 7 / OSCILLOSCOPE

events summon specters from Grace’s

WONDER WOMAN THE UNTITLED FRED

1984

This drama about an African American

HAMPTON

dark

PROJECT

past.

UNTITLED WB

GREED

Fri, college 6/5/20 football WIDE star who returns to Fri, his 8/21/20

CAST

WIDE

RILEY KEOUGH, RICHARD EVENT ARMITAGE, FILM FEB. 21 / SONY WELL PICTURES GO USA

C hometown Gal Gadot, in Kristen Louisiana Wiig and falls in NR ALICIA SILVERSTONE, JAEDEN Fri, 10/16/20 LIEBERHER, WIDE CLASSICS ENTERTAINMENT

D love Patty with Jenkins a local tour guide was filmed LIA MCHUGH DIR SEVERIN NRFIALA,

Veteran British filmmaker Michael

NR in 1982 • Act/Adv/Fan and is just • now IMAX receiving its THE CONJURING: VERONIKA FRANZ RATING R RUNNING Winterbottom JIANG wrote ZIYA and directed

/3D/Dolby theatrical debut Vis/Atmos after being presumed THE lost DEVIL TIME MADE 100 MIN. GODZILLA VS KONGthis satire of Fri, the excesses 2/7/20 LTD of the

for many years. It’s the only feature ME by DO IT

Fri, 11/20/20 WIDE fashion industry, D Teng starring Cheng, his Wei frequent Li

IN Horace THE B. HEIGHTS Jenkins, who died soon after Fri, 9/11/20 ORDINARY WIDE LOVE C Millie Bobby Brown, collaborator, NR Steve • Ani Coogan.

Fri, filming 6/26/20 was completed. WIDE

C Patrick Wilson, FEB. Vera 14 Farmiga / BLEECKER STREET Eiza González CAST STEVE COOGAN, ISLA FISHER, ASA

D Jon M. Chu

D Michael Chaves

D Adam Wingard

CAST RICHARD ROMAIN, TÔMMYE

Joan and Tom have been married for BUTTERFIELD, SHIRLEY HENDERSON,

NR • Mus/Rom/Dra

NR • Hor

NR • SF/Act • IMAX/3D/

MEYRICK, CAROL SUTTON, BARBARA many years. They are an everyday couple SOPHIE COOKSON DIR MICHAEL

Dolby Vis/Atmos

TASKER DIR HORACE B. JENKINS RATING with a remarkable love, and there is an WINTERBOTTOM RATING TBA RUNNING

TBA RUNNING TIME 90 MIN.

ease to their relationship which only

TIME 104 MIN.

JANUARY 2020

69

FEBRUARY 2020 / 95


OUR SPONSORS

ARTS ALLIANCE MEDIA

INSIDE FRONT COVER

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THE BOXOFFICE COMPANY. .. 39

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CINIONIC ................ 35

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GALALITE SCREENS ....... 77

GDC TECHNOLOGY. ....... 13

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MOVING IMAGE

TECHNOLOGIES ............

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PACKAGING CONCEPTS. ... 81

PROCTOR COMPANIES. .... 15

PROMOTION IN MOTION. .. 25

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READY THEATRE SYSTEMS ... 91

RETRIEVER SOFTWARE .... 79

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SOFTWARE ............. 96

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NETWORKS ............ 19

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INSIDE BACK COVER

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