30.03.2020 Views

Boxoffice Pro - April 2020

Boxoffice Pro is the official publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners.

Boxoffice Pro is the official publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners.

SHOW MORE
SHOW LESS

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

$6.95 / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

The Official Magazine of the National Association of Theatre Owners<br />

©<strong>2020</strong> Par. Pics.


you dream big<br />

we deliver<br />

Barco laser projection<br />

Cinionic introduces the new Barco Series 4 family<br />

members designed for bigger screens. Explore<br />

the world of smart cinema projectors and discover<br />

future-ready technology, brilliant images enabled by<br />

Barco AIM TM , and Barco EcoPure TM energy efficiency.<br />

Discover more inside:<br />

Roman Ballrooms 1-4, <strong>Pro</strong>menade Level


experiences. delivered.<br />

From servers, to sound, to comprehensive services, to the largest awardwinning<br />

laser projection portfolio, we have you covered. It’s your experience,<br />

delivered.<br />

Flagship Laser<br />

Barco’s Flagship Laser projector portfolio offers the pinnacle<br />

in cinema visualization. The result, an elevated experience for<br />

you and your audience.<br />

Series 4<br />

Explore an expanded Barco Series 4 family, powering the<br />

smart projection era. Discover the future-ready laser platform<br />

including patented technology such as Barco EcoPure TM ,<br />

Barco AIM TM , and industry-leading performance.<br />

Smart Laser<br />

See the industry-proven laser leader in a new light with Barco<br />

Smart Laser and Barco Alchemy ICMP-X. With the latest in<br />

laser technology, there is now a smarter way to deliver a<br />

brighter experience at the movies.<br />

Laser Light Upgrade<br />

The fastest way to laser. Get all the benefits of laser on any<br />

Barco Series 2 Xenon projector. Upgrade on-site in less<br />

than four hours.<br />

Discover our solutions at<br />

Roman Ballrooms 1-4, <strong>Pro</strong>menade Level<br />

and www.cinionic.com/CinemaCon<strong>2020</strong><br />

Powered by:


Flagship Laser<br />

Smart Laser<br />

Series 4<br />

Laser Light Upgrade<br />

Value Add<br />

Lifetime Extensions<br />

Cinionic Academy<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>jectors<br />

Flagship Laser<br />

Core<br />

Light Insurance<br />

Series 4<br />

Laser Light Upgrade<br />

Alchemy<br />

I<br />

mmersive Audio<br />

ICMP-X<br />

Smart Laser<br />

Financial Flexibility<br />

Cinionic Services<br />

Immersive Audio<br />

Alchemy ICMP-X


60K<br />

0K<br />

lumens<br />

8K<br />

50K<br />

60K<br />

12K<br />

45K<br />

Flagship Laser<br />

27K<br />

15K<br />

40K<br />

Series 4<br />

Smart Laser / Laser Light Upgrade<br />

30K


BREAK<br />

THROUGH<br />

TO THE NEW<br />

RADICALLY ENHANCE YOUR CUSTOMERS<br />

POLARA| EXPERIENCE WITHOUT SACRIFICING DENSITY!<br />

INFO@VIPCINEMASEATING.COM VIPCINEMASEATING.COM 662-539-7017


+1 MILLION SEATS<br />

SOLD WORLD WIDE<br />

+40% INCREASE IN<br />

ATTENDANCE<br />

+20% RETURN ON<br />

INVESTMENT<br />

NEW INNOVATIONS!<br />

ROBUST TABLE DESIGNS | MOTORIZED HEADREST & LUMBAR


Image courtesy Universal Pictures<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

CONTENTS<br />

172<br />

Coming Attractions<br />

Nathalie Emmanuel and Vin<br />

Diesel star in Universal’s F9.<br />

152<br />

Cinema Centennial<br />

Behind the Scenes with AMC<br />

as It Enters Its Second Century<br />

162<br />

Premium Large Formatt<br />

2019 Records the Highest<br />

Number of PFL Installs to Date<br />

166<br />

Workers’ Compensation<br />

GTC Transitions to 100%<br />

Employee Ownership<br />

184<br />

Event Cinema<br />

Industry Experts on the<br />

Future of Event Cinema<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

07


CONTENTS<br />

INDUSTRY<br />

THEATER<br />

ON SCREEN<br />

16<br />

36<br />

43<br />

44<br />

46<br />

52<br />

54<br />

62<br />

66<br />

68<br />

Trade Talk<br />

NATO<br />

Welcome to CinemaCon; NATO<br />

Visits Villages Operating Company;<br />

Volunteers Make CinemaCon a Success<br />

UNIC<br />

ICA<br />

Charity Spotlight<br />

Charity Events Roundup; Variety<br />

Gold Heart Pin Campaign<br />

MPA<br />

Big Data<br />

The Relationship between Movie<br />

Theater Attendance and Streaming<br />

Behavior<br />

Indie Influencers<br />

Spotlight Cinema Networks<br />

Celebrates its 10th Anniversary<br />

Industry Insiders<br />

Anne Fitzgerald Keeps It Interesting<br />

as Cineplex’s Chief Legal Officer<br />

A Century in Exhibition<br />

1950s: Turmoil, TV, and<br />

Technological Innovation<br />

152<br />

162<br />

166<br />

Cinema Centennial<br />

Behind the Scenes with AMC as It<br />

Enters Its Second Century<br />

The Rise Of Premium Large Format<br />

2019 Records the Highest Number of<br />

PLF Installs to Date<br />

Workers’ Compensation<br />

GTC Transitions to 100% Employee<br />

Ownership<br />

The total count of PLF<br />

screens reached 4,379<br />

worldwide in 2019, eclipsing<br />

the 4,000-screen threshold<br />

for the first time and showing<br />

a strong 18.6 percent<br />

increase year on year. P. 162<br />

172<br />

184<br />

188<br />

190<br />

194<br />

198<br />

199<br />

Coming Attractions<br />

What’s Coming to Theaters as the<br />

Summer Season Begins<br />

Event Cinema<br />

<strong>2020</strong> and Beyond: Industry Experts<br />

on the Future of Event Cinema<br />

Event Cinema Calendar<br />

Upcoming Special Engagements at<br />

Nationwide Cinemas<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>mising Young Woman<br />

Emerald Fennell Directs Carey<br />

Mulligan in a Candy-Colored Thriller<br />

Number Crunch<br />

Looking Back—and Ahead—at<br />

the Cinema Experience of the 21st<br />

Century<br />

Long Range Forecast<br />

Three May Titles with the Biggest<br />

Box Office Potential<br />

Booking Guide<br />

Upcoming Releases in <strong>2020</strong> and<br />

Beyond<br />

CINEMACON<br />

Previewing NATO’s Annual Convention<br />

and Meeting This Year’s Honorees<br />

73<br />

Photo: Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging for CinemaCon<br />

74<br />

79<br />

132<br />

136<br />

138<br />

141<br />

143<br />

145<br />

147<br />

NATO’s Big Show<br />

CinemaCon Celebrates Year 10, Led<br />

by Mitch Neuhauser<br />

New <strong>Pro</strong>ducts<br />

Our Annual Preview of CinemaCon’s<br />

Trade Show<br />

Asia Pacific Advocate<br />

MPA’s Mike Ellis Looks Back on a<br />

Triumphant Career<br />

Global Ambassador<br />

Disney’s Jeffrey Forman Earns <strong>2020</strong><br />

Passepartout Honor<br />

Disney Dynamo<br />

Comscore Box Office Achievement<br />

Award Goes to a Familiar Face<br />

F&B VIP<br />

National Amusements’ Bill LeClair<br />

Earns an NAC Salute<br />

Giants Of K-Pop<br />

Pathé Live Sets a New Standard for a<br />

Global Event-Cinema Release<br />

A World of Cinema<br />

Cineworld’s Renana Teperberg Is<br />

Saluted for Global Acheivement<br />

Leading the Way<br />

NATO Marquee Honoree Adam Aron<br />

Guides AMC’s Transformation<br />

08 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


BOXOFFICE MEDIA<br />

CEO<br />

Julien Marcel<br />

SVP Content Strategy<br />

Daniel Loria<br />

Creative Direction<br />

Chris Vickers & Craig Scott<br />

at She Was Only<br />

EVP Chief Administrative Officer<br />

Susan Rich<br />

VP Advertising<br />

Susan Uhrlass<br />

BOXOFFICE PRO<br />

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR<br />

Daniel Loria<br />

DEPUTY EDITOR<br />

Rebecca Pahle<br />

EXECUTIVE EDITOR<br />

Kevin Lally<br />

MANAGING EDITOR<br />

Laura Silver<br />

CHIEF ANALYST<br />

Shawn Robbins<br />

ADVERTISING<br />

Susan Uhrlass<br />

63 Copps Hill Road<br />

Ridgefield, CT USA 06877<br />

susan@boxoffice.com<br />

SUBSCRIPTIONS<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong><br />

P.O. Box 215<br />

Congers, NY 10920<br />

833-435-8093 (Toll-Free)<br />

845-450-5212 (Local)<br />

boxoffice@cambeywest.com<br />

CORPORATE<br />

Box Office Media LLC<br />

63 Copps Hill Road<br />

Ridgefield, CT USA 06877<br />

corporate@boxoffice.com<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> has served as the<br />

official publication of the National<br />

Association of Theatre Owners<br />

(NATO) since 2007. As part of this<br />

partnership, <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> is proud<br />

to feature exclusive columns from<br />

NATO while retaining full editorial<br />

freedom throughout its pages.<br />

As such, the views expressed in<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong>, neither reflect a stance<br />

nor endorsement from the National<br />

Association of Theatre Owners.<br />

ANALYSTS<br />

Chris Eggertsen<br />

Jesse Rifkin<br />

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT<br />

Vassiliki Malouchou<br />

DATABASE<br />

Diogo Hausen<br />

CONTRIBUTORS<br />

David Binet<br />

Kathy Conroy<br />

Rob Del Moro<br />

John Fithian<br />

Laura Houlgatte Abbott<br />

Charlotte Jones<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> (ISSN 0006-8527), Volume 159, Number , <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>. <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> is published<br />

monthly by Box Office Media LLC, 63 Copps Hill Road, Ridgefield, CT USA 06877. corporate@<br />

boxoffice.com. www.boxoffice.com. Basic annual subscription rate is $75.00. Periodicals<br />

postage paid at Beverly Hills, CA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all<br />

UAA to CFS. NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to <strong>Boxoffice</strong><br />

<strong>Pro</strong>, P.O. Box 215, Congers, NY 10920. © Copyright <strong>2020</strong>. Box Office Media LLC. All rights<br />

reserved. SUBSCRIPTIONS: <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong>, P.O. Box 215, Congers, NY 10920 / boxoffice@<br />

cambeywest.com. 833-435-8093 (Toll-Free), 845-450-5212 (Local).<br />

Box Office <strong>Pro</strong> is a registered trademark of Box Office Media LLC.<br />

10 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


EXECUTIVE LETTER<br />

ONE HUNDRED<br />

YEARS AND<br />

COUNTING<br />

In our milestone centennial year, it<br />

feels right to look back on our history,<br />

just as we look forward to the decade<br />

ahead—and our second century covering<br />

theatrical exhibition.<br />

Perusing the magazine’s archives, I<br />

can’t help noticing how every decade has<br />

been regarded as the most disruptive in<br />

the industry’s history. From the emergence<br />

of new technologies (sound and<br />

color, yes, but let’s not overlook air-conditioning!)<br />

to the increased competition<br />

of home-entertainment platforms (radio,<br />

television, and today’s growing gamut<br />

of streaming channels), exhibition has<br />

always managed to adapt and innovate<br />

whenever necessary.<br />

This era is no different. We expect<br />

the next century of our coverage in<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> to be similar to our first<br />

hundred years: offering level-headed perspective<br />

and eschewing the tabloid-style<br />

alarmism that can be found in countless<br />

other publications.<br />

That isn’t to imply we are not keenly<br />

aware of the massive shift our industry is<br />

currently facing. Yes, we are living in a<br />

time of great change in our business—but<br />

when has that not been the case? It’s easy to<br />

get caught up in the challenges facing the<br />

industry without considering the opportunities<br />

these changes will inevitably bring.<br />

Speaking of change, we’re unveiling a<br />

brand-new look and creative direction for<br />

our publication with this month’s issue.<br />

We’ve commissioned U.K.-based design<br />

firm She Was Only to reconceive the<br />

magazine’s design elements and enhance<br />

our reporting with a new visually driven<br />

focus. That’s a fancy way of saying that<br />

we’ve organized the magazine into unique<br />

editorial sections to make it easier for our<br />

readers to find relevant articles in each<br />

issue. We’re thrilled about our new look<br />

and would love to hear your feedback on<br />

the new design.<br />

In that spirit, this issue of <strong>Boxoffice</strong><br />

<strong>Pro</strong> features all the usual stories you’ve<br />

come to expect—with a new look. All the<br />

classic sections are still here: full coverage<br />

of CinemaCon and its honorees, including<br />

our annual trade show preview and new<br />

products guide. Industry columns from<br />

cinema’s most important trade associations,<br />

including the National Association<br />

of Theatre Owners (NATO), Europe’s<br />

International Union of Cinemas (UNIC),<br />

the Independent Cinema Alliance (ICA),<br />

and the Motion Picture Association (MPA).<br />

Executive interviews, cinema profiles,<br />

research reports, and the latest industry<br />

headlines. It’s all there.<br />

But we’ve also included several intricately<br />

researched feature stories coordinated<br />

by our editorial director, Daniel<br />

Loria. These stories take a closer look at<br />

exhibition’s relentless drive to innovate<br />

and raise the standard of the moviegoing<br />

experience. Whatever other things change<br />

in the coming years, we can always expect<br />

that a commitment to improving the<br />

business will remain the same.<br />

Julien Marcel<br />

Chief Executive Officer, The <strong>Boxoffice</strong> Company<br />

Publisher, <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong><br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

11


PAGE TITLE<br />

12 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

13


NATO 36 | UNIC 43 | Charity Spotlight 46 | MPA 52 | Big Data 54 | A Century In Exhibition 68<br />

INDUSTRY<br />

Image courtesy Spotlight Cinema Networks<br />

“We were blown away. This was full waiter service at your seat, reclining<br />

chairs, sushi, and martinis—at a ticket price that wasn’t ridiculously<br />

high. We knew right there and then, this is our market.”<br />

Indie Influencers, p. 62<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

15


INDUSTRY TRADE TALK<br />

TRADE TALK<br />

SHOWBIZ EXPANDS<br />

CINEMA ENTERTAINMENT<br />

CONCEPT<br />

ShowBiz Cinemas is adding two new<br />

cinema entertainment centers to its<br />

circuit. The theater chain will be opening<br />

one of its signature Bowling, Movies and<br />

More! entertainment centers at a new<br />

development located in Idaho Falls, Idaho,<br />

scheduled to open in December <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

ShowBiz will anchor the new 44-acre<br />

development, which will also feature<br />

retail, business, dining, and hospitality<br />

establishments.<br />

ShowBiz Cinemas’ Idaho Falls Bowling,<br />

Movies and More! entertainment center<br />

will feature 14 bowling lanes, a modern<br />

arcade and redemption center, multiple<br />

party rooms, a lane-side café, a full bar<br />

with beer, wine, and cocktails, a modern<br />

concessions area, and eight auditoriums,<br />

all with recliner seating.<br />

ShowBiz will also add boutique bowling,<br />

a modern arcade, and luxury recliner seating<br />

to its existing location in Waxahachie,<br />

Texas. The project will expand the footprint<br />

of ShowBiz Cinemas’ current Waxahachie<br />

building, adding an additional 11,000<br />

square feet along the front of the existing<br />

structure. Along with the new construction,<br />

ShowBiz will be remodeling all the sites’<br />

auditoriums and its current lobby to<br />

incorporate luxury recliner seating in all<br />

auditoriums, a new and improved upscale<br />

bar, and a modern self-service concessions<br />

area. The $10.5 million expansion project<br />

in Waxahachie will be built over multiple<br />

phases to allow the location to remain<br />

open during construction. The project is<br />

scheduled for completion this fall.<br />

ShowBiz opened its first Bowling,<br />

Movies and More! Entertainment Center<br />

in Baytown, Texas, in 2015. By the end of<br />

<strong>2020</strong>, ShowBiz Cinemas will operate at<br />

least six cinema entertainment centers<br />

across the country. The circuit plans to<br />

open multiple additional locations per<br />

year going forward.<br />

Image courtesy ShowBiz Cinemas<br />

TED MUNDORFF NAMED<br />

PRESIDENT AND COO<br />

OF ARCLIGHT<br />

Former Landmark Theatres<br />

president and CEO Ted Mundorff is<br />

returning to Arclight Cinemas as its new<br />

president and chief operating officer.<br />

Mundorff served as vice president and<br />

film buyer at Pacific Theatres and ArcLight<br />

Cinemas prior to joining Landmark. His<br />

15-year tenure leading Landmark saw the<br />

expansion of the specialty circuit, including<br />

the opening of new flagship locations<br />

in New York and Los Angeles. In that span,<br />

Landmark opened in other key markets in<br />

the United States, such as Denver, Indianapolis,<br />

Washington, D.C., and Miami.<br />

Arclight Cinemas ranks as the<br />

24th-largest circuit in North America on<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong>’s <strong>2020</strong> Domestic Giants of<br />

Exhibition list.<br />

Commenting on the announcement,<br />

Christopher Forman, ArcLight Cinemas’<br />

chairman and CEO, said, “I’m thrilled<br />

to be reuniting with Ted, an exhibition<br />

executive whose deep love of film and<br />

understanding of the customer experience<br />

will be critical to the future of our brand.”<br />

Mundorff added, “I am excited to be<br />

working with Chris again, alongside the<br />

entire ArcLight team. Since its founding,<br />

ArcLight has been a leading innovator in<br />

our industry, and I look forward to continuing<br />

to deliver meaningful moviegoing<br />

experiences to guests across the country.”<br />

“By the end of <strong>2020</strong>, ShowBiz<br />

Cinemas will operate at least<br />

six entertainment centers<br />

across the country.”<br />

16 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


You give them the experience they deserve...<br />

We give you the results to match!<br />

screenvisionmedia.com<br />

CINEMA ADVERTISING SOLUTIONS • INNOVATIVE PRESHOW<br />

EVENT CINEMA • DIGITAL INSTALLATION FLEXIBILITY<br />

LOBBY PROMOTIONS • COMPLETE TURNKEY EXECUTION<br />

Contact us today to learn more: David Ostrander | (212) 497-0490 | dostrander@screenvisionmedia.com


INDUSTRY TRADE TALK<br />

CINEASIA SETS RETURN<br />

TO BANGKOK IN <strong>2020</strong><br />

CineAsia is heading back to Thailand.<br />

Following an unforeseen cancellation<br />

of CineAsia 2019 due to mass protests<br />

in Hong Kong, the Film Expo Group is<br />

relocating the <strong>2020</strong> edition of the event to<br />

Bangkok, Thailand, December 7–10, <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

The convention will take place at the Royal<br />

Paragon Halls at the Siam Paragon mall,<br />

with screenings and presentations at the<br />

Paragon Cinema.<br />

“The support from local exhibition [in<br />

Bangkok] is extraordinary, the theaters are<br />

the best designed and most technically<br />

enhanced theaters in the world, and the<br />

cinema is on the same level as the<br />

convention center,” according to Robert<br />

and Andrew Sunshine, the co-managing<br />

directors of CineAsia.<br />

“Major Cineplex Group is thrilled that<br />

its Siam Pavalai Royal Grand Theater at<br />

Paragon Cineplex, which has been named<br />

Thailand’s most exquisite grand theater,<br />

has been selected as the projection venue<br />

for this international film exposition.<br />

The company is honored to welcome<br />

executives in the motion picture industry<br />

and other notable figures from all around<br />

the globe who will be attending the event,”<br />

said Vicha Poolvaraluk, chief executive<br />

officer of Major Cineplex Group Public<br />

Company Limited.<br />

CINEMARK HAS<br />

FIFTH YEAR OF<br />

RECORD REVENUES<br />

Cinemark is experiencing a<br />

half-decade of global growth. The<br />

Texas-based multinational circuit reported<br />

that total revenues for the 2019 fiscal<br />

year increased 1.9 percent year over year,<br />

coming to $3,283.1 million. Admissions<br />

revenues were $1,805.3 million, and concession<br />

revenues increased 4.7 percent to<br />

$1,161.1 million. Fiscal-year attendance<br />

was 279.6 million patrons, average ticket<br />

price was $6.46, and concession revenues<br />

per patron increased 5.6 percent to $4.15.<br />

“We are extremely pleased to report<br />

our fifth consecutive year of record global<br />

revenues, as well as our fifth consecutive<br />

annual dividend increase,” said Mark<br />

2019 saw record<br />

admission revenue from<br />

Cinemark’s premium<br />

large-format XD screens.<br />

18 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Image courtesy Cinemark<br />

Zoradi, Cinemark’s chief executive officer.<br />

At the end of 2019, Cinemark’s global<br />

screen count stood at 6,132 with commitments<br />

to open 13 new theaters and 150<br />

screens in <strong>2020</strong> and 10 new theaters and 93<br />

screens subsequent to <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

ODEON NAMED<br />

INTERNATIONAL<br />

EXHIBITOR OF THE YEAR<br />

AT CINEEUROPE <strong>2020</strong><br />

“Odeon Cinemas<br />

has built a culture<br />

of innovation for<br />

cinema, changing the<br />

moviegoing experience<br />

throughout Europe.”<br />

—Andrew Sunshine<br />

Odeon Cinemas, a subsidiary of AMC<br />

Theatres, has been named as the <strong>2020</strong><br />

recipient of the International Exhibitor of<br />

the Year award at CineEurope. The award<br />

will be presented to Mark Way, president<br />

of AMC Europe and managing director<br />

at Odeon, and Juan Antonio Gomez,<br />

chief partnership and content officer at<br />

Odeon, as part of the CineEurope awards<br />

ceremony hosted by The Coca-Cola Company<br />

on Thursday, June 25, at the Centre<br />

Convencions Internacional Barcelona<br />

(CCIB), in Barcelona, Spain. The award<br />

is given each year to an exhibitor whose<br />

accomplishments, new developments,<br />

growth, and market leadership make it the<br />

standard-bearer for the industry.<br />

Odeon is Europe’s largest cinema<br />

operator, hosting over 110 million guests<br />

each year in more than 360 cinemas in<br />

12 countries. The past 12 months have<br />

seen the rapid growth of Odeon Luxe,<br />

the group’s premium cinema brand. All<br />

Odeon Luxe cinemas feature cutting-edge<br />

technology, luxury recliner seats, and<br />

premium food and drink offerings. The<br />

circuit has focused its efforts recently on<br />

expanding the number of PLF screens in<br />

its circuit, which currently stands at 123.<br />

“It gives us great pleasure to present<br />

the International Exhibitor of the Year<br />

award to the Odeon Cinemas Group,”<br />

said Andrew Sunshine, president of<br />

Film Expo Group. “Odeon Cinemas has<br />

built a culture of innovation for cinema,<br />

changing the moviegoing experience<br />

throughout Europe.”<br />

Way commented, “It is a huge privilege<br />

to receive this award on behalf of all<br />

11,500 Odeon Cinemas Group colleagues.<br />

This award is testament to their hard work<br />

and commitment in improving Odeon’s<br />

guest experience.”<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

19


INDUSTRY TRADE TALK<br />

KINEPOLIS REPORTS<br />

REVENUE INCREASE<br />

Belgium-based theater chain Kinepolis<br />

reported a 15.9 percent increase<br />

in revenue to €551.5 million in 2019, citing<br />

positive results from its business strategy<br />

and favorable market conditions in Europe.<br />

Visitor-related revenue increased by<br />

17.8 percent.<br />

The multinational circuit had 40.3 million<br />

visitors in 2019 (a 13.3% rise), and an<br />

EBITDA increase of 23.8 percent to €145.0<br />

million, excluding new lease-accounting<br />

requirements. Net profit increased by 14.7<br />

percent to €54.4 million.<br />

“The continued execution of our<br />

business strategy, aimed at finding new<br />

revenue sources and reducing our breakeven<br />

point every year by introducing<br />

small improvement steps, has been<br />

providing solid results for 13 years in a<br />

row,” said CEO Eddy Duquenne. “On top<br />

of that, in 2019 this was supported by a<br />

strong content lineup.”<br />

Duquenne continued, “We have again<br />

taken important steps in the further execution<br />

of our expansion in the past year, including<br />

the acquisition of the American cinema<br />

group MJR. As a result, we now already<br />

realize 30 percent of our visitor numbers in<br />

the North American market. In this respect, it<br />

is encouraging to see that the introduction of<br />

our business strategy and concepts in Canada<br />

is going well.” Kinepolis acquired Landmark<br />

Cinemas, Canada’s second-largest theater<br />

circuit, in September 2017.<br />

The strong financial results come<br />

on the heels of more good news for the<br />

cinema chain. A long-standing legal<br />

decision aimed at curtailing Kinepolis’s<br />

expansion in its home country of Belgium<br />

has now been annulled.<br />

Kinepolis’s accomplishments in 2019<br />

included the opening of new cinema<br />

complexes in France (Servon) and Canada<br />

(Regina and Calgary Market Mall);<br />

acquisition and integration of the El Punt<br />

cinemas in Barcelona and Alzira, Spain;<br />

acquisition of the Arcaplex cinema in<br />

Spijkenisse, Netherlands; the opening of<br />

a new Imax theater in Antwerp, Belgium;<br />

the opening of various 4DX motion and<br />

effects theaters and panoramic ScreenX<br />

theaters; and the continued rollout of its<br />

Laser Ultra concept.<br />

Upcoming Kinepolis locations include<br />

a new Landmark Cinemas 8-screen complex<br />

at the “Grove on 17” site in southeast<br />

Edmonton, Canada, and a 6-screen theater<br />

at the Schalkwijk Centre in Haarlem,<br />

the Netherlands. Both are scheduled to<br />

open in the fourth quarter of <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Image courtesy Kinepolis<br />

The 20-screen Kinepolis<br />

Braine location in Brainel’Alleud,<br />

Belgium.<br />

20 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Image courtesy National Amusements<br />

“During her tenure at<br />

National Amusements,<br />

Laura has proven to be a<br />

dynamic and integral part<br />

of the film department.”<br />

—Mark Walukevich,<br />

Showcase Cinemas<br />

SHOWCASE APPOINTS<br />

LAURA CORREIA<br />

ASSISTANT VP<br />

Showcase Cinemas company veteran<br />

Laura Correia has been appointed<br />

to assistant vice president, film and<br />

event cinema. In her new role, Correia<br />

will oversee the growing event-cinema<br />

program, creating new opportunities with<br />

content providers and studios worldwide<br />

to diversify in-theater programming and<br />

attract new audiences.<br />

Correia started her career at National<br />

Amusements in 1997 as assistant to<br />

vice president of film. In 2002, as the<br />

company’s international film coordinator,<br />

she focused on exploring opportunities<br />

for Imax in Argentina and acted as liaison<br />

between international film distributors,<br />

district offices, and the home office.<br />

In 2007, Correia was promoted to director,<br />

international film and Imax. By 2016,<br />

her role grew to director of film and event<br />

cinema, responsible for managing the<br />

event-cinema program for the U.S. market.<br />

“During her tenure at National Amusements,<br />

Laura has proven to be a dynamic<br />

and integral part of the film department,”<br />

said Mark Walukevich, senior vice<br />

president of film and event cinema for<br />

Showcase Cinemas. “She is recognized in<br />

the industry for her international expertise<br />

and ability to work effectively with a<br />

wide network of contacts at all levels. Her<br />

effort and dedication have strengthened<br />

our position as a leader in exhibition.”<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

21


INDUSTRY TRADE TALK<br />

CONNECTICUT’S<br />

PROSPECTOR TO OPEN<br />

SECOND LOCATION<br />

The <strong>Pro</strong>spector Theater, a 501(c)(3)<br />

nonprofit dedicated to providing<br />

meaningful employment to people with<br />

disabilities through the operation of a<br />

first-run movie theater, will be opening its<br />

second location in Wilton, Connecticut.<br />

The <strong>Pro</strong>spector Wilton will be a<br />

four-screen, nonprofit first-run movie<br />

theater with the mission of employing<br />

adults with disabilities in an integrated<br />

and competitive work environment. The<br />

renovated theater, located in Kimco<br />

Realty’s Wilton River Park shopping center,<br />

will bring the design, adaptive technology,<br />

and accessibility features of the Ridgefield,<br />

Connecticut location to downtown Wilton.<br />

Renovations are scheduled to begin in<br />

September <strong>2020</strong>, with an opening near the<br />

end of 2021 at the site of a cinema currently<br />

operated by Bow Tie Cinemas.<br />

A boutique version of the exhibitor’s<br />

flagship <strong>Pro</strong>spector Theater in Ridgefield,<br />

the new theater will offer a wide spectrum<br />

of jobs for employees who self-identify<br />

with a disability, whom the company<br />

refers to as <strong>Pro</strong>spects. The professional<br />

roles are designed to educate, engage,<br />

and entertain audiences of all ages, while<br />

employing a wide spectrum of individuals<br />

who are traditionally underrepresented in<br />

the workforce.<br />

Over its five years of operation, the<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>spector has employed over 250<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>spects, logging more than 600,000<br />

hours of meaningful employment as they<br />

break down outdated stereotypes about<br />

disabilities and build empathy. Wilton’s<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>spector Theater will join current retail,<br />

restaurant, and service tenants in Kimco<br />

Realty’s Wilton River Park shopping center.<br />

The existing Bow Tie Cinemas location<br />

will be open and operating until the end of<br />

August <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

“The <strong>Pro</strong>spector has employed<br />

over 250 <strong>Pro</strong>spects, logging<br />

more than 600,000 hours of<br />

meaningful employment.”<br />

The <strong>Pro</strong>spector Theater’s<br />

current Ridgefield,<br />

Connecticut location<br />

Which glass do you want to use for your expensive laser projector?<br />

OPTI CLE AR<br />

G L A S S<br />


Image courtesy <strong>Pro</strong>spector Theater<br />

CINEMARK PARTNERS<br />

WITH MYCON ON DALLAS<br />

HOLOCAUST MUSEUM<br />

Cinemark and MYCON General<br />

Contractors have partnered to<br />

donate a state-of-the-art 250-seat auditorium<br />

to the Dallas Holocaust and Human<br />

Rights Museum.<br />

“The core of what Cinemark does is<br />

provide an unparalleled environment for<br />

stories to be told to captivated audiences,<br />

and the stories that will be shared in<br />

our theater at the Dallas Holocaust and<br />

Human Rights Museum are of upmost<br />

importance,” said Mark Zoradi, Cinemark<br />

CEO. “We are honored to be involved in<br />

such an important project in our corporate<br />

hometown; it was our pleasure to connect<br />

MYCON with the museum, which led to<br />

another impactful exhibition exploring<br />

human and civil rights.”<br />

Cinemark is the presenting sponsor of<br />

the museum’s new exhibition “The Fight<br />

for Civil Rights in the South.” The exhibit<br />

combines two prestigious photography<br />

exhibitions covering the African American<br />

struggle for civil rights and social equality<br />

in the 1960s. “Selma to Montgomery:<br />

Photographs by Spider Martin” and<br />

“Courage under Fire: The 1961 Burning of<br />

the Freedom Riders Bus” were curated and<br />

circulated by the Birmingham Civil Rights<br />

Institute (BCRI), with contributions from<br />

the City of Birmingham and to BCRI’s<br />

Corporate Campaign.<br />

YOUR SOURCE FOR VENTLESS<br />

KITCHEN SOLUTIONS<br />

MEET US AT<br />

CINEMACON<br />

BOOTH<br />

100J<br />

products.com<br />

1-800-348-2976<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

23


INDUSTRY TRADE TALK<br />

AMC BENEFITS FROM Q4<br />

ADMISSIONS BOOST<br />

AMC’s 2019 revenues totaled $5.47<br />

billion, driven by a combination<br />

of higher food and beverage revenues<br />

per patron, increases in international<br />

attendance, and higher online ticket<br />

fees. Q4 2019 marked the second-highest<br />

fourth-quarter attendance ever for AMC,<br />

both in the U.S. and international markets.<br />

“In the fourth quarter, AMC once again<br />

vastly outperformed the rest of the U.S.<br />

theater industry by a stunning 607 basis<br />

Image courtesy AMC<br />

points on admissions revenue per screen,<br />

among other metrics. It was the seventh<br />

consecutive quarter that AMC added market<br />

share in the United States. Likewise, the<br />

circuit generated record fourth-quarter<br />

food and beverage revenues per patron in<br />

both the U.S. and international markets, as<br />

fourth-quarter U.S. and international food<br />

and beverage revenues per patron grew 2.5<br />

percent and 7.8 percent, in constant currency,<br />

respectively,” said AMC CEO Adam Aron.<br />

Among the circuit’s 2019 highlights is<br />

the performance of the A-List subscription<br />

tier of its AMC Stubs loyalty program.<br />

A-List has already attracted more than<br />

900,000 subscribers since its June 2018<br />

launch. During the first quarter of 2019,<br />

AMC implemented a 10 percent membership<br />

price increase in 10 states and a 20<br />

percent price increase in five states. AMC<br />

says it believes its subscription program<br />

is profitable, compared to estimated<br />

results if the program had not existed. The<br />

analysis is based on a 2.4 average monthly<br />

frequency of A-List members in Q4, their<br />

associated full-price bring-along guest<br />

attendance, and concessions spend.<br />

AMC finished 2019 with 636 theaters<br />

in the U.S. and 368 internationally. In the<br />

fourth quarter, the company added recliner<br />

seating to 20 locations, including 10 in<br />

the U.S. and 10 internationally, expanding<br />

its recliner footprint in the United States<br />

to approximately 81 percent of the circuit<br />

and approximately 19 percent of its European<br />

cinemas. AMC grew the presence<br />

of its premium large-format auditoriums<br />

in the quarter, adding nine new Dolby<br />

Cinema screens, four new Imax screens,<br />

and three new Prime at AMC screens.<br />

“[This] was the seventh<br />

consecutive quarter that<br />

AMC added market share<br />

in the United States.”<br />

—Adam Aron, CEO<br />

24 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


ICE THEATERS APPOINTS<br />

DESMAZURES TO SVP<br />

SALES AND STRATEGY<br />

Guillaume Thomine Desmazures has<br />

been named senior vice president,<br />

sales and strategy, for ICE Theaters, France’s<br />

leading premium large-format offering,<br />

owned by French circuit CGR Cinemas.<br />

In the newly created role, Desmazures<br />

will lead ICE Theaters’ international expansion<br />

efforts and worldwide sales division.<br />

With over 10 years’ experience in the media<br />

industry, Desmazures will be in charge of<br />

expanding the brand footprint and theater<br />

development by identifying strategic partnership<br />

deals with exhibitors, distributors,<br />

and manufacturers. Part of Desmazures’s<br />

role will be to lead the strategy and fine-tuning<br />

of the ICE offering according to each<br />

market’s specifics.<br />

ICE’s immersive technology features<br />

up to seven non-reflecting LED panels<br />

flanking each side of the auditorium to<br />

fill the moviegoer’s peripheral vision with<br />

colors complementary to the front screen.<br />

Image courtesy CGR Cinemas<br />

An in-house post-production team in La<br />

Rochelle, France, creates ambient images<br />

for the panels and syncs them to each film<br />

showcased.<br />

Desmazures officially joins ICE Theaters<br />

after working with the company to help<br />

secure two milestone international<br />

expansions in 2019—to Saudi Arabia with<br />

Vox Cinemas, and the opening of the first<br />

location in the U.S. at AEG’s Regal L.A. Live.<br />

Previously, Desmazures held a position<br />

at Arts Alliance Media as its senior sales<br />

manager, where he guided the digital transition<br />

through the virtual print fee model<br />

in Europe and Latin America. Over the past<br />

four years, Desmazures has headed Bel<br />

Air Cinema, which provides day-and-date<br />

movies in DCI format to high-net-worth<br />

individuals on board super yachts, royal<br />

palaces, private islands, and residences.<br />

“We are very excited to welcome<br />

Guillaume to the ICE Theaters team,” said<br />

Jocelyn Bouyssy, CEO of CGR Cinemas<br />

Group. “Our first meeting goes back to 2007,<br />

when he did fantastic work on the digitization<br />

of our exhibition locations with CGR.<br />

We are starting an amazing new adventure:<br />

We have the right product supported by<br />

all the major studios, along with the right<br />

executives to drive ICE Theaters to all<br />

corners of the world.”<br />

Above, left: ICE Theaters<br />

opened its first U.S.<br />

location, at the Regal<br />

L.A. Live in Los Angeles,<br />

in late 2019.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

25


INDUSTRY TRADE TALK<br />

Image courtesy Kinepolis<br />

<strong>2020</strong> will see a record<br />

number of releases<br />

filmed in Imax<br />

IMAX POSTS $1.1B<br />

IN GLOBAL TICKET<br />

SALES FOR 2019<br />

Imax benefited from the 2019<br />

global box office record to set a new<br />

benchmark of its own. The company<br />

brought in revenues of $395.7 million in<br />

2019, including a record $1.1 billion in<br />

global ticket sales. The Imax footprint<br />

grew to 1,529 theaters by the end of the<br />

year, 73 percent of those locations situated<br />

in overseas markets.<br />

“Imax is among the world’s premier<br />

entertainment experiences, and our<br />

record 2019 financial results reflect sharp<br />

focus, strong execution, and disciplined<br />

cost management as we continue to grow<br />

our global footprint, diversify our content<br />

portfolio, and enhance our pioneering<br />

end-to-end technology,” said Imax CEO<br />

Richard L. Gelfond. “Across 2019, our business<br />

demonstrated significant strength<br />

by setting a number of new records for<br />

the company, including annual revenue<br />

as well as global, international, and<br />

local-language box office—underscoring<br />

the increasing geographic diversification<br />

of our business.”<br />

Imax addressed investor concerns<br />

during its Q4 earnings call over the impact<br />

of the COVID-19 virus on its business in<br />

China. “In terms of the health crisis in<br />

China, where movie theaters nationwide<br />

remain closed, we are continuing to monitor<br />

the situation closely, and needless to<br />

say the safety of our team and audiences<br />

is our top priority,” said Gelfond. “We look<br />

forward to circumstances improving and<br />

Imax continuing to satisfy China’s strong<br />

demand for premium-quality content and<br />

entertainment experiences.”<br />

“Across 2019, our business<br />

demonstrated significant<br />

strength by setting a<br />

number of new records for<br />

the company.” —Richard L.<br />

Gelfond, Imax<br />

26 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEPLEX SEES<br />

ATTENDANCE DROP,<br />

CONCESSIONS BUMP<br />

IN 2019<br />

An eventful 2019 for Cineplex ended<br />

with the announcement that it<br />

would be acquired by U.K. multinational<br />

circuit Cineworld. The acquisition is<br />

expected to close during the first half<br />

of <strong>2020</strong> (pending regulatory and court<br />

approval) and would make Cineworld<br />

the largest exhibitor in North America<br />

following its 2018 acquisition of Regal.<br />

Cineplex finished the year with annual<br />

box office revenues of $705.5 million (all<br />

dollar amounts Canadian), a 2.6 percent<br />

slide from 2018 due to a 4.2 drop in<br />

attendance. A weak film slate in Q1 2019<br />

took its toll on the circuit, resulting in a 15.6<br />

decrease in quarterly attendance for the<br />

circuit. The company says the Q1 decline<br />

in attendance was responsible for approximately<br />

$24.9 million in missed revenue.<br />

Sales at the concession stand hit<br />

record revenues in 2019 with a $446.6<br />

Image courtesy Cineplex<br />

million haul, a 1.3 percent increase from<br />

2018. Cineplex expanded the number of<br />

locations offering alcohol service in its<br />

circuit by 52, bringing the total of theaters<br />

with adult-beverage selections to 87<br />

(excluding VIP cinemas). Patrons craving<br />

movie theater popcorn at home can now<br />

have their fix thanks to partnerships<br />

with Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes,<br />

which offer home delivery of<br />

concessions items at more than 100<br />

locations.<br />

Digital ticket sales saw an 8 percent<br />

uptick year-over-year, with 35 percent of<br />

all tickets bought online. The Canadian<br />

circuit expanded its footprint in the Great<br />

White North with two new theaters and a<br />

VIP Cinema in 2019, while announcing new<br />

builds and entertainment center concepts<br />

scheduled through 2022.<br />

Change with the Changing Times<br />

#UpgradeTo<br />

info@galalitescreens.com<br />

www.galalitescreens.com<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

27


INDUSTRY TRADE TALK<br />

SAMSUNG UNVEILS<br />

FIRST ONYX SCREEN<br />

IN AUSTRALIA<br />

Samsung’s Onyx Cinema LED screen<br />

has made it to Australia. Sydney’s<br />

newly renovated Hoyts Entertainment<br />

Quarter in Moore Park, the circuit’s<br />

flagship location, features Samsung’s<br />

latest 14-meter Onyx screen, the first in the<br />

country. Another 10-meter Onyx screen<br />

will be installed at Hoyts Highpoint in<br />

Melbourne, Australia, by March <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

“We are always looking for new ways<br />

to stay ahead of the game and provide<br />

our guests with something unexpected,”<br />

said Damian Keogh, CEO and president<br />

of the Hoyts Group. “That is why we<br />

are leading the way and incorporating<br />

Australia’s first Onyx Cinema LED screens<br />

into our cinemas. These screens are a total<br />

game-changer, providing a movie and<br />

entertainment experience unlike anything<br />

our guests have seen before.”<br />

Samsung’s Onyx LED screens have<br />

now been installed in several major cities<br />

Image courtesy Samsung<br />

28 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


across the world, through partnerships<br />

with Pacific Theaters in Los Angeles, Capital<br />

Cinema in Beijing, and Arena Cinemas’<br />

Sihlcity theater in Zürich, Switzerland.<br />

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE<br />

INTRODUCES<br />

SUBSCRIPTION PROGRAM<br />

IN ALL LOCATIONS<br />

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s<br />

subscription program, Season Pass,<br />

is now available to use at all 41 of the<br />

circuit’s locations across the country. The<br />

subscription program allows guests to<br />

visit Alamo Drafthouse locations every<br />

day for a monthly fee. The membership<br />

provides one regularly priced ticket per<br />

day, with reservations available up to<br />

seven days in advance.<br />

“This is a huge win for movie lovers,”<br />

said Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse<br />

founder and CEO. “The entire reason we<br />

opened the Alamo in the first place was<br />

to share the movies we love with as many<br />

people as possible, and Season Pass is<br />

the perfect means for folks to explore<br />

more and more films.” Alamo Drafthouse<br />

locations screened more than 2,100 different<br />

titles last year, the circuit reports.<br />

Season Pass is available for instant<br />

sign-up and immediate use in New York<br />

City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin<br />

(Tex.), Denver, Phoenix, Raleigh (N.C.),<br />

San Antonio, Kansas City (Mo.), Yonkers<br />

(N.Y.), Springfield (Mo.), and New Braunfels<br />

(Tex.). In select regions, memberships<br />

are available via a waiting list, but all<br />

locations are expected to be open for<br />

everyone in the coming months.<br />

Season Pass subscriptions renew<br />

monthly, with no annual commitment.<br />

Pricing varies by location and<br />

corresponds to each Alamo Drafthouse<br />

location’s average ticket pricing, with<br />

pricing ranging from $14.99 to $29.99 per<br />

month in big cities like Los Angeles and<br />

New York. The membership also works<br />

for screenings in 3-D, 70 millimeter, Dolby<br />

Atmos, and The Big Show premium large<br />

format, with a $1.99 surcharge per ticket.<br />

Members with accompanying friends and<br />

family members can purchase additional<br />

regular-priced tickets at the same time,<br />

or they can add up to four extra seats—<br />

similar to “plus ones”—to their monthly<br />

Alamo Season Pass subscription at a<br />

discounted price.<br />

“Season Pass is the perfect<br />

means for folks to explore<br />

more and more films.” —Tim<br />

League, Alamo Drafthouse<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

29


INDUSTRY TRADE TALK<br />

Image courtesy Movie Tavern<br />

Texas-based Movie Tavern,<br />

one of the pioneers of<br />

the dine-in space, was<br />

acquired by Marcus<br />

Theatres in 2019<br />

MARCUS SEES Q4<br />

BUMP WITH MOVIE<br />

TAVERN ADDITION<br />

Revenues for Marcus Theatres<br />

increased 26.1 percent in the fourth<br />

quarter of 2019 and 24.7 percent for the<br />

full year, a bump driven by the continued<br />

contributions of the Movie Tavern by<br />

Marcus locations. Marcus completed the<br />

acquisition of the Movie Tavern dine-in<br />

chain in February 2019, expanding its<br />

footprint to over 1,000 screens nationwide.<br />

Fourth-quarter revenues were lower<br />

than in the prior year’s fourth quarter<br />

due to a weaker film slate in October and<br />

early November that was not fully offset<br />

by gains in December. Operating income<br />

was down for the fourth quarter and full<br />

year due to decreased attendance, partially<br />

offset by higher concession revenues per<br />

person and a higher average ticket price.<br />

The division’s box office outperformed<br />

the industry by 0.4 percentage points<br />

in the fourth quarter and 0.5 percentage<br />

points for fiscal 2019, according to data<br />

received from Rentrak. Marcus Theatres<br />

has now outperformed the industry during<br />

19 of the last 24 quarters.<br />

The outperformance comparisons do not<br />

include the Movie Tavern locations (which<br />

Marcus did not own in the 2018 comparison<br />

year), but according to data available from<br />

Movie Tavern’s previous owner, Marcus<br />

believes its Movie Tavern theaters outperformed<br />

the industry by approximately<br />

seven percentage points during the 11<br />

months it owned them in fiscal 2019.<br />

Marcus Theatres continued to invest in<br />

its circuit during the year, expanding its<br />

signature features and amenities to both<br />

existing and new locations, including<br />

Movie Tavern locations. In addition,<br />

Marcus Theatres opened its first newly<br />

built Movie Tavern by Marcus theater<br />

during fiscal 2019 in Brookfield, Wisconsin.<br />

“The first quarter of <strong>2020</strong> is off to a solid<br />

start, with higher admission revenues<br />

at comparable theaters compared to<br />

the same time last year,” said Rolando<br />

Rodriguez, chairman, president, and chief<br />

executive officer of Marcus Theatres. “This<br />

is due to a strong week between December<br />

27 and New Year’s Day and an improved<br />

January and February film slate, with<br />

strong holdover movies from 2019 and new<br />

movies including 1917, Bad Boys For Life,<br />

and Sonic the Hedgehog contributing to the<br />

early first quarter results.<br />

“Our plans for <strong>2020</strong> include additional<br />

investments in our existing theaters,<br />

including the Movie Tavern locations,<br />

where the improvements have been well<br />

received by guests. We will also extend our<br />

footprint into the state of Washington with<br />

a new nine-screen theater currently under<br />

construction in Tacoma that is expected to<br />

open in the fourth quarter of the year.”<br />

30 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


INDUSTRY TRADE TALK<br />

VUE HITS RECORD<br />

REVENUES IN 2019<br />

Vue International enjoyed its highest-ever<br />

full-year revenues in 2019 by<br />

bringing in £854, a 5.4 increase from 2018.<br />

Strong performances in Germany, Italy,<br />

and the Netherlands helped drive a 1.1<br />

percent increase in market share. Other<br />

key factors contributing to growth include<br />

a price reset strategy; renovations at 11<br />

sites in the U.K., Netherlands, and Germany;<br />

and automated scheduling software<br />

improvements in the U.K.<br />

“2019 was a record-breaking year for<br />

Vue. With continued hard work and the<br />

implementation of a robust strategy, we<br />

have achieved our highest ever full-year<br />

revenues. In 2019, cinema markets were<br />

strong across all our major territories with<br />

a rebound in Germany and Italy and record<br />

year in Poland and the Netherlands—<br />

the biggest year for admissions since<br />

1964,” said Tim Richards, the circuit’s<br />

founder and CEO. “For Vue, delivering an<br />

immersive, big-screen experience for our<br />

customers underpins a large part of our<br />

initiatives and investments, including the<br />

major refurbishment and recliner investments<br />

in 2019. The launch of our Get Lost<br />

campaign this year highlights the immeasurable<br />

value of being able to really ‘get lost’<br />

in the big-screen experience. We are well<br />

positioned for the box office momentum<br />

to continue into <strong>2020</strong>, in particular the<br />

first half, with a phenomenal slate of films,<br />

including family favorites Mulan and Peter<br />

Rabbit 2, Fast & Furious 9, and [James<br />

Bond film] No Time to Die.”<br />

“The launch of our Get<br />

Lost campaign this year<br />

highlights the immeasurable<br />

value of being able to really<br />

‘get lost’ in the big-screen<br />

experience.”<br />

—Tim Richards, Vue<br />

International<br />

Cinemark Downey and<br />

XD in Downey, Calif.<br />

MARCH 31 – APRIL 2, <strong>2020</strong><br />

CEASARS PALACE | LAS VEGAS<br />

VISIT US AT<br />

BOOTH 119J<br />

32 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Image courtesy Cinemark<br />

CINEMARK PROMOTES<br />

JAY JOSTRAND TO EVP<br />

REAL ESTATE<br />

Jay Jostrand has been promoted<br />

to executive vice president real<br />

estate at Cinemark. Jostrand’s tenure<br />

at Cinemark spans nearly two decades.<br />

During that time, he has been instrumental<br />

in securing locations for the<br />

company’s domestic theater growth and<br />

identifying locations for recliner seating<br />

renovations across the circuit. In his new<br />

role, Jostrand will continue to manage all<br />

real estate efforts throughout Cinemark’s<br />

domestic circuit, which includes overseeing<br />

strategic investments and advances<br />

in expansion, amenities, maintenance,<br />

and productivity.<br />

“Jay has been an integral member of<br />

the Cinemark executive leadership team<br />

as we continue to enhance and expand<br />

our theaters to elevate the entertainment<br />

experience we provide moviegoers,” said<br />

Mark Zoradi, Cinemark CEO. “We are<br />

pleased to announce this well-deserved<br />

promotion in recognition of Jay’s leadership<br />

and the significant impact he has<br />

made on our national footprint through<br />

his role on our real estate team.”<br />

“Jay has been an integral<br />

member of the Cinemark<br />

executive leadership team as<br />

we continue to enhance and<br />

expand our theaters.”<br />

—Mark Zoradi, CEO<br />

RTS<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

33


INDUSTRY NATO<br />

WELCOME TO<br />

CINEMACON!<br />

NATO Celebrates 10 Years of CinemaCon<br />

BY JOHN FITHIAN, President & CEO, NATO<br />

I am thrilled to welcome you to our<br />

10th-annual CinemaCon in exciting<br />

Las Vegas at the glamorous Caesars Palace.<br />

In celebration of this important anniversary,<br />

we’ve augmented the production and<br />

party budget to make sure you have a good<br />

time in addition to all the work you will do.<br />

I join Kathy Conroy (see her column, p. 38)<br />

in thanking all the NATO member volunteers<br />

who help make this convention such<br />

a success. And I want to give a shout-out<br />

to our amazing CinemaCon team of Mitch<br />

Neuhauser, Matt Pollock, Matt Shapiro, and<br />

Cynthia Schuler.<br />

CinemaCon means different things to<br />

different people. Again this year I want to<br />

highlight a few of my favorite aspects of<br />

this amazing event.<br />

100 Years Is a Big Deal<br />

Two significant partners of NATO<br />

and CinemaCon celebrate their 100th<br />

anniversaries this year—AMC Theaters<br />

and <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong>. On Monday during<br />

the Disney presentation, Alan Bergman of<br />

Disney will present the important NATO<br />

Marquee Award to Adam Aron, CEO of<br />

AMC, in honor of the company’s 100th<br />

anniversary. AMC is the largest exhibitor<br />

in the world, and also NATO’s largest<br />

member. Congratulations to Adam and the<br />

team at AMC.<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> serves as NATO’s<br />

official magazine and is an essential news<br />

source to our members and the industry<br />

at large. It is quite an accomplishment for<br />

any publication to last and prosper over<br />

a century. Congratulations to CEO Julien<br />

Marcel, editorial director Daniel Loria, and<br />

the entire <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> team.<br />

A Terrific Schedule of Studio and<br />

Screening Events Locked in Earlier<br />

than Ever<br />

Some industry critics have suggested that<br />

the <strong>2020</strong> theatrical movie slate looks weak.<br />

I’m here to tell you our distribution partners<br />

have great confidence in the product<br />

for this year (and 2021 and beyond), and<br />

we share that confidence. I write these<br />

columns approximately five weeks before<br />

each show. Last year at this time we were<br />

still scrambling to solidfy a good movie<br />

program for the week. At CinemaCon <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

the studios have locked in all the available<br />

times in the Colosseum, earlier than ever,<br />

because they can’t wait to show exhibitors<br />

what’s coming to the big screen.<br />

Disney, the box office champion of 2019,<br />

kicks things off on Monday evening. Then<br />

throughout the week we’ll see movie-slate<br />

presentations and full-length screenings<br />

from Focus Features, Warner Bros., Neon,<br />

Universal, DreamWorks Animation,<br />

Paramount, and Lionsgate. I wish I could<br />

tell you about the amazing movie stars<br />

and directors who will hit the stage to talk<br />

about their movies—but they swear us to<br />

secrecy. We know you’ll get excited about<br />

these movies and take that passion to your<br />

patrons, and that is what CinemaCon is<br />

all about.<br />

CinemaCon’s Educational<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>gramming Is Top Notch<br />

In her column, Kathy will recognize many<br />

of the individuals who will share their<br />

expertise during CinemaCon’s educational<br />

programming. But I simply want to add<br />

that I am delighted with the range of<br />

important topics being brought to you<br />

by the CinemaCon team. International<br />

delegates will learn about eventizing the<br />

theatrical experience, new ideas in theater<br />

design, advances in industry data, and<br />

other important topics. Then during the<br />

main program, all delegates can learn<br />

about corporate social responsibility, the<br />

state of the industry, original content,<br />

multigenerational workforces, micro-theaters,<br />

filmmaker perspectives, and<br />

more. And I am particularly excited to hear<br />

inspirational speaker Jeff Henderson, or<br />

“Chef Jeff,” with his pragmatic street-smart<br />

recipes for success.<br />

The Cinema Experience—and<br />

CinemaCon’s Trade Floor—Have<br />

Never Been Better<br />

CinemaCon offers the biggest trade show<br />

and demonstration suites of any cinema<br />

convention in the world. And in <strong>2020</strong> the<br />

trade show experience is even bigger, as<br />

we have expanded into additional demonstration<br />

suites to accommodate demand. I<br />

hope all of our attendees can spend some<br />

meaningful time checking out what is on<br />

offer. From the latest in sound and image<br />

to luxury seating to expanded food and<br />

beverage offerings, you can find all the<br />

tools you need to give your guests the best<br />

moviegoing experience they have ever<br />

had. NATO is so grateful for the support<br />

of our friends at the National Association<br />

of Concessionaires and the International<br />

Cinema Technology Association for<br />

keeping CinemaCon, and our exhibitor<br />

attendees, on the cutting edge. And we<br />

are particularly proud that for the 10th<br />

consecutive year, The Coca-Cola Company<br />

will support the show as our most important<br />

partner and sponsor.<br />

CinemaCon Is Always a Significant<br />

NATO Gathering<br />

In addition to the public events during this<br />

convention week, CinemaCon remains<br />

an important gathering place for NATO<br />

members in a variety of private meetings.<br />

Some of our convention registrants<br />

may not know all that goes on off the<br />

public schedule. On Sunday, a full day of<br />

36 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


“Our distribution partners<br />

have great confidence in the<br />

product for this year (and 2021<br />

and beyond), and we share<br />

that confidence.”<br />

important meetings takes place. First, the<br />

NATO Strategic Planning Committee will<br />

discuss the key priorities, challenges, and<br />

opportunities for exhibitors over the next<br />

few years and the best ways for NATO<br />

to respond to these issues. The NATO<br />

Government Relations Committee meets<br />

to discuss strategies on a range of political<br />

challenges at the federal, state, and local<br />

level. Our regional association leaders<br />

meet to compare ideas on how to strengthen<br />

their organizations. NATO’s Committee<br />

of Counsel gets together to tackle the key<br />

legal issues and court cases confronting<br />

the industry. The past chairpersons of<br />

NATO meet to give their sage guidance<br />

to NATO’s current leaders. And also on<br />

Sunday, the Global Cinema Federation’s<br />

advisory board meets to discuss global<br />

initiatives in the exhibition industry.<br />

Then on Monday, NATO’s governing<br />

body—the Executive Board of Directors—<br />

meets to approve policies and budgets for<br />

the association’s work. Also on Monday,<br />

NATO’s Independent Theatre Owners<br />

Committee, in conjunction with CinemaCon,<br />

holds an important education<br />

session for smaller exhibitor members<br />

of the trade association. On Tuesday,<br />

NATO’s ratings compliance officers<br />

meet with leaders of the Motion Picture<br />

Association and the Classification and<br />

Ratings Administration to improve the<br />

execution, education, and enforcement of<br />

the industry’s movie rating system. And<br />

finally, on Wednesday, the Diversity and<br />

Inclusion Committee focuses on ways<br />

the industry can grow the participation<br />

and leadership of women, minorities, and<br />

young people.<br />

We are deeply grateful for the dozens<br />

and dozens of NATO member-company<br />

volunteers who take time during this busy<br />

week to work in these key groupings.<br />

And for all of our 3,500 full registrants<br />

and our 7,500 total attendees, thank you<br />

for participating in our show this week. I<br />

look forward to speaking with as many<br />

of you as possible as we celebrate the<br />

moviegoing experience.<br />

Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging for CinemaCon<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

37


INDUSTRY NATO<br />

NATO MEMBER<br />

PARTICIPATION IS KEY TO<br />

CINEMACON’S SUCCESS<br />

BY KATHY CONROY,<br />

Vice President and COO, NATO<br />

Welcome to CinemaCon <strong>2020</strong>, the<br />

largest and most significant gathering<br />

of movie theater owners and operators<br />

in the world! Leaders in exhibition and<br />

distribution and industry partners meet<br />

in Las Vegas each spring to celebrate the<br />

moviegoing experience. CinemaCon is the<br />

official convention of the National Association<br />

of Theatre Owners (NATO), and its<br />

success each year is the direct result of the<br />

active participation and generous support<br />

we receive from NATO members. Member<br />

support is strong again this year as we<br />

celebrate 10 years.<br />

I’d like to applaud some key volunteers<br />

who have made extraordinary<br />

contributions to the planning and<br />

execution of the convention. This 10th<br />

edition of CinemaCon would not be<br />

possible without the leadership of NATO<br />

Conventions Committee chairman<br />

Steve Zuehlke, Cinemark USA Inc.; vice<br />

chairman Bob Bagby, B&B Theatres; and<br />

committee members John Curry, Regal<br />

Cinemas; Jeremy Kress, Celebration<br />

Cinema by Studio C; John McDonald,<br />

AMC Entertainment Inc.; Miguel Rivera,<br />

Cinépolis; and Racheal Wilson, Harkins<br />

Theatres. The Conventions Committee<br />

works closely with NATO’s professional<br />

convention staff —Mitch Neuhauser,<br />

Matt Pollock, Cynthia Schuler, and Matt<br />

Shapiro. A debt of gratitude, too, goes to<br />

Image courtesy NATO<br />

NATO’s officers—chairman Ellis Jacob,<br />

Cineplex Entertainment L.P.; vice chairman<br />

Rolando Rodriguez, Marcus Theatres<br />

Corp.; treasurer Joe Masher, Bow Tie<br />

Cinemas; and secretary Jeff Logan, Logan<br />

Luxury Theatres Corp.—and to the NATO<br />

Executive Board members who have all<br />

been enthusiastic in their support of the<br />

convention. Working together, NATO<br />

volunteer leaders and staff have created a<br />

10th CinemaCon convention that is sure<br />

to wow you.<br />

With strong support from our studio<br />

partners and sponsors, the Conventions<br />

Committee put together a CinemaCon<br />

<strong>2020</strong> program that is diverse, informative,<br />

and entertaining. It includes the largest<br />

cinema trade show in the world, featuring<br />

the latest cinema technologies and concessions<br />

offerings. NATO is grateful to Alan<br />

Roe and the International Cinema Technology<br />

Association (ICTA) and to Adam<br />

Gottlieb and the National Association of<br />

Concessionaires (NAC) for their leadership<br />

and support in filling a world-class trade<br />

show floor.<br />

This week’s schedule is packed with<br />

product presentations, sponsored events,<br />

trade show displays, and educational<br />

programming. I’d like to recognize the<br />

NATO and Global Cinema Federation<br />

leaders who are participating as presenters<br />

in the general and educational sessions<br />

this year—Larry Etter, Malco Theatres;<br />

Anne Fitzgerald, Cineplex Entertainment<br />

L.P.; Cameron Mitchell, Vox Cinemas;<br />

Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, Cinépolis;<br />

Rolando Rodriguez, Marcus Theatres;<br />

Kazuhiko Seta, Toho Cinemas Ltd.; and<br />

Mark Zoradi, Cinemark. We are grateful<br />

to these talented people, as well as to the<br />

presenters from our studio and vendor<br />

partners, for sharing their knowledge<br />

and expertise.<br />

CinemaCon is a great place to recognize<br />

outstanding NATO member leaders<br />

as they are surrounded by their industry<br />

colleagues and friends. This year, Renana<br />

Teperberg, Cineworld Group, will receive<br />

the Global Achievement in Exhibition<br />

Award; and Adam Aron, AMC Entertainment,<br />

will receive NATO’s Marquee<br />

Award. I hope you’ll be on hand to see<br />

these exceptional industry leaders receive<br />

their recognition.<br />

Be sure to stay for the Big Screen<br />

Achievement Awards on Thursday<br />

evening, as we’ll honor standout talent<br />

in the movie industry today, and for the<br />

after party, generously sponsored again<br />

this year by The Coca-Cola Company. I<br />

encourage you to participate to the fullest<br />

in the education and fun that CinemaCon<br />

<strong>2020</strong> has to offer. Enjoy the show!<br />

“With strong support from our<br />

studio partners and sponsors,<br />

the Conventions Committee<br />

put together a CinemaCon<br />

<strong>2020</strong> program that is diverse,<br />

informative, and entertaining.”<br />

38 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Pioneers of cinema<br />

screen technology<br />

for over 90 years.<br />

harkness-screens.com harkness.co info@harkness-screens.com


INDUSTRY NATO<br />

FRIENDLY<br />

FLORIDA FUN<br />

NATO Staff Hits the Road to<br />

Visit Member Locations<br />

BY KATHY CONROY, Vice President and COO, NATO<br />

and DAVID BINET, Director of Membership, NATO<br />

Villages<br />

Operating Company<br />

The Villages, Fla.<br />

www.thevillages.<br />

com/entertainment/<br />

movie-theaters<br />

Deborah Mills<br />

Director of Operations<br />

Visit Date: Monday,<br />

January 27, <strong>2020</strong><br />

When my participation in the<br />

United Drive-In Theatre Owners<br />

Association’s <strong>2020</strong> convention brought<br />

me to central Florida recently, I stopped<br />

in at NATO member The Villages Movie<br />

Theaters. I visited all three of The Villages<br />

theaters—the Barnstorm Theater, the Old<br />

Mill Playhouse, and the Rialto Theatre.<br />

The Rialto was temporarily closed for<br />

renovations, but at the other two locations<br />

I saw a vibrant community of moviegoers<br />

enjoying a high-quality moviegoing<br />

experience. I had the pleasure of meeting<br />

with Deborah Mills, whose enthusiasm<br />

and love of movies is infectious. She and<br />

her team do a fantastic job providing<br />

entertainment and connections at this<br />

sprawling 55+ adult community.<br />

Following my visit, NATO’s director<br />

of membership, David Binet, reached<br />

out to Deborah, who graciously shared<br />

additional information about herself and<br />

The Villages cinemas. We are very pleased<br />

to profile Deborah in this month’s edition<br />

of <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong>.<br />

What attracted you to the cinema<br />

industry, and how did you start?<br />

I have always loved movies! One year, on<br />

my birthday, I had nothing going on, so I<br />

decided to treat myself to the latest Jodie<br />

Foster movie—Contact. I was waiting<br />

for the trailers to start and enjoying my<br />

snacks when I decided to turn around and<br />

look up into the booth to check out what<br />

was going on.<br />

It was a perfectly timed glance! The<br />

projectionist was threading the projector<br />

at the time, and I thought to myself, “That<br />

looks like fun!” By the end of August, I was<br />

helping at the grand opening of a brandnew<br />

movie theater as a projectionist, and<br />

within four years I was the general manager<br />

of the theater where I enjoyed Contact.<br />

Image courtesy NATO<br />

What do you appreciate the most<br />

about your customers?<br />

To say The Villages is an active retirement<br />

community is quite an understatement.<br />

We are located in sunny central Florida<br />

and we are amazing! Conceived over 50<br />

years ago, our hometown has flourished<br />

under the guidance of the family who<br />

created it, our dedicated employees, and<br />

most importantly the folks who call The<br />

Villages home. The Villages continues to<br />

grow and thrive, but it is not just about<br />

retirement. It is about community. Our<br />

purpose always has, and always will be<br />

“to create a retirement community where<br />

people’s dreams can come true.” We<br />

continue to redefine retirement living by<br />

offering the best in homes, lifestyle, and<br />

amenities for our residents every day.<br />

Visitors and newcomers alike often refer<br />

to The Villages as “Florida’s Friendliest<br />

Hometown,” a name we gladly embrace.<br />

What has changed the most about<br />

your cinemas?<br />

Our culture—not just within The Villages<br />

Movie Theaters but also throughout The<br />

Villages—has really taken the forefront in<br />

a positive manner. We embrace the full<br />

measure of both freedom and responsibility<br />

in the execution of our position. We<br />

treat The Villages and all its resources as<br />

“ours” to nourish and protect. We believe<br />

in creating an atmosphere in every arena<br />

that is high quality, friendly, warm, comfortable,<br />

clean, honest, welcoming, and<br />

like home. We feel the importance and the<br />

responsibility of this presentation. It really<br />

makes a difference when you have the<br />

authority to serve your guests, rather than<br />

just fulfill an obligation.<br />

What is your biggest challenge with<br />

the cinemas? Does anything keep you<br />

up at night?<br />

There is never enough time in the day to<br />

do everything I want! I tell everyone to<br />

bring all ideas to the table and dream big!<br />

Then we figure out a way to make their<br />

dreams a reality.<br />

What’s your favorite movie and what<br />

concessions would you have while<br />

watching it?<br />

Just one?<br />

It’s a Wonderful Life—obviously a<br />

holiday staple, drinking eggnog with the<br />

family and basking in the nostalgia.<br />

Chasing Amy—Kevin Smith lends his<br />

unique indie talents to each character.<br />

Every one of their voices is familiar and<br />

resonates.<br />

Elizabeth—When Cate Blanchett is<br />

rehearsing her speech that she will deliver<br />

in front of the rival clergy, the angst is<br />

mesmerizing. However, as she pulls it<br />

off—breathtaking!<br />

With so many concessions to choose,<br />

I think my favorite is Sno-Caps with a Coke.<br />

Film brings us such passion and joy.<br />

I cannot imagine not having the opportunity<br />

to share it—if just for a moment—<br />

with the people around me, getting lost in<br />

a story.<br />

40 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


ALWAYS A GOOD FIT<br />

The Best of Both Worlds<br />

LTI is the only manufacturer that can supply both laser upgrade<br />

systems and xenon lamps. You choose the best technology for your<br />

application: high performance, long life laser for your larger<br />

screens, cost-effective xenon lamps for smaller screens. LTI’s<br />

revolutionary Helios modular laser upgrade systems fit multiple<br />

projectors and can be easily relocated between projectors as your<br />

requirements change.<br />

www.ltilighting.com


22-25<br />

JUNE<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

CONVENTION TRADE SHOW<br />

CENTRE CONVENCIONS INTERNACIONAL<br />

BARCELONA (CCIB)<br />

CINEEUROPE.NET<br />

OFFICIAL CORPORATE SPONSOR


INDUSTRY UNIC<br />

EUROPEAN<br />

PERSPECTIVE<br />

The Continent Continues to<br />

be a Key Pillar of the Global<br />

Cinema Industry<br />

BY LAURA HOULGATTE ABBOTT<br />

CEO, UNIC – The International<br />

Union of Cinemas<br />

Image courtesy UNIC<br />

It’s with great pleasure that we’ve<br />

touched down in Las Vegas for<br />

CinemaCon <strong>2020</strong>, a true highlight in the<br />

industry calendar and one of our favorite<br />

events of the year.<br />

Huge congratulations must go to NATO<br />

colleagues for once again putting together<br />

an exciting program of seminars, presentations,<br />

and screenings. As we look ahead to<br />

a jam-packed week, we can do so safe in<br />

the knowledge that 2019 represented yet<br />

another year of success for cinemas across<br />

UNIC territories.<br />

Europe’s position as a key pillar of the<br />

global, $42 billion industry was cemented<br />

by stellar performances from cinemas<br />

throughout the region, with over 1.25<br />

billion visits to the cinema for the fifth<br />

year running. As a matter of fact, 2019 saw<br />

European Union territories achieving their<br />

best admissions results since 2004.<br />

Special mention must go to a number<br />

of countries in particular. French cinemas,<br />

consistently one of UNIC’s top-performing<br />

member territories, welcomed over 213<br />

million visits in 2019—representing the<br />

second-best results in the last 50 years.<br />

Congratulations are also in order for<br />

Italian colleagues, who recorded double-digit<br />

increases in both ticket sales and<br />

box office revenues, thanks in no small<br />

part to the launch of the highly successful<br />

summer season.<br />

Germany bounced back after a challenging<br />

2018 and boosted both box office<br />

and admissions, while Russia topped the<br />

charts with an astonishing 220 million<br />

cinema visits over the last 12 months.<br />

2019 was also a fantastic year for cinemas<br />

in Spain, who broke the symbolic 100<br />

million admissions mark, and the Czech<br />

Republic had its best results in a quarter of<br />

a century.<br />

And what a year it was in terms of<br />

content! 2019’s slate certainly brought with<br />

it a number of colossal performances, as<br />

we saw titles such as Avengers: Endgame<br />

and Joker dazzle audiences over the past 12<br />

months. While ticket sales were driven by<br />

these international titles, local productions<br />

also put in great performances in a number<br />

of markets. More on this can be found in<br />

our recent update on cinemagoing in 2019.<br />

2019 also saw a number of our initiatives<br />

go from strength to strength, all<br />

helping us get the word out as to the value<br />

of the big-screen experience and ensure<br />

that the economic, social, and cultural<br />

contributions of cinemas are given the<br />

recognition they thoroughly deserve. Last<br />

year was particularly successful from an<br />

advocacy standpoint as, following May’s<br />

European elections and the entry into<br />

office of the new European Commission,<br />

UNIC’s outreach efforts have been<br />

extremely well received—as made evident<br />

during our recent conference at the European<br />

Parliament this February.<br />

On top of this, we’re delighted to report<br />

that the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>gramme continues to inspire and<br />

empower in its third edition. We can’t wait<br />

to see our fantastic mentors and mentees<br />

again at CineEurope this summer and look<br />

forward to what the rest of the year holds.<br />

Speaking of which, this year’s<br />

CineEurope is shaping up to be the biggest<br />

and best yet! Our annual convention,<br />

organized each year in beautiful Barcelona,<br />

provides a prime opportunity for<br />

colleagues from across the region and<br />

beyond to get together and discuss the<br />

latest trends and cutting-edge developments<br />

in cinema exhibition.<br />

We’re currently putting the finishing<br />

touches on a dynamic program in<br />

collaboration with partners from across<br />

the sector. Keep an eye on our website<br />

for more details, and we hope you’ll be<br />

able to join us June 22–25 to celebrate the<br />

big-screen experience!<br />

“2019 saw European Union<br />

territories achieving their<br />

best admissions results<br />

since 2004.”<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

43


INDUSTRY ICA<br />

INDEPENDENT<br />

SCALE<br />

The Cinema Buying Alliance<br />

Finds Strength in Numbers<br />

BY ROB DEL MORO<br />

Managing Director, ICA<br />

– Cinema Buying Alliance<br />

The Independent Cinema Alliance<br />

(ICA), the trade organization representing<br />

independent theater, recently<br />

celebrated its first anniversary with full<br />

membership. In a short period of time, our<br />

organization has gained more than 145<br />

members representing over 2,500 screens<br />

throughout the United States and Canada.<br />

The ICA is a vibrant alliance, formed and<br />

governed by independent cinema owners.<br />

Our organization focuses solely on<br />

issues that are pertinent to independent<br />

cinema owners, tackling important challenges<br />

and adding value for our members<br />

through initiatives such as distributor<br />

relations and education. We also work<br />

closely with the National Association of<br />

Theatre Owners (NATO) and regional<br />

NATO organizations. In fact, many ICA<br />

members are also members of these<br />

organizations.<br />

One significant member benefit is<br />

the Cinema Buying Alliance (CBA), formerly<br />

known as the Cinema Buying Group<br />

(CBG). With membership in the ICA, our<br />

members get free access to the CBA and<br />

the value-added programs it brings to<br />

their theaters. We take the buying power of<br />

our 2,500 screens (and growing) and negotiate<br />

with potential partners in the trade<br />

industry to bring discounts on various<br />

products and services. Some of the programs<br />

that are currently up and running<br />

include: RCM promotional concession<br />

containers, Irwin Seating Company (electric<br />

recliners), and LTI xenon bulb supply.<br />

Don’t just take my word for it, however.<br />

Here is what a few of our members have<br />

said about our programs:<br />

Image courtesy ICA<br />

“The CBA programs can often save independents<br />

enough money to significantly<br />

cut expenses and help us be more profitable.<br />

I recommend the CBA program to all<br />

independents.” —Jeff Logan, President,<br />

Logan Luxury Theatre Corporation.<br />

“The Irwin ZG4 recliner is a fantastic<br />

chair, and we have experienced excellent<br />

customer service from Irwin. Cinergy<br />

believes that it is the most comfortable<br />

recliner in the market. It is a well-built<br />

chair with many options to choose from.<br />

Best of all, our guests love it. By joining<br />

the ICA, and signing up for the CBA’s Irwin<br />

program, it will save Cinergy a tremendous<br />

amount of money. With the rebate I’m<br />

receiving on my next project, it will pay<br />

for our ICA dues for approximately 14<br />

years. Join the ICA or lose out!” —Jeffrey<br />

P. Benson, Founder & CEO, Cinergy Entertainment<br />

Group Inc.<br />

“I am so glad I joined the ICA and CBA.<br />

The LTI Lighting purchasing program is<br />

great. LTI’s pricing and service is incredible.<br />

Ordering is simple and shipping is fast.<br />

Their xenon bulbs are also top-notch. In<br />

the time since I switched to LTI, I haven’t<br />

had any issues with bulbs or lighting, nor<br />

have I had to make use of their extensive<br />

warranty coverage. I only wish I could<br />

have switched to LTI sooner. Being a<br />

member of the CBA makes this happen,<br />

and the savings on bulbs more than covers<br />

the cost of joining the ICA.” —Tom Arnold,<br />

Managing Director, Fabian 8.<br />

The savings are there for all independent<br />

cinema owners to take. With<br />

our growing membership, it will further<br />

increase our ability to reduce your costs<br />

and therefore increase your profits. So,<br />

what are you waiting for? For much of the<br />

country it’s been a long, cold winter, but<br />

it’s time to come out of hibernation and<br />

join the ICA. Go to our website at<br />

www.cinemaalliance.org to learn more<br />

about the ICA and the CBA. I look forward<br />

to seeing your membership soon.<br />

“Our organization focuses<br />

solely on issues that are<br />

pertinent to independent<br />

cinema owners, tackling<br />

important challenges and<br />

adding value for our members<br />

through initiatives such as<br />

distributor relations and<br />

education.”<br />

44 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


INDUSTRY CHARITY SPOTLIGHT<br />

CHARITY<br />

SPOTLIGHT<br />

1. Studio Movie Grill Invites Students<br />

for Screenings of Just Mercy.<br />

On February 12, Studio Movie Grill in<br />

Chatham, Illinois; N.Y. Metro Chapter NBA<br />

Retired Players Association; and Bazan<br />

Education partnered to host 330 students<br />

in grades 7–12 from 10 schools for a Movies<br />

+ Meals screening of Warner Bros.’ Just<br />

Mercy, about lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s<br />

(Michael B. Jordan) struggles to free an<br />

unjustly accused man, Walter McMillian<br />

(Jamie Foxx), from death row. The<br />

screening was followed by a discussion<br />

with retired NBA players, including Tom<br />

Hoover (New York Knicks), LaRue Martin<br />

(Portland Trailblazers), Cliff Levingston<br />

(Atlanta Hawks), Rick Darnell (Virginia<br />

Squires), Dave Cowens (Boston Celtics,<br />

NBA Hall of Fame inductee), Dale Ellis<br />

(Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs),<br />

Major Jones (Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons),<br />

and Jerome (JYD) Williams (Chicago<br />

Bulls, New York Knicks). Split between two<br />

auditoriums, the post-screening conversations<br />

saw the players speak with students<br />

about past and current social justice issues<br />

and their role in helping to support their<br />

communities.<br />

The film played extremely well and<br />

made a strong impact on the students,<br />

who called the film “powerful,” “moving,”<br />

“enlightening,” “sad,” “chilling,” and more.<br />

The students in both theaters burst into<br />

applause and cheers during the pivotal<br />

scene where it was announced that charges<br />

against Walter would be dropped and<br />

he would be freed from prison. A similar<br />

reaction came at the end of the film. The<br />

post-show discussion touched on the<br />

reality of McMillian’s case, as well as the<br />

cases of countless others whose stories are<br />

never told. Students asked questions such<br />

as how were the players discriminated<br />

against in the NBA, in their travels, or<br />

within their communities. The players<br />

talked about achieving goals and working<br />

hard to make them a reality, as well as life<br />

after the NBA.<br />

2. Every November, Santikos<br />

Entertainment collects toys to<br />

distribute to those in need.<br />

In 2019, the chain broke a record by<br />

collecting over 10,000 toys. The toys were<br />

distributed through the month of December<br />

to charities and nonprofits throughout<br />

San Antonio, Texas. Thanks to Santikos’s<br />

beloved guests, the exhibitor spread<br />

10,000 smiles to those that needed it most.<br />

3. Santikos Entertainment, 5-Star<br />

Cleaners, and KENS 5 News partnered<br />

to make the cold days feel warm.<br />

During the month of January, all nine<br />

Santikos locations in and around San<br />

Antonio, Texas, become collection points<br />

for jackets. Each jacket collected was taken<br />

to 5-Star Cleaners, where it received a<br />

makeover and was made to be brand new<br />

again. From there, the more than 10,200<br />

coats were distributed to local shelters,<br />

churches, and schools.<br />

4. B&B Theatres and Variety – the<br />

Children’s Charity have partnered<br />

to offer free rentals of sensory<br />

backpacks at all B&B Theatres<br />

locations nationwide.<br />

The sensory backpack program, which<br />

first launched in Kansas City, Missouri,<br />

has expanded to an additional 35 theaters<br />

to allow guests with special sensory<br />

needs to be better accommodated. The<br />

backpacks include weighted lap<br />

pads, sunglasses, fidget keychains,<br />

sound-dampening headphones, and other<br />

sensory accessories to make the moviegoing<br />

experience inclusive for all audiences.<br />

The backpacks will now be a standard<br />

offering at B&B Theatres locations, and<br />

all new acquisitions and builds will be<br />

outfitted with them going forward.<br />

5. Wil and his dad, Jim Jarvis, enjoy<br />

“Naperwood,” Variety of Illinois’<br />

15th annual Oscar night party and<br />

fundraiser at Elements on Water St. in<br />

Naperville, Ill.<br />

6. In January, Cinemark team members<br />

rolled up their sleeves and donned<br />

their plastic hair covers to show<br />

their passion for people—one of the<br />

company’s core values—by giving back.<br />

The Cinemark marketing and food and<br />

beverage departments spent time serving<br />

food at the nonprofit organization Feed My<br />

Starving Children (FMSC) in Richardson,<br />

Texas, just a short drive from Cinemark’s<br />

Plano headquarters. The two departments<br />

packed food boxes that will supply over<br />

55,000 meals for families in less fortunate<br />

communities in Honduras and Uganda.<br />

FMSC works with food-distribution partners<br />

that stay with communities for the<br />

long haul, empowering them to move from<br />

relief to development. Team Cinemark<br />

takes pride in caring for and serving those<br />

in need.<br />

7. On Wednesday, January 29, Santikos<br />

Entertainment’s Cibolo, Texas cinema<br />

entertainment center location had the<br />

distinct honor of hosting Sgt. Major<br />

Navarro and his family for a special<br />

screening of The Last Full Measure.<br />

Sgt. Major Navarro, who is depicted in the<br />

movie, was a Vietnam War hero. He was<br />

one of 60 men to have his life saved by<br />

William H. Pitsenbarger, a U.S. Air Force<br />

Pararescueman (also known as a P.J.).<br />

The reception was a surprise to Navarro<br />

and his wife. Santikos welcomed over 40<br />

friends and family to the event, along<br />

with 40 ROTC cadets from Steele High<br />

School and local Pararescuemen from<br />

Lackland Airforce Base. Navarro entered<br />

to a full color guard, saber line, and<br />

rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner”<br />

by a cadet. It was a small thank you from<br />

Santikos to all veterans.<br />

Variety of the Desert celebrated<br />

Hollywood’s big awards night at<br />

D’Place Entertainment’s Mary<br />

Pickford Theater.<br />

It was a fabulous night with a red carpet,<br />

catered bites, champagne, and prizes.<br />

46 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


To submit events for future coverage,<br />

email numbers@boxoffice.com<br />

2. Santikos Entertainment Toy Drive<br />

1. Studio Movie Grill<br />

4. B&B Theatres / Variety –<br />

The Children’s Charity<br />

5. Variety of Illinois<br />

Images courtesy Variety – the Children’s Charity<br />

3. Santikos Entertainment Coat Drive<br />

6. Cinemark Theatres<br />

7. Santikos Entertainment Last Full Measure screening<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

47


BID<br />

WIN<br />

HELP<br />

KIDS<br />

VARIETY<br />

CHARITY<br />

AUCTION<br />

TEXT ‘VARIETY20’ TO 76278!<br />

or register to bid at Variety20.givesmart.com<br />

Every dollar raised helps children like 6-year-old<br />

Alexis enjoy life to the fullest. Alexis was born<br />

with Cerebral Palsy, which has left her unable to<br />

walk, but she loves to keep moving on her<br />

adaptive bike!<br />

Please visit USVariety.org for more information.<br />

14th Annual Variety Charity Auction at CinemaCon Presented by:


INDUSTRY CHARITY SPOTLIGHT<br />

UPCOMING EVENTS<br />

Lollipop Theater Network<br />

/ Superhero Walk<br />

<strong>April</strong> 26 / Los Angeles<br />

Attend! Volunteer! Sponsor! Support! The<br />

Lollipop Theater Network, which brings<br />

movies and entertainment to hospitalized<br />

children, needs you to support its <strong>2020</strong><br />

superheroes. Their annual Superhero Walk<br />

takes place on Sunday, <strong>April</strong> 26, at the<br />

Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles.<br />

For more information, contact<br />

info@lollipoptheater.org. Tickets can be<br />

purchased at http://bit.ly/3bU9zuq.<br />

Variety of Eastern Tennessee<br />

/ Cars & Coffee Cruisin’ with Heart<br />

<strong>April</strong> 6 / Knoxville, Tenn.<br />

This special edition of Knoxville’s Original<br />

Cars & Coffee, Cruisin’ with Heart to benefit<br />

Variety of Eastern Tennessee, will be held at<br />

the Regal Cinemas Pinnacle 18 on Saturday,<br />

<strong>April</strong> 6, from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Registered<br />

participants of the Poker Run will park in<br />

the designated Poker Run Paddock, grab<br />

a cup of coffee, and meet some amazing<br />

people. Then, the Poker Run will depart<br />

Cars & Coffee Cruisin’ with Heart and follow<br />

a 120- to 150-mile loop of East Tennessee’s<br />

finest driving roads. Participants will be<br />

issued a scorecard at the registration table<br />

and a route map upon exiting the paddock.<br />

Along the route there are five checkpoints.<br />

At each, a card will be drawn and noted on<br />

your scorecard. Best hand wins! An award<br />

ceremony, dinner, and music follow at the<br />

European Auto Garage. Tickets for the 7th<br />

Annual Poker Run are $25 per person and<br />

include one hand of poker and admission<br />

to the after party and award ceremony. To<br />

increase your chances of winning, additional<br />

hands are available at $10 each.<br />

Tickets are available at http://bit.ly/2P5SNPp.<br />

Variety of Detroit / Hearts & Stars Gala<br />

May 2 / Birmingham, Mich.<br />

The Hearts & Stars Gala, held at Birmingham’s<br />

Townsend Hotel, will be a magical<br />

and moving evening geared toward raising<br />

awareness for Variety of Detroit’s core<br />

programs, which provide life-changing<br />

support to children with special needs.<br />

With their Heart Award presentation,<br />

Variety will recognize philanthropist Lois<br />

Shaevsky for her extraordinary dedication<br />

to changing the lives of children.<br />

Tickets are available at http://bit.ly/2SJ56Di.<br />

Variety of the Delaware Valley<br />

/ Black Hat Bash<br />

May 13 / Philadelphia<br />

It’s time to put on your best black hat<br />

and join Variety for their signature event,<br />

where they will be honoring the <strong>2020</strong> Golden<br />

Heart of Variety award recipients. This<br />

spectacular night includes valet parking,<br />

hors d’oeuvres, a top-shelf open bar, dinner,<br />

and live music overlooking the backdrop<br />

of Philadelphia’s famous Boathouse Row,<br />

lit up in Variety red! The event takes place<br />

at Philadelphia’s Historical Water Works on<br />

Wednesday, May 13, 6–10 p.m.<br />

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/38Gn7I5.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

49


INDUSTRY CHARITY<br />

Images courtesy Variety - the Children’s Charity<br />

HEARTS<br />

OF GOLD<br />

Variety Works with Studios<br />

and Exhibitors to Give Back<br />

BY REBECCA PAHLE<br />

In 1991, Variety International board<br />

member Marsha Rae Ratcliff had<br />

an idea about how to expand the work<br />

Variety, the Children’s Charity had been<br />

doing since its founding in 1927. Simple<br />

and elegant, Ratcliff’s idea was to sell<br />

gold pins in the shape of hearts at movie<br />

theaters, with proceeds going to Variety’s<br />

mission of assisting children in need. In<br />

the nearly 30 years since its inception,<br />

the Variety Gold Heart Pin Campaign has<br />

raised $25 million worldwide, along the<br />

way providing one of the most enduring<br />

symbols of the film industry’s commitment<br />

to charitable giving.<br />

The story of the iconic gold pin is<br />

one of the worldwide film community’s<br />

coming together for a good cause. The<br />

campaign, which started in Great Britain,<br />

made its way stateside when actress<br />

Maureen Arthur-Ruben—then-president<br />

of Variety of Southern California’s board of<br />

directors—attended a Variety conference.<br />

Her chapter adopted the program, and<br />

support from studio executives—Variety,<br />

the Children’s Charity of the United States<br />

executive director Erica Lopez cites Clark<br />

Woods, Mike McCartney, and Jeff Goldstein—helped<br />

get the pin in theaters.<br />

Woods, then in the midst of his decades-long<br />

tenure at Paramount, had the<br />

idea to “put a campaign behind [the pin]<br />

like they would put a campaign behind a<br />

film,” Lopez recalls, in part by giving the<br />

pin prime placement in-theater to boost<br />

sales. Handling of the campaign went to<br />

Disney, whose V.P. of exhibitor relations<br />

Nancy Klueter helped get the pin campaign<br />

out to theaters nationwide. A rollout<br />

to Variety’s global chapters followed. “Over<br />

time, each studio helped open doors to<br />

new theater partners, and Variety executive<br />

directors at the individual chapters<br />

throughout the United States formed<br />

relationships with their local theaters to<br />

gain their support as well,” recalls Lopez.<br />

Variety’s collaboration with Disney<br />

introduced a second key component to<br />

the Gold Heart Pin Campaign. In 2002, at<br />

the suggestion of Arthur-Ruben and the<br />

late Jody Reynolds, who passed away last<br />

year, Disney gave permission for the pin<br />

to depict an image of Mickey Mouse. The<br />

addition of I.P. proved a turning point for<br />

the campaign, as sales that year reached<br />

700,000 pins. In the years since Mickey’s<br />

Variety debut, different characters<br />

have popped up on the pins, including<br />

50 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Spider-Man (Sony; 2005); Yoda and Darth<br />

Vader (Disney; 2014); E.T. (Dreamworks;<br />

2004), and—by far the most popular pin,<br />

to the tune of $3 million—Universal’s<br />

Minions, who were a hit in 2015.<br />

Universal and DreamWorks are represented<br />

yet again in the 2019–20 Variety<br />

Gold Heart Pin Campaign, featuring the<br />

characters of Poppy and Branch from<br />

Trolls World Tour, in theaters <strong>April</strong> 10.<br />

Lopez thanks John C. Hall, executive vice<br />

president, distribution, and marketing at<br />

Universal, for the company’s involvement.<br />

“To select the I.P.,” Lopez notes, “we<br />

always look at the slate of upcoming films<br />

and select a family film that is in the right<br />

time frame. We knew Trolls World Tour<br />

would be a hit.” The campaign began in<br />

November and ends on May 31, <strong>2020</strong>; pins<br />

can be purchased in participating theaters<br />

and retail outlets in addition to online at<br />

https://usvariety.org/gold-hearts/.<br />

Exhibitors, in addition to studios, are<br />

key partners for the Variety Gold Heart<br />

Pin Campaign. Thirty-one circuits sell<br />

the pins, as do independent theaters. The<br />

exhibitor that’s earned the most money<br />

for Variety—one $3 pin purchase at a<br />

time—is Texas-based Cinemark, which<br />

has supported the campaign since it came<br />

to the U.S. and sells the pin in each of its<br />

344 U.S. theaters.<br />

Guests and employees alike, notes<br />

Cinemark director of corporate responsibility<br />

Lanay Fournier-Stokes, are<br />

enthusiastic about “collecting each year’s<br />

unique Variety Gold Heart Pin. It is the<br />

perfect way for our guests to show their<br />

support for Variety, the Children’s Charity<br />

and to help children who are dealing with<br />

serious illnesses, disabilities, or who are<br />

disadvantaged.<br />

“One of Cinemark’s values is ‘passion<br />

for people,’ and we strive to make an<br />

impact in the communities where our<br />

employees and moviegoers live,” Fournier-Stokes<br />

continues. Across the board,<br />

Variety keeps funds raised by the Gold<br />

Heart Pin Campaign in the same general<br />

geographic area where the pins were<br />

sold. These funds are often used to buy<br />

adaptive bikes, wheelchairs, and other<br />

life-changing equipment for children in<br />

need. (You’ll notice Variety events showcased<br />

every month in <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong>’s<br />

Charity Spotlight section.)<br />

The local element to the Variety Gold<br />

Heart Pin Campaign, explains Kelly Nash,<br />

director of marketing at Goodrich Quality<br />

Theaters, is a big part of why her chain<br />

has sold pins and paper hearts in all 30<br />

of its locations, to the tune of, on average,<br />

$55,000 in each of the last five years and<br />

approximately $1 million total. “We’ve<br />

received many local stories over the years<br />

about children receiving equipment,<br />

services, or programs that enrich their<br />

lives,” says Nash. “Our managers enjoy<br />

seeing that our team and customers are<br />

making a difference. Variety partnering<br />

with the film studios makes it fun for our<br />

customers to collect movie-themed pins.”<br />

While most theaters that participate<br />

in the program work with the national<br />

Variety chapter, Cinemark partners with<br />

Variety – the Children’s Charity of Texas,<br />

headed by president and executive director<br />

Stacy Bruce. The campaign, explains Bruce,<br />

provides “an easy way for people to give<br />

back at the level at which they can comfortably<br />

give back. One pin, believe it or not,<br />

does make a difference. Yes, it’s about the<br />

money. Those funds are donated back to us.<br />

But it’s also about the stories.” The promotional<br />

efforts for each year’s Variety Gold<br />

Heart Pin Campaign—including one sheets<br />

and a PSA that can be integrated into preshows—features<br />

“a story of triumph” about<br />

a child whom Variety has helped through<br />

its fundraising efforts. (This year it’s Jeffrey,<br />

who on his 5th birthday received a special<br />

bike from Variety.)<br />

It’s through fundraising efforts like<br />

the Variety Gold Heart Pin Campaign, as<br />

well as the ongoing cooperation of studios<br />

and exhibitors, that Variety continues to<br />

help children in need. Another chain that<br />

participates in the Variety Gold Heart Pin<br />

Campaign is Southern Theatres, which<br />

over 11 years has raised over $1.2 million<br />

for Variety. “With the help of the U.S.<br />

Variety office we have been able to support<br />

many grants to children in the areas in<br />

which we operate,” says president and<br />

COO Ron Krueger, who also serves as the<br />

chairman of Variety’s national chapter. “As<br />

an example, just last year we had a bike<br />

presentation at our Grand 16 in Slidell,<br />

Louisiana, where five adaptive bikes were<br />

given to five deserving children.” The joy<br />

felt by these children and their families<br />

“motivated our staff to sell even more<br />

[pins]. The guests in the lobby at the time<br />

of the presentation were just as excited as<br />

we were. … Our guests’ generosity over the<br />

years demonstrates their excitement and<br />

support of the Gold Heart program.”<br />

Variety always welcomes<br />

new partners worldwide<br />

so they can help as many<br />

kids as possible. For<br />

information on how to<br />

participate in the Variety<br />

Gold Heart Pin Campaign,<br />

please contact:<br />

Within the U.S.:<br />

Erica Lopez,<br />

erica@usvariety.org<br />

Outside the U.S.:<br />

Sharon Castillo,<br />

sharon.castillo@variety.org<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

51


INDUSTRY MPA<br />

Image courtesy Motion Picture Association<br />

GLOBAL<br />

OUTLOOK<br />

Interview with Charles Rivkin,<br />

Chairman & CEO, Motion<br />

Picture Association<br />

BY DANIEL LORIA<br />

The entertainment industry has<br />

witnessed much change in this age<br />

of multinational mega-mergers, and the<br />

Motion Picture Association has been<br />

touched by those changes as well. Charles<br />

Rivkin has overseen some of them as the<br />

head of that industry association, most<br />

notably its rebranding from the Motion<br />

Picture Association of America to the<br />

more global Motion Picture Association.<br />

In 2019, the MPA welcomed Netflix<br />

as the first streaming platform to sit<br />

alongside its studio members, changing its<br />

annual Theatrical Statistics Report to the<br />

Theatrical Home Entertainment Market<br />

Environment (THEME) Report in order to<br />

include data from streaming and theatrical<br />

sources in its reference publication. After<br />

an eventful year, including a record global<br />

box office, <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> asked Rivkin<br />

to describe his takeaways from 2019 and<br />

his vision of how the theatrical market will<br />

continue to evolve.<br />

We are coming off quite a year at<br />

the global box office. What do you<br />

consider the primary reasons for that<br />

success?<br />

There are several factors that played into<br />

the growth of the global box office, including<br />

well-known blockbuster franchises,<br />

such as Avengers: Endgame and Spider-<br />

Man: Far From Home, as well as Joker,<br />

which put a dark, new twist on an iconic<br />

comic villain and had audiences flocking<br />

to theaters. Films with diverse representation,<br />

including Dora and the Lost City of<br />

Gold and Harriet, also helped draw in new<br />

moviegoers. Beyond great storytelling,<br />

theater owners continue to innovate<br />

the cinematic experience—with online<br />

ticketing options, rewards programs, and<br />

state-of-the-art sound, projection, and<br />

seating. The total number of theatrical<br />

screens also went up by 7 percent, and the<br />

average moviegoer bought more tickets<br />

throughout the year.<br />

52 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


“In 2019, the global box<br />

office and the global home<br />

entertainment market both<br />

climbed to record highs.<br />

With that in mind, the future<br />

of the creative-content<br />

industry is bright and will<br />

remain so when stories are<br />

brought to life in theaters,<br />

at home, and on the go.”<br />

Looking ahead to the future, public<br />

policies, including those having to do<br />

with trade, will have an impact on the<br />

box office. The opening of newer markets<br />

and expansion into existing ones will<br />

lead to more screens, enhanced content<br />

protection, growth in regional production,<br />

and of course, more customers in your<br />

seats. With recently passed trade deals like<br />

USMCA, and others on the horizon, that<br />

trend is only going to grow.<br />

What trends or tendencies were most<br />

significant at the 2019 global box<br />

office? What are your expectations<br />

for <strong>2020</strong>?<br />

If 2019 taught us one thing it’s that<br />

audiences are hungry for good stories that<br />

are well told. There’s also an appreciation<br />

for seeing their lives and experiences<br />

reflected on-screen. Women consistently<br />

represent slightly more than half of the<br />

theatergoing audience, so I think people<br />

will rush to see women-led films like Black<br />

Widow, Wonder Woman 1984, and Like a<br />

Boss. Diverse audiences also continue to<br />

outperform their share of the population<br />

in terms of moviegoing, so films like In the<br />

Heights, The Photograph, and Bad Boys for<br />

Life are likely to have a positive impact on<br />

the global box office.<br />

Has the piracy threat diminished or<br />

increased? Are there any particular<br />

markets or regions that still present a<br />

big challenge?<br />

The legal marketplace for creative content<br />

has grown exponentially in recent years.<br />

However, piracy remains an ongoing threat<br />

to creators, consumers, and the economy.<br />

Through the Alliance for Creativity and<br />

Entertainment (ACE), we are working 24/7<br />

and around the world to reduce that threat.<br />

Over the last year, ACE has achieved a<br />

number of significant wins through legal<br />

and operational tactics. Most recently,<br />

an ACE action resulted in the operator<br />

of Openload and Streamango—two giant<br />

sources of illegal, unauthorized content—<br />

ceasing all operations. Openload operated<br />

1,000 servers in Romania, France, and<br />

Germany, and generated more traffic than<br />

many leading sources of legal content like<br />

Hulu and HBO Go. ACE also had victories<br />

in Canada, Uruguay, here in the United<br />

States, and around the world.<br />

ACE has solidified itself as the leading<br />

global coalition dedicated to reducing the<br />

theft and illegal distribution of movies<br />

and TV shows. We now have 35 members,<br />

including the addition of Canal+, Channel<br />

5, Charter, Comcast, Discovery, Telefe, and<br />

Viacom in 2019 alone. The expansion of<br />

our membership has made us the onestop<br />

shop for creators’ global content<br />

protection needs.<br />

Streaming platforms became a part<br />

of the MPA last year. What do you<br />

believe their impact will be on the<br />

theatrical market?<br />

The Motion Picture Association represents<br />

the largest content creators in the world.<br />

Last year, we added streaming services<br />

to our membership, making us stronger<br />

and better prepared to advocate on behalf<br />

of the industry at large. However, while<br />

audiences are evolving and are enjoying<br />

home entertainment at increasing rates,<br />

they still want to see films on the big<br />

screen—the way many were intended to<br />

be screened. That’s why, last year, we also<br />

saw a record-high global box office. That<br />

is not an anomaly. Theatrical and home<br />

entertainment have and will continue to<br />

thrive together because of the powerful<br />

stories being brought to light on screens<br />

where audiences want them.<br />

Now that the line has blurred between<br />

television, home entertainment, and<br />

theatrical cinema, how do you believe<br />

the motion picture experience can<br />

thrive in the midst of this media shift?<br />

We are in the golden age of content, and<br />

one thing is crystal clear: film, television,<br />

and streaming can all thrive together. In<br />

2019, the global box office and the global<br />

home entertainment market both climbed<br />

to record highs. With that in mind, the<br />

future of the creative-content industry is<br />

bright and will remain so when stories are<br />

brought to life in theaters, at home, and<br />

on the go.<br />

When I came to the MPA, I looked at<br />

the entire entertainment landscape from<br />

the perspective of a businessman, and<br />

I saw growth potential everywhere. As I<br />

said in my speech before CinemaCon last<br />

year, theaters and streamers can coexist.<br />

Storytelling is not a zero-sum game. And<br />

it’s so exciting to see how audiences are<br />

responding to the array of viewing choices<br />

our industry offers them.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

53


INDUSTRY BIG DATA<br />

CONNECTED<br />

AUDIENCES<br />

EY Study Commissioned by<br />

NATO Shows Link Between<br />

Cinema Visits and Home<br />

Viewing<br />

Ernst & Young’s Quantitative Economics<br />

and Statistics (QUEST) group was once again<br />

commissioned by the National Association of Theatre<br />

Owners (NATO) to collect data on U.S. moviegoers<br />

and to analyze key determinants of movie theater<br />

attendance. EY QUEST conducted a detailed survey<br />

of U.S. moviegoers and examined the extent to which<br />

consumption of streaming services impacted movie<br />

theater attendance. EY QUEST also studied this relationship<br />

with consideration to various demographics,<br />

such as age, race, and gender.<br />

Survey of U.S. Moviegoers<br />

EY QUEST conducted a survey of 2,015 respondents,<br />

who saw at least one movie in theaters over the last<br />

12 months, and an additional 505 respondents who<br />

did not see any movies in theaters. The primary data<br />

collected in the survey was: (1) movie theater attendance<br />

in the last 12 months, (2) streaming consumption<br />

in the last 12 months, and (3) demographic characteristics<br />

of the respondents.<br />

Movie Theater Attendance and Streaming<br />

Consumption for ‘Dual-Consumers’<br />

Survey results presented here include respondents<br />

who saw at least one movie in theaters and streamed<br />

at least one hour of online content per week in the last<br />

12 months (“dual-consumers”). There were 1,734 such<br />

respondents in total.<br />

Online Streaming Behavior of Those Who Have<br />

Visited a Movie Theater in the Last 12 Months<br />

*Means are reported as 95% trimmed means<br />

Number of visits to a movie theater over the last 12 months<br />

1 to 2 3 to 5 6 to 8 9 or more<br />

Hours per week spent streaming<br />

1 to 3 hours<br />

4 to 7 hours<br />

8 to 14 hours<br />

15 or more hours<br />

35%<br />

30%<br />

19%<br />

15%<br />

27%<br />

31%<br />

23%<br />

19%<br />

17%<br />

33%<br />

27%<br />

23%<br />

12%<br />

27%<br />

26%<br />

35%<br />

Number of respondents<br />

Mean* hours spent streaming<br />

468 579 305 382<br />

7 hr/wk 8 hr/wk 10 hr/wk 12 hr/wk<br />

54 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Movie Theater Attendance and Streaming<br />

Consumption, ‘Dual-Consumers’ by Age<br />

*Means are reported as 95% trimmed means<br />

Mean* movie visits<br />

over the last 12 months<br />

Age<br />

Mean* hours spent streaming<br />

per week over the last 12 months<br />

6.8<br />

13-17<br />

sample size 358<br />

10.5<br />

5.6<br />

18-37<br />

sample size 741<br />

8.5<br />

6.1<br />

38-52<br />

sample size 385<br />

9.5<br />

6.1<br />

53-72<br />

sample size 236<br />

6.9<br />

“Average streaming hours per week<br />

were higher for respondents who<br />

visited a movie theater nine times or<br />

more than respondents who visited a<br />

movie theater only once or twice.”<br />

Online Streaming Behavior of<br />

Those Who Did Not Visit a Movie<br />

Theater in the Last 12 Months<br />

Did not stream 47%<br />

1 to 3 hours<br />

4 to 7 hours<br />

8 to 14 hours<br />

15 or more hours<br />

Number of respondents<br />

Mean* hours spent streaming<br />

17%<br />

12%<br />

12%<br />

12%<br />

505<br />

4 hr/wk<br />

Those who attended movies in theaters more<br />

frequently also tended to consume streaming<br />

content more frequently.<br />

For every race and age demographic, average streaming<br />

hours per week were higher for respondents<br />

who visited a movie theater nine times or more than<br />

respondents who visited a movie theater only once<br />

or twice. Moreover, respondents who visited a movie<br />

theater only once or twice in the last 12 months<br />

reported an average of seven hours of streaming per<br />

week versus 12 hours of streaming per week for those<br />

who visited a movie theater nine or more times.<br />

Streaming Consumption for ‘Non-Moviegoers’<br />

Survey results presented here include respondents<br />

who did not see any movies in theaters in the last<br />

12 months.<br />

Those who did not attend a movie in a theater in<br />

the last 12 months were more likely to report less<br />

streaming activity than those who did attend at<br />

least one movie in the same period.<br />

Of those who didn’t visit a movie theater in the last 12<br />

months, nearly half (47%) didn’t stream any online<br />

content. Of that same group, only 24 percent streamed<br />

online content for eight or more hours per week.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

55


INDUSTRY BIG DATA<br />

Relationship Between Theatrical<br />

Viewing and Streaming Habits<br />

by Age and Income<br />

Quadrant<br />

mean<br />

Population<br />

mean<br />

Low-movie/<br />

Low-streaming<br />

Quadrant profile<br />

Age<br />

$56,200<br />

33<br />

$61,800<br />

35<br />

< 3 movie visits in 12 months<br />

< 4 hours/week streaming<br />

Income*<br />

High-movie/<br />

Low-streaming<br />

Quadrant profile<br />

Age<br />

33<br />

$61,800<br />

$67,200<br />

38<br />

> 7 movie visits in 12 months<br />

< 4 hours/week streaming<br />

Income*<br />

Low-movie/<br />

High-streaming<br />

Quadrant profile<br />

Age<br />

$49,000<br />

33<br />

$61,800<br />

< 3 movie visits in 12 months<br />

> 11 hours/week streaming<br />

Income*<br />

High-movie/<br />

High-streaming<br />

Quadrant profile<br />

Age<br />

32<br />

33<br />

$61,800<br />

$71,200<br />

> 7 movie visits in 12 months<br />

> 11 hours/week streaming<br />

Income*<br />

*Reported as 95% trimmed mean; only 18-year-old+ respondents were asked to report income.<br />

Impact of In-Theater Movie Release on<br />

Streaming Behavior<br />

Survey results presented here include 2,191<br />

respondents who indicated that they were, in some<br />

capacity (rarely, sometimes, usually, always), aware<br />

of whether the movie they streamed was released in<br />

a movie theater.<br />

Highlights from this<br />

report have been<br />

reprinted with the<br />

permission of the<br />

National Association of<br />

Theatre Owners.<br />

Respondents who were aware of movies’ in-theater<br />

releases were more likely to stream a movie when they<br />

knew it was released in theaters. Of those who were<br />

always or usually aware of movies’ in-theater releases,<br />

62 percent reported they were more likely to stream a<br />

movie if they knew it was released in a movie theater.<br />

On the other hand, only 3 percent of these respondents<br />

reported they were less likely to stream a movie if<br />

they knew it was released in a movie theater.<br />

56 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


DATA<br />

DEEP DIVE<br />

Q&A with Phil Contrino,<br />

Director of Media &<br />

Research, NATO<br />

This is the third year NATO<br />

commissioned EY to delve into<br />

the relationship between moviegoing<br />

and streaming. What are some of<br />

the prevailing myths of that<br />

relationship? How do these reports<br />

address those myths?<br />

Far too many people who analyze our<br />

industry fall back on the notion that<br />

the rise of streaming means people are<br />

going to the movies less often. That’s an<br />

oversimplified narrative, and it really<br />

doesn’t reflect the truth of the situation.<br />

The relationship is more symbiotic. Simply<br />

put: Exhibition’s most enthusiastic customers<br />

are also people who stream a lot.<br />

When people consume a lot of movies at<br />

home, it makes them realize that they like<br />

certain genres more than they thought, and<br />

then they seek out films from that genre<br />

in theaters. The success of Parasite is one<br />

strong example of that. The easy access that<br />

so many consumers have to international<br />

titles through streaming clearly helped<br />

expand the audience for that film.<br />

What is the role and influence of<br />

“dual-consumers”?<br />

The dual-consumers who go to the movies<br />

a lot and also stream a lot are a huge<br />

driving force for this industry. I think<br />

the amount of time that the most active<br />

consumers spend with entertainment<br />

shows that they will always find time for<br />

the projects they want to see. The market<br />

has the ability to expand if the content is<br />

strong enough.<br />

What are some of the most interesting<br />

revelations from this year’s results?<br />

This year we added a question about the<br />

influence of a theatrical release on how<br />

people decide which movies to stream,<br />

and it’s pretty clear that a theatrical<br />

release has a big impact. The takeaway is<br />

that movie theaters are more important<br />

than ever when it comes to helping<br />

consumers decide what to watch. Having<br />

endless options in the home can be<br />

overwhelming, and it often leaves you<br />

dissatisfied as you waste time scrolling<br />

through options. Also, your watch list<br />

seems to be growing all the time, and that<br />

can make it feel almost like homework you<br />

are putting off. A theatrical release creates<br />

a halo effect around a film that stays with<br />

it through all of the windows. That’s not<br />

something that can be replicated with any<br />

amount of marketing.<br />

The narrative in the press thus far<br />

has been “theatrical vs. streaming.”<br />

What sort of industry collaboration is<br />

needed so it becomes “theatrical and<br />

streaming”?<br />

As more companies launch streaming<br />

platforms while also continuing to respect<br />

the value of what a robust theatrical run<br />

can bring to their films, I think the narrative<br />

will change substantially. Companies<br />

with the ability to maximize their ROI on<br />

films through a healthy theatrical run will<br />

always take that route. Going straight to<br />

streaming takes a lot of money out of a<br />

film’s life cycle.<br />

All the attention was on The Irishman<br />

and Netflix, when the real story was<br />

Parasite and Hulu. $50 million domestic<br />

box office, $200 million worldwide and<br />

growing. It was originally going to be a<br />

simultaneous release in the U.K., but the<br />

plan changed to a full theatrical window<br />

and it broke theatrical records when it<br />

opened. It will be a long-term asset to<br />

Hulu when it reaches streaming with a<br />

value that could only be created by a real<br />

theatrical release.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

57


INDUSTRY BIG DATA<br />

Cinemagoing in Europe 2005–2019 (in billion admissions)<br />

1.33<br />

1.34<br />

1.30<br />

1.28<br />

1.25<br />

1.20<br />

1.21 1.21<br />

1.19<br />

1.17<br />

1.18<br />

1.13<br />

1.09<br />

1.09<br />

1.04<br />

2005<br />

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019<br />

A EUROPEAN<br />

RECORD<br />

UNIC Report Reveals<br />

Record-Breaking Admissions<br />

for Europe in 2019<br />

Source: UNIC members<br />

and European Audiovisual<br />

Observatory (EAO) data.<br />

Figures for Albania only<br />

available from 2014; for<br />

Serbia, Montenegro and<br />

Bosnia & Herzegovina<br />

from 2007.<br />

The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC),<br />

Europe’s trade body representing the region’s<br />

cinema trade associations and operators, has released<br />

early numbers indicating a record 1.34 billion admissions<br />

to its member cinemas in 2019.<br />

While data for some territories is estimated, UNIC’s<br />

overview represents the first wide-ranging assessment<br />

of the performance of the European cinema sector in<br />

2019. The trade body will release detailed final data on<br />

each territory’s performance this spring.<br />

A Record Year<br />

European cinema admissions increased by 4.5<br />

percent in 2019, setting a record of over 1.34 billion<br />

visits across the region. In the European Union,<br />

cinemas recorded their best results in 15 years, with<br />

admissions reaching the 1 billion mark for the first<br />

time since 2004.<br />

While final figures for several territories are still<br />

pending, estimates indicate that total box office for<br />

Europe will pass the €8.5 billion mark, an increase of<br />

6.25 percent from 2018’s €8.0 billion. For the E.U., estimates<br />

indicate over €7.1 billion in box office revenue<br />

compared to last year’s €6.8, a 4.41 percent increase.<br />

58 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Strong Showings in Russia, France, and the U.K.<br />

Russian cinemas led all European territories in admissions,<br />

attracting a record 216.3 million visitors in 2019.<br />

This is the third consecutive year that admissions<br />

in Russia have crossed 200 million. France placed<br />

second in Europe with 213.3 million cinema visits in<br />

2019, its second-best performance since 1966. The<br />

U.K., the third-biggest European cinema market in<br />

terms of admissions, grossed over £1.25 billion at the<br />

box office—which translates to a European-high €1.48<br />

billion—following a record-breaking 2018.<br />

Recovery in Germany and Across Western Europe<br />

Following a difficult 2018, admissions in Germany<br />

bounced back with a 12.6 percent improvement. Several<br />

other markets across Western Europe also made<br />

up lost ground against 2018, including Austria (6.7%)<br />

and Switzerland (6.3%). The Netherlands is also worth<br />

highlighting, as the local industry has been growing at<br />

a steady pace over the past decades to reach a record<br />

38 million admissions in 2019.<br />

Growth in Spain, Portugal, and Italy<br />

The Spanish cinema industry enjoyed its best<br />

performance since 2009, surpassing 100 million<br />

admissions. Spanish exhibitors managed to increase<br />

admissions by 37 percent compared to 2013, when an<br />

entertainment tax placed on cinema tickets sent the<br />

industry into a tailspin. Following a challenging 2018,<br />

the Portuguese industry enjoyed a year of growth,<br />

increasing box office by 5.6 percent and admissions<br />

by 5 percent. Portugal surpassed the 15 million admissions<br />

mark for the second time since 2011. In Italy,<br />

final admissions figures are expected to exceed 100<br />

million visits, while box office grew 14.4 percent.<br />

Mixed Fortunes in Scandinavia<br />

Denmark (box office up 4.5%, admissions up 1.8%) and<br />

Finland (box office up 6.3%, admissions up 4%) both<br />

enjoyed good growth, bolstered by successful local<br />

titles that ranked among each country’s top five box<br />

office hits of the year. On the other hand, Sweden (box<br />

office down 0.9%, admissions down 2.9%) and Norway<br />

(box office down 5.3%, admissions down 6.8%) were<br />

among the European territories to suffer decreases in<br />

2019, partly due to a lack of breakthrough local titles at<br />

the box office.<br />

Thriving Local Industries in CEE, Baltic States,<br />

and Southern Europe<br />

Local titles helped Poland and the Czech Republic<br />

reach new heights in admissions and box office in<br />

2019. Poland welcomed a record-breaking 60.9 million<br />

moviegoers last year, fueling a 63 percent growth in<br />

the territory since 2010. Positive results were also<br />

reported in Bulgaria (box office up 6.5%, admissions<br />

up 2.4%), Ukraine (box office and admissions up 7%<br />

each) and Slovakia (box office up 12.8%, admissions up<br />

9.3%), where admissions tripled in the last 15 years.<br />

Country Box Office Admissions Per Capita<br />

Top 3<br />

Russia +8.9% +7.8% 1.5 21.9%<br />

France — +6% 3.2 35%<br />

United Kingdom -1.9% -0.5% 2.7 13%<br />

Germany and Western Europe<br />

Germany +13.9% +12.6% 1.4 21.5%<br />

Austria +9.9% +6.7% 1.5 2.7%<br />

Switzerland +7.9% +6.3% 1.5 6.3%<br />

Netherlands +11.3% +6.5% 2.2 11.7%<br />

Southern Europe<br />

Spain +6.6% +7.9% 2.3 15%<br />

Portugal +5.6% +5% 1.5 4.2%<br />

Italy +14.4% +13.6% 1.6 21.2%<br />

Scandinavia<br />

Denmark +4.5% +1.8% 2.3 23.7%<br />

Finland +6.3% +4% 1.5 15.5%<br />

Sweden -0.9% -2.9% 1.6 13.3%<br />

Norway -5.3% -6.8% 2.1 16.1%<br />

Central and Eastern Europe<br />

Poland +1.6% +2% 1.6 28.8%<br />

Czech Republic +15.3% +12.1% 1.7 24.2%<br />

Bulgaria +6.5% +2.4% 0.7 7.6%<br />

Ukraine +7% +7% 0.8 6.8%<br />

Slovakia +12.8 +9.3 1.2 13%<br />

Baltics and Southeast Europe<br />

Estonia +5.7% +1.5% 2.8 23%<br />

Latvia +12.6% +7.9% 1.4 20.2%<br />

Lithuania +0.2% -2.9% 1.5 19%<br />

Bosnia and<br />

Herzegovina<br />

+12.7% +10.8% 0.4 0.2%<br />

Montenegro +8.6% +7.7% 0.7 0.4%<br />

Serbia +11.8% +8.2% 0.7 17.5%<br />

Croatia +6.2% +3.5% 1.2 4.3%<br />

Albania +67.4% 69.9% 0.2 23%<br />

Turkey +8.7% -15.7% 0.7 54%<br />

National<br />

Films’ Share<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

59


INDUSTRY BIG DATA<br />

The success of the cinema industry across the<br />

Baltics is worth highlighting, as Estonia and Latvia<br />

attracted record admissions, and Lithuania achieved<br />

its second-best performance ever, following a strong<br />

2018. All three territories had a local title leading<br />

the box office. Similarly, the cinema industry in the<br />

Balkans is growing at an increasing pace, with Bosnia<br />

and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Croatia all<br />

enjoying their highest levels of cinema admissions<br />

ever, while Slovenia recorded its best results since<br />

2012. Albanians supported their nascent cinema<br />

industry in 2019, with a 69.9 percent increase in<br />

admissions, also carried by the incredibly successful<br />

local production 2 Gisht Mjaltë. Meanwhile, cinema<br />

admissions in Turkey decreased significantly in 2019<br />

due to local industry spats. An increased average<br />

ticket price resulted in a box office bump, though<br />

currency conversion rates indicate a decrease of box<br />

office returns in Euro.<br />

Admissions per Capita and National Films’ Share<br />

Admissions per capita for all UNIC territories with<br />

available data remained stable at 1.5 average visits per<br />

year. Ireland and France (at 3.3 and 3.2 respectively)<br />

experienced the highest rates of cinemagoing once<br />

again, followed by Estonia (2.8), the U.K. (2.7), and<br />

Denmark and Spain (both at 2.3).<br />

Total market share for European films in 2019<br />

will be available once final data on each territory is<br />

published. Turkey (54%), France (35%), and Poland<br />

(28.8%) once again experienced the highest national<br />

films’ market share across UNIC territories, as the<br />

Czech Republic, Denmark, Albania, Estonia, Russia,<br />

Germany, Italy and Latvia all managed a national<br />

films’ market share of above 20 percent.<br />

DIGITAL SIGNAGE<br />

Integrated Digital Signage,<br />

Concession Signs, Lobby &<br />

Directional Signs, Custom Graphics<br />

MOBILE APP &<br />

WEBSITES<br />

Web Management, Website<br />

Design and <strong>Pro</strong>gramming,<br />

Online Ticket Purchasing,<br />

Mobile App Development,<br />

Mobile Ticketing Sales<br />

INTERNET TICKETING<br />

Online Ticket Sales with Theatre Branded Interface<br />

Your Complete Theatre<br />

Management Solution<br />

Starts Here!<br />

TICKETING & CONCESSION<br />

POINT-OF-SALE<br />

Touch Screen Ticketing,<br />

Concession Point-of-Sale,<br />

Two-in-One Terminals, Kiosk Sales<br />

& Redemptions, Assigned Seating<br />

BACK OFFICE<br />

MANAGEMENT<br />

Show Scheduling, Inventory,<br />

Cash Control, Remote Access,<br />

Labor Management,<br />

Real-Time Corporate Reports<br />

GIFT CARDS & LOYALTY<br />

PROGRAMS<br />

Gift Cards, Virtual Gift Card<br />

Sales, Customer Rewards<br />

888-988-4470 Sales<br />

FILM RENTAL MANAGEMENT<br />

Automatically Calculate Weekly Film Rental, Create<br />

Payment Vouchers, Settle Films & Manage Credits<br />

NETWORK &<br />

IT SERVICES<br />

Network Support, Hardware<br />

Monitoring, Phone & Surveillance<br />

System Support, ISP Monitoring,<br />

Security & Antivirus<br />

RetrieverSolutionsInc.com<br />

60 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


TOP 5 FILMS<br />

PER TERRITORY<br />

* Denotes Local Title<br />

Country Top 1 Top 2 Top 3 Top 4 Top 5<br />

Albania Gisht Mjaltë * Falco * Joker Avengers: Endgame The Lion King<br />

Austria The Lion King Frozen II Avengers: Endgame Joker Das perfekte Geheimnis<br />

(DE)<br />

Bosnia and<br />

Herzegovina<br />

Joker The Lion King Avengers: Endgame Frozen II Taksi bluz (Serbia)<br />

Bulgaria The Lion King Avengers: Endgame Frozen II Fast & Furious: Hobbs &<br />

Shaw<br />

Star Wars: The Rise of<br />

Skywalker<br />

Croatia Joker Avengers: Endgame The Lion King Frozen II Once Upon a Time in<br />

Hollywood<br />

Czech<br />

Republic<br />

Ženy v běhu * Avengers: Endgame Frozen II Bohemian Rhapsody How to Train Your Dragon:<br />

The Hidden World<br />

Denmark Avengers: Endgame Joker The Lion King Jagtsæson * Ser du månen Daniel *<br />

Estonia Tõde ja õigus * Klassikokkutulek 3:<br />

Ristiisad *<br />

Joker The Lion King Avengers: Endgame<br />

Finland Joker Avengers: Endgame The Lion King Star Wars: The Rise of<br />

Skywalker<br />

Risto Räppääjä ja<br />

pullistelija *<br />

France The Lion King Avengers: Endgame Qu’est-ce qu’on a<br />

encore fait au Bon<br />

Dieu?*<br />

Frozen II<br />

Joker<br />

Germany Frozen II The Lion King Avengers: Endgame Das perfekte Geheimnis * Joker<br />

Italy The Lion King Avengers: Endgame Joker Frozen II Aladdin<br />

Latvia Dvēseļu putenis * The Lion King Joker How to Train Your Dragon:<br />

The Hidden World<br />

Avengers: Endgame<br />

Lithuania Pats sau milijonierius * Joker The Lion King Ir visi ju vyrai * How to Train Your Dragon:<br />

The Hidden World<br />

Montenegro Joker The Lion King Taksi bluz (Serbia) Balkanska međa (Serbia) Avengers: Endgame<br />

Netherlands The Lion King Avengers: Endgame Joker Frozen II Aladdin<br />

Norway The Lion King Avengers: Endgame Joker Frozen II Star Wars: The Rise of<br />

Skywalker<br />

Poland The Lion King Miszmasz czyli Kogel<br />

Mogel 3 *<br />

Frozen II Avengers: Endgame Joker<br />

Portugal The Lion King Joker Avengers: Endgame Frozen II Toy Story 4<br />

Russia The Lion King Avengers: Endgame T-34 * Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Joker<br />

Serbia Joker The Lion King Taksi bluz * Balkanska međa * Avengers: Endgame<br />

Slovakia Avengers: Endgame Trhlina * How to Train Your<br />

Dragon: The Hidden<br />

World<br />

Frozen II Šťastný nový rok *<br />

Spain The Lion King Joker Avengers: Endgame Aladdin Toy Story 4<br />

Sweden The Lion King Avengers: Endgame Joker Star Wars: The Rise of<br />

Skywalker<br />

Frozen II<br />

Switzerland The Lion King Avengers: Endgame Joker Frozen II Green Book<br />

Turkey 7. Koğuştaki Mucize * Recep Ivedik 6 * Organize Isler: Sazan<br />

Sarmali *<br />

Avengers: Endgame<br />

Kral Şakir: Korsanlar<br />

Diyarı *<br />

Ukraine Avengers: Endgame The Lion King Joker Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Frozen II<br />

United<br />

Kingdom<br />

Avengers: Endgame The Lion King Toy Story 4 Joker Star Wars: The Rise of<br />

Skywalker<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

61


INDUSTRY INDIE INFLUENCERS<br />

All images courtesy Spotlight Cinema Networks<br />

IN THE<br />

SPOTLIGHT<br />

Spotlight Cinema Networks<br />

Celebrates its 10th Anniversary<br />

BY DANIEL LORIA<br />

Brought to you by<br />

The third year of the new millennium,<br />

2002 was a historic year for the<br />

film industry. The domestic box office<br />

enjoyed its 17th consecutive record-breaking<br />

year, crossing the $9 billion mark for<br />

the first time. The biggest box office story<br />

of the year was the crossover success<br />

of IFC Films’ My Big Fat Greek Wedding,<br />

which became an all-out box office hit.<br />

The independent movie opened at a<br />

modest 108 screens in <strong>April</strong> before word of<br />

mouth carried the title from the art house<br />

to the multiplex. By the time October<br />

rolled around, My Big Fat Greek Wedding<br />

hit a peak of 2,016 screens. The film played<br />

in theaters for nearly a year, grossing a<br />

total of $241 million throughout a 51-week<br />

run. Its success offered a glimpse into the<br />

potential of the art house market, a place<br />

where different films could connect with<br />

affluent audiences who could then fuel a<br />

much larger run nationwide.<br />

The film proved that the art house<br />

market could have a significant impact<br />

on the industry as a whole. Individually,<br />

art house cinemas might not seem to be<br />

make-or-break venues that can launch<br />

Oscar hopefuls and change the fortunes of<br />

budding filmmakers. But as a group, they<br />

constitute arguably the most influential<br />

community of tastemakers in the industry.<br />

Just as My Big Fat Greek Wedding<br />

wrapped up its theatrical run in 2003, a<br />

new entity, called the Arthouse Marketing<br />

Group (AMG), was formed, its sights set on<br />

exploiting that potential through cinema<br />

advertising. It was created as a network of<br />

individual art house cinemas nationwide,<br />

grouped together to create scale for<br />

advertisers looking to reach the influential<br />

and affluent consumers that frequent<br />

their theaters.<br />

For four years, AMG played a niche<br />

role among the bigger players in cinema<br />

advertising. To grow, the company would<br />

need an injection of funding and new<br />

ideas. That came in 2007 with Jerry<br />

Rakfeldt, a marketing professional whose<br />

62<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


own ambitions had once taken him to Asia<br />

to assist with the global marketing efforts<br />

of Toyota. Now back in the United States,<br />

Rakfeldt was looking for his next venture—<br />

little did he know, or expect, that he would<br />

wind up working in exhibition.<br />

“At that time, I was just looking for<br />

a company to acquire,” says Rakfeldt.<br />

“I come from a pure marketing and<br />

advertising background. [Cinema] wasn’t<br />

necessarily where I was focused.” After<br />

meeting AMG’s ownership group, Rakfeldt<br />

completed the acquisition of the cinema<br />

advertising entity on his own, taking the<br />

reins of the company in September 2007.<br />

That same year, Michael Sakin, already<br />

an accomplished executive in cinema<br />

advertising, began looking for a similar<br />

opportunity to maximize the potential of<br />

art house theaters. Sakin reached out to<br />

Landmark Theatres to run its in-house<br />

advertising division; he’d sensed a void<br />

in the marketplace and knew he could<br />

help bring luxury brands to Landmark’s<br />

upscale clientele. He joined the circuit in<br />

2007, setting out to secure as many top<br />

brands as he could for Landmark’s screens.<br />

Inevitably, and without knowing it, the<br />

two executives found themselves on a<br />

parallel course.<br />

“We had two years where we coexisted—we<br />

were going about our business at<br />

Landmark, AMG was going about theirs—<br />

but by 2009 it became apparent that we<br />

were bumping into each other too often,”<br />

says Sakin. “We were two very similar<br />

entities going after the same clients. We<br />

each represented around 200 screens; it<br />

just seemed like the world was too small<br />

for the two of us to compete. It made more<br />

sense to combine our forces rather than<br />

sell against each other, because it was such<br />

a small niche.”<br />

Sakin went about it the old fashioned<br />

way. He looked up Rakfeldt’s information<br />

on AMG’s website and called him to set up<br />

a lunch meeting in Los Angeles. It took<br />

about a year to put the deal together, bringing<br />

the AMG and Landmark leadership<br />

teams together to launch a consolidated<br />

cinema-advertising joint venture. “It made<br />

perfect sense,” says Sakin. “Landmark had<br />

a seasoned ad sales force that I had built,<br />

and Jerry had the marketing background<br />

and operations experience with his staff.<br />

We were a perfect match.”<br />

The joint venture, Spotlight Cinema<br />

Networks, launched in October 2010 with<br />

six employees and around 400 screens.<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>jections for the art house market<br />

in 2010, however, presented a striking<br />

contrast from the success the sector had<br />

enjoyed earlier that decade. The 2008<br />

recession had slowed consumer spending,<br />

carrying economic implications for Spotlight’s<br />

exhibitor and advertising clients.<br />

The box office was still growing, albeit<br />

not at the same record-breaking pace of<br />

the previous decade, but the market was<br />

largely driven by superhero titles that<br />

followed the Spider-Man formula. Blockbuster<br />

crossover hits like My Big Fat Greek<br />

Wedding were anomalies, and distributors<br />

like IFC Films had begun pioneering<br />

day-and-date theatrical and streaming<br />

releases for some of their titles. In some<br />

instances, specialty titles wouldn’t receive<br />

a theatrical release at all.<br />

Most notably, 2010 found art house<br />

cinemas in the midst of the biggest<br />

revolution of cinema technology since the<br />

inception of sound. The digital transition<br />

pushed the widespread adoption of digital<br />

cinema around the world, leaving analog<br />

projectors—and potentially scores of<br />

specialty exhibitors—behind. “It was as if<br />

the sky was falling in 2010,” says Rakfeldt.<br />

“Everyone was worried about surviving<br />

through the recession, surviving the digital<br />

transition. Our main focus as a company<br />

was to drive as much additional revenue as<br />

we could for our exhibitor partners.”<br />

That revenue came, in large part, from<br />

luxury advertisers in search of a captive,<br />

affluent audience, as traditional media<br />

ratings continued to erode. Art house cinemas<br />

were inherently positioned to develop<br />

that niche. High-end brands like Louis<br />

Vuitton and American Express had already<br />

bought into cinema advertising through<br />

AMG and Landmark. Spotlight provided<br />

a more extensive reach to offer additional<br />

luxury advertisers from the get-go.<br />

“In 2013 we changed the name of where<br />

we ran our national ads to the ‘Trailer<br />

Pod.’ We had previously identified the<br />

national ad pod as ‘Premium Pod,’ which<br />

did not accurately describe the premium<br />

ad placement we were delivering. ‘Trailer<br />

Pod’ indicated these brands would be<br />

running immediately prior to the trailers,<br />

with the lights down, after the advertised<br />

showtime,” says Sakin. “This positioning<br />

helped us convert luxury brands to the<br />

cinema advertising space.”<br />

The pair cites Porsche and Apple among<br />

the company’s most prominent milestones<br />

in bringing high-end brands to cinemas.<br />

Michael Sakin<br />

“We were two very similar<br />

entities going after the<br />

same clients. We each<br />

represented around 200<br />

screens; it just seemed like<br />

the world was too small for<br />

the two of us to compete.“<br />

Jerry Rakfeldt<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 63


INDUSTRY INDIE INFLUENCES INFLUENCERS<br />

“They had never done cinema before. We<br />

introduced them to the space—and they<br />

were exclusive with Spotlight,” says Sakin.<br />

“That’s when we felt we had arrived, that<br />

we were actually making a difference in<br />

the marketplace.”<br />

Spotlight’s biggest evolution among<br />

its exhibitor partners developed during<br />

the company’s early years. “We started to<br />

see these really high-end theaters start<br />

opening up in the United States, where<br />

you could screen commercial films but in a<br />

high-end environment to continue reaching<br />

a luxury audience,” says Sakin. “It was<br />

the ideal model to expand our horizons.”<br />

Sakin remembers taking a road trip to<br />

San Diego to see one of Cinépolis’s first U.S.<br />

locations. Mexico’s leading circuit opened<br />

its first U.S. cinema in 2011, strategically<br />

opting to enter the market with luxury<br />

theaters. “We were blown away,” he says.<br />

“This was full waiter service at your seat,<br />

reclining chairs, sushi, and martinis—at a<br />

ticket price that wasn’t ridiculously high.<br />

We knew right there and then, this is our<br />

market. This aligned naturally with the<br />

brands we were signing to Spotlight Cinema<br />

Networks. We knew that if we could get on<br />

the ground floor with luxury theaters, we<br />

could enhance [them] and grow with them.”<br />

It took some convincing. Although<br />

well versed in cinema advertising through<br />

its global circuit, the Mexican chain<br />

originally opted to forgo ads on its screens<br />

in the United States. Spotlight appealed<br />

to them by linking their art house connections<br />

with the luxury-cinema model;<br />

both overlapped in terms of consumer<br />

demographics. Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas<br />

signed on to Spotlight Cinema Networks,<br />

and the company went on to sign additional<br />

exhibitors, including Silverspot Cinema<br />

and CinéBistro, that featured upscale<br />

auditoriums at a time when the concept<br />

was just beginning to take off in the U.S.<br />

“At that point, I don’t think any of us could<br />

foresee how much that space would grow<br />

in the ensuing years,” says Sakin.<br />

Today, Spotlight Cinema Networks<br />

boasts an exhibitor community of nearly<br />

1,200 screens—an early, and self-admittedly<br />

arbitrary, benchmark of 1,000 screens<br />

was set by Rakfeldt and Sakin when they<br />

launched the company in 2010. The<br />

growth over the past decade is founded on<br />

a strong feeling of trust among Spotlight<br />

and its partners. “It’s fundamental to our<br />

success,” says Rakfeldt. “The art house<br />

community and luxury sector care deeply<br />

about their brands. We have to care about<br />

that just as much as they do in order to<br />

maintain their trust. Our cinema advertising<br />

model has been the same from the<br />

very beginning: every exhibitor sees and<br />

approves every ad.”<br />

“That level of trust has to exist with<br />

both our brand and exhibitor partners.<br />

We need to be extremely selective about<br />

what appears on our screens,” says Sakin.<br />

“Everything we do is with the exhibitor’s<br />

seal of approval. I think that’s what<br />

opened the door into the luxury space; no<br />

one else was willing to do that. We take<br />

a big risk because we could potentially<br />

sell to an advertiser that gets rejected by<br />

all our exhibitors. There are advertisers<br />

that would love to be on our screens<br />

because they want to be in the world of<br />

independent film and luxury cinemas.<br />

They see our smaller commercial loads,<br />

knowing their share of voice would be<br />

larger. But if they’re not upscale enough,<br />

or if the creative isn’t up to the standard,<br />

that doesn’t work for us or our exhibitors.<br />

That’s why we have to be diligent about<br />

anything we bring to the screen.”<br />

Rather than defining itself exclusively<br />

by cinema advertising, Spotlight has<br />

grown to become a vertically integrated<br />

partner of art house and luxury cinemas<br />

in a number of different sectors. In 2017,<br />

the company announced it would start<br />

its own event-cinema division, CineLife<br />

Entertainment, which has already<br />

made significant strides in the market.<br />

That same year, the company acquired<br />

Storming Images, a digital distribution<br />

firm with a focus on trailer, pre-show,<br />

and DCP delivery. Storming operates<br />

independently and works with three other<br />

cinema advertising companies. “Spotlight<br />

is our B2B ad sales entity and Storming is<br />

our foray into digital delivery distribution.<br />

We’re also building a B2C brand through<br />

CineLife through our mobile app and<br />

our event-cinema division, CineLife<br />

Entertainment. Our ambition is to make<br />

CineLife a household name in the next 10<br />

years,” says Sakin.<br />

To achieve that, Rakfeldt offers a<br />

succinct summary of the company’s focus<br />

as it enters its second decade: “The media<br />

landscape changes quickly and we must be<br />

innovative, flexible, and entrepreneurial<br />

to stay ahead of the game to drive results<br />

for our exhibition, advertising, media, and<br />

content partners.<br />

64<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


INDUSTRY INDUSTRY INSIDERS<br />

THE STAR<br />

OF CINEPLEX<br />

Anne Fitzgerald Keeps It<br />

Interesting as Cineplex’s<br />

Chief Legal Officer<br />

BY REBECCA PAHLE<br />

Young lawyers often ask Anne<br />

Fitzgerald how they can land her job<br />

in 20 years. According to Fitzgerald, there<br />

is no easy answer: “They come up to me<br />

and say, ‘What do I do to get there?’ All I<br />

can say is, ‘I don’t know. Go farm sheep,<br />

climb a mountain, swim with sharks —and<br />

maybe you’ll end up here.’ There is no<br />

direct path in a super-interesting career.”<br />

If you were after Anne Fitzgerald’s<br />

job as chief legal officer of Cineplex and<br />

wanted to replicate her path exactly, you’d<br />

have a pretty tricky time doing it. The start<br />

seems reasonable enough: Be a lifelong<br />

movie fan. Go to university (Duke, in<br />

Fitzgerald’s case) and study law. It’s what<br />

comes next that takes you off the path of<br />

your typical movie theater executive. Go<br />

into corporate litigation and then leave a<br />

lucrative private law firm job to work as<br />

an assistant district attorney. (Somewhere<br />

in there, take a break to head a six-month<br />

youth service expedition in Alaska.) Your<br />

legal work takes you to New York, which is<br />

good, because you’re a big fan of theater.<br />

While there, you’ll end up teaching<br />

leadership theory and eventually produce<br />

a stage adaptation of a classic horror film<br />

that passes out raincoats to the first three<br />

rows so the audience’s clothes don’t get<br />

splattered with fake blood. (To stick to<br />

Fitzgerald’s path exactly, mind you, that<br />

show you produced will have to become<br />

a cult classic in Korea.) You’ll meet your<br />

future husband, who’s Canadian, so …<br />

leave the Great White Way for the Great<br />

White North. (Despite the fact that you<br />

didn’t, and still don’t, care about hockey.)<br />

The road to Cineplex will be bumpy:<br />

There are work visa issues. Eventually<br />

you’re brought on as outside counsel in<br />

your solo practice, and you flag a potential<br />

issue—you advise the company to ignore<br />

a smaller deal that that might have gotten<br />

in the way of the board’s plan to acquire<br />

its biggest competitor, Famous Players.<br />

You’re hired on a one-year contract—just<br />

to handle the 2005 Famous Players<br />

acquisition. Six months into that contract,<br />

you’re put on the executive team. Fifteen<br />

years later, you’re still there, having been<br />

made Cineplex’s chief legal officer.<br />

Easy-peasy.<br />

(By the way, the stage adaptation is Evil<br />

Dead: The Musical.)<br />

It’s been a busy 15 years at Cineplex<br />

since it acquired Famous Players. The<br />

chain has acquired other theaters<br />

across Canada, and the success of event<br />

cinema caused them to think further<br />

about eventizing the theatrical space,<br />

looking beyond studio offerings to<br />

provide moviegoers with amenities and<br />

experiences they can’t get at home. It<br />

introduced its VIP Cinemas luxury brand<br />

and several different entertainment center<br />

concepts—detailed in our piece on the<br />

cinema entertainment center trend on<br />

page 160. (Fitzgerald is set to moderate<br />

a CinemaCon panel on “Eventizing the<br />

Theatrical Experience,” taking place the<br />

morning of March 30.)<br />

“We, as an exhibition industry, need to<br />

be nimble and innovative so we can continue<br />

to attract and entertain our customers,”<br />

says Fitzgerald. “Cineplex has been<br />

doing that not only with our VIP theaters,<br />

but also with [entertainment center<br />

concepts] The Rec Room, Playdium, and<br />

now expanding into Junxion—our recently<br />

announced cinema-meets-entertainment<br />

center. We have been working more with<br />

our Player One Amusement Group gaming<br />

business as well as Cineplex Digital Media.<br />

It’s been a ton of fun. For my job, there are<br />

new legal issues with every one of those<br />

businesses, which keeps it engaging and<br />

interesting. It is never boring.”<br />

(Handling the acquisitions, of theaters<br />

and otherwise, that come with these<br />

expansions hasn’t been Fitzgerald’s only<br />

role. If you’ve ever enjoyed a cocktail at a<br />

Canadian theater, you have her, in large<br />

part, to thank. Starting in 2005, Fitzgerald<br />

and her team began lobbying for Canadian<br />

provinces, all of which prohibited liquor<br />

in movie theaters, to change their laws.<br />

“Some provinces, it literally took 15<br />

minutes to get the laws changed. And in<br />

others, it took eight years.”)<br />

Boring isn’t how Fitzgerald likes<br />

it—and she doesn’t believe that’s how<br />

most other people like it, either. When<br />

hiring, Fitzgerald argues that you should<br />

choose “someone to do a job they have not<br />

necessarily done before. I’m a firm believer<br />

that if someone is leaving a job that’s<br />

exactly like the job you’re hiring them for,<br />

they’re likely going to become bored very<br />

quickly.” People should be challenged, she<br />

argues, with new tasks and new opportunities.<br />

“Just because someone hasn’t done<br />

something before doesn’t mean they’re<br />

not going to add great value and be excited<br />

by the new challenge. So when I hire, I<br />

hire for what I see as potential in people,<br />

not for what they’ve already proven they<br />

can do.” Another thing Fitzgerald prizes<br />

66 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Image courtesy Cineplex Entertainment<br />

in those she works with: self-deprecating<br />

humor. “I want someone who can laugh at<br />

themselves, someone who’s not going to<br />

take themselves so seriously. I don’t want<br />

to work with people who think they’re<br />

the smartest person in the room, because<br />

none of us are.”<br />

As someone who came from outside<br />

the exhibition industry herself, Fitzgerald<br />

recognizes the importance of an outside<br />

perspective. “It’s a blessing and a curse of<br />

our industry that we have so many people<br />

with longevity, as we all love our industry,”<br />

she argues. “That’s great, but there are<br />

also some limiting factors that come out of<br />

that. Having new ideas and fresh blood is a<br />

great thing.”<br />

The idea of “fresh blood” and new<br />

ideas, Fitzgerald notes, is something that’s<br />

prized at Cineplex as a whole, where there<br />

are “always opportunities for people to<br />

move around, to give them a completely<br />

different challenge. The ideal job is when<br />

someone has items on their to-do lists that<br />

are incredibly challenging as well as items<br />

that they can do blindfolded. Finding a<br />

mix is important. Moving people around<br />

within roles, within the departments,<br />

makes everyone better.” To that end,<br />

Fitzgerald recently took on leading Cineplex’s<br />

real estate team, “which has been a<br />

blast for me. I would never hold myself out<br />

as a real estate expert, but I have learned<br />

a ton, and I’ve been able to add value<br />

where I can in helping the real estate team<br />

be better at what they do.” Also added to<br />

Fitzgerald’s plate is Cineplex’s corporate<br />

social-responsibility mandate, as she<br />

figures out ways for Cineplex to “be a<br />

better corporate citizen.”<br />

Though Fitzgerald has never had a<br />

formal mentor, she does credit “very<br />

important mentoring conversations” for<br />

some of the “amazing opportunities” she’s<br />

had throughout her professional life. Some<br />

of those conversations put her career on<br />

a path she never could have foreseen. As<br />

such, Fitzgerald prioritizes being there<br />

for others, particularly women, who can<br />

benefit from her input or advice. “I put<br />

a lot of energy into being present and<br />

available when people want to talk about<br />

their careers and their paths or challenges<br />

that they may be facing. Maybe I can<br />

pass on some nugget of wisdom that<br />

I’ve learned that may be important for<br />

them.” While Fitzgerald credits formal<br />

mentorship programs with “establishing<br />

structure” around deep professional and<br />

personal conversations, she prizes above<br />

all listening to—and treating well—those<br />

she works with on a “moment-to-moment,<br />

day-to-day basis. We all needed help along<br />

the way. It’s important to pay that forward.”<br />

“I think it’s incredibly important to<br />

walk the walk,” she adds. “I would like to<br />

believe that there is no one on my team<br />

or with whom I work, up or down, who<br />

would be surprised by my behavior in any<br />

particular circumstance. I think it’s important<br />

to be consistent with how you treat<br />

people and how you act at any given time.<br />

That should be both with the person to<br />

whom you report, your peers, the guests at<br />

Cineplex—and also with people who you<br />

manage or are junior to you. One shouldn’t<br />

act differently or show up differently to<br />

different audiences.”<br />

In case you haven’t figured it out<br />

already, Fitzgerald doesn’t like sitting still,<br />

and uncertainty doesn’t put her off. “I’ve<br />

found a way to be comfortable with uncertainty,”<br />

she explains. “And I don’t think<br />

that comes naturally to human beings. It’s<br />

a skill you have to develop. Throughout<br />

the whole of our industry, there’s been<br />

a great deal of consolidation and a great<br />

deal of change in the last few years. For all<br />

of us to succeed in the future, learning to<br />

manage change is a very valuable skill.”<br />

After a decade and a half of overseeing<br />

Cineplex’s acquisitions of other companies,<br />

Fitzgerald is now on the other side of the<br />

table: In December of last year, Cineworld<br />

signed an agreement to acquire Cineplex,<br />

an acquisition that—if completed—would<br />

bring Cineplex into the fold of the U.K.-<br />

based chain that already owns Regal<br />

Cinemas. “This particular transition is<br />

very important for both Cineplex and<br />

Cineworld,” Fitzgerald notes. “With this<br />

acquisition, our team can stay competitive<br />

for the long run, which is super-exciting.”<br />

“Just because someone<br />

hasn’t done something<br />

before doesn’t mean they’re<br />

not going to add great value<br />

and be excited by the new<br />

challenge.”<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

67


INDUSTRY A CENTURY IN EXHIBITION<br />

Left: In an effort<br />

to boost flagging<br />

attendance, studios<br />

of the 1950s began<br />

catering to a previously<br />

untapped audience:<br />

teenagers. Enter<br />

Elvis Presley and his<br />

swinging hips.<br />

Above: Moviegoers of<br />

the 1950s loved Marilyn<br />

Monroe. The decade<br />

took her from a small<br />

role in All About Eve<br />

(1950) to playing Sugar<br />

Kane Kowalczyk in Billy<br />

Wilder’s Some Like It<br />

Hot (1959).<br />

A CENTURY<br />

IN EXHIBITION<br />

1950s: Turmoil, TV, and<br />

Technological Innovation<br />

BY VASSILIKI MALOUCHOU<br />

<strong>2020</strong> marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong>. Though the publication you hold in your<br />

hands has had different owners, headquarters, and even<br />

names—it was founded in Kansas City by 18-year-old Ben<br />

Shlyen as The Reel Journal, then called <strong>Boxoffice</strong> in 1933<br />

and, more recently, <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong>—it has always remained<br />

committed to theatrical exhibition.<br />

From the 1920s to the <strong>2020</strong>s, <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> has always<br />

had one goal: to provide knowledge and insight to those<br />

who bring movies to the public. Radio, TV, home video,<br />

and streaming have all been perceived as threats to the<br />

theatrical exhibition industry over the years, but movie<br />

theaters are still here—and so are we.<br />

We at <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> are devotees of the exhibition industry,<br />

so we couldn’t resist the excuse of a centennial to explore<br />

our archives. What we found was not just the story of a<br />

magazine, but the story of an industry—the debates, the<br />

innovations, the concerns, and above all the beloved<br />

movies. We’ll share our findings in our year-long series,<br />

A Century in Exhibition.<br />

68<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


In the 1950s, the theatrical industry<br />

saw studios, vendors, and exhibitors<br />

all reveling in a new wave of technological<br />

innovations. This time, the focus was on<br />

making the theatrical experience bigger<br />

and more spectacular—the better to<br />

compete with a little thing called TV.<br />

The motion picture industry faced its<br />

first existential threat in the 1950s. Following<br />

the introduction of the Paramount<br />

decrees and the weakening of the studio<br />

system, exhibitors faced a shortage of<br />

product and declining admissions, and<br />

the industry met its most daunting competitor<br />

yet: television.<br />

The pages of <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> reflected<br />

this turmoil. Despite a fast-growing U.S.<br />

population and exploding consumer<br />

economy, attendance was not increasing<br />

... or at least it wasn’t increasing fast<br />

enough, especially in the second part of<br />

the decade. In February 1955, editor Ben<br />

Shlyen explained the conundrum: “While<br />

the gross business is up, due to the partial<br />

elimination of the excise tax and higher<br />

admission prices, our attendance has not<br />

been increased.” In May 1956, a survey by<br />

Slindlinger & Co. found that American<br />

theaters lost 16 million patrons in the first<br />

week of the month because of an insufficient<br />

variety of pictures, a lack of effective<br />

advertisement, and TV.<br />

Filling empty seats became a recurring<br />

mission for <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> and its<br />

contributors. Different solutions were<br />

routinely proposed: more blockbusters,<br />

higher ticket prices, discounts, extended<br />

runs, family nights. Shlyen urged more<br />

diversity in films as well as a different<br />

release strategy. In May 1956, he argued<br />

that fewer second-run theaters per<br />

neighborhood had resulted in a situation<br />

where most, if not all, theaters played the<br />

same movie for multiple weeks without<br />

sufficient alternatives for patrons who had<br />

already seen it. “Could it be that this—and<br />

not television, much as it has been credited—is<br />

the main cause of the wholesale<br />

closing of neighborhood theaters?” he<br />

pondered. Others called for a more social<br />

solution, like instilling moviegoing as a<br />

habit for younger generations and encouraging<br />

“the women of America” to bring<br />

their families to the movies.<br />

Many contributors turned to the past to<br />

calm the “industryites.” Abram F. Myers,<br />

chairman of the board and general counsel<br />

of Allied States Association of Motion<br />

Picture Exhibitors, wrote that the motion<br />

picture industry has “survived the vicissitudes<br />

of the centuries because it satisfies<br />

a deep-seated craving of the gregarious<br />

human race for amusement and relation,<br />

not alone but in the company of others.<br />

So long as there are men, there will be<br />

theaters—television or no television.” In<br />

the same issue, a veteran exhibitor sought<br />

to reassure readers by harking back to how<br />

the industry had overcome the threat of<br />

radio: “It was a costly, discouraging and<br />

prolonged process. Some thought it could<br />

never be accomplished, but it was. New<br />

and improved methods of presentation<br />

turned the tide.”<br />

The industry was facing crises on<br />

multiple fronts. Starting in the late 1940s,<br />

the House Un-American Activities Committee<br />

(HUAC) had been hunting down<br />

suspected Communists in Hollywood. In<br />

addition to the bad publicity, there were<br />

financial costs: A report by Allied States<br />

Association of Motion Picture Exhibitors,<br />

one of the two major exhibitor groups,<br />

estimated that film companies had spent<br />

more than $1 million in settling contracts<br />

with ousted Communists. After the second<br />

HUAC hearings, about 212 individuals<br />

were blacklisted, among them prominent<br />

talents like Dalton Trumbo, who was<br />

eventually reinstated in 1960. <strong>Boxoffice</strong><br />

<strong>Pro</strong> reported that director Elia Kazan,<br />

who agreed to talk to HUAC to avoid the<br />

blacklist, repudiated his youthful ties to<br />

the Communist Party, explaining that “the<br />

Communists automatically violated the<br />

daily practices of democracy and attempted<br />

to control thought and to suppress<br />

personal opinion” (<strong>April</strong> 1952).<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> deplored the maltreatment<br />

of many industry players and<br />

feared that the hearings “would besmirch<br />

an entire industry for the acts of a few<br />

who have a remote connection to [Communism]”<br />

(March 1951). The magazine<br />

subsequently ran multiple reports on the<br />

lack of influence of “Reds” on Hollywood<br />

films and emphasized the cooperation of<br />

industry leaders. The Red Scare started<br />

to subside in 1959 when the Academy<br />

announced it would repeal the rule on the<br />

ineligibility of Communists.<br />

But the biggest crisis of the decade was<br />

undoubtedly the rise of TV. Talks about<br />

the medium dated back to the 1920s, but<br />

it wasn’t until the 1950s that TV became a<br />

practical form of entertainment. Indeed,<br />

the decade began with reports on the<br />

unprecedented manufacture of TV sets. In<br />

January, a record 7,463,800 sets rolled off<br />

the assembly line. For theaters, this meant<br />

competition for audiences—especially after<br />

color TV was introduced—and for product.<br />

In January 1950, the first pay-per-view<br />

system, dubbed “Phonovision,” was<br />

tested in 300 Chicago households by the<br />

Zenith Radio Corporation. Viewers could<br />

send a phone signal to decode a movie<br />

for one dollar. Fearing that first-run films<br />

would go straight to TV, the exhibition<br />

industry strongly protested this new<br />

system. Exhibitors, sometimes backed by<br />

free TV networks, fought to ban pay-TV<br />

by pressuring the Department of Justice<br />

and the FCC. The stakes were immense. In<br />

a March 1955 editorial, Shlyen called for<br />

others to join the exhibitors’ “crucial fight<br />

for existence.”<br />

In October 1954, Disney—partnering<br />

with ABC—became the first major Hollywood<br />

studio to create TV programming.<br />

Walt Disney believed it to be an exciting<br />

development for both industries. In 1955,<br />

studios opened their libraries for TV<br />

rentals and sales of films prior to 1948.<br />

RKO was the first, followed by Columbia<br />

(which sold features through its TV<br />

subsidiary Screen Gems), Paramount, and<br />

Fox. Starting with RKO in <strong>April</strong> 1956, some<br />

majors developed their own TV divisions,<br />

expanding their lots to handle the new<br />

activity. Studios also began buying stakes<br />

in TV. One of those was Paramount, which<br />

in 1951 acquired interests in pay-TV player<br />

International Telemeter Corp. Washington,<br />

D.C., took notice. In 1958, the government<br />

filed a civil antitrust suit against Universal<br />

“We can beat television—or<br />

any other competition—if we<br />

get on the ball!” —Ben Shlyen,<br />

Founder, <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong><br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

69


INDUSTRY A CENTURY IN EXHIBITION<br />

Pictures, Columbia, and Screen Gems for<br />

fixing prices and eliminating competition.<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> fervently warned<br />

about the myriad dangers of TV and urged<br />

studios to think of exhibitors. Shlyen also<br />

cautioned readers of the risks of complacency.<br />

In January 1957, he proposed<br />

measures like cheaper parking, babysitting<br />

services, and family nights. “We can beat<br />

television—or any other competition—if<br />

we get on the ball!”<br />

But TV had a bright side. It offered<br />

new marketing opportunities, for one. In<br />

addition, some exhibitors were quick to<br />

embrace the potential of “telecasting”<br />

sports via cable TV. In 1950, Allied<br />

Association gave its full backing to the<br />

National Exhibitors Theatre Television<br />

Committee to continue the practice. That<br />

same year, Fox announced it would test<br />

the technology on a 20-theater network,<br />

leading to an uptick in interest for other<br />

major circuits. The first cable TV theater<br />

opened in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in 1956<br />

to great success. Yet content providers did<br />

not always approve this expansion, and<br />

the cost of installation (estimated at more<br />

than $274.5 million in 1957) proved too<br />

expensive to make it a viable option.<br />

Facing these crises, the industry<br />

found ways to adapt to the increasingly<br />

modernizing world. For <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong>,<br />

one last moviegoing bastion was the drivein.<br />

The “airers,” as these theaters were<br />

called, were not always welcomed by the<br />

rest of the industry. In fact, many indoor<br />

exhibitors lobbied to prevent future owners<br />

from obtaining zoning and construction<br />

permits and even managed to get a total<br />

construction ban in some areas. The truth<br />

was that drive-ins, entering their heyday in<br />

1950, were already getting one-eighth of the<br />

industry’s total patronage. <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong><br />

rejoiced over this boom and the ingenuity<br />

of some drive-in exhibitors. For example,<br />

one drive-in in Minneapolis incentivized<br />

attendance by bringing in non-auto owners<br />

on a big bus. The magazine ran many ads<br />

for drive-in-specific equipment, including<br />

screens, speakers, and seats. Columns in<br />

our Modern Theater section gave advice for<br />

better drive-in showmanship.<br />

But the real “savior” of the industry<br />

was the introduction of 3-D, wide screens,<br />

and stereophonic sound technologies.<br />

Cinerama Corp. showed distribution<br />

executives its innovative curved-screen<br />

technology for the first time on May 6,<br />

1950, after 13 years of development. It<br />

featured a projection apparatus that could<br />

show movies eight times the size of a<br />

normal screen, four times the width, and<br />

twice the height. Ben Shlyen praised its<br />

“breathtaking” effect.<br />

There were rapid technical advancements<br />

on the 3-D front, as well. In 1951, the<br />

Society of Motion Picture and Television<br />

Engineers hailed the technology as the<br />

“most promising theater entertainment<br />

of the future.” A year later, United Artists’<br />

Bwana Devil became the first 3-D feature<br />

film, with great box office response.<br />

The high-tech turning point took place<br />

in 1953. As major companies equipped<br />

more and more theaters with innovative<br />

new technologies, <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> spoke<br />

of a “third-dimension race.” Paramount<br />

was using its own 3-D solution. MGM,<br />

Columbia, and Warner Bros. turned to a<br />

system called Natural Vision, while 20th<br />

Century Fox used a French system with<br />

stereophonic sound called Anamorphosis.<br />

These enhancements to the traditional<br />

theatrical experience popped up at an<br />

unprecedented pace, with everyone trying<br />

to bring something ever-more innovative<br />

to the table. For example, the Ohio-based<br />

Left: Modern-day<br />

premium large-format<br />

screens find their<br />

predecessors in the<br />

1950s, when exhibitors<br />

were looking for<br />

bigger, better ways to<br />

combat TV.<br />

70 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


company Tri-Dem claimed it had created<br />

a 3-D mechanism requiring neither a<br />

special screen nor glasses. On the exhibitor<br />

side, Chicago-based B&K announced the<br />

introduction of its own “Magnascreen” in<br />

January 1951. A <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> survey<br />

published in December 1953 revealed that<br />

more than 50 percent of indoor exhibitors<br />

had installed or planned to install 3-D<br />

and wide-screen equipment within the<br />

year. On the more gimmicky side were<br />

Smellorama, introduced in 1953, and<br />

Smell-O-Vision, introduced in 1959.<br />

1953 was a landmark year due to the<br />

introduction of widescreen shooting<br />

format CinemaScope, first used with 20th<br />

Century Fox’s The Robe. Shlyen called the<br />

first public presentation of The Robe in<br />

September 1953 an “epochal event.” The<br />

premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater<br />

was “one of the more spectacular in recent<br />

film colony annals.” Noting its immense<br />

success with the public, he observed, “It<br />

seems certain that the era of widescreen<br />

has not only begun; it is here to stay.”<br />

In the months to come, CinemaScope<br />

was presented as a true “industry<br />

revolution.” Many filmmakers also saw<br />

its creative potential. Combining wide<br />

screens with advancements in Technicolor<br />

processes, filmmakers flooded the market<br />

with historical epics like Quo Vadis, Ben-<br />

Hur, Salome, and David and Bathsheba. In<br />

February 1953, Cecil B. DeMille explained<br />

that he had deferred filming The Ten<br />

Commandments to study 3-D, noting, “I<br />

am lucky that third-dimension appeared<br />

when it did and that it didn’t find me in<br />

the throes of production.” Other filmmakers<br />

were more skeptical. In August 1953,<br />

we reported that director John Huston<br />

was worried “about properly framing his<br />

stories on the horizontal screen and didn’t<br />

think the sacrifice was worth the effort.”<br />

While <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> welcomed these<br />

innovations as beneficial to the industry,<br />

our writers also expressed caution,<br />

showing concern for smaller theaters just<br />

as they had following the advent of sound.<br />

Siding with Allied States Association of<br />

Motion Picture Exhibitors, <strong>Boxoffice</strong><br />

<strong>Pro</strong> favored standardization as well as<br />

an industry-wide research program for<br />

improvements. Indeed, many smaller<br />

exhibitors failed to join the technological<br />

revolution of the 1950s because of the<br />

high costs of installation. In an attempt<br />

to counter those costs, Spyros Skouras,<br />

president of 20th Century Fox, announced<br />

in 1953 that his company would extend<br />

credit to any theater that was unable to<br />

buy the equipment.<br />

These innovations did boost attendance,<br />

but the recovery of the exhibition<br />

industry was not as spectacular as expected.<br />

As a result, industry leaders began to<br />

look for overlooked audiences. One segment<br />

was particularly lucrative: teenagers.<br />

A study published in December 1956 found<br />

that the teenage market consisted of 16<br />

million boys and girls—potentially making<br />

them the biggest moviegoer demographic—with<br />

a combined $9 billion to spend<br />

per year. Young people were also deemed<br />

less likely than their older counterparts<br />

to stay home and watch TV. A desire to<br />

attract teenage patrons (despite exhibitors’<br />

fears of their rowdiness) brought new faces<br />

to films. Movies like Rebel without a Cause<br />

and Teenage Rebel as well as films starring<br />

Elvis Presley became hits. MPAA president<br />

Eric Johnston expressed his optimism in<br />

1957 about the power of young people to<br />

save the industry: “There will always be<br />

motion picture theaters because ‘young<br />

people’ don’t want to sit at home and hold<br />

hands in front of their parents.”<br />

Above: Drive-ins were<br />

entering their heyday in<br />

the 1950s, and owners<br />

leveraged their growing<br />

popularity to get earlier<br />

availability or even firstrun<br />

films. <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong><br />

celebrated the trend by<br />

running drive-in specific<br />

ads and features.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

71


<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

72


New <strong>Pro</strong>ducts 79 | Awards 132<br />

CINEMACON<br />

Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging for CinemaCon<br />

“The great thing about CinemaCon is it allows us the<br />

opportunity to give the studios the chance to take the stage and<br />

tell the industry how excited they are to be a part of their world,<br />

bringing great product to movie theaters globally.”<br />

NATO’s Big Show, p. 74<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

73


CINEMACON <strong>2020</strong> PREVIEW<br />

NATO’S BIG<br />

SHOW<br />

CinemaCon Celebrates Year 10,<br />

Led by Mitch Neuhauser<br />

BY KEVIN LALLY<br />

CinemaCon, the National Association<br />

of Theatre Owners’ successor to<br />

the long-running ShoWest convention, is<br />

celebrating its 10th anniversary with the<br />

<strong>2020</strong> edition, running March 30 through<br />

<strong>April</strong> 2 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.<br />

Managing director Mitch Neuhauser has<br />

been at the helm since the beginning.<br />

“It makes one realize how quickly time<br />

flies,” Neuhauser says of this milestone.<br />

“Thanks to the support that we get from<br />

the industry, from distribution and<br />

exhibition, equipment and concession<br />

companies, we’ve achieved continued<br />

and greater success with each passing<br />

year. So it makes the time go quicker. Yeah,<br />

sometimes we sit back and it’s like, has it<br />

really been 10 years?”<br />

Attracting some 6,000 professionals<br />

from all corners of the cinema business,<br />

NATO’s official convention continues to<br />

be one of the year’s essential networking<br />

events. “Our registrations are tracking<br />

exactly even as they’ve been in the past,”<br />

Photo: Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging for CinemaCon<br />

Neuhauser reports (in mid-February).<br />

“Our trade show is once again pretty much<br />

a sellout, and there are more suites sold<br />

than ever before.”<br />

Opening night on March 30 will feature<br />

a special presentation from last year’s<br />

dominant box office champion, Walt<br />

Disney Studios. Says Neuhauser, “I think<br />

with the year they had in 2019, it’s most<br />

appropriate for Disney to open CinemaCon<br />

and get our 10th year off to a fantastic<br />

start.” The event will include the presentation<br />

of the <strong>2020</strong> NATO Marquee Award to<br />

Adam Aron, CEO and president of AMC<br />

Entertainment.<br />

The Monday-night activities are once<br />

again preceded by International Day, a<br />

full morning of keynotes and seminars<br />

focused on the business outside North<br />

America, so vital to the studios’ bottom<br />

lines. Topics will include eventizing the<br />

theatrical experience, theater design,<br />

and collaborating on data. International<br />

Day honorees include Cineworld Group’s<br />

Renana Teperberg, Disney’s Jeffrey Forman,<br />

and the Motion Picture Association’s<br />

retired Asia Pacific head, Mike Ellis.<br />

Following the Tuesday breakfast, CinemaCon<br />

presents a panel on “Corporate<br />

Social Responsibility” moderated by Stacy<br />

Bruce, president and executive director of<br />

the Texas chapter of Variety – The Children’s<br />

Charity. “We are leading companies<br />

globally,” Neuhauser says, “and we have<br />

a responsibility to our communities and<br />

to the world. Business is wonderful, and<br />

giving back and being mindful of what’s<br />

going on around you is important.”<br />

A Tuesday-morning highlight is always<br />

the “State of the Industry” session featuring<br />

industry addresses from NATO president<br />

and CEO John Fithian and MPA chairman<br />

and CEO Charles Rivkin, and a montage of<br />

the worldwide top-grossing films of 2019.<br />

That’s immediately followed by a product<br />

presentation from Focus Features.<br />

“Focus Features has been an incredibly<br />

supportive company, not just to CinemaCon<br />

but to the global theater industry,”<br />

Neuhauser says. “They put on a couple of<br />

great lunches in 2017 and ’18, and they are<br />

so excited about their upcoming release<br />

slate that they approached us about making<br />

a presentation in the Colosseum. And<br />

we thought that was fantastic, because the<br />

industry is about all of the studios, the<br />

majors, the mini-majors, the independents.<br />

Exhibitors are hungry for all kinds<br />

of product. So for Focus to say we want to<br />

74 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


make a Colosseum presentation, that’s<br />

really exciting. We can’t wait to see what<br />

they have planned. Their chairman, Peter<br />

Kujawski, and Lisa Bunnell, their head of<br />

distribution, and [in-theater marketing<br />

V.P.] Eric Carr have just been incredible<br />

partners in our efforts over the years.”<br />

The CinemaCon trade show opens at<br />

11 a.m. on Tuesday, and the afternoon<br />

is capped off by Warner Bros.’ annual<br />

“The Big Picture” reveal of its upcoming<br />

slate, with many stars and filmmakers<br />

touting their latest efforts. At press time,<br />

Neuhauser was awaiting confirmation of<br />

a major summer title from a top studio for<br />

his Tuesday-night slot.<br />

For the Wednesday-morning breakfast<br />

session, Neuhauser is planning a program<br />

“bringing in a head of distribution, a<br />

filmmaker, possibly one of the leading<br />

executive directors of a major film festival,<br />

and an exhibitor to talk about original<br />

content, how it’s out there and we need to<br />

give it the time of day, and how successful<br />

it can be.”<br />

Also tentatively set for Wednesday<br />

morning is a screening of Palm Springs, the<br />

Andy Samberg Sundance hit that Neon and<br />

Hulu acquired together for $17.5 million (a<br />

record for the festival). “Last year, Neon<br />

took a leap of faith with us in opening up<br />

the show, and we took a leap of faith with<br />

them in wanting them to be a part of the<br />

show,” Neuhauser says. “They were terrific<br />

partners, great collaborators. And this was<br />

all before the real excitement started to<br />

happen in 2019 for Neon. It culminated<br />

with the incredible historic showing of<br />

Parasite, not just at the Academy Awards,<br />

but globally from a box office standpoint. It<br />

sends a message that there’s an audience<br />

for original product, and there’s a lot more<br />

original product out in this world than the<br />

media gives the industry credit for. … It<br />

went beyond the normal demographics<br />

of who it appeals to, because the younger<br />

audience gravitated to it. The whole<br />

world gravitated to it. The only one who<br />

didn’t gravitate to it was our president,<br />

Mr. Trump, which is his loss for being so<br />

ignorant about the importance of movies<br />

and the quality of movies that come from<br />

great countries like South Korea.”<br />

Neuhauser notes that “Neon also has a<br />

very, very good post–CinemaCon release<br />

schedule, so they’ll probably do a little bit<br />

of a mini-presentation.”<br />

Last year, CinemaCon introduced a new<br />

Wednesday tradition: a casual buffet-style<br />

“It gives it a little bit<br />

of a concert environment.<br />

This will be the first time that<br />

this has been done for such<br />

a large group in a movie<br />

theater.”<br />

Trolls World Tour<br />

lunch in the Palace Ballroom, in lieu of a<br />

more formal affair. Says Neuhauser, “One<br />

of the major pieces of constructive criticism<br />

that our office gets [from attendees]<br />

is that our schedule interferes with their<br />

schedule at the show, because people<br />

have so much to accomplish. So when we<br />

did this informal open-seating lunch on<br />

Wednesday last year, people loved it. It<br />

gave them more time to go to the trade<br />

show, more time to hold meetings, and<br />

allowed a little bit of extra breathing room,<br />

if you will. The feedback was very good.”<br />

The Wednesday-evening highlight is<br />

the first all-industry screening of Trolls<br />

World Tour, introduced by the animated<br />

musical’s voice performers, Justin Timberlake<br />

and Anna Kendrick. “Universal will<br />

be using a new technology where everyone<br />

who comes into the theater gets wristbands<br />

coordinated to light up in sync with the<br />

film,” Neuhauser says. “So it gives it a little<br />

bit of a concert environment. This will be<br />

the first time that this has been done for<br />

such a large group in a movie theater.”<br />

Neuhauser is also looking forward<br />

to the Thursday-morning Paramount<br />

presentation and the appearance of former<br />

Fox executive Chris Aronson, now Paramount’s<br />

president of distribution. “There’s<br />

this little bit of expectation that when<br />

Chris is associated with a presentation<br />

at CinemaCon, it takes on an elevated<br />

level of excitement. I’m sure everyone is<br />

excited to see what Chris has up his sleeve<br />

in <strong>2020</strong>. Paramount’s going to be coming<br />

into CinemaCon off the great success of A<br />

Quiet Place Part II and Sonic the Hedgehog,<br />

and their post-CinemaCon slate is very<br />

Image courtesy Dreamworks Animation<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

75


Join Us!<br />

Where Hollywood<br />

Meets the Heartland<br />

Be a part of the Midwest’s largest convention<br />

for exhibitors, vendors & studios.<br />

September 15-17, <strong>2020</strong> | Grand Geneva Resort & Spa | Lake Geneva, WI<br />

Save the<br />

Date!<br />

Sept. 15-17<br />

Screenings | Seminars | Awards | Trade Show | Variety Charity Golf Outing<br />

Presented by<br />

<strong>2020</strong> Geneva Convention<br />

September 15-17, <strong>2020</strong> | Grand Geneva Resort & Spa | Lake Geneva, Wisconsin<br />

Register at GenevaConvention.com or call 262-532-0017<br />

Official Media Sponsor


CINEMACON <strong>2020</strong> PREVIEW<br />

powerful, with films like Top Gun: Maverick,<br />

SpongeBob, Infinite, Without Remorse,<br />

and the Chris Pratt Christmas release The<br />

Tomorrow War.”<br />

Thursday’s busy schedule also includes<br />

a studio- or filmmaker-driven lunch<br />

session, Lionsgate’s product preview, the<br />

annual CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement<br />

Awards ceremony, and an after party<br />

featuring long-running Vegas act “Legends<br />

in Concert.”<br />

“Behind the scenes,” Neuhauser adds,<br />

“there are a lot of new companies that<br />

may not have a [programming] profile<br />

at CinemaCon, but they’re going to have<br />

suites and meet with exhibitors. Mark Gill<br />

has a new company called Solstice Studios.<br />

He’s assembled a great team of industry<br />

executives—Shari Hardison is heading up<br />

distribution, and Mark Mulcahy is heading<br />

up exhibitor relations. Solstice is going to<br />

be doing a very special interactive experience<br />

as part of the trade show. Their first<br />

release is in August, a Russell Crowe movie<br />

called Unhinged. And [former Amazon<br />

Studios executive] Bob Berney is back with<br />

Picturehouse. It’s all about product, and<br />

there’s going to be product galore.”<br />

After 10 years at the helm of CinemaCon,<br />

Neuhauser is as bullish as ever<br />

about the future of the cinema business.<br />

“The media loves to come down on the<br />

industry when there’s a down weekend<br />

compared to the same weekend the year<br />

before. People went into the end of 2019<br />

saying, oh my God, we’re down 4 percent,<br />

what’s going on? And we’re now into the<br />

second month of the year and the box<br />

office is running ahead. You know, some<br />

films meet expectations, some films<br />

don’t meet expectations, and there are<br />

always films that defy expectations. It’s<br />

a great balancing act, and it just goes to<br />

show it’s about the product. When the<br />

product is there, people will go—they’re<br />

not gonna stay home. The home is a place<br />

for streaming services. Nothing against<br />

streaming services, but by the end of this<br />

year there will be more streaming services<br />

that someone is capable of accessing in<br />

the home, and it’s going to be overwhelming.<br />

The product will get lost, the product<br />

will not stand out in the home the way it<br />

does in movie theaters. When a movie<br />

opens in the theaters, people talk about it;<br />

it becomes part of the social fabric. When<br />

a movie opens in your home, no one<br />

really talks about it and you move on.<br />

That’s why we’re the greatest, cheapest,<br />

most successful form of entertainment<br />

outside the home. OK, we were down<br />

4 percent. OK, so we’ll be up this year.<br />

Everything is cyclical.<br />

“And our industry is strong behind<br />

the scenes. When I go meet with studios,<br />

they’re talking about the release slate not<br />

for the next two months, but next year<br />

and the year after and the year after that.<br />

The general public doesn’t really know<br />

what goes on behind closed doors, but<br />

the studios are excited about the future<br />

of the industry, and they’re committed to<br />

it. And the great thing about CinemaCon<br />

is it allows us the opportunity to give<br />

the studios the chance to take the stage<br />

and tell the industry how excited they<br />

are to be a part of their world, bringing<br />

great product to movie theaters globally.<br />

There’s nothing like it, and there never<br />

will be anything like it again. In the year<br />

3020, we’ll be having the same conversations,<br />

because theaters will still be here<br />

doing what they do best—entertaining<br />

the world.”<br />

Congratulations<br />

All <strong>2020</strong><br />

CinemaCon Award<br />

Recipients<br />

From your friends at Marcus Theatres Corporation<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

77


Meet us at<br />

CinemaCon<br />

Booth 2207A<br />

BOOST Ticketing, Apps & Marketing from the<br />

team that already manages your showtimes.<br />

Website & Mobile Apps<br />

Referral Ticketing (Google, Bing, Facebook)<br />

SaaS Online Ticketing<br />

CRM and Emailing Tools<br />

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)<br />

Pay Per Click (PPC)<br />

Custom Content (Video, Social, Editorial)<br />

company.boxoffice.com<br />

info@boxoffice.com


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

NEW<br />

PRODUCTS<br />

Exploring CinemaCon’s trade show is a<br />

great way for exhibitors to discover the tech,<br />

amenities, and concessions (with samples) that<br />

can take your theater to the next level. Here,<br />

in our annual preview, we present some of the<br />

vendors to look forward to.<br />

A<br />

Adaptive Technologies Group<br />

Booth: 2217A<br />

adaptivetechnologiesgroup.com<br />

P-Box-Caddy<br />

Adaptive Technologies Group is introducing its<br />

P-Box-Caddy as a new accessory for its internally<br />

ventilated, silent-running and modular projector<br />

enclosure, the P-Box-15. The P-Box-Caddy allows<br />

for easy access to perform quick and efficient<br />

maintenance to the projector. Especially when the<br />

P-Box enclosure is fixed installed to the overhead<br />

structure without any type of wall or scissor lift, the<br />

Caddy add-on can simplify the process. Onboard LED<br />

indicators, located on the outside of the enclosure, are<br />

programmed to let up in case of a fan failure. Micro<br />

filters installed on each intake prevent auditorium<br />

dust from going inside in the P-Box-15 enclosure.<br />

Adaptive Technologies Group’s family of cinema<br />

projector-lifts complements the needs of emerging<br />

boothless cinema auditoriums. These designs offer<br />

quieter running and guarantee a smoother, safer, and<br />

more efficient operation.<br />

AICP<br />

Booth: 825J<br />

keepinitcozy.com<br />

Movie Night Blanket<br />

American International Concessions <strong>Pro</strong>ducts (AICP)<br />

has been marketing, promoting, and selling some of<br />

the most popular concession brands for over 25 years.<br />

Their latest product is Movie Night Blankets, designed<br />

to elevate the theatrical experience by increasing<br />

moviegoers’ comfort level at the multiplex.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

79


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

American Licorice Company<br />

Booth: 219J<br />

americanlicorice.com<br />

Red Vines Made Simple 4oz. Tray<br />

Red Vines Made Simple is a non-GMO version of the<br />

classic Red Vines candy made with only five simple<br />

ingredients, including real cane sugar. These soft,<br />

chewy twists are available in a 4-ounce tray.<br />

Red Vines Made Simple 4.8oz. Mini Bites HB<br />

Red Vines twists also come in bite-sized pieces made<br />

with five non-GMO ingredients. They are available in<br />

a 4.8-ounce hanging bag.<br />

Cherry Lime Cola 5oz. HB<br />

Sour Punch Bites are now available in a combination<br />

of three flavors: cherry, lime, and cola. This is a great<br />

addition to your salty treat and complements bubbly<br />

beverages.<br />

Spicy Bites 5oz. HB<br />

Sour Punch Bites are a new combination of four<br />

flavors with a hint of spice: mango, pineapple, cantaloupe,<br />

and watermelon.<br />

Arts Alliance Media<br />

Booth: 2703A<br />

artsalliancemedia.com<br />

Lifeguard<br />

Lifeguard by Arts Alliance Media introduces the<br />

next generation of network operations center (NOC)<br />

software. Integrating with all leading digital cinema<br />

equipment, this turnkey NOC solution monitors the<br />

performance of all hardware assets from across your<br />

cinema circuit from one central location. Designed<br />

to improve efficiency and reduce operational<br />

costs, Lifeguard’s new, pioneering features include<br />

automatic fault-highlighting notifications, advanced<br />

analytical tools to predict and diagnose faults, and<br />

a centralized ticketing module for simple problem<br />

prioritization. Founded upon the knowledge of<br />

exhibitors, experienced NOC operators, and a pool of<br />

ex-projectionists, Lifeguard gives you the visibility to<br />

fix issues before they become problems, ensuring your<br />

customers enjoy a seamless movie experience.<br />

Arttech Cinema<br />

Booth: 2420A<br />

arttechcinema.com<br />

T/WS-300 <strong>Pro</strong>jector Lift<br />

Arttech Cinema announces that its flagship product-projector<br />

lift model T/WS-300 is now U.L. listed.<br />

The T/WS-300 projector support device can suit all<br />

projectors up to 300 kg (662 lbs.). Arttech also offers<br />

additional boothless solutions, such as fixed projector<br />

housings and designs meeting unusual requirements,<br />

along with other cinema equipment.<br />

80 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


THE GLOBAL LEADER IN DIGITAL CINEMA SOFTWARE AND SERVICES<br />

SCREENWRITER<br />

TMS<br />

PRODUCER<br />

CMS<br />

LIFEGUARD<br />

NOC TOOLS<br />

ADFUSER<br />

SAC TOOLS<br />

Streamline your day-to-day operations<br />

and minimise manual errors<br />

Give head ooice visibility and<br />

control over all your screens<br />

Monitor equipment for<br />

all your screens<br />

Unlock new<br />

advertising revenue<br />

Visit Us @<br />

Booth 2703A<br />

Augustus Ballroom<br />

SALES@ARTSALLIANCEMEDIA.COM<br />

WWW.ARTSALLIANCEMEDIA.COM


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Atom Seating<br />

Booth: 231J<br />

spacesandbetween.com/<br />

atom-seating<br />

Krypton Recliner<br />

Atom Seating has always been an advocate of<br />

delivering the best kind of comfort to the moviegoer;<br />

the same reflects in their winning line of recliner<br />

and glider models. Now, with Krypton Recliner, they<br />

promise an enhanced seating space for cinema owners<br />

without sacrificing the comfort of the moviegoer.<br />

For a cinema owner, a greater number of seats means<br />

better business. Enhancing the total capacity of the<br />

screen by up to 20 percent, Krypton Recliners are the<br />

new-age answer to modern cinema business.<br />

Atom Tickets<br />

atomtickets.com<br />

Atom Tickets, a social moviegoing app and website,<br />

is designed to make the overall moviegoing experience<br />

easier and better. Atom lets movie fans find<br />

showtimes, pick their seats, buy their tickets, invite<br />

their friends to go with them, and even preorder<br />

movie concessions. Atom’s newest product features<br />

for moviegoers include a new way to scan their<br />

digital ticket with their Apple Watch or via their<br />

smartphone’s digital wallets (on Apple and Android).<br />

Atom also works with Alexa’s newest conversation<br />

skill. The company recently launched Atom Movie<br />

Access as a service for exhibitors to create their own<br />

customized movie subscription service. Today, Atom<br />

Movie Access powers Megaplex Theatres. Atom Movie<br />

Access provides North American exhibitors of all sizes<br />

with an easy and reliable way to offer their own movie<br />

subscription plan at a rate and price that works for<br />

their business model.<br />

AutoFry / MTI <strong>Pro</strong>ducts<br />

Booth: 100J<br />

mtiproducts.com<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>udly made in the USA, the AutoFry has been a<br />

leader in fully enclosed and automated ventless<br />

deep-frying technology for over 30 years. AutoFry<br />

offers a complete collection of automated, ventless<br />

frying systems—from single to double basket and<br />

countertop to floor models—meeting a wide range of<br />

deep-frying demands. Their most popular model, the<br />

MTI-10X, has an oil capacity of 2.75 gallons, capable<br />

of frying approximately 30 to 60 lbs. of french<br />

fries per hour with just the push of a button. Their<br />

Simplifry technology is a revolutionary heat/time<br />

compensation intelligence that automatically adjusts<br />

cooking time based on the quantity of product being<br />

prepared. Designed into every model, Simplifry<br />

technology cooks food to perfection every time.<br />

When using a self-contained fryer, you’ll never have<br />

to worry about your employees getting burned with<br />

hot oil. Plus, each AutoFry model is equipped with<br />

a built-in ANSUL fire suppression system, making<br />

it one of the safest commercial deep fryers on the<br />

market. From small, independent taverns to large<br />

stadiums, and even worldwide multi-unit chains, the<br />

AutoFry can handle it all.<br />

82 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


WE MAKE A<br />

DYNAMIC DUO<br />

NCM produces Noovie, an innovative<br />

multi-platform moviegoing experience<br />

including exclusive on-screen and digital<br />

content, trivia, gaming, and more.<br />

With bigger advertisers, better<br />

customer service, and unlimited<br />

opportunity, there’s no better<br />

partner than NCM.<br />

Jennifer Lupo | 303.792.8784 | jennifer.lupo@ncm.com<br />

ncm.com/network


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Avision<br />

Booth: 2012A<br />

avisioncorp.com<br />

New <strong>Pro</strong>duct Display<br />

Avision is a full-service custom fixture company,<br />

providing a variety of integrated services to meet<br />

growing retail needs. With over 30 years of expertise,<br />

they design and fabricate innovative custom solutions<br />

that deliver value across every type of retail environment<br />

for clients from North America and around the<br />

world. Avision has provided creative and effective<br />

solutions to many national brands within the entertainment<br />

industry, such as Disney, Universal Studios,<br />

and Paramount, to name a few. They develop retail<br />

fixtures as well as design and build out complete retail<br />

environments. Avision now introduces its new movie<br />

merchandise/concessions products display. This new<br />

design allows placement of high-margin products<br />

right at the point of sale without sacrificing existing<br />

counter space. Avision will quote you on this fixture or<br />

develop a solution to suit your needs.<br />

B<br />

Berg Company<br />

Booth: 2625A<br />

bergliquorcontrols.com<br />

Merlin Berg’s Merlin wireless all-bottle control system<br />

is the only “wireless” product on the market that<br />

can provide a venue full control with 100 percent<br />

free-pour action. A bartender can pick up and pour<br />

multiple bottles for cocktailing, and Merlin will<br />

automatically send the sales information to most POS<br />

and electronic cash registers. From Berg’s 704 model<br />

to their All Bottle ID units, liquor guns, and tap beer<br />

controls, the commitment is to produce customer savings.<br />

Berg’s gun systems are offered in 6, 12, 16, 24, or<br />

32 brands systems. They are designed with innovative<br />

touch screen dispensing and programmable cocktail<br />

capability. Their Tap2 valves offer eight portions out<br />

of every beer faucet with speed and the options to<br />

interface the systems to ring sales to the register.<br />

BGW & Datasat ATI<br />

Booth: 2803A<br />

bgw.com<br />

datasatdigital.com<br />

DDR 16/32 AES67 DAC<br />

Datasat Digital Entertainment has leveraged its<br />

history of reference-level audio processing experience<br />

to create the DDR 16/32 AES67 DAC. The DDR 16/32<br />

units convert the AES67 signal utilizing top-quality<br />

components for a better audio experience. The DDR<br />

16/32 also provides other features that allow more<br />

control, including a choice of 16- or 24-channel<br />

outputs, bass management, two- or three-way<br />

crossovers, and multiple EQ choices. The DDR 16/32<br />

can be used with Datasat processors along with other<br />

brands as well. Multiple units can be utilized for large<br />

immersive systems.<br />

84 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Optimized Auditoriums<br />

Perform<br />

Better<br />

Stimulate your audience with a more immersive experience.<br />

With an optimized screen and frame combination,<br />

they’ll enjoy brighter colors, higher contrast, and<br />

enhanced image clarity. Communicate these<br />

changes with a range of marketing tools<br />

included in this unique program. You’ll<br />

enjoy the satisfaction of a happy<br />

audience returning again and again.<br />

geT.IrisOPTIMIZED.com<br />

SUPERIOR<br />

Brightness. Color. Contrast. Immersion. Light uniformity. Viewing angles.


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

The <strong>Boxoffice</strong> Company<br />

Booth: 2207A<br />

company.boxoffice.com<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> Studios<br />

Helping movie theaters reach movie fans through online<br />

content. The <strong>Boxoffice</strong> Company believes that the<br />

moviegoing experience begins online (ask your kids!).<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> Studios targets moviegoers everywhere with<br />

white-labeled production across branded content<br />

(blog and video), smart platforms (dynamic ticket<br />

features), and social media optimization (strategy and<br />

management).<br />

C<br />

C. Cretors and Co.<br />

Booth: 313J<br />

cretors.com<br />

Cretors Grab N’ Go<br />

Grab a snack and go! The Cretors Grab N’ Go cornditioner<br />

cabinet is its tallest cornditoner in a compact<br />

footprint. Two clear, full-length, soft-closing doors<br />

highlight snacks such as popcorn, nacho chips, and<br />

other crispy treats. Five adjustable wire racks accommodate<br />

many packaging sizes. Replace the back panel<br />

with two doors to create a convenient pass-through<br />

system. Internal air ducts located on both sides<br />

provide optimal air warming and circulation inside<br />

the cabinet. The recirculating air system provides<br />

fast temperature recovery time after doors are closed.<br />

The internal LED lighting system creates exceptional<br />

merchandising. The temperature control switch can<br />

be located on the front or back of the cabinet, and the<br />

power cord can be located at the top or bottom. Rollers<br />

on the cabinet bottom allow for easy mobility. Sign<br />

options include LED style, backlit, or customer-provided<br />

custom signage. Ideal for behind-the-counter or<br />

self-serve applications.<br />

Camatic Seating<br />

Booth: 713J<br />

camatic.com<br />

Valencia Motion 10 Recliner<br />

Introducing the Valencia Motion 10 recliner from<br />

Camatic Seating. This wall-away/zero-wall seating<br />

system is designed with a combination of short envelope<br />

reclining positions, intended for short plat-depth<br />

cinemas. The design allows for extra rows of seats to<br />

be installed. Major dine-in cinemas and exhibitors<br />

have installed the Motion 10 seating system in tight<br />

row spaces. With a suite of accessories and customizable<br />

options and safety features, the Motion 10 can<br />

be configured to any venue requirements. The seat’s<br />

innovative and durable mechanism creates a consistent<br />

angle between the seat and back throughout the<br />

recline for a comfortable transition. The design even<br />

eliminates shirt pulling.<br />

86 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


NYC COA<br />

#5759<br />

• IF YOU CAN POP IT THERE •<br />

YOU CAN POP IT MOST ANYWHERE<br />

Cretors’ Mach 5 Popper with ANSUL ® and Giles ® Ventless<br />

Recirculating Hood System is UL Listed and certified<br />

UL 710B for unit construction, grease emissions and<br />

fire suppression. It is the first free-standing popcorn<br />

machine to receive New York City’s Certificate of Approval,<br />

meeting the city’s strict commercial fire code.<br />

New York City has some of the most strict fire codes in the country, and requires<br />

manufacturer compliance for grease-emitting equipment. On August 1, 2017,<br />

C. Cretors and Company received the New York City Certificate of Approval<br />

(NYC COA #5759) for our 3 ft and 4 ft Mach 5 poppers with 32-60 oz kettles<br />

which include the Giles Ventless Hood and ANSUL Fire Suppression systems.<br />

Fire codes are becoming stricter nationwide, and compliance is necessary.<br />

Cretors first pioneered this safety feature in the early<br />

1990’s with a UL approved ANSUL Fire Suppression<br />

System providing front-line protection by detecting<br />

and suppressing fires. We partnered with Giles Food<br />

Service Equipment to create a ventless popcorn<br />

machine that does not require the use of a Type 1<br />

exhaust hood. With a three stage filter system, the<br />

ventless hood limits the emission of grease-laden<br />

air. By combining these two technologies, we have<br />

created a self-contained ANSUL fire suppression and<br />

air filtration system earning UL 710B certification.<br />

C. Cretors and Company’s Mach 5 poppers with<br />

NYC COA #5759 provide the highest level of safety<br />

and compliance. You will have peace-of-mind knowing<br />

that you have one of the safest machines on the<br />

market. Inspectors will know that the machine stands<br />

up to the strictest fire codes. Our Mach 5 poppers are<br />

made in America and have passed the test.<br />

For more information contact: Shelly Olesen<br />

at 847-616-6901 or SOlesen@cretors.com


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

CETH Engineering<br />

Booth: 2619A<br />

ceth.com.br<br />

Founded in 2009, CETH has developed advanced<br />

nanotechnology to clean silver 3-D screens. A sustainable<br />

company committed to environmental and water<br />

responsibility, CETH does not use chemicals, and uses<br />

only 300 ml of water per square meter and a quick-drying<br />

system of up to 15 minutes that leaves no odors.<br />

In addition to cleaning screens, CETH also revitalizes<br />

carpets, armchairs, and curtains. Its high-performance<br />

machinery associated with high-temperature technology<br />

is extremely effective in removing gum, stains, and<br />

debris from carpets and curtains.<br />

Christie<br />

Booth: Milano 1, 2, 5 & 6<br />

christiedigital.com<br />

CP4450-RGB<br />

The Christie CP4450-RGB is one of the latest additions<br />

to the Christie RealLaser family of digital cinema<br />

products. This cinema projector provides exhibitors<br />

with the necessary cost-effective technologies to<br />

create self-branded PLF auditoriums—and will<br />

impress audiences with its rich, true-to-life 4K images<br />

that “pop” off the screen. Equipped with CineLife<br />

electronics and RealLaser illumination, this compact<br />

all-in-one, DCI-compliant projector offers up to<br />

50,000 hours of performance in a typical cinema<br />

theater under optimal conditions, providing customers<br />

with uncompromised performance and virtually<br />

maintenance-free operation. The PLF solution consists<br />

of all-new hardware, including a new projector pedestal,<br />

chiller, and accessories, and features an all-new<br />

electronics platform named CineLife+ (Series-4),<br />

which features native content playback capabilities of<br />

4K at 120fps. A whole suite of input options includes<br />

firmware upgradeable HDMI 2.0, quad 12G SDI input,<br />

SFP+, and DisplayPort 1.2 inputs.<br />

Cielo<br />

Booth: 2517A<br />

cieloconnects.com<br />

Cielo 6.0<br />

Cielo’s newest offering of its enterprise platform<br />

brings digital transformation, GPS-based technician<br />

dispatch, and digital signage to CinemaCon <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Cielo 6.0 aspires to revolutionize front-of-house and<br />

back-of-house operations by utilizing QR-based technology.<br />

Cielo QR allows exhibitors to digitize quality<br />

control workflows and allows technicians to view a<br />

full “health and history profile” and do field service on<br />

a projector or server by scanning a QR code. Customers<br />

can also provide valuable feedback by scanning<br />

the multi-use QR codes, allowing exhibitors greater<br />

control over customer satisfaction. Cielo Dispatch<br />

allows exhibitors to track and dispatch technicians<br />

using GPS geolocation with real-time travel estimates<br />

and tracking of arrival times to improve technician<br />

performance and efficiency. Cielo is also announcing<br />

a new product in digital signage, allowing exhibitors<br />

to manage digital signs, push content, and provide<br />

proof of playback for any piece of content.<br />

88 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Visit during CinemaCon in in Las Vegas 3.31 -- 4.2<br />

to take advantage of NEC promotions!<br />

(Suite Milano 4) 4)<br />

60 month 0% Lease <strong>Pro</strong>motion<br />

on NEC Digital Cinema Laser <strong>Pro</strong>jectors<br />

Take advantage of of discounts on on select cinema projector lenses<br />

(with purchase of of NEC Cinema <strong>Pro</strong>jector), up up to to $1000!<br />

For For more information, please visit www.necdisplay.com/digital-cinema<br />

*Lease *Lease promotion managed by by NEC NEC Financial Services


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Ciné Digital<br />

Booth: 2212A<br />

cinedigitalmanager.com/en/<br />

Ciné Office<br />

Ciné Digital Service specializes in the development<br />

of software solutions designed for cinema operators:<br />

CinéDigital Manager and CDM Mobile App to control<br />

content and projection booth (TMS), CinéDigital<br />

Display, Digital Signage, and Ciné Office. Manage<br />

day-to-day operations like box office, concessions,<br />

inventory management, loyalty programs, business<br />

management, accountings, human resources,<br />

and statistics with a user-friendly and efficient<br />

management tool. Ciné Office innovative software is a<br />

cloud-based and secure solution with no capex investment:<br />

no server or software license to buy. Hardware<br />

installation is made simple with the possibility to use<br />

existing equipment. Ciné Office is a solution ready<br />

and compatible with online sales.<br />

Cinema Solutions<br />

Booth: 114J<br />

cinemasolutions.com<br />

Celebrating 20 years in business. Cinema Solutions<br />

is the industry leader in purchasing and AP automation<br />

for theater management companies. What<br />

began as a small venture focused solely on consolidated<br />

order management quickly grew into one of<br />

the most comprehensive procure-to-pay solutions<br />

available today, offering everything from order<br />

management and invoice automation to inventory<br />

and capex management.<br />

HOOK UP TO<br />

For every 100,000<br />

admits, your theatre<br />

could make up to an<br />

additional $50,000<br />

with Zabofish!<br />

The Only Membership <strong>Pro</strong>gram That<br />

Actually Generates New Revenue!<br />

• Instant “cash back” rewards with every purchase!<br />

• Not a confusing “points” program that won’t get used!<br />

• Turn key mobile app instantly making you money!<br />

Don’t Swim Upstream!<br />

Get The Revenue Flowing Today!<br />

Call Now! (866) 323-5411 X109<br />

or (801) 893-9555<br />

90 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Cinemeccanica<br />

Booth: 2515A<br />

cinemeccanica.eu<br />

Lucilla RGB Lamp<br />

Lucilla is a brand-new RGB laser lamp specifically<br />

designed to replace the traditional xenon bulbs on<br />

digital cinema projectors, allowing customers to<br />

save money. With power that ranges from 8,000 up<br />

to 30,000 lumens—scalable for all screen sizes—and<br />

30,000 lifetime hours, Lucilla improves projection<br />

quality and reduces operating costs. Lucilla gives<br />

energy savings of up to 50 percent in comparison<br />

with the equivalent xenon lamp. It is designed to be<br />

fitted inside the projector (maintaining the original<br />

projector footprint) or in the pedestal with a few fast<br />

installation steps. A two-year standard warranty is<br />

included. An extension up to seven years is available<br />

as an option on both Lucilla and projector.<br />

Cinionic<br />

Booth: Roman 1-4<br />

cinionic.com<br />

Barco Series 4 Laser <strong>Pro</strong>jectors<br />

Cinionic debuts the newest lineup of Barco Series 4<br />

laser projectors at CinemaCon <strong>2020</strong>. The new models<br />

feature an expanded light output of up to 40,000<br />

lumens, delivering a brighter laser-powered image<br />

for bigger screens. CinemaCon attendees can see the<br />

new Series 4 in action and experience the impressive<br />

images, compatibility, and green efficiencies that this<br />

future-ready platform provides. Series 4 continues<br />

to extend Cinionic’s award-winning laser projection<br />

portfolio, leading the renewal wave for exhibitors<br />

worldwide. Introduced at last year’s show, Barco<br />

Series 4 delivers brilliant image quality for moviegoers<br />

today, ready for tomorrow—leveraging 4K and<br />

RGB-laser, as well as being ready for 4K 120fps high<br />

frame rate, high dynamic range (HDR), and onboard<br />

Barco Colorgenic and Barco AIM delivering wide<br />

color-gamut capabilities. And, Barco EcoPure design<br />

makes it the greenest cinema projector ever created.<br />

CJ 4DPlex<br />

3F Emperors Level; Venice,<br />

Taranto, and Sicily Rooms<br />

cj4dx.com<br />

4DX AR<br />

CJ 4DPlex, the cinema technology company behind<br />

the multisensory 4DX and the 270-degree panoramic<br />

ScreenX, introduces its latest venture in the world of<br />

mobile gaming with 4DX AR. Incorporating advanced<br />

computer vision technology with mobile technology,<br />

4DX AR blends the virtual gaming world with the real<br />

world, converting any physical space into a digital<br />

environment. Available in single or multiplayer<br />

mode. Players are able to navigate through real space<br />

and interact with the environment: for example,<br />

hiding behind walls or walking among pedestrians<br />

as part of the game. Currently the game is available<br />

as a quest series, where players overcome a series of<br />

adventures in a designated space. The technology is<br />

in the works to be integrated with preexisting content<br />

or games that are in development and will be made<br />

available as lobby entertainment to multiplexes and<br />

retail spaces worldwide, including 4DX, ScreenX, and<br />

4DX Screen auditoriums.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

91


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Corn Loco<br />

Booth: 137J<br />

cornloco.mx<br />

Nothing is as exciting as discovering new experiences.<br />

Corn Loco has broadened horizons to create an<br />

adventurous new line of popcorn seasonings. Inspired<br />

by the flavors around the world, this world-flavored<br />

popcorn has the perfect combination of popcorn and<br />

crunch, creating a whole new way to eat popcorn.<br />

Corn Loco captured all these world flavors and<br />

imbued them with a crunchy and tasty pop, creating a<br />

new popcorn experience.<br />

Creative Works<br />

Booth: 732J<br />

thewoweffect.com<br />

Hologate Blitz<br />

Cinemas have always been focused on providing<br />

unique experiences that customers can’t get at home.<br />

Virtual reality has the same focus and has become an<br />

option for cinemas that want to expand their entertainment<br />

options. Hologate Blitz is a motion simulator<br />

virtual reality experience that was built from the<br />

ground up as a multiplayer flying and racing platform.<br />

This attraction can move almost a full meter in<br />

height and can tilt 30 degrees in every direction. The<br />

attraction also features wind fans for extra immersion<br />

and has a futuristic steering wheel that can be easily<br />

switched from one-axis to two-axis control.<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>jectors Audio Servers<br />

Seating<br />

Screens Drapery<br />

Lighting Closed Captioned NOC<br />

ON YOUR TEAM<br />

Audiences’ expectations have never been<br />

higher. American Cinema Equipment is your<br />

support team to create the experiences you<br />

demand. Meeting expectations may be the<br />

industry standard; exceeding them is ours.<br />

LMS<br />

Technician Help<br />

Messaging Mail Web Music<br />

[ 503] 285-7015<br />

1927 N. Argyle Street, Portland, OR 97217<br />

[ 503] 285-6765 orders@cinequip.com<br />

cinequip.com<br />

92 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


D<br />

Deel Media<br />

Booth: 718J<br />

deelmedia.com<br />

Carbon<br />

Deel Media, a provider of large-scale digital signage<br />

systems, has recently released an updated version of<br />

its proprietary media player and software—Carbon.<br />

This latest version is simple to install and set up and<br />

is compatible with all modern screens and monitors.<br />

It features HD video, has a low power requirement,<br />

can run on Wi-Fi, and is small and compact yet<br />

powerful enough to drive concession boards, box<br />

office systems, video walls, and digital movie posters.<br />

Cloud-based monitoring and playlist management<br />

allow changing menu items, promotions, or pricing<br />

on a large network of screens remotely with just a few<br />

clicks. Additionally, you can power interactive touch<br />

screen catalogs with a fully customizable interface.<br />

Delta Strike<br />

Booth: 730J<br />

deltastrike.com/genesis<br />

Genesis<br />

Delta Strike’s award-winning laser tag system, Genesis,<br />

takes the player experience to a whole new level.<br />

Equipped with the industry’s first selfie cam, it allows<br />

players to replace code names and avatars with a picture<br />

of themselves, which personalizes and socializes<br />

every game. Genesis also sets new standards in game<br />

play with a dual-stage trigger, advanced LED lighting<br />

displays, and high-fidelity sound output. The intuitive<br />

vests allow players to quickly and easily put them on<br />

while you enjoy the convenience of wireless charging.<br />

All of these features come together to help exhibitors<br />

attract new guests and gain repeat visits.<br />

Dolby Laboratories<br />

Booth: 2503A<br />

dolby.com<br />

Dolby System 136<br />

The Dolby System 136 is Dolby’s newest speaker<br />

innovation. The speaker utilizes a proprietary<br />

asymmetrical co-entrant horn to deliver consistent<br />

audio coverage and uniform volume shading for every<br />

seat in the venue, including Dolby Atmos rooms up<br />

to approximately 165 feet (50.3 m) in depth. Utilizing<br />

custom compression-driver technology, superior<br />

enclosure design, and higher-quality woofers, the<br />

Dolby System 136 yields greater intelligibility and<br />

enhanced low-frequency extension. With intuitive<br />

ergonomic design and features, the Dolby System 136<br />

allows for quick, easy installation and service. Built<br />

on the foundation of Dolby’s industry-leading system<br />

design and support philosophy, the Dolby System 136<br />

provides elevated PLF performance and streamlines<br />

speaker integration.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

93


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Durkan<br />

Booth: 318J<br />

durkan.com<br />

From the theater to the concession stand, lobbies,<br />

bathrooms, public spaces, and back-of-house<br />

operations, Durkan is an industry leader in innovative<br />

design solutions and high-performance flooring<br />

solutions for motion picture theater facilities. Durkan’s<br />

hospitality broadloom, carpet tile, and resilient<br />

hard-surface products are tailored for the specific<br />

needs of cinema spaces, offering a wide range of<br />

exclusive innovative pattern and texture technologies.<br />

Durkan’s CinemaCon <strong>2020</strong> showcase will feature<br />

custom precision dye injection (PDI) broadloom,<br />

selections from the Learn & Live carpet collection,<br />

and Matuto PlusStone LVT.<br />

E<br />

Eisenberg<br />

- Home Market Foods<br />

Booth: 307J<br />

homemarketfoods.com<br />

Roller Bites<br />

Moviegoers can now enjoy a new variety of flavors of<br />

the protein-packed goodness found in RollerBites.<br />

The Maple Breakfast Scrambler RollerBites offers a<br />

perfect-sized snack that keeps you satisfied during<br />

the next big blockbuster. You can also accompany the<br />

all-white chicken RollerBite with the flavorful Bahama<br />

Mama Specialty Sausage. The Maple Breakfast<br />

Scrambler RollerBite and Chorizo Con Queso Sausage<br />

form a tasty partnership in all things breakfast. The<br />

breakfast varieties combine hearty eggs, sausage, and<br />

cheese. The sausage is made of USDA quality cuts<br />

of beef and pork and seasoned with bold spices for a<br />

delicious experience.<br />

Encore Performance<br />

Seating<br />

Booth: 829J<br />

encore.palliser.com<br />

I2 Luxury Recliner<br />

Encore Performance Seating developed a product<br />

aimed to provide customers with a comfortable<br />

and innovative way to utilize smaller platforms,<br />

without giving up the reclining option. Specifically<br />

designed to make the most out of your space, this<br />

newly designed concept includes a synchronous<br />

continuous drive recline, giving it a zero-gravity feel.<br />

The I2 incorporates a plush seat back to maintain its<br />

comfort level and aesthetic. Encore offers various<br />

options, sources the finest materials, and provides a<br />

comprehensive warranty with exceptional customer<br />

service and ongoing support.<br />

94 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Entertainment Supply<br />

& Technologies<br />

Booth: 936J<br />

ensutec.com<br />

In <strong>2020</strong>, Entertainment Supply & Technologies is<br />

poised to partner with a record number of exhibitors—from<br />

single locations to national circuits—to<br />

transform their cinema spaces into premium presentations,<br />

complete with laser projection, recliner<br />

seating, and immersive sound. As a certified installer<br />

for Imax and all major brands of cinema technology,<br />

ES&T offers clients turnkey services for the creation of<br />

a cutting-edge and luxurious moviegoing experience.<br />

Integrated FF&E services also include concession<br />

casework, food service equipment, menu boards,<br />

lighting, wall draperies, and flooring. Through an<br />

extended supply chain, the firm offers complete<br />

operational support with industrial and janitorial<br />

supplies, food service and concession replacement<br />

parts, digital lamps, and projector filters. ES&T is<br />

proud to be a client-focused design and supply firm<br />

dedicated to personalized service and solutions for<br />

domestic and international exhibitors.<br />

Euroquip<br />

Booth: 137J<br />

euroquip.com.mx<br />

Pop Art Concessions Equipment<br />

Euroquip’s line of concessions equipment is designed<br />

to revolutionize how you perceive the concession<br />

stand of today. Simple and modern, with touch screen<br />

technology and embedded connectivity, your counter<br />

will look appealing and increase sales. Aesthetics were<br />

paramount for Euroquip’s design, which incorporates<br />

a medium for advertisements and promotions such as<br />

new flavors, brands, combos, and upcoming movies.<br />

Designed with functionality in mind, the Pop Art is<br />

meant to take concessions equipment to the next level.<br />

F<br />

Ferco Seating<br />

Booth: 2817A<br />

fercoseating.com<br />

Slim<br />

Slim by name, slim by nature. This cleverly designed,<br />

leading-edge cinema seat has curves in all the right<br />

places, making it both comfortable and attractive. Designed<br />

specifically for cinema and executive seating,<br />

its narrow profile belies its robust construction. The<br />

minimalist Slim seat structure features a contoured<br />

cushioned backrest and seat that is manufactured<br />

to Ferco’s exacting quality standards. To increase<br />

the customer’s experience, this seat has a uniquely<br />

shaped armrest, which allows the customer to safely<br />

store both drinks and popcorn while relaxing to watch<br />

the movie. The design also prevents dirt and spillages<br />

collecting in hard-to-reach areas, reducing cleaning<br />

time between screenings. Intelligent USB charging<br />

can be provided with wiring concealed within the leg.<br />

96 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


I n t r o d u c i n g<br />

SLIM<br />

The thinnest and yet most comfortable seat we ever designed.<br />

A minimalist seat that features a contoured cushioned backrest and seat that is manufactured to Ferco’s exacting quality standards.<br />

Popcorn & cupholder<br />

Row letter & number<br />

USB charging port<br />

Please contact Ferco’s team of seating experts to discuss the future of your cinema space.


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Figueras<br />

Booth: 2212A<br />

figueras.com<br />

Hollywood 5400 VVIP<br />

The Hollywood 5400 is an exclusive seat specially<br />

designed by Figueras International Seating for VIP<br />

movie theaters. Equipped with up to three motors,<br />

the seat allows the user to control the position of<br />

the headrest, backrest, and footrest independently,<br />

achieving an optimal comfort just by using a waterproof<br />

touch screen. The automatic return system<br />

keeps the space always neat and free for movement<br />

between rows, returning the reclining parts to their<br />

original position when the user stands up. Thanks to<br />

their Made to Measure division, there are no limits<br />

in personalization options and finishes for these<br />

bespoke seats, which make it possible to add many<br />

kinds of accessories, from generously sized lecterns to<br />

a small fridge with bottle chiller. The Hollywood 5400<br />

VVIP stands out in the market for its unique design of<br />

elegant lines and its extraordinary versatility.<br />

Flexound Augmented Audio<br />

Booth: 2825A<br />

flexound.com<br />

Flexound Augmented Audio combines high-quality<br />

audio with physical vibration, creating an immersive<br />

experience. Patented Flexound technology offers<br />

equal sound quality in every seat independent of seat<br />

location. It improves the clarity of dialogue, enhances<br />

the emotions created by the story, and provides<br />

the audiences with a natural and immersive sound<br />

without need for a remix or recode, allowing cinema<br />

operators to screen any content in a Flexound Augmented<br />

Audio–boosted cinema. Flexound Augmented<br />

Audio is a Finnish audio innovation that is rapidly<br />

gaining recognition in different industries globally. Its<br />

multinational team started their work in 2015 to help<br />

autistic children by adding the sensation of touch to<br />

music. Now the versatile patented technology can be<br />

embedded into cinema, airplane, or car seats, gaming<br />

chairs, cushions, furniture, and more.<br />

G<br />

Galalite<br />

galalitescreens.com<br />

A leader in cinema screen technologies, Galalite<br />

strives for innovation at every turn, from launching<br />

its Lensray technology to introducing screens like<br />

RGB laser-projector screen Mirage XDL 1.2 and unique<br />

high-gain screen Prism 3.4. “At Galalite, forward<br />

thinking and innovativeness have been our motto for<br />

generations,” says Yusuf S. Galabhaiwala, director of<br />

operations. “In today’s times, even mobile applications<br />

on smartphones need a regular update, so why should<br />

cinema screens be any different? Upgrades enhance<br />

experiences. And that’s what we stand for: to offer an<br />

enhanced experience to cinemagoers and, therefore,<br />

benefits to the cinema owners.”<br />

98 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


www.admit-one.us


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

GLK Foods<br />

Booth: 1028J<br />

glkfoods.com<br />

Oh Snap!<br />

Oh Snap!—not your ordinary theater snack! They’re<br />

crunchy, delicious, and healthy—everything you<br />

love about pickles and pickled veggies. But Oh Snap!<br />

refrigerated, individually wrapped, single-serve dill<br />

pickles and veggies have no added brine, so there’s<br />

less mess. This brand of fresh-packed pickles and<br />

pickled veggies is courtesy of fourth-generation,<br />

family-owned GLK Foods, the world’s largest kraut<br />

producer and leader in fermentation. GLK Foods<br />

recognized the potential of pickles to fill a prominent<br />

gap in the market: better-for-you, grab-and-go snacks<br />

that don’t sacrifice nutrition for convenience.<br />

Gold Medal <strong>Pro</strong>ducts<br />

Booth: 707J<br />

gmpopcorn.com<br />

Popcorn Topping Dispenser Line<br />

Designed with movie theaters in mind, Gold Medal’s<br />

Popcorn Topping Dispenser Line offers a combination<br />

of contemporary style and convenience. The<br />

dispenser is customizable by selecting the models<br />

and features that meet your needs. Single- and<br />

double-head dispensers are available. Optional photo<br />

eye allows for automatic dispensing when product is<br />

detected. You can choose from a Double BIB rack or<br />

double-rolling Go Anywhere rack, which can hold two<br />

35-pound BIB-style boxes of topping. The ADA remote<br />

switch (sold separately) allows you to adhere to ADA<br />

guidelines. Plus, heated line kits will ensure the right<br />

temperature of your topping (sold separately). The<br />

unit can be counter mounted or used with a stainless<br />

steel base (sold separately).<br />

Great Western <strong>Pro</strong>ducts<br />

Booth: 424J<br />

gwproducts.com<br />

Frostee Slush Mix<br />

Great Western <strong>Pro</strong>ducts introduces its new Frostee<br />

Slush Mix in three flavors: cola, blue raspberry, and<br />

cherry. Put these flavors into your slushie machine<br />

to create a treat for your taste buds. Easy-to-follow<br />

directions make Frostee Slush Mix a quick, convenient<br />

slushie concentrate. Frostee Slush Mix is<br />

available in three-gallon bag-in-a-box containers and<br />

also by the gallon.<br />

The Guitammer Company<br />

Booth: 2316A<br />

guitammer.com<br />

ButtKicker Cinema System<br />

The Guitammer Company’s ButtKicker Cinema<br />

System – Active Seating (BKCS) has been deployed<br />

worldwide. Over 43,000 cinema seats are now active in<br />

over 14 countries, at circuits such as AMC, Regal, MCL,<br />

Lumiere, and Dreamscape VR, with new installations<br />

in Dubai, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. LBE (location-based<br />

entertainment) companies worldwide use BKCS as<br />

part of 4-D, 5-D, and 7-D+ theaters, virtual reality, and<br />

more. BKCS works for any type of seat—traditional,<br />

tip-up, and recliner—and any type of movie in any<br />

language, automatically giving exhibitors increased<br />

immersion. BKCS installations are maintenance-free,<br />

cutting down on total cost of ownership.<br />

100 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

H<br />

The Hershey Company<br />

Booth: 512J<br />

hersheys.com<br />

Jolly Rancher Gummies<br />

The same bold fruit flavors you love from Jolly<br />

Rancher are now in Gummies. Don’t let their soft<br />

texture fool you—Jolly Rancher Gummies candy<br />

packs a punch of untamed fruit flavor. Now available<br />

in original and sours varieties.<br />

High Performance Stereo<br />

Booth: 2801A<br />

hps4000.com<br />

High Performance Stereo has always believed that<br />

“Sound Is the Experience.” That’s why HPS brought<br />

the very first feature presentations with digital sound<br />

to commercial movie theaters in 1985—four years before<br />

the rest of the industry. Envelopment is nothing<br />

new to High Performance Stereo. Its HPS-4000 sound<br />

systems are known around the world for their clarity<br />

and immersive impact. Exclusive All Seats Hear<br />

Stereo technology and proprietary surround placement<br />

formulas provide full stereophonic coverage for<br />

the entire audience. When HPS-4000 sound systems<br />

are coupled with today’s immersive soundtracks,<br />

audiences will experience the full potential of modern<br />

motion picture sound.<br />

I<br />

Inorca Seating<br />

Booth: 913J<br />

inorca.com<br />

Inorca Seating has new features and accessories<br />

that further enhance the customer’s experience<br />

and optimize the theater’s total cost of ownership<br />

and operational efficiency. Inorca’s range of upscale<br />

seating boasts dynamic privacy panels, kid-friendly<br />

seating, special embroidery patterns, and more.<br />

Irwin Seating<br />

Booth: 201J<br />

irwinseating.com<br />

Spectrum Recliner<br />

Looking for ways to keep moviegoers coming back<br />

for more? Ready for a chair that makes it easier to<br />

clean and turn theaters over? The Irwin Spectrum<br />

Recliner can be custom configured to your exact<br />

needs. Amenities include center flip-up arms to create<br />

a loveseat, heating options, seat position remotes, and<br />

a double-swivel table for drinks, snacks, or an entire<br />

meal. Known for comfort, durability, and innovations<br />

like a popcorn deflector to streamline the cleanup<br />

process, Irwin never stops innovating. They’re also<br />

exploring new pod seating options to give moviegoers<br />

privacy and a personal getaway, even within a filled<br />

theater. Stop by Irwin’s booth to test-drive their latest<br />

recliners, the hardest-working chair in show business.<br />

102 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


The hardest working<br />

seat in show business.<br />

Our seating isn’t just evolving. It’s transforming the movie experience.<br />

Discover solutions that stand the test of time, serve your guests in total<br />

comfort, and make it easy to keep theaters clean.<br />

Contact Irwin today for custom solutions and endless support:<br />

1-866-GO IRWIN (464-7946)<br />

cinema@irwinseating.com<br />

See us at CinemaCon <strong>2020</strong>, Booth #201


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

J<br />

Jaymar<br />

Booth: 2113A<br />

jaymar.ca<br />

Automation Ready<br />

Jaymar’s custom comfort is a unique look for your<br />

movie theaters, bringing the latest technologies<br />

available today in order to enhance the customer’s<br />

experience. This year, Jaymar is adding an AR (automation<br />

ready) mechanism to its commercial recliners<br />

to allow control of the comfort and link the recliner to<br />

your POS or call-for-service systems. With the touch<br />

of a button on a tablet or phone, crews can have access<br />

to raise all recliners or only the ones where customers<br />

sat for cleaning after a movie. In a VIP dining theater,<br />

clients can take control of their seats during a movie<br />

via their mobile phones and order their food and<br />

drinks for servers to bring. Using this system, the<br />

theater can gather important data to maximize profit<br />

and offer a higher level of great service.<br />

K<br />

Kenwood Two Way Radios /<br />

Szabo Sales<br />

Booth: 2121A<br />

szabosales.com<br />

NXP5OO Hybrid Radio<br />

Kenwood’s new NXP500 is an innovative “hybrid”<br />

radio, meaning it can work in analog and digital at<br />

the same time. Since digital is the direction two-way<br />

radios are heading, this lightweight, waterproof, lowcost<br />

solution will now allow you to migrate to digital,<br />

getting larger coverage, longer battery life, and no static<br />

communication, without replacing your whole fleet.<br />

Kernel Season’s<br />

Booth: 317J<br />

kernelseasons.com<br />

Sriracha Popcorn Seasoning<br />

There’s always something popping at Kernel Season’s;<br />

this movie season it’s Sriracha Popcorn Seasoning.<br />

This limited-time offering is the perfect popcorn<br />

partner for those looking to spice up their favorite<br />

snack. Kernel Season’s Sriracha-flavored popcorn<br />

seasoning allows your guests to customize their<br />

perfect level of heat while keeping their popcorn nice<br />

and crisp. Turn up the heat and watch your popcorn<br />

and soda sales skyrocket.<br />

Keurig Dr Pepper<br />

Booth: 104J<br />

keurigdrpepper.com<br />

Forto<br />

Forto is a coffee energy shot made from cold-brewed<br />

organic coffee. Forto is smoother, sweeter, and has a<br />

low-acidic taste. It’s a great on-the-go drink. Keurig<br />

Dr Pepper is a leading coffee and beverage company<br />

in North America with a portfolio of more than 125<br />

brands.<br />

104 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

L<br />

Lino Sonego<br />

Booth: 2025A<br />

linosonego.it<br />

Lino Sonego International Seating is an Italian family-run<br />

company from the Venice region that designs,<br />

manufactures, and installs ergonomic seats for<br />

cinemas, stadiums, conference rooms, and theaters.<br />

Italian design, quality of finishes and structures,<br />

ergonomics, flexibility in personalization, and constant<br />

search for new materials are the highlights of a<br />

company under continuous growth and development.<br />

The synergy with architects, design studios, and<br />

customers has allowed them to establish fruitful and<br />

lasting cooperative relationships. Many of the leading<br />

world cinema circuits use Lino Sonego’s armchairs<br />

in their most exclusive cinemas. They export their<br />

armchairs to over 80 countries. Lino Sonego is the<br />

expression of made-in-Italy quality all over the world.<br />

Lino Sonego is proud to supply its Trial Concept Soft<br />

and Concept Deluxe models to Regal Cinemas.<br />

Lumma<br />

Booth: 2103A<br />

4Demotion.com<br />

4D E-Motion<br />

4D E-Motion is a theater system equipped with<br />

motion seats and outstanding special effects: wind,<br />

vibration, water, scent, bass shakers, air shots, and<br />

lights, all effectively synchronized with the on-screen<br />

action. It fuses art and engineering to create a new<br />

way of experiencing movies. Lumma offers comprehensive<br />

and skilled services for 4D E-Motion theater<br />

implementation, including a study of feasibility,<br />

overhaul of auditoriums, development, production,<br />

installation, support, and maintenance worldwide.<br />

4D E-Motion is a robust technology, simple to install<br />

and easy to maintain. Lumma provides a monitoring<br />

system pack to optimize and test the operation of the<br />

theater anywhere in the world. On the production<br />

side, Lumma’s talented artistic team works closely<br />

together with Hollywood studios, programming the<br />

most impressive titles for an immersive cinematic<br />

experience.<br />

LytePost<br />

Booth: 2824A<br />

lytepost.com<br />

LytePost is the first and only LED-branded stanchion<br />

on the market. With LytePost stanchions, exhibitors<br />

can increase safety, guide through color, enhance<br />

ambience, and even advertise. LytePost stanchions<br />

are powered by a removable rechargeable battery<br />

that gets 30-plus hours per charge and are controlled<br />

through IR remote. Each stanchion has nine solid<br />

colors to choose from, including pure white, as well as<br />

four animated settings with an acoustic control that<br />

changes the color to the beat of music. Traditional<br />

stanchions are often eyesores, but LytePost turns<br />

crowd control into a decorative bonus.<br />

106 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

M<br />

MediaMation MX4D<br />

Booth: 2703A<br />

mediamation.com<br />

Kids EFX Theater<br />

MediaMation’s MX4D immersive motion theater<br />

product line has expanded its offerings with a new Kids<br />

EFX Theater. MX4D immersive seating, featuring atmospheric<br />

and patented seat effects, now exceeds 400<br />

global installations; the Kids EFX offers a simpler and<br />

less expensive small-child-friendly version. The Kids<br />

EFX Theater is an immersive and delightful option for<br />

playscapes and dedicated kid-friendly auditoriums.<br />

Offering an atmospheric EFX-only with fog, rain, snow,<br />

lighting, and bubbles, MediaMation programs these<br />

effects at narratively appropriate times to create a<br />

memorable in-theater-only experience. Their carefully<br />

designed foams, fluids, sterile delivery lines, and<br />

engineering know-how make this an incredible new<br />

offering from sales@mediamation.com.<br />

Mennel Popcorn<br />

Booth: 218J<br />

mennelpopcorn.com<br />

Mennel Popcorn is a supplier of high-quality popcorn<br />

varieties. Mennel has been a trusted partner in the<br />

food industry for over 130 years. Driven by a growing<br />

demand for the popular snack food, Mennel acquired<br />

a state-of-the-art popcorn processing facility in 2015.<br />

Through a partnership with popcorn growers in Ohio<br />

and throughout the Midwest, Mennel Popcorn has the<br />

capability of producing 125 million pounds of popcorn<br />

annually. From seed procurement through packaging<br />

and delivery, Mennel has invested in quality control,<br />

food safety, and improved new hybrids. They have<br />

adopted a collaborative approach to supplying popcorn<br />

to domestic and international food manufacturers,<br />

concessionaires, theaters, and others with custom<br />

popcorn needs. Mennel Popcorn offers four distinctive<br />

popcorn varieties: Savory, It’s “Reel” Hi-Expansion,<br />

Sweet-n-Salty Natural Blend, and Big Ball Mushroom.<br />

Moving Image Technologies<br />

Booth: 2417A<br />

movingimagetech.com<br />

Enhanced Low Voltage Lighting Line<br />

Moving Image Technologies (MIT) announces the<br />

expansion of its green-energy portfolio with the addition<br />

of a new, improved version of the leading-edge<br />

low-voltage lighting product line previously offered<br />

by Caddy <strong>Pro</strong>ducts Inc. (acquired by MIT in 2019).<br />

This product line has now been re-engineered to use<br />

efficient modern LEDs, doubling the light output<br />

with the same energy usage as the previous product<br />

offering. The components of the system include: step<br />

nosing: coextruded PVC with grip strips and contrast<br />

stripe (LEDs optional); aisle wireway: coextruded PVC<br />

with clear cover (carpet-to-floor and carpet-to-wall<br />

cover options); wall light housing: now extruded from<br />

rugged polycarbonate plastic; and LED lighting loom:<br />

available in red, amber, yellow, blue, and warm white.<br />

The LED loom accepts 12V A.C. or D.C. power from<br />

common low-voltage power supplies.<br />

108 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


QUALITY YOU CAN FEEL. VISIT US TODAY.<br />

35+ Models<br />

The largest VIP selection<br />

in the industry, all with<br />

full customization.<br />

Built to Last Premium Comfort Low Maintenance Unlimited Options<br />

Experience quality like no<br />

other, backed by our<br />

best in class warranty.<br />

Our comfort is only<br />

matched by our quality.<br />

Test drive a VIP seat today.<br />

Purposely built for ultra<br />

low maintenance and<br />

care free servicing.<br />

Power headrests, power<br />

lumbar, heat & massage<br />

& so much more.<br />

Contact us today:<br />

sales@octaneseating.com | 888.627.6743 | www.octaneseating.com/vip-seating<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

109


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

N<br />

NEC Display Solutions<br />

Booth: Milano 4 & 8<br />

necdisplay.com<br />

NC1802ML<br />

The NEC NC1802ML delivers 2K imagery on small<br />

to medium screens while making installation and<br />

maintenance simple. The release of the NC1802ML<br />

marks NEC’s first-ever complete series of digital<br />

cinema projectors with replaceable laser modules.<br />

The NC1802ML joins the NC2402ML and NC2002ML<br />

projectors in providing cinema operators with a flexible,<br />

maintenance-free, and integrated solution. All<br />

three are capable of showing 100 percent of the digital<br />

cinema color space (DCI), native 2K (2048x1080), and<br />

deliver up to a 50,000-hour lifetime. This new digital<br />

cinema projector series provides operators with a new,<br />

cutting-edge experience and dispels the traditional<br />

myth that these projectors are hard to maintain.<br />

All maintenance can be done on-site, and the three<br />

swappable light modules (24,000, 20,000, and 18,000<br />

lumens) allow flexibility for any showing on screens<br />

up to 72 feet.<br />

110 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


O<br />

Octane Seating<br />

Booth: 2711A<br />

octaneseating.com<br />

Octane Seating offers the largest selection of VIP models<br />

in the industry, all with fully customizable options.<br />

Comprehensive hands-on assistance with the design,<br />

planning, manufacturing, installation, and after-sales<br />

maintenance is provided. The seats are designed to<br />

enhance your profitability, bring in repeat customers,<br />

and set you up for success. They offer best-in-class<br />

German motors that are quiet and smooth. Many of<br />

the models offer a power headrest and power lumbar.<br />

Their seat core consists of individual pocketed coils<br />

that ensure your seats will not lose their shape. A layer<br />

of gel memory foam is placed on top for a premium<br />

comfort story. Combine all this with metal and solid<br />

wood frames, easy maintenance and installation, and<br />

a completely modular construction.<br />

Olea Kiosks<br />

Booth: 129J<br />

olea.com<br />

El Dorado<br />

Olea Kiosks, a leading provider of self-service solutions<br />

to the cinema industry, is introducing its newest<br />

solution at CinemaCon <strong>2020</strong>. The El Dorado has been<br />

meticulously designed to accommodate the varying<br />

needs of each individual theater. The upper half is a<br />

self-contained kiosk of its own, with the ability to sell<br />

tickets and concessions via credit and gift cards as a<br />

combined solution with Vista Kiosk and other leading<br />

software solutions. This upper unit can be mounted<br />

on any counter or wall, or to Olea’s customizable freestanding<br />

pedestal, as shown here. The freestanding<br />

pedestal, or lower half, can be ordered with or without<br />

the ability to accept cash payments. By adding the<br />

ability to pay in cash, 100 percent of customers can<br />

complete their transaction at the kiosks.<br />

Omniterm<br />

Booth: 416J<br />

omniterm.com<br />

CINEMA POS SOFTWARE<br />

Web Services<br />

Omniterm has streamlined and expanded its<br />

interface partnerships by introducing new web<br />

service products. These interfaces provide various<br />

gift card functionalities as well as alternative<br />

online-ticketing options. The gift card functionalities<br />

include activations, redemptions, balance inquiry,<br />

and PIN validation, as well as e-card management.<br />

The online-ticketing web service provides theaters<br />

with an alternative sales method to the OmniWEB<br />

product and completely retains the patron on the<br />

theater’s website for the entire transaction process.<br />

The new web services allow Omniterm to expand its<br />

third-party interfaces, which can introduce numerous<br />

enhancements to the online experience including<br />

loyalty redemption.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

111


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

P<br />

Packaging Concepts Inc.<br />

Booth: 824J<br />

packagingconcepts.com<br />

Paper Drink Straws<br />

Packaging Concepts Inc. is doing their part to help<br />

save the planet. New for <strong>2020</strong>, as they expand their<br />

ever-growing line of concessions packaging, they are<br />

now manufacturing paper drink straws that are made<br />

in the USA. The straws are available in an assortment<br />

of sizes, both wrapped and unwrapped. They have<br />

plain, generic designs and custom-printed options.<br />

All Packaging Concepts paper straws are built using<br />

specialty sourced natural materials, entirely from<br />

the United States, that perform for the customer and<br />

the environment. As exhibitors continue to increase<br />

their concessions offerings, PCI is there to assist with<br />

design, graphics, and delivery of quality concessions<br />

packaging at an economical cost.<br />

PepsiCo<br />

Booth: 101J<br />

pepsico.com<br />

PepsiCo offers everything needed to enhance the<br />

moviegoing experience through its diverse beverage<br />

and snacks portfolio and premium equipment. Pepsi<br />

Spire lets moviegoers mix up a unique creation with<br />

just the touch of a button, including fan-favorite<br />

recipes using Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Mug<br />

Root Beer, and more. People seeking better-for-you<br />

options without taste compromise can opt for Pepsi<br />

Zero Sugar and Mountain Dew Zero Sugar. For fun<br />

hydration, PepsiCo offers Bubly flavored sparkling<br />

water, premium bottled water Lifewtr, and Bolt24<br />

from the makers of Gatorade. With an ice-cold<br />

beverage, fans can try great-tasting Tostitos tortilla<br />

chips and Tostitos cheese dip made with real skim<br />

milk and no artificial flavors or colors from artificial<br />

sources, or add a boost of cheesy, mischievous flavor<br />

with Cheetos Popcorn.<br />

Pizza Hut<br />

Booth: 232J<br />

pizzahut.com<br />

Pizza Hut is now in 125 theaters and growing across<br />

the country. The company is a proven volume driver<br />

that has significantly raised incremental per cap<br />

growth. Pizza Hut is an iconic and trusted brand with<br />

products that bring a call to action for moviegoers.<br />

The 9-inch fast-baked pizza is sized perfectly and<br />

uniquely for the exhibition business. (The size is<br />

generally unavailable at its street-side locations.)<br />

Made with quality products and ingredients, the<br />

product is portable and easy to eat in low light. The<br />

recent spread of bars in movie theater lobbies have<br />

worked well with a hot pizza entrée offering. Easy to<br />

operate with small equipment footprint. Leverage<br />

the power and scale of the world’s largest restaurant<br />

company (YUM Brands).<br />

112 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

POSitive Cinema<br />

Booth: 2007A<br />

positivecinema.com<br />

Smart Cinema<br />

Leverage big data from your cinemas to boost revenue<br />

using Smart Cinema, the newest module of the<br />

POSitive Cinema Solution Suite. Smart Cinema helps<br />

to make data-driven decisions about scheduling and<br />

ticket pricing. Based on artificial intelligence and<br />

machine learning, Smart Cinema uses advanced<br />

algorithms to create optimized scheduling suggestions<br />

and ticket-price diversification. This new<br />

module learns from historical and current trends<br />

by accessing large amounts of data related to your<br />

cinemagoing customers, regardless of the type of data,<br />

such as movie details, screenings, demographics, and<br />

weather. Use Smart Cinema to create schedules based<br />

on when to give discounts to increase admissions<br />

for low-occupancy screenings, and when to increase<br />

prices to maximize revenue for extremely high-occupancy<br />

screenings.<br />

Prime Ticket<br />

Booth: 125J<br />

primeticketinc.com<br />

Food Pick-Up Lockers<br />

Food pick-up lockers by Prime Ticket come in multiple<br />

configuration options from three to 12 compartments,<br />

and can be pass-thru if desired. Available in<br />

countertop, wall, or floor-mount models, each locker<br />

is manually programmed by the operator, who selects<br />

which locker to use and enters the username or order<br />

code, and an up to six-digit numeric passcode that is<br />

used to unlock the customer-facing door. There is a<br />

45-minute count-up timer for each locker, and each<br />

locker can be programmed from an ambient temperature<br />

up to 200°F. All lockers are lit by LEDs, and the<br />

specific locker that’s being opened has flashing lights<br />

once the code has been entered to identify where the<br />

food is located.<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>ctor Companies<br />

Booth: 113J<br />

proctorco.com<br />

ADA Table<br />

Finally an ADA table that looks great in your theater!<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>ctor Companies has created a beautiful, functional<br />

ADA table for your guests that meets the government<br />

requirements. The top is available in almost<br />

any color to match your current auditorium decor.<br />

It comes with wheels for easy transport to the guest.<br />

It’s adjustable in height to 42 inches to accommodate<br />

almost any wheelchair.<br />

114 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Comfortable is the<br />

new profitable.<br />

When customers sit, relax, and stay, they eat, drink, and spend.<br />

Interested in padding your bottom line? Give us a call!<br />

www.proctorco.com | | sales@proctorco.com<br />

800-221-3699


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>motion In Motion<br />

Booth: 725J<br />

promotioninmotion.com<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>motion In Motion (PIM) is bringing the magic<br />

of chocolate and deliciousness of peanut butter to<br />

CinemaCon this year, introducing the new Sun-Maid<br />

Pure Milk Chocolate ‘n Peanut Butter Raisins to<br />

moviegoers everywhere. This new variety joins iconic<br />

Sun-Maid Pure Milk Chocolate Raisins in the PIM<br />

concessions lineup of top-selling favorites in a 3.5-<br />

ounce concession box, larger and smaller bags, and<br />

more. Sun-Maid, and all PIM products, is supported<br />

with dynamic free marketing support, POS for combo<br />

deals with popcorn and beverages, generous rebate<br />

opportunities, and more.<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>Star Industries<br />

Booth: 120J<br />

prostarind.com<br />

Evolution Vinyl Seat Cleaner<br />

Taking care of vinyl seats in your theater is now easy<br />

with Evolution Vinyl Seat Cleaner. The concentrated,<br />

high-sudsing detergent is effective in removing greasy<br />

soils like popcorn butter from vinyl surfaces. It is<br />

gentle and mild to the skin. Using it is simple, too,<br />

with the convenient Just-Add-Water system. Simply<br />

fill your bottle with water, insert patented cartridge,<br />

and attach trigger sprayer, automatically releasing the<br />

premeasured concentrate.<br />

Pulz Electronics Limited<br />

Booth: 2319A<br />

pulz.co.in<br />

Pulz Audio.Sense RMS16<br />

The Pulz audio.sense RMS16 is an easy-to-use and<br />

reliable facility that enables the efficient monitoring<br />

of a Pulz audio system. The system allows operators<br />

to observe the status of all monitored equipment at<br />

a glance, using a customizable map-based display.<br />

The system offers the option of a central monitoring<br />

system and may also be used for message alerts via<br />

email/SMS. The Pulz audio.sense RMS16 software may<br />

be installed on the same network as a digital projection<br />

system. This close integration allows both applications<br />

to share the same communication modems and<br />

internet connections, reducing infrastructure costs.<br />

Pureco <strong>Pro</strong>ducts<br />

Booth: 106J<br />

purecoproducts.com<br />

Purepak <strong>Pro</strong>duct Line<br />

Pureco <strong>Pro</strong>ducts is introducing a new product line of<br />

paper cups and food-service packaging made with<br />

EarthCoating, which uses 40 percent less plastic<br />

than conventional plastic-coated paperboards and<br />

is designed to be easy for paper recyclers to pulp<br />

back into high-grade recycled paper products using<br />

conventional paper-recycling equipment. The new<br />

PurePak product line includes hot cups, cold cups,<br />

paper lids, paper straws, popcorn tubs, food trays,<br />

take-away boxes, folding cartons, and more—all made<br />

using EarthCoating in support of plastic reduction,<br />

landfill/ocean waste diversion, and increased<br />

recycling rates. Paper cups made with EarthCoating<br />

qualify for AAA recyclability rating per Der Grune<br />

Punkt (Green Dot) and are currently being collected,<br />

sorted, baled, and pulped back into recycled paper<br />

products around the world.<br />

116 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Q<br />

QSC<br />

Booth: 2303A<br />

qsc.com<br />

DPA-Q Amplifiers<br />

QSC announces the global availability of the new<br />

DPA-Q Series network power amplifiers in four- and<br />

eight-channel models. The new DPA-Q Series amplifiers<br />

unite the QSC legacy of robust power amplifiers,<br />

advancements in high-efficiency output devices,<br />

and native network transport, plus the control and<br />

monitoring capabilities of the Q-SYS ecosystem. The<br />

new amplifiers include new features and performance<br />

improvements compared to the original DPA-Q Series<br />

introduced six years ago. They use a highly efficient,<br />

Class-D hybrid powertrain, and feature two QSC<br />

amplifier innovations—FlexAmp and FAST (flexible<br />

amplifier summing technology)—that combine to<br />

offer far more flexibility in output deployment.<br />

Qube Wire<br />

Booth: 2202A<br />

qubewire.com<br />

Qube Wire DCP Delivery and KDM Management<br />

Service<br />

Qube Cinema presents its Qube Wire DCP delivery<br />

and KDM management service. In addition to the<br />

usual benefits associated with replacing hard drives,<br />

Qube Wire’s broadband delivery is often three times<br />

faster than satellite delivery. Qube Wire also lets<br />

theaters take control of their deliveries with the tools<br />

in Qube Wire’s Cinema Portal. This platform gives<br />

theaters pertinent information about each upcoming<br />

movie—run time, credit offset, and when and how the<br />

movie will arrive. KDMs can be downloaded, re-sent,<br />

or forwarded with just a few clicks. When theaters<br />

select to use Qube Wire’s free FLMx feed, KDM<br />

providers are alerted of server changes as soon as the<br />

information is updated in the portal.<br />

QubicaAMF<br />

Booth: 918J<br />

qubicaamf.com/<br />

hyperbowling<br />

HyperBowling<br />

HyperBowling is a set of revolutionary new bowling<br />

games that brings together a high-tech blend of software,<br />

futuristic user interfaces, lights, and sensors to<br />

deliver a never-before-seen experience that plays like<br />

a physical video game on a bowling lane. Created by<br />

QubicaAMF, the world’s largest bowling-equipment<br />

manufacturer, HyperBowling was designed around an<br />

innovative new LED bumper system, which is actually<br />

meant to be used as part of the game. Every ball is<br />

different, and there are new challenges every turn. Hit<br />

the colorful moving targets to increase your score. The<br />

lights change, the levels change, and with one single<br />

ball—the winner can change!<br />

118 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


customers make<br />

happy<br />

grow<br />

your business<br />

Photo courtesy of Zane Roessell<br />

When the “Best Theatre in America”* wanted to<br />

combine the best movie experience with enhanced<br />

AV functionality for lobby, business meetings, parties,<br />

and alternate content, they turned to QSC. In fact,<br />

QSC became their brand standard for enterprisewide<br />

audio, video and control - and Q-SYS TM brings<br />

it all together. Make your customers happy and<br />

increase your bottom line – with QSC.<br />

*According to Entertainment Weekly<br />

Visit Us at CinemaCon at Booth 2303A<br />

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

Trademark Office and other countries. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. 0040-<strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

R<br />

RadioBoss 2-Way Radios<br />

Booth: 133J<br />

radioboss.com<br />

RadioBoss 2-Way Radios provide radio sales, rentals,<br />

and service of staff communication radios. They<br />

offer a wide variety of earpieces and carry specialty<br />

items such as call boxes, base stations, repeaters,<br />

P.A. systems, and more. Free on-site trials means<br />

every customer gets exactly what they need, and<br />

the 24- to 48-hour repair turnaround means your<br />

locations never have to be without their radios. When<br />

you are looking to purchase new radios—whether<br />

you need just one or many—RadioBoss can match<br />

the programming used at your location for free, and<br />

they accept trade-ins so you can get money toward<br />

your new product. RadioBoss offers free custom<br />

programming and promises quick repairs and reliable<br />

customer support.<br />

Retriever Solutions<br />

Booth: 830J<br />

retrieversolutionsinc.com<br />

Loyalty <strong>Pro</strong>gram with Mobile App Enhancements<br />

Retriever Solutions, a provider of ticketing and theater<br />

point-of-sale systems, introduces its new patron<br />

loyalty program designed to increase revenue and<br />

promote customer engagement. Theater operators<br />

configure the program to reward loyalty members<br />

with free items and dollar discounts on concessions<br />

and/or tickets. Loyalty points accrue on the member’s<br />

account through in-theater purchases or via the theater-branded<br />

mobile app. Members’ points are viewable<br />

in real time on the app, and available rewards can be<br />

claimed at the theater at any time. Premium add-on<br />

functionality includes a robust administration<br />

console, allowing theater management to send push<br />

notifications to app users, reach patrons with scheduled<br />

advertising, and retrieve valuable member data<br />

to use for targeted marketing campaigns.<br />

Royal Corporation<br />

Booth: 213J<br />

royalcorporation.com<br />

Royal Carpet Spotting Kit<br />

The Royal Carpet Spotting Kit is one of several<br />

task-specific kits developed by Royal to help maintain<br />

clean facilities and improve guest experience. Each<br />

kit can easily be transported and has all necessary<br />

products to complete a specific cleaning task safely<br />

and efficiently. Royal has developed 16 kits covering a<br />

variety of theater needs.<br />

120 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

S<br />

Savantis Solutions<br />

Booth: 1018J<br />

savantis.com<br />

Intelligent Cinema<br />

Intelligent Cinema is the first cloud-based<br />

enterprise-grade cinema management software<br />

built on the world’s best business software platform,<br />

SAP. It comprises 22 integrated modules to optimize<br />

your cinema’s operations and help you deliver to<br />

your customers exactly what they’re looking for, in<br />

every channel.<br />

Severtson Screens<br />

Booth: 2321A<br />

severtsonscreens.com<br />

SAT-4K Acoustically-Transparent Cinema<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>jection Screen<br />

Severtson Screens’ SAT-4K projection screens feature<br />

an even finer weave and whiter material than its<br />

previous generation, which makes the viewing image<br />

even better than before. Made in the USA, the SAT-<br />

4K’s acoustic abilities aren’t hampered by the finer<br />

weave, and Severtson can now also seam SAT-4K for<br />

larger cinema screens to virtually limitless sizes. Like<br />

perforated screens, the sound stage can be placed<br />

directly behind the screen at the same horizontal axis,<br />

allowing the vocals and special effects to be completely<br />

in sync with the brilliant images on display. Severtson’s<br />

folded shipping method allows for no loss in the<br />

screen’s structural or visible integrity, and now makes<br />

international distribution highly affordable, reducing<br />

international shipping costs by up to 70 percent. The<br />

SēVision 3D GX-WA coating provides the benefits of the<br />

standard SēVision 3D GX coating, but offers increased<br />

uniformity and brightness typically seen more often on<br />

2-D white screens.<br />

Simply Right<br />

Booth: 436J<br />

simplyrightinc.com<br />

Simply Right is a cleaning service contractor providing<br />

value-centered solutions for the people they serve.<br />

Solutions that are safe, healthy, and great for the<br />

community. Simply Right delivers results that make a<br />

difference through their commitment to innovation,<br />

respect, trust, teamwork, accountability, and honesty.<br />

Soft Play<br />

Booth: 933J<br />

softplay.com<br />

Soft Play is a global leader of contained playground<br />

equipment. The company has everything you need<br />

to create your dream play space, from surfacing to<br />

innovative playground equipment to accessories<br />

and a team of designers who can help you customize<br />

your area. Their play equipment passes the test of the<br />

toughest critics: kids. They work closely with experts<br />

to create innovative equipment children will love<br />

exploring. There’s no point in building a play space<br />

unless kids adore playing on it, which is why their<br />

team goes out of its way to think outside the box and<br />

to bring you play solutions that engage imaginations.<br />

122 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


The Perfect<br />

Cocktail<br />

Every Time<br />

THE MOST ADVANCED AUTOMATED<br />

COCKTAIL DISPENSING SYSTEM<br />

The revolutionary Smartender® delivers speed, consistent pour and ease-of-use to<br />

establishments looking to maximize output, increase efficiency and improve customer service.<br />

Available in both modular and portable units, find out why Smartender® is the complete bar system of<br />

choice for leading hotels, casinos, restaurants, bars and entertainment centers nationwide.<br />

16 & 32 LIQUOR MODELS | POURS COCKTAILS & WINE<br />

SIMULTANEOUS POURING DELIVERS COCKTAILS IN UNDER 5 SECONDS<br />

NO OVER-POURS | REDUCES LABOR COSTS | POS SYSTEM COMPATIBLE<br />

CONNECTS TO PUMP ROOMS, MIXER BAYS & BAG-IN-BOX SYSTEMS<br />

www.smartbarusa.com<br />

Call: 1-866-399-7160<br />

US & FOREIGN PATENTS


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Sony Digital Cinema<br />

Booth: Pompeian 1-2<br />

pro.sony<br />

SRX-R815P<br />

Sony’s SRX-R815P is an HDR-ready, 4K laser<br />

projection solution for digital cinema applications.<br />

This high-performance projection system ensures<br />

an impressively immersive visual entertainment<br />

experience in 2-D or 3-D for movie audiences. It boasts<br />

a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 and offers operational<br />

efficiency, along with increased immersion for vibrant<br />

imagery that matches the filmmaker’s original intent.<br />

Top theater chains across the globe have standardized<br />

on these 4K laser models.<br />

SRX-815DS<br />

The SRX-815DS HDR-ready, 4K laser projection<br />

system has the same industry-leading contrast<br />

ratio for stunning presentation of standard cinema<br />

content on large screens as well as high dynamic<br />

range (HDR) on suitably sized screens. It provides<br />

outstanding crispness from a combination of<br />

Sony’s Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD) panel<br />

technology and 4K optics. Its long-life light source<br />

introduces operational efficiency by eliminating the<br />

need for lamp replacement.<br />

StepGuard by Light Tape<br />

Booth: 2720A<br />

lighttape.com<br />

StepGuard<br />

Light Tape StepGuard systems are built for safety but<br />

designed for elegance. StepGuard’s bespoke step and<br />

aisle illumination systems are supplied as a plug-andplay<br />

package that can be installed with ease. Step-<br />

Guard systems provide even light with no on-screen<br />

glare or bulbs to break. The StepGuard system was<br />

developed for Light Tape after years of field testing.<br />

The manufacturer makes not only the profile but<br />

also the light source, resulting in a complete lighting<br />

solution. Light Tape is completely dimmable via 0-10<br />

dimming or DMX-compatible Smart Driver power<br />

supplies. It provides even illumination from end to<br />

end. Light Tape provides step and aisle illumination<br />

with multiple anti-slip profiles and light angles available<br />

to suit specific location needs.<br />

Storming Images<br />

Booth: 1019J<br />

stormingimages.com<br />

Storming Images is a leading digital content delivery<br />

provider serving the needs of cinema owners. Its<br />

Media Director platform is proprietary technology,<br />

presenting a one-stop digital delivery system for<br />

preshow, movie trailer, film, and event distribution.<br />

Cinema owners no longer need to scramble last<br />

minute to get a preshow, trailer, or event to their<br />

theaters. Simplify the management of content with<br />

one easy-to-use system that provides delivery verification<br />

and proof-of-play.<br />

124 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Strong Cinema<br />

Booth: 2403A<br />

strongmdi.com<br />

Northview Horizon<br />

Strong/MDI has released a white-gain coating<br />

technology designed to enhance 2-D displays using<br />

high-output projectors. Exhibitors who choose to<br />

upgrade to a higher-gain Northview Horizon surface<br />

obtain a superior picture with reduced projector<br />

output. The formulation, developed by Strong/MDI’s<br />

R&D chemists, provides a uniquely smooth white<br />

surface—hence its property of diffusing light more<br />

uniformly. Northview Horizon’s optical qualities<br />

include increased image depth as well as sharpness.<br />

When combined with Strong/MDI’s new HP micro<br />

perforation, the surface reduces the probability of<br />

moiré interference in laser projection systems. Northview<br />

Horizon’s improved coating technology is highly<br />

durable and resistant, ensuring hassle-free installation<br />

and years of high-quality image reproduction.<br />

T<br />

Telescopic Seating Systems<br />

Booth: 2407A<br />

telescopicseatingsystems.com<br />

Telescopic S1 Table System<br />

Telescopic Seating Systems’ (TSS) new S1 table system<br />

easily integrates with existing recliners or rockers<br />

or is a perfect fit with a new seat installation. The<br />

product works in existing recliner footprint and has a<br />

dedicated full table for every patron. It also features<br />

a custom table eating position and moves for easy<br />

egress, unmatched strength, design and performance,<br />

dedicated lighting for meal service, and a bag hook.<br />

A service-call indicator and call-button system integration<br />

allow easy communication between servers<br />

and patrons. It features complete wire management<br />

without needing additional outlets when integrated<br />

with TSS products.<br />

Tidel<br />

Booth: 2618A<br />

tidel.com<br />

Tidel TR304 Cash Recycler<br />

The Tidel TR304 cash recycler offers integrated<br />

note and coin recycling for high cash volume retail<br />

establishments that can scale as a retailer’s cash<br />

operations grow. It provides the highest-capacity coin<br />

recycling in the industry today. Each coin hopper is<br />

able to hold in excess of a full Fed bag of coin, which<br />

can have a substantial impact on store efficiencies<br />

and costs. Capable of processing up to 10 notes per<br />

second and 3,000 coins per minute, the TR304 also<br />

provides the highest level of speed and scale for<br />

today’s cash-heavy environments. It additionally<br />

comes with an integrated recycler vault to facilitate<br />

manual currency drops.<br />

126 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


PREMIUM<br />

PROJECTION<br />

SCREENS<br />

FOR 2D & 3D APPLICATIONS<br />

Reflecting every detail with<br />

clarity and precision<br />

PREMIUM HGA SILVER SCREENS<br />

NORTHVIEW HORIZON WHITE GAIN SCREENS<br />

FOLDABLE 3D SCREENS<br />

CINEMACON BOOTH 2403A<br />

www.strongmdi.com | 1 877 755-3795 | info@strongmdi.com


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

TK Architects International<br />

Booth: 325J<br />

tkarch.com<br />

For nearly 40 years, TK Architects International<br />

has been meeting each client’s specific needs in a<br />

creative, unique, and cost-effective manner. They<br />

focus on entertainment design, emphasizing the<br />

continual evolution of the business, which has<br />

recently included design and construction of several<br />

facilities incorporating expanded entertainment<br />

options. One example is FatCats Entertainment’s new<br />

facility in Mesa, Arizona, designed to optimize their<br />

“All Out Fun” brand. FatCats Mesa features movies,<br />

bowling, an arcade, and more. The facility has eight<br />

luxury theaters, all with recliner seating (one with a<br />

fully immersive Dolby Atmos sound system), 20 lanes<br />

of recreational cosmic bowling, a Space Age–themed<br />

mini glow-in-the-dark golf course, three virtual<br />

reality experience booths, a large modern arcade with<br />

a redemption prize room, two party and business<br />

rooms, a large full-service bar, and scratch kitchen<br />

serving the entire facility.<br />

U<br />

United Food Group Inc.<br />

Booth: 1032J<br />

unitedfoodgroup.net<br />

No-Cost Blendtec Stealth 885 Blender<br />

Komoniwana Frozen Beverages wants to simplify<br />

how products are prepared in movie theaters. The<br />

No-Cost Blendtec Stealth 885 blender is the top-rated<br />

U.S. commercial blender. Very quiet, it can make three<br />

16-ounce drinks at a time.<br />

Komoniwana <strong>Pro</strong>gram<br />

The Komoniwana <strong>Pro</strong>gram allows you to compete in<br />

the growing upscale coffee shop and blended-beverage<br />

market. You can choose from a menu of shakes,<br />

smoothies, frappes, and granitas.<br />

Perfect Servings Condiment Dispenser<br />

Perfect Servings Condiment Dispenser is at no cost<br />

to you. The dispenser has a simple one-push-button<br />

operation and allows you to choose five selections<br />

of creamers, sugars, and sweeteners, which are<br />

independently programmed for portion control. With<br />

portion-controlled settings, the dispenser eliminates<br />

pilferage and reduces waste on a daily basis. It also<br />

speeds up beverage preparation and reduces time<br />

to keep the coffee bar area neat and tidy. No maintenance<br />

is required; free equipment replacement.<br />

128 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


ORDER<br />

NOW


CINEMACON NEW PRODUCTS<br />

Uniters Cinema<br />

Booth: 629J<br />

unitersna.com<br />

Uniters Cinema is your cinema seating protection<br />

services partner, providing specialized furniture<br />

seating services and care products. With 30-plus years<br />

of experience in furniture services, repair, care, and<br />

maintenance products, Uniters Cinema does business<br />

in 120-plus countries. By partnering with a Uniters<br />

Cinema service agreement and care product, their<br />

customers can count on consistent seating function<br />

and service; on-site stain treatment, malfunction<br />

service, repair, and replacement with a qualified<br />

national furniture-service technician; and access to<br />

an award-winning line of furniture-care products.<br />

Seating-care products include stain removal, cleaner,<br />

deodorizer, disinfectant, barrier protection, and smell<br />

and ink-removal products for all commercial and<br />

hospitality seating covers.<br />

Usit Seating<br />

Booth: 2424A<br />

usitseating.com<br />

Usit Seating offers recliners and cinema VIP seating,<br />

with new functions researched and developed<br />

exclusively for upgrading theaters and cinemas. New<br />

functions have been developed for different kinds of<br />

floors including sloped and narrow steps, or dine-in<br />

theaters with integrated call-service systems. Wireless<br />

control of seats allows for easy cleaning.<br />

Join us under the big skies of Montana<br />

at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake,<br />

gateway to Glacier National Park!<br />

THEATRE CONVENTION<br />

The annual Rocky Mountain Theatre Convention<br />

brings together cinema operators,<br />

suppliers, vendors and distributors<br />

for three days of engaging SEMINARS,<br />

exclusive SCREENINGS, fun NETWORKING<br />

events including the GOLF CLASSIC,<br />

and an expansive TRADE SHOW.<br />

Earlybird registration rates<br />

available through June 1 st<br />

Register now at rmnato.com<br />

September 1-3, <strong>2020</strong><br />

WHITEFISH, MONTANA<br />

PRESENTING PARTNERS<br />

130 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


V<br />

Venue Valet CallConnect<br />

Booth: 1011J<br />

venue-valet.com<br />

CallConnect VIP Mobile Application<br />

Venue Valet CallConnect, an industry leader providing<br />

call buttons, management reporting, digital<br />

signage, and software solutions to cinemas, introduces<br />

the CallConnect VIP Mobile Application for<br />

iOS and Android. Venue Valet will work directly with<br />

theaters to customize the mobile application that’s<br />

right for them. A cornerstone of a theater’s loyalty<br />

program, the mobile application will personalize the<br />

mobile experience of each guest to tailor it to their<br />

uniqueness. It provides an optimized mobile ticket<br />

purchase experience and optionally, the ability to<br />

preorder food and beverages before arriving at the<br />

cinema. The CallConnect VIP Mobile Application is<br />

part of a suite of products that Venue Valet uses to<br />

help cinema operators increase guest satisfaction,<br />

improve operational efficiency, and maximize revenue<br />

opportunities.<br />

VIP Cinema Seating<br />

Booth: 901J<br />

vipcinemaseating.com<br />

High-Density Seating Solution<br />

The new high-density seating solution from VIP<br />

Cinema Seating is designed to radically enhance the<br />

theater experience. VIP Cinema Seating says the chair<br />

has already been nicknamed “Wow” based on the<br />

early reactions from theater owners and customers<br />

during the research phase. The company will unveil<br />

the final product name when it is officially launched<br />

at CinemaCon. Designed to provide an enhanced<br />

experience while allowing you to maintain a similar<br />

density per screen, this new chair features an innovative,<br />

proprietary VIP ConformaGel comfort seat. It<br />

also offers patent-pending smooth VIP IntelliGlide<br />

movement, a sleek pedestal for easy cleaning, modular<br />

privacy options for an undisturbed experience,<br />

and a luxury quilted back design as seen in today’s<br />

premium cars. The chair is completely modular for<br />

easy parts replacement, will fit on most current risers<br />

so no additional construction costs are incurred, and<br />

can be installed in at least 50 percent less time than a<br />

typical recliner.<br />

Z<br />

ZIMM<br />

Booth: 1005J<br />

zimmtheater.com<br />

Stealth VIP and 399 VIP<br />

Headquartered in Thailand, Zimm Theater is a<br />

manufacturer of premium-quality VIP theater seats.<br />

It provides customized function and design for each<br />

theater’s particular needs and is now introducing two<br />

new models to its <strong>Pro</strong>fessional VIP series: the Stealth<br />

VIP and 399 VIP.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

131


CINEMACON TRIUMPH AWARD<br />

ASIA PACIFIC<br />

ADVOCATE<br />

MPA’s Mike Ellis Looks Back<br />

on a Triumphant Career<br />

BY KEVIN LALLY<br />

CinemaCon’s annual Triumph Award<br />

is given to a distinguished industry<br />

executive who has recently announced his<br />

or her retirement, and few have had the<br />

impact of Mike Ellis. On February 7, Ellis<br />

left his longtime post as president and<br />

managing director of the Motion Picture<br />

Association (MPA), based in the Asia Pacific<br />

region. Overseeing operations, policy,<br />

and personnel in 14 territories, he established<br />

strategic partnerships and alliances<br />

to promote and protect the interests of the<br />

Asia Pacific creative screen community,<br />

strengthen intellectual property rights in<br />

the region, and help the MPA’s represented<br />

studios gain market access.<br />

A lawyer qualified in Hong Kong,<br />

England, and Wales, Ellis joined the MPA<br />

in 1999 from the litigation department<br />

of Herbert Smith Freehills. Earlier, he<br />

served in the British Police and the Royal<br />

Hong Kong Police, including six years<br />

with the Commercial Crime Bureau<br />

focusing on transnational fraud and<br />

Image courtesy Motion Picture Association<br />

extradition requests. He rose to the rank<br />

of superintendent and became aide-decamp<br />

to the last governor of Hong Kong,<br />

Christopher Patten.<br />

Ellis will receive his award during<br />

CinemaCon’s International Day breakfast<br />

on Monday, March 30.<br />

What are some of your proudest<br />

accomplishments at the MPA?<br />

Top of the list, in 2001 China joined<br />

the WTO, opening up opportunities for<br />

engagement with the Chinese film market.<br />

The subsequent MOU [memorandum of<br />

understanding] in 2012, which allowed for<br />

at least 34 revenue-share films and a 25<br />

percent share of total box office revenue<br />

for our member studios, was a good day in<br />

the office.<br />

In 2010, the Motion Picture Association<br />

formed a partnership with the Asia<br />

Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) to provide<br />

script-development funding for projects<br />

across the Asia Pacific. Over the last<br />

decade, the MPA APSA Academy Film<br />

Fund has resulted in a diverse range of<br />

award-winning films, such as A Separation,<br />

Burning, Ayka, No Burqas Behind Bars,<br />

Memories on Stone, The Wild Pear Tree,<br />

Memories of My Body, Wajib, The River,<br />

A Dark, Dark Man, and the recently<br />

completed No Land’s Man. Two new Korean<br />

films are currently being developed<br />

through the Film Fund, and Korean films<br />

have always been well represented at the<br />

Awards—we were delighted when Parasite<br />

won best film at the 2019 APSA.<br />

In 2012, the MPA formed the first global<br />

partnership with Tropfest—the world’s<br />

largest short-film festival, recognizing and<br />

supporting young talent at the outset of<br />

their careers. The Festival has provided<br />

a terrific launchpad for filmmakers in<br />

Australia, New Zealand, New York, Las<br />

Vegas, United Arab Emirates, Bangkok,<br />

and Penang.<br />

As the MPA deepened engagement<br />

with screen communities across the<br />

Asia Pacific, we developed the MPA film<br />

workshop program that provides knowledge<br />

exchange and upskilling for emerging<br />

filmmakers, hosting film-industry<br />

experts to give master classes on a wide<br />

range of topics, and holding feature-film<br />

pitch competitions. Over the years we<br />

have witnessed a remarkable evolution<br />

in the abilities of young filmmakers to<br />

communicate their stories for the screen<br />

to an audience.<br />

132 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


The MPA was successful in working<br />

closely with local partners to form creative<br />

coalitions linked by a common aim to grow<br />

film industries, reduce piracy, and address<br />

market barriers.<br />

Finally, it was important to support new<br />

platforms like Creative Content Australia,<br />

an organization dedicated to growing<br />

awareness about copyright and educating<br />

young people about respect for the creative<br />

process. These initiatives are committed<br />

to a long-term vision to improve and<br />

support the entire copyright community<br />

and improve the overall environment for<br />

creative endeavor.<br />

Which territories were the biggest<br />

challenges, and why?<br />

China has been and is likely to continue<br />

to be the biggest challenge, firstly because<br />

there is a lot to be gained and a lot to lose.<br />

Secondly, the film and television industry<br />

is administered under the propaganda<br />

department, which presents a number<br />

of challenges. Thirdly, progress is only<br />

achievable through close and effective<br />

relationships, which in turn require a great<br />

deal of time, effort, and goodwill. It is<br />

those important relationships that underpin<br />

the continued success of the American<br />

industry in China.<br />

Which territories have come the<br />

farthest in terms of fighting movie<br />

theft?<br />

Ten years ago, Australia faced rampant<br />

piracy and an environment where big<br />

tech profited significantly from the<br />

unauthorized sharing and accessing of<br />

creative content. A combination of strong<br />

copyright legislation—including the establishment<br />

of site-blocking laws—high-profile<br />

educational programs and campaigns,<br />

and industry leadership in addressing the<br />

piracy problem has greatly improved the<br />

circumstances for content creators to be<br />

rightly compensated for their work.<br />

Tell me about the evolution of your<br />

relationship with China.<br />

I first visited China as an MPA executive in<br />

1999, when hard-goods piracy was a major<br />

problem. Illegal DVDs were blatantly on<br />

show on every street corner. In 2004, we<br />

began to engage with the Chinese government<br />

on advocacy matters.<br />

In 2006, the MPA hosted with the film<br />

bureau SAFRT—the government administrator<br />

of the film industry at the time—the<br />

“The U.S.–China film industry<br />

relationship, I believe, is able<br />

to withstand many rough seas.<br />

The depth of goodwill is strong<br />

enough to survive setbacks.”<br />

first China film workshop, with a focus<br />

on knowledge exchange between the U.S.<br />

and China. Xue Xiaolu, now one of China’s<br />

most prominent directors (Finding Mr.<br />

Right, Ocean Heaven, The Whistleblower)<br />

attended the workshop as a student.<br />

In 2012, an MOU allowing for an additional<br />

14 films above the existing 20 revenue-share<br />

titles was negotiated between<br />

then Vice Presidents Biden and Xi.<br />

Over the years, I’ve been a regular<br />

visitor to China, enjoying great relationships<br />

with both government and industry<br />

representatives. I’ve been fortunate to<br />

witness the turbo-charged evolution and<br />

growth of the industry, highlighted by the<br />

startling figure of more than 25 cinema<br />

screens opening every day, year after year,<br />

and exponential box office growth.<br />

My memories will be of the strong<br />

and lasting partnerships, coalitions, and<br />

lifelong friendships I’ve made in my time<br />

in China. The U.S.–China film industry<br />

relationship, I believe, is able to withstand<br />

many rough seas. The depth of goodwill is<br />

strong enough to survive setbacks.<br />

What are the most pressing issues<br />

facing today’s MPA?<br />

The MPA is constantly working to<br />

ensure countries adopt strong copyright<br />

regimens. There’s an urgent need to resist<br />

big tech’s ambition to loosen copyright<br />

for their own ends. In the Asia Pacific, it<br />

would be a landmark in copyright protection<br />

to see global best-practice site-blocking<br />

legislation enacted in Japan. For the<br />

long-term growth and sustainability of<br />

Asia Pacific film markets, it’s important<br />

that they are able to compete effectively<br />

for a massive global production spend by<br />

maintaining or introducing attractive incentives.<br />

In this period of inward-looking<br />

nationalism and protectionism, the MPA<br />

should continue to argue for the benefits<br />

of open markets and reduced barriers to<br />

entry for the screen sector. Finally, we<br />

should ensure that platforms are accountable<br />

and play their part to reduce piracy<br />

and implement policy solutions to protect<br />

creative content.<br />

How important is local production to<br />

the MPA?<br />

A healthy, sustainable local industry is important<br />

for the overall health of any screen<br />

sector. Many of our members are actively<br />

involved in producing local content for<br />

local audiences with great success.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

133


CINEMACON TRIUMPH AWARD<br />

How optimistic are you about the<br />

future of cinemas and moviegoing?<br />

The numbers tell a good story. In 2018,<br />

the MPA’s THEME Report indicated<br />

that the global box office was not only<br />

resilient but powering upwards in many<br />

parts of the world, totaling $41.1 billion,<br />

with seven markets outside the U.S. and<br />

Canada seeing more than $1 billion<br />

in domestic box office sales. The Asia<br />

Pacific region was the number one box<br />

office region in the world, rising in 2018<br />

to $16.8 billion, representing 40.6 percent<br />

of the global box office. Nine out of the<br />

top 20 international markets are to be<br />

found in the Asia Pacific. The big picture<br />

is that millions of young people in Asia<br />

are going to the movies for the first time,<br />

embracing the experience and getting<br />

hooked. The evidence gives me confidence<br />

that the moviegoing experience is<br />

alive and flourishing.<br />

What are some of your most<br />

memorable moviegoing experiences?<br />

It’s always hard to pin down the ultimate<br />

moviegoing experience, but for me I<br />

always recall my childhood, watching<br />

a movie for the first time in 1966 with<br />

my older brother. The film was Lt. Robin<br />

Crusoe starring Dick Van Dyke and<br />

Nancy Kwan, one of the most well-known<br />

Asian actresses in her generation. Later in<br />

life I went to a premiere of a documentary<br />

about Nancy Kwan, To Whom It May<br />

Concern, where I was lucky enough to<br />

meet her and reflect together on a lifetime<br />

of watching movies.<br />

What are your impressions of your<br />

successor, Belinda Lui?<br />

Belinda and I have been working colleagues<br />

and friends for many years. We<br />

worked together to improve I.P. policy<br />

and address rampant piracy that was<br />

destroying the industry in Hong Kong.<br />

At the time, Belinda was representing<br />

Microsoft and BSA, and her strategic<br />

vision and collegiality helped secure<br />

success for us all. In later years, as a key<br />

member of the MPA, her support and<br />

guidance was incredibly helpful to allow<br />

the team to achieve all that we have over<br />

many years. Belinda will be an incredible<br />

leader in support of the industry in the<br />

challenges ahead.<br />

What will you miss the most about<br />

your job?<br />

I always tend to look forward, lock in the<br />

lessons learned, the good memories from<br />

a job well done, and feed off the many and<br />

deep friendships for the next chapter.<br />

What’s next for you?<br />

There is always a “next”! <strong>Pro</strong>fessionally, I<br />

will return to law and join a Hong Kong law<br />

firm as a partner and continue to advise<br />

the MPA and other key industry clients<br />

on managing the complex issues of doing<br />

business across the Asia Pacific region.<br />

Personally, I will refocus on the goals<br />

of racing Ironman triathlons and cycle<br />

road races with a view to compete in the<br />

world championships later this year. And,<br />

interestingly, I’m now considering some<br />

opportunities to act in local films—now<br />

that would be some “next”!<br />

134 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON PASSEPARTOUT AWARD<br />

At the start of your career, you were<br />

well on your way to practicing law for<br />

a living. How did you come to work in<br />

distribution?<br />

I’ve always enjoyed the law and found it to<br />

be an amazing education. However, I grew<br />

up around the entertainment industry and<br />

always found exhibition and distribution<br />

interesting and exciting. When I learned<br />

that Disney was setting up the first international<br />

distribution company in many years,<br />

the opportunity sounded too good to pass<br />

up, and I am so glad I followed my instinct<br />

and took a chance on something new.<br />

GLOBAL<br />

AMBASSADOR<br />

Disney’s Jeffrey Forman Earns<br />

<strong>2020</strong> Passepartout Honor<br />

BY DANIEL LORIA<br />

Jeffrey Forman’s career could have<br />

turned out a lot differently. The<br />

veteran distribution executive was on the<br />

fast track to a legal career, having already<br />

secured an MBA from the University of<br />

Southern California before earning his<br />

Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law<br />

School. Forman spent the first two years<br />

of his professional life practicing business<br />

and real estate law as an attorney in Los<br />

Angeles. When an opportunity to join<br />

Disney’s growing international distribution<br />

team opened up, Forman left his legal<br />

career behind to join the entertainment<br />

industry—and never looked back. Now<br />

celebrating his 29th year in the industry—all<br />

with Disney—the SVP of international<br />

theatrical distribution is this year’s<br />

recipient of CinemaCon’s Passepartout<br />

Award, presented annually to an industry<br />

executive who demonstrates dedication<br />

and commitment to the international<br />

marketplace.<br />

Image courtesy Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures<br />

What are some of the lessons you<br />

learned that still hold true today?<br />

There are a few things I learned early on<br />

that have helped guide me throughout my<br />

career. First, don’t pretend to be more than<br />

what you are. Be real and genuine and<br />

tell the truth; people are smart and can<br />

sense dishonesty. You may get away with<br />

it a few times, but it eventually catches<br />

up with you. This ties in with the second<br />

thing I still hold true, which is treating<br />

people with the same respect that you<br />

hope they would afford to you. No matter<br />

the situation or the person, treat everyone<br />

with dignity and take the high road. It is<br />

always the path best traveled.<br />

I’ve also found it incredibly helpful to<br />

always be sensitive to culture. We live in<br />

a big world, and what makes the world<br />

so fascinating is seeing how people and<br />

cultures are different, appreciating those<br />

unique and amazing qualities, and then<br />

trying to find the best business approach<br />

and outcome to connect with people.<br />

Are there any industry executives you<br />

consider mentors?<br />

I have had the good fortune of working<br />

with some amazing people and leaders. A<br />

few that really stand out for me are Kevin<br />

Hyson, who was my first real boss in the<br />

industry, and Mark Zoradi, one of the best<br />

leaders I had the opportunity to work with<br />

and learn from. And I currently work with<br />

Cathleen Taff, who is an amazing leader.<br />

She has opened my eyes and mind to a<br />

whole new way of managing and working<br />

within a complex organization.<br />

You’ve been at Disney for nearly three<br />

decades now. What have been some<br />

of the highlights or milestones during<br />

your tenure? What have been the<br />

biggest changes in the industry since<br />

you began?<br />

One of the highlights for me was building<br />

Disney’s Asia distribution organization, a<br />

real milestone for us. During my time here,<br />

I’ve also had the incredible opportunity to<br />

support the integrations of Pixar, Marvel,<br />

Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Studios and<br />

the amazing content these studios create.<br />

There have been a number of big<br />

changes in the industry since I started,<br />

136 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


“In this day and age, you need<br />

to make a really compelling,<br />

fresh, and interesting film<br />

where people can care about<br />

the characters and relate<br />

and connect with the story.<br />

Anything else just doesn’t cut<br />

it anymore.”<br />

but the first that comes to mind is the<br />

switch from 35-millimeter film to digital.<br />

It not only improved the viewing quality<br />

and experience for the consumer but also<br />

made it much easier to get the film out to<br />

the theaters.<br />

Another area is marketing—the power<br />

of digital and social media has enabled<br />

us to market more efficiently, but it has<br />

also changed the nature of word of mouth.<br />

We really have a lot more marketing tools<br />

and levers now, and that means we can<br />

constantly be adjusting and improving<br />

our strategy.<br />

And then there’s the evolution of<br />

formats and theaters. The sheer variety<br />

of options the customer has to see a<br />

film—from Gold Class to dine-in theaters,<br />

from Imax and Dolby Cinema, from 4-D<br />

to ScreenX—has raised the bar for the<br />

moviegoing experience.<br />

Which releases stand out as<br />

highlights in your career?<br />

There have been so many amazing films I<br />

have had the honor and privilege to work<br />

on, it is hard to pick just one. Releasing<br />

The Lion King in China, our first release in<br />

this market, was very rewarding. Releasing<br />

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The last<br />

Star Wars film had released 10 years<br />

earlier, and there was so much pent-up<br />

demand and excitement around the film.<br />

It was a real amazing moment. The other<br />

film that had a similar amount of fan<br />

enthusiasm and intensity was Avengers:<br />

Endgame. It was the conclusion of a<br />

cumulative story over 21 prior films, and<br />

the intensity and excitement around the<br />

film was something I will never forget.<br />

Both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and<br />

Avengers: Endgame really connected with<br />

a global audience, becoming the No. 4 film<br />

and No. 1 film of all time respectively.<br />

Disney is coming off a major year<br />

in its history. You made it look easy,<br />

but nothing is ever that simple in<br />

distribution. What have been some<br />

of the keys to the studio’s global<br />

success?<br />

There are a number of key elements that<br />

have helped shape this past year and<br />

enabled us to achieve the kind of box<br />

office results we had. First of all, quality<br />

always wins out. In this day and age, you<br />

need to make a really compelling, fresh,<br />

and interesting film where people can<br />

care about the characters and relate and<br />

connect with the story. Anything else just<br />

doesn’t cut it anymore. And we also focus<br />

on making films that you need to see and<br />

experience on the big screen. We have this<br />

great content coming from our collection<br />

of recognized and appreciated brands,<br />

which are among the most respected in<br />

the world, and we have been consistent<br />

and deliberate in our approach to building<br />

brand loyalty and trust with the consumers,<br />

which makes a difference when we go<br />

to launch a film. We keep our consumers<br />

top of mind, not only in terms of the<br />

quality of the film but also marketing it in<br />

an attention-grabbing and relatable way<br />

and making sure they can experience it at<br />

the best cinemas.<br />

And then we obviously couldn’t do<br />

this without great teams and great people.<br />

Films come and go, but it is really our<br />

people—their passion, dedication, and<br />

effort—that make the difference. It’s the<br />

ultimate team sport, and we only can<br />

succeed when we are all working together.<br />

The last piece of the puzzle is our partners,<br />

who join us on this journey and work<br />

closely with us to maximize each film to<br />

its fullest potential.<br />

We all know about China’s impact<br />

on the global market. Do you see<br />

other emerging markets that could<br />

be important players in the coming<br />

years?<br />

Indonesia is a fast-developing market<br />

with the fourth-largest population in the<br />

world, a growing economy, and some<br />

great theaters with hopefully more on the<br />

way. Both Vietnam and Central Eastern<br />

Europe show potential for continued<br />

growth, along with the Middle East—including<br />

Saudi Arabia—which holds<br />

promise for sustainable growth as well.<br />

India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh all have<br />

huge populations with opportunity for<br />

sustained growth, and they already have<br />

strong film-going cultures.<br />

Do you have a favorite moviegoing<br />

moment you’d like to share?<br />

For me, it has to be watching Pearl Harbor<br />

right in Pearl Harbor for the U.S. premiere,<br />

and then attending the Japanese<br />

premiere for 25,000 people at the Tokyo<br />

Dome. It was truly a moment in time I will<br />

always remember.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

137


CINEMACON CIBOA AWARD<br />

COMSCORE<br />

INTERNATIONAL<br />

BOX OFFICE<br />

ACHIEVEMENT AWARD<br />

THE WALT DISNEY<br />

STUDIOS<br />

BY CHRIS EGGERTSEN<br />

The Walt Disney Studios grossed<br />

a combined $13.15 billion globally<br />

across its Disney and 20th Century Studios<br />

releases in 2019, a number that includes<br />

$4.33 billion in North America and $8.82<br />

billion overseas.<br />

Among Disney titles alone, the studio<br />

topped the $11 billion mark ($11.12B)<br />

worldwide for the first time in industry<br />

history, far surpassing the previous record<br />

of $7.6 billion set by the studio in 2016.<br />

(This is the third time Disney has crossed<br />

$7 billion globally.) In fact, Disney’s<br />

non–20th Century Studios releases in<br />

2019—which include the Marvel Cinematic<br />

Universe, the Star Wars franchise,<br />

and Pixar—nearly matched the studio’s<br />

previous global record in international<br />

grosses alone, bringing in a total of $7.35<br />

billion for the year. The previous international<br />

record, set by Disney in 2016, was<br />

$4.6 billion.<br />

A record six Disney movies released in<br />

2019 crossed $1 billion globally during the<br />

calendar year: Captain Marvel ($1.13B),<br />

Avengers: Endgame ($2.79B), Aladdin<br />

($1.05B), Toy Story 4 ($1.07B), The Lion King<br />

($1.66B), and Frozen II ($1.26B, with the<br />

film still in theaters as of the end of the<br />

year). Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Rise of<br />

Skywalker earned $815.7 million in the last<br />

15 days of the year; in the months since, it’s<br />

become the seventh Disney title released<br />

in 2019 to cross the billion-dollar mark.<br />

All on its own, Marvel Studios enjoyed<br />

three of the five highest-grossing titles<br />

worldwide in 2019 with Avengers: Endgame,<br />

Spider-Man: Far From Home ($1.13B,<br />

Daisy Ridley in Star Wars:<br />

The Rise of Skywalker<br />

DISNEY’S BIGGEST<br />

HITS OF 2019*<br />

Avengers: Endgame The Lion King Frozen II<br />

*All numbers and rankings<br />

represent box office figures<br />

as of the end of 2019<br />

$858.4M<br />

$2.79B<br />

global<br />

$1.94B<br />

$543.6M<br />

$1.66B<br />

global<br />

$1.11B<br />

$435.2M<br />

$1.26B<br />

global<br />

$825.3M<br />

Domestic<br />

International<br />

Highest-grossing film of<br />

all time globally<br />

Second highest-grossing<br />

film of the year globally<br />

and domestically<br />

Second highest-grossing<br />

animated film of all time<br />

globally<br />

138 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Image courtesy Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures<br />

released by Sony), and Captain Marvel.<br />

Disney also released seven of the nine<br />

top-grossing films of the year globally.<br />

Disney’s global yearly grosses in 2019<br />

also included Maleficent: Mistress of Evil<br />

($490.7M global) and Dumbo ($353.2M<br />

global), and 2018 releases Ralph Breaks<br />

the Internet ($175.5M in 2019) and Mary<br />

Poppins Returns ($164.8M in 2019). The<br />

studio also nabbed $136.5 million from the<br />

international release of Glass (released by<br />

Universal domestically).<br />

Other industry records posted by<br />

Disney in 2019 include the highest-ever<br />

yearly box office in Europe, the Middle<br />

East, and Africa (EMEA) with $2.75 billion;<br />

the highest-ever yearly box office in Latin<br />

America with over $1.09 billion; and the<br />

highest-grossing title ever in the Asia<br />

Pacific region with Avengers: Endgame.<br />

Disney saw worldwide grosses of $2.03<br />

billion combined between 20th Century<br />

Studios and Searchlight Pictures releases<br />

in 2019 ($563.5M domestically, $1.47B<br />

internationally). Globally, the top 20th<br />

Century Studios releases of the year were<br />

Alita: Battle Angel ($404.9M), Dark Phoenix<br />

($253.1M), Ford v Ferrari ($202.6M), and<br />

Ad Astra ($127.6M). The studio also took<br />

in $148.5 million from the international<br />

release of Terminator: Dark Fate (released<br />

by Paramount domestically), $59.2 million<br />

from the animated comedy Spies in Disguise<br />

(released Dec. 25), and $197.2 million from<br />

Bohemian Rhapsody, which earned north of<br />

$900 million globally beginning in 2018.<br />

The studio notes that while it maintained<br />

separate tallies for Disney and<br />

20th Century/Fox grosses in 2019 (given<br />

that Disney’s acquisition of Fox occurred<br />

partway through the year), grosses for the<br />

two studios will be combined in <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Captain Marvel Toy Story 4 Aladdin Star Wars: The Rise of<br />

Skywalker<br />

$426.8M<br />

$1.13B<br />

global<br />

$702.9M<br />

$434M<br />

$1.07B<br />

global<br />

$640.1M<br />

$355.6M<br />

$1.05B<br />

global<br />

$695.4M<br />

.8M<br />

$407<br />

$815.7M<br />

global<br />

$407.9M<br />

Fifth highest-grossing film<br />

of the year globally<br />

Sixth highest-grossing<br />

film of the year globally<br />

Eighth highest-grossing<br />

film of the year globally<br />

Ninth highest-grossing<br />

film of the year globally<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

139


Congratulations<br />

Bill LeClair<br />

Recipient of the <strong>2020</strong><br />

NAC Bert Nathan Award<br />

140 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NAC BERT NATHAN AWARD<br />

F&B VIP<br />

National Amusements’ Bill<br />

LeClair Earns an NAC Salute<br />

BY KEVIN LALLY<br />

Image courtesy National Amusements<br />

Bill LeClair, senior vice president of<br />

global food and beverage at National<br />

Amusements Inc., was honored this past<br />

October with ShowEast’s highest accolade,<br />

the Dan Fellman Show “E” Award, along<br />

with his N.A. colleagues Mark Walukevich<br />

and Duncan Short. And the honors keep<br />

rolling in: At CinemaCon, LeClair will<br />

accept the National Association of Concessionaires’<br />

<strong>2020</strong> Bert Nathan Memorial<br />

Award, which recognizes leadership<br />

and significant accomplishments in the<br />

theater concessions industry.<br />

A 40-year veteran of National<br />

Amusements’ Showcase Cinemas, LeClair<br />

started there as an usher in 1977, working<br />

his way up to assistant manager. He left<br />

the circuit for three years to work as a<br />

union projectionist, then returned in<br />

1983 as a manager based in the Boston<br />

area. In 1989, LeClair was promoted to<br />

director of the operations department,<br />

overseeing more than 100 locations. In<br />

1997, he joined the food and beverage<br />

team and helped introduce in-seat dining<br />

and alcohol service at Showcase Cinemas.<br />

He also helped Brazil’s UCI Cinemas<br />

expand its food menu when that circuit<br />

was acquired in 2005. Today, he oversees<br />

food and beverage operations for more<br />

than 915 screens in four countries. He is<br />

also on the executive board of NAC and is<br />

a longtime member of Theatre Owners of<br />

New England.<br />

LeClair views expanded F&B as the<br />

biggest change he’s seen in the last few<br />

years. As he told <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> last<br />

fall, “When I first started in the cinemas,<br />

we sold popcorn, soda, and candy.<br />

Nowadays we have full kitchens in some<br />

locations, where we sell burgers and fries,<br />

steak tips, and lobster. We have full lobby<br />

bars in most locations. Some theaters<br />

have restaurants in them, others have<br />

coffee shops.”<br />

The veteran executive is proud of the<br />

National Amusements team, “who make<br />

my job so much fun every day.”<br />

What are the biggest challenges of<br />

today’s F&B service in cinemas?<br />

I think the biggest challenge is just to keep<br />

it simple. Operators that add full kitchens<br />

and new facilities have a tendency to add<br />

all kinds of menu items simply because<br />

they can. I have found that keeping the<br />

menu smaller while focusing on items that<br />

are trending popular is the way to go. At<br />

the end of the day, whatever you offer on<br />

the menu needs to sell. The key is to use<br />

quality ingredients and create dishes that<br />

look and taste delicious.<br />

What food offerings have really taken<br />

off in recent years?<br />

Offering adult beverages in cinemas over<br />

the past few years has really taken off and<br />

will continue to grow.<br />

What do exhibitors who are thinking<br />

of adding alcohol service need to<br />

know?<br />

The path to success here is knowing the<br />

rules and regulations of each municipality<br />

you are considering for liquor service<br />

before you pursue the license. Each state,<br />

each county, and often each city or town<br />

has a unique set of rules that you’ll need to<br />

follow. Being prepared is key.<br />

What’s the biggest issue you deal<br />

with in your role on NAC’s executive<br />

committee?<br />

NAC deals with a variety of issues. In<br />

recent years, government relations has<br />

really emerged as one of the biggest<br />

areas of focus. Knowing about all of the<br />

proposed changes taking place in each of<br />

the states, cities, and towns is challenging.<br />

From regulations around plastic straws to<br />

rules around trash recycling and composting<br />

to menu labeling and calorie posting,<br />

we are continuously looking at the impact<br />

to our business and finding solutions to<br />

overcome the challenges. Each year, NAC<br />

also puts together a very informative<br />

Concessions and Hospitality Expo, where<br />

buyers and sellers come together to craft<br />

their vision for the future of the industry.<br />

What does this NAC honor mean to<br />

you?<br />

Receiving the Bert Nathan Award is truly<br />

an honor to me. To be recognized by my<br />

peers from within the concession industry<br />

means so much to me. I look at the list of<br />

previous recipients and what they have<br />

done for the industry and it astonishes me<br />

to even think of my name on the same list.<br />

I am truly grateful.<br />

Finally, what are your favorite snacks<br />

when you watch a movie?<br />

For me, a large popcorn and Diet Coke are<br />

a must.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

141


Congratulations<br />

To The CinemaCon<br />

<strong>2020</strong> Award<br />

Winners!<br />

NATO Marquee Award: Adam Aron, AMC Theatres<br />

Global Achievement in Exhibition: Renana Teperberg, Cineworld<br />

Passepartout Award: Jeffrey Forman, Disney<br />

NAC Bert Nathan Award: Bill LeClair, National Amusements<br />

Comscore International Box Office Achievement Award: The Walt Disney Studios<br />

Triumph Award: Mike Ellis, Motion Picture Association<br />

Excellence in Event Cinema Award: BTS World Tour Love Yourself in Seoul - Pathé Live.<br />

BOOST ticketing, Apps & Marketing from the<br />

team that already manages your showtimes.<br />

company.boxoffice.com<br />

info@boxoffice.com


CINEMACON EXCELLENCE IN EVENT CINEMA<br />

GIANTS OF<br />

K-POP<br />

Pathé Live Sets a New Standard<br />

for a Global Event-Cinema<br />

Release with BTS World Tour<br />

Love Yourself in Seoul<br />

BY DANIEL LORIA<br />

INTERVIEW WITH THIERRY FONTAINE,<br />

Chief Executive Officer, Pathé Live<br />

Pathé Live’s record-setting global release<br />

of the Korean boy band concert<br />

film BTS World Tour Love Yourself in Seoul<br />

in January 2019 turned into the largest<br />

worldwide single-day event-cinema<br />

release at the time, reaching 4,162 cinemas<br />

in 105 countries. The scale of its release<br />

was big enough to bring in $11.7 million<br />

from 1.2 million admissions worldwide. It<br />

fared particularly well in the United States,<br />

where it earned over $2.8 million from<br />

1,002 locations and claimed an impressive<br />

per-screen average of $2,869 in its original<br />

one-day run. BTS encore events for BTS<br />

World Tour Love Yourself in Seoul helped<br />

the film finish its theatrical run with a<br />

global box office haul of $14.8 million. The<br />

event is being honored at CinemaCon<br />

<strong>2020</strong> with the Excellence in Event Cinema<br />

Award. <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> spoke with Pathé<br />

Live CEO Thierry Fontaine about the film’s<br />

record-setting release.<br />

How did you first hear about BTS? Did<br />

anyone at Pathé Live need convincing<br />

that this would be a global hit?<br />

My niece introduced me to BTS in 2016;<br />

I had no clue who they were back then. I<br />

started listening to them and watching<br />

them perform. I was blown away. In May<br />

2018 we started talking to Big Hit Entertainment<br />

and went to see them perform<br />

at the Staples Center in L.A. The team at<br />

Big Hit saw right away the opportunity<br />

in extending the concert experience to<br />

cinemas: reaching out to fans who wanted<br />

to relive their experience of the tour, those<br />

who weren’t able to get a ticket, and those<br />

who couldn’t make it because the band<br />

didn’t play anywhere near them.<br />

How did you go about promoting and<br />

marketing this event globally? What<br />

were some of the challenges? Is this<br />

the biggest-scale event the company<br />

has been involved in when it comes to<br />

event cinema?<br />

This is indeed the biggest-scale event we<br />

have been involved with. Fortunately, BTS<br />

has such a great connection with their fans<br />

worldwide and benefit from a tremendous<br />

following on social media, and thus<br />

these platforms were at the center of our<br />

marketing strategy. We wanted this to be<br />

a weekend-only event. We wanted fans<br />

to enjoy their favorite band all together<br />

in packed auditoriums. We could not<br />

have achieved this success without the<br />

involvement and full support of our local<br />

distribution partners and all the exhibitors<br />

around the world.<br />

This event also held encore<br />

screenings in the panoramic screen<br />

technology ScreenX in 15 territories,<br />

the first of its kind. Do you believe<br />

there is big potential in incorporating<br />

new technologies in event cinema?<br />

Indeed, these formats offer great potential<br />

for event cinema by enhancing the theatrical<br />

experience in terms of quality and<br />

immersion. It also definitely helps differentiate<br />

it from the experience of watching<br />

content alone at home and creates an<br />

additional incentive to make people come<br />

out to their local theater.<br />

What are Pathé Live’s plans and<br />

ambitions in the event-cinema sector<br />

for <strong>2020</strong> and beyond?<br />

Our plans for now include the current and<br />

upcoming season of our Bolshoi Ballet and<br />

French National Theatre series, while we<br />

are talking to some international artists<br />

for potential future one-off events. For<br />

the first time, we are also producing and<br />

distributing the filmed exhibition A Night<br />

at the Louvre: Leonardo da Vinci, to be released<br />

worldwide this coming September.<br />

This is the first time the Louvre has accepted<br />

someone to film an exhibition. It’s been<br />

visited by more than 1 million people. It<br />

won’t just be another art documentary, but<br />

rather a real private guided tour at the first<br />

museum in the world around the biggest<br />

artist of all time.<br />

Courtesy Pathé Live<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

143


To all of the<br />

<strong>2020</strong> CinemaCon<br />

Award Recipients<br />

Especially:<br />

CinemaCon NATO Marquee Award:<br />

Adam M. Aaron, AMC<br />

Entertainment<br />

CinemaCon NAC Bert Nathan Award:<br />

Bill LeClair, Showcase<br />

FROM YOUR FRIENDS AT<br />

We Make The Brands You Love TM


CINEMACON GLOBAL ACHIEVEMENT IN EXHIBITION AWARD<br />

GLOBAL ACHIEVEMENT<br />

IN EXHIBITION AWARD<br />

RENANA TEPERBERG<br />

2019 was a big year for Cineworld, as<br />

the U.K.-based chain—which acquired<br />

the Regal Entertainment Group in<br />

2018—announced its intention to acquire<br />

Cineplex, Canada’s leading theater circuit.<br />

Vital to Cineworld’s activity on the mergers<br />

and acquisitions front is chief commercial<br />

officer Renana Teperberg, who is this year<br />

receiving CinemaCon’s Global Achievement<br />

in Exhibition Award.<br />

Appointed to Cineworld’s board of<br />

directors in 2018, Teperberg has been a<br />

part of the larger exhibition family since<br />

1997, when she started as a cashier at<br />

Cinema City International, which operated<br />

theaters in Central and Eastern Europe in<br />

addition to Israel. Teperberg subsequently<br />

climbed the ranks, becoming a general<br />

manager before moving to the head office,<br />

where she was eventually named head<br />

of programming and marketing. In 2014,<br />

Cinema City International was purchased<br />

by Cineworld; it only took a few years<br />

for Teperberg to be named senior vice<br />

president of commercial and, then, chief<br />

commercial officer, a position she was<br />

promoted to in 2016.<br />

Since that time, Teperberg has proved<br />

to be a key player, not just in Cineworld’s<br />

acquisitions of Regal and its pending<br />

acquisition of Cineplex but in Regal’s<br />

adoption of CJ 4DPlex’s 4DX and ScreenX<br />

immersive entertainment formats.<br />

Renana Teperberg (Right) at<br />

CinemaCon 2018. Photo by Daniel Loria<br />

C:100 M:60 Y:0 K:0<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

145


CINEMACON NATO MARQUEE AWARD<br />

Image courtesy AMC Theatres<br />

LEADING<br />

THE WAY<br />

Adam Aron Guides<br />

AMC Theatres through a<br />

Transformative Period as the<br />

Company Enters Its Second<br />

Century in Operation<br />

BY DANIEL LORIA<br />

INTERVIEW WITH ADAM ARON,<br />

Chief Executive Officer and President,<br />

AMC Theatres<br />

Adam Aron came to the helm of<br />

AMC Theatres, the largest exhibition<br />

circuit in North America, in 2016, after<br />

a career that included executive-level<br />

tenures at some of the world’s most<br />

prominent entertainment companies.<br />

Aron’s leadership history includes stints<br />

at top hospitality brands (Starwood Hotels<br />

and Resorts, Norwegian Cruise Line, Vail<br />

Resorts) and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.<br />

Aron’s tenure as AMC’s chief executive<br />

has coincided with the circuit’s ambitious<br />

expansion, domestically and internationally,<br />

overseeing a multinational network of<br />

more than 1,000 cinemas. <strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong><br />

spoke with Aron ahead of CinemaCon <strong>2020</strong><br />

in a conversation that covered the circuit’s<br />

continued growth and latest innovations.<br />

How would you sum up 2019 for AMC?<br />

The box office in 2019, both domestically<br />

and globally, was yet another strong sign<br />

that movie theaters and the theatrical industry<br />

continue to thrive. Globally, it was<br />

another record-setting year. Domestically,<br />

even as it’s being reported as a soft year,<br />

it was still one of the largest box offices<br />

in the history of moviegoing, and we<br />

saw the unprecedented shattering of the<br />

opening-weekend box office performance<br />

with Avengers: Endgame. Last year, just in<br />

North America, more than 1 billion movie<br />

theater tickets were sold across all exhibitors<br />

to watch movies in theaters. A billion.<br />

What 2019 demonstrated is that there is<br />

still a very healthy interest and preference<br />

among consumers to watch their movies<br />

in a movie theater.<br />

A lot of AMC’s innovations these last<br />

four years have been on the digital<br />

front. From a new website and app to<br />

Stubs and mobile food and beverage<br />

ordering—what’s the role of digital in<br />

AMC’s future?<br />

What we’re seeing in the theatrical<br />

industry is not too different from what<br />

you’re seeing in all areas of retail. More<br />

and more, people are doing their shopping<br />

and buying online, and AMC has benefited<br />

greatly from identifying that trend early<br />

on and working diligently to capitalize<br />

on it. Consider that in 2009, fewer than<br />

5 percent of AMC’s ticket sales occurred<br />

online. By the end of 2019, more than 50<br />

percent of all ticket sales are occurring<br />

online. That’s a remarkable rise over the<br />

course of a decade, and a lot of that rise<br />

is due to AMC making the online process<br />

more accessible and convenient for our<br />

guests. You can find showtimes online,<br />

buy your ticket online, reserve your seat<br />

online, and in a lot of areas buy your<br />

snacks online so they’re waiting for you<br />

when you arrive. The amount of growth<br />

and innovation just in the last four or five<br />

years, and the success we’ve seen as a<br />

result of that, is a good indicator that we’ll<br />

continue to have our focus on digital as we<br />

move forward.<br />

While on the topic of innovations,<br />

which trends do you believe will be<br />

most influential in the coming years?<br />

Certainly first and foremost, the widespread<br />

growth and acceptance of AMC<br />

Stubs A-List is having a huge impact on<br />

moviegoing in the United States, and we<br />

anticipate that will continue. Less than<br />

two years after launching the program,<br />

we continue to have between 900,000<br />

and 1 million paid members, and A-List<br />

members currently represent between 15<br />

and 20 percent of our total U.S. admissions.<br />

So it hasn’t just met my expectations; it’s<br />

continued to exceed expectations. A-List<br />

is now one of our most vital and impactful<br />

marketing programs. It contributed more<br />

than $20 million of incremental operating<br />

income to AMC in 2019, way ahead of our<br />

earlier announced expectations and a full<br />

year ahead of our expectations described<br />

during the launch of the A-List program<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

147


C:100 M:60 Y:0 K:0<br />

148 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


CINEMACON NATO MARQUEE AWARD<br />

“The team at NATO and<br />

CinemaCon, as well as our<br />

volunteer exhibitor board<br />

members, are thrilled that<br />

<strong>2020</strong>’s Marquee Award will<br />

be presented to Adam Aron,<br />

on behalf of AMC. AMC is the<br />

largest exhibitor in the world<br />

as it celebrates its 100th<br />

anniversary. We are grateful<br />

for the dedication and<br />

leadership Adam gives not<br />

just to his top-notch team at<br />

AMC, but also to the industry<br />

at large.”<br />

—John Fithian, National<br />

Association of Theatre<br />

Owners<br />

back in 2018. We expect even more from<br />

A-List in <strong>2020</strong>. It’s increased loyalty to<br />

AMC and it’s benefited our theaters, our<br />

studios, and our premium-format partners.<br />

Another big innovation we’ve seen<br />

from AMC is in pricing. Yes, you offer<br />

premium tickets at premium prices,<br />

but you also have discount Tuesdays<br />

for price-conscious consumers and<br />

subscription for your regulars. What<br />

have these price points done for the<br />

circuit?<br />

Pricing is an area we’ve given a great deal<br />

of thought to in the last few years, and<br />

we’ve put in several different strategic<br />

pricing initiatives throughout our circuit.<br />

For example, our discount Tuesday program<br />

has turned Tuesday into one of the<br />

busiest days of the week at AMC. And early<br />

returns on our blockbuster pricing test,<br />

which launched last summer in a handful<br />

of major cities across the country and has<br />

expanded from there, are doing very well,<br />

and our experimenting with blockbuster<br />

pricing will continue. I learned a long time<br />

ago that talking about future pricing plans<br />

is not only a bad idea, it’s illegal, but I can<br />

say that given our success in the area of<br />

strategic pricing, there’s certainly more we<br />

can learn and try going forward.<br />

In terms of expansion, would you<br />

say AMC is currently more interested<br />

in expanding its screen count—<br />

domestically or internationally—or<br />

expanding some of its concepts like<br />

PLF, dine-in, and recliner seating to<br />

more locations?<br />

During the last decade, AMC has invested<br />

billions both expanding our screen<br />

count and invigorating the moviegoing<br />

experience through highly popular and<br />

successful theater renovations, all with<br />

the goal of becoming the biggest and best<br />

theatrical exhibitor in the world. We now<br />

have a great deal of knowledge through<br />

experience about what’s proving to be<br />

successful for our guests, our studio partners,<br />

and our investors, and we’ll continue<br />

to focus on those areas of success. For<br />

example, the types of returns we would see<br />

after renovating in theaters in the United<br />

States five or six years ago, we’re now<br />

seeing in Europe. Our European theaters<br />

are responding to renovation and to the<br />

installation of recliner seating with growth<br />

rates 3.5 times that of the industry growth<br />

rate generally in Europe. Approximately<br />

40 of our theaters in Europe have recliner<br />

seating installed now, and approximately<br />

60 of our theaters in Europe should have<br />

recliner seating installed by year-end <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

AMC has grown considerably over the<br />

past decade—and so has the rest of<br />

the industry. We’ve recently seen big<br />

expansions from Kinepolis, Cineworld,<br />

Cinemex, and Marcus in the domestic<br />

market. How will this wave of<br />

consolidation influence your strategy<br />

in the coming years?<br />

AMC is by far the largest movie theater<br />

circuit in the United States. While we are<br />

mindful of what our competitors are up to,<br />

continuing on our own path of innovation<br />

is far more important to AMC, as the<br />

clear market leader, than worrying about<br />

smaller circuits. Our goal is to blaze new<br />

trails and let others worry about us.<br />

What do you believe are the biggest<br />

challenges and opportunities facing<br />

exhibition in the next decade?<br />

I could not be more confident about AMC’s<br />

future, and the future of the theatrical<br />

industry. When you look at the history<br />

of cinema, there’s always been the next<br />

challenge to the industry. Whether it was<br />

television, cable TV, VCRs, Blu-ray, video<br />

on demand, or streaming, there have<br />

always been those who will question the<br />

viability of the industry. But even with<br />

all of that discussion, the last five years<br />

at the U.S. box office have produced the<br />

five biggest box office totals in history.<br />

And even when we’ve seen a soft year, as<br />

we did in 2014 and 2017, we also saw the<br />

following year come back to set a new box<br />

office record. There will always be ebbs<br />

and flows in the industry, but we believe<br />

the future of the theatrical industry is as<br />

strong as it’s ever been.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

149


FROM THE ARCHIVES | AMC<br />

CELEBRATING ITS CENTENNIAL IN <strong>2020</strong>, AMC ENTERS ITS SECOND CENTURY AS THE LARGEST<br />

EXHIBITION CIRCUIT IN THE UNITED STATES. IN 2019, THE CIRCUIT CROSSED<br />

THE 900,000-SUBSCRIBER MARK FOR ITS STUBS A-LIST LOYALTY PROGRAM,<br />

WHICH INCLUDES A POPULAR SUBSCRIPTION PLAN FOR FREQUENT USERS.<br />

BELOW, A COVER (AUGUST 1990) AND PAGES FROM BOXOFFICE PRO (1988-90),<br />

INCLUDING AMC’S INCLUSION IN BOXOFFICE PRO’S<br />

FIRST GIANTS OF EXHIBITION LISTING (1988).


Anniversary 152 | Tech 162 | Cinema Showcase 166<br />

THEATER<br />

Image courtesy CGR Cinemas<br />

While the rise of online streaming is not necessarily a<br />

direct threat to cinemas, it provides yet another rationale<br />

for cinemas to stay on top of their game.<br />

Premium-Large Format, p. 162<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

151


THEATER ANNIVERSARY<br />

CINEMA<br />

CENTENNIAL<br />

<strong>Boxoffice</strong> <strong>Pro</strong> Goes Behind<br />

the Scenes with AMC as It<br />

Enters Its Second Century<br />

BY REBECCA PAHLE<br />

152 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Image courtesy AMC Theatres<br />

In the hundred years since what is<br />

now known as AMC Theatres began<br />

operation in Kansas City, Missouri, the<br />

movie theater industry has changed quite<br />

a bit. Over the decades, we’ve gotten<br />

sound and color, concessions and comfy<br />

seats, wide screens and curved screens<br />

and screens that are just plain huge. But<br />

one thing, according to AMC executive<br />

Elizabeth Frank, has stayed consistent<br />

throughout AMC’s entire triple-digit<br />

history: A focus “on bringing movie lovers<br />

in neighborhoods across the country<br />

entertainment experiences that they love.<br />

It begins and ends with the consumer.”<br />

AMC enters its second century in the<br />

position of being the market-share leader<br />

in the U.S., in terms of both box office and<br />

screen count. Its 2016 acquisition of<br />

Odeon & UCI Cinemas put the chain in<br />

Europe; the following year, it acquired<br />

the Nordic Cinema Group, increasing its<br />

European presence to a dozen-plus countries.<br />

In 2018, AMC became the first chain<br />

to open a movie theater in Saudi Arabia<br />

following a decades-long ban on theaters<br />

in the country.<br />

With technology that was hardly<br />

imaginable when the doors of Kansas<br />

City’s Regent Theatre opened for the<br />

first time in <strong>2020</strong>, and a desire to please<br />

the moviegoing public that has hardly<br />

changed at all, AMC brings a diverse<br />

approach to giving consumers what they<br />

want. But the consumer isn’t a monolith,<br />

as Frank well knows. As AMC’s executive<br />

vice president, worldwide programming,<br />

and chief content officer since 2010, she<br />

has overseen a diversification of AMC’s<br />

programming in terms of both the films<br />

that are screened and how they are<br />

presented to the customer.<br />

On the latter point: Frank expresses<br />

pride in AMC’s investment in premium<br />

formats over the last decade. It was the<br />

first major exhibitor to put big money<br />

behind Imax, opening approximately 125<br />

Imax theaters in 2007. Thirteen years<br />

later, Frank says, AMC is “now the leading<br />

Imax exhibitor, both across the country<br />

and around the world.” In 2009, AMC<br />

partnered with Sony and RealD to bring<br />

3-D technology to its theaters; in 2015, it<br />

partnered with Dolby for the premium<br />

large-format offering Dolby Cinema.<br />

“We’ve committed to technology that’s<br />

enhanced the experience,” says Frank.<br />

“We’ve also committed to using back-office<br />

technology to mine our loyalty program<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

153


THEATER ANNIVERSARY<br />

GLOBAL<br />

PRESENCE<br />

15<br />

Countries across North<br />

America, Europe, and the<br />

Middle East<br />

1,000+<br />

Theaters<br />

Image courtesy<br />

AMC Theatres<br />

11,000+<br />

Screens<br />

and all of our sales data to best understand<br />

demand and serve up to consumers the<br />

movies that interest them most at the<br />

showtimes that are most convenient<br />

for them.” A core component of AMC’s<br />

programming strategy is “lean[ing] into<br />

the opening weekend of a blockbuster,”<br />

says Frank, by “focus[ing] on a variety of<br />

premium formats and very convenient<br />

showtimes.” Showtimes, in this case, must<br />

be frequent, convenient, and “scheduled<br />

theater by theater to make things most<br />

relevant and compelling for that neighborhood<br />

of consumers.”<br />

But a movie lives on after its opening<br />

weekend—and it’s not only blockbusters<br />

that audiences want to see. In the decade<br />

that Frank has been with AMC, the chain<br />

has grown its international programming<br />

by a “tremendous amount,” screening<br />

“Bollywood and Mandarin [films], Spanish-language<br />

films, Korean and Filipino<br />

films” to relevant markets. The demand for<br />

these films is there, says Frank, particularly<br />

in university towns, where demographic<br />

shifts bring in populations from outside<br />

the United States. Even outside those<br />

towns, she says, “We see demographic<br />

shifts in our communities, because of the<br />

melting pot in America.”<br />

With modern technology at its disposal,<br />

AMC is able to give the melting pot the<br />

movies it wants. “Digital gave us the opportunity<br />

to bring in content more cheaply”<br />

and eased the burden on international<br />

distributors of physical print distribution.<br />

Similarly, as showtimes gravitated online,<br />

it became easier for consumers with niche<br />

interests to find when and where their<br />

films were playing.<br />

More recently, in analyzing data pulled<br />

from ticket sales and AMC Stubs loyalty<br />

card membership, AMC has been able to<br />

more effectively market specialty films<br />

directly to the audiences who want to see<br />

them. On any given weekend, Frank explains,<br />

95 percent of the push notifications,<br />

email blasts, and digital advertising AMC<br />

sends out might be devoted to a handful<br />

of blockbuster films. “But 5 percent [will<br />

be] targeted very directly at people who<br />

are interested in a Korean film or who are<br />

interested in a documentary. That’s the<br />

movie they most want to see.”<br />

Vital to AMC’s ability to offer a broader<br />

array of films has been its practice of<br />

dynamic scheduling, by which theaters<br />

optimize how many showtimes there are<br />

for a given screen and how they’re<br />

spread out throughout the day. In a 2019<br />

investment call, AMC CEO Adam Aron<br />

touted dynamic scheduling’s role in<br />

cutting down on showtimes by 4.1 percent<br />

in the U.S., even as attendance broke Q3<br />

records. “This dynamic scheduling cuts<br />

both ways, though,” Aron noted. “Getting<br />

smarter about knowing when to cut showtimes<br />

in the off-peak means we also are<br />

STANLEY H. DURWOOD<br />

(August 5, 1920–July 14, 1999)<br />

A second-generation<br />

exhibitor, son of Durwood<br />

Theatres founder Edward<br />

Durwood, Stanley Durwood<br />

came back from serving<br />

as an Air Force lieutenant<br />

in World War II to lead the<br />

family business during its most<br />

transformative period. In 1960,<br />

the Harvard graduate and war<br />

veteran was named president<br />

of the company, changing<br />

its name to American Multi-<br />

Cinema (AMC) early in his<br />

tenure. Durwood introduced<br />

a host of innovations to the<br />

exhibition business in the<br />

ensuing years, establishing<br />

AMC Theatres as one of the<br />

most innovative circuits in the<br />

industry’s history.<br />

154 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


getting smarter about adding showtimes<br />

in the peak.”<br />

When dynamic scheduling isn’t used,<br />

says Frank, a 10-screen theater might play<br />

six or seven titles at a time. “When we<br />

think more dynamically, more flexibly,<br />

about programming, we may have 20 titles<br />

that are on the menu” that same weekend—say<br />

a six-week-old family title in a<br />

screen’s matinee slot when there’s demand<br />

for it, followed that night by “a little<br />

avant-garde horror film” that few people<br />

are probably lining up to see at 11 a.m.<br />

In the near future, “I think we’re going<br />

to see more inclusive programming,”<br />

says Frank. “We’re going to see both the<br />

creative community and the exhibition<br />

community bring a wider diversity of<br />

content to audiences both across the U.S.<br />

and around the world.” Part of AMC’s<br />

current strategy of diversifying its slate<br />

involves its AMC Artisan Films program,<br />

which counted among its 2019 releases<br />

the Oscar-winning Joker. Frank cites the<br />

film as a prime example of cooperation<br />

between AMC and its studio partners.<br />

Working together with Warner Bros.’<br />

marketing department, she explains, the<br />

chain was able to get granular, using data<br />

to promote Joker differently to different<br />

audience segments depending on their<br />

past moviegoing behavior—the moviegoers<br />

who show up to every superhero movie,<br />

for example, or the more “demanding film<br />

audience” that might be attracted to the<br />

film’s tackling of “social issues.”<br />

Data was a factor in one of the biggest<br />

AMC stories of last decade: the launch (in<br />

June 2018) and subsequent massive growth<br />

of subscription program A-List. The program<br />

was in active development for a year<br />

before it was finally rolled out to the public,<br />

though AMC’s executive vice president and<br />

chief marketing officer Stephen Colanero<br />

notes that “we’d been wanting to do it for a<br />

while, even before then.”<br />

Those early conversations involved<br />

deciding whether A-List would be a part of<br />

“We’re going to see both the creative community and the<br />

exhibition community bring a wider diversity of content<br />

to audiences both across the U.S. and around the world.”<br />

—Elizabeth Frank, Executive V.P., Worldwide <strong>Pro</strong>gramming<br />

and Chief Content Officer<br />

Excerpt from “ShoWester of<br />

the Year,” <strong>Boxoffice</strong>, May 1996<br />

Since joining his family’s<br />

Durwood Theatre circuit after<br />

World War II, AMC chairman<br />

and CEO Stanley H. Durwood<br />

has dedicated his career<br />

to improving and enlarging<br />

upon exhibition standards.<br />

Hailed by his contemporaries<br />

as a visionary, he has helped<br />

set the pace for exhibition<br />

industry advancement for over<br />

three decades. In doing so,<br />

he has nurtured the growth of<br />

the AMC chain to its current<br />

position as one of the top<br />

theatre circuits in America.<br />

His efforts have won him the<br />

ShoWester of the Year award,<br />

which honors an individual who<br />

has demonstrated a dedication<br />

to the exhibition industry<br />

throughout his or her career.<br />

Durwood got his start at his<br />

family’s Durwood Theatres<br />

circuit which his father, Edward<br />

Durwood, founded in 1920.<br />

After serving in World War II<br />

as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air<br />

Force, Durwood joined the<br />

eight-theatre circuit. He rose<br />

to president in 1960, taking the<br />

opportunity to challenge many<br />

industry standards. In 1960,<br />

Durwood Theatres opened one<br />

of the nation’s first multiplexes—a<br />

two-screen theatre in<br />

Kansas City.<br />

After changing the<br />

circuit’s name to American<br />

Multi-Cinema (AMC), the<br />

company continues to make<br />

history, opening the world’s first<br />

shopping center multiplex in<br />

1963, the first four-plex in 1966<br />

and the first six-plex in 1969.<br />

Other advancements included<br />

the use of automated projection<br />

systems, computerized<br />

boxoffices, cupholder armrests,<br />

a frequent-moviegoer program,<br />

computer-aided theatre<br />

designs, and a theatre-management<br />

training academy.<br />

Image courtesy National<br />

CineMedia (NCM)<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

155


THEATER ANNIVERSARY<br />

the AMC Stubs loyalty program or whether<br />

it would, for simplicity’s sake, stand as its<br />

own service. Eventually the decision was<br />

made that A-List would be the highest<br />

tier of Stubs membership; the logic being,<br />

Colanero says, that A-List subscribers, as<br />

AMC’s best customers, should get the best<br />

treatment, including all the benefits of<br />

Stubs’ paid Premiere tier.<br />

“From the data perspective,” explains<br />

Colanero, the existence of AMC Stubs<br />

gave the AMC team a “rich database” of<br />

customer information that “enabled us<br />

… to identify which of our guests would<br />

benefit from the A-List program and to be<br />

able to share communications with them<br />

at a level that maybe we didn’t with the<br />

broader audience. … And [it] enable[d]<br />

us to communicate more directly and<br />

more quickly with an open, interested<br />

audience that was looking for more from<br />

AMC. We were able to make that connection<br />

pretty quickly.”<br />

That targeted, data-led approach meant<br />

that, ultimately, the digital and in-theater<br />

marketing plan for A-List could be “pulled<br />

back” soon after the launch; so many<br />

signed up so quickly that “we didn’t need<br />

to lean too extensively on any marketing<br />

to drive that membership.” In the nearly<br />

two years since its launch, A-List now has<br />

more than 900,000 members.<br />

From a technical perspective, the years<br />

AMC has spent building up “our skill set,<br />

our tools, our capabilities” with AMC Stubs<br />

gave the company “the platform to be able<br />

to accomplish what we were able to do with<br />

A-List, because we had the infrastructure<br />

ready to back it up and to deliver what we<br />

knew guests wanted and valued, without<br />

burdening the program with things that<br />

they didn’t value,” says Colanero.<br />

Valuable resources, too, were AMC’s<br />

compatriots on the other side of the pond:<br />

Image courtesy<br />

AMC Theatres<br />

100 YEARS<br />

OF AMC<br />

Courtesy of AMC<br />

Theatres<br />

1920<br />

Maurice, Edward,<br />

and Barney Dubinsky<br />

purchase the Regent<br />

Theatre in Kansas<br />

City, Mo.<br />

1961<br />

Stanley Durwood<br />

becomes CEO of<br />

the company and<br />

renames it American<br />

Multi-Cinema.<br />

1962<br />

AMC opens the<br />

world’s first multiplex,<br />

the Parkway Twin in<br />

Kansas City.<br />

1981<br />

AMC becomes the first<br />

theater chain to add<br />

cup-holder armrests.<br />

1991<br />

AMC introduces Clip, a<br />

filmstrip character, to<br />

serve as an ambassdor<br />

of the brand and its<br />

Silence is Golden<br />

program.<br />

156 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


The U.K.’s Odeon had already launched<br />

its own subscription service by the time<br />

it was acquired by AMC in 2016. “We went<br />

to school on that to understand what<br />

had happened when they launched it,”<br />

Colanero reflects. “We really had kind of<br />

a laboratory over in the U.K. that gave us<br />

key learnings of what we should be trying<br />

to do. Once we had an idea of what it was<br />

we wanted to be able to deliver to the<br />

guests, we took our time to ensure quality<br />

of service, that when it launched the<br />

mobile app, the infrastructure, the theater<br />

experience, all of those things would<br />

work. Because we really wanted to create<br />

a good, positive first impression. So many<br />

different teams worked on it across AMC,<br />

and they were able to pull it off and really<br />

deliver that for the guests. It was a really<br />

solid, successful launch.”<br />

For Frank, AMC’s move into international<br />

markets helped the chain achieve<br />

more innovations in programming—both<br />

in the U.S. and internationally. “I think<br />

that our presence in the U.S. and our deep<br />

relationships in Hollywood do create more<br />

content access” for the smaller European<br />

companies in which AMC operates, she<br />

explains. At the same time, some of these<br />

international markets “are innovating in<br />

ways that we can learn from.” She cites an<br />

international territory that had success<br />

with a girls’-night-out program, a concept<br />

that was taken back to the U.S. and introduced<br />

at around 200 theaters. Going in the<br />

other direction, AMC has taken the idea for<br />

its sensory-friendly screenings, launched<br />

in 2009 in collaboration with the Autism<br />

Society, to its overseas counterparts. Frank<br />

is clear that the U.S. team did not issue a<br />

fiat that “‘Everyone should do this.’ It’s:<br />

‘Here’s an idea.’ And our different territory<br />

heads, led by our programming team in<br />

London, are saying, ‘Where’s the demand<br />

1995<br />

AMC opens the world’s<br />

first megaplex. This<br />

innovative destination<br />

also inspires AMC to<br />

install stadium seating<br />

and love-seat seating.<br />

2000<br />

AMC co-founds online<br />

ticket services to add<br />

convenience to even the<br />

busiest AMC theaters<br />

like Empire 25 in New<br />

York City, which is recognized<br />

as the busiest<br />

theater in the world.<br />

2002<br />

AMC becomes the<br />

first theater chain<br />

to introduce the<br />

circuit-wide gift card.<br />

2005<br />

AMC Theatres<br />

co-founds cinema<br />

advertising company<br />

National CineMedia<br />

(NCM).<br />

2006<br />

AMC expands its<br />

presence throughout<br />

the country with the<br />

acquisition of Loews<br />

Theatres.<br />

2007<br />

AMC partners with<br />

Imax to bring approximately<br />

125 Imax<br />

large-screen digital<br />

projection systems to<br />

AMC locations around<br />

the country.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

157


THEATER ANNIVERSARY<br />

“It’s important for us<br />

to continue to build up<br />

what [the AMC] brand<br />

is and what it means to<br />

consumers.” —Stephen<br />

Colanero, Executive V.P.<br />

and CMO<br />

Image courtesy<br />

AMC Theatres<br />

for that idea? Do we have a like-minded<br />

group of people that we’re serving who<br />

would really embrace that?’’<br />

AMC’s approach—absorbing ideas from<br />

different countries, different companies,<br />

even from different markets—also applies<br />

to the world of food and beverage, which<br />

at AMC is led by Jennifer Douglass. A<br />

longtime AMC executive, Douglass first<br />

started working for the company when<br />

she was 16; currently she serves as its<br />

senior vice president, food and beverage.<br />

Her enthusiasm for AMC and its mission<br />

does not appear to have diminished in the<br />

intervening years.<br />

For Douglass, one of the key elements<br />

that have driven AMC’s food and beverage<br />

options till now—and one that will<br />

continue to do so in the coming years—is<br />

technology. In this case we’re not talking<br />

projectors, dynamic scheduling, or data-analysis<br />

tools but the vast improvement<br />

in food-preparation technology that has<br />

allowed AMC to go from snacks and soda<br />

to actual, fast-casual meals.<br />

“It’s so interesting, because 10 years<br />

ago you really started to see a change,”<br />

Douglass notes. Before, “if you wanted to<br />

bake something … you had to invest in a<br />

big industrial oven.” Frying meant costly,<br />

complicated equipment that wasn’t all that<br />

safe. AMC’s adoption, around a decade<br />

ago, of the TurboChef rapid-cook oven and<br />

the ventless AutoFryer “unlocked so many<br />

capabilities for us,” setting the foundation<br />

for their Feature Film menu. “Instead<br />

of just refrying or reheating food that’s<br />

already been cooked, now we’re able to do<br />

more assemble-to-order food. To me, that’s<br />

been the greatest gift in the last 10 years.<br />

It’s really been the equipment technology<br />

and how much things have gotten smaller<br />

and more self-contained and easier for us<br />

to execute at a theater level in a way that’s<br />

so much safer for our employees.”<br />

A boost in food and beverage technology<br />

brought about, not so coincidentally,<br />

a boost in expanded menu options for<br />

AMC; in 2008, it launched its first dine-in<br />

theater, a concept that has since been followed<br />

by the MacGuffins Bar. “In the early<br />

days of dine-in, we thought, well, is this<br />

more of a college-town concept, and are<br />

these college kids that want to come in? Or<br />

is this a very upscale, premium experience<br />

that’s for a more sophisticated consumer?”<br />

says Douglass. What they found instead<br />

was that dine-in was successful across<br />

demographics. “Everybody likes food, and<br />

everybody has that same challenge” of<br />

wanting to save time by combining dinner<br />

and a movie.<br />

Dine-in concepts and expanded menu<br />

offerings are now firmly locked in, both<br />

at AMC and across the North American<br />

theater landscape. In 2019’s Q3 earnings<br />

call, Adam Aron credited “sharper focus<br />

on innovation in the menu choices we<br />

offer towards theater guests and strategic<br />

pricing actions” with consistent growth in<br />

food and beverage revenue. Still, the CEO<br />

argued that AMC was still in the “middle<br />

innings of capturing increased food and<br />

2008<br />

AMC launches dine-in<br />

theaters. The concept,<br />

which continues to<br />

expand throughout<br />

the United States,<br />

allows guests to order<br />

restaurant-style<br />

food with the push<br />

of a button, from the<br />

comfort of their own<br />

luxurious movie seat.<br />

2009<br />

AMC partners with<br />

Sony and RealD to<br />

implement digital and<br />

3-D technology.<br />

2009<br />

AMC partners with<br />

the Autism Society to<br />

launch AMC Sensory<br />

Friendly Films nationwide.<br />

The program<br />

allows children and<br />

families to enjoy a<br />

movie in a safe, accepting<br />

environment<br />

that allows talking,<br />

yelling, singing, and<br />

walking around.<br />

2009<br />

AMC opens its first<br />

all-recliner seating<br />

theater, AMC<br />

Lakewood 12, dubbed<br />

“The Miracle of<br />

Lakewood.”<br />

2010<br />

AMC acquires Kerasotes<br />

Theatres and<br />

expands its presence<br />

in the Midwest.<br />

2011<br />

AMC launches its AMC<br />

Stubs rewards program,<br />

which provides<br />

members with new<br />

benefits like concessions<br />

upgrades and<br />

dollars back for every<br />

dollar they spend.<br />

158 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


A DECADE<br />

OF GROWTH<br />

Strides Made by AMC<br />

Theatres in Recent Years<br />

Total Attendance<br />

+73%<br />

2018: 359 Million<br />

2008: 208 Million<br />

Total Revenue<br />

+139%<br />

2018: $5.5 Billion<br />

2008: $2.3 Billion<br />

Food & Beverage Per Patron<br />

+49%<br />

2018: $4.66<br />

2008: $3.12<br />

AMC Stubs Members<br />

>7x<br />

2019: 19 Million<br />

2016: 2.5 Million<br />

Image courtesy<br />

AMC Theatres<br />

beverage opportunities,” and that in the<br />

coming years he expects to see increased<br />

food and beverage consumption in AMC<br />

theaters in both the U.S. and Europe.<br />

To Douglass, powering through the<br />

“middle innings” and crossing home plate<br />

means two things. One is technological<br />

innovation: smaller equipment, with low<br />

enough price points to make it worthwhile<br />

for the circuit to install it in lower-volume<br />

locations. Two is the merging of the traditional<br />

concessions and dine-in operations,<br />

both in terms of common menu items<br />

and innovations like mobile ordering and<br />

the ability to have food delivered to seats,<br />

which increase the convenience factor for<br />

customers. “We don’t want to get too far<br />

ahead of where the guest wants us to be,<br />

but I think when those two worlds get more<br />

integrated, that’s probably what unlocks<br />

more value for us and also for the guests.”<br />

<strong>Pro</strong>gramming, subscription, technology,<br />

food and beverage—all are part of<br />

the AMC experience as well as the AMC<br />

brand, which has positioned itself to be<br />

recognized by moviegoers for many, many<br />

years to come. “It’s important for us to<br />

continue to build up what that brand is<br />

and what it means to consumers,” says<br />

Colanero. When AMC acquires a chain in<br />

the U.S., for example, “we’ve taken the<br />

time and expense to change the names of<br />

all the buildings to be under the AMC logo.<br />

Whereas that’s not typically what<br />

our competitors would do. But we now<br />

have a unified footprint where every<br />

building in America is under the AMC<br />

brand.” AMC, he notes, does not do this<br />

internationally, where “we’ve acquired<br />

stronger brands that resonate there. But<br />

domestically, we’ve unified with the goal<br />

of AMC [becoming] the national brand<br />

leader that it is.”<br />

2012<br />

AMC is acquired by the<br />

Beijing–based Wanda<br />

Group, which enables<br />

funding to ensure a<br />

massive escalation<br />

of AMC’s world-class<br />

amenities, including<br />

recliner seating, better<br />

sight and sound<br />

presentation, and<br />

MacGuffins bars.<br />

2013<br />

AMC goes public on<br />

the New York Stock<br />

Exchange. NYSE: AMC<br />

2015<br />

AMC and Dolby partner<br />

to create Dolby Cinema<br />

at AMC, a premium<br />

large-format experience<br />

that includes Dolby<br />

Vision laser projection,<br />

Dolby Atmos sound,<br />

and AMC’s comfortable<br />

power recliners.<br />

AMC acquires<br />

Starplex Cinemas.<br />

2016<br />

AMC announces it<br />

will acquire Carmike<br />

Cinemas.<br />

AMC acquires Odeon<br />

& UCI Cinemas, the<br />

largest theater chain in<br />

the U.K. and Ireland.<br />

2016<br />

AMC adds a free<br />

tier to its AMC Stubs<br />

program—AMC<br />

Insider—to go along<br />

with its popular paid<br />

tier, AMC Premiere.<br />

2018<br />

AMC launches its<br />

subscription program<br />

A-List, as the highest<br />

tier of AMC Stubs.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

159


THE WORLDʼS MOST<br />

EXPERIENCE ICE THEATERS ® IN VR<br />

AT CINEMACON BOOTH #2615A<br />

W W W . ICETHEA TERS. C O M


IMMERSIVE PREMIUM EXPERIENCE<br />

ICE IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGY I 4K RGB LASER PROJECTION I IMMERSIVE AUDIO I VIP SEAT


THEATER TECH<br />

THE RISE<br />

OF PREMIUM<br />

LARGE FORMAT<br />

2019 Records the Highest<br />

Number of PLF Installs to Date<br />

BY CHARLOTTE JONES,<br />

Principal Analyst/Associate Director, Cinema<br />

Omdia, from Informa Tech<br />

162<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Premium large-format (PLF)<br />

screens are now a mainstay of the<br />

theatrical experience, with multiple formats<br />

and brands increasingly coexisting<br />

side by side in cinemas worldwide. A PLF<br />

screen is a clearly differentiated premium<br />

screen based on top-of-the-range technology;<br />

it is, not least, a bigger and brighter<br />

screen. Laser projection, enhanced sound,<br />

HDR, and (4K) HFR 3-D are also among its<br />

key attributes.<br />

The total count of PLF screens reached<br />

4,379 worldwide in 2019, eclipsing the<br />

4,000-screen threshold for the first time<br />

and showing a strong 18.6 percent increase<br />

year on year. The net increase of 734 PLF<br />

screens marks the largest annual hike<br />

(up from 480 new PLF screens in 2018), as<br />

global exhibitors boost investment in PLF<br />

as a core part of their exhibition strategy.<br />

The total equates to a relatively small<br />

(2.2%) but increasingly significant proportion<br />

of the world’s digital screens, up from<br />

1.9 percent a year prior, again highlighting<br />

how PLF screens are being deployed more<br />

quickly than regular screens.<br />

China Continues to Lead on PLF<br />

Asia Pacific was again the leading region,<br />

accounting for a 46.4 percent share of the<br />

total PLF screen base with over 2,000 PLF<br />

screens, of which China accounts for the<br />

vast majority, or over 75 percent of PLF in<br />

the region.<br />

China remains the largest PLF territory<br />

globally, with 1,605 screens at the end<br />

of 2019, ahead of North America’s 1,366<br />

screens. The majority, or 85 percent, of<br />

all PLF screens in China fall under global<br />

brands such as Imax, followed by CGS<br />

(360) and ScreenX (98). Despite the dominance<br />

of global brands, local exhibitor<br />

brands are also gaining traction, including<br />

StarX from BeStar (40 screens) using<br />

EclairColor as an enabling technology, and<br />

S-Plus from Hengdian Cinema.<br />

The top five PLF territories were China,<br />

the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and the U.K.,<br />

with the U.K. (129) overtaking South Korea<br />

as the fifth-largest in 2019. In the U.K.,<br />

global PLF brands move into the lead with<br />

a 51.2 percent share of the total PLF base,<br />

with growth coming from CJ 4DPlex’s<br />

ScreenX brand, which doubled to 16<br />

screens, and the launch of Dolby Cinema<br />

in the territory.<br />

Emerging Markets: The Next Frontier<br />

for PLF Growth<br />

There were 95 international territories<br />

with at least one type of PLF screen in 2019<br />

(including 53 territories that had more<br />

than five PLF screens), as PLF continues<br />

to gain a foothold in emerging cinema<br />

markets, including the newly opened<br />

Saudi Arabia. The wider adoption of PLF<br />

screens throughout the Middle East in<br />

2019 (e.g., Oman and Bahrain) followed<br />

the launch of Cinépolis in the region and<br />

the extension of other global brands like<br />

CGR’s ICE. Saudi Arabia had a total of<br />

seven PLF screens out of a total screen<br />

base of 129 at the end of 2019, equivalent<br />

to a strong 5.4 percent share. UAE remains<br />

the largest PLF market in the Middle East,<br />

with over 25 screens, of which more than<br />

one-quarter were Imax screens.<br />

Exhibitor PLF Brands Expand<br />

Total exhibitor PLF screens hit 1,712 in<br />

2019, showing a healthy growth rate of 17.1<br />

percent, only slightly below the larger 19.8<br />

percent for global PLF. Among the new<br />

PLF brands were BigPix from Inox, Xperience<br />

from Muvi Cinemas in the Middle<br />

East, and Cine Royal Plus, also from the<br />

same region, among others. These and<br />

other emerging brands underline the<br />

Number of PLF Screens Worldwide 2014–2019<br />

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019<br />

Total Number of PLF Screens 1,665 2,114 2,632 3,248 3,692 4,379<br />

Global Brand Share % 45.3 53.0 56.6 59.2 60.0 60.6<br />

Imax Kinepolis<br />

Image courtesy Kinepolis<br />

Source: OMDIA. Note: some 2019 data remains provisonal<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

163


THEATER TECH<br />

role emerging markets have to play in<br />

the future direction of PLF brands and<br />

associated technology investment.<br />

Competition in the Global Brand<br />

Market Intensifies<br />

The market share of global brands reached<br />

a new high, accounting for 60.6 percent<br />

of total PLF screen base, a steady increase<br />

from 60.0 percent in 2018 and 59.2 percent<br />

in 2017. The enduring nature of best-inclass<br />

premium experiences coming from<br />

trusted and respected global brands such<br />

as Imax and Dolby Cinema is behind the<br />

rise, plus rising audience awareness of<br />

novel formats such as ScreenX.<br />

In the competitive global-branded<br />

space, Imax remains the clear market<br />

leader with a majority 57.7 percent share,<br />

but it is a proportion that has been declining<br />

over the past three years due to the<br />

increased competition from other formats,<br />

as well as the rising popularity of PLF in<br />

general. CGS was the second-largest global<br />

format (13.6%), followed by ScreenX (11.4%)<br />

and Dolby Cinema (9.1%).<br />

Imax had 1,529 theaters spanning 81<br />

territories at the close of 2019, marking<br />

a rise of 8.5 percent from 2018; emerging<br />

markets such as Africa and the Middle East<br />

as well as China (702 screens) are its fastest<br />

growth regions. Dolby Cinema had 243<br />

installations worldwide in 2019, including<br />

expansion into China, UAE, and Japan in<br />

2018 and Russia and the U.K. in 2019.<br />

ScreenX was one of the fastest-growing<br />

formats, rising by over 50 percent to 305<br />

screens in 33 international territories<br />

Image courtesy Cinity<br />

in 2019, up from 199 in 2018. ScreenX<br />

Amphitheater was also launched as a<br />

new variant with B&B Theatres in the U.S.<br />

RealD gained further traction in China<br />

through the setup of the RealD Cinema<br />

brand, alongside RealD Luxe screens in<br />

the territory.<br />

There has been a significant push by<br />

other key stakeholders to gain share in<br />

the burgeoning sector, with a slew of new<br />

competitors including Cinity, CGR’s ICE,<br />

Sony Digital Cinema, and THX Ultimate<br />

Cinema launching as new stand-alone<br />

brands. As a result, there were 12 global<br />

PLF brands active in 2019, up from eight<br />

the previous year.<br />

The Cinity Cinema System was<br />

developed by Christie for Huaxia Film in<br />

conjunction with GDC Technology; it is<br />

based on the highest HFR specification to<br />

date. In China, 27 screens were installed<br />

for the release of Gemini Man, forming<br />

part of a longer-term plan to add as many<br />

as 500 Cinity over the next few years.<br />

Sony Digital Cinema was launched in<br />

2019 in a bid to crack the coveted premium-screen<br />

market. It was the flagship screen<br />

at the new Galaxy Theatres in Las Vegas,<br />

and a second screen will open in <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

THX Ultimate Cinema is underpinned<br />

by CGS, the Cinionic Giant Screen<br />

solution, and features dual-laser 4K<br />

Barco projectors and a THX-certified<br />

7.1 immersive sound system. The brand<br />

debuted in 2019 but currently has just one<br />

installation.<br />

CGR’s ICE brand is another to gain<br />

momentum. It was launched as a global<br />

brand and now has installs in three inter-<br />

Number of Screens by PLF Brand/Format 2019<br />

Exhibitor PLF<br />

IMAX<br />

Dolby Cinema<br />

Cinity<br />

RealD Cinema (+ LUXE)<br />

ScreenX (+ 4DX Screen)<br />

CGS<br />

Sphere X<br />

Sony Digital Cinema<br />

Sphera<br />

THX Ultimate Cinema<br />

ICE<br />

PLF<br />

Screens<br />

1727<br />

1529<br />

242<br />

27<br />

116<br />

305<br />

361<br />

35<br />

1<br />

2<br />

1<br />

37<br />

Market<br />

Share (%)<br />

39.4<br />

34.9<br />

5.5<br />

0.6<br />

2.6<br />

7.0<br />

8.2<br />

0.8<br />

0.0<br />

0.0<br />

0.0<br />

0.8<br />

Source: OMDIA. Note: some 2019 data remains provisonal<br />

164 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


Image courtesy CGR Cinemas<br />

ICE Theaters<br />

“The market potential for<br />

PLF remains high over the<br />

next five years for a total<br />

addressable market of<br />

between 5 percent and as<br />

much as 10 percent of total<br />

screens.”<br />

national territories including Saudi Arabia<br />

(with Vox Cinemas) and the U.S. Its first<br />

international installation was at the Regal<br />

L.A. Live theater in Los Angeles.<br />

Strong Outlook for PLF<br />

The outlook for PLF remains strong, with<br />

further potential for growth with the<br />

expansion of brands (both existing and<br />

new), with standards such as HFR 3-D,<br />

and as technology continues to evolve<br />

and as content sets the demand. HFR 3-D<br />

could yet be a game changer to reenergize<br />

3-D as a creative format, in which case<br />

PLF screens will be the most technically<br />

advanced for optimal 3-D presentation.<br />

The market potential for PLF remains<br />

high over the next five years for a total<br />

addressable market of between 5 percent<br />

and as much as 10 percent of total screens,<br />

depending on infrastructure and the<br />

willingness of exhibitors to invest in<br />

next-generation technology. In emerging<br />

markets such as MENA, PLF already has<br />

an above-average screen penetration that<br />

will further feed into growth (as these<br />

markets are more agile), not least through<br />

higher rates of new screen construction.<br />

As theatrical venues continue to move<br />

upmarket and wherever specially curated<br />

and branded experiences are increasingly<br />

sought out and demanded by audiences,<br />

PLF will continue to play a critical role<br />

in the future development of the cinema<br />

industry. While the rise of online streaming<br />

is not necessarily a direct threat to cinemas,<br />

it provides yet another rationale for<br />

cinemas to stay on top of their game. PLF<br />

screens offer exhibitors, particularly those<br />

in multiplex circuits, the ability to customize<br />

experiences based on the highest<br />

technology specification, target a specific<br />

demographic for prime blockbuster movies,<br />

and continue to provide a value-added<br />

experience at a higher price point. While<br />

PLF screens are the feature screens of<br />

new cinema venues, the expansion of<br />

the number of potential complementary<br />

screens and formats in one cinema venue<br />

continues to drive further investment in<br />

the sector and provide enhanced choice<br />

and intrigue for audiences.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

165


THEATER CINEMA SHOWCASE<br />

WORKERS’<br />

COMPENSATION<br />

Georgia Theatre Company<br />

Transitions to 100%<br />

Employee Ownership<br />

BY KEVIN LALLY<br />

Above: Bill Stembler<br />

with his wife, Anne<br />

All images courtesy<br />

Georgia Theatre<br />

Company<br />

It’s the ultimate bonus: Georgia<br />

Theatre Company (GTC), the<br />

18th-largest theater circuit in North<br />

America, has rewarded the diligence and<br />

dedication of its roughly 700 employees by<br />

making them the owners of the company.<br />

This apparently unprecedented action<br />

by a movie-exhibition chain is made<br />

possible by the creation of an employee<br />

stock ownership plan (ESOP), a process<br />

under which eligible workers become<br />

stockholders, at no cost to them, while the<br />

management structure remains intact.<br />

GTC president Bo Chambliss reveals<br />

that company founder and chairman<br />

William J. Stembler is “getting to the point<br />

where he has been trying to retire and<br />

really wants to take a step back. So he had<br />

a number of options. You could sell the<br />

company, bring in private equity, or try to<br />

take it public, and the fourth option was<br />

converting to an ESOP.”<br />

“This is something that construction<br />

companies and entities that really don’t<br />

have a whole lot of assets do—they’re<br />

about as good as their next five years of<br />

contracts,” says Stembler. “We’re a little<br />

different breed, but it sure does look like it<br />

was a good solution for my family, and also<br />

a nice, rewarding thing to do to give the<br />

employees a chance to participate in all<br />

this fun that I’ve had.”<br />

“The benefit of an ESOP,” Chambliss says,<br />

“is that you get to keep your current management<br />

team in place, and you get to keep<br />

all of your employees in place. From an employee<br />

standpoint, it’s seamless—they don’t<br />

even know that it’s happening immediately.<br />

And the benefit to Bill and his family is they<br />

get paid the value of the company. Bill is a<br />

very, very loyal person—he has always taken<br />

care of his employees. Selling out to one of<br />

the big three or four or bringing in a private<br />

equity [firm] he knew was not the best thing<br />

for his employees. So when the idea of an<br />

ESOP was brought up, he thought it was a<br />

fantastic idea, and assuming the money was<br />

around the same, he was all in.”<br />

“I have run a bit more conservative<br />

group of theaters than the rest of the<br />

world of motion picture exhibition,” notes<br />

Stembler, a third-generation exhibitor<br />

whose family has been in the business<br />

since the 1920s. “Our debt was low, and our<br />

leases were not nearly as high a percentage<br />

of our sales as most public circuits. And so<br />

I had equity that could be used to borrow<br />

money to, in effect, buy the shareholders<br />

out for part of what they had. The way<br />

the structure works, you borrow money<br />

from a bank or a third party, and then the<br />

shareholders take a note behind that party<br />

for the balance of the money that’s due<br />

them. Then the company earns its way out<br />

over a number of years.”<br />

“A lot of people, when they get to be<br />

Bill’s age, have their wealth tied up in this<br />

illiquid asset, the stock of the company. It<br />

could be worth a lot of money, but they<br />

don’t have any cash to show for it,” says<br />

Aegis Fiduciary Services founder and CEO<br />

Robert Lesser, the trustee who represented<br />

the interests of the future shareholders of<br />

GTC and continues to monitor the company’s<br />

activities on their behalf. “The ESOP is<br />

a way for the sellers to get liquidity because<br />

they’re cashing out, and it’s a windfall for<br />

the employees because they’re getting<br />

stock without having to pay for it. And that<br />

doesn’t even take into consideration all<br />

the amazing tax benefits to all parties as a<br />

result of the ESOP.”<br />

As the trustee, Lesser was hired to<br />

negotiate the terms of the stock transac-<br />

166 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


tion “in the best interest of the [employee]<br />

participants. The ESOP trustee is prohibited<br />

by law to pay more than fair market<br />

value for the shares.”<br />

Stembler may have taken a slight<br />

financial hit because of those restrictions,<br />

but Lesser believes he was genuinely<br />

motivated by an impulse to reward his<br />

employees. “If you think about it, it’s an<br />

extra form of compensation. It rewards the<br />

people for all the work they’ve done in the<br />

past to make the company what it is today<br />

and incentivizes them to work harder so<br />

that the company will grow and become<br />

worth more. So when a participant actually<br />

retires, their stock will be meaningful<br />

enough that it may very well be all the<br />

retirement savings that they ever need.”<br />

Lesser continues, “Unlike a 401(k) plan<br />

where you buy stocks of other companies<br />

and really don’t have any influence<br />

over their financial performance, when<br />

you work at a company where you own<br />

stock, you actually have a great amount<br />

of influence over the value of the stock.<br />

Everybody might all decide to be more<br />

productive, because the more productive<br />