This month Mitch Neuhauser, Managing Director of CinemaCon, joins John in this column.
Though words are simply insufficient to describe how elated and grateful we are for the tremendous support given to our convention, we attempt here to scratch the surface of our sentiments. Simply put, CinemaCon constituted a tremendous success that exceeded our very high expectations, principally due to the energetic support of many people who care deeply about the wonderful business of motion picture exhibition.
As CinemaCon opened, our industry had suffered through three months of disappointing box office results.
It is a very busy time for exhibitors and your trade association. The conversion from film to digital cinema has accelerated to a break-neck pace as our industry tackles its most significant technological transition ever. Business models have morphed as equipment costs, VPFs and 3D pricing fundamentally change the math. At the same time, our business confronts a very serious challenge: the proposal by some misguided studio executives to vastly shorten the release window for "premium" VOD. NATO has launched a substantial campaign to confront this challenge to the theatrical release window. ...Read more
Exhibition confronts one of the most significant challenges in the modern history of the industry: so-called "premium video on demand." Despite NATO's repeated suggestions that our distribution partners discuss their potential VOD models with individual exhibitors prior to executing them, several leading studio executives appear determined to roll out early release VOD without proper consultation with exhibitors, without the input of the creative community and without market testing their proposed models to determine whether or not they work. In response to this ill-conceived attempted stam...Read more
As I write this column for "The Year Ahead" issue, it is exactly four weeks before the end of the year and I can't even begin to predict the outcome of the next 28 days, let alone contemplate the year ahead.
Last year at this time, the year was looking like it had a shot at breaking a box office record. Avatar was waiting in the wings, the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel was likely to do strong business and Sherlock Holmes had Robert Downey Jr. Everyone knew Avatar was going to do well, but no one—and I mean nobody—had an inkling that it would do that well. Going into the last week of the year, things looked so good that I got a little cocky and predicted we just might have our first $400 million grossing week ever. I was wrong.