From the earliest days of feature length films until the 1980s, the movie going experience typically happened in a very large theatre with a really big screen. Faced with rising costs and increasing competition from television, exhibitors of that sad era cut their buildings into multi-screen complexes to increase ticket sales and maximize profits on concessions. Today, faced with a different set of economic realities, exhibitors around the world are increasingly responding by creating movie palaces that rival all but the most spectacular theatres of the turn of the last century. One trend at this year’s CinemaCon, which wrapped up last week, was the continuing rise of premium large format theatres. Another trend was the almost comical trashing of Netflix. PLF theatres and Netflix are both here to stay; we’ve been here before
Fathom Events has entered into a multi-year master distribution agreement with global independent film distributor 1091, formerly known as The Orchard. Under the agreement, 1091 and Fathom will work to curate and distribute compelling content, including sports and action/adventure films, to cinemas across the United States.
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group has signed a multi-year, strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services to offer faster and at-scale solutions for content creators and distributors. Additionally, Deluxe selected AWS as the company’s primary cloud provider, fully integrating AWS services to enable end-to-end content solutions offered via the Deluxe One platform.
A highlight of this year’s CinemaCon, which wrapped up Thursday, April 4, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, was the announcement of the formation of the Cinity Cinema System, a joint effort between the Huaxia Film Distribution Company, Christie Digital Systems and GDC Technology to “develop, leverage and promote premium format movies driven by new, advanced configurations.” The announcement follows several years of debate in Hollywood and around the world regarding the best way to move forward with critical technology issues including high dynamic range, high frame rate, wide color gamut and immersive sound. Those issues were widely discussed at CinemaCon and we will have more to say about the show in the coming days. But the Cinity Cinema System announcement stands out because it feels like a watershed event. The question now is this: is Hollywood still the center of the motion picture industry or is that center shifting to China?
The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) has called for films selected in competition at leading film festivals to receive a full theatrical release. Following the decision from the Berlinale Film Festival to include the Spanish original film Elisa y Marcela in its 2019 official selection, the association released the following statement:
Dark Dunes Productions and Taormina Films have partnered with filmmaker Sam Koji Hale to help realize Yamasong: March of the Hollows, a fantastical puppet vision, with a screenplay by novelist Ekaterina Sedia. The film was executive produced by Toby Froud (son of Brian and Wendy Froud) and Heather Henson (daughter of Jim Henson) and is being released February 15 in select theatres the United States, as part of an exclusive cinematic distribution partnership between Dark Dunes Productions, myCinema and Random Media.
Leading event cinema distributor Abramorama has partnered with Experience Hendrix and Sony Legacy Recordings to release Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church in select theaters around the world. The film opens at the ArcLight Hollywood Cinerama Dome January 31with a special Q&A with director John McDermott, legendary record producer and engineer Eddie Kramer, and Janie Hendrix, the late artist’s sister who is the CEO of Experience Hendrix.
Qube Cinema has published a case study highlighting the deployment of Qube Wire by Tugg, a pioneer in developing the Cinema On Demand model bridging the gap between filmmakers and audiences. According to the company, Tugg has the ability to book titles into more than 85 percent of commercial movie theatre screens in the US, from the largest circuits to independent art houses. One noteworthy aspect of the Tugg platform is that it also provides access to venues that potentially wouldn’t ordinarily play a film, such as churches, museums and libraries.
The concert film BTS World Tour, Love Yourself, in Seoul, will be released in CJ 4DPlex’s multi-screen ScreenX format on January 26 for a two-week run. The film was shot at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul last August and captures the opening of the current tour. The tour has already drawn thousands of fans spanning the world from North America to Europe and Asia, and has proved to be the most sought-after tour of 2018.
FandangoNow, Fandango’s video on-demand service, will become the first U.S. digital retailer for IMAX Enhanced films releasing to home video. FandangoNow will have exclusive rights as the sole transactional VOD service to feature this content in the U.S. through 2019. The IMAX Enhanced program is a certification and licensing program, combining IMAX digitally re-mastered 4K high dynamic range content and DTS audio technologies.