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TOPIC: Booking question #357

Booking question #357 01 Jan 2007 00:39 #14099

  • rufusjack
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Anyone get their films booked themselves and then let a booker negotiate the terms?

My booker has over a 100 theatres he books for. I re-opened a theatre 2 mos ago that he booked in the past.

Right now, I seem to be on 1st run through Holidays and the summer and moveover the rest of the year.

We are grossing 3-6 times what the previous owners did. My booker seems to act like we are that old theatre pulling from a small town. But almost half of customers are coming from a much larger town that we are next to.

So, I want to get up the ladder of prints. from 3000th to close to 2000th. Anyone have an idea what weekly gross you would need to be 2000th if a title did $6-8 million on its opening weekend? I believe I might have a better chance of getting a print in the 2000 range by calling the dists. myself.

Since we are in the same general market as a 12 plex, I do not want to play anything 3-4 weeks old as my customers will have probably already seen those titles. And we will have no way of marketing these titles since you do not know for sure until 3-4 days of getting the film.

We did that with Casino Royale and it did horrible for us.

I would rather pay a guarantee and not make any money off of ticket sales but do well with concessions than to pay 35-40% of a dead film. If I was in a more isolated area, I would not have much of a problem being move-over part of the year.
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Re: Booking question #357 01 Jan 2007 13:54 #14100

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Casino Royale opened at 3,434 locations. So your booker should have been able to get that one for you on the break.

For us we have learned that most "Guy" flicks like Casino Royale, Mission Impossible, Borat, Jackass etc. don't do very well in our small town locations. Wether we play them on or off the break.


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Re: Booking question #357 01 Jan 2007 14:04 #14101

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I'm playing Casino right now and it isn't doing all that well. I expect it'll hit around the average mark, but over a holiday weekend I was hoping for more.
"What a crazy business"
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Re: Booking question #357 01 Jan 2007 17:12 #14102

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Getting "Casino" on the break was not a problem of booking but rather wanting "Happy Feet" and "Deck The Halls" instead (only 2 screens right now want 4, see earlier post).

We took "Casino" Dec 8th for a week as that was a weak week IMO. We had Nativiy for 3 weeks and did well with as well as Charlotte;s.

We are a family destination at this point. I really want "Happily N'Ever After". We have been running trailers on every film for the past 4 weeks so it has good title recogintion with our clientele.

I am not sure I want it in 3-4 weeks though.

Thanks

Mike
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Re: Booking question #357 01 Jan 2007 17:50 #14103

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Since it was a booking question and not a how one film or another did I'll answer the original question: first off: bookers do a great job and earn their money. Owning two theatres with a total of 5 screens I took over over booking after a while. I love doing my own booking. I can't blame anyone but myself. I get almost anything I qualify for and believe I get more than more than the average booker would because I care a lot more than anyone else possibly could. I will work the phones harder and longer and think more about what we want than any sane booker would. More than that I enjoy the human interaction dealing with the distribs and being a face and a voice for my theatres. I know I have have gotten films that would not have been available without a personal relationship. The other side of this is that your "friends" at the distribs want you to open every picture of theirs and want you hold forever so you ahve to be friends but tough as well. As far as terms go: I don't believe that a booker gets better terms though they'll tell you that over and over while the distribs scoff at the idea. For me:bottom line..... 5 screens @ 50.00 +/- per screen per week = 250 x 52 = 13,000.00 per year which is a whole lot of money in my small towns.

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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Re: Booking question #357 02 Jan 2007 02:12 #14104

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wow, its great to see how things are done in other countries..we are in Australia and have always done the film booking ourselves..I don't know if bookers actually exist here, seems like a very lucrative job for someone going by Mikes figures of $50 per screen!! I also found it interesting that you have to "qualify" for prints..here they either "go wide" with a release and all who can fit it in can have a print(providing its ordered by a certain date) or they "go narrow" and only certain big companies or art house cinemas can get first run prints and the rest of us have to wait till a print is available.
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Re: Booking question #357 02 Jan 2007 16:15 #14105

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There are probably 5-6 levels for North America. 4400 to 3800 or somewhere in that vicinity is wide and means just about anyone-2500 leaves out a bunch of us-2000 leaves out a bunch more-1200 leaves out even more-800 and I feel the pain-and after that it's all specialized and can be 2 to 300 prints. 2nd prints and 3rd prints and 4th prints come off after a minimum of 2 weeks (no one week deals for 2nd prints)and start to spread around.

Bookers can charge as much as 150.00 per screen per week last time I looked.

Michael Hurley
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Re: Booking question #357 05 Jan 2007 04:16 #14106

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Has there been any indication from distributors that digital prints in the future will change the number of screens/theatres that are offered prints on a less than very wide release?

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