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TOPIC: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ....

SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 13 Feb 2012 18:41 #37839

  • slapintheface
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RECORD-BREAKING WEEKEND! 4 Films Open $20+M: ‘The Vow’ $41M, ‘Safe House’ $39M; ‘Journey 2′ $27M, ‘Star Wars 3D’ $23M
By NIKKI FINKE | Sunday February 12, 2012 @ 12:31am PSTTags: Hollywood box office, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Safe House, Star Wars Phantom Menace, The Vow

SATURDAY PM, 6TH UPDATE: “Looks like that first-ever 4 openings over $20 mil on a non-holiday weekend has happened,” a studio exec emails me tonight. (On the 2008 holiday weekend December 26-28, all four movies opened on Christmas to $20+M openings that three-day weekend: Fox’s Marley And Me $36.4M, Disney’s Bedtime Stories $27.4M, Paramount’s Benjamin Button $26.9M, and MGM/UA’s Valkyrie $21M.) By the way, this is Screen Gems’ biggest opening, topping Dear John at $30.5M. That’s a Channing Tatum 1-2 punch. A record-breaking weekend gets even bigger at $175M overall moviegoing, or +25% from last year. It’s also the biggest non-holiday Fri-Sat-Sun in February of all time, kicking up the red hot 2012 start even more. I for one am relieved not to have to write the word ‘slump’. Full analysis coming.

Here’s the Top Ten:

1. The Vow (Screen Gems/Sony) NEW [2,958 Theaters]
Friday $15.3M, Saturday $16.4M, Weekend $41M

2. Safe House (Universal) NEW [3,119 Theaters]
Friday $13.8M, Saturday $16.5M, Weekend $39M

3. Journey 2: Mysterious Island 3D (Warner Bros) NEW [3,470 Theaters]
Friday $6.5M, Saturday $12.4M, Weekend $27M

4. Star Wars 3D: Phantom Menace (LucasFilm/Fox) NEW [2,655 Theaters]
Friday $8.6M, Saturday$8.7M, Weekend $23M

5. Chronicle (Fox) Week 2 [2,908 Theater]
Friday $3.5M, Saturday $5.5M, Weekend $12M (-46%), Cume $39.8M

6. The Woman In Black (CBS Films) Week 2 [2,856 Theaters]
Friday $3.3M, Saturday $4.7M, Weekend $10.4M (-50%), Cume $35.6M

7. The Grey (Open Road) Week 3 [2,801 Theaters]
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $2.3M, Weekend $5M, Cume $42.7M

8. Big Miracle (Working Title/Universal) … Read More »
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 13 Feb 2012 21:38 #37841

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Our best weekend since last July!

Even beat Thanksgiving Weekend....
"What a crazy business"
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 17 Feb 2012 17:48 #37868

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It looks like 3D isn't exactly dead either.
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 17 Feb 2012 19:48 #37870

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I have to agree. Three of the six screens I have this weekend are in 3D.
"What a crazy business"
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 18 Feb 2012 05:58 #37878

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But then again ...... there is always a contrary viewpoint:

moneyland.time.com/2012/02/16/most-peopl...the-movies-nowadays/

Most People Rarely—Or Never—Go to the Movies Nowadays
By Brad Tuttle | @bradrtuttle | February 16, 2012 |

If you still go to the movies fairly regularly, you’re in the minority, according to a new survey.

On the behalf of CouponCabin, Harris Interactive conducted a poll gauging consumer interest in hitting the movie theater. For the most part, interest is fading.

Slightly more than 6 in 10 (61%) of adults said that they rarely or never go out to the movies. What’s more, of those who do go to the movies, more than half (55%) said that they go see films less often now than they did before the recession. Here’s one possible explanation for why there’s so much elbow room in movie theaters of late:

“Entertainment spending, like going to the movies, is often one of the first things to go when consumers try to cut back,” said Jackie Warrick, President and Chief Savings Officer at CouponCabin.com.

Well, actually, no. That’s not really the case. During the onset of the recession, there was actually a record-setting uptick in movie tickets sold, especially for silly, take-your-mind-off-things films like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” The theory is that, when the economy turns south, there’s a rise in affordable splurges like romance novels and donuts because people want to treat themselves in minor, inexpensive ways.

The National Association of Theatre Owners notes that “movie theaters do especially well during economic downturns,” and that during six of the past eight recessions in the U.S., box office and admissions sales increased. So theaters can’t use “the economy’s bad” as an excuse for lame sales.

Movie theaters fared quite poorly during the economically shaky year of 2011. Last year saw the fewest movie tickets sold since 1995, with overall revenues dropping by 4.5% compared to 2010—despite the fact that theaters were receiving the highest-ever amount per moviegoer. For a spell recently, the average ticket sold crossed the $8 threshold for the first time ever, thanks partly to the spread of pricier 3-D films. Overall, reported the Los Angeles Times and others, the average ticket price for 2011 was $7.93, up from $7.89 in 2010.

During tough economic times, consumers will always seek out affordable splurges. It just seems like, for many people, going to the movies no longer seems all that affordable, nor particularly worth the money. A family of four can easily expect to pay $75 or more for treats at the theater and admissions to an 85-minute movie—that you’ll surely be able to buy for less than $10 a few months down the line.

Perhaps, then, people are staying away from movie theaters not because the economy’s bad, but because movies cost too damn much. And because the movies being shown aren’t particularly good. And because paying an extra $5 for a mediocre film in 3-D is a rip-off. And because most households are already paying around $100 a month for cable and movie channels at home, as well as another $9 or more for Netflix or some other service. And because a DVD rental at Redbox costs just a bit over $1. And … well, you get the picture.
Last Edit: 18 Feb 2012 18:27 by muviebuf.
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 18 Feb 2012 19:01 #37879

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What I have noticed as I read this and other theatre sites about many of today's theatre owners is that they look to "Hollywood" to build their business by doing the promoting for them and by picking the films that are most heavily promoted whether or not there is any substance to those films. Whatever happened to "showmanship" and creativity. There are exceptions of course (Roxy is one) and there are films other than what comes from the Hollywood big-boys. But when I hear an exhibitor belly-ache about bad business or a bad film I wonder what he or she did besides book the film to bring in business. It just has me wondering who is responsible for bad business.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 19 Feb 2012 01:22 #37884

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Bob,

The number of theaters that can do well with a good movie when it tanks nationally is very slim. Certainly art house theaters do well by cultivating their markets but those are few and far between and take a long time to get to that point. Plus your definition of a "good" movie is far different than what the typical art house movies play.

A few small town theaters could do well with what you are talking about but the economics are a huge obstacle. Even most successful subruns like Roxy still play predominately the bigger successful Hollywood movies like Chipmuns 3 & Sherlock Holmes 2.

Today's theater goers attentions are all over the place with hundreds of quality tv channels and the internet. As important is the DVR and it's ability to skip commercials.

What you are suggesting is very hard to accomplish and I would not recommend it as the basis of a business plan.

Ultimately the theaters that will do well are giving their customers a good value while keeping costs down.
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 28 Feb 2012 21:47 #37954

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revrobor wrote:
What I have noticed as I read this and other theatre sites about many of today's theatre owners is that they look to "Hollywood" to build their business by doing the promoting for them and by picking the films that are most heavily promoted whether or not there is any substance to those films. Whatever happened to "showmanship" and creativity. There are exceptions of course (Roxy is one) and there are films other than what comes from the Hollywood big-boys. But when I hear an exhibitor belly-ache about bad business or a bad film I wonder what he or she did besides book the film to bring in business. It just has me wondering who is responsible for bad business.

All this coming from the guy who left the business 10 years ago and still thinks he knows everything about what is going on and is giving "advice" on this forum to not convert to digital.

Take what revrobor says with a block of salt.
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 28 Feb 2012 23:10 #37956

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I retired from the business in '08. And since I was in the business most of the time from 1946 to 2008 I believe I have a pretty good handle on the business. What do you hope to accomplish with such an insulting post? I've never told anyone not to convert I have simply said there is no need to panic and there are still a few years left for film.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Last Edit: 28 Feb 2012 23:12 by revrobor.
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 29 Feb 2012 01:52 #37957

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Mr. Allen:
I think that everyone on this forum, or most on this forum, respect your years in the biz.
For several decades the same kind of solid information would help indy operators. Much has changed in the last two or three years.
- You have many posts arguing against showing "Hollywood" movies. What else is there that make money? Even in the old days the "B" movies came from Hollywood and had recognizable stars in them. Monogram and Republic aren't around any more. Alternative Content is coming, but you can't make a living from it yet.
-I have to shudder when I think a new person to this business is thinking that they don't need to budget for digital. Film is going to be gone quickly. There won't be any film left to service the small operator or the sub-run. This isn't an opinion, just a way of life that has come upon us quicker than anyone ever expect.
-You've made several suggestions to folks to not serve "booze." In Texas there are now dozens of theatres showing movies and serving beer, wine and cocktails along with a full menu of food. I've not seen any blowback from this and it has brought many new customers to our auditoriums.
-Singing cowboys, which you've actually suggested recently, aren't coming back. Retro night and classics are great and work as special events, but retro nights now are for movies from the eighties more so than movies from the forties. And digital has made the showing of classic movies easier than ever and Blu Rays look better on the big screen than the battered 35 mm prints we were once forced to run.
-Have you considered part time work in a theatre? Your expertise could be valuable and you could see new trends, Facebook, credit card usage, etc. Perhaps you could meld your decades of experience with the modern turn of the industry.
-I say none of this with malice. Two years ago I never would have thought that digital films, Facebook, or Groupon would take up so much time!
AllenD
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 29 Feb 2012 04:39 #37958

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Thanks for your suggestions Allen. The last house I managed was a CineMark 15 screener. I became familiar with electronic POS screens and the use of credit cards, automation, building up, cueing and tearing down prints. I have not worked any digital houses. Frankly recent articles indicate digital will not be able to preserve movies as long as film has. But that's another story. I know the "singing cowboys" Roy Rogers and Gene Autry are gone. They are the films I was actually suggesting a retro house use occasionally. The best prints are kept to be run only in change-over houses. It's the platter houses that get the beat-up prints. I still believe that while the majority of multiplexes will be digital in the next couple of years we're a long way from the death of film especially the many prints in the studio vaults. Good fodder for retro houses. Yes it'll cost more to ship them but you can't convince me the studios are going to destroy them.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 29 Feb 2012 05:58 #37959

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Bob,

The studios are beginning to movie their retro catalogs to digital only. If it's available on Blu-Ray or DCP, the studio would rather have their retro movies shown in digital than on 35mm, assuming they even have a serviceable 35mm print to send out. The theatres and moviegoers will in most cases receive a better presentation without 35mm, as even the best maintained retro prints have noticeable dust or dirt on them, if not severely scratched up. The major studios want to be 100% removed from 35mm, including their retro titles. Almost anything worth showing is already available on Blu-Ray, or will be available in the near future. The more popular retro titles are rapidly becoming available on DCP. Digital is the future of exhibition, and the future is happening now. 35mm has a couple of years left in domestic exhibition, at best, probably more time in the Asian territories where the studios have less market share.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 29 Feb 2012 14:57 #37960

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revrobor wrote:
Thanks for your suggestions Allen. The last house I managed was a CineMark 15 screener. I became familiar with electronic POS screens and the use of credit cards, automation, building up, cueing and tearing down prints. I have not worked any digital houses. Frankly recent articles indicate digital will not be able to preserve movies as long as film has. But that's another story. I know the "singing cowboys" Roy Rogers and Gene Autry are gone. They are the films I was actually suggesting a retro house use occasionally. The best prints are kept to be run only in change-over houses. It's the platter houses that get the beat-up prints. I still believe that while the majority of multiplexes will be digital in the next couple of years we're a long way from the death of film especially the many prints in the studio vaults. Good fodder for retro houses. Yes it'll cost more to ship them but you can't convince me the studios are going to destroy them.
if you book classics these days the first question from the distrib is "can you play a dvd or blue ray?"... with the imminent death of 35mm no one wants to risk their classic 35mm prints. And who has a two projector set up anyway?
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 29 Feb 2012 21:48 #37963

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Mike wrote:
if you book classics these days the first question from the distrib is "can you play a dvd or blue ray?

This pisses me off. If I'm going to pay a rental to show a film digitally, on my new digital system, why can't they ship out a hard drive (at my expense)? I don't want to show DVD's or blu-ray, but studios insist upon it.
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Re: SO MUCH FOR THE END OF THE MOVIE BIZ.... 01 Mar 2012 04:31 #37965

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slapintheface wrote:

Here’s the Top Ten:

1. The Vow (Screen Gems/Sony) NEW [2,958 Theaters]
Friday $15.3M, Saturday $16.4M, Weekend $41M

2. Safe House (Universal) NEW [3,119 Theaters]
Friday $13.8M, Saturday $16.5M, Weekend $39M

3. Journey 2: Mysterious Island 3D (Warner Bros) NEW [3,470 Theaters]
Friday $6.5M, Saturday $12.4M, Weekend $27M

4. Star Wars 3D: Phantom Menace (LucasFilm/Fox) NEW [2,655 Theaters]
Friday $8.6M, Saturday$8.7M, Weekend $23M

»

Check the number of locations on these. Safe House did make it to to many of the smaller theaters in my area either. So only one good grossing movie that made it to the smaller theaters.
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