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TOPIC: how does "allocation" work?

how does "allocation" work? 22 Jan 2004 13:13 #7282

  • Mike
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When theatres are in competion they often end up allocating prints to the theatre. As I understand it: you get choice #1 from WB and then the other guy gets choice # 1. Is that how it works?

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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Re: how does "allocation" work? 22 Jan 2004 13:46 #7283

  • muviebuf
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In my area of Central Pennsylvania historically the split between the two major competing chains has been to alternate releases from each of the major distributors. (Chain A gets the first WB release of the year, Chain B gets the second WB of the year, Chain A gets the third WB release of the year etc. The same goes for Sony, Universal, Disney etc.) So who gets what becomes a function of the distributors release schedules. Depending on what hits and what misses, one theatre often ends up getting a string of hits and the other gets a sting of flops; then the pattern seems to reverse for a while. (At least thats the way its seems to work out over a long period of time. I understand its makes it difficult from an employee scheduling point of view.)
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Re: how does "allocation" work? 29 Jan 2004 10:26 #7284

  • Mike
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And then..... if you pass on a film where are you? A small theatre was competing against a multi and they can't take everything so there you are in allocation and you just can't cherry pick. Better than out of biz I suppose.
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Re: how does "allocation" work? 29 Jan 2004 10:42 #7285

  • muviebuf
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In my area of Central Pennsylvania the two competing chains have roughly the same number of screens. It seems to be part of the deal that everything get played right down the line. There is no "passing" on a picture. Makes the booking (if that's what you want to call it) very easy.

I do feel sorry for the managers though. Any change in a distrib's release schedule can have a major effect (e.g. one minute you are booked for Bad Boys 2, then there is a picture added or bumped and you get Gigli instead.)

[This message has been edited by muviebuf (edited January 29, 2004).]
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Re: how does "allocation" work? 29 Jan 2004 20:57 #7286

  • BECKWITH1
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Allocation is no fun for anyone in my opinion. As we were on allocation at the single screen in competition with an 8 plex you can imagine how bad that could be for us. Our allocation for the final summer was: Lizzie Maguire, Rugrats Go Wild, Sinbad and Spy Kids. In retrospect I know that we made the right decision to close the theater rather than try to survive the summer without Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean but it was one of the most difficult and emotional decisions that I have ever made. Spy Kids would have been the only one that could have helped us out.

A very important point about allocation is that there is almost no way to exit the contract earlier than 4 weeks even if the movie is a dog because they have the leverage to say that it could have been run at the other theater. Sinbad would have killed us.

We could have given up and gone back to moveover but we had no desire to go backwards after fighting so hard for so long. People here have let us know that they do not wait to see movies until they become available on moveover. Our theater is now a church.
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Re: how does "allocation" work? 30 Jan 2004 02:30 #7287

  • Mike Spaeth
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Having worked in an allocation situation 8 screens vs. 8 screens - Moviebuf- you are wrong - the films don't just bounce back and forth. That's a simplistic way of describing it - but the BBII/Gigli example is wrong. Usually, they allocate 3 months or so at a time, saying Theatre A will play Bad Boys II & Gigli, while Theatre B will play S.W.A.T. & Daddy Day Care. Once an allocation is made, unless the other guy passes on a picture, it's pretty much set in stone. A lot of factors go into it, such as a theatre's gross potential, etc`.
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Re: how does "allocation" work? 30 Jan 2004 04:03 #7288

  • CharlieBo
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Yeah Mike-in my experience,the distribs try to balance pretty fairly.Unless one theatre in the zone is REALLY a better house.Then he gets the advantage.Allocation is MUCH better than the old BIDDING situation,but maybe not as good as the old "illegal"splitting situation.
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Re: how does "allocation" work? 30 Jan 2004 11:40 #7289

  • MoovieFan
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Make sure when taking your allocations that you document closely the conversations if a promise was made for a big film coming up, in lew of a film you should have recieved. I have had to repeat a few conversations where this was a problem and was worked out.
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