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TOPIC: Booking films theatrical or non-theatrical

Booking films theatrical or non-theatrical 06 Jun 2004 02:37 #8376

  • coryray
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Good People, what do you see as the differences between theatrical and nontheatrical screenings. For that matter, what is the definition of both; when is a screening one kind and not the other? I’m just wondering if it’s clearly defined as it seems that one distributor says one thing and another, just the opposite.

I have my own understanding, but it often contradicts what some like to think. For example, it becomes very difficult to explain the definition to an outside producer of a film fest, telling them what they can and can’t do, particularly regarding advertising, when there’s no back up from a distributor who cares only about the booking and collecting the money.

Bottom line is, the theatre will always be held responsible for whatever occurs, and the implication will always be that we know better, since it’s our job to.
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Re: Booking films theatrical or non-theatrical 07 Jun 2004 10:56 #8377

  • agoodman
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Dear Coryray,

This is what I use as the definition between theatrical and non-theatrical:

Theatrical has paid advertising. Non-theatrical is not allowed to advertise except within their own property or publication (ie: universities can advertise only on campus and in the campus newspaper, libraries only with in the building and in their member newsletters, etc.)

I know that most distributors have different definitions, but the above is the baseline requirement for me.

At Criterion Pictures we treat film festivals as non-theatrical, regardless of where they screen the films.

It is to your advantage financially to be considered theatrical as non-theatrical customers pay higher guarantees and percentages.

I'd be interested to hear what other distributors have to say on the subject.

Anne Goodman
Criterion Pictures
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