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TOPIC: Could Clearances be gone someday ?

Could Clearances be gone someday ? 07 Feb 2014 13:50 #40602

  • slapintheface
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As many of you know I always like to think about what the future of the movie business is going to be.

With that in mind here are two reasons I believe we may see the end of clearances in the next 5 to 10 years.

1. Theatres are no longer suing studios over clearances but the theatre chain in there zone that is denying them product. I believe this is a very significant and important change to abolishing clearances by suing only one entity rather than all studios it is cheaper for someone to go ahead with there lawsuit. Eventually one of these cases is going to a State Supreme Court where clearances are likely to be called illegal. One of the important cases to watch is Cobb Theatres vs AMC in Atlanta Ga . Theatre chains are much more likely to cave to pressure on this issue than a studio .

2. The second reason might seem very far-fetched to some of you but I do believe this is where the business is headed in the next 10 years : The end of sales reps for your territory - With technology the way it is we will eventually sign on to a computer pick what picture you want to play by each studio and send it off like an email hence no need for a sales rep . The majority of the sales rep job is dealing with allocation and clearance issues other issues like how many runs and or terms can easily be handled by a computer program .
There will be a few distribution people left in La to handle "issues "

These are just my opinions so have at it !
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Could Clearances be gone someday ? 07 Feb 2014 14:46 #40603

  • BusyBee
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I'd still like to have a rep to talk to about booking, but I'd like to do away with cashiers. (Are they the same people? I dunno, I use a booker). It's crazy that I can't login to pay rentals online. We have had our theater for 6 years, but when we were new we had to pay advances fairly frequently. It was ridiculous scurrying to the bank to wire $1000, with a 1:00 PM cutoff time. Would have been so simple to go online and transfer it.
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Could Clearances be gone someday ? 08 Feb 2014 11:41 #40604

  • Ptwin
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Cashiers are different than the sales rep, but work together in allowing films to be sent if you owe.

I agree an online payment solution would be great vs last second wires and the bank fees to go along with tthem
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Could Clearances be gone someday ? 09 Feb 2014 12:17 #40613

  • Mike
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well... maybe.

One thing is very clear: what is the point of these phony managed roll outs for something like Monuments Men? Certainly without a VPF there is ZERO reason to not put it on every screen that wants it. I understand some level of roll out but this was purely stupid and it must be driven by offices full of geniuses telling everyone how smart they are and how neccessary as opposed to a drop down menu with a click to play. Anyway... right now the VPF is clouding things up but with distribs appetite for "no VPF" as an indicator, they likey likey, it does indeed look like a brave new world. I just hope they never invent an app that sends them an alarm f God forbid someone should double or drop a show.

Will they still have salespeople... I think yes. They still want to push stuff to us... What do you mean you don't want to play Robocop?!!!!..... and for the money? Compared to how much they spend on a few ads? They'll keep them.

Cashiers are definitely a different breed than salesmen. But that's a whole different subject.
Michael Hurley
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Could Clearances be gone someday ? 09 Feb 2014 21:03 #40624

  • rodeojack
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Their reasoning may be arcane, or impossible to understand, but the studios have done a very good job of creating a (mostly) defensible marketing strategy.

The courts have long supported the studios' right to market their products in the way that THEY, not US, feel is most beneficial.

That said, I don't disagree that some of them have a wierd way of doing business. Some of them have almost completely different ways of marketing their films, based on what part of the country a theatre is in.

But... it's their product, and if they stay relatively consistent within a geographic region, I imagine they have a lot of leeway. Some of these companies seem to be equally managed by accountants and lawyers, so unless you have the resources to argue with them in court, the best way to deal with them is to figure some way to play the game.

Slap makes a couple of interesting points. Exhibitors can be sued over clearances, but I think that's mainly because the studios' contracts say they only award them at the request of a competing theatre. That may not completely let the studio off the hook, but it does put someone ahead of them as a target.

As for booking online... I'm not sure that'd be a great idea. How would you argue with a web site over percentages and availability? Sounds like you'd be getting a "take it or leave it" scenario, with no way to question a policy. Don't think that's something I'd be looking forward to. Even being mostly first-run, there are still a lot of moving parts to some of the bookings we make.
Last Edit: 09 Feb 2014 21:13 by rodeojack.
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