- China Opens Release Window - A Crack
- U.S Boxoffice - So Far/So Good
- CGM's "Oscar" Picks
- In-Home Theatres Become Passe'
China and U.S. Ink New Movie Release Agreement
Last week, U.S. VP Joe Biden and Chinese VP Xi Jinping (the odds-on favorite to become China's next President) announced an agreement which will ease (slightly) the current restrictions on U.S. movie distribution in China.
Under the new agreement, China will allow an additional 14 movies (including 3D and IMAX films) to be released bringing the total annual allowable releases to 34. Although the Obama Administration and the Motion Picture Association of America were touting this as a great step forward, it is really a token gesture on the part of the Chinese government.
The pact also increased the limit on a studio's box office take to 25% from the current 13%.- which is in stark contrast to the 50-55% of box office grosses the studios grab from U.S. exhibitors. On the important issue of piracy, nothing was agreed to regarding DVD or BluRay sales, or China's rampant movie piracy and copyright infractions.
In a private agreement with the Chinese Government, Warner Bros. became the first studio allowed to offer a pay-per-view service in China and DreamWorks announced it had formed a joint venture with two Chinese media companies, called Oriental DreamWorks. Based in Shanghai, the company will create animated and live-action movies and TV shows targeting a family audience and is scheduled to release its first production in 2016.
|Recently completed Chinese National Film Museum|
U.S. Boxoffice Looking UP
|Includes Navy Seals in Cast|
This Sunday's Oscar awards should give a boost to grosses as well. Also opening this weekend are Act of Valor (Relativity) the action, Navy Seal quasi-reality flix should do very brisk business. It is accompanied by the comedy Wanderlust (Universal) and Gone (Summit), an action thriller (which I believe will be a sleeper and do very well). Openers for March look promising. The Lorax (Universal), John Carter (BA), and the documentary Bully (Weinstein) are best bets.
First quarter grosses should surpass 2011 by at least 10% and provide a good cushion going into Spring, which can always be dicey. Also, there will be the Summer Olympics and Presidental election to contend with. Tickets sold thus far: 185.6 million - slightly up from last year.
CMG'S "Oscar" Picks - Silence and the Ladies
For openers, we are only going to predict on the top awards, and our feeling this year is that Silence is golden and the Ladies rule. Lets get to it:
Best Picture: The Artist
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Actress: Viola Davis, The Help
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, The Help
Best Director: Michel Hazanavious, The Artist
Best Music: Ludovic Bource, The Artist
So, we are predicting that Tinseltown's big night will be all about history. The way Hollywood used to be and a slice of social/racial life in the U.S. during the mid-1990's.
Note: In a deal signed yesterday (with the Weinstein Company) Netflix reported that The Artist, will make its pay-television debut exclusively on Netflix rather than on traditional premium cable TV. This deal also includes the upcoming docu-flix, the Bully.
In Home Theatres Go Out-of-Fashion
According to the National Association of Home Builders, the large and elaborate Home Theatre is a design tread that has seen its day. A must-have in many homes just a few years ago, has quietly and quickly become passe. The hugh projection screen, theatre seating with cupholders, and mood lighting has given way to large flat panels and smaller (yet just as powerful) sound systems. In today's home the entertainment is in every room with devices that move with each family member.
The U.S. homebuyer of today is practical, value-oriented, and knows the technology. The need for a home theatre or large, media-viewing gathering place is no longer needed. According to the NAHB, other once popular home trends that are on the wane: Outdoor kitchens & fireplaces, Sunrooms, Two-story foyers, Master-planned developments, Formal dining rooms, and Whirlpool tubs.
Best and Happy Movie Going!