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Saturday, March 17, 2012

WEEKLY CineBUZZ REPORT - 13 March 2012

Highlights of this week's Report:
- 3D/Will It Make Another Comeback ?
- Biometrics - A MUST Technology for Cinemas!
- Media Players take Center Stage
3D is a great format if done right
- 3D/ On the Re-bound ?
Since the modern re-intro of 3D movies - which kicked off in August '03 with the release of  Spy Kids 3D:Game Over and up to last week's John Carter - there have been 109 3D releases (see chart).
Some of these films have been huge box office successes, others - real lemons..
  • Modern 3D Releases
  • 2003 - 1
  • 2004 - 0
  • 2005 - 0
  • 2006 - 3
  • 2007 - 3
  • 2008 - 6
  • 2009 - 14
  • 2010 - 28
  • 2011 - 47
  • 2012 - 34 (7 to date)
There were 47 3D releases last year, but it had become apparent that the public was not enthralled with the experience nor the 3D admission upcharge.  This year, through last week, there have been seven 3D films and the release schedule indicates another 27 for the remainder of the year.  That's a decrease of 13 releases from last year - which is a significant decline.  For 2013 only 20 are scheduled for release, and for 2014 only two are earmarked thus far.
Due to declining attendance (lack of demand for the 3D format) many exhibitors have decreased their 3D admission upcharge, while some have eliminated it altogether!
Like all films, good product begets good attendance - 3D or 2D.  Hollywood learned that releasing mediocre films in 3D was not going to solicit attendance.  In fact, it had the effect of discouraging attendance for well made 3D movies.
It seems Hollywood mavens are often wrong, but never in doubt. I think now even they doubt how 3D was initially handled.  Hopefully, in the near future, we'll be viewing some killer 3D flix which will re-spark the format.

Cinema MUST Embrace Biometrics

One of the big issues I always harp on is the use and adoption of technology by cinemas to make them more profitable and efficient.  For some reason(s) cinemas, by and large, are not willing or do not see the need for the use of new technology in managing their business. 

Walk into most cinema lobbies and you are confronted with a large, brightly lit space, with a uninviting concession stand selling same old, poster cases on walls, perhaps some signage using hanging LCD monitors for food pricing or other (usually unimportant) information, and maybe some non-motivational advertising about joining their "club" or purchasing gift cards.
This is a decades old picture and there is something wrong with it.  The IT is the lack of any marketing or showmanship and the total lack of the use of modern technology to foster sales, efficiency, and profitability.
Reader for Cinemas less than $500
One thing, cinemas can embrace, be it small, is the use of  Biometrics.  Ah, you say, what the heck is Biometrics?  Well, Biometrics is the science and technology of measuring and analyzing biological data, such as: DNA, fingerprints, eye and voice characteristics, etc. for authentication.  So, how does this have its use in cinemas.  Simple. It the most inexpensive way to verify payroll.

Biometric Time & Attendance Readers are self-contained, stand-alone devices that use fingerprint and/or security cards to track when an employee clocks in and out.  Better still the Readers will generate payroll reports which can be transmitted to PC, Flash drive, or other storage device.  The Readers can hold bio-data on up to 3,000 employees and they cost under $500!  Are you kidding me.  The technology pays for itself in one payroll cycle. And it generates the payroll report for you. No more payroll calculating, no more payroll service fee, and no more time-fudging by employees.  

Biometric Readers are the perfect example of a technology that can be used to best advantage by cinemas. If you want more information on Biometric Readers email me. My address is under my mug (great pic, I was happy that day)  to the right of this post.

Media Players - Promotion/Sales/Profits

Speaking of technology, the latest digital signage solutions that integrate audio, video, and data for an enhanced customer experience have just hit the market.  For a single to hundreds of screens these new systems are low cost and effective with no recurring license fees and lifetime software upgrades.

Small yet powerful
Spinetix, a Swiss company makes the best commercial media players that have unlimited adaptability - and can even be networked to serve multiple locations.

How MPs work
Yet another technology that should be embraced by cinemas - for in-theatre promotions, 3rd party fee-based advertising, information & data for concession sales and promotions, cinema events, local news, etc. The new media players make it exceptionally easy to create and change content with unlimited possibilities.  They are very affordable and they work at generating sales and profits.

Best and Happy Movie Going!
Jim Lavorato

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