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Monday, January 23, 2023

Time's Up ... Folds Up

 

Ad for Time's Up

The anti-harassment organization that launched 5 years ago to huge Hollywood fanfare and financial backing at the outset of the #MeToo movement is closing its doors. 

Racked with internal fraud and mismanagement, including revelations that Time's Up's leadership did not disclose connections with former governor Andrew Cuomo who was implicated in sexual harassment charges which led to his resignation.

When launched in 2018, Time's Up was supported with donations, with TV and social media hyping by numerous Hollywood celebs. Pins emblazoned with the phrase "Time's Up" were seen on the red carpets of the Golden Globes and Oscars. 

Jimmy Kimmel plugging Time's Up at the Oscars

Donations soared and the advisory board included Natalie Portman and Jessica Chastain among others. However, after its tacit support of Cuomo its favored status waned.

By the beginning of this year, Time's Up support had shrunk to just three board members, including Ashley Judd, and its demise was eminent. Its remaining funds, totally about $1.7 million will be given to the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C., which will use the funds to pay outstanding legal fees and provide legal assistance to low-income workers. 

Celebs support to the Time's Up cause.











Sunday, January 22, 2023

Kevin Spacey Receives Lifetime Achievement Award...It's Due

 


The multiple sexual assault charges against Kevin Spacey didn't deter Italy's National Museum of Cinema from honoring the actor, as they paid tribute with its highest honor - the Stella della Mole Award for lifetime achievement. 

Spacey thanked the Museum and the Italian Ministry of Culture for the award, "for having the courage, the balls, to invite me. I've only ever received kindness and support from fans and coworkers."

Spacey won a Best Actor Oscar in 2000 for his role in 'American Beauty'. He was accused of sexual offenses in the U.K. to which he has pleaded not guilty. Last October, he was found not guilty of another sexual misconduct charge.

Spacey is currently a persona non grata in Hollywood, as the industry turned its back on him. He was fired from the Netflix series 'House of Cards'. He has, however, found work in Europe and is involved with several projects in Italy and France.

CMG believes that until proven otherwise, Spacey is innocent. He is a very good actor and it's always nice to see him perform. Good luck Kevin.





Boycotting Russian and Iranian Films...A BAD Idea

 



The Berlin Film Festival and the European Film Market event joined the Cannes and Venice festivals in banning Russian and Iranian-produced films due to the war in Ukraine. 

In a statement, the Berlin fest emphasized that it "will not exclude filmmakers, artists, industry representatives, or journalists because of their Russian or Iranian nationality."

The thing is, how do you know what the filmmakers' affiliations are? Banning films, for whatever reasons, is a bad idea and CMG does not support banning any film for whatever reason.

Let the public decide on the films they want to view and not have festival managers censoring films based on their origin of production.

Monday, January 02, 2023

2023 - Streamers Move to a Defensive Posture

 


It's no longer about increasing subscriber numbers but finding growth areas within their customer base and bolstering the brand - that is the strategy for all streamers going forward.


Here's how the top 5 content streamers will proceed in '23:

  • Netflix - The King of the Hill. This juggernaut of streamers has already started the switch to less subscriber growth. It rolled out an ad-supported tier and is eliminating password sharing (but won't be too aggressive with penalizing password sharers it will use an honor system). Additionally, we will see a gaming option and a new series of workout videos are being offered as we speak.
  • Disney - Will focus on brand strengthening. Disney will be reducing investment in general entertainment content and sports. Also, Disney will not be acquiring the remaining 33% ownership of Hulu from Comcast but will push negotiations into 2025.
  • Warners - Their merge with Discovery Channel will be at the top of the agenda for 2023. Post-merger will require consolidation and bundling of content from their various outlets. 
  • Google - Making the big bet on the NFL Sunday football is front and center at Google. Their hope is that this will be a huge winner for YouTube. Games will be available to anyone in the U.S. without the purchase of a pay-TV package. The stakes are high, as under the seven-year deal Google is paying the NFL $2 billion.
  • FAST (free ad-supported TV) - CMG's pick for the fifth most important driver in streaming content. FAST will grow substantially and take viewers away from regular broadcast and cable channels. Pluto TV, Tubi, FreeVee, and Ruku will see huge gains and out-pace subscription-based services for viewers.







The 'Ash People' of Avatar 3

 


'Avatar 2: The Way of  Water'
was a smash hit at the box office, amassing over $1.4 billion in less than two weeks of release globally. But....what's next.

Avatar 3 will feature a new Na'vi tribe, the Ash People. Whereas Avatar 2 was all about water, 3 will be all about fire. The new tribe, the Ash People are far less friendly and much more villainous. The plot shifts from outsiders invading Pandora to an internal conflict within the planet, i.e. Earth's situation.

"The earlier two films are very negative against humans and very positive to Na'vi inhabitants - in 3 we do the reverse," says Jim Cameron.

The Avatar saga adds layer upon layer to the overall story.  Avatar 3 will travel beyond Pandora to other planets. Pandora serves as a foundation for the entire narrative. The only thing we are sure of is that as sequels progress Cameron intends to bring the story full circle back to Earth in the fifth film - and possibly beyond that.

Avatar 3 has just wrapped and is in post-production, it is scheduled for release in December 2024.  



Thursday, December 29, 2022

Award Screenings' Attendance Has Dropped Like a Rock

 

There are hundreds of film Awards 

If you're in a rush to get a seat to view the nominations for the various cinema awards, don't worry there are plenty of empty ones.

Even in H'wood, sources confirm that screenings at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater (which has 1,000 seats) has been seating only 50 or so attendees per viewing.

This is even more unusual, as many of these screenings feature Q&A sessions with talent from the films. 

COVID can't be blamed for the dismal turnouts, at least not anymore. And don't forget, these are invited guests that get to go to the Award screenings for free. 

There seems to be a great lack of enthusiasm within the cinema industry for the numerous Award organizations' nominations. CMG agrees. The number of Award shows is tiresome and monotonous - with the same old faces and lack luster presentations. Everything is soooo bland.   

There are Awards than awards. The main Awards are the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards (British Oscars), Golden Globe (The Hollywood Foreign Press), Cannes Palm D'or Award, Ce'sar Awards (French Oscar), and literally hundreds of other award presentations including Critics, Film Festivals, and almost every country has film awards.


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Cruise Gets Cold-shoulder from Golden Globes


Cruise returned 3 Golden Globe Awards in 2021

In 2021, Tom Cruise returned his three Golden Globe statues amid the controversy surrounding the award show's governing body, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, when it was revealed that none of its members were black.

This year, because of Cruise's prior action, the HFPA did not nominate him for a Best Actor award for his role in 'Top Gun, Maverick", which had a 96% favorable rating from Rotten Tomatoes and grossed over $1.4 billion globally.

And so, it goes. CMG's take on all of this is - Cruise could care less! It just makes the HFPA look more petty and less relevant than they already are.  


Want a great take on business, with insights not available from any other source, than go to the 4M Performance website. 


Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Little Known - American Film Showcase

 


The U.S. film industry is arguably the primary exporter of culture throughout the world. But the superhero, high-impact, fantasy films that dominate have hidden the idea of what the U.S. is all about. 

Although little known, about a decade ago the U.S. Department of State launched the American Film Showcase which was founded on the idea of screening U.S. made documentaries which depict American life - the good and bad. To my knowledge no other country does anything like this.

The AFS program is administered by the Cinematic School of Arts at the University of Southern California and its American documentaries have disseminated in 111 countries via US Consulates.  

Many of these films start out with dire themes but usually end as an uplifting tale of people overcoming their bad circumstances. 


In addition to screening films, the AFS sends film industry artists and employees around the world as trainers and instructors to local cinema talent. According to Gandin Mark, Director of International Programs at AFS, "there's a very intense desire to create TV content around the world and we have skills to teach that people trust."

According to, Francisco Perez, a State Department, Public Affairs Officer who has sponsored AFS programs in three continents, says "the power of the messages you can impart through film is very underestimated, by training filmmakers who are learning about human rights, democracy and values that we as Americans hold dear, it's going to influence the rest of their careers."

The AFS is a very worthwhile endeavor that spreads our culture and beliefs worldwide in a non-confrontational and useful manner. It is a program very few of us know about but should.










Saturday, December 17, 2022

60 Is Hollywood's NEW 25

 Even in youth-crazed H'wood, older actors in their 50s, 60s and more, are getting the nod for high-impact roles that were once the singular domain of the 25+ group.

The actors to the left are all 70+


Be it Tom Cruise (60+) in 'Top Gun, Harrison Ford (80) in the upcoming 'Indiana Jones', 56-year-old Viola Davis in 'The Woman King', or Keanu Reeves (58) in the John Wick series, older is not an issue. 

The over 50 set is more experienced, more versatile, and has box office cache. Action scenes are now very choreographed utilizing the expertise of body movement coaches and stunt experts - age is just a number.

Once focused on the young and beautiful Hollywood has given way, in many cases, to wiser, more confident, and perhaps sexier and more realistic characters in the story.

So, be it Nicole Kidman, Holle Berry, Salma Hayek, Marica Tomei, Lucy Liu or Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, or Liam Neeson all bets are off on age sanctions.  60 is the new 30 in H'wood and it's reflected at the box office as the older A-listers garner the big grosses. 


All 50+ and going strong



Sunday, December 11, 2022

Poor Oscar...He Needs a Re-branding



Say what you will about Oscar, certainly he has lost a lot of his gleam, but he is still at the top of the heap when it comes to entertainment awards. He still represents the biggest (arguably) recognition of artistic talent in the motion picture industry.

In addition to self-inflicted wounds, coming from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Oscar's biggest onslaught came from the content streamers. Over the past 7 years Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and many others have become very competitive rivals to the major studios and their top prize.

Streamers have presented problems for Oscar

But the winds seem to be shifting in Oscar's favor and this year of the 10 best picture nominations there may be none nominated from the streamers' ranks. 

The problem for Oscar however is not streamers but its loss of purpose. The Oscar presentation has lost consumer interest. It's lost its relevance to moviegoers and home viewers alike. It's out of touch with mainstream viewership which is only interested in screening films of certain genres, mainly, high-impact action and superhero, horror, and children automation.

The Academy Awards gala represents a good back-slapping event for the movie industry's glitterati. the Oscars seem to be the same folks giving accolades to each other year in and year out for films not one views.


 

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Avatar 6 and 7, Really!



The sequel to
Avatar will be released on Dec. 16th, Way of the Water. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th episodes of this franchise are scheduled for release in December of 2024, '26, and '28. But, I think that is too long a wait between episodes, although Way of the Water lagged Avatar by 13 years.



James Cameron, the creator, and director of the films has ideas about a 6th and 7th episode. According to Cameron, "obviously, I'm not going to be able to make Avatar movies indefinitely. I would like to train somebody how to do this. I'll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can do some other stuff."

Cameron wants the 'Avatar' saga to continue with  6th & 7th films

 Avatar, is the highest-grossing film of all time, at $2.91 billion. The previous record holder was Titanic at $1.84 billion, which is another Cameron film. Way of the Water is anticipated to do as well, but Disney, the film's distributor, has demanded that every cinema must commit to a four-week run with a 68% distribution fee of gross over the entire run. For many smaller, independent exhibitors these terms are non-starters as it precludes them from exhibiting other Christmas films because they must 'lock up' a screen for Way of the Water.



Other, notable films for the season include Pinocchio, Puss in Boots, Matilda, Encanto, Night at the Museum, etc. Way of the Water would have to have great legs to have a solid four-week run.

Way of the Water cost $350 million before marketing expenses. Cameron thinks that the film would have to gross $2 billion globally to get its money back. "You have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That's your threshold. That's your breakeven"

CMG believes Way of the Water will do extremely well at the box office, whether or not it will exceed the first film? But, with inflation and consumers' quest for escapism, it may just beat the odds.

On sale now!






Saturday, November 12, 2022

Oh No! Not Another It's Not My Fault Filmmaker

 Last month I was obligated to set the record straight regarding Marty Scorsese's view on the cinema (see CMG post, "Marty Scorsese, You're Biting the Hand That Feeds You!), now the attention shifts to Spielberg.

Spielberg 

In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Spielberg stated, "I might be open to making a film for a streaming service in the future, but it must be on my terms", - what a pompous twit.

Of course, he is going to make films that go directly to streaming, just like Scorsese does. Why? Because they are greedy and know that their projects won't make any book at the box office. So, they go for the lesser but guaranteed money from Netflix, Apple, or Amazon. 

They do this to stay relevant and hedge on their films flopping at the box office. For example, Spielberg's 2017 pre-pandemic 'The Post" which starred Tom Hanks (a Stephen fav) and Meryle Streep, grossed $179 million worldwide - not bad for a film that cost only $50 million.

Hanks in 'The Post' 

However, Spielberg says, "The Post, which was nominated for six Oscars, had lackluster attendance because it wasn't streamed" - and not because most moviegoers chose not to view it. 

Come on Stephen, own-up to your gaps. According to Spielberg or Scorsese, it's never the filmmakers fault it's always the audience's lack of understanding and appreciation of their work. 

News flash Stephen, just because a film is streamed doesn't ensure success. Not all Netflix or Prime films are viewed by the millions and millions - they have flops just like in the cinema.

'The Post', for example, would have been only offered to people that skew to that genre of film. All streamers utilize AI (artificial intelligence) to feed films to subscribers based upon their 'viewing' profile. 

Anyway, enough ranting. Moviegoers, at this point in time, want (no desire) high-impact, action, fantasy, horror, and superhero films or sequels of same. That what brings in the big box office bank.  






Monday, October 31, 2022

New 'Avatar' Is Long and Kid Friendly

 


After waiting 13 years for its sequel, the original Avatar remains the highest grossing film of all time at $2.92 billion.

By now, anyone with even a passing interest in the cinema know that Avatar sequel Avatar: The Way of Water is going to be released this December. 

Rated a kid-friendly PG-13, The Way of Water will be screened in both 2D and 3D and has a run time of 3+ hours. It will be the biggest box office earner in 2022 and hopefully will exceed the gross of the first Avatar.

Disney obtained the Avatar franchise after it acquired 20th Century Fox, in a deal that finalized in 2019. This film, which includes a lot of underwater scenes, will open worldwide on December 16th.

Cameron shot all 4 sequels simultaneously

James Cameron brought back all of the stars from the first Avatar (Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Michelle Rodriquez) who will be joined by newcomers Vin Diesel and Kate Winslet.

In addition to Way of Water, three more films will be screened each with standalone plots but centered around the main theme of the franchise. The cost of all five films is estimated at over $1.2 billion.

Avatar 3 will be released next December, with #4 in 2026 and #5 in 2028. As Cameron shot all of the 4 sequels simultaneously the main cast members remain the same throughout all of the 5 films.

 I, for one, can't wait to see it even with its 3+ hour run time.




Thursday, October 20, 2022

Win Some Lose Some

Moviemaking has always been a crapshoot. There's no guarantee that a great film with a star director and A-list cast will ensure a 'bonkers' box office.

A star-studded cast doesn't guarantee box office

Take the recent case of the film 'Amsterdam". The Disney/New Regency production opened over the October 7th weekend on 3,000 U.S. screens and grossed only $6.4 million. At a cost of $80 million to produce and another $70 million to promote the film worldwide, the studios stand to lose at least $100 million or more when all is said and done.

'Amsterdam' was dubbed "a movie for older adults", unfortunately this group was a no-show and those that did gave it a poor rating (only a 33% Rotten Tomatoes).

The director, David Russell, is one of the best Hollywood has to offer, and the cast was first-rate: Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Robert DeNiro, Chris Rock, Rami Malek, even Taylor Swift couldn't bolster a draw. 

This all goes back to my last post on CMG regarding what the moviegoing public wants to view at cinemas - action, fantasy, and escapism. 

Disney had no comment on the film's lackluster performance. I may go view it but then again, I may wait until its streamed.


Thursday, October 13, 2022

Marty Scorsese, You're Biting the Hand That Feeds You!


 Martin Scorsese thinks superhero and monster mega hit movies are bad for the cinema... that's his opinion. He's dead wrong! 


Scorsese at this year's NY Film Fest

He's wrong because the cinema is what consumers make it. Without moviegoers flocking to the mega-hit films there would be no cinema, no actors, no directors, no Marty Scorsese, no Hollywood, no NY Film Festival.

News flash Marty, everything in the world runs on dollars...everything! Saying, the "cinema is devalued, demeaned, belittled from all sides, not necessarily the business side but certainly the art".  But who defines what "art" is. Certainly not Marty and his cinema purist minions. All film is art, be it 'Taxi Driver" or 'Spiderman".

The whole of the theatrical side of cinema is based on popcorn, if you want to be technical. Without concession profits there would be no movie theaters, they would never be able to operate on their share of the box office take. And, without the mega superhero films (with few exceptions, ala "Top Gun") there would be very few butts in seats at cinemas.

"As a filmmaker, and as a person who can't imagine life without cinema, I always find it really insulting" said Marty regarding the current box office which is skewed toward Marvel and DC Comic flix. 

Funny, but although Marty says he loves the cinema his last major project, 'The Irishman' premiered on Netflix and his next endeavor, 'Killers of the Flower Moon' will debut on Apple TV. So much for Marty's love of the movie theater.

It should be noted that superhero portrayer, Keanu Reeves (Matrix, and the John Wick franchises) just severed ties with Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon' project. This would have been Reeves' first, made for TV role, and apparently his wasn't keen on the idea.

The cinema is a reflection of society. It always has been. Right now, where we're at, society wants escapism not films based upon morals, human frailties, or heavy, emotional ladened plots and characters. They want simple fantasy and escape from the burdens of current life, and that's just what the most profitable and well-attended films provide.

In thinking about it, Scorsese really doesn't have real 'love' for the cinema that he professes because if he did, he would know that society needs what currently fills cinema - movies that offer fantasy through superheroes and surreal worlds. For without these films there would be no cinema.



Sunday, September 25, 2022

The BIG Age Divide in Media Viewing

 Media consumption is multipolar demographically. It's the young vs. the old when it comes to viewing what's important to Americans. A new study commissioned by Variety Media brings light to this demographic divide.

The notion, that consumers of various ages favor different content formats is not new. What has changed, in the digital age, is the emergence of totally different platforms for entertainment. Whereas once young consumers watched MTV instead of CBS, now they watch TicTok and broadcast TV isn't even on the viewing agenda.


Media consumption is multipolar

A Demographic Divide exists in media consumption. The key insights: 

  • media companies must reach consumers on their own preferred platforms
  • traditional media must evolve to changing attitudes to survive
  • there exists a digital divide between young and old consumers, those over 45
  • news outlets are in need of regulation as they are no longer trusted
For companies to thrive a one-size-fits-all mentally is no longer effective.  The media world going forward must be laser-focused on their audience and the platform(s) that audience uses.

Let's Look at the Numbers 

Top 3 Favorite Entertainment Formats by Age Group
  • 15-29: Social Media, Video Games, TV Shows
  • 30-44: TV Shows, Watching Movies, Video Games
  • 45-59: TV Shows, Watching Movies, Video Games
  • 60+: TV Shows, Watching Movies, Listening to Music
TV is not the most entertaining media for the youngest consumers, in contract to other generations. In fact, people 60+ are twice as likely as those below 30 to say TV is their preferred way to entertain themselves.

The strong skew toward Video Game playing with all but the oldest group is significant. This is why media giants like Warners, Discovery, and Netflix are giving this sector so much attention. 


Top 3 Least Favorite Entertainment Formats by Age Group
  • 15-29: Cable News, Watching Sports, Social Media
  • 30-44: Watching Sports, Cable News, Social Media
  • 45-59: Watching Sports, Cable News, Video Games
  • 60+: Watching Sports, Video Games, Social Media
Sports (are you listening NFL) and cable news ranked as the least favorite formats across the age spectrum. Less and less consumers are viewing sports and cable news shows in spite of the fact that sports overall are touted to be an American viewing stable. This is not the case.

This is the reason sports franchises are moving into Web3 and its various marketing components from metaverses to NFTs. To retain their viewing influence sports, cable news, and social media must maintain relevancy with younger consumers, without regard to gender, race, or social status. 

Considering that watching TV isn't as strong for the 15-29s as other groups it is important to reach them via the formats they use in order to maximize potential audience growth. The smartest long-term strategy may be to distribute simultaneously across streaming, social, and TV.

Brand Ranking - 3 Most Entertaining Brands
  • 15-29: YouTube, Netflix, TikTok
  • 30-44: Netflix, YouTube, Facebook
  • the other age groups were not tested for Brand Ranking
The top 3 entertainment brands are all new media for all consumers in the 15-44 age group. This is significant. For all of its current issues, Netflix scores the strongest of all media formats across the demographic range with social media next in line. 

Takeaways

Traditional broadcast and cable TV are, for the most part irrelevant as we move forward, particularly as we transition to Web3 where current social media will also take a backseat. The assumption that consumers will simply become TV or streaming viewers is naive. Going forward consumers will be reached by other formats some of which may not have even been invented as yet.


Cinema Mucho Gusto
a service of 
Entertainment Equipment Corporation




Monday, September 05, 2022

National Cinema Day - Finally, Exhibitors Take CMG's Advice

 


September 3rd debuted National Cinema Day in the U.S., when for $3 anyone could view any movie at a participating cinema.


The notion of a National Cinema Day was the brainchild of Cinema Mucho Gusto. back in 2018, in a post entitled All About the Holidays

In fact, I suggested the celebration be a week-long event given the cinema's long and very important role in the world's history and cultural development. 

The Day however was spearheaded by the Cinema Foundation, a non-profit arm of the National Assoc. of Theaters Owners. 

Advertised as a "thank you" to movie fans, the hope was to draw not only current moviegoers but also people that haven't been back to the cinema for several years. And, by all accounts, did was a great success. Over 8.1 million tickets were sold making it the highest attended day for the year - and grossed over $24.3 million.

The Cinema Foundation described the event as a trial that may become an annual Cinema Day. 

We're glad the industry finally followed our advice and pushed for a National Cinema Day. Now it's time to move for a week-long series of events celebrating the contribution of the cinema. 







Saturday, August 20, 2022

Southeast Europe: The New H'wood of Movie Production

 


Spurred on by low production costs, cash rebates, and limited production capacity in Central European countries like Hungary and the Czech Republic, Hollywood producers are embracing, and flocking to, Greece, Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia. These countries offer picture-postcard vistas of the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Black Seas, forests, and unaltered natural beauty. In addition to old-world cities, towns, and hamlets make fitting sets for many productions.

Croatia, for example, has seen a stream of major production, including: "Game of Thrones", "The Wheel of Time" and "Eagle Eye"  all of which were shot completely in Croatia. 

Expendables 4 - Cast just keeps getting bigger

Greece is one of the hottest locations, closely followed by Serbia - both of which have some of the best production crews in the business.  Bulgaria is another favored location where, for example, a lot of the footage of the "Expendables" franchise was, and is, being shot. These are all places where it is easy to make movies. They have the infrastructure, crews, studio space, and equipment ready for use. 

To avoid a natural rivalry, cross-border collaborations are being established. With Greece operating at capacity this summer, Serbian movie crews were hired. Also, a lot of production is being spread out among several countries which is possible due to their proximity to one another and their EU status which makes labor and travel rules non-issues.







Sunday, August 07, 2022

Cinema Industry Status Report

Movie Theater in 2075?

Each year CMG reported on the status of the movie industry. We derived our information from the internal statistics of the Motion Picture Association of America. However, with the COVID crisis and the implosion of the cinema industry, there was nothing to report during 2019 and 2020. 

2019 saw the return of moviegoers into theaters and although it was not a stellar year by any measure it did indicate the resurgence of attendance. This year will see the renewal of the industry blossom further and 2023 be a 'back-to-normal' year and continue to break attendance records.

The latest MPAA stats indicate that the cinema industry is reaching its pre-pandemic box office level and will, barring any unforeseen dilemma, surpass the 2018 record-breaking box office.

  • The studios have learned that releasing films day-and-date on streaming networks only causes a loss of revenue, overall.
  • Over 175 million people, about 50% of the population visit a U.S. cinema at least once a year.
  • Per capita attendance or the average number of times a person went to the cinema is highest among the 12-17 age group, and among the Hispanic/Latino community. 
  • Frequent moviegoers, in the U.S., or those who attend a movie at least monthly, account for 34% of all tickets sold.
The top three box office markets (in dollar terms) outside the U.S. are China, Japan, and the U.K., with China being the largest overall.

  • 3D films represent only 7% of the global box office.
  • At the end of 2021, there were 208,037 cinema screens worldwide, with the U.S./Canada accounting for 41,882 of that total.
  • Only 387 films were released in the U.S. in 2021, substantially down from the over 900 released in 2018. 2022 will show a back to a normal number of releases.
Demographically, 45% of moviegoers in 2021 were white, 28% Hispanic, 15% black, 9% Asian, and 4% Native.

  • The average moviegoer purchased 2.8 tickets of which 53% were male and 47%, were female.
  • 26% of all admissions were purchased by people 25-39 years of age, 14% - 18-24 years, 13% - 40-49 years, 16% - 2-11 years. 
CMG anticipates 2022 to be a relatively good year for movie theaters. The content is good and steady and the summer and holiday season are shaping up to be very good as people find their way back into cinemas. As with all things, the cost of attending a movie is rising, due mainly to higher food and labor costs, so good management and customer service are paramount. And, it goes without saying, that the presentation must have a perfect or near-perfect on-screen image and great sound.

The future looks bright for the cinema industry. There will be new content distribution modes in the future as cinemas receiving hard drives will come to an end with broadband or satellite distribution taking their place. The cinema industry is alive and well and movie theaters will be part of our culture and way of life for years to come.


Monday, July 25, 2022

The Movies: It's All About Good Story Telling

Great storytelling goes back to man's first retelling of a great hunt or adventure... over the centuries we have learned to communicate through stories. 

What did you do today? Where did you go? How was school? Work? Your Vacation? A story unfolds. We live via stories - in books, magazines, TV shows, movies, social media, etc. 

So, it is no surprise that the best movies evolve from the best stories with the best characters. These characters become familiar and are seen in recurring stories through film franchises. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Spider-Man, Bat-Man, and a slew of superheroes all have become wedded to our story-based needs. 

Marvel's Storied Superheroes and Villians 

The rise of these 'mega-narratives' has been an avenue for Hollywood to amass  great fortune. Marvel hero-based films have grossed over $22 billion, while the Star Wars saga $11 billion, and Harry Potter $9 billion. And that's all before the tally from toys, games, merch, and theme parks.

But, the issue is not that the media giants continue to feed us more of the same but why is our demand for franchise films so never-ending.  Why do we continue to flock to the 10th Star Wars movie?  What is the need for us to keep coming back for more? Well, it's the story, stupid. 

Mega-narratives have been around since man began to gather in clans. Storytelling is a primal activity. And like folk tales, movies offer stories that can be retold over and over again. We view these films, knowing the premise and the outcome, it's just the details that surprise us. 

Religion and the Bible or patriotic tales of war and history were providers of the social and moral answers we looked to but these stories have made way for new myths based on pop culture heroes and new religions - the Jedi religion (yes, it exists) offers a message of universal unity. 

J K Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter story, with Warner's cast  

Everyone who views a Spider-Man film knows the premise of a high school boy who gets bitten by a radioactive spider and thus gains superpowers. This story has been told at least three times in different films. So the notion that a great story has to be entirely new to be a success at the box office is wrong. 

It's questionable whether or not today's mega franchises will still be enjoyed by people centuries from now. But the fact remains that the huge popularity of great stories proves that no matter how much we change. our need for great stories remains constant.



Monday, July 18, 2022

Vue Cinemas Gets New Life

 Across the pond, cinemas, like their U.S. brethren, are recouping from two years of pandemic-induced box office destruction.


Vue International, the third-largest cinema chain in Europe, was taken over last week by a group of lenders, as part of a restructuring deal worth $1.18billion.

The deal involves a debt-for-equity swap which effectively wiped out $465 million of debt from Vue's current owners. The remaining leaders have taken majority ownership of the cinema exhibition chain.

"With the support of all sides, including shareholders and lenders, we're now in a position where we can move forward and get back to what we're really good at", stated Vue's founder and CEO Tim Richards.

Vue had been on an acquisition spree pre-pandemic and had purchased a number of cinemas across Europe. It currently operates 2,000 screens in nine European markets. Richards says the deal will help the company return " to its buy-and-build strategy".


Like most cinema chains, the Vue is currently enjoying a box office come-back post-pandemic, coupled with a healthy slate of movie mega-hits makes for a perfect situation to get back on track. Good luck Vue!.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

K-Pop Leads The Way As Web3 & Entertainment Merge

 

K-Pop Mega-stars BTS Group

I have previously posted on the link between the movie industry and Web3. I have also predicted that this merger will be significant and usher in a new wave of content for cinemas to screen.

A recent event, which was underreported, was a collaboration inked between Disney and BTS (the world's most popular K-Pop group). K-Pop is the name for Korean Pop Culture which is currently the rage in music across the globe. 

The deal includes five exclusive projects featuring BTS and is undoubtedly a coup for Disney as it seeks to ramp up global subscribership to Disney+.

All of BTS's live performances are also streamed live worldwide which is the reason why their U.S. tour, which was only three days in duration, grossed $90 million. The Korean music industry, is the world's 7th largest and fastest growing. It is predicted that it will reach 5th place in 3 - 5 years.

Although K-Pop is very success, the technology continues to evolve and it was really no surprise that Korea would be the first to introduce virtual bands within Web3 metaverses. 

BTS virtural avatars

These virtual performances debuted last year to great success and I see cyberbands  becoming adjacent and equally successful as real performers.

 

Monday, July 04, 2022

Cine'polis Greenlights IMAX Dine-in Theater

Cine'polis, the Mexican cinema chain, announced that a new venue will offer waiter-service throughout a new 12-plex luxury cinema complete with a 300-seat IMAX auditorium. 


Scheduled to open in the spring of 2023, the Inglewood, CA location will be adjacent to the SoFi Stadium, home to the LA Rams and the largest NFL stadium with over a 70,000-seat capacity. Dubbed the 'Luxury Cinema', this will be one of the world's only dine-in IMAX theaters.

Cine'polis operates theaters in eight U.S. states and has nine locations in Southern California. "We want to bring the best cinema experience and offer moviegoers luxury at affordable prices", says Luis Olloqui, CEO of Cine'polis USA.


A Cine'polis dine-in theater

The biggest challenge according to Olloqui was figuring out waiter service for the IMAX. With its 300 seats, the auditorium is often sold out during the first several weeks of a film debut. The service has to be fast, courteous, and delicious - that's a big challenge in terms of service and a right-sized kitchen. All of the food is prepared from scratch.

The lobby will have the look and feel of a 5-star hotel. Cine'polis's strategy is that it has to compete against the streaming platforms and not other cinemas. Therefore, the cinema experience must offer a combination of large screen size, top-quality sound, comfortable chairs, and impeccable service. A very different experience than home-viewing. 

The name Cine'polis translates to 'City of Cinema'. The chain has 427 theaters and it's the world's fourth-largest cinema chain with over 6,200 screens.

If you read CMG with any regularity, you know I have a firm belief that the cinema is in the beginning of a major comeback as an entertainment destination. This belief is based upon a whole variety of reasons and it appears Cine'polis is in agreement.