Following remarks by MPA chairman-CEO Charles Rivkin on Tuesday at CinemaCon, National Association of Theatre Owners chief John Fithian and No. 1 global circuit AMC boss Adam Aron took the stage to continue the patriotic messages for theatrical exhibition about how they are an essential to a multibillion-dollar industry.
Fithian exclaimed “we will rise again” after a pandemic that has crippled the business, not to mention an entertainment industry intoxicated on crushing the theatrical window.
“Exclusive release periods remain vital to the success of the theatrical business,” Fithian said while applauding filmmakers who embrace the big screen, and don’t believe that “movie theaters are of the past.” Images of Tenet director Christopher Nolan and Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins were splashed on the screen.
“To make one thing crystal clear that the best work that they make is made for the big screen,” said Fithian. “Leading creatives know better, and they are on the right side of history.”
“Simultaneous release does not work,” added Fithian, underscoring how the windows model is the most vibrant financially for a film’s lifecycle. “It doesn’t work for anyone. A steady flow of strong movies released with windows is essential to the recovery of the industry and to the profitability for the entire ecosystem.”
He added “Exclusive release periods remain vital to the survival and success of the industry. They won’t be what they were before, but they can’t be what they were during the pandemic.”
NATO slammed Disney during the second weekend of Black Widow after it dropped 68%, the worst for a Disney-released MCU title, attributing the loss to the pic’s availability in homes on the studio’s streaming service.
In closing, Fithian said, “We are entering a great era of experimentations. Movies that were starting to shy away from theatrical release will grace our screens again. Customers want more options. Our members will redefine what the theatrical experience means. Cinema is much more than a passive form of entertainment, it’s immersive and life-changing. People around the world had movies taken away from them and the longing to return to the theatrical experience was palpable. The sense of community that cinema creates is more important than ever.”
Aron, meanwhile, told those in the room that only way for the film industry to generate billions is to “Show movies in movie theaters first.”
“The only way to prevent massive piracy, show movies in movie theaters first!” he said.
“There is a happy Hollywood ending that will be unfolding before all of us. Look at the history books,” said Aron, recounting the Spanish flu of the early 20th century. “It was the roaring ’20s!”
“Our industry is that of the sequel,” said Aron. “Roaring ’20s is a movie that will be coming soon to a theater near you.”
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