NATO Boss John Fithian At CinemaCon: “The Exclusive Theatrical Window Makes Movies Into Events”

Are shortened theatrical windows in our future? Not so, according to NATO. The president and CEO of the theater owners organization heralded theatrical exhibition, drawing a huge applause at today’s CinemaCon confab in Las Vegas.

“At NATO we believe the exclusive theatrical release window drives the theatrical market and ancillary markets,” he said in his keynote address. “The exclusive theatrical windows makes movies into events, and the success establishes brand value and bolsters value in downstream markets. NATO is dedicated to preserving the theatrical window as it constitutes the highest priority of our industry and our members extend to execute that plan.”

Fithian also said more teenagers are going to the movies. Often studios consider them the lost generation, as they’ve been taken hostage by YouTube, video games and cell phones. But Fithian says the 12-17 demo bought 16% of all domestic box office tickets in 2015.

He also mentioned that the demo in polls has shown disinterest in TV, but that 66% said they can’t live without YouTube. Twenty-five percent said they could do without TV.

Fithian’s concise speech followed MPAA chief Chris Dodd’s short address. Both are doing a combo presentation today with their annual film industry statistics report.

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