Twentieth Century Fox Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider joined a panel of exhibition experts at the CineEurope conference here in Barcelona today and had a few recommendations for the studios back home, as well as a note for cinema operators.
Discussing appealing to global audiences, Snider cited some trends that weigh on her mind. “If we’re creating this globalized business where the bigger (films) emerge, they can’t just be based on caped crusaders,” she intoned. Later, Snider said, “I think that the studios that expect more of the same will always bring a result, there is folly in that.”
That doesn’t mean she’s not pro superhero. Fox wants to continue with X-Men and Deadpool movies, “but at the same, we time had great success with The Greatest Showman and Murder On The Orient Express where we were very mindful of speaking to this global audience but not doing it in a way that in the past has felt homogenized. I think that’s what in the past has made things fall off the cliff. The consumer says ‘I’ve seen this already.’ ”
Snider, who is at the head of a film company that is being eyed by Disney and Comcast said, “The thing that gives me pause and concern is studios need a bigger appetite for big cinematic tentpole entertainment that isn’t necessarily based on branded material.” She pointed to both Showman and Ridley Scott’s The Martian as examples.
Also citing such recent successes as Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther and Disney/Pixar’s Coco, and Fox’s own Deadpool 2, Snider said, “Big franchises need to be original and respond to local cultures and local diverse casts.” At the same time, she noted, Fox is “also commited to a variety of films to balance that,” pointing to Fox Searchlight and Oscar winner The Shape Of Water’s international box office success. “We have to be responsible to the world audience that is available to us.”
Regarding that consumer, Snider noted another concern, “The non-event filmgoer is so much harder to draw out of the home. We’re commited to that but if we don’t continue to reach out to the folks that come to see more than just The Avengers, we’re going to have just a weekend business.”
She also had an observation for exhibitors. “Traditionally, all the marketing and advertisting has rested on the studios – the trailer is the greatest advertisement ever. The experience of going to the movies and what’s different about the technology are awe inspiring. I would recommend exhibitors remind audiences about how special going to the movies is… instead of soley relying on trailers to do the advertisting.”
A suggestion: “All of the materials we see this week, that we show to one another, it’s like a closed environment for all of us privileged folks. But if we offerend some of that exclusive content that (audiences) got to see inside the theater, imagine it, there are so many ways we an draw them into seats.”