• NATO Hosts Panel at 2018 Toronto International Film Festival

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    From The Hollywood Reporter‘s coverage of the event:

    NATO president and CEO John Fithian argues that Netflix should follow Amazon’s example and give their awards hopefuls longer periods in the theater.

    Theater owners on Friday urged Netflix to follow the lead of rival Amazon and show their movies at the local multiplex.

    “Our model can work for their movies, too,” National Association of Theatre Owners president and CEO John Fithian told the Hollywood Reporter while attending the Toronto International Film Festival. Holding out an olive branch to Netflix, Fithian welcomed the streamer’s success in bringing more content to more audiences.

    “But if you want to play theatrically, come play theatrically. There’s a model that works, and it works for Fox, Amazon and all these companies, because a theatrical movie is different,” he added. Netflix is aggressively embracing A-list directors to make movies for its streaming service, but which also could have a profile in the awards season race (the Oscars require at least a short theatrical run for films to be eligible).

    To do that, Fithian cautioned that Netflix should not consider token short runs in the cinema for its movies before quickly shifting them to its digital platform. “It has to be a substantive commitment to theatrical, not just a marketing play,” he argued.

    At the Venice International Film Festival, the Coen brothers said their upcoming Netflix Western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will get a theatrical release. But Fithian said a limited theatrical release to boost word of mouth in a home market won’t play with theater owners.

    “It’s not just a little dip into theatrical. You have to give [a movie] a chance to work,” the exec insisted.

  • Global Cinema Federation Releases Position Papers

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    (Barcelona, Spain – 11 June 2018)  The Global Cinema Federation (GCF) today released five position papers on key areas of concern and interest to cinema operators worldwide. The papers released today will guide the GCF in its efforts to advocate and educate on these issues on behalf of cinema operators around the world. The full position papers are available on the GCF website at www.globalcinemafederation.org.

    Cinépolis CEO and GCF chairman Alejandro Ramírez Magaña noted:

    “In its first year, the GCF has identified and come to agreement on these issues of vital concern to exhibitors around the world. While further issues remain to be explored, these five papers give us our marching orders as we begin our second year of advocacy on behalf of cinemas worldwide.”

    The papers include cinema exhibitors’ positions and concerns regarding:

    Theatrical Exclusivity

    1. Cinema owners give top priority to maintaining the period of the theatrical exclusivity.
    2. The theatrical window is an integral part of the commercial terms between exhibitors and distributors.
    3. A surprise launch of a short theatrical window will be regarded as unfair and unacceptable business behaviour.

     International Trade and Investment

    1. Value of free international trade and investment into the cinema sector.
    2. Sharing of information on local regulations and practices that impact on foreign trade and investments.
    3. Where appropriate, support local/regional advocacy that focuses on promoting international trade and investment into cinema through research and information- sharing.

    Movie Theft 

    1. Movie theft has long been a significant threat to our industry, and technology advances have increased that threat dramatically.  However, box office losses to illegal movie copies are not inevitable.
    2. Movie exhibitors are the “front line” of preventing in-theatre camcording, the source of most illegal copies accessed during a movie’s theatrical run.
    3. Cinemas are also the voice of the industry to consumers, with the ability to build awareness of the cost of movie theft.

    Music Rights

    1. The long-term goal is to remove entirely the need for cinemas to enter into licence arrangements with, and make royalty payments in respect of music rights to, Performing Rights Organisations; this is however hampered by legal and structural challenges.
    2. In the interim, the Global Cinema Federation will support efforts to secure material reductions in existing tariffs, by sharing information and deploying both (i) factual data about rates in other territories; and (ii) tactics and legal and economic arguments which have succeeded in other territories.


    1. Cinema owners have long provided innovative services to disabled guests on a voluntary basis, and we encourage exhibitors to continue to implement independent solutions that increase access to guests.
    2. Historically, voluntary solutions adopted by exhibitors make government intervention and regulation unnecessary.
    3. In cases where the government chooses to act, government processes to reform or adopt accessibility laws should involve exhibition representatives and the input of individuals with disabilities. (More attached)

    About the Global Cinema Federation

    The Global Cinema Federation (GCF) is a volunteer-based federation established to represent the global cinema exhibition community and to advocate to global stakeholders on its behalf. The GCF seeks to increase industry effectiveness by providing input to international regulatory bodies and to contribute more effectively to international dialogue on issues of common interest.

    The Executive Committee of the GCF is comprised of exhibitors AMC, Cinemark, Cineplex, Cinépolis, Cineworld, CJCGV, Event Cinemas, Les Cinemas Gaumont Pathé, Toho Cinemas, Vue International and Wanda Cinemas,  and trade associations NATO and UNIC. Between them these companies and organisations have interests in more than 90 territories.


    To obtain further information about the Global Cinema Federation please contact Eduardo Acuña Shaadi ([email protected]), Head of Americas at Cinépolis, Patrick Corcoran ([email protected]), Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at NATO or Guillaume Branders ([email protected]), Industry Relations Manager at UNIC.  www.globalcinemafederation.org.

  • Ernst & Young Survey Finds Frequent Moviegoers Are Also Frequent Streamers

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    EY conducted a survey of 2,002 respondents, roughly 80% of whom saw at least one movie in theatres in 2017. The primary data collected in the survey was: (1) movie theatre attendance in 2017, (2) streaming consumption in 2017, and (3) demographic characteristics of the respondents.

    Movie theatre attendance and streaming consumption for “dual-consumers”

    • Those who attended movies in theatres more frequently also tended to consume streaming content more frequently. For every race and age demographic, average streaming hours per week is higher for respondents who visited a movie theatre 9 times or more than respondents who visited a movie theatre only once or twice. Moreover, respondents who visited a movie theatre in 2017 only once or twice reported an average of 8 hours of streaming per week versus 12 hours of streaming per week for those who visited a movie theatre 9 or more times.

    Streaming consumption for “non-moviegoers”

    • Those who did not attend a movie in a theatre in 2017 were more likely to report less streaming activity than those who did attend at least one movie in 2017. Of those who didn’t visit a movie theatre in 2017, nearly half (48%) didn’t stream any online content. Of those who did not visit a movie theatre at all in 2017, only a quarter (25%) streamed online content for 8 or more hours per week.

    Download the executive summary here and the full report here.

  • NATO Discusses the Importance of Black Panther with Major Media Outlets

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    The historic debut of Black Panther reinforced important themes–diversity in casting and content, emphasis on a 12-month release calendar–that we have emphasized for years. We saw this as an opportunity to magnify these themes by speaking with key media outlets:

    National Association of Theater Owners CEO Calls ‘Black Panther’ Film Historic

    National Association of Theater Owners CEO John Fithian says the release of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” is historic due to its cast and mid-February release. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Vonnie Quinn and Shery Ahn on “Bloomberg Markets.”


    “Black Panther” has historic opening weekend

    National Association of Theater Owners CEO John Fithian on the success of the movie “Black Panther.”


    NATO’s Patrick Corcoran discusses Black Panther‘s debut


    With $218 Million Haul, ‘Black Panther’ Smashes Box Office Records

    Phil Contrino, director of media and research for the National Association of Theater Owners, noted the power of seeing “Black Panther” in a communal setting on a big screen. “Hopefully someday we’ll look back at the release of ‘Black Panther’ as the turning point when diversity and positive representation in blockbusters switched from being an anomaly to being normal,” Mr. Contrino said.



    ‘Black Panther’ Box Office Success Has Theater Owners Asking for More Diverse Superhero Movies

    More “Black Panthers” and “Wonder Womans,” please.

    That’s the message that John Fithian, the top lobbyist for the exhibition industry, is hoping to convey to studios in the wake of the two superhero movies’ blockbuster success. Their massive box office hauls confirm something that Fithian, head of the National Association of Theatre Owners, has been pushing for years. Diversity is good for business.

    “Theater owners have been asking for more diversity in movies for a long time, and by diversity we mean diversity in casting and diversity in times of the year when movies are released,” said Fithian, who notes that “Black Panther” is barreling toward the $1 billion mark at the box office, despite debuting in February.



    Disney’s ‘Black Panther’ Playbook: A Peek at the Marketing of a Phenomenon

    “The look and feel and timing of the marketing was extremely effective,” says Patrick Corcoran, vp of the National Association of Theater Owners. “It announced that this movie was different. Ryan Coogler was eloquent on how movies mattered to him. Everything about the way the movie was marketed built excitement and interest in seeing it. This mattered to the African American community. Diversity sells tickets.”



    The February box-office success of ‘Black Panther’ is a rarity for the movie business — but industry insiders say that’s about to change

    “We have struggled off and on with the distribution patterns of big movies concentrated on the summer when schools have vacation and the winter holidays, and often those big movies can cannibalize each other because they come right after the other,” John Fithian, the president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, the trade organization representing movie-theater owners, told Business Insider. “Strong content can play in any month and can have more room to play in the nontraditional months.”



    What Black Panther‘s Success Means for the Future of Movies

    Black Panther crossed the must-see threshold very quickly over the weekend,” says Phil Contrino, head of media and research for the National Association of Theatre Owners. “Millions of people felt compelled to experience the film in a communal setting. Look at social media and you’ll see thousands of pictures of people with their friends and family at theaters.”


  • Sundance 2018: Future of Theatrical Release and Independent Film Panel Sponsored by NATO

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    NATO and The Hollywood Reporter hosted a panel at the Sundance Film Festival this year to talk about the current state of exhibition. We believe that having a presence at film festivals is a crucial part of telling good stories about the strength of exhibition. We want to make sure that filmmakers continue to aim for theatrical as their ultimate goal.

    You can watch the entire panel here.

    Key quotes:

    Nikkole Denson-Randolph, Vice President Special and Alternative Content, AMC Theatres: “We think of our theaters as communal touch points. We cater to those communities. … Certain films can get noticed by certain communities. You have to look at each one differently.”

    Fred Berger, producer of La La Land and I Think We’re Alone Now: “As long as I’ve been in the business people have said that cinema is dead, theatrical experience is over, cinemas are gone, and I’d wager that the rest of my lifetime and all of our lifetimes we’re all going to be going to the movies.”

    Tom Quinn, Founder/CEO, Neon: “We know the kinds of filmmakers we want to work with and we believe that they are best suited to a theatrical experience.”

    “Cinema for me is not just what filmmakers make, it’s how we release it, and it’s how we enjoy it together, and I think that’s crucial because it takes a commitment … it’s a commitment to get out of your house and go see a film. The films that demand that attention from you can challenge you more. Films that you are seeing at your beck and call on your iPad don’t demand as much of you.”