• NATO Celebrates the Nominees for Best Picture at the Academy Awards

    Reel Blog   

    Official statement from Michael O’Leary, NATO’s President & CEO: “On behalf of movie theatre owners across the United States and around the world, we celebrate the ten films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The variety on display is a testament to what a great year 2023 was for people who love to watch movies on the big screen. Combined, the Best Picture nominees have brought in an incredible $2.7 billion in box office globally. This is an exciting moment for all the moviegoers around the world who are experiencing these films the way they were meant to be seen at their local theatres.”

    Full list of nominees below:

    Best motion picture of the year

    • “American Fiction” Ben LeClair, Nikos Karamigios, Cord Jefferson and Jermaine Johnson, Producers
    • “Anatomy of a Fall” Marie-Ange Luciani and David Thion, Producers
    • “Barbie” David Heyman, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley and Robbie Brenner, Producers
    • “The Holdovers” Mark Johnson, Producer
    • “Killers of the Flower Moon” Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Martin Scorsese and Daniel Lupi, Producers
    • “Maestro” Bradley Cooper, Steven Spielberg, Fred Berner, Amy Durning and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers
    • “Oppenheimer” Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan, Producers
    • “Past Lives” David Hinojosa, Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler, Producers
    • “Poor Things” Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone, Producers
    • “The Zone of Interest” James Wilson, Producer

    Performance by an actor in a leading role

    • Bradley Cooper in “Maestro”
    • Colman Domingo in “Rustin”
    • Paul Giamatti in “The Holdovers”
    • Cillian Murphy in “Oppenheimer”
    • Jeffrey Wright in “American Fiction”

    Performance by an actor in a supporting role

    • Sterling K. Brown in “American Fiction”
    • Robert De Niro in “Killers of the Flower Moon”
    • Robert Downey Jr. in “Oppenheimer”
    • Ryan Gosling in “Barbie”
    • Mark Ruffalo in “Poor Things”

    Performance by an actress in a leading role

    • Annette Bening in “Nyad”
    • Lily Gladstone in “Killers of the Flower Moon”
    • Sandra Hüller in “Anatomy of a Fall”
    • Carey Mulligan in “Maestro”
    • Emma Stone in “Poor Things”

    Performance by an actress in a supporting role

    • Emily Blunt in “Oppenheimer”
    • Danielle Brooks in “The Color Purple”
    • America Ferrera in “Barbie”
    • Jodie Foster in “Nyad”
    • Da’Vine Joy Randolph in “The Holdovers”

    Best animated feature film of the year

    • “The Boy and the Heron” Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki
    • “Elemental” Peter Sohn and Denise Ream
    • “Nimona” Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, Karen Ryan and Julie Zackary
    • “Robot Dreams” Pablo Berger, Ibon Cormenzana, Ignasi Estapé and Sandra Tapia Díaz
    • “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Amy Pascal

    Achievement in cinematography

    • “El Conde” Edward Lachman
    • “Killers of the Flower Moon” Rodrigo Prieto
    • “Maestro” Matthew Libatique
    • “Oppenheimer” Hoyte van Hoytema
    • “Poor Things” Robbie Ryan

    Achievement in costume design

    • “Barbie” Jacqueline Durran
    • “Killers of the Flower Moon” Jacqueline West
    • “Napoleon” Janty Yates and Dave Crossman
    • “Oppenheimer” Ellen Mirojnick
    • “Poor Things” Holly Waddington

    Achievement in directing

    • “Anatomy of a Fall” Justine Triet
    • “Killers of the Flower Moon” Martin Scorsese
    • “Oppenheimer” Christopher Nolan
    • “Poor Things” Yorgos Lanthimos
    • “The Zone of Interest” Jonathan Glazer

    Best documentary feature film

    • “Bobi Wine: The People’s President” Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp and John Battsek
    • “The Eternal Memory” Nominees to be determined
    • “Four Daughters” Kaouther Ben Hania and Nadim Cheikhrouha
    • “To Kill a Tiger” Nisha Pahuja, Cornelia Principe and David Oppenheim
    • “20 Days in Mariupol” Mstyslav Chernov, Michelle Mizner and Raney Aronson-Rath

    Best documentary short film

    • “The ABCs of Book Banning” Sheila Nevins and Trish Adlesic
    • “The Barber of Little Rock” John Hoffman and Christine Turner
    • “Island in Between” S. Leo Chiang and Jean Tsien
    • “The Last Repair Shop” Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers
    • “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó” Sean Wang and Sam Davis

    Achievement in film editing

    • “Anatomy of a Fall” Laurent Sénéchal
    • “The Holdovers” Kevin Tent
    • “Killers of the Flower Moon” Thelma Schoonmaker
    • “Oppenheimer” Jennifer Lame
    • “Poor Things” Yorgos Mavropsaridis

    Best international feature film of the year

    • “Io Capitano” Italy
    • “Perfect Days” Japan
    • “Society of the Snow” Spain
    • “The Teachers’ Lounge” Germany
    • “The Zone of Interest” United Kingdom

    Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

    • “Golda” Karen Hartley Thomas, Suzi Battersby and Ashra Kelly-Blue
    • “Maestro” Kazu Hiro, Kay Georgiou and Lori McCoy-Bell
    • “Oppenheimer” Luisa Abel
    • “Poor Things” Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston
    • “Society of the Snow” Ana López-Puigcerver, David Martí and Montse Ribé

    Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

    • “American Fiction” Laura Karpman
    • “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” John Williams
    • “Killers of the Flower Moon” Robbie Robertson
    • “Oppenheimer” Ludwig Göransson
    • “Poor Things” Jerskin Fendrix

    Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

    • “The Fire Inside” from “Flamin’ Hot”Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
    • “I’m Just Ken” from “Barbie”Music and Lyric by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt
    • “It Never Went Away” from “American Symphony”Music and Lyric by Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson
    • “Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” from “Killers of the Flower Moon”Music and Lyric by Scott George
    • “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie”Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

    Achievement in production design

    • “Barbie” Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
    • “Killers of the Flower Moon” Production Design: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Adam Willis
    • “Napoleon” Production Design: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Elli Griff
    • “Oppenheimer” Production Design: Ruth De Jong; Set Decoration: Claire Kaufman
    • “Poor Things” Production Design: James Price and Shona Heath; Set Decoration: Zsuzsa Mihalek

    Best animated short film

    • “Letter to a Pig” Tal Kantor and Amit R. Gicelter
    • “Ninety-Five Senses” Jerusha Hess and Jared Hess
    • “Our Uniform” Yegane Moghaddam
    • “Pachyderme” Stéphanie Clément and Marc Rius
    • “WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko” Dave Mullins and Brad Booker

    Best live action short film

    • “The After” Misan Harriman and Nicky Bentham
    • “Invincible” Vincent René-Lortie and Samuel Caron
    • “Knight of Fortune” Lasse Lyskjær Noer and Christian Norlyk
    • “Red, White and Blue” Nazrin Choudhury and Sara McFarlane
    • “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” Wes Anderson and Steven Rales

    Achievement in sound

    • “The Creator” Ian Voigt, Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van der Ryn, Tom Ozanich and Dean Zupancic
    • “Maestro” Steven A. Morrow, Richard King, Jason Ruder, Tom Ozanich and Dean Zupancic
    • “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” Chris Munro, James H. Mather, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor
    • “Oppenheimer” Willie Burton, Richard King, Gary A. Rizzo and Kevin O’Connell
    • “The Zone of Interest” Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn

    Achievement in visual effects

    • “The Creator” Jay Cooper, Ian Comley, Andrew Roberts and Neil Corbould
    • “Godzilla Minus One” Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi and Tatsuji Nojima
    • “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” Stephane Ceretti, Alexis Wajsbrot, Guy Williams and Theo Bialek
    • “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” Alex Wuttke, Simone Coco, Jeff Sutherland and Neil Corbould
    • “Napoleon” Charley Henley, Luc-Ewen Martin-Fenouillet, Simone Coco and Neil Corbould

    Adapted screenplay

    • “American Fiction” Written for the screen by Cord Jefferson
    • “Barbie” Written by Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach
    • “Oppenheimer” Written for the screen by Christopher Nolan
    • “Poor Things” Screenplay by Tony McNamara
    • “The Zone of Interest” Written by Jonathan Glazer

    Original screenplay

    • “Anatomy of a Fall”Screenplay – Justine Triet and Arthur Harari
    • “The Holdovers”Written by David Hemingson
    • “Maestro”Written by Bradley Cooper & Josh Singer
    • “May December”Screenplay by Samy Burch; Story by Samy Burch & Alex Mechanik
    • “Past Lives”Written by Celine Song

  • Classic Cinemas’ Chris Johnson to Receive 2024 NATO Marquee Award at CinemaCon 2024

    Reel Blog   

    The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) will honor Chris Johnson, the chief executive officer of Classic Cinemas, with the 2024 NATO Marquee Award during next year’s CinemaCon. The announcement came today from Mitch Neuhauser, the managing director of CinemaCon.

    CinemaCon, the official convention of NATO, will be held April 8th-11th, 2024 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Johnson is being recognized by NATO for his unequaled dedication, commitment, and service to the motion picture theater industry. He will receive the industry’s highest tribute as part of CinemaCon’s State of the Industry program on Tuesday, April 9th.

    Johnson currently serves as the chief executive officer of the family-run Classic Cinemas, where he began his career at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove, IL. While earning his BA from the University of Illinois and his MBA from the University of Chicago, Johnson took on various roles in the company, from usher to assistant manager, manager, concessions manager, and operations manager, before ultimately being named vice president in 1992 and CEO in 2014.

    Founded in 1978 by the Johnson family, Classic Cinemas is the largest Illinois-based theater chain with 137 screens in 16 locations. Many of Classic Cinemas’ locations are historic downtown theaters, having undergone renovations that honor the buildings’ character while seamlessly integrating the latest technology.

    In addition to serving as the President of NATO Illinois, Johnson also currently serves on NATO’s executive board, technology committee, regional restructuring task force, bylaws committee and is the former chair of the strategic planning committee. Most recently, in honor of the history of Classic Cinemas, Johnson was inducted into The Erik Lomis ShowEast Hall of Fame Class of 2023 along with his mother Shirley and his late father Willis, who passed away this past August.

    “Chris Johnson embodies everything that is great about the exhibition industry,” said NATO’s chief executive officer Michael O’Leary. “Proudly carrying on the tradition of his family, Chris is a leader in our industry.  Always focused on what the movie going public wants, Chris is smart, innovative, and passionate about movies on the big screen. His voice is respected by his colleagues in exhibition and the motion picture industry overall. I always value his perspective and can think of no one more deserving of this honor. Congratulations to Chris and his family.”

    When told he would be receiving this honor, Johnson remarked, “I love this industry, and I’m humbled to be selected for this prestigious award.” Johnson has dedicated the past 40+ years to exhibition, from his first movie as a teenage usher (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) to CEO. His hands-on approach includes a willingness to listen, ask questions, and respectfully share his opinion for the betterment of the industry. “My goal is to elevate moviegoing and the cinema business for everyone.”

  • Latest Ernst & Young Study Shows Movies With Theatrical Push Are More Likely To Be Streamed

    News Reel Blog   

    For the third year in a row, NATO commissioned a study through Ernst & Young to look at consumer habits related to moviegoing and streaming habits. You can download the full report here and the executive summary here.

    Survey results presented here include 2,191 respondents who indicated that they were, in some capacity (rarely, sometimes, usually, always), aware of whether the movie they streamed was released in a movie theatre.

    ► Respondents that were aware of movies’ in-theatre releases were more likely to stream a
    movie when they knew it was released in theatres. Of those who were always or usually
    aware of movies’ in-theatre releases, 62% reported they were more likely to stream a movie if
    they knew it was released in a movie theatre. On the other hand, only 3% of these respondents
    reported they were less likely to stream a movie if they knew it was released in a movie theatre.

    Conclusions from last year’s study:

    EY QUEST conducted a survey of 2,500 respondents, 80% of whom saw at least one movie in theatres in the last 12 months. The primary data collected in the survey was: (1) movie theatre attendance in the last 12 months, (2) streaming consumption in the last 12 months, and (3) demographic characteristics of the respondents.

    • 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 was 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 only once or twice in the last 12 months reported an average of 7 hours of streaming per week versus 11 hours of streaming per week for those who visited a movie theatre 9 or more times.
    • Those who did not attend a movie in a theatre in the last 12 months were more likely to report less streaming activity than those who did attend at least one movie in the same period. Of those who didn’t visit a movie theatre in the last 12 months, nearly half (49%) didn’t stream any online content. Of those who did not visit a movie theatre at all in the last 12 months, only 18% streamed online content for 8 or more hours per week.

    Download the executive summary here and the full report here.

  • NATO Surveys Young Members Committee On Present, Future of Exhibition

    Reel Blog   

    This year, NATO conducted the first survey of our Young Members Committee (YMC) in order to gain a better sense of how the industry is viewed by the next generation of exhibition industry professionals.

    We received 45 responses from a diverse range of YMC members. Some respondents have only worked in the industry for one year, while others have been working in exhibition for 16 years. The responses were spread out pretty evenly among employer size: 14 from companies with 500+ screens, 19 from 75-499 screen companies, and 12 from 1-74 screen companies.

    In terms of the respondents’ involvement in NATO events, 25 out of 45 have been to CinemaCon and 14 have been to the Fall Summit/General Membership meeting.

    The 39-question survey focused on a range of topics relevant to exhibition: from opportunities and risks to the theatrical-viability of certain genres to attracting younger moviegoers.

    If you are a NATO member, please use log in to view the full report.

    Here is a brief rundown of key takeaways:

    When asked to rate different significant opportunities for the industry on a scale of one to five, one meaning not significant and five meaning it is a big opportunity, NATO’s young members found alcohol service to be the most significant opportunity on the list with an average score of 4.44. Automation and artificial intelligence, increased diversity in front of and behind the camera, and recliners and reserved seating also received high ratings. Not far behind those were major studios focusing on creating films that play well globally and the increased use of green technology and sustainability practices in cinemas. Surprisingly, lowest on the list with average scores hovering around a neutral score were E-Sports and virtual and augmented reality.

    Later, the survey asked, “What do you think is the best way to create a love for cinema in audiences under 12 years old?” This open-ended question generated a range of responses aimed at maintaining the industry’s popularity in the years to come. “Experience” was one of the words that popped up the most in responses. While every answer was slightly different, the majority of answers focused on the fact that what is being shown on cinema screens will be the ultimate attractor to audiences under 12 years old, but the experience provided at the cinema is also vital.

    Many respondents encouraged creating new, fun experiences for younger audiences by providing activities that are exciting and engaging, ranging from giveaways, concession offers, movie-related photo opportunities, crafts, and arcade games. Playing content that can be enjoyed by adults and children was also a frequent part of responses, as the money for tickets and concessions ultimately comes from the adult parents or guardians. As one respondent remarked, “We must offer something that is completely or at least relatively unattainable through the handheld devices that kids interact with daily.”

    When asked: “Do you think the growth of easily accessible short-form content has a negative impact on the desire of moviegoers under the age of 12 to consume feature-length films?,” only five respondents said yes. The other 39 responses were spread evenly among Maybe, No, and Too Soon To Tell. This topic will be increasingly important for our industry in the years to come as many social critics are sounding alarms about decreasing attention spans and the impact that will have on our culture.

    When it came to risks, shorter theatrical windows were perceived as the most threatening, with directors and actors creating content for streaming services instead of theatrical distributors coming not too far behind.

    In terms of which genres are viewed as the most viable long term, Action and Animated scored the highest, while Low-Budget Independent and Documentaries scored the lowest. Related to that: only 12 respondents answered Yes to “Is the reliance on franchise films by major studios bad for the overall health/public image of our industry?”

    When it comes to the factors that drive younger audiences to the movies, the respondents rated Social Media Buzz the highest, and Awards buzz/nominations/film festival wins the lowest. Rotten Tomatoes/Metacritic score finished in the middle. The lack of interest in movie awards should come as no surprise considering that the Oscar telecast has been struggling to retain viewership in recent years.

    At NATO, we plan on surveying the YMC on regular basis for the benefit of the entire trade body.

  • NATO Executive Board Approves Resolution to Begin Exhibitor-Led Testing of Digital Cinema Technologies

    Reel Blog   

    (Beverly Hills, Calif. – October 1, 2019)  The Executive Board of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), at the association’s annual Membership and Board Meetings at the Beverly Hilton, 23-24 September 2019, approved a resolution (attached) laying out aspects of a digital cinema technology evaluation program.

    “Digital cinema has opened up the door to a wide range of technological advances,” said NATO Technology Committee chairman John D. McDonald, Executive Vice President, Operations at AMC. “Exhibitors – the primary consumers of these technologies – along with other industry stakeholders, need an open, rational testing program to determine which of these technologies will work in the cinema space.”

    In the early days of the digital cinema transition, major film distributors formed Digital Cinemas Initiatives, LLC (DCI) to establish a standard architecture for digital cinema systems known as the “DCI Specification”. Its mission was to create a uniform level of security, technical performance and quality.

    DCI member studios subsidized the purchase of digital cinema equipment through Virtual Print Fees (VPFs). With VPFs in most cases ended, or nearing termination, in the domestic market, the costs of new technologies will fall on exhibitors. The pace of technological advance has increased. It is, then, necessary and proper for exhibitors to take the lead in evaluating the impact of light levels, contrast and colorimetry on their patrons and the exhibition environment.

    NATO seeks to create an open process to understand and evaluate digital cinema technologies and create metrics to analyze future technologies, and to open this process to include various stakeholders including filmmakers, distributors, manufacturers, service providers and exhibitors.

    NATO’s Technology Committee, led by NATO’s technology consultant Jerry Pierce, have already begun initial measuring to prepare for industry-wide testing. The Technology Committee will report its initial findings to membership at NATO annual meetings in 2020.


    The National Association of Theatre Owners is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing more than 33,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and more than 32,000 additional screens in 103 countries worldwide.

    Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with a second office in Los Angeles, California, NATO represents its members in the heart of the nation’s capital as well as the center of the entertainment industry. From these vantage points, NATO helps exhibition influence federal policy-making and work with movie distributors on all areas of mutual concern, from new technologies to legislation, marketing, and First Amendment issues. www.natoonline.org



    Patrick Corcoran
    Vice President & Chief Communications Officer
    [email protected]