Sunday, January 03, 2010

What movie theaters won't tell you

I really like this idea:
"If you're getting tired of blockbusters, you may be in luck."

Special-events programming isn't the only change digital technology may be ushering into your local cineplex. It also makes film distribution cheaper and easier, thus potentially opening up more opportunities for independent filmmakers to get their work screened. "It's like a big iPod," explains Cinedigm CEO Bud Mayo. Movies are shipped on hard drives or downloaded from a satellite, without the cost or inconvenience of transporting heavy film canisters, and the theater can cue them up with the click of a mouse. That means theater owners can set up their schedules by "trial and error," says Lauren Goffio, manager of the Pavilion Park Slope theater in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The trend toward digital could also mean a move away from blockbusters. Hollywood has been offering mass-market products while most industries are directing specialized products to smaller groups, says Rashi Glazer, professor of marketing at the University of California, Berkeley: "The one-size-fits-all approach is the past, it's not the future." And digital lowers "the barrier of entry," since distribution is no longer an expense to be reckoned with, says Corcoran.
I like this trend, but I can only imagine that this could only work in independently owned movie theaters that have some control over what films they want to show. Large film exhibition chains prolly wouldn't have that luxury, it may be in their business plans to show popular and anticipated Hollywood releases.

Even better depending on the community surrounding a particular movie theater, the films that are shown at these theaters can reflect the tastes of that particular community. If a film was shown at a movie theater patronized by mostly black patrons, then perhaps said film can show films that either feature black casts, that blacks will watch, or even feature films produced and/or directed by blacks. Just think about it.

Go read the whole thing at Smart Money. There are other ideas worth exploring as far as the movie theater business goes.

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