Tuesday, October 27, 2015

UK EXHIBITION Spectre widest release ever in 647 cinemas

This is quite something... Outdoing even Avatar, which set the bar worldwide for wide releasing, the latest Bond franchise flick, Spectre (apparently a $300m budget - the tentpole level keeps rising), has hit an incredible 647 cinemas in its debut week in UK cinemas. Many of those will be running multiple prints (or digital copies), meaning Spectre is sucking up a near majority of UK screen space.

I wonder if the hugely hyped Star Wars movie will surpass even this high watermark? Perhaps not in the UK, where Skyfall was the first and only £100m movie.

Here's a key quote from the latest box office analysis:

 Spectre is playing this week in 647 cinemas – the widest ever release for a film in the UK and Ireland. Of course, the screen count will be far, far higher than that, with multiplexes offering audiences an enormous choice of start times (43 shows per day at a Vue in Birmingham, for example) by programming the film in multiple screens.

Hotel Transylvania 2 keeps its fangs in UK box office – but Spectre is looming http://gu.com/p/4dk9p?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Relatively weak reviews have lead to doubts that it can match Skyfall's US performance, though the global outlook may be rosier:
Spectre tipped to fall short of Skyfall on debut at US box office


Bond is best of British – and Spectre still has a view to a killing overseas

This article notes that Spectre is up on Skyfall's openings in all but one of its initial European release territories, and that whilst the UK, Germany and France have been the top 3 Bond markets after the US, the Mexico set-piece is revealing, reflecting a determined assault on developing markets (leading to the confident conclusion that it will beat $1.1bn).

The scale of the Spectre release is indicated by the fact that the further 45 countries its released in next week still don't represent the end of its global rollout.

It's little wonder a fierce battle is likely to break out for distribution rights to the franchise as Sony's deal with production studio MGM (and British partner Eon) ends.

Rival studios 'eye James Bond distribution rights' as Sony's deal expires


The standout figure from this article is that Sony made only $57m from the $1.1bn smash Skyfall, and will make only $38m if Spectre repeats that spectacular box office.

Skyfall benefitted from the global boost of a tie-in with the 2012 London Olympics  opening ceremony, roping in the Queen as a star for a glitzy Games/Skyfall ad that racked up huge online viewing figures as well as the global live audience. A good example of Baudrillard's simulacrum concept, with the fictional Bond used as a core signifier of Britishness in the British Olympics.

2015 saw a rather more sinister simulacrum, with Spectre's release coinciding with spectacularly fawning, olageanous exclusives in the Murdoch Times and 'neutral' BBC with MI5 as MPs and the wider media debated the jaw-dropping demands of the police and security forces, through the fiercely pliant Home Secretary, for legal powers to hack every UK citizen's entire digital existence. Orwell would conceivably have rejected this as unrealistic, unconvincing fiction, but such is the reality beyond the distraction factory.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

DISTRIBUTION $80m Le Petit Prince shows Hollywood's lock on distribution

Great example of why any student (or anyone interested in) studying film should routinely read box office analysis columns like these.

We get a very clear example and blunt analysis of why European productions struggle without the global clout of a single big six distributor, having to restart the marketing effort, an expensive and impractical proposition, on a territory by territory basis as the limited number of prints slowly tour around.

Ghastly start for Crimson Peak leaves old-style horror in the red http://gu.com/p/4ddp7?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Saturday, October 17, 2015

RELEASE WINDOW is Paramount as Paranormal Activity boycotted

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension scares off cinema owners http://gu.com/p/4dchy?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Netflix Beasts challenge release window, cinema release as marketing

Netflix had to work with an Indie distributor after the major chains all boycotted their new feature, Idris Elba-starring Oscar hopeful Beasts of no Nation. Netflix are ignoring the standard 90 day window between cinema and TV release, yet more evidence of the disruption digitised upstarts like the streaming giant are bringing.

By the way, to be clear, disruption is the term economists use to describe the changes and challenges digitisation brings to any given industry's business practices.

The major American distributors wouldn't touch the film as to do so would damage their relationship with cinema chains (often the same company with the extent of vertical integration!).

As well as using the small scale US release to qualify for Oscar consideration (shades of Mirimax?!), the UK release is effectively a branding campaign - a cinema release brings a level of gravitas or status that streaming alone does not.

Think about Warp for an interesting point of comparison - '71 was highly reliant on broadsheet newspaper reviews while Le Donk... had a cinema trailer and release date ... but no theatrical release, a smart ploy to generate newspaper reviews!

Netflix drama Beasts of No Nation to hit UK cinemas before reaching subscribers http://gu.com/p/4ctx4?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger