• Netflix And The Myth Of Innovation: Simultaneous Release Is A House Of Cards

    News Reel Blog   

    My latest in Boxoffice Pro on Netflix and simultaneous theatrical release:

    The entire argument for simultaneous release is founded on bad faith, shoddy data, and mysterious bookkeeping. John Sloss made waves in the industry with his call for transparency in the reporting of VOD revenues. It’s long past time for that call to be heeded. Netflix doesn’t even provide viewership data per title to its own shareholders.


    And, frankly, I don’t think that Ted Sarandos believes his own arguments. If he truly believed that exclusivity is a curse, “creating artificial distance between the product and the consumer,” he would make House of Cards and Orange is the New Black available on Hulu, Vudu, Redbox, Amazon Prime, cable VOD, and next to the checkout counter at Walmart. But he doesn’t.


    And why not? Because exclusivity matters. Exclusivity works. Because Netflix needs to offer its subscribers something its competitors don’t to retain them as subscribers and for those subscribers to believe they are getting something of value that they can’t get from a growing number of competitors.

    You can read the whole thing here.

  • NATO and MPAA Announce Zero Tolerance Policy Toward Wearable Recording Devices

    News Reel Blog   


    Today, the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners announced an update to their joint policy to prevent film theft in theaters. The update was made to fully integrate wearable tech into the rules following a joint meeting of NATO and MPAA theatrical anti-piracy teams at ShowEast, the annual industry convention and trade show in Hollywood, Florida. The updated language is:

    The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have a long history of welcoming technological advances and recognize the strong consumer interest in smart phones and wearable “intelligent” devices. As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theaters, however, we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown. As has been our long-standing policy, all phones must be silenced and other recording devices, including wearable devices, must be turned off and put away at show time. Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave. If theater managers have indications that illegal recording activity is taking place, they will alert law enforcement authorities when appropriate, who will determine what further action should be taken.

    There are a couple of pertinent reactions here and here.

  • Christopher Nolan on the future of cinema

    Reel Blog   

    The digital transformation of the movie theater has got Christopher Nolan thinking.

    These new voices will emerge just as we despair that there is nothing left to be discovered. As in the early ’90s, when years of bad multiplexing had soured the public on movies, and a young director named Quentin Tarantino ripped through theaters with a profound sense of cinema’s past and an instinct for reclaiming cinema’s rightful place at the head of popular culture.


    Never before has a system so willingly embraced the radical teardown of its own formal standards. But no standards means no rules. Whether photochemical or video-based, a film can now look or sound like anything.


    It’s unthinkable that extraordinary new work won’t emerge from such an open structure. That’s the part I can’t wait for.

    Read the whole thing.

  • NATO sends letter to theater owners encouraging donations to Aurora, Colorado relief fund

    Reel Blog   

    NATO president John Fithian sent a letter to exhibitors today encouraging donations to the Community First Foundation to aid victims of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado and their families.

    As we watch the aftermath unfold and try to make sense of this terrible crime, you should be encouraged by the leadership and dedication of the community of Aurora as they comfort and assist their families and neighbors. The courage of the victims, their families and loved ones, the theater employees involved, the responders and hospital staff members has steeled the resolve of the community and its leaders to recover from this tragedy and to emerge even stronger than before.

    Our industry, as it has countless times before, stands ready to help those in need. Many of you have expressed your concern and asked our guidance on how best to respond to help the victims and their families. We have been working within the industry and with the community leaders in order to give you some direction.

    If you would like to generously donate, please write a check to: Community First Foundation

    *Dedicate your contribution to assist the victims in Aurora:

    Mail to:

    Community First Foundation,

    6870 W 52nd Avenue, Suite 103

    Arvada, CO 80002

    If you would like to make an online donation, please go to:

    www.GivingFirst.org  .You can donate with all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express) or information from a bank account (personal checking).

    If the amount you wish to give is $100,000 or more and you would like to do a wire transfer, you can contact Community First Foundation at 720-898-5900.