New Faces in Cinema Advertising

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In Focus

Cinema advertising has gained a strong foothold in the entertainment sector during the past two decades. What was once just a nascent pursuit has developed into a lucrative and sustaining business.

Over the past several months, the screen-ad business has undergone some dramatic shifts, as Kurt Hall and Travis Reid of National CineMedia and Screenvision, respectively, have left their positions. While their successors have different backgrounds, they do share one major similarity—they both love the movies.

John Partilla, the new chief executive officer of Screenvision, comes to the cinema industry from Olson and the Digital Services Group of ICF. John is very passionate and believes that movie theatres are so powerful that he has declared cinema advertising to be on “The Most Powerful Screen in the Media.” This form of advertising has increasingly become an essential element of media plans, he asserts. “As a result, we are seeing growth in big TV categories, such as auto, entertainment, finance, consumer electronics and alcohol. Some bigger advertisers include Geico, Google, Apply, Netflix, Ford and Dell.” Each of these advertisers, he believes, is showing “a growing appreciation for the relative scale and stability of moviegoers.”

Andy England came to NCM from Miller Coors, where he was an executive VP and chief marketing officer. England always included films and movie theatres in his reach towards consumers. “Advertisers want to understand the audience they are buying and target their core demographic more precisely,” England concludes. “Through data relationships with big players like Fandango and Movio, as well as our own data and beaconing, we now have even better audience measurements and analytics to give buyers what they need.”

The upcoming April issue of FJI covers the cinema-advertising sector of the industry and has extensive interviews with John Partilla and Andy England. We hope you enjoy it.

Welcome, Larry Etter!

Popcorn and Coke are part of the moviegoing experience. Dine-in theatres are adding greatly to the bottom line, and more bountiful and exotic types of foods, along with spirits, beer and wine, are making the visit to your favorite theatre a full experience.

Film Journal International recognizes the importance of concession sales to a theatre’s revenue and has placed a great deal of emphasis on covering new products, new services and new technologies. Editorial coverage on concessions is extremely important and relevant when reporting on the motion picture industry and is a high priority for us.

So we are very pleased to announce that one of the key executives in the concession field has been named concessions editor of Film Journal International. Larry Etter is a professional foodservice operator who has developed into an executive with extensive knowledge of the entertainment industry. He is senior VP of Malco Theatres in Tennessee and also serves as the director of education for the National Association of Concessionaires. Additionally, he serves on the NAC board and the board of directors of the Tri-State Theatre Owners Association.

We are delighted to welcome Larry aboard and also at this time would like to thank Anita Watts for her superb reporting and professionalism while serving in this same role.

Setting Flexible Movie Prices

For many years there has been talk about sliding prices for cinemas based on the time of day, specific seating in the auditorium, and the cost to produce a film. But it has been mainly talk. Now, one of the most progressive and innovative theatre circuits in the world has embarked on a new program that will modify movie ticket prices based on the seats and time of screening.

CJ CGV, based in Korea, has established itself as one of the globe’s premier circuits. CJ is the largest player in Korea and has expanded into Vietnam and Indonesia and has a substantial footprint in China. Some of their creative ventures include such formats as 4DX, ScreenX and SphereX. (See the CJ profile in our December 2015 issue.)

CJ announced that movie tickets will differ in price depending on where the seats are located, similar to concerts, operas and sporting events. In addition, each day will be divided into six time slots and ticket prices will differ between time slots.

Seats in the auditorium will be divided into three zones—“Economy,” “Standard” and “Prime.” Seats in the Economy Zone will be 1,000 won cheaper than in the Standard Zone, and seats in the Prime Zone will be 1,000 won more than in the Standard Zone.

CJ explained that it adopted the new ticket price system based on a survey conducted by the Korea Consumer Agency. Sixty-five percent of the people responding supported the idea of adopting different prices for different seats. CJ believes the price difference will bring an improvement over the current situation in which viewers who sit in front seats have to pay the same amount of money as those sitting in better seats. It will also allow moviegoers the flexibility to make a purchase better suited to their economic situation, the company opined. We’ll be watching closely in the months ahead as this groundbreaking system rolls out.