UNIC cautions about Screening Room

European Update

The International Union of Cinemas laid out its position on The Screening Room, the latest attempt at day-and-date delivery of first-run films to the home. The European trade body noted that the “vast majority” of its members, comprising cinema associations and key operators from across 36 territories, will view the proposal “with great concern.”

As negotiations are left to each operator and their distribution partners, “UNIC maintains that the exclusive theatrical release of a new film helps create unparalleled levels of audience awareness and ultimately benefits its performance across all platforms, including VOD.” UNIC warns about “significant” potential risks that include a “proliferation of high-quality copyright-infringing films online during the theatrical release and beyond. The risk here is not just to cinema operators but to everyone contributing to the wider film ecology.” UNIC cited the example of the music industry as a case that has shown how “disruptive interventions such as The Screening Room do not always yield the greatest commercial or societal benefits.”

This all noted, UNIC assures, “Operators across Europe will strive to continue to offer high-quality and exclusive cinematic experiences at an affordable cost to audiences from all ages and all walks of life.”

Record for Young Audience

Now in its fifth year, the EFA Young Audience Award posted a record number of 30 participating countries, from Austria to Ukraine. In a five-member juried process, the European Film Academy unveiled the 2016 nominees as Girls Lost/Pojkarna (Sweden), Miss Impossible/Jamais Contente (France) and Rauf (Turkey). During Young Audience Film Day on May 8, all three films will be screened for and the winner determined by 12- to 14-year-olds in 31 cities across Europe.

In “response to the current situation in Europe and a contribution to integration,” organizers noted that the event will specifically include refugee children. Hosted for the first time in Berlin, EFA and Akademie der Künsteplan to have showings for students from Berlin schools and those refugees attending “welcome classes” there. “Together they will watch the nominated films,” they announced, “discuss them with each other, and, as members of the pan-European jury, vote for the winner.”

Ymagis Moves on Poland and Morocco

Europe’s “specialist in digital technologies for the cinema industry” joined forces with Poland’s largest exhibitor for the deployment of content delivery technologies across all Helios cinemas (206 screens, 37 sites). Christophe Lacroix, senior VP of content services at Ymagis Group, is “thrilled” to be growing its 3,300-site strong European network yet again. Optical fiber lines from local partners offer Polish distributors “a global feature film delivery solution,” he noted, as well as electronic delivery of “all sorts of content…for the very first time.”

Tomasz Jagiello, chief executive officer of Helios SA, “found in Ymagis a company capable of accommodating both our technological and business considerations, which in turn allows us to create a model that offers cost savings for the entire value chain and significantly enhances our content offer.” On behalf of French multiplex chain Megarama Group, chief executive officer Jean-Pierre Lemoine said the feedback about their first 4K laser projection was extremely positive. “We therefore decided to carry on our technical equipment modernization policy to offer the best cinema experience to our audiences. The Barco 4K laser projector is especially suited to our very large Horizon auditoriums due to its technical performance, but also because it’s much more economical.”

Along with Dolby Atmos later this year, said Barco DP4K-60L systems were just installed in Bordeaux, France (17 screens, 2,955 seats), and in Morocco at Megarama Casablanca (Horizon auditorium with 969 seats is one of 16 screens and 3,650 total capacity) and Megarama Marrakech (1,200-seat Horizon). Last November, Megarama’s Villeneuve-La-Garenne received a similar upgrade near Paris.

Single Customer Vue

Movio, the “global leader in marketing data, analysis, insights and campaign solutions for theatrical exhibitors, studios and film distributors,” signed Vue Entertainment’s 84 locations and 804 screens across the U.K. and Ireland to its Movio Cinema data platform. Thanks to the integration with Vista Cinema management systems, Vue commercial director Dominic Rowell foresees “creating an ecosystem that will leverage a real-time, single customer view from multiple sources. This approach will enable our product and marketing teams to improve our customers’ experience, drive value and engagement, and distinguish the Vue brand.”

Movio stated that their tools make it “faster and cost-efficient for cinema exhibitors to analyze their data and execute personalized campaigns to their customers.” Considering that Movio Cinema manages “authoritative data on the loyalty activity and transactions” at 24,700 screens globally, that is certainly no small feat.

At the same time, Movio Media aggregates data across North America to provide “crucial audience insights and innovative campaign solutions” to film distributors and studios. One such “behavior of typical moviegoers” was recently revealed in a research project for Variety’s MASSIVE Summit. “Most people in the film industry agree that the audience of a tentpole film on opening night is a good indicator of its target audience and who will see it over the full theatrical run,” said Will Palmer, chief executive and co-founder of Movio. “But our research indicates that audiences significantly evolve over time.” The Movio facts are that while avid young male and avid moviegoers in general do indeed “over-index on opening night,” Saturday and Sunday are proportionally dominated by 30- to 50-year-olds, as the 50+ audience declines at the slowest rate and the share of females grows over the course of the theatrical run. Another trend is that young moviegoers over-index again on Tuesday, which Movio attributes to most exhibitors offering discounted tickets.

Caligari to Chill Out at KINO!

Always importing something special, KINO 2016! brings German Expressionist cinema and Franco-German chill-out to New York City. As part of the annual festival of German films (April 7-14 at Cinema Village and other venues), international media group Bertelsmann presents The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, recently restored by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau Foundation and L'immagine ritrovata.

The classic’s “new look with razor-sharp images and beautiful colors” will be accompanied by DJ Raphaël Marionneau, performing live with a turntable “mix of ambient, chill-out, electronica and classical music.”

The full schedule of films and events that also includes a new documentary about Rainer Werner Fassbinder is available at www.kinofestivalnyc.com.