Day One of CinemaCon 2016 was off to a bang as they kicked off their the day with their International presentations and awards ceremony. During the early morning presentation several sponsor companies such as DTS International, Warner Brothers Distribution and Cineapolis International spoke about the record-breaking 2015 year throughout the global cinematic market. Films such as Jurassic World, Mad Max Fury Road, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens drew in record-setting box office revenues and admission tickets and 2016 is poised to be just as promising in the global market. The surprising statistics of the day which was reflected in every presentation is the rising growth of the cinema market in China compared to domestic and European growth. There have been huge increases in Brazil, Russia and China which is partially affected by the strong U.S. Dollar and the shifting economy of those countries. In 2015 China built 8000 new movie theater screens just in 2015 which averages out to 20 new screens built per day. Because of this flood of new theater exhibition, China’s box office growth will soon become a juggernaut in the film industry and a rise of locally produced film reaching into the top 100 box office list only solidifies that growth. In 2011 only 3 locally produced (non-Hollywood) films reached into the top 100 for box office reviews. In 2015 that number increased to 26, with such films as Monster Hunt, and Mojin: The Lost Legend, reaching well past 250 million each. It’s safe to say that the Chinese market is on the upswing and will continue to grow as more screens are built to accommodate the rising audience.
Another reoccurring theme throughout the international presentations is the introduction of new social media marketing strategies and campaigns that appeal to the Millennial generation and the rise in digital media consumption. While the Millennial generation is comfortable viewing media content on smaller screens such as laptop and cellphones, they are actually more engaged in the movie going experience and are more willing to purchase tickets in advance and wait in lines for an opening night of a film. This can all be attributed to the social media exposure of the film prior to the release and more and more film companies are picking up on that and creating new and innovative ways to create viral videos that promote their films.
International Day was also marked by their award ceremony in which they honored top performers in the industry. Sponsored by World Wide Cinema, Dolby Digital Laboratories, and Comscore, four awards were given to people in their respective fields. First winner was Universal Studios which received The International Box Office Achievement Award for their staggering 4.45 Billion box office revenue in 2015. The next award recipient was Phil Groves the SVP for Imax International Distribution who achieved the Passepartout Award for his work in implementing IMAX technology throughout the world. Because of Groves work over 950 screens showed Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year compared to 50 or less screens in 3D in years prior.
The next award recipient was for Moshe “Mooky” Greidinger who won the Global Achievement Award for Exhibition. Mooky is the Chief Executive for Cineworld, a rising exhibition company in Europe and Israel. During his acceptance he showed a short clip of what it takes to build a new theater from one of several that were built in Romania just last year. The amount of time and effort is staggering and his efforts to bring new movie experiences such ad 4D and IMAX to European countries that lack these types of revolutionary cinema’s is truly remarkable.
The last award recipient was the legendary producer and director Frank Marshall whose work include Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic World, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and The Jason Bourne franchise. While his award is for the International Filmmaker of the Decade, I can safely say that he could win this award for 4 decades of his movie making magic. A follow-up interview with Frank Marshall revealed some of his projects in the works and movies that we can look forward to in the future.
International Day at CinemaCon, while not as glamorous as the following days is not without its charm and it’s an interesting perspective to see from an outside point of view. Countries like China and Brazil are beginning to dominate the global industry and their contributions will shift the dynamics of cinema for many years to come.