Thursday, July 9, 2020

NEW MPAA CHIEF DELIVERS UNITY SPEECH TO EXHIBITORS

March 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

In a speech to the National Association of Theater Owners that was undoubtedly greeted with numerous silent “amens,” the newly appointed chief of the Motion Picture Association of America, Christopher Dodd, declared, “I want all of you gathered here this morning to know that as the new CEO and Chairman of the MPAA, I passionately believe there remains no better way to see a movie than in a theater, and no more important relationship for our studios to maintain than the one we have with you.” Significantly, however, Dodd made no mention of plans by several studios to introduce “premium video on demand,” which would allow viewers to watch some movies in their homes while they are still playing in theaters — albeit at a hefty price. He appeared to allude to that issue — which has some theater owners threatening boycotts — when he said: “The production and exhibition industries cannot succeed — cannot survive — without each other. If you fail, we fail.” However, he added, “It’s just as true that if we fail, so will you.” As for the huge drop-off in theater attendance this year, Dodd expressed optimism that a correction is coming. “I, for one, do not believe the sky is falling,” he said. He predicted that “audiences will be coming back to your theaters to see our films because there really is no parallel to the incredible experience that we together provide.” Earlier in the day, NATO chief John Fithian urged theater owners to convert to digital projection because, he said, distribution on film will cease by the end of 2013. “Simply put,” he said, “if you don’t make the decision to get on the digital train soon, you will be making the decision to get out of the business.”