Wednesday, January 20, 2021

SMALL THEATER OWNERS CLASH WITH STUDIOS

October 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Owners of independent movie theaters in some small towns are complaining that movie studios are employing an antiquated releasing strategy that results in their receiving prints of films a week or more after theaters in larger markets, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Wednesday). According to the newspaper, a group of the owners met with members of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) to air their concerns that the releasing strategy harms their business and is not justified in a digital age when the cost of delivering prints on hard drives is negligible. Bryan Berkley, who owns four theaters in east Texas, told the Times, "We’re trying to convince them you’re not doing yourselves any good. You’re hurting us and you’re hurting yourselves." Likewise Joe Paletta, the CEO of a four-theater chain on the East Coast, said, "We know our towns, we know our small markets, and because the cost is so low now, give us a show to make some money." However, the Times implied, the owners’ complaints fell on deaf ears. Asked about a complaint over the delay of putting the R-rated Gone Girl in theaters in small towns, 20th Century Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson said, "R-rated movies in small towns don’t always go together." And Dan Fellman, Warner Bros.’ head of distribution, maintain that such films as Gone Girl benefit from word-of-mouth after they are released in big cities. "When you have a movie that turns out to be No. 1 and you’ve got more people talking about it, it’s a good idea to come out in a second wave," he said.