Theatrical & Streaming: New Report From UTA IQ Highlights Theater Goers Are Still A Plenty
UTA IQ, the research and analytics arm of a popular Hollywood talent agency, recently conducted a study titled “The Symbiotic Future of Theatrical & Streaming” which looked at the relationship between streaming and theatrical release models for films. The report used data that was collected in January 2023 from 2,000 individuals in the U.S. who are between the ages of 15 and 69. According to this report, two-thirds of audiences share that they have little to no concern over the length of a theatrical release window when they visit a theater. In other words, these individuals will still see a movie in theater, even if it will become available for home viewing soon. Eight out of 24 of the most recently watched movies were streaming originals, and the most popular one was Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which had an experimental one-week theatrical release. Another promising finding for movie theaters is that 75% of all respondents plan to maintain or increase moviegoing in 2023. The number of theatrical releases is slowly increasing, with 103 films released in 2022, compared to 101 films in 2021. The world of streaming surpassed 200 original titles in 2022, which has doubled over the past five years. For the individuals who have yet to return to theaters at their same pre-pandemic rate, 47% say this is due to pricing, 38% cite health/safety concerns, and only 28% say it's because of movie access at home. According to the UTA-owned film content analysis MediaHound, the word “suspenseful” was used three times more often in theatrical titles compared to streaming, making horror and thrillers favorites at movie theaters. UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer concludes that “The study proves what we intuitively believed that there is nothing wrong with the movie business that better films and cleaner theaters can’t fix.”
Film Tourism: Singapore’s New Film Production Fund
Singapore is looking to stimulate their tourism industry through TV and film. The Singapore Tourism Board and the city state’s Infocomm Media Development Authority is banding together to launch a $7.53 million fund, which will help support select projects from international producers and production companies. The selected projects will receive funding for up to 30% of qualified expenses related to Singapore, including both production and marketing costs. To qualify for the fund, all projects must be set in Singapore and launched before the first quarter of 2027. These qualified projects will also be evaluated on multiple factors, including distribution, market reach, creative merit, opportunities to showcase Singapore, and lastly, the number of local talents involved. Chang Chee Pey, assistant chief executive, marketing group, of the Singapore Tourism Board said that “The Singapore On-screen Fund allows us to tap the deep storytelling expertise of global media and entertainment players in a more purposeful way, showcasing Singapore through a fresh lens as travel demand recovers.” Additionally, other local industry experts believe the new fund will also provide more opportunities for local talent to connect with global media enterprises so they can gain incredible work experience as well as hone their skills. In recent years, the largest projects that have filmed on the island city include SK Global-produced Crazy Rich Asians, Twentieth Century Fox’s Hitman: Agent 47, and season three of the hit TV show Westworld.
Moving to Atlanta: Lionsgate’s New Production Complex to Open in 2023
Atlanta, Georgia, is gearing up to host more television and film production with a brand new $200 million film studio complex. The studio will cover over 40 acres of land and Lionsgate is set to become its anchor tenant. Lionsgate executive vp television production Gary Goodman says that this new location is “our third state-of-the-art production complex with proximity to a major metropolitan area, allowing us to continue to scale our film and television production operations, create hundreds of local jobs and invest in regional economic growth.” With over 500,000 square feet, 12 soundstages, and even more additional office and support space, the complex will be owned and operated by Great Point, a media-focused investment fund, and Fehmi Zeko. Lionsgate and Great Point already have a great history of partnering on studio complexes, as they already have an existing space in Yonkers, New York, and another studio set to open soon in Newark, New Jersey. Additionally, another Great Point production space in Douglas County of Atlanta was used by Lionsgate to film the popular The Hunger Games franchise. This new proposed studio complex is set to open later this year will be developed in joint by Great Point and an affiliate of private investment firm Linsdey Goldberg, which is their institutional partner. This new space will be host to both Lionsgate’s movie and TV studio arms, and their Starz premium streaming platform.
Starting Off Strong: IMAX Reports Best First Quarter Revenue
IMAX corporation is starting 2023 on a high note by reporting the best first quarter of global box office revenue in the company's history. Thanks to the massive success of Avatar: The Way of Water, IMAX completed its first quarter with $282.2 million, which beat the previous 2026 record by $10 million. The James Cameron film itself generated $255 million on IMAX, which is the company’s highest grossing first-run of a movie of all time. Other movies making a splash at the IMAX box office include Creed III, which is now their highest-grossing sports movie of all time. So far, the film has grossed &18.2 million, but there is more to come as the movie is set to release in Japan at the end of April. Other strong performers include Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania and John Wick: Chapter 4. Breaking down the first quarter, the local box office brought in 31% of the total global box office revenue at $86.3 million. The Chinese New Year box office set a record with its local language films and China Film Group’s The Wandering Earth 2 became IMAX’s highest grossing local language film by earning $52.9 million. IMAX hopes to continue this trend by supporting more local language films and they reported that 30 to 40 more films are coming in 2023. This first quarter revenue is a strong boost from Q4 2022 earnings, which equaled $98 million and were even below Q4 2021 numbers by 10%. IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond says that “The first quarter is an excellent indicator of the promise we see in 2023 – a year in which we expect to return to our record-breaking levels of box office from 2019.”
25th In-Person Edition: Shanghai International Film Festival Sets Plans to Return
In 2023, the Shanghai International Film Festival is set to hold its 25th edition, in celebration of its 30th anniversary. Due to a wave of the COVID outbreak, the festival was cancelled last year as the city imposed new severe safety restrictions. Now, organizers have confirmed that the festival is back in-person for 2023 and will run from June 9 to June 18. Organizers said that by bringing this festival back, they will “open a two-way journey between Chinese films and world films.” The festival will also host the Jinjue, or Golden Goblet, Awards. The five categories of these awards include the main feature film competition, Asian newcomers, documentaries, animation, and short films. The awards have 8,800 entries, which include the 4,500 submitted projects from the cancelled 2022 awards as last year’s applications remain valid for filmmakers who choose to continue to submit their work. The festival is also home to a training program, a project matching event, and a metaverse segment. Although the hub of the film festival was at the Crowne Plaza Hotel for many years, it was announced in January that it is moving less than a mile away to the Longemont Hotel. The market portion of the festival is also usually held at a downtown exhibition center. This festival was first launched in 1993 and was accredited as China's first international competitive feature film festival by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).
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