Although U.S. audiences have cooled to 3D movies, overseas ticket buyers still loved the technology in 2010, a report today from IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence shows. Researchers say that ticket buyers worldwide spent $6.1B on 3D movies last year, which was 19.3% of total box office. That was up from $2.5B in 2009, accounting for 8.6% of all ticket sales. But the big growth came outside the U.S.: Overseas audiences accounted for 63.9% of last year’s 3D sales, up from 53.8%. Hollywood can take credit: “The global market still is dominated by U.S. releases, which accounted for more than 90% of revenue from international 3D screens,” says Charlotte Jones, senior analyst for cinema at IHS. Japan was the biggest market after the U.S. generating gross 3D receipts of $471M from films including Fox’s Avatar, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3, and a local release Umizaru 3: The Last Message. Trailing Japan were the UK ($427.6M), France ($364.7M), and Russia ($336.5M). But on a per-capita basis, movie-goers in Colombia showed the most interest in 3D. The technology accounted for 35.6% of the country’s total box office sales. Among the least interested: Norway, where just 15.8% of ticket sales were for 3D. IHS says that moviegoers in China and Mexico saw the biggest markups for 3D tickets. Still, Mexico had the lowest average ticket price for 3D.
Carmike Cinemas this morning joined the parade of exhibition companies that attributed lousy 1Q earnings to the fact that Hollywood didn’t serve up 3D hits that could match last year’s standouts: Fox’s Avatar and Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. The chain’s net loss grew to $18.4 million from $3.5 million in the same period last year on revenues of $96.2 million, down 22%. The loss, at $1.44 a share, far exceeds the average estimate among analysts of a 49 cent loss. ”Despite the slow start, we are optimistic about the balance of 2011,” CEO David Passman said.
SHOCKER! Oscar Publicist Ronni Chasen Shot And Killed In Beverly Hills Driving Back From ‘Burlesque’ Premiere In Hollywood
3RD & 4TH UPDATE, 12 PM: Shock and dismay and in some cases tears swept Hollywood this morning when news spread that popular Oscar publicist Ronni Chasen had been the tragic victim of violence around midnight in the Sunset and Whittier area of Beverly Hills. Here’s more intel about the 64-year-old’s last hours: The Oscar campaign and holiday movie season got fully underway at the start of this week. She was lobbying media to write positive articles promoting Academy Award nominations for Michael Douglas in the Supporting Actor category for Twentieth Century Fox’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and for Walt Disney Studios’ Alice In Wonderland 3D in the Best Picture category. Both were the subject of a combination business and social phone call from her office with Deadline editor-in-chief Nikki Finke from 5:30 PM through 6:30 PM. Then the Oscar publicist drove her late model black Mercedes Benz E350 to Sony Pictures Entertainment/Screen Gem’s premiere of the movie Burlesque at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Then she attended the after-party at Drai’s in the W Hotel. ”“We were all together last night, and Ronni was having the best time doing what she enjoyed most,” recalls producer Donald De Line. ”When we all said goodbye last night, little did we know it would be our last. I am in shock; that this could happen is incomprehensible. Only a few hours ago we were celebrating. I’m glad she was happy last night and that she was in all her glory.”
She left the party and drove down Sunset Blvd through West Hollywood and just at the start of Beverly Hills (most likely heading towards her home in Westwood) when she was shot and killed sometime around midnight. Chasen’s friends say she made a call to her office about 8 minutes before the gunfire to put a reminder on her office voicemail. “She was not feeling in danger,” a source said. Beverly Hills police at 12:28 AM received information regarding shots that were heard in the area of Sunset and Whittier. Shortly after, Ronni’s car was discovered in a collision with a lightpole in the same area and she was found inside with multiple gunshot wounds to her chest. Police sources say Ronni’s car window was broken but nothing was taken from her purse. She was transported from the scene by paramedics and pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. This reaction just came in from Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures which hosted the Burlesque premiere that turned out to be Chasen’s last Hollywood event: “Ronni was a dear friend and cherished member of our community. She was at our premiere last night and so full of her trademark energy and love of life. We are heartbroken, shocked and completely devastated.”
2ND UPDATE: The Beverly Hills police have issued this statement about Ronni Chasen’s murder, now confirmed by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office: “At approximately 12:28 AM, Beverly Hills officers received information regarding shots that were heard in the area of Sunset and Whittier. Shortly after, a collision was reported in the same area. Units arrived in the area and discovered, a newer black Mercedes Benz E350 involved in a solo crash with a lightpole. The lone female occupant was located in the vehicle with apparent multiple gunshot wounds to her chest. Beverly Hills paramedics transported her to a local hospital, where she was later pronounced deceased. The investigation is in the preliminary stages, and no further information is available. Also, there is no suspect information or motive at this time.”
UPDATE 9:45 AM: Nikki Finke has confirmed that Ronni Chasen was “shot and killed” last night, according to Beverly Hills police. Nikki spoke to her at 5:30 last night. Ronni was promoting Michael Douglas for Best Supporting Actor for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, as well as Alice In Wonderland 3D for Best Picture. A friend said that, after leaving the office, Ronni attended the premiere of the Sony Pictures/Screen Gems film Burlesque. A longtime Rogers & Cowan senior movie publicist, spanning decades, Chasen went out on her own, establishing Chasen & Company Publicity around 1991. She had a thriving business, especially at awards time, representing directors, writers, musicians, actors, and films.
EXCLUSIVE: Disney released its billion dollar-grossing Alice In Wonderland all the way back in March. Now, in a bid to bring Tim Burton’s 3D blockbuster into the awards conversation, Disney is planning a full court press. This 6th biggest grosser of all time will start an unusual four-day theatrical engagement Sunday aimed squarely at attracting Academy members and Hollywood guilds. A full-page Sunday newspaper ad will launch the 3D run at the Arclight Hollywood and AMC Santa Monica from October 18th to 21st. The run will be accompanied by an exhibit of Colleen Atwood’s costumes in the Arclight lobby. A major advertising campaign in the Industry’s awards-centric media also will be part of the equation to land Alice In Wonderland not just the expected technical nominations such as art direction, makeup, visual effects, and costumes but also Best Picture and Director recognition, a longer shot indeed according to current conventional wisdom of where the race is.
The film was produced by Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd, Richard Zanuck and Joe Roth. Zanuck and Roth are former studio heads who have shepherded many past nominees and winners, produced the Oscar show itself, and of course are longtime Academy voters. They explain to me this campaign launch isn’t about money: it’s about recognition. After all, there’s little financial upside at this point that would come from Oscar wins or nominations. “I think it would be terribly disappointing not to make the Top Ten,” Zanuck tells me. “We’re not just mercenary about that. …
EXCLUSIVE: There’s an accusation that Hollywood studios are holding back their hottest 3D Blu-ray releases, including Avatar 3D and Toy Story 3, until they see how much demand there is for the new format. This is despite manufacturers needing to sell 3D BD players in the run-up before Christmas. London based consultancy Screen Digest says studios including Fox, Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros are only making a handful of 3D Blu-Ray titles available on the shelves before December –- and risking choking off demand for what Blu-ray’s long-awaited killer app. Screen Digest predicts that, by 2014, 75% of U.S. homes that have 3D-enabled TV sets will be able to show 3D BDs. And that 28% of U.S. homes will have 3D TVs within 4 years. Right now, only 25 3D BD discs will go on sale before Christmas, but only 6 of these will not be bundled along with 3D hardware. This means
Burbank, Calif., September 7, 2010 — The Walt Disney Studios and Sony Electronics have joined forces in the United States to provide both consumer and retail education, promotion and marketing support for in-home 3D devices and content. The collaboration includes advertising and retail execution, as well as product bundling, including the Blu-ray 3D debut of one of 2010’s most successful films, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
Launching during the high-traffic holiday retail season, this innovative campaign, running nationwide in the U.S., incorporates 10 different Sony 3D BRAVIA HDTVs and includes one of the most successful 3D films in history, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
“We are excited to partner with Sony on 3D offerings and to offer consumers their first chance to experience one of 2010’s top 3D films and the amazing spectacle of Wonderland in their very own homes,” said Lori MacPherson, General Manager of Home Entertainment for The Walt Disney Studios. “We recognize Sony is a leader in HD hardware and we know movie lovers will enjoy the immersive content that is a part of Disney’s 3D titles.”
The marketing campaign features multiple consumer incentives as well as a comprehensive television, on-line, social media and print campaign. With the purchase of select Sony’s 3D BRAVIA HDTVs, consumers will have a choice between Alice in Wonderland or the family favorite Bolt on Blu-ray 3D.
In many markets outside of the U.S., Disney will also make available the Blu-ray 3D version of Alice in Wonderland and Bolt for select Sony 3D products. Details of the
UPDATE: The Walt Disney Co was the last major studio and network to report quarterly earnings, and its fiscal 3rd quarter profit rose 40% on the strong box office grosses from Pixar’s Toy Story 3, Marvel’s Iron Man 2, and Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland 3D. As promised, here is an earnings roundup showing that Big Media is alive and well and even flourishing not just this quarter but in many cases for next quarter or even the entire year. Yet the trickle down effect has been slow or nonexistent for Hollywood. After rounds of layoffs during the economic crisis, the moguls are still slow to put people back to work. And the movie and TV community still is underemployed. But what everyone can count on is that Big Media’s good news for the benefit of Wall Street will turn into bad news to the detriment of talent, behind-the-camera, post-production, and below-the-line unions when it’s time to negotiate:
August 5th: Viacom Inc Reports Sharply Higher Earnings For Q2
Credit the rebounding economy and recovering advertising market. Net earnings rose to $420 million, or 69 cents a share, up 52% from $277 million, or 46 cents a share, a year ago. Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone gushed, ”With six months under our belt in this calendar year, day after day our confidence continues to grow as the emerging economy recovery builds. Now of course we’re not all the way back, but the light is brighter than it’s been for some time… Consumers are returning to the marketplace, marketers are beginning to spend again to grow revenues and capture share and Viacom is now and will continue to benefit.” Revenue at Viacom’s media networks group rose 6% to $2.1 billion.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said ad revenue growth has been improving quarter by quarter. “Once we get into October and into the December quarter, we will benefit from this upfront where we have greater volume than last year at higher pricing. Dauman singled out Jersey Shore as a show where ”we have advertisers scrambling to get on it. We have advertisers who want to be wall to wall in particular episode. We’re turning them away.” Viacom’s movie business was down 10% to 41.25 billion, led by a 43% drop in home entertainment revenue. Also, Paramount Pictures has primarily been distributing others’ films like Iron Man 2 and Shrek Forever After in 2010 and self-financing its own pics. It is deliberately pursuing a strategy of a smaller slate of films in 2010-2011. Still, the film unit booked income of $69 million, reversing an $8 million loss in the same quarter a year ago. Viacom continued to post equity losses from its EPIX joint venture but said it should approach break-even by the end of the year.
August 4th: News Corp Posts Improved 4th Quarterly Results
News Corp posted a profit of $875 million, or 33 cents a share, for its fiscal 4Q ended June 30th easily beating analysts expectations. That compared with a loss of $203 million, or 8 cents a share, a year ago, when News Corp took an impairment charge. Revenue grew 6% to $8.11 billion, as companies spent more to advertise on the company’s television stations, TV channels and newspapers. That beat the average forecast of analysts of $8.05 billion. COO Chase Carey explained that brisk sales of advertising at Fox Broadcasting and the company’s cable television networks made the difference, while ad rates at the Fox network are up by a double-digit percentage from this spring. Ad rates are even better at the cable channels, which already represent more than 50% of the company’s profits. Local television station advertising revenues improved 29% in the quarter and 8% for the year compared to the same periods a year ago, reflecting strength in the automobile and telecom sectors.