CinemaCon: Chris Dodd And John Fithian Discuss Texting, 3D, And The Near-End Of Celluloid Prints

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 3:17pm PDT

CinemaCon2014_badgeExhibition execs face several controversial matters, but “there’s peace in the homeland” in their relationships with studios, NATO‘s John Fithian said in his annual joint press meeting with MPAA‘s Chris Dodd at the CinemaCon confab. The lobby group heads always emphasize the positive, but this time Fithian sounds like he means it. He acknowledged that there’s been a friction in previous years — especially 2011 when there was what he calls a “very public food fight” over how quickly studios can CinemaCon 2014 - The State Of The Industry: Past, Present And Future And Universal Studios Presentationrelease their films on home video. But now “we’re working together instead of fighting. …Since then it’s been dialogue and cooperation.” Dodd says his MPAA members agree that “the best experience for their product is in the theater.”

On one hot-button issue, texting in theaters, Fithian says that his members “have conversations every week” about whether to allow it under certain circumstances. But it’s unlikely that anything will change soon. When some execs said here two years ago that they’re looking at the matter, “They got barraged from moviegoers saying, ‘that is my last refuge of peace.’…Then the 17 year olds respond and say, ‘we have to be connected.’ ” The sense, for now, is that “the vast majority of our consumers go to the cinema to escape” with many looking at moviegoing as “a quasi-religious experience.” But Fithian says “it’ll be an evolving space. Let’s leave it there.”

Related: CinemaCon: MPAA’s 2014 Report Good News For Overseas: Slideshow

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CinemaCon: Chris Dodd Talks Up Global Sales And Continuing Need To Fight Piracy

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 11:06am PDT

CinemaCon2014_badgeThese are old themes for the MPAA chief, but he had some fresh data to support his case in his presentation at CinemaCon this morning. He says that box office in China soared to $3.6B in 2013, a year when sales in the U.S. and Canada hit $10.9B (+1%) and overseas hit $25B (+4.6%). Chris Dodd says that 13 new screens are opening each day in China and cited rapid growth of modern theaters in countries such as Cambodia and chris_doddPakistan. He also said that he has lost none of his zeal to fight piracy globally. It “is today, and shall remain as long as I have this job, a top priority.” He thanked theater owners for helping to crack down on the illegal use of camcorders. “The good news is we are making some progress.” He adds, though, that the industry has to see technology as “our friend and not our foe. … The most frequent moviegoers tend to own more technological devices than the population at large.” Read More »

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MPAA’s Anti-Piracy Fight Contributed To Financial Loss In 2012 While Chris Dodd Collected $3.3M

By | Wednesday November 20, 2013 @ 11:48am PST

The Hollywood’s lobby group’s finances took a hit in 2012, a tax filing shows — but CEO Chris Dodd did just fine even as the MPAA licked its wounds from its failed effort to promote tough anti-piracy legislation. Read More »

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Entertainment R&D Boosts Federal GDP Calculation Following Formula Changes

By | Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 11:06am PDT

When the Commerce Department reported this morning that the Gross Domestic Product rose 1.7% from April through June, the figure was 3% higher than expected — and that’s partly due to the change, MPAA chief Chris Dodd says in a blog post.Read More »

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MPAA Lost Money In 2011 As It Paid Chris Dodd $2.4M

By | Friday March 1, 2013 @ 2:48pm PST

The trade group CEO helped it to justify its status as a non-profit in his first year as Hollywood’s chief lobbyist. Although revenues grew 22.5% to $60.8M in 2011,  expenses were up 26.2% to $61M resulting in a loss of $246,879, according to the tax form posted online by Torrentfreak. Chris Dodd‘s compensation accounted for 4% of MPAA‘s revenues: It included a salary of $2.27M, a $100,000 bonus, $36,924 in other reportable compensation, $13,475 in retirement and deferred compensation, and $10,733 in nontaxable benefits. Total salaries for the 205 employees jumped 22.5% to $26.5M. (Former MPAA President Robert Pisano, listed as special adviser, made $1.35M.) The form doesn’t provide year-over-year comparisons for individual items. But it shows that in 2011 — as the MPAA geared up for its failed effort to persuade Congress to pass anti-piracy legislation — it spent $4.7M on lobbying and $10.1M on legal expenses, as well as $2.9M for occupancy and $1.9M for travel. Read More »

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MPAA Says Industry Ready “To Do Our Part” In Wake Of School Shootings

By | Thursday December 20, 2012 @ 3:49pm PST

Hollywood was quick to respond to last Friday’s horrible school shooting in Newtown, Conn, cancelling red carpets and postponing TV programs that showed anything close to violent behavior involving guns and kids. But the greater industry bodies have been mostly mum. Maybe that will change now that the Obama Administration … Read More »

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MPAA’s Chris Dodd Says Facebook Rumor Illustrates Need For Copyright Protection

By | Tuesday November 27, 2012 @ 3:33pm PST

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen a statement loaded with legalese that users post hoping to create a copyright protection for their content. It’s based on a belief that the social network company changed its rules … Read More »

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MPAA Tells Candidates That Anti-Piracy Measures Remain A “Critical” Priority

By and | Monday September 10, 2012 @ 1:52pm PDT

Hollywood moguls haven’t given up on their goal of  persuading Congress to adopt anti-piracy initiatives. But their lobby group the MPAA is promoting the controversial issue gingerly, issuing today its first-ever election-season memo of stats and talking points for candidates and “interested parties.” It extols Hollywood’s multibillion-dollar contribution to the economy and employment, as well as technological innovation. But it also promotes the need for new copyright protection strategies and opens the door to legislation similar to the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), which were beaten back in January following vigorous opposition by the tech industry and free speech advocates. The document (read it here) says that copyright protection “is critical to ensuring” that entertainment companies can “benefit from their creations” online. It also says there’s no need to fear that the government might use new anti-piracy powers to crack down on dissident speech or legitimate Internet businesses. “We can protect creative works while ensuring that the Internet works for everyone,” the MPAA says.

Related: MPAA’s Chris Dodd & NATO’s John Fithian Face Sundance Wrath Over SOPA/PIPA Read More »

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MPAA Applauds Dems’ Piracy & Internet Stance In Platform

By | Tuesday September 4, 2012 @ 10:08am PDT

Just like it did for the Republicans during their convention last week, the MPAA has given the thumbs up to the Democrats for their stance on intellectual property and Internet freedom. This comes as the Democrats kick off their … Read More »

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MPAA’s Chris Dodd Says Ratings Should Be “Far More Transparent”: CinemaCon

By | Tuesday April 24, 2012 @ 1:46pm PDT

The former senator made the comment as he defended the trade group’s ratings efforts. They came under fire when the MPAA initially gave Bully, a Weinstein Co documentary about teenage bullying, an R due to characters’ use of profanity. The rating would have made the film off-limits for the very teens the movie was designed to help. (The producers ultimately cut a few of the words, and won a PG-13 rating.) Although Dodd says that the public should have a clearer sense of what goes into the decision making, he told reporters in a meeting that the people who make the judgments have “a thankless job” in a system that basically “works well.” National Association of Theatre Owners CEO John Fithian concurred. If the MPAA didn’t take on the assignment then it could result in government censorship or local ratings. That would result in havoc because “what people care about in LA is vastly different than what they care about in Omaha.” Although the ratings process results in lost ticket sales, “the alternative is far worse.”

Related: MPAA And NATO Chiefs Pledge Cooperation After Last Year’s “Sour Note” Read More »

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MPAA And NATO Chiefs Pledge Cooperation After Last Year’s “Sour Note”: CinemaCon

CinemaCon 2012The CEOs of the MPAA and the National Association of Theatre Owners used their opening addresses to the exhibition industry’s CinemaCon convention today to advocate a new spirit of cooperation between the embattled and often warring businesses. Last year’s convention “ended on a sour note,” NATO CEO John Fithian said, when word spread that three studios planned to launch a premium VOD experiment — they let DirecTV offer some movies two months after their theatrical release for $30 a viewing. That threatened to give audiences an incentive to stay at home, theater owners feared. But Fithian says that the experiment “was not a resounding success.” Now, he says, theaters and studios are “talking about how to grow the business together.” Christopher Dodd CinemaCon MPAAMPAA chief Chris Dodd also talked up the need to persuade audiences that “the movie-going experience remains something special, something to be savored and enjoyed, something so innovative and creative that it cannot be duplicated at home no matter how many boxes they have.” He also thanked theater owners for supporting a big issue on his agenda: legislation to combat movie piracy. The MPAA ended up with a black eye this year when it failed to persuade Congress to pass the controversial bills that would have empowered the government to block sites run by overseas pirates. “I urge you to continue to be a part of a thoughtful and rational solution to protecting intellectual property,” Dodd told theater owners. He added that he remains “committed to doing all I can to achieve a satisfactory resolution to the protection of intellectual property” and is trying to build bridges to the tech industry which opposed the bills.

Related: Sacha Baron Cohen Steals The Show At Paramount Presentation

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MPAA’s Chris Dodd & NATO’s John Fithian Face Sundance Wrath Over SOPA/PIPA

By | Monday January 23, 2012 @ 9:32pm PST

MPAA head Chris Dodd and John Fithian, president/CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, brought their lobbying on behalf of content creators to a packed house at the Sundance Film Festival today. Both admitted to the panel they were blindsided by the … Read More »

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MPAA Hopes Congress’ Anti-Piracy Delay Will Change “The Dynamics Of The Conversation”

By | Friday January 20, 2012 @ 8:20am PST

Here’s MPAA CEO Chris Dodd’s response to Sen. Harry Reid’s decision this morning to postpone the vote planned for next week on the Protect IP Act:

“We applaud those leaders in Washington who have chosen to stand with the millions of

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VIDEO: MPAA’s Chris Dodd Stumps For Piracy Act

By | Thursday January 5, 2012 @ 8:33am PST

The movie industry’s chief lobbyist appeared on Bloomberg TV to defend the current and controversial Stop Online Piracy Act winding its way through the U.S. House. He reiterates that opponents and proponents of the legislation agree that something must be done to curb online content theft, but it’s hard … Read More »

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TOLDJA! MPAA Sets Tribute To Honor Ronald Reagan

By | Tuesday October 11, 2011 @ 12:51pm PDT

Ronald Reagan Film Career To Be Honored In Washington DC Nov. 14 By Motion Picture Industry & Reagan Centennial Celebration

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Chris Dodd, CEO and Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) along with Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, are pleased to announce their partnership in programs honoring the contributions of Ronald Reagan to the motion picture industry to take place on November 14, 2011.

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MPAA Announces New SEVP Global Policy

Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman/CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, today set the new leadership team under his watch, including a promotion for Michael O’Leary to SEVP of Global Policy and External Affairs. Dodd also brought in his … Read More »

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Christopher Dodd & Rupert Murdoch Have Different Ideas About How To Talk To China

By | Monday June 13, 2011 @ 3:25pm PDT

MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd and News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch both made appearances at the Shanghai International Film Festival, which kicked off over the weekend. And both took different approaches to a mostly contentious relationship between the host … Read More »

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MPAA Chief Chris Dodd’s First Big DC Event

By | Saturday April 30, 2011 @ 2:00am PDT

WASHINGTON DC: New MPAA chief Chris Dodd will deliver his first speech about Hollywood issues to a non-industry audience next week. He did tell me, though, that he’s preparing to enlist the government’s help in fighting piracy overseas. [Nikki Read More »

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Christopher Dodd Makes First Speech As MPAA Chief At CinemaCon

By | Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 11:49am PDT

Christopher Dodd is addressing attendees at the National Association of Theatre Owners’ CinemaCon convention today in Las Vegas. In his first true public comments as chairman and CEO of the MPAA, he stresses a couple of times that he’s had … Read More »

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