CinemaCon Day Two: High Frame Rate, Mixed Appraisals

posted by Ross Melnick on April 25, 2012 at 8:22 am

Medium

Warner Bros. and the Walt Disney Company rolled out their stars and their upcoming films for exhibitors attending CinemaCon yesterday, but it was the ten minutes of footage of “The Hobbit” that garnered much of the attention and division. Shown in 48 frames per second, the casino floor of Caesars Palace and the trade show floors above were humming with interest and derision for the footage. For a good breakdown of reactions, read this EW blog post.

Before the Warner Bros. presentation, Chris Dodd of the MPAA and John Fithian of NATO welcomed attendees to CinemaCon. Dodd reemphasized the importance of theatrical exhibition to the global industry and the need to combat piracy here and abroad. Fithian relayed the industry’s continued optimism in 2012, especially considering this year’s numbers to date, and argued for the relative affordability of ticket prices and the overall stability of the exhibition industry.

Across the convention, exhibitors, equipment manufacturers, and distributors seem to be in a very good mood. With box office up across North America—and tensions cooled after last year’s VOD announcement that took place on the last day of the convention—there seems to be little tension this year. In addition, for the first time in ten years, all six majors (plus Lionsgate) will present their slate of films to exhibitors. Yesterday’s tally of stars, directors, and executives greeting attendees included Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, John Lasseter, John C. Reilly, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Joe Roth, Sam Raimi, and many others. Is it a show of solidarity for theatrical exhibition or a smart use of CinemaCon to generate publicity for films such as “Brave”? Probably both.

Today’s big technology demonstration will be laser projection and, later, Sony Pictures will promote their upcoming slate to exhibitors. Grab some more coffee and see you at Caesars…

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