CinemaCon Day 1: Pirates, Dictators, and the Global Box Office

posted by Ross Melnick on April 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm


The opening of this year’s CinemaCon featured a full lineup of speakers for “International Day,” with panels on the tremendous growth of the international exhibition market, and a gala opening night event from Paramount Pictures. During the day, panels focused on customer service, digital cinema, alternative content, and marketing, amongst other topics. Millard Ochs, President of Warner Bros. International Cinemas, noted that exhibitors need to pay more attention to younger audiences who are online, watching TV, and playing video games instead of going to the movies. In Japan, he noted, surveys show that sleeping is a more favorable activity for youth than going to Hollywood movies.

At night, Paramount’s presentation before a packed audience celebrated the company’s 100th anniversary and highlighted the studio’s 2012 product, including “Madagascar 3,” “GI Joe,” “Rise of the Guardians,” and “The Dictator.” Despite appearances by stars such as Chris Rock and The Rock, Sacha Baron Cohen staged the night’s most memorable moment when he appeared in character as “The Dictator.” Cohen skewered Hollywood (and the West) in his comedic appearance. You won’t find the routine on YouTube anytime soon, though, since cell phones were strictly prohibited. One attendee who ignored this warning was arrested, according to organizer Mitch Neuhauser, part of CinemaCon and the industry’s focus on piracy. A long and busy day ended for some at 1am after a screening of “The Dictator.” The trade show starts up again at 7:45am. Grab some coffee as the trade show floor opens today …

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