mar14.pngBy Shawn Robbins

2014's first quarter is in the books, and business for the first three months of the year was up 5.5 percent over the same period in 2013. This year's box office haul stood at $2.396 billion through March 31.

Unfortunately, March itself lost ground as grosses dipped 3 percent to $803 million from $828 million last year.

The good news: last month was buoyed by a collection of films rather than the top-heavy March 2013, which was carried by Oz: The Great and Powerful. This time around, 300: Rise of an EmpireDivergent, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman gave March three films topping the $95 million mark. Non-Stop, Son of God, The LEGO Movie's holding power, and Noah's opening weekend also contributed healthy performances. In the end, though, last month was the lowest grossing March since 2011 ($682 million) and fell short of March 2012's record $942 million.

Driving the bulk of the year-to-date improvement was February's $699 million market gross--up 13 percent from February 2013 ($617 million), but it was mostly due to the "awesome" success of The LEGO Movie (which accounted for over one-quarter of the monthly figure). January's $893 million gross also represented the strongest January in four years, when Avatar was enjoying its phenomenal run in early 2010. Key contributors in early 2014 included Frozen's remarkable legs, plus Universal's back-to-back hits in Ride Along and Lone Survivor.

April could be a recovery month for the market, though. Disney/Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier has its eye on becoming one of, if not *the*, top April performer in history while Rio 2 looks to continue the success of its 2011 predecessor. Neither of those films will face direct competition until May (or later, in the case of Rio 2).

March 2014's Top 10 Grossing Films:

1. 300: Rise of an Empire - $101.5 million
2. Divergent - $96 million
3. Mr. Peabody & Sherman - $95.1 million
4. Non-Stop - $75.3 million
5. The LEGO Movie - $55.7 million
6. Son of God - $48.5 million
7. Noah - $46.8 million
8. Need for Speed - $38 million
9. Muppets Most Wanted - $33.8 million
10. The Grand Budapest Hotel - $24.9 million

Q1's Top 10 Grossing Films (January through March):

1. The LEGO Movie - $248.5 million
2. Frozen - $135.3 million
3. Ride Along - $133.7 million
4. Lone Survivor - $124.8 million
5. 300: Rise of an Empire - $101.5 million
6. Divergent - $96 million
7. Mr. Peabody & Sherman - $95.1 million
8. Non-Stop - $85.4 million
9. American Hustle - $82.5 million
10. The Monuments Men - $76.6 million 

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screenvision.pngNEW YORK, April 2, 2014 - Screenvision, a national leader in cinema advertising sales, will showcase its "Weekend Daypart" as a high impact and essential complement to TV advertising plans at its annual upfront event at New York's landmark Ziegfeld Theater. Additional presentations in Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit will take place tomorrow evening. The company will also reveal programs that extend Screenvision's advertising impact with audio recognition leader SoundHound and social content programming leaders Entertainment News Television (ENTV) and Defy Media. These announcements will precede an advanced screening of Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," allowing attendees to enjoy the company's product in its truest form - through a night at the movies.

These moves continue the company's efforts to revolutionize cinema advertising. The introduction of Screenvision as the Weekend Daypart reinforces the company's ability to break through media fragmentation and clutter, demonstrating its national scale and strengths as a powerful complement to TV advertising:

· Scale: 8.5 million weekly attendance, equivalent 4.4 weekly rating among 18-49 year olds

· Weekend Attendance: 70 percent audience delivery occurs on weekends

· Live Impression - CNow: 100 percent unskippable and zero time shifting

· Millennials: 50 percent of audience is between 12-34 years of age

"In this fragmented media marketplace, Screenvision provides something rare - scale, targeting and proven stability. Media strategists and buyers can now find meaningful impact against areas where television advertising under delivers," said Travis Reid, CEO, Screenvision. "This is cinema's time. With people going to the movies more than 1.34 billion times in 2013, coupled with the negative effect of fragmentation on other media, we are providing a highly coveted offering in today's marketplace."

Screenvision's scale is the equivalent of a 4.4 weekly rating among the 18-49 audience, placing it among the top 10 TV shows every week. It's not just scale, it's also effectiveness in brand messaging. When cinema advertising is paired with TV, there is a 69 percent increase in top-of-mind unaided brand awareness and 49 percent increase in purchase intent.

The Easiest Media Platform to Buy
The benefits of Screenvision cinema advertising extend into the way it is bought and executed. At last year's upfront, Screenvision revolutionized the way cinema is purchased by fully aligning with TV and video buying processes, delivering demo guarantees, creating seasonal pricing and showparting, and being the only cinema advertising company to post campaigns with Nielsen.

"The strategy we put in place works, providing Screenvision significant momentum and growth in the last year with more than 50 new advertisers," said Jim Tricarico, CRO, Screenvision. "We've established our place in this video-neutral marketplace. As we look forward, we will continue to evangelize that message, as well as tap into industry leaders to enable us to activate advertisers' key areas of interest - millennials, social engagement and targeting."

Extending Cinema's Impact with SoundHound
Screenvision has selected to work with SoundHound, a leading innovator in sound recognition with the world's fastest music and audio recognition. SoundHound will be integrated into Screenvision's recently-launched Front & Center preshow. SoundHound's breakthrough technology will be used to activate advertising and entertainment programming, such as music and trivia, for Screenvision clients. The technology will enable advertisers to connect with moviegoers at the moment of interest, and walk out of the theater with brand messaging on their smartphones for subsequent engagement. SoundHound recently announced ‘Add to Spotify' - an exclusive feature with Spotify - to further appeal to its youthful (18-34) core demographic.
"We are very excited to start working with Screenvision, as they have clearly demonstrated leadership in engaging with moviegoers," said Kathleen McMahon, Vice President, SoundHound Inc. "We are looking forward to developing unique and engaging programs for advertisers to further connect with their audience."

Engaging a Millennial Audience with New Entertainment Alliances
Screenvision will also announce short-form video content partners in Entertainment News Television (ENTV) and Defy Media. It is deepening its relationship with ENTV, a leader in entertainment news, through an integrated media program. Sponsors of ENTV programming will receive extended reach both online and socially through Twitter Amplify. ENTV's entertainment-focused programming draws top-quality news from respected outlets such as Variety and Deadline, which are part of the extensive and growing portfolio of media properties belonging to ENTV's parent company Penske Media Corporation (PMC).

"Screenvision has been a great partner, enabling us to showcase our programming and create compelling content for advertisers," said Michael Davis, General Manager, ENTV, and Chief Video Officer, PMC. "As a next step in our collaboration, we'll be implementing integrated media opportunities to extend a brand's association with our content, capturing moviegoers in and out of theaters."

Defy Media, the definitive media company for the digital generation, formed by the merger of Alloy Digital and Break Media, will be working with Screenvision on short-form custom programming and branded content for the Front & Center preshow. Additionally, the alliance will enable advertisers to create multi-platform programs across the network of Defy properties. Defy's leading portfolio of brands includes Break, Clevver, Made Man, SMOSH, Screen Junkies, The Gloss, and The Escapist, together reaching over 125 million consumers monthly through owned web, YouTube, mobile, social, and emerging OTT platforms.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" will be released nationwide on April 4, 2014.

ABOUT SCREENVISION
Headquartered in New York, N.Y., Screenvision is a national leader in cinema advertising, offering on-screen advertising, in-lobby promotions, and integrated marketing programs to national, regional, and local advertisers. Screenvision provides comprehensive cinema advertising representation services to top tier theatrical exhibitors presenting the highest quality moviegoing experience. The Screenvision cinema advertising network is comprised of over 14,200 screens in 2,200+ theater locations across all 50 states and 94 percent of DMAs nationwide; delivering through more than 150 theatrical circuits, including six of the top 10 exhibitor companies. For more information, please visit www.screenvision.com.

ABOUT SOUNDHOUND
SoundHound Inc. is the leading innovator in sound recognition and search technologies. Its unmatched portfolio of technologies includes the world's fastest music and audio recognition, the world's only singing and humming search, instant-response large scale speech recognition systems, and automatic lyrics alignment. The SoundHound mobile application is the only app in the world that enables two distinct sound inputs to be recognized through a single search button. Both recorded music and a hummed query can be identified, delighting users and friends with the magic of capturing a song or finding a song through singing it. SoundHound technologies are deployed globally through carrier, device manufacturer, and automotive partnerships. SoundHound's applications, available on all major platforms, have been downloaded by more than 185 million users.

ABOUT PENSKE MEDIA CORPORATION (PMC)
PMC is a leading digital media and publishing company founded by Jay Penske in 2004. Today, PMC engages with audiences across the web as well as TV, mobile, print, and social media to reach more than 115 million consumers monthly, according to ComScore. PMC owns a unique and growing portfolio of lifestyle brands that provide the web's best original content in categories including entertainment, sports, breaking news, media, finance, technology, health, shopping, fashion, beauty, and automotive. Variety, PMC Studios, Movieline, Deadline Hollywood, OnCars, Hollywood Life, ENTV, India.com, BGR, TVLine, AwardsLine, Young Hollywood Awards, The Style Awards, and Breakthrough of the Year Awards are all part of the expanding PMC portfolio. For more information on PMC and its brands, please visit www.PMC.com or its digital properties directly.

ABOUT DEFY MEDIA
Defy Media is the definitive media company for the digital generation, formed by the 2013 merger of Alloy Digital and Break Media. The merger united two companies with strong legacies and expertise in creating influential and culturally significant entertainment properties for 12-34 year old consumers. Defy Media creates some of the most popular content on the Internet under its leading portfolio of brands which includes Break, Clevver, Made Man, SMOSH, Screen Junkies, The Gloss, and The Escapist, together reaching over 125 million consumers monthly through owned web, YouTube, mobile, social, and emerging OTT platforms. The world's top brands partner with Defy Media to build immersive advertising solutions that deliver unparalleled access to this influential audience. With uniquely integrated capabilities in content development, studio production, distribution, and promotion, Defy Media is built for content delivery in the digital age. The company is further leveraging the power of its creators and brands with extensions into merchandising and both television and feature film, where it is a producer of The Hustle (Fuse), The Devil Inside (Paramount) and The Pete Holmes Show (TBS), among others. For more information, please visit www.DefyMedia.com.

ABOUT MARVEL'S "CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER"
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off assailants sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy-the Winter Soldier.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is produced by Kevin Feige, PGA, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is presented by Marvel Studios. The executive producers are Louis D'Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, and Stan Lee. The film releases April 4, 2014, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

ABOUT MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over 70 years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, and publishing. For more information, visit www.marvel.com.

 

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philips_LightVibes_MR-2.jpgLas Vegas, USA - Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, the development of Philips LightVibesTM, a lighting solution that creates immersive light shows in cinema theatres.

With cinema exhibitors needing to reach broader audiences while creating engaging entertainment experiences, Philips LightVibes helps them enhance, differentiate and repurpose their cinema spaces. This results in access to new revenue streams and better use of their assets, for example the ability to tap into the projected $1 billion by 2018 market[1] for alternative content. The solution enables this by creating life-like in-hall experiences for viewers of alternative content and event screenings - from live operas to rock concerts and sporting fixtures. For the artists and sports clubs, the ability to have their event screened simultaneously in thousands of theatres across the globe means they can reach more fans and grow their event revenues.

The solution also helps exhibitors make more money from on-screen advertising by creating dynamic and engaging pre-show theatre ambiances. With recent interactive advertisement concepts offering exhibitors a way to increase cinema advertising viewer recall, the LightVibes system enables them to offer advertisers an interactive connected platform. This allows for ‘second screen' and completely new ‘third screen' immersive advertising concepts, in addition to the benefits of traditional media screens.

"Just like the audience at a sell-out gig being immersed in the energy of the band's live performance, Philips LightVibes brings the drama and emotion of a fantastic light show to the cinema theatre-setting, complementing the content on the silver screen," said Ronald Maandonks, Business Development Director, at Philips Lighting.

Philips is announcing the development of LightVibes at the CinemaCon trade show, taking place in Las Vegas (24th-27th March 2014), following a successful pilot installation in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Initial consumer response has been very welcoming:

- 81% of viewers at a screening said that LightVibes had significantly improved their experience of a concert event in cinema
- On average those polled said they would be six times more likely to attend a concert in a cinema with LightVibes available
- If seeking out a concert screening in cinema, 65% of the viewers would prefer a cinema venue with LightVibes over a cinema without LightVibes
- 58% of viewers would be willing to pay €1 as a premium for attending content enhanced with LightVibes

"As our consumer research shows, the added life-like ambiance is the key missing ingredient for viewers of alternative content. LightVibes, with its dynamic lighting effects, can help create a more sensory overall experience for the audience," continued Ronald Maandonks. "We think that it could have some very exciting implications for the movie industry as well, as LightVibes can amplify the ‘wow' moment of special effects. We look forward to exploring the possibilities with the film industry."

 

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cospective.pngPostproduction Company Makes Use of Flexible Review Platform for Its Ad Campaigns

Minneapolis, MN: Apr. 2, 2014 ... Frankie, the browser-based and interactive video review tool from the maker of Academy AwardTM-winning cineSync, is a key part of the review-and-approval process for the commercial campaigns of Drive Thru. Based in Minneapolis, Drive Thru is a production and postproduction company that relies on Frankie during sales pitches, throughout its internal creative process and for collaborative review-and-approval sessions with clients. With Frankie, companies like Drive Thru now have an innovative tool to streamline the creation and approval process in the era of remote postproduction workflows.

Drive Thru uses Frankie for real-time video reviews, allowing everyone in the session to comment, make annotations and even sketch right on the screen, all in perfect sync with everyone on the review. Although Drive Thru makes good use of real-time reviews, the company wanted its clients to be able to review and provide feedback in their own time and not be tied to someone else's schedule. Drive Thru suggested this to Cospective, which then modified Frankie to include the option to un-sync reviews. Now Drive Thru can conduct its review process exactly as it wants to.

"By un-syncing video reviews, our clients can look at a work-in-progress at their convenience," said Aaron Esterling, VFX assistant at Drive Thru. "We send them a link of revisions and they can review it wherever or whenever it works for them."

Simplifying the remote workflow
"Frankie has changed the game of how we share material with clients and get their feedback," said Bob George, owner and Flame/VFX artist at Drive Thru Editorial. "This ability to collaborate remotely either in sync or not is a feature we asked Cospective for because it's integral to how we operate. It's just one of the ways that we're thinking differently than the traditional post shop."

Drive Thru is a lean team of directors, editors and colorists handling everything from creative editing to graphics to online finishing for making commercials. Before it found Frankie, Drive Thru uploaded compressed video files to a server and then sent clients a file to download before they could begin a review. This was a time-consuming process, fraught with complications. Now with Frankie, Drive Thru uploads an uncompressed video file to the cloud and sends a URL to all those invited to review the video. By simply clicking the URL, their clients are taken straight to the review, complete with all the files.

"This kind of remote, collaborative review tool is totally new for our clients, but once they see the simplicity and power of Frankie, they love it," explained George. "They no longer have to save files to the hard drive and remember where they are. Also, they like being able to send the video on to their clients in turn."

Providing clarity for remote client reviews
"One of the neatest things about Frankie is that the client can draw right on the screen," said George. "It makes understanding their feedback so much easier, removing the ambiguity inherent in email exchanges. Even if you're in the studio, clarity during reviews can be difficult to achieve - we may go up to the screen and point to what we want or they want to be different. How much easier it is to do this remotely with Frankie!"

Because Drive Thru is often collaborating with out-of-state artists and clients, streamlining the review process is essential to its mode of working. At the end of each review session, Frankie allows Drive Thru to generate a PDF summary that includes all comments, notes and marked-up screenshots. Having all the feedback in one spot helps Drive Thru avoid its former practice of collecting cumbersome emails, full of responses from numerous reviewers.

"It's amazing to consolidate everyone's feedback into one document," explained Esterling. "Sifting through reams of email comments was confusing and frustrating for us. With Frankie's PDF summaries, each frame has everybody's comments and it's a simple matter to review. We then pass the PDF around to individual artists who are working on the material."

Thinking differently than the traditional post facility
Another innovation that Drive Thru has developed is to use Frankie in sales meetings. "Using Frankie during pitches lets us explain visually what we're thinking of doing," said George. "Frankie works great this way, filling the gaps for us between Wiredrive and Interdubs with offline and online approvals."

Bob George is looking forward to testing the full-screen feature of Frankie that was added in March to see if it can be used with their retina display laptops. "I think the colors may hold true and having the full-screen viewing capability of Frankie will let us test this," said George. "It could be perfect for making those final online decisions."

"One of Frankie's strengths is that it looks so good," said George. "It works great on my iPad and my iPhone and is an invaluable tool in this world. Frankie has streamlined our workflow, helping us realize huge savings in man hours, allowing our team to work on creative, instead of wasting time with file compressions. We believe in these guys and the direction they're going in."

Visit the Frankie blog to see some of the commercial work Drive Thru has delivered: https://www.cospective.com/frankie/latest/ .

Frankie plans include up to five concurrent projects, unlimited users, unlimited reviews, 20 GB of video storage and complete cross-platform compatibility. Monthly subscriptions can be cancelled at any time. Agencies and post facilities can get more information and sign up for a free 21-day trial at www.cospective.com/frankie . Follow us at www.facebook.com/frankiereview and @FrankieReview .


About Frankie
Frankie is made by Cospective, creators of innovative software solutions to visual communication challenges. Its product line also includes cineSync, the Academy AwardTM-winning synchronized review-and-approval tool used for major film productions. Frankie is used for real-time video review using standard web browsers and is ideally suited for short form content produced by ad agencies, production companies and post houses. Cospective is a privately held company based in Adelaide, Australia. For more information, visit www.cospective.com/frankie or follow us on www.facebook.com/frankiereview or at @FrankieReview .

 

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noah.png

By Daniel Garris

Paramount's Noah took in $3.11 million on Monday to lead the daily box office for a fourth consecutive day. The Darren Aronofsky directed biblical epic starring Russell Crowe fell 72 percent from Sunday. Noah continues to outpace pre-release expectations with a four-day start of $46.83 million. Compared to other recent films, Noah is currently running a slim 4 percent behind the $48.92 million four-day start of 300: Rise of an Empire and 81 percent ahead of the $27.07 million four-day take of Son of God. With Disney's Captain America: The Winter Soldier entering the marketplace on Friday, it is especially important for Noah to gross as much as it can this week.

Divergent placed in second with $1.66 million. Lionsgate's young adult adaptation starring Shailene Woodley was down 72 percent from Sunday and down a respectable 53.5 percent from last Monday. Divergent continues to display very solid holding power for a young adult adaptation. With an eleven-day take of $96.04 million, Divergent is now just $3.96 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic milestone. Divergent is currently running 21 percent behind the $121.18 million eleven-day take of 2008's Twilight.

God's Not Dead grossed $0.730 million to take third place. The faith-based drama from Freestyle and Pure Flix was down 74 percent from Sunday and down just 15 percent from last Monday. God's Not Dead has grossed a stronger than expected $22.48 million in eleven days. That places the film 34 percent ahead of the $16.75 million eleven-day gross of 2011's Courageous.

Fox Searchlight's The Grand Budapest Hotel claimed fourth place with $0.696 million. The Wes Anderson directed film was down 69 percent form Sunday and up 11 percent over last Monday (when it was playing in significantly fewer locations). The Grand Budapest Hotel has grossed a healthy $24.87 million through 25 days of release.

Muppets Most Wanted rounded out Monday's top five with $0.673 million. The latest Muppets film from Disney was down 80 percent from Sunday and down 42 percent from last Monday. Muppets Most Wanted has grossed $33.79 million in eleven days, which places the film an underwhelming 36 percent behind the $53.13 million eleven-day gross of 2011's The Muppets.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman placed in sixth with $0.606 million. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation fell 76 percent from Sunday and 37 percent from last Monday. Mr. Peabody & Sherman has grossed a respectable $95.08 million in 25 days, which leaves the film $4.92 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic mark.

Open Road's Sabotage landed in seventh place with $0.438 million. The action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was down 68 percent from Sunday. Sabotage continues to perform poorly with a four-day start of just $5.71 million. The film is currently running 21 percent behind the already soft $7.21 million four-day start of last year's The Last Stand.

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