[ Digital cinema, democratization, and other trends remaking the movies ]

AD: Fans, Friends & Followers

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Big Idea: Letting Audiences Pick What Plays at the Local Cinema

I'm intrigued by the possibility of local communities being able to program at least one of the screens of their neighborhood multiplex. It's an experiment that hasn't been tried much, if at all -- but think of the audience loyalty you'd get if ticket-buyers were helping to nominate and select the movies that played at the cinema.

Donald Ranvaud of the Rain Network, the biggest digital cinema operator in Latin America, talked about this possibility last fall at Digimart, during a panel I moderated. (Video is here.) He talked about the cinema becoming a sort of "jukebox." But he wasn't very specific, and he didn't respond to my e-mails asking for more details.

So I'm glad Variety has now done a story on Rain's initiative. From John Hopewell's piece:

    ...Beginning early next year, Rain's novel TOD [theatrical-on-demand system] will allow moviegoers, grouped in online YouRain Internet film clubs, to recommend what films play when and where over Rain's digital cinema network.

    Virtual cinema club members can also refer wishlists to friends, and, exploiting YouRain's social networking system, let other people know what films they're attending.

    ...Films will be rented from rights holders on a revenue-share model, he added. Digital cinema already eliminates print costs. With Internet networking marketing hot and hip movies, TOD will also slash advertising costs, Lima argued.

Pretty cool... but I wonder if you'll have to charge people to participate -- perhaps making them buy a ticket or two in advance -- to make sure they actually show up to see the movies they vote for.

Labels: , , , ,


  • It will also be interesting to see what distributors (if any of note) that Rain will be able to convince to participate in their "on-demand" effort. The majority of distributors that I'm aware of in the US of A still have a shred and destroy policy towards any "network" or "theater" keeping digital copies of their content after its finished the official run.

    It's really too bad. Distributors have absolutely no imagination and no insight into what people just might like. Take the current re-release of Blade Runner. The distributor was caught completely off guard by the demand, and in some markets, they could probably be making a decent amount of theatrical dollars through February or March. Will they keep it in theaters that long? I doubt it, but it'll be interesting to see.


    By Blogger Steve, at 2:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home