In an effort to provide updates on the CineAsia 2014 conference and trade show presently taking place in Hong Kong SAR, this post was written live, and in the present tense, during one of the event’s presentations. Comments attributed to speaker(s) are paraphrased unless denoted specifically by quotation marks. [Also no spell check on my tablet version of WordPress. Sorry.]
Dolby’s Senior VP Ioan Allen introduces the ICTA discussion with a distinguidshed panel of exhibitors, distributors, consultants and Hollywood studio reps, then sits down and joins them. They are:
Irving Chee, General Manager, Golden Screen Cinemas
Brian Hall, Exhibitor Consultant
Brett D. Hogg, Senior Vice President, International Distribution, Sony Pictures Releasing International
Sunder Kimatrai, Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific, Twentieth Century Fox International
“Three of you come year after year, so you must be good,” Ioan observes and then asks them what has surprised them in the last 12 months. Irving says “not too much surprised me but the slow and steady decline of 3D movies is a concern. That’s a little bit on the downside.” He questions how effective 3D is whether shot or converted in terms of audiences perceiving value.
Brian echoes that. “Customers have become much more important. Five years ago people were wowed by Avatar,” but now they are more discerning. Brian then points out that Hollywood studios have become better at filling the gap between the [Christmas] holiday and the summer box office, but this year there was a gap after the summer, “though this might have been an anomaly.” Ioan asks whether in 2015, the offical ‘Year of the Blockbuster’, there is adanger of ‘clumping’ that will see too many big films released too close together.
Brett observed “We are glad that Sony has survived the last 12 months, particularly recently.” Ioan jokingly retorts, “I wasn’t going to bring that up,” but Brett says “It’s the elephant in the room.” Brett then aknowledges that that ‘clumping’ does continue to happen, “but hopefully where is small and medium size films that do find an audience.” Ioan asks if we were getting to a natural equilibrium when it comes to the number of 3D films. Brett says that this could be the case not just for 3D but also for 4DX and other new technolgies.