On-demand films for Brazil’s art-house cinemas

By Patrick von Sychowski | February 13, 2008 5:21 am PST

Brazilian e-cinema pioneer Rain Networks is rolling out the movies-on-demand concept to cinemas. The name of the venture, MovieMobz, gives an idea of the potential and challenge that this concept faces – how to get a mob of people to agree on one film (other than the obvious blockbuster on a Friday evening). As far as technical experiments that digital allows, this is the most interesting development since multiplexes began showing films at staggered times, though in a much more radical way. From the article in Variety:

RAINMovieMobz takes digital cinema one step further. Aiming to launch in early April, Rain’s COD will allow moviegoers, grouped in online MovieMobz.com film clubs, to recommend what films play when and where over Rain’s digital cinema network.

Once exhibitors slot a film, virtual cinema club members can buy tickets, refer further wishlists to friends and, exploiting MovieMobz’s social networking system, let other people know what films they’re attending.

I can see the Silicon Valley pitch right now: “It’s Facebook goes to the art-house multiplex. It’s Cinema 2.0 !!”. But Rain has already proved itself in Brazil – though slow to export the concept abroad, though Argentina and Mexico are target markets – so they have a credible base to build on and experiment with.

We will be following this one with interest.

Patrick von Sychowski
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