As of this week it has been 15 years since the first article was published on Celluloid Junkie, marking a decade-and-a-half that has seen the global cinema industry go through its biggest changes and face its greatest challenges ever. What started modestly as a blog (we still get called that; it’s okay) gap-filler project has become a full-time business charting every aspect of the theatrical exhibition market. At its heart, Celluloid Junkie is driven by the deep-rooted belief in the cinema industry, which is why we felt it deserved a dedicated publication covering the business, technology, people and places of cinema from an international perspective. But we had no idea where it would lead us.
Tellingly the first three articles not only set the tone for CJ (as we now shorthand it) but also for the cinema industry as a whole for the next 15 years, whether through luck or foresight we aren’t sure. The first ever CJ article was about a trailer airing during a broadcast of “The Daily Show,” back when Jon Stewart was at its helm, of an upcoming action film called “Iron Man” from comic book publisher Marvel, who had previously turned out films such as “Blade” and “Howard the Duck.” The entire ad block was the trailer, meaning people would be less likely to fast-forward through it on their Tivo (remember those?).
The second article was about the new head of the UK’s Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, one Phil Clapp, who was replacing CEA stalwarts John Wilkinson. Clapp joined CEA from the UK government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) and the snarky 30-something CJ journalists probably thought they were clever/funny when they concocted the headline “UK’s Cinema Exhib. Ass’n Gets Clapp” (get a dose of that journalism talent). Charting, interviewing and highlighting the work of the many people behind the scenes of the cinema business is one of the things that has been at the heart of CJ’s mission for the last 15 years…