'This is the film that is going to turn around the summer boxoffice,' UIP president and COO Andrew Cripps told guests at a screening of WarOf The Worlds, at this year's Cinema Expo in Amsterdam.
As if to underline the importance to exhibitors, the showingwas delayed as delegates were made to hand in every potential recording device- even mobile phones without a camera function.
Despite a programme that looks forward to the digital agewith major technical announcements expected, the underlying tone of this year'sevent is rather more short term.
A month of disappointing figures has concentrated minds ontakings: German box-office figures for the second quarter of2005 were 28% down on last year and admissions plummeted in Italy by 18.05% inthe first half of 2005 with a 17.84% slump in boxoffice.
Even in the more upbeat UK, takings weredown significantly in April, though the industry remains confident of apick-up.
The morethan 1,000 delegates to the event want answers to their immediate problems aswell as concentration on their longer-term worries.
UIP triedhard to accentuate the postive, unveiling a slate that included not just theSpielberg-Cruise blockbuster but also new films including Peter Jackson's KingKong.
Crippsreminded visitors that the company had produced a series of hits and last yeartopped the $2bn mark for the first time.
Today,Warner Bros takes its turn in presenting a slate that includes an Tim Burton'seagerly-anticipated Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
The restof the programme is slanted heavily towards new technology and the applicationof digital innovation.
Yesterday,Barco launched a new, compact 2K digital cinema projector based on the DLPCinema(tm) technology of Texas Instruments. Today,Sony displays its 4K SXRD Projector.
Seminarsand presentations are tending to concentrate on the benefits of new approaches.
* CinemaExpo International yesteray honoured British animator and director Nick Park,the brains behind Wallace and Gromit.
Hereceived the event's Award of Excellence in Filmmaking.