Mark Zoradi, president of Buena Vista International, encouraged international exhibitors to focus on traditional marketing methods in order to improve profit margins, at Cinema Expo this week.
Speaking prior to BVI's product showreel and digital screening of Dinosaur, his message to cinema operators was to revitalise their use of traditional marketing materials such as trailers, posters and standees, as a way to create better awareness of films.
"We had a good year in 1999 when our total box office was $1.35bn worldwide, but we can't just look at the gross anymore. With production and p&a costs increasing, our net isn't always very good. And I also know some exhibitors are struggling to make a profit, so I implore you to get back to some simple basics," Zoradi said.
Delegates were also shown the first ever footage of what Zoradi put his neck on the line to call "what is likely to be our biggest live-action movie ever": Pearl Harbour. Although only one third has been shot, the Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay production, starring Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale, has been locked in to a May 23 US release next year, followed by the UK in early June and in Europe in June and July.
"This is not a World War 2 film, it is a big romance movie set against the backdrop of WW2 and we will be rolling it out with a massive, highly orchestrated marketing campaign," Zoradi said.
BVI expects to have a release slate of 15-20 movies again next year of which about 15 will be produced in-house. Zoradi predicted that 6-10 of these would be major tent-pole releases.