Exhibition giant Loews Cineplex has agreed to carry some $60m of rolling stock advertisements supplied by Technicolor in its 1,800 US screens starting from July.
Loews president and CEO Lawrence Ruisi said: "This agreement represents the next step in our strategy to generate ancillary revenues in our business. On-screen advertising represents a significant revenue source for international exhibitors and we are excited about the potential this creates for our business in the US."
The move is seen as a breakthrough in a market which has traditionally resisted any ads more active than a slide show for fear of detracting from the movie trailers. Loews, which already carries rolling-stock ads in the other countries where it operates was at pains to point out that the new ads will not prolong the pre-feature presentations. It also pointed out that bug-screen advertisements are five times more effective than television advertising.
The deal comes close on the heels of Technicolor-parent Carlton Communications' acquisition of Screenvision Cinema Network (SI May 26). Screenvision is the US market leader and sells screen advertising in approximately 32% of the US' 10,000 screens.