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Strong Q1 Box Office Releases and Anticipation for

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” Powering Growth

 

Boca Raton, FL  April 22, 2015 – MovieTickets.com, a leading global provider of remote movie ticketing, announced today that is has added Bing, Microsoft’s leading web search engine, as a new distribution partner. With this relationship, those who search for upcoming film releases through Bing will have convenient access to the network of MovieTickets.com theaters to purchase advance tickets. The additional access to MovieTickets.com will increase the company’s reach with moviegoers to further strengthen the brand. 

 

MovieTickets.com also has bolstered its ticket sales in 2015 reporting that the number of advance tickets sold by the company year to date were up 32% when compared to the same time period in 2014. Additionally, MovieTickets.com reports that tickets purchased on mobile devices were up 42% year to date compared to 2014. The growth in 2015 was led by sales forAmerican Sniper, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Furious 7 and most recently Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which comes to theaters on May 1, 2015. MovieTickets.com reports that U.S. advance ticket sales for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron are 4.5 times greater than the 2012 release of The Avengers. The May 1st release is also trending #1 for MovieTickets.com with 21% of all tickets sold in the last 24 hours being from moviegoers wanting to see the Avengers assemble again.

 

For the most current data, be sure to check the company website’s “Trending Now” feature found at www.movietickets.com. You can also follow the company on Twitter for updates as well:@MovieTickets.

 

About MovieTickets.com

MovieTickets.com is the leader in advance movie ticketing with 240 theater chains, representing over 28,000 screens worldwide in its group, offering moviegoers a quick and convenient way to purchase tickets online, via mobile devices and at 877-789-MOVIE. The company currently enables remote ticketing for consumers across 21 countries/territories including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Argentina, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean. Fans can stay connected with MovieTickets.com through Facebook (facebook.com/MovieTicketscom), Twitter (twitter.com/movietickets) and YouTube (youtube.com/MovieTicketsTrailers).

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By Shawn Robbins, BoxOffice Staff

Warner Bros. wrapped up the second day of CinemaCon studio presentations with an impressive slate of previews for the upcoming 2015 releases. Our analysis:

Hot Pursuit
May 8

Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara presented a previously released trailer for the upcoming comedy, a female spin on the "buddy cop" movie. The film certainly boasts potential with appeal to women, although we're still conservative about its box office prospects given that it will compete with Pitch Perfect 2 one week later.

Mad Max: Fury Road
May 15

Hype continues to build for the long-awaited Mad Max reboot/reimagining, and tonight's presentation of the most recent trailer didn't change the status quo. The question still remains as to whether or not this will capture the attention of mainstream audiences with its kinetic, and somewhat niche appeal, but WB's marketing team has put together a very convincing campaign thus far. Plus, audiences have shown in the past that action films don't have to be conventional for them to take interest in. The potential for a $100 million domestic performer is certainly here, with even potential globally.

San Andreas
May 29

Dwayne Johnson is as much the centerpiece of the upcoming disaster flick as the visual effects will be. The latest footage honed in on the flick's core dramatic story centering around Johnson's fictional family, a wise move that should be replicated in further marketing if the studio hopes to make the pic stand out from past disaster flicks.

Entourage
June 3

The hit HBO series is making the leap to the big screen in encouraging fashion so far. With a cornucopia of celebrity cameos, the hope is that the movie could bring in new fans. That being said, it's hard to imagine the film reaching very far beyond its core audience from television. That won't matter, though, with what is presumably a very modest budget compared to other summer movies.

Max
June 26

From the director of Remember the Titans, this flick promises plenty of heartfelt, family-friendly drama for all ages. The recently-announced pic is a certain sleeper candidate for the mid-summer schedule.

Magic Mike XXL
July 1

Channing Tatum and co. introduced the latest trailer for the sequel to 2012's surprise hit, offering up more of what its fans came to love. With an increased sense of tongue-in-cheek sensibility to the comedy surrounding the drama, XXL may or may not quite hit the box office levels of its predecessor, but it certainly looks to draw out plenty of fans over the Independence Day weekend.

Vacation
July 31

WB debuted the first trailer for the continuation of the classic Vacation franchise with Ed Helms and Christina Applegate leading the charge. The first look is extremely promising with plenty of laughs to be had among the CinemaCon crowd, and Helms himself confirmed it will be a "raunchy, R-rated" comedy. With a late summer release in the vein of We're the Millers, we're keeping an eye on this one.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
August 14

Guy Ritchie returns to period action with this updated version of the television series, and the dynamic between Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer offers a lot of promise. With so much competition for a similar audience later in the summer, it's difficult to tell how well they can capture generations both old and new, but we'll analyze the film's box office potential as release approaches.

We Are Your Friends
August 28

Zac Efron stars in this flick that marries the world of Los Angeles and electronic music. The first trailer definitely sets a fairly unique tone that could appeal strongly young adults and teens, especially with the aid of Efron.

Black Mass
September 18

If you've been waiting for a Johnny Depp "comeback", this may be the film for you. The first trailer debuted to strong reception as Depp is about as much of a chameleon in the role of notorious gangster Whitey Bulger as he can probably be at this point in his career. With a similar release positioning of Prisoners, this might be an early awards contender based on director Scott Cooper's confidence through his introduction of the trailer.

The Intern
September 25

Nancy Meyers' latest debuted its first trailer and looks to appeal strongly to her fan base. Anne Hathaway and Robert de Niro headline the dramedy which could make for a great father-daughter night out at the movies. Meyers' success with past films like It's Complicated, Something's Gotta Give, The Holiday, and What Women Want should carry over well here.

Pan
October 9

Joe Wright's film was just delayed from its summer release to October this week, likely to give it a better chance to compete in the fall season. Enchanting visuals and a strong ensemble cast are huge pros for the latest reinvention of the classic Peter Pan tale, and as we've seen in recent years, October can churn out sizable box office hits. The big question is how much family appeal it will carry just a few weeks after Hotel Transylvania 2 opens.

Creed
November 25

Yet another franchise reinvention, this time from the acclaimed star and director of Fruitvale Station. Sylvester Stallone himself gave it his stamp of approval both by co-starring in the film and pitching it to the CinemaCon crowd. The themes and atmosphere of Creed are noticeably different from previously Rocky movies, and in a very good. This looks to carry strong appeal with urban crowds and fans of underdog stories in general.

In the Heart of the Sea
December 11

Ron Howard's latest tackles the real life tale that inspired Moby Dick. The film was originally slated to open earlier this year, but was pushed back for stronger potential to compete/perform during awards season. The latest footage backed up that motive. With plenty of visual and dramatic appeal, if Howard strikes a chord here, he and star Chris Hemsworth could have another awards contender.

Point Break
December 25

The first trailer for this remake was intended to display the film's use of practical stunts for the extreme sports central to the characters' stories. Without much star power, it's difficult to say how well the new take will perform in a crowded holiday season, but it's certainly one to watch out for. If they play their cards right, this could be WB's equivalent to the 2001 Fast and the Furious.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
March 25, 2016

Last but certainly not least, the same trailer which debuted online last week was shown to cap off the studio's presentation reel. No surprise, many in the crowd were enthusiastic for the heavily anticipated showdown between two of the most popular comic book characters in history. There's no doubt this will be a blockbuster early in 2016. How big of one remains to be seen when get more than just a tease of where the film's story is heading, but positioning Batman as the "villain" with the first teaser is a very intriguing approach to start the marketing machine.

That wraps up Tuesday coverage for CinemaCon. Check back tomorrow as we break down Disney's and Sony's presentations.

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by Daniel Loria 

Wendy Aylsworth came to the entertainment industry after beginning her career working in the aerospace industry with companies like Lockheed and Honeywell. A past president of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and an SMPTE Fellow, Aylsworth has been instrumental in establishing digital cinema requirements and standards. She has also worked closely with some of today's leading filmmakers. Her involvement in assisting with the rollout of high frame rate (HFR) projection systems allowed Peter Jackson to fully realize his vision in The Hobbit trilogy. Aylsworth spoke to BoxOffice about her experience as a technological leader for the film industry.

You began your career at companies like Lockheed and Honeywell and now you're in Hollywood. How did you end up in the motion picture business?

It was sort of serendipitous, actually. I did do a little bit of computer graphics in college; it was still a really nascent technology. I moved into the entertainment industry just as the aerospace industry was shrinking at the time. Honeywell sold their division, and many people were getting relocated out of state, so I was looking for other opportunities and somebody who had also been in aerospace brought me to Disney, where I worked at the theme park for a year and then became much more involved with the animation group: computer graphics and imaging for production purposes. Then I made my way to Warner Bros., where I've been for over 20 years. It wasn't something I ever set out to do; it just kind of happened.

What was it like working to establish the digital cinema standards?

There aren't that many times in history when an ecosystem or device completely changes over. It became apparent that once you could actually project images digitally, that it was going to be a major changeover for theaters. It's not like you were going to try to retrofit a film projector; it was going to have to be a new piece of equipment. It became apparent during the early tests that it would need to match or exceed the quality of film so that you could still support all the characteristics of film in terms of color and dynamic range, and on top of that you'd get a cleaner picture without having to worry about scratches or dirt getting on the film. I think it was critical that the studios came together to establish DCI to set that bar as high as they could based on the technologies that were available. Now it's really exciting to see better light sources coming down the pipe. It was very exciting to see something that we really hadn't anticipated: 3D presentations. The alignment of those projectors coming together with new techniques in terms of computer-generated processing permitted a new shot at this world of 3D presentations.

As you were working with a new technology, was there ever a moment that you feared it just wouldn't work out?

When I first came into the film industry, I remember getting a tour of how movies were made. I was sitting in an editorial suite where this guy had a reel of film and sound, and he was rolling it back and forth and had these giant scissors. He would cut out two or three frames and scotch-tape it back together and play it again and ask, "Do we like this cut?" This was film editing. I remember looking at that and, as a computer person, thinking, is there a way to do this electronically? This is at the point in time when Lightworks was coming out with its system, Avid was working in the television world with smaller images and a lower resolution, and very quickly that process changed over. I was quite confident that if theaters were right for this change, it would radically change how distribution worked. We wouldn't have FedEx trucks with giant reels of film anymore. That's a process that takes quite a few years, because once it can be done there's the economics of rolling it out across the board. As with all technology, it just takes time. I was confident it could occur if we set a standard that would set a high bar and would allow for great presentations in theaters.

You also worked alongside Peter Jackson in bringing high frame rate (HFR) to cinemas.

I think this whole area is going to improve greatly with laser projection. Although 3D was technically feasible in terms of alignment with the image-in the '50s you had to have two reels of film running-one of the things we still suffer from is that the glasses cut the light down, so you're not getting as bright of a presentation as you'll get watching a 2D film; lasers will help that as well. When you increase the frame rate, because your brain is getting more information and more images, it is much easier for the brain to visualize the 3D. At the time that Peter Jackson had decided to shoot his first Hobbit movie [in HFR], there were no projectors at theaters to test it out. The laser light engines of the Texas Instruments and Sony projectors were capable of running that fast, but none of the servers were prepared to feed images that fast into the projector array. There had been experiments done, and James Cameron had given presentations, but I would refer to those as science experiments. There were multiple devices feeding a light source and being shown on a screen. It wasn't a nicely packaged device that could be at any given movie theater; it wasn't really a product. There was a lot of scrambling to work with all the industry vendors. They all rallied behind it. I'm constantly impressed by the industry we're in; when the manufacturers are given a challenge, they always rise to the occasion. It was a real exercise to see how many theaters we could get ready to play that content in time for the first Hobbit movie. Our goal was to try to get at least 1,500 theaters worldwide. We ended up with 4,000.

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Rancho Cordova, Calif., USA - 21 April 2015 - Digital cinema market share leader Barco and 20th Century Fox announce today a five year, multi-title per year agreement to release movies in Barco's multi-screen, fully immersive movie format Barco Escape. Fox will be working with its filmmakers to produce new projects for the format beginning with the September release of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.

As part of the deal, a Barco Escape setup will be installed in a theater on the 20th Century Fox studio lot.

Fox was an early endorser of the Barco Escape technology, working hand in hand with Barco throughout the last year to further develop the format and showcase new theatrical content to audiences. Director Wes Ball's The Maze Runner was the first film to release in Barco Escape, featuring approximately 10 minutes of footage in the format. It debuted at five Barco Escape Cinemark theaters in the U.S. and two Barco Escape Kinepolis theaters in Belgium. For The Scorch Trials Barco is targeting 25 locations, and Fox is targeting approximately 20 minutes of the film to be converted into the format.

"The audience reaction from the Barco Escape footage on The Maze Runner was overwhelmingly positive," says Chris Aronson, 20th Century Fox's President of Domestic Distribution. "We started working with Barco on this technology because we believe immersive experiences are the future of cinema. Now that Barco has upgraded its Barco Escape systems to be fully DCI compliant, we are further interested in finding tent pole movies for the format that will inspire audiences to leave their homes and go to the theater to share in this unique experience."

"Twentieth Century Fox has been an incredible partner for Barco Escape from the very beginning," says Todd Hoddick, Barco's VP of Global Entertainment. "The common theme from audiences that saw ‘The Maze Runner' with select scenes in Barco Escape was ‘we want more!' We are thrilled to extend our relationship with the studio and its filmmakers to continue pushing the envelope and creating these new cinema experiences you can't get anywhere else."
Barco Escape's next project, a special performance event with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga filmed natively for the format, will be released later this year. To learn more, visit Ready2Escape.com.

About 20th Century Fox Film
One of the world's largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, 20th Century Fox Film produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of 20th Century Fox Film: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Productions and Twentieth Century Fox Animation.

About Barco
Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops networked visualization products for the Entertainment, Enterprise and Healthcare markets. Barco has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in Europe, North America and APAC. Barco (NYSE Euronext Brussels: BAR) is active in more than 90 countries with 3,250 employees worldwide. Barco posted sales of 1.051 billion euro in 2014.

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By Shawn Robbins, BoxOffice Staff

Following this morning's State of the Industry address from Chris Dodd and John Fithian, Paramount took the stage to celebrate their slate of successful 2014 (and early 2015) releases, and of course, unveil a reel of their upcoming films.

Terminator Genisys
July 1, 2015

Kicking things off, Arnold Schwarzenegger himself presented 12 minutes from this summer's Terminator Genisys, set to open July 1. Although some effects shots were incomplete, the spoiler-filled footage revealed more insight into the multitude of timelines and plot threads the film is somewhat ambitiously taking on. It's still questionable whether or not casual audiences are ready for another Terminator film after 2009's Terminator Salvation proved a box office flop, and the "non-reboot reboot" approach could create some confusion for the uninitiated. Still, past franchises have aimed for similar goals (namely Star Trek and X-Men), so there's definitely potential to capitalize on introducing this franchise to a new generation. We're cautious in our expectations for now, but the action-packed footage and return of Arnold in his most iconic role shouldn't be underestimated either.

Daddy's Home
2015

Fans of The Other Guys, take note: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are teaming up again for Daddy's Home -- a concept that finds Ferrell playing a stepfather competing (literally) for the adoration of his new step-kids when their much cooler, devil-may-care father (Wahlberg) returns home. The trailer showcased Ferrell and Wahlberg in their usual comedic form, and CinemaCon attendees were eating it up. Ferrell's recent outings, though successful, haven't quite matched up to his past box office performers, but this is definitely one to watch out for after Other Guys amassed $119 million domestically in 2010.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
July 31, 2015

The main attraction of Paramount's presentation began when Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson came out to present two scenes from the upcoming fifth installment of the enduring espionage franchise. Cruise praised his co-stars and director Christopher McQuarrie (who was absent editing the flick), followed by introducing two sequences from the film. Even with unfinished editing and little-to-no musical accompaniment, the scenes further build upon the action and suspense promised by last month's first trailer.

Afterward, Cruise came back on stage with Paramount's Rob Moore to talk about the heavily-buzzed Airbus sequence. Cruise not only reaffirmed that it was entirely him performing the airplane stunt, but also elaborated on the challenges faced (e.g., he wore custom eye lenses because even the slightest grain of dust was a safety concern during shooting). He revealed that they practiced shooting the sequence eight times.

After the strong reception to 2011's Ghost Protocol, there's a lot of incoming goodwill for Rogue Nation when it opens later this summer. If the final product delivers the goods, we could be looking at another $200 million+ domestic earner. The previous film totaled $695 million globally over three years ago, a figure which also isn't out of reach for this fifth chapter.

Other Releases

Aside from those three, Paramount didn't have much footage to show off and instead offered up brief title cards. These included Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (October 23, 2015), Rings (November 13, 2015), Monster Trucks (Christmas 2015), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (June 3, 2016, which will feature fan-favorite villains Bebop and Rocksteady), Michael Bay's Benghazi thriller, 13 Hours (2016), and Adam McKay's The Big Short (2016). The latter features a star-studded line-up including Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Brad Pitt. Ben Stiller then appeared in a prerecorded video to push next year's Zoolander sequel, although no footage of significance was shown.

Most notably among the brief teases, director Justin Lin and producer J.J. Abrams shot a brief message beforehand to "talk" about Star Trek 3, set to release for the franchise's 50th anniversary in Summer 2016. Unfortunately, no new information was provided in the short video, which was clearly just a means of reminding everyone what Paramount's big summer movie will be *next* year.

Check back later today for coverage of Warner Bros.' presentation!

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