Digital Hollywood Spring - 3D in TV and Film- Analysts and Investment: A View from the Street
I recently attended the Digital Hollywood Spring conference at the Ritz Carlton, Marina del Rey, CA. Digital Hollywood is described by the organizer's as "the premier entertainment and technology conference in the country."
On Tuesday, May 3rd I attended a panel entitled 3D in TV and Film- Analysts and Investment: A View from the Street. The panel was moderated by Marty Shindler, the CEO of The Shindler Perspective, Inc. Panelists included:
Marla Backer, Managing Director, Hudson Square Research
James Marsh, Senior Research Analyst - Piper Jaffray & Co.
James Dix, Vice President, Equity Research, Media & Entertainment, Wedbush Morgan Securities
Jeffrey Logsdon, BMO CAPITAL MARKETS-US
Richard LaBerge, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, SENSIO Technologies
Warren Franklin, CEO, Rainmaker
The panel started off with Shindler saying that theatrical distribution is still the primary driver of the 3D experience, even if box office revenue is down 15% from the same time last year. He wonders if theaters are going to be interested in getting more into owning theaters as a way of off-setting declining home video revenue.
Backer jokingly said that if 3D revenue is down, Wall St. and the main-stream media will declare the format dead. She said we're already seeing the blurring of lines in theatrical distribution with deals like Regal/AMC's Open Road program showcasing exclusive smaller films. It's strictly distribution as they're not producing content, including 3D. Some hesitation comes from the costs and difficulties of marketing the films.
Marsh indicates it's not the marketing in and of itself that's the problem but it's the lack of original content being produced citing sequels and derivative materials. Marsh, also, cited Mark's Cuban's Magnolia partnerning with Landmark Theaters and sees a more "horizontal consolidation" across theater chain, creating a more symbiotic relation ship. He sees the stumble of 3D this year as more of an economic issue in that the up-charge for 3D makes it prohibitive for large families.Continued on the next page