Showbiz Sandbox 230: It’s Curtains For Celluloid at CinemaCon

March 31, 2014


Every spring movie theater operators from around the world converge on Las Vegas to attend CinemaCon. During the week-long convention cinema owners are bombarded with industry facts, attendance figures, educational seminars and endless footage from upcoming releases. Over the years advances in digital projection have become an increasingly important topic at the show.

It’s no secret that cinemas have been slowly converting their facilities from traditional 35mm projection to digital. There was no better indication that the days of celluloid film prints are definitely over than the number of vendors at CinemaCon demonstrating the next generation of digital technology, including immersive sound and laser projectors.

When it comes to live theater, there is no doubt that New York’s Broadway and London’s West End are the leaders of the pack. Our own Michael Giltz reviews his previous predictions and investment advice by recapping the past year’s biggest money making productions, as well as a few financial losers.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including the fall of “Duck Dynasty”, a decline in paid cable subscribers and Oprah Winfrey’s plans for a national tour.


Cineplex Australia

‘Frozen’ Just Became The Highest-Grossing Animated Film Ever

‘Frozen’ Sells 3.2 Million Blu-ray, DVD Units in First Day

‘Noah’ Delegation Meets Pope at Vatican General Audience

‘Lego Movie’ Backer Village Roadshow Cut Out of Sequel

CinemaCon 2014: ‘4-D’ theater coming to Regal Cinemas L.A. Live,0,4666741.story

Hollywood to Test Discount Movie Ticket Prices for Weeknights

China Expected to Confirm Second Theatrical Distribution License….

Number of Frequent Young Moviegoers Plummets in 2013….

Theater Owners Chief: ’12 Years a Slave’ Was ‘Too Intense’ to Watch in Cinema

CinemaCon: African-American Moviegoers Increase for First Time Since 2009

CinemaCon: Christopher Nolan Talks ‘Interstellar,’ Plugs Film Over Digital

For Children’s Books in 2013, Divergent Led the Pack

Study: U.S. Posted First Full-Year Pay TV Subscriber Drop in 2013

Teller Wins Lawsuit Over Copied Magic Trick Performance

Music Sales Fell in 2013, Even as Streaming Revenue Increased

‘This American Life’ Considers Self-Distribution on Radio….

‘Duck Dynasty’ Drops to 16-Month Low Ahead of Finale

Ivan Reitman Out as ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Director

Beastie Boys Settle Lawsuit Over ‘Girls’ Toy Commercial

Film4 Boss Tessa Ross to Join National Theatre

Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin to Star in Netflix Comedy From ‘Friends’ Creator

Disney Names Ben Sherwood as Anne Sweeney’s Successor

Oprah Winfrey Hitting the Road for ‘The Life You Want’ Arena Tour

Chelsea Handler to End E! Show, Manager Says

In Audiences on Broadway, Fewer Guys Among the Dolls

Investors Anticipate Matilda’s Payday Prospects….


  • mgiltz

    Christopher Nolan is fighting a losing battle against the demise of celluloid. Digital projection is already dominant and will soon be the only game in town. Celluloid can be beautiful but his argument that Hollywood doesn’t go to real movie theaters and see what the new technology is like is all wrong: in fact, for most movie goers, digital projection provides a far superior picture to scratchy prints of celluloid which were the usual fare growing up. At its best, celluloid is gorgeous. At its best, digital is great and far more consistent visually. The experience of going to the movies has never been better for the average person in America.

  • cj

    Very right Michael. It is no longer a losing battle, it is a lost battle. Film for presentation is no more. The king is dead. Long live the environment, long live the employees not having to breathe those chemicals, long live the superfund money that will have to be used to clean the saturated dirt under some of those facilities.

    The trouble actually comes in part from the attitude that Christopher mentioned. People who make movies only ever see them in great facilities, film in the old days and digital now. Contrary to what people say, that film can be handled such that it does not degrade, you just can’t yank plastic into a slot, send it up to its melting point twice in a 24th of a second – making it an electrostatic magnet to all the micro-dust in the room and desaturating the colors each time – and yank it out to make room for the next frame, without doing damage.

    Meanwhile digital makes advances in quality, though whether it will ever have the intense blacks that pre-safety film had, who knows. Even lasers aren’t going to win that battle. When it happens though is when people will have nothing more to complain about.