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Answerman - Why Do Companies Bother With Tiny Theatrical Releases?


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0nsen



Joined: 01 Nov 2014
Posts: 206
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:18 am Reply with quote
If only they'd show the movies in Japanese without any subtitles, I'd be at least a little sad that I can't make the road trip to wherever the movie is shown. On the bright side, there is home cinema. It's like cinema, only without all the annoyances.
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rizuchan



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 674
Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:27 am Reply with quote
I have to say I hadn't really considered this question mostly because I didn't want to consider it. I had a suspicion that they don't make much money on these, but I am so beyond happy that we're regularly getting anime movies in theaters, if only for one night. It's such a great way to not only meet other anime fans, but fans of the same shows. So I'm really glad to hear that showing them is profitable in the long run.
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Brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 954
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:03 pm Reply with quote
I was surprised to see we got Shin Godzilla where I live (which is kind of bodunk when it comes to movies). I went Tuesday night expecting it to be empty but honestly it was more packed then when I saw Godzilla 2000. Which was a normal showing in a huge (24 screen) theater outside of Philly. There had been like 5 people for that. Shin Godzilla on a Tuesday night filled the back of the theater and only the crap front seats were left.

Still the best was the re-release of the original Godzilla we had driven into Philly for, where when the movie started a dude was like F*%K Raymond Burr.

Though, I guess Godzilla does have more of a reach that most anime films. Even if most American probably haven't seen a Godzilla film, they have heard of Godzilla. It was interesting to with my friend who had only seen the American 2014 film because he had a hard time with all the talking in this one.

When I lived closer to Philly I did go see some of the anime movies that would show. Out here we will get some of the bigger Ghibli films that is about it. I miss that big 24 screen theater because at least we would get the bigger indie films. Out here, it is a desert.
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Wrial Huden



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 146
Location: McKinney, TX
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:45 pm Reply with quote
Used to be that anime films shown in North America were limited to arthouse theaters like Landmark and Angelika and sometimes would be screening for at least a one-week engagement. I remember I and a bunch of our college anime club members drove down to Houston (about an hour and a half drive) to see Princess Mononoke in '99 at the Landmark Greenway (closed on New Year's Eve 2007 Crying or Very sad ).

Fortunately, there's more of a variety of anime films being screened these days. Sadly, though, there's not much in the way of flexibility as most of these screenings are one day at one or two scheduled showings. Not always convenient as some of us can't make a certain screening due to other committments (work, family, etc.). Hoping for slightly longer engagements but not counting on it...
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 3367
Location: Northern Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:56 pm Reply with quote
For what it's worth. I have yet to go to an anime showing that wasn't at least 2/3 full where I live(since I've been going to see anime in theaters in late 2012). Angelika shows pretty much all of the anime movies that get theatrical runs, and the market here seems to be really willing to spend money to see them. Kizumonogatari was sold out both days, and I think the second part is full now too. Anohana was sold out, Tiger and Bunny was sold out, DBZ was obviously sold out, Psycho-Pass was pretty full, Evangelion was sold out, etc etc. The only movies so far that weren't packed to the gills were Kaguya-hime and Boy and the Beast, probably because they had longer runs. The Project Itoh movies were even surprisingly full, and seemed to even attract a few people who weren't really big on anime. I would be very surprised if they aren't making a profit on some of these showings.
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joac101



Joined: 31 Aug 2016
Posts: 39
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:39 pm Reply with quote
Brand wrote:
I was surprised to see we got Shin Godzilla where I live (which is kind of bodunk when it comes to movies). I went Tuesday night expecting it to be empty but honestly it was more packed then when I saw Godzilla 2000. Which was a normal showing in a huge (24 screen) theater outside of Philly. There had been like 5 people for that. Shin Godzilla on a Tuesday night filled the back of the theater and only the crap front seats were left.

Still the best was the re-release of the original Godzilla we had driven into Philly for, where when the movie started a dude was like F*%K Raymond Burr.

Though, I guess Godzilla does have more of a reach that most anime films. Even if most American probably haven't seen a Godzilla film, they have heard of Godzilla. It was interesting to with my friend who had only seen the American 2014 film because he had a hard time with all the talking in this one.

When I lived closer to Philly I did go see some of the anime movies that would show. Out here we will get some of the bigger Ghibli films that is about it. I miss that big 24 screen theater because at least we would get the bigger indie films. Out here, it is a desert.

i live in south philly !!
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 3212
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:56 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
A theatrical release legitimizes a movie in a way a direct-to-video or direct-to-VOD release doesn't. It shows up on the radar of movie websites, and gets reviewed by critics. It gets talked about in the media -- local TV and talk radio stations often have a segment dedicated to what's in theaters that week, and cover small "art house" releases as well as big mainstream blockbusters. Much like a late night television broadcast does for anime, putting a movie in theaters for a limited time -- even if you have to pay the theaters to take the damn thing -- can be such good marketing for later home video and VOD releases that it's worth losing money on it.


When a cheap third-party animated (like Ratchet & Clank or The Wild Life) used to play only a limited amount of theaters, in a "cannon-fodder" late-April week where it would knowingly be crushed by the big May studio hit a week later, it used to be referred to as "a Billboard Release"--
Meaning, it had to be released in theaters even a little bit just to advertise its existence, because if it didn't, it would be just another direct-to-video title, and lose a lot of its prestige in whether it was shown on cable or sold on disk, never mind whether it could qualify to compete for Animated awards.

Funimation can't afford big wide-releases, and big theaters don't want to make room for them anyway (there are not as many of us as we might hope Sad )--
But even a limited release or Fathom screening still gives them a little money to recoup dubbing costs and qualify for all the rights and privileges of a movie that played US theaters within a reasonable time of its Japanese release. Especially when their plan was to sell it on Blu to their core audience anyway.
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Fullmental



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:03 pm Reply with quote
You know I thought of this during the Ruroni Kenshin movies, but honestly it would have been nice if Funimation didn't use that stupid zip code lookup when the list of theaters was so slim. I spent literally an hour trying to see if they were playing in my state at all, and I can only assume the answer is 'no'. Not that funimation was any help themselves, they completely ignored all of my queries, no matter how I sent them: email, twitter, forum, etc.
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ReifuTD



Joined: 19 Sep 2009
Posts: 127
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:38 pm Reply with quote
I'm really bumbled out and confused the two Cinemark theaters by me been pretty good with showing Japanese movies and DC animated movies I thought for sure they would show Shin Godzilla. I haven't really watch any because I have to take the bus to get to them but have to risk taking a cab home for more then the price of the movie. I had my hopes for Shin Godzilla because the other week I saw they had Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders playing earlier in the day with more shows these kind of limited releases tend to get. So I thought I would actually might be able to see Shin Godzilla when it came in. But it never came,
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minakichan



Joined: 12 Nov 2003
Posts: 1099
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:46 pm Reply with quote
This is going to sound dumb, I know, but if you want more theatrical runs of anime, please go out and watch the ones that are available. If they're more successful, they add more showings. They go out to more locations--meaning that people in less populated areas will get to have screenings of their own too. They bring in more anime from difficult genres instead of just sticking with the safe bets.

I try to watch anime anime movie that comes out in my area as long as it's subtitled. I guess I'm blessed that I've happened to like all of them at least in some way, haha.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 1558
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:59 pm Reply with quote
I remember that back in the days akira and gits ran in teathers, now this makes me wonder if it was also a very limited run.

also, teh tone of the article amkes it sound that the licensor is being vain going for the oscar qualifying, but just being an oscar nominee is a huge marketing boost.
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Fullmental



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:09 pm Reply with quote
minakichan wrote:
This is going to sound dumb, I know, but if you want more theatrical runs of anime, please go out and watch the ones that are available. If they're more successful, they add more showings. They go out to more locations--meaning that people in less populated areas will get to have screenings of their own too. They bring in more anime from difficult genres instead of just sticking with the safe bets.

I try to watch anime anime movie that comes out in my area as long as it's subtitled. I guess I'm blessed that I've happened to like all of them at least in some way, haha.


I certainly tried for all the recent funimation releases, but I have to draw the line well before needing a hotel and a day off to see a movie at a theater 6 hours away...
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silentjay



Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Posts: 298
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:26 pm Reply with quote
I stopped going to screenings, as I really got tired of them being filled with people who don't know how to act in public, and treated the screening like it was a small club meeting or they were in their living rooms. Endless yattering, and shouting memes at the screen is really obnoxious.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 3212
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:33 pm Reply with quote
ReifuTD wrote:
I'm really bumbled out and confused the two Cinemark theaters by me been pretty good with showing Japanese movies and DC animated movies I thought for sure they would show Shin Godzilla. I haven't really watch any because I have to take the bus to get to them but have to risk taking a cab home for more then the price of the movie. I had my hopes for Shin Godzilla because the other week I saw they had Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders playing earlier in the day with more shows these kind of limited releases tend to get. So I thought I would actually might be able to see Shin Godzilla when it came in. But it never came,


Our Cinemark usually gets every single Fathom and Funi event screening--DBZ, Titan and Kenshin included--but not Godzilla.
Nearest one we had was that big prestige theater in Springfield, half an hour away, or that big prestige theater in Boston, three hours away.
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tygerchickchibi



Joined: 29 Sep 2006
Posts: 1163
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:10 pm Reply with quote
silentjay wrote:
I stopped going to screenings, as I really got tired of them being filled with people who don't know how to act in public, and treated the screening like it was a small club meeting or they were in their living rooms. Endless yattering, and shouting memes at the screen is really obnoxious.


Good grief I know how you feel. I realize how sensitive I've gotten to the light when someone pulls out their cell phones to text or record the movie screen. The brightness is so obnoxious, especially for a scene where characters are surrounded by darkness.

Ugggghhh, but I went there to support the release. Yes I did. Grown adults should have better manners but eh.
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