Posted on Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta
I’ve always said that digital movie theaters will lead to a social cinema revolution where the audience decides the movies. But apparently it is already happening in Brazil. MovieMobz has been doing for a few months now. BBC describes the company as “Part social network, part digital content aggregator,” but basically the concept is this: You join the website, pick your favorite local movie theaters, and create a wish list of films you would like to see shown there. This could include films from years past, an art film which isn’t expected to come to that neck of the woods, or maybe even a television show or event.
The principal behind this concept is that digital distribution makes it extremely affordable to screen any movie, any where. Theaters no longer have to rent a movie reel, have it shipped, insured, shipped back. In this digital cinema world, the movie theater will eventually become more of an on demand experience, like many people experience cable television today.
In the past one movie would play in one theater at the local cinema for the entire week. With digital cinema, it is possible to have many movies playing in that one theater throughout one day, never mind the week. MovieMobz founder Fabio Lima says “If we can have flexible programming, you can have one French movie, one local documentary, one South Korean movie, one Brazilian movie and maybe you’re going to sell more than the 1,000 tickets.””
But the best part is that moviegoers will have the chance to decide what ight be shown. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll always have the big blockbuster films on the weekends. But throughout the week, the movie theater could be transformed into an on demand social experience. Say 150 people sign up to watch REPO! The Genetic Opera, a movie which is only playing in a handful of cities. MovieMobz could schedule a REPO! screening for that group of people on say a Monday night, when that screen would normally only have 10 or 15 ticket buyers at most. MovieMobz now boasts over 200 screens in 26 cities as part of its network, and have plans to expand into the UK and US very soon.
Thanks to /Film friend Dan Trachtenberg for the tip.