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Notes From CinemaCon 2015 – Where You Watch Matters

April 23, 2015

There is no denying that we live in an age that gives audiences access to more content in more ways than ever before. There are more than 450 online services around the world today offering consumers access to legitimate content – over 100 of them are in the United State alone – while the cinema-going experience continues to remain the bedrock of the film industry in America and abroad. As I told the audience gathered for the National Association of Theater Owners’ (NATO) annual CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas this week, our industry must work to strike the right balance of continuing to support these incredible innovations while maintaining and expanding the unrivaled theater-going experience beloved around the globe.

That is why the MPAA created WhereToWatch.com – our one-stop shop, guiding your audiences to content quickly, simply, and – most importantly – legally, whether in their local theater or on one of the vast array of streaming service available today. An important recognition of the need of the motion picture industry to continue evolving in the digital age to meet the demands of our consumers, WhereToWatch helps strike that balance between digital and theatrical options.  This initiative also goes a long way towards making a case for the benefits, and ease, of choosing legal means of consuming content over illegitimate ones. Doing so protects the nearly 2 million American jobs that are directly and indirectly supported by this industry while ensuring that this industry can continue making the kinds of stories that audiences love and are being celebrated this week at CinemaCon.

At the MPAA, we look forward to continuing to work with our NATO partners in these efforts, and there is no better year to do so because 2015 is shaping up to be one of the most spectacular in the history of film.  This is clear not only from the incredible presentations each studio is making at CinemaCon this week, but also by the success we have already seen so far this year.  “American Sniper” by Warner Bros. and Universal’s “50 Shades of Grey” and “Furious 7” have all set new box-office records while Disney’s “Cinderella” and Paramount’s “SpongeBob Squarepants” delighted audiences everywhere. And that’s only the beginning. Still to come this year we have films like Disney’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Sony’s “Spectre,” Paramount’s “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” Fox’s “Fantastic Four” and Universal’s “Jurassic World” to look forward to – not to mention “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” which is certain to set records of its own.

This is a big year for the American film industry and it is incumbent upon all of us within it to do our part to encourage audiences to watch these great stories legally, both online and in their local cinemas, if we want to support the individuals who make them and continue seeing the same levels of creativity and innovation in the future.