Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How J Lo saved the Movie Theaters


With Maya Cinemas, a movie producer plans to bring films to Latino areas

go to original article ... or email me for article text
"Katz and Esparza met in 1984 through a relative of Katz's and they have been working together ever since. They knew the film, which launched a film career for Jennifer Lopez, had been a general success. But when the box office numbers showed that the movie was selling out in theaters far from Latino communities, a lightbulb went on.

"We realized Latinos were driving miles and miles to see the movie because there were no theaters in their area," Katz said. "We started checking Latino theaters on the map. (There were) very few in Latino areas. The theater companies just didn't understand the Latino market."

Their revelation got the pair rolling."
I wasn't very excited when I first saw the headline for this article. Despite my obvious connection to the targeted community (I'm half Mexican) I thought efforts like this and like Magic Johnson's theaters in Urban Black markets were ot really up my alley or of any real interest to me. I saw them as business savvy moves, and paying attention to underserved communities, but not really about the movies themselves.

But this article put it all together for me. And what came together is really encouraging. The market for moviegoers isn't saturated, like everyone is saying it is now. The distribution and exhibition arms just don't know how to get the right content to the right people right now. People were driving miles to see a movie they could relate to. If only the movies were more readily available (closer) and if there were more movies of interest (more latino films). And that's what efforts like this are all about.

Interestingly, this is starting to sound a lot like the long tail. The only thing that's missing is that things be cheap. Hopefully they'll work that in. But since this is slowly making it's way down the long tail, it's really an idea that's forward thinking in the same way that high-technology solutions such as netflix and on-demand video are. Currently, Netflix is better at it, but you can't ignore the fact that physical movie theaters can position theselves to operate in the mode of the movie content providers of the future.

Specialty theaters are an interesting middle ground between hit-based content (hollywood blockbusters) and all the available movie content (netflix). Really, no one is going to watch all the movies ever made. They're only going to watch the onss that are interesting and that they have time for. And communities of people are more likely to be the same than they are to be different. They're just less likely to be the same as the soulless, oommercially driven 'movies' that one might make only in Los Angeles, CA :) So idetifying that subset is probably enough to keep a theater in business, even if it can't show all movies all the time.



At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

spellcheck, trevino, damn

At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moctesuma Esparza is a thieving loser. http://icbic.tripod.com Check the link, to learn of his latest TV fiasco "Circumsized Cinema" where he rips of his NEPHEW Greg Gomez's TV show. And with this Maya Cinemas BS he guilts a bunch of gullible fools into investing money into a shrinking industry--movie theaters--to boost his own name. That what it's all about for this guy, trying to look cool while sticking it to somebody. But he's a buster and an Uncle Tom. He does Latinos a major disservice each and everyday by keeping things small and trying to be all badass with a heavy hand. But he looks like hell, so I guess I'll be peeing on his grave soon. Watch for me at the funeral, I'll be the one dissing his whole family.


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