Magazine article Screen International

Audiences Tougher Than Ever, Says StudioCanal Boss

Magazine article Screen International

Audiences Tougher Than Ever, Says StudioCanal Boss

Article excerpt

SCREEN FILM SUMMIT: StudioCanal UK boss on fighting for audience attention, Paddington and the Cumberbitches.

"Audiences are more discerning and unforgiving than ever," said Danny Perkins, CEO of StudioCanal UK, at the Screen Film Summit on Monday.

The distributor scored its biggest ever UK opening last weekend with family adventure Paddington taking $8m (£5.1m); while codebreaking war drama The Imitation Game is now on $14.9m (£9.5m) following its Nov 14 release.

But Perkins acknowledged that films have to be "first rate" to grab an increasingly distracted audience if they hope to avoid failure.

"If what you're doing isn't first rate, you often can't compete," Perkins told delegates. "There is so much competition for audience attention in this connected, digital world.

"So we have to strive to make the best thing we can, directed at an audience we know. The best way of doing that is to back the filmmakers because if their vision is strong it will cut through. It's about empowering filmmakers."

Theatrical windows

While Perkins stated that he continued to support the full theatrical window to "protect the experience of people going to the cinema together", he added that lower budget features could benefit from more flexible terms.

"Rather than spending P&A money on releasing a film theatrically and then waiting four months before spending more money on DVD, being flexible on the windows is something that could ultimately benefit the film," he explained. …

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